Kraken vs. Coinbase 2023: Which Platform Is Best?
Kraken and Coinbase are two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges today, but they each offer unique features worth exploring.
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Kraken and Coinbase are two of the best-known crypto exchanges. Both companies offer dozens of features and tools to help you make the most of your trading experience.
But, which platform is the best option for you?
Coinbase and Kraken have a lot to offer, but each platform is designed with a different type of crypto trader in mind. In this Kraken vs. Coinbase match-up, we’ll take a look at what makes these two exchanges similar and what makes them unique. In the end, you’ll have all the information you need to determine which one is ideal for your needs.
|Fees||0.00% to 0.26% per trade, 3.75% + €0.25 for credit card purchases, and 1.70% + $0.10 for online banking processing||0.50% per trade, 3.99% for debit/credit card purchases, and 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases|
|Apps||Mobile (iOS and Android)||Mobile (iOS and Android)|
|Promotions||None||$5 worth of free BTC|
|Buy (Deposit Method)||Debit card, credit card and bank transfer||Bank transfer, debit card and PayPal|
|Sell (Withdrawal Method)||Bank transfer||Bank transfer|
|Verdict||Powerful trading platform with strong security features and low fees||User-friendly exchange with excellent liquidity and extensive directory of crypto assets|
Overview Kraken vs. Coinbase
Coinbase and Kraken have long been leaders in the crypto industry and great platforms to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Here’s what you need to know about each company:
Kraken was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell, a crypto specialist. Powell wanted to create a new exchange to replace the once-massive Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange if it were to shut down (spoiler: it did).
Kraken has become one of the most powerful crypto exchanges on the planet. It is one of the few exchanges that support advanced trading tools and asset classes, like crypto derivatives. The firm also offers crypto services in more than 150 countries around the world. Read our full Kraken review to learn more.
Coinbase is a US-based exchange that was founded in 2012 as a way to make crypto trading accessible to everyone. In April 2021, Coinbase went public, making it one of the first major publicly traded crypto exchanges.
The firm now has more than 56 million users in more than 100 countries around the world. It is one of the largest exchanges, too, with more than $223 billion worth of assets on its platform. Read our full Coinbase review to learn more.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Main Features
Kraken and Coinbase are two feature-rich crypto exchanges. This is what you can expect in terms of features on each platform.
|Cryptocurrency Supported||50+ (Including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, ZEC, FIL, DOGE, LINK, MANA)||50+ (Including BTC, ETH, LTC, ALGO, ADA, DAS, DOGE, DOT, MATIC, UNI)|
|Fiat currency supported||USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, GBP, CHF, AUD||USD, GBP, EUR|
|FDIC Insured||No||Yes (U.S. Dollars)|
|Social / Copy Trading|
First and foremost, Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange. The company offers two different platforms—Kraken Trading and Cryptowatch—where you can buy and sell crypto.
Kraken Trading allows you to place market or limit orders, as well as Instant Buys for any of the company’s supported coins. Alternatively, Cryptowatch is a premium trading terminal. It provides access to real-time data from dozens of exchanges as well as advanced charting tools.
Other important features on Kraken include the company’s margin and futures trading. Margin trading is available in most countries and lets you leverage up to five times your account value. Meanwhile, low-cost crypto futures trading is available to most non-US residents.
Two other features of note with Kraken include the firm’s staking and OTC services. With Kraken Staking, you can earn rewards by staking approximately 10 different cryptocurrencies.
The Kraken OTC desk is a premium service that processes large crypto trades off the public exchange. This is ideal for investors that want to avoid market liquidity issues that sometimes come with large transactions.
Main Features Overview:
- Instant Buys – A quick and easy way to buy crypto instantly for new traders
- Cryptowatch – One of the world’s premiere crypto trading terminals for advanced investors
- Kraken Staking – Kraken’s solution for investors that want to stake and earn rewards on their crypto
- Kraken Cryptocurrency Futures – An affordable platform for trading futures on certain cryptocurrency pairs
- Margin Trading – Kraken’s margin trading lets you leverage your assets for added crypto buying power
- Kraken OTC Desk – The company’s OTC desk offers support for large transactions off the public exchange
Like Kraken, Coinbase is primarily a cryptocurrency exchange. However, the firm offers a range of other features for crypto investors.
The company has two trading platforms: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The Coinbase trading terminal supports only market orders, so it’s designed for new investors. This platform also lets you establish Recurring Buys, which is an easy way to invest in crypto regularly.
Alternatively, Coinbase Pro offers a range of advanced features, including customizable charts and additional order types, like limit and stop orders.
Coinbase also offers staking services on select cryptocurrencies. The company even has a feature called Coinbase Earn, which lets you earn free crypto for watching educational videos.
For ultra-high net worth individuals, Coinbase also has a Private Client service. This service provides access to a dedicated account manager and enhanced security for your assets.
Finally, Coinbase offers the Coinbase Card, which is a Visa debit card. With this card, you can make daily purchases using crypto. You can also earn up to 4% back in crypto rewards just for using your card.
