Do you want to register on Kraken to test the possibilities offered by the platform? It must be said that the exchange offers solid guarantees and good arguments for buying and exchanging bitcoins, ethers and others with peace of mind. Hence the interest in browsing this tutorial on Kraken which intends to gather in one page all the questions you can ask yourself. Starting from the history of the platform, discover the main features, how to register and especially how to buy on Kraken.
Learn about Kraken
Before embarking on this Kraken tutorial in more detail, it is always interesting to know the origin and history of the project. Then it’s time to show you what you can do on the exchange in terms of trading and how to invest in Kraken.
Like all cryptocurrency platforms, Kraken’s history is bound to be linked to that of its founder, Jesse Powell. This philosophy graduate from the University of California, Sacramento, embarked on several projects as founder (Verge Gallery & Studio Project, Verge Center for the Arts) or co-founder (Lewt, Inc., Internet Ventures & Holdings).
Very attentive to the world of cryptocurrencies, Jesse Powell visits the offices of Mt.Gox, which was, at the time, the largest cryptoactive exchange in the world. However, in June 2014, Mt.Gox was the victim of a very large theft of around 800,000 Bitcoins. The founder of Kraken analyzes the ensuing sequence of events and develops a strategy for a safer platform. Its goal: to prevent the money of exchange users from evaporating.
This is the whole guideline of Kraken, created in 2011 in California: it wants to be the best organized and safest platform. No sooner said than done: in 2014, Kraken is considered the most recommended platform. Trust is a value at the heart of Jesse Powell’s strategy and above all an argument to convince institutional players.
Based on this principle, the platform has forged partnerships with several banking establishments, notably in Germany and Japan. From this collaboration results the first cryptographic exchange listed on the Bloomberg terminal. As a reminder, this tool allows several analyzes: financial, fundamental and technical. It is also a source of qualitative information used by financial professionals.
Kraken therefore creates a climate of trust that allows it to become one of the biggest places for bitcoin trading. This does not prevent the exchange from being confronted with different problems. For example, the platform had to close its access during the month of January 2018 in order to resolve both internal and external concerns. The success nevertheless brings its share of criticisms as in 2019 when suspicions of wash trading (artificial swelling of trading volumes) were published by The Block.
Create your Kraken account
In this tutorial on Kraken, we will now discuss the registration formalities on the platform and explain the double authentication system.
How to register on Kraken?
The first step to register on Kraken is to go to the platform’s website and create an account. To achieve this, you must fill out a form in just a few minutes by clicking on “Create an account”. This form requires several pieces of information, including your email, username, password, and country of residence.
Advice : Choose a password as complex as possible to avoid being hacked.
How to validate your account on Kraken?
Your account is finally created, but before you start trading, you will need to validate your account. To do this, the platform sends you an email containing a link to the email address entered when you created your account.
By clicking on this link, you will be redirected to a page on the Kraken website with three fields to fill in: a validation code (which will already be filled in via the link), your username and password at fill. If the operation blocks, you can still copy the validation code, because it will appear in the email, so you will only have to log into Kraken. To know if the validation has been taken into account, the site will automatically connect you.
Secure your Kraken account
The cryptocurrency exchange is known for its reliability and security. Remember, this is the guiding line of its founder Jesse Powell. Find out here how to secure your exchange account.
What is double authentication?
This double authentication, translated from the English Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), is a means of securing your account recommended by the platform. This adds additional protection to the already existing one. However, you have the freedom to activate it or not. But we recommend it in order to make your account as secure as possible with this system.
Double authentication is a mechanism that involves adding, in addition to your password, another authentication element, such as a connection code sent directly by SMS to your smartphone. For example, when connecting your account, you will need to enter your password, then the code that you will receive on your mobile phone.
How to secure your Kraken account?
To activate the dual authentication system (once again remember that activation is optional, but highly recommended), you must click on the “security” button. Then select the 2FA method. What are the possibilities ? You can choose between the Google Authenticator mobile app and Yubikey. Once your decision has been made, you are redirected to a page that will allow you to validate the configuration of your double authentication system.
The Google app is compatible with Android and iOS. This will generate a unique password. This code is used to reset the double authentication tool.
To set it up, you will need to choose Authenticator, then scan the QR code that appeared on your screen or enter the code directly in the application. This then creates a six-digit number that updates every 30 seconds. This code generated by the mobile application allows you to connect to your Kraken account with much more peace of mind, especially when doing some sensitive operations!
Yubikey comes in the form of a USB memory stick that protects you from phishing, which is a fraud technique aimed at obtaining personal information such as your password or your banking information. By connecting it to your computer, it will generate a unique password each time you touch its button.
What can we do on Kraken?
Now that your account is created, we will see in more detail what you can do on the platform by briefly presenting the different tabs. First, remember that this broker allows you to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. That is to say, you can buy Bitcoin with euros for example, but also get it by exchanging ethers or another cryptocurrency. We will come back to this later.
