Unfortunately, Kraken is not active in Germany
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Kraken Review Australia & Test 2021

Is Kraken safe or scam?

Originally launched in 2013, Kraken has steadily been expanding its cryptocurrency services globally. In 2020, Kraken officially launched crypto services for the Australian market such as trading Bitcoin and Ethereum. The launch followed Kraken’s acquisition of the Australian operation, Bit Trade.

Kraken has quietly grown to be one of the cheapest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges available globally. In fact, they may very well have the best reputation of any crypto exchange. But is Kraken reliable and what does the platform offer to Australian users? At Wetten, we have all the details you need to know before signing up to Kraken in Australia.

Offers and New Customer Experience – What’s New?

We discovered during our Kraken review in Australia, that Kraken does offer bonuses from time to time. Opening an account with Kraken is very easy and it only took us a few minutes during our Australia Kraken review. When it came to verifying your account for KYC purposes, only the usual documents were required.

  • Proof of residence
  • Government ID

Verification of your account can take anywhere from 24hours to up to 5 days. New customers will be greeted immediately with a promotional display about Kraken Futures. This is a new feature at Kraken, and it certainly isn’t a Kraken scam. You can now trade some of the best cryptocurrencies with up to 50x leverage. There are seamless transfers from the spot market to the new Kraken Futures market. To help traders get involved, Kraken now offers a free demo account just for the Kraken Futures platform. There are only 5 cryptocurrency pairs currently supported but we expect that number to grow with success.

Kraken users can also earn rewards by staking both cryptocurrency coins and FIAT currency. Unfortunately, at this time, AUD is not a support FIAT currency for staking but there are still plenty of cryptos to stake, including:

  • Polkadot
  • Ethereum
  • Kusama
  • Cardano
  • Flow
  • USD
  • Bitcoin

Staking earnings are rewarded twice a week and traders will be unable to access those tokens whilst they are bonded.

Usability – Is Kraken Trustworthy?

Catering for both beginners and experienced traders alike, Kraken is a very easy platform to use – far more useful than what we saw in our Multibank review in Australia. There are more than 70 tradable cryptocurrencies available, and your order window can even be broken down into knowledge levels. You can trade with a simple, intermediate, or advanced order window. With a simple order, you’ll get the bare minimum order options required for buying and selling digital assets. On the advanced level, traders at Kraken can access additional order variables and leverage the conditional close feature – a feature that sets order conditions.

At Kraken, traders own the assets they buy and the range of cryptocurrencies available is more than enough to satisfy most traders. We’d find it unlikely an investor would feel the need to trade with other operators like eToro Australia on the side. Kraken has also done a good job of jumping on trendy cryptos like dogecoin and making them available to trade as quickly as possible. We noted during our Kraken review that their platform has undergone some significant upgrades in recent years which has gone a long way to ensuring user confidence during peak times of high volume.

Accounts – Kraken Rating

In Australia, there are only 2 account types available rather than the full 4 that are available in the US. The account types are known as Intermediate and Pro – Kraken classifies these as verification levels. Despite how they sound, the two accounts share many of the same features. The security features are the same, you can access the Pro App on both account types, and there are no limits to how much cryptocurrency you can deposit. Cash limitations are the main difference where the pro account has less limitations.

During our Kraken review in Australia, we noted that both accounts did not have any fees for account inactivity, account maintenance, staking, storing funds, or when traders transfer funds between the Futures wallet.

Trading Platforms – Far from a Kraken Scam

Kraken offers 3 distinct mobile apps on their trading platform. That is the Kraken app – aimed at beginners and part-time traders – the Kraken Pro app, and the new Kraken Futures app. All three mobile apps are available on both Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded via their native stores. The Kraken app is loaded with features such as full price monitoring and portfolio tracking, the ability to instantly purchase cryptocurrency, and an intuitive form to make easy custom orders.

The Kraken Pro app is a cut above with extra security features, advanced trading tools, multiple charts, and a 300+ cryptocurrency marketplace to jump into. The Kraken futures app is only available to Institutional Investors from Australia. Kraken doesn’t allow future trading for retail investors from the UK and Australia.

The web-based Kraken trading platform is easy to use and appears to be built in-house – so no MetaTrader apps here like at the CFD broker CAPEX.

Trading Payments – Funding at Kraken

There are two ways to fund your Kraken account in Australia. During our Kraken review for Australia, we tested the two methods – Bank Transfer and OSKO. Using bank transfers is much like any other broker or exchange in Australia. During our Kraken review, their bank details were easily accessible and all that is required is the usual BSB, Account, and Bank Name details.

For those new to Australia, OSKO is an Australian online banking service that facilitates fast transfers between participating banks – Users get a simple PayID that streamlines payments to Kraken. To access the OSKO payment method in Australia, there are a few requirements to meet. Chiefly, you’ll need an Australian bank and be a verified Intermediate or Pro account holder. Most major banks support this method. At the time of our Kraken review for Australia we found Westpac, ING, ANZ, and NAB supported OSKO payments.