Main Features Overview:
- Recurring Buys – Coinbase’s simple way to build your crypto portfolio over time through repeat investments
- Coinbase Pro – The firm’s advanced-level trading platform for experienced investors
- Coinbase Earn – With Coinbase Earn, you can accumulate free crypto just for watching videos
- Coinbase Staking – A simplified option for earning rewards on certain cryptocurrencies
- Coinbase Card – Your go-to crypto-backed debit card for daily purchases
- Private Client – A personalized crypto investing service for ultra-high net worth individuals
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Cryptocurrencies Supported
While there are thousands of cryptocurrencies out there, most exchanges only support a selection of different coins on their platform. These are the different cryptocurrencies that you can find on Kraken and Coinbase.
Kraken currently supports more than 50 cryptocurrencies on its exchange, including:
However, keep in mind that some of the cryptocurrencies on the Kraken platform are not available for margins trading.
Coinbase has a complex list of supported cryptocurrencies on its platform. That’s because some cryptocurrencies are available only in certain countries. In the US, the firm supports more than 50 cryptocurrencies, including:
Like Kraken, Coinbase frequently adds new coins to its platform. So the list of available cryptocurrencies on the exchange is always subject to change.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Wallet
Many exchanges offer hot wallets for account holders to use while trading. Here’s a look at the wallets offered by both Kraken and Coinbase.
Kraken currently only offers a hosted hot wallet. This wallet is a convenient place to store assets that you want to trade on the exchange. The bulk of funds deposited into these hosted wallets are transferred to cold storage for additional safekeeping.
However, Kraken explicitly states that it is not a wallet service. Rather, it encourages account holders to consider using cold wallets for digital asset storage.
Like Kraken, Coinbase provides all account holders with a free hosted hot wallet. This is where your funds are automatically stored when you trade crypto with Coinbase. Most funds held in these wallets are also transferred to cold storage for safekeeping.
Additionally, Coinbase provides a separate personal hot wallet. The Coinbase Wallet is free to use and it’s technically available to anyone with a smartphone. This wallet can be downloaded as an app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and it gives you access to your private keys.
The Coinbase Wallet lets you store crypto and NFTs. It also lets you trade more than 500 different assets on various DEXes (decentralized exchanges).
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Security
Security is a key concern for any crypto trader. Here’s a look at the steps that Kraken and Coinbase take to help protect your assets on their exchanges.
As we’ve mentioned, Kraken views itself as an exchange, not a wallet service. So, the firm highly recommends that you maintain control over the assets in your personal wallet.
If you choose to keep your crypto in Kraken’s hosted hot wallets, the company does have top-of-the-line security. Kraken keeps around 95% of crypto deposits in offline storage systems. They also have advanced security features, like two-factor authentication, to help keep your account secure.
With regards to insurance, no funds held in your Kraken account are insured. Crypto is not eligible for FDIC insurance, anyway, and the company does not maintain insurance for digital assets.
With Coinbase, approximately 98% of account holder funds are kept in offline storage units that are located in secure vaults around the world. Coinbase even protects its platform using AES-256 encryption. It also uses paper backups and two-factor authentication to keep hackers at bay.
Additionally, Coinbase offers FDIC insurance on all US dollar funds stored in US-based accounts on its platform. Furthermore, Coinbase has private insurance to protect against partial loss of assets as a result of theft.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Customer Support
Quick and easy access to customer support is essential if you ever have a question or concern with your crypto exchange account. This is what you can expect customer service-wise with both Coinbase and Kraken.
Kraken maintains a detailed online help portal where you can search for answers to any questions you might have. Additionally, Kraken has a customer support team that operates all day, every day via email and live chat.
Kraken now offers an outbound phone line for customer service inquiries. While you can’t call Kraken directly, the firm will contact you if it believes that your request is best handled over the phone. To talk with a Kraken Support Specialist on the phone, you first need to submit an email request. Once you do so, the company will schedule a time to chat with you on the phone.
Coinbase has an extensive set of online help pages with answers to common questions. You can also use the firm’s chatbot to quickly find solutions to any questions that you have.
For specific account issues, you can email Coinbase’s customer support team. The company does not maintain a phone line for general account issues, but you can call customer support for Coinbase Card-related problems.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Fees
Fees are a concern with any crypto exchange. Kraken and Coinbase are no exception. Let’s take a look at the fees that each company charges on its platforms.
There are three main types of fees at Kraken: funding, instant buy, and trading fees. Besides these fees, Kraken does not charge for any other services on its platform.
Kraken currently only supports wire transfers for funding US dollar accounts. The firm doesn’t personally charge any fees for these wire transfers, but the companies that process these transfers charge up to $10 per transfer.
|Deposit Method/Processor||Deposit Minimum||Deposit Fee|
|FedWire (MVB Bank)||$1||Free|
|FedWire (Signature Bank)||$1||Free|
|FedWire (Etana Custody)||$150||Free|
|Cryptocurrency Deposit/Withdrawal||Varies by currency||Varies by currency|
All instant buys with Kraken are charged a 0.9% fee if you purchase crypto using US dollars or stablecoins. Making an instant buy with your current crypto assets incurs a 1.5% fee.
|Kraken Fee||Payment Card Processing Fee||Online Banking Processing Fee|
|0.9% fee for any stablecoins||3.75% + €0.25||0.5%|
|1.5% fee for any other crypto or FX pair||3.75% + €0.25