Kraken is a crypto exchange based in San Francisco, California which claims to be the largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of volume and liquidity. The company was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and is now known for its low transaction fees, a wide range of features and high level of security. Following the bankruptcy of the former exchange Mt.Gox, the Kraken platform assisted in the processing claims.
Kraken operates all across the United States with the exception of New York. It also operates in Canada and the European Union but also in Japan. The platform was launched in 2013 and has managed to raise more than $100 million since the latest round closed in February 2019. Kraken boasts about the high liquidity and is the leader in the industry because of its leading security measures and the 24/7 live customer support. Kraken has full reserves of the customers’ funds and they employ independent, cryptographically-verified audit in order to prove the third parties and the customers of the exchange that the funds are properly kept.
Kraken offers its customers an advanced trading platform that also includes margin trading and spot trading for the more experienced users. The interface of the platform offers many options but according to the traders, it’s not really the most user-friendly platform for beginners. For the high volume trades, Kraken offers Over the Counter services with a 1-on-1 service. Also, the frequently high volume traders can receive a dedicated account manager who will take care of the customers’ needs. Kraken also offers a dark pool which is basically an order book that is not visible to the rest of the market. The traders can also anonymously place large buy or sell orders without revealing the interest to other traders. The huge orders, when seen by other traders, can cause the market to move in the unwanted direction which makes it more difficult to fill the order at the desired price. The dark pool helps this move to be avoided.
The deposits and withdrawals can be made with SWIFT, SEPA and wire transfer. In all cases, the deposits and withdrawals can be expected to last from 1 to five business days and the average deposit usually takes up to 24 hours. The depositing is free and most of the cryptocurrencies are accepted but there is a small address setup fee in some of the cases. The SEPA deposits are free which makes Kraken very convenient if you are in the European Union. A bank wire transfer from the US can cost from $5 to $10.