Buying and selling crypto assets is now quite simple, owing to the availability of several crypto exchanges in the market space. However, with so many options, it is easier said than done to invest your money in a specific exchange.
It is a rather big job when it comes to deciding where and how to transact with cryptocurrency. That includes opting to trade on a cryptocurrency exchange and knowing how to utilize it.
Through this blog post, we have evaluated the two commonly known cryptocurrencies – Kraken and Coinbase – side by side, in terms of fees, security, user experience, customer service, and crypto assets offered, to answer the ultimate question: which is the better crypto exchange between Kraken and Coinbase?
Founded in 2011, Kraken is among the first crypto exchanges. It lets you buy, sell, and trade assets such as Ethereum and Bitcoin amongst others – and the list does not just end here, Kraken also supports spot trading. Even though Kraken focuses on global crypto adoption, it is especially a popular crypto exchange in the US, where it is well regulated and adheres to laws.
If you are new to the crypto market and want to start off with a wide range of assets with affordable fees, Kraken is the one you should choose – here’s why:
Pros of Kraken
- Affordable fees
- Over 120 cryptocurrencies supported
- Affordable fee structure
- Beginner-friendly user interface
- Wide range of security features such as: 2FA, cold storage, SSL encryption…
- High limits for deposits and withdrawals
Cons of Kraken
- Reported some cases of hacking
- Certain options are not accessible in the US
- Not available in New York and Washington
Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the US offers a plethora of features. This includes over 150 tradable cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Dogecoin, Bitcoin and so many more that users can buy and sell orders.
If you’re looking for a platform for simply buying and selling, Coinbase may be the best fit for you. However, if you’re looking for more technical and sophisticated features, you must try out Coinbase Pro.
Pros of Coinbase
- Easy-to-use interface
- Accepts fiat currency
- Easy to fund
Cons of Coinbase
- High fees
- Not accessible in all countries
- Not available in the state of Hawaii
Comparison of Coinbase and Kraken
Now that we have a brief overview of both the cryptocurrency exchanges, it’s finally time to address the most important question — which crypto exchange is better for you: Kraken vs Coinbase?
Let’s find out.
Kraken Vs Coinbase: Assets Offered
When it comes to deciding the best exchange between Coinbase vs Kraken, it is crucial to check which crypto assets are offered by the exchange.
Both Kraken and Coinbase offer a wide range of crypto assets. The list includes some of the most commonly used cryptos as well as lesser-known tokens and coins.
Speaking of Coinbase, it has a little over 150 cryptos, most of which are available to investors in the United States. Kraken, on the other hand, has more than 120.
Some of the assets that Kraken supports are:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Shiba Inu
- USD Coin, and so on.
Coinbase offers over 150 crypto assets. Some of the most popular include:
- USD Coin
When comparing the two, Coinbase is far superior in terms of supported assets as it offers its consumers a wide range of crypto assets.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Storage & Wallets
If you own crypto assets, it is a must to own a crypto wallet to help store your precious assets. Yes, you can of course leave them on the exchange but you could end up being the sufferer if there’s a hack or security breach on the exchange. Thus, external crypto wallets are a savior!
When comparing Coinbase vs Kraken, it should be noted that both have their own ways of viewing crypto wallets. Coinbase states on its official website that it is a “self-custody wallet”, meaning that it is a hot wallet where you can use blockchain-based financial services. Additionally, you can also use other wallet services with it.
The wallet can hold ERC-20 tokens as well as most of the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and so on. What’s even more interesting is that the Coinbase wallet is not just limited to crypto coins, but also supports NFTs.
On the flip side, Kraken aims to let you use the platform for trading and not storing. As a result, they do not provide a wallet service using which you could transfer crypto from one Kraken wallet to another. For those who wish to use Kraken for storing and transferring assets, it is recommended to use a third-party wallet provider.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Available Regions
Not all exchanges are available everywhere — sometimes there’s a restriction on a certain crypto asset pairing or trading restriction, and sometimes, due to regulatory issues, an exchange is completely restricted from being used in a particular state or country.
The good part here is that both Kraken and Coinbase are globally available, with Kraken in over 190 countries with about 9 million users. Whereas, Coinbase is also a global exchange, offered in around 100 countries and has 98 million happy users.
However, there are a few snags when it comes to comparing Coinbase vs Kraken in the United States. Kraken isn’t available to residents in Washington and New York. The residents of Hawaii, on the other hand, cannot access Coinbase yet.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Fees
Comparing platform fees is one of the most important defining factors in choosing a crypto exchange. It is worth mentioning that the maker-taker fee offered by Kraken is the most affordable when compared to competitors at 0.26%, while that of Coinbase is almost double at 0.50%.
Here’s a quick rundown of the instant buy fee and maker-taker fee of Coinbase vs Kraken.
Instant Buy Fees at Kraken
|Kraken Fee||Payment Card Processing Fee||Digital Wallet Payments Processing Fee||Online Banking/ACH Processing Fee|
|0.9% fee for any stablecoins 1.5% fee for any other crypto or FX pair||3.75% + 0.25c||3.75% + 0.25c||0.5%|
Instant Buy Fees at Coinbase
|Payment/Payout Method||Effective Conversion Rate|
|US bank account||1.49%|
|Coinbase USD wallet||1.49%|
|Debit card buy||3.99%|
|Instant card withdrawal||Up to 1.50% of any transaction and a minimum fee of $0.55|
Maker-Taker Fee at Kraken
|30-Day Volume (USD)||Maker||Taker|
|$0 – $50,000||0.16%||0.26%|
|$50,001 – $100,000||0.14%||0.24%|
|$100,001 – $250,000||0.12%||0.22%|
|$250,001 – $500,000||0.10%||0.20%|
|$500,001 – $1,000,000||0.08%||0.18%|
|$1,000,001 – $2,500,000||0.06%||0.16%|
|$2,500,001 – $5,000,000||0.04%||0.14%|
|$5,000,001 – $10,000,000||0.02%||0.12%|
Maker Taker Fee at Coinbase
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|$0 – 10K||0.60%||0.40%|
|$10K – 50K||0.40%||0.25%|
|$50K – 100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K – 1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$1M – 20M||0.18%||0.08%|
|$20M – 100M||0.15%||0.05%|
|$100M – 300M||0.10%||0.02%|
|$300M – 500M||0.08%||0.00%|
Clearly, when it comes to comparing the fees of Kraken and Coinbase, Kraken is undoubtedly the winner here.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Security
When it comes to choosing a crypto exchange, security is crucial because they are notorious for dramatic security breaches. Both, Coinbase and Kraken have prioritized security, and here are some of the best features that stand out:
- Cold storage: This is a great add-on as it keeps unauthorized access at bay. Both the exchanges, Kraken and Coinbase, store about 95% and 98% of assets, respectively.
- Bug bounty: Ethical hackers are compensated for uncovering system issues.
- 2FA: Both exchanges offer 2FA for withdrawals and transfers.
- Security key: This is required to verify the logins by generating a one-time passcode.
- Insurance: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) covers up to $250,000 of a person’s USD cash deposits, which is great for US traders. As mentioned earlier, Kraken focuses on being an exchange rather than a platform to simply store crypto assets. This means that it doesn’t have third-party insurance.
In spite of having more security features, it is noteworthy that, unlike Coinbase, Kraken has never had any security breaches – a possible extent to which Kraken is a better and much safer pick.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: User Experience
Lastly, let’s talk about user experience in these crypto exchanges – including accessibility, user interface, and trading experience. Both Kraken and Coinbase offer a seamless experience on mobile as well as the web.
Coinbase is best suited for new investors as it has a quick startup feature with just phone number verification. Accessing all the features on the platform is easier with a search bar. Users can unlock higher account levels and limitations by completing additional verification processes.
Kraken’s multi-layered security procedures benefit large-sum traders, but they involve extra steps that make it difficult for customers who want to start trading immediately. Its advanced level of verification might take a few days to get through.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Summary
Before we conclude which cryptocurrency exchange is best for you, here’s a table that summarizes the different features of Kraken and Coinbase:
|Fees||0% to 0.26% per trade, 3.75% + 0.25c for credit card purchases, and 1.7% + $0.10 for online banking processing||0.50% per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases, and 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||Over 110||150+|
|Transaction Types||Buying, selling, sending, receiving, exchange, futures trading, Cryptowatch, and staking||Buying, selling, sending, receiving, and exchanging|
|Availability in the US||Yes, except NY and WA||Yes|
Coinbase Vs Kraken – The Final Verdict
As per the various features of Kraken, we can conclude that its top-notch security, crypto assets, and overall usability make it a good choice for advanced traders and traders with large crypto portfolios. Kraken Pro, the premium version of Kraken, comes with cheaper prices and is accessible to everyone with a Kraken account.
If you’re just learning the ropes of crypto, consider Coinbase a good pick, as it has an easy-to-use user interface. Moreover, Coinbase offers Learn and Earn Programs that incentivize users to learn about crypto features. Additionally, the crypto wallet is a plus for those who want to transfer funds. Lastly, Coinbase Pro offers lower fees (contrary to the high fee range of the basic version of Coinbase) and advanced charts.
Having said it all, whatever platform you choose, keep in mind that cryptocurrency is a speculative asset with dramatic price fluctuations. Margin multiplies losses, so never invest money you can’t afford to lose.
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