By connecting to the site, you will be redirected to the “Overview” tab, which will pool all your capital, whether with Fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies. You can also consult the current fees, or your register, which groups your purchase orders.
The “Transaction” page is what will allow you to buy / sell your cryptocurrencies, or to trade. You can also find orders and executed trades there.
The “Prices” tab opens a new page in which you can see the markets of the Kraken site. You can see the price of the different pairs available on the site. It is even possible to add some to favorites (by clicking on the stars, which will then turn golden). By default, Kraken will have already added the most important ones.
You can also do what is called “Staking” through the tab of the same name. So it’s about getting cryptocurrencies through the Proof of Stake. If you want to know more about this system, do not hesitate to consult our article comparing it with the Proof of Work. As of this writing, staking is only possible with Tezos, but more cryptocurrencies will soon appear.
On “Financing”, you can view all your balances, but also make your deposits and withdrawals of Fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
The “History” tab allows you to view all your orders and transactions, and even export this data.
For all additional information, you can click on the “Support” tab.
Finally, by hovering your cursor over the profile picture of your account, you will open a menu with 4 options:
- “Parameters”, which can itself be expanded into 4 other options. All this concerns information relating to your person and your preferences;
- “Security”, which will allow you to change your password or activate two-factor authentication;
- “Be Verified” which we will see in more detail later, which allows you to raise the level of your account;
- “Logout”, which allows you to simply end your session on Kraken.
Now that you know a bit more about the site’s interface and tabs, we’ll show you how to purchase your first cryptocurrencies.
Buy cryptocurrencies on Kraken
Above all, it should be noted that Kraken is a marketplace. In other words: the exchange does not intervene in the transaction. Kraken does not buy or sell cryptocurrencies directly. Its function is to connect buyers and sellers.
The Fiat currencies available on the platform at the time of writing the article are as follows:
- The euro (whose acronym is EUR);
- The American dollar (USD);
- The British pound (GBP);
- The Swiss franc (CHF);
- The Canadian dollar (CAD);
- The yen (JPY).
Regarding cryptocurrencies, the platform has around thirty, with obviously the best known (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano…). However, it must be kept in mind that the platform continues to evolve and that other Fiat cryptocurrencies and coins may soon appear.
Account verification and levels
There are several account levels on Kraken, ranging from 0 to 3. Each level, also called “account type” on the site, corresponds to a name, except for level 0, which is the one with which everyone starts. It’s just the basic level you get when you create an account. For the other levels, we therefore have:
- “Starter” for level 1, which allows low limits;
- “Intermediate” for level 2, which allows higher limits;
- “Pro” for level 3, which corresponds to the highest limits.
The verification phase of your account is a crucial step for your experience on the platform. Why ? Because that’s what will define your account level. To raise your level, you must provide several items to the platform. The more supporting documents you provide, the more you can do on the site. You will be able to see all these levels by clicking on “Be Verified” by passing your cursor over the profile picture of your account, which is on the right of the menu.
Everyone is free to cross the thresholds or not. However, remember that this determines your possibilities in terms of withdrawals and deposits on a daily as well as a monthly scale. Also, other features will be available depending on your account type.
Note: There is a type of account reserved for companies. For more information, we invite you to click on the sentence “Do you need an institutional account? Which is at the very bottom of the page “Be verified”. Otherwise, you can click here.
How to validate the verification of your Kraken account?
First of all, know that it is not possible to validate a level without having validated the one before. In other words, to have an account at level 2, you must first go through level 1. Each level requires separate supporting documents.
By going to the “Get Verified” page, you will find the table with all types of accounts. In this example, let’s take level 1. You will then have to click on “Be Verified” which is below the conditions of level 1. You will then be redirected to a page which will ask you for more information, including your full name, your address, your phone number, etc. Once all this information has been given, simply click on “Send”.
Since the site will need to verify all of this information, this step will take some time before you are assigned the level. Scan your mailbox while waiting to receive the confirmation email by Kraken, a wait that can last a few hours or a few days … Patience!
What are the benefits of each level?
As said before, level 0 corresponds to the level that a user obtains just after creating their account. It allows you to do nothing about trading. Thus, you will only be able to start trading from level 1. Here is a table summarizing all the benefits for each level, from deposit / withdrawal limits to additional benefits.