This means you can’t make deposits using your bank card, but it does result in fee free deposits. The deposit minimums during our Kraken review were a minimal $5 and our OSKO transactions were basically instant. Bank transfers were quite fast at around 1 – 2 business days. Withdrawals can be made through the same methods and at the same $5 minimum. We noted during our Kraken review that withdrawal times were on par with the deposits.

Fees – Low fees at Kraken  

Low fees are one of the major attractions of the cryptocurrency exchange. We found the fees to be cheaper than many competitors like in our Coinbase review where even the Coinbase Pro account trading fees cost more than Kraken. Trading fees are charged on a per-trade basis and Kraken leverages a typical maker-taker fee structure – which is common in this industry. During our Kraken review we saw cryptocurrency fees falling into four distinct categories: trading fees, stable-coin fees, dark pool fees, and finally margin fees.

We found regular trading fees ranged from 0.16% for makers and around 0.25% for takers. However, trading fees can be as low as 0% at Kraken. Our Kraken review saw different fees for stable-coins but not a great deal of noticeable difference – 0.20% or lower on a 30-day volume. Dark pool trading isn’t available yet but is designed for those who trade at very high volumes. We found during our Kraken review that this exchange has the cheapest margin trading fees of any exchange we reviewed. Opening a margin trade of bitcoin costs a mere 0.01% opening fee and a rollover fee of 0.01% every 4 hours. Other cryptos are slightly higher at an opening price of 0.02%. The maximum leverage on margin trades is 5x.

Customer Service – 24/7 Australian Support

There are 3 channels for accessing support at Kraken. Because there are multiple platforms, Kraken are able to offer 24/7 support around the globe – including Australia. Now one unfortunate aspect of the phone support is that the numbers available are in Europe and the US. While this does cover the entire day, Australians will be required to make an international call to receive such assistance.

The 2nd method is via a standard ticketing system. You can select from a range of issues and a Kraken specialist will respond via email.

Finally, the most effective way to access support as an Australian customer is through the Live Chat feature. The chat feature is intuited with a responsive bot which can assist with many basic queries and is generally rather helpful. During our Kraken review, it took literally seconds to been shown to a real-life agent. We simply needed to ask the bot twice and we were instantly placed in a queue. We were lucky enough to never experience lengthy queues and on two occasions were instantly paired with an agent.

Kraken is no slouch in the FAQ department either and in our experience, so many problems can be solved quickly in a broker or exchanges FAQs section. Kraken has a fantastic department. The search bar is massive, and we simply searched Australia and was met with tons of pages worth of helpful content. More specific searches yielded precise results too.

Regulation and Deposit Insurance – Is Kraken Reliable?

Kraken became available in Australia due to the acquisition of Bit Trade. As such, Kraken still trades in Australia under the Bit Trade name and their address is a PO box at World Square in Sydney. If you check out Kraken reviews globally, you’ll notice plenty of licences and regulations. Thankfully, Kraken has ensured they maintain some regulatory oversight in Australia too.

Kraken is legally registered as a Digital Currency Exchange and is also regulated by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). This is great news as AUSTRAC is a government financial intelligence agency and have proven to have no fear in taking action against entities as big as Commonwealth Bank and they have shut down unsafe cryptocurrency businesses in the past.

Unlike some exchanges, like the UK Coinbase platform, Kraken does not offer any deposit insurance, and this extends to its new staking program too – not that Australia users can access off-chain staking yet. While deposit insurance would have been nice, the lack of it is far from a game ender. Kraken has an utterly outstanding reputation and plenty of security measures in place to keep your funds safe.

Additional Features – Is Kraken Safe?

Kraken is widely considered to be the most secure digital asset exchange online. Their record is impeccable and have proven to be transparent about security. Krakens Security Labs – a catchy title for their security researchers – openly shares issues and test reports with other vendors to increase security in the crypto space. This exchange even goes as far as recommending that users do not store their crypto assets with them and instead select an offline or hardware wallet. The Kraken security Labs have gone and researched quality products and released that information on the Kraken website.

Storing your cryptocurrency at Kraken is not a bad idea though. Straight off the bat, Kraken stores 95% of user funds in cold wallet devices that have been distributed across the globe. Those physical wallets are then heavily guarded and always under strict security protocols. You’ll also get customizable API key permissions, timeouts, and the ability to disable SMS-recovery features.

The Kraken exchange offers OTC trading with deep liquidity and can cater to those who even trade in large blocks of $100,000 or more. This OTC desk can facilitate both crypto trades and supports AUD. We’re talking about a 24/7 global marketplace. Users of the OTC desk can expect 1-to-1 service and a more personalised experience.

Unique to Australia, Kraken allows users to trade cryptocurrencies using their Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF). This is the only method in Australia for leveraging cryptocurrencies in a retirement portfolio. To do so at Kraken, users can sign up to a new account in the name of their SMSF. Thanks to the great tracking services available at Kraken, fulfilling your Australian Tax Office (ATO) fulfilments is incredibly easy too.

Kraken Crypto Exchange

Trade Offer - Cryptocurrencies available at Kraken

At Kraken, traders can access more than 300 cryptocurrencies to be bought or sold on their exchange platform. Not every cryptocurrency on the Kraken platform can be traded with a margin and some cryptocurrencies cannot be traded as a pair with another. Kraken does however allow for FIAT buys of all available cryptocurrencies. The standard Kraken account level has around 70 cryptocurrencies to trade, while the Kraken Pro platform can access more than 300. There are 10 stakeable coins and the Kraken Futures platform features 5 crypto pairings.

Trading Costs – Variable fees, from 0% to 0.26%

At Kraken, crypto trading costs are variable, and traders will be charged between 0% and 0.26% per trade. On top of that, direct credit card purchases will be charged an additional 3.75% and online banking processing is charged at an additional 1.7%. There are ways to mitigate the additional costs by depositing to your Kraken account first in AUD. This makes crypto trading costs quite low at Kraken. Kraken trading costs are calculated using a 30-day rolling period, influenced by your trading volumes. For example, trading volumes of up to $50,000 will cost either 0.16% as a maker or 0.26% as a taker. A $500,000 transaction would only be charged at 0.06% or 0.16%.

Trading Conditions – Access margin trading at Kraken

At Kraken, traders can order both market and limit orders to their advantage. Australian residents can access margin trading at Kraken. Leverage is an optional feature, and your margin level is calculated as a ratio of your equity to used margin and is subject to some limitations.

Product summary – Over 300 cryptocurrencies to trade

Kraken features more than 300 cryptocurrencies – 70 at base level, 300 in the Kraken Pro account. There are a number of features that set Kraken apart such as the ability to stake 10 cryptocurrency coins for a reward and the ability to use 50x leverage on Kraken Futures. Trading costs are extremely low, and the lack of any account management fees are an added bonus when trading cryptocurrencies in Australia.

Kraken Review Australia FAQ

💹 What are Futures?

There are many ways to trade cryptocurrencies in 2021 and they don’t all involve simply buying the asset itself. Futures are a type of financial instrument that is essentially an agreement on a predetermined price at a future date. This can be both advantageous and disadvantageous as the seller must sell to the buyer at the agreed date, at the agreed price, regardless of current market valuation.

🏦 What is an ERC20 token?

At Kraken, you’ll see cryptocurrencies of all different kinds as they are all unique in some way. Cryptocurrencies are all based on blockchain technology of some kind and which blockchain is used can determine the type of crypto asset. ERC20 is a cryptocurrency token based upon the Ethereum blockchain and many assets that are not Ethereum leverage this same technology.

🗝 Is Kraken a scam?

There are many brokers, exchanges, and websites in the crypto space that claim to offer a safe and secure means to buying and selling popular cryptocurrencies. It can be difficult to determine who is genuine and who is not, but there are factors to consider that can help determine if a platform is a scam or not. Kraken is certainly not a scam and you can find out why in our complete Kraken review for Australia. 

🦘 Are there any limitations as an Australian client?

Kraken are a global cryptocurrency exchange and that means they operate in international jurisdictions. When brokers do this, some features may not meet the regulatory requirements in some jurisdictions. As such, some limitations may occur from time to time. Limitations are also subject to change. The only way to be sure of what can be accessed and what you are allowed to do at Kraken is to use one of the many support lines to contact Kraken for accurate guidance.

🔃 Is cryptocurrency staking safe?

Cryptocurrency staking is a fairly new feature at crypto exchanges available in Australia. It’s a process that can increase profits but there are some inherent risks owing to the fact that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile. The value of your staked currency may drop quickly, and stake tokens cannot be used while you have them bonded. 

Overall Conclusion – Kraken Ranking

Kraken is one the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and available in the Australian market. There are more than 70 cryptocurrencies to trade on an easy-to-use platform that beginners can use with ease. Trading fees at Kraken are incredibly low and there are no account management fees to speak of. Kraken continues to innovate and provide clients with new features such as Kraken Futures and the ability to stake 10 cryptocurrencies for a weekly reward.

Unlike many exchanges that do not offer leverage – something typically seen when trading cryptocurrencies as CFDs at CFD brokers like CAPEX – but at Kraken you can trade a handful of cryptocurrency futures with up to 50x leverage. With low fees, extra safety as an AUSTRAC registered exchange, and the ability to access more than 300 cryptocurrencies through Kraken Pro, Kraken is a serious contender for the best crypto exchange in Australia.

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