Cryptocurrency is one of the hottest topics in the world right now. However, for a beginner who is new in the world of buying and selling digital money, choosing the right exchange can be very confusing. There are many different exchanges, such as Coinbase and Kraken which are very popular right now. In the following article, we will discuss the differences and comparisons between Coinbase vs Kraken to help you choose the most suitable cryptocurrency exchange.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that is headquartered in San Fransisco founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in 2011. The company brokers exchanges of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. They also broker other digital assets with fiat currencies in 32 countries as well as bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries around the world.
Coinbase owns two core products, the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) for professional asset trading and the user-facing retail broker for fiat currencies. In addition, Coinbase also provides an API to allow developers to create apps for accepting payments in the digital currencies. With more than 9 million users, Coinbase has become one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges.
What is Kraken?
Kraken is a prominent US-based cryptocurrency exchange founded by Payward, Inc. in 2011. The company is based in San Fransisco as well. It now operates in Canada, Japan, the EU, and the US. It is now said to be the world’s largest bitcoin exchange in terms of liquidity and euro volume.
Since the founding, Kraken has acquired several other bitcoin companies, such as the American Coinsetter, the Canadian Cavirtex, the American Glidera, the Dutch Clevercoin, and the charting and trading platform CryptoWatch. Such strategy has allowed Kraken to expand very rapidly.
Kraken provides bitcoin pricing to the Bloomberg Terminal. It has added Ethereum dark pool trading and the Ven currency. It also has Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Gnosis, Iconomi, Litecoin, Monero, Augur REP Tokens, Ripple, Zcash, and Stellar/Lumens.
Ease of Use
For a beginner, ease of use is a crucial factor. You want a platform that is easy to understand so that you can focus on the more important things instead of learning through a steep learning curve. And when it comes to ease of use, Coinbase is definitely one of the very best choices available.
Coinbase has an organized and highly responsive interface. You can buy or sell cryptocurrencies through a few simple steps, and you will not find any trouble when placing an order. Depending on the payment method that you choose, you may receive your cryptocurrencies instantly or within a few days. Purchasing cryptocurrencies with a credit card is usually instant, but purchasing with a wire transfer may take up to five days.
On the other hand, Kraken is not as intuitive. Making a new account may even take a few days. It does not have payment options for credit or debit cards. You have to deposit your money in the account first by a bank transfer or existing cryptocurrencies. Using Kraken requires some more technical knowledge.
When choosing between Coinbasevs Kraken, you may need to consider what cryptocurrencies that you want to trade. If you only want to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin, then Coinbase is a great choice. It is, in fact, the leading exchange in those cryptocurrencies.
However, if you want to trade other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, forget about Coinbase. Kraken is the way to go. Right now, Kraken is the largest exchange in terms of liquidity due to the numerous options. In Kraken, you can trade not only digital currencies but also euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars, and Japanese yens. The cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin Cash,Ethereum, Ven, Dash, Gnosis, Iconomi, Litecoin, Monero, Augur REP Tokens, Ripple, Zcash, and Stellar/Lumens.
Prices and Bonuses
If we compare the prices of Coinbase vs Kraken, we can see that Coinbase has higher fees. This is mostly because of the payment methods. Every transaction has a 1% fee, but there is an additional fee if you use the credit card payment method. One great thing about Coinbase is that you can get a bonus of $10 worth of Bitcoin whenever you buy $100 worth of cryptocurrencies.
On the other hand, if you want to get the highest profits possible by minimizing fee expenses, Kraken may be a better option. It has lower fees compared to the competitors. There are some additional fees for deposits and withdrawals, though. Unfortunately, Kraken does not provide any bonus.
Both Coinbase and Kraken have high security standards and regulations. Coinbase is quite interesting in this case because it requires the traders to report how they spend their bitcoins. If you use your bitcoins for gambling, adult services, or any dark net service, your account will be shut. Well, some people complain about privacy concerns, but if you don’t plan to do anything naughty then you should be fine.
On the other hand, Kraken is known for the robust security and defense. It has been attacked multiple times without breaking. Kraken also offers a global setting lock and PGP encryption for email communication.
Both Coinbase and Kraken require you to submit personal information when making an account and trading bitcoins. Both have two-way authentication. Both companies store most of their funds in cold storage with advanced security features.
When it comes to the customer support of Coinbase vs Kraken, neither of them is really impressive. However, Coinbase is a little better than Kraken.
Both platforms do provide extensive FAQs. If you need to find out about something, you should start by browsing through the FAQs. The problem is in contacting the customer support; Coinbase usually takes two days to reply to your message, and it will take two more days to give the solution.
Kraken is, well, a little worse. It may take a whole month until they reply to your message. Apparently, this is due to the rapid increase in the number of cryptocurrency transactions. Hopefully, the quality of the customer service will improve over time.
|- A global market which exchanges Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum||- Operates in Canada, Japan, the EU, and the US to exchange various cryptocurrencies|
|- Easier to use, allows payments via credit cards and transfers||- Relatively more difficult to use, only allows payments via deposits and transfers|
|- Higher fees, a bonus of $10 worth of Bitcoin whenever you buy $100 worth of cryptocurrencies||- Lower fees, no bonus/reward|
|- Requires users to report their bitcoin usage||- Global setting lock and PGP encryption for email communication|
|- Slightly better customer service||- The customer service takes up to a month to reply|
Both Coinbase and Kraken are great exchanges. If you are a beginner who prefers to keep things simple, Coinbase is a better option. You should also choose Coinbase if you want to be able to use your credit card for payments, or if you prefer a global market. However, if you are a knowledgeable user and you prefer high liquidity, you can choose Kraken.