|Starter (level 1)||Intermediate (level 2)||Pro (level 3)|
|Limits on cryptocurrency deposits||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Cryptocurrency withdrawal limits (daily / monthly)||$ 5,000 / Unlimited||$ 500,000 / Unlimited||$ 10,000,000 / Unlimited|
|Fiat currency deposit limits (daily / monthly)||Not available||$ 100,000 / $ 500,000||$ 10,000,000 / $ 100,000,000|
|Fiat currency withdrawal limits (daily / monthly)||Not available||$ 100,000 / $ 500,000||$ 10,000,000 / $ 100,000,000|
|Additional benefits||Trade with margin||– Level 1 advantages|
– Start buying / selling / trading with Fiat currencies
– Trading on Kraken Futures
|– Level 2 advantages|
– Personalized funding limits
– OTC (Over-the-Counter) transactions
– Higher API limits
|Supporting documents||– Full Name |
– E-mail adress
– Main address
– Telephone number
– Official ID
– Proof of address
– Face Match
|– Anti-money laundering verification (AML)|
– Financial statements
To help you, here are some details on certain terms:
- Margin trading involves borrowing funds. In short, you are trading with money you have borrowed;
- The “Face Match” is simply a photo of you;
- OTC transactions (for “Over-the-Counter”) are exchanges in which the price is agreed between the two parties (the buyer and the seller) and not fixed by the price of the cryptocurrency;
- API is an acronym for “Application Programming Interface”. This is an interface allowing, in the case of Kraken, to have information in particular on the ticker, the assets, the balances, and other functions.
To note : As you can see from the table, you will only be able to start buying cryptocurrencies with your euros from level 2. Otherwise, you will only be able to trade between cryptocurrencies.
Deposits on Kraken
To deposit cryptocurrencies on the website, you simply have to go to the “Financing” tab, choose the cryptocurrency of your choice, then click on “Deposits”. You will then be redirected to the deposits page, and you will have to fill in the information requested to make your deposit.
Concerning deposits in FIAT currencies on Kraken, they are made by SEPA interbank transfer between your bank account and your Kraken account. In order to speed up money transfers (from a few days to a few minutes), the platform even partnered with Silvergate Exchange Network SEN) in 2019. Unfortunately this partnership only concerns customers in the United States who can in particular proceed with free U.S. dollar deposits and withdrawals from their bank accounts with Silvergate.
This is not the case for those who want to make deposits in euros on Kraken. However, the operation is quite simple. Just open your personal account, go to the “Financing” tab and then click on the “Deposit” button, choosing your currency, in this case EUR for euros. Select your payment method on Kraken, if possible the SEPA transfer which is free in the euro zone. You will then access Kraken’s bank details.
Warning : remember that euro deposits only apply to level 2 accounts.
Transferring funds from your bank account to your Kraken account takes between 48 and 72 hours, i.e. 2 to 3 business days. If the transaction does not appear, do not hesitate to contact customer support. Likewise, it is recommended to start with a small amount to ensure that the manipulation works well.
After seeing how to make a deposit on Kraken, let’s now tackle transactions and first of all the acquisition of cryptocurrencies! How to trade on Kraken? In reality, it is not very complicated. Go to the “Transaction” tab, monitoring your available money by going to “Overview” then “Balances”.
In order to carry out a cryptocurrency exchange or a purchase with your euros, you must click on the “New order” button available in the “Transaction” tab.
Create your purchase order on Kraken by going to “Buy”. Note that if you want to buy Bitcoin, the acronym XBT and not BTC! The first field is the amount of cryptocurrency you want to buy. And the second field? This is the price for which you want to trigger your purchase. The total specified on the right corresponds to the total number of cryptocurrencies purchased. You can modify the pairs by clicking on the drop-down list above “New order”.
In case you want to sell cryptocurrencies, click on the “Sell” button, then the principle will be pretty much the same. You indicate the amount of cryptocurrencies you want to sell, multiplied by the price at which you want to sell them. The total will be the amount you will receive.
If you feel that your purchase order is taking too long to complete a transaction, you can choose to wait a little longer or cancel your order to restart a new one. If you decide to start a new order, try with a higher price than your first attempt, as it will probably not have worked because of a price set too low.
Transaction fees are collected by the cryptocurrency buying platform. They can be viewed by going to the overview page. At the time of writing this article they are between 0.16% and 0.26% This variation takes into account the form of execution of the purchase order. On this same page, you will be able to see your balance in cryptocurrency and euros.
It is more than recommended to withdraw your cryptocurrencies from exchanges for security reasons. The main solution is to equip yourself with a wallet, which is a cryptocurrency storage system. For example, you can see our guide on how to choose your Bitcoin wallet. But how do you make a cryptocurrency withdrawal on Kraken? Go to “Financing” then click on “Withdrawal” next to the chosen cryptocurrency. You can then send them to your address.
To do this, enter the public address of your wallet (string of several characters). This public address can also correspond to that of another exchange in order to transfer your Kraken cryptocurrency to another platform. A letter confirming the public address is sent. At this time, you can withdraw your cryptocurrency by indicating in the form the precise amount desired.
Thanks to this tutorial on Kraken, you have all the basic knowledge to register for the exchange, protect your account and make your first deposits and first cryptocurrency purchases. Kraken is a platform that has already conquered a large number of countries, and which continues to spread its tentacles across the globe. It is therefore not impossible that other Fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies and interesting features will appear in the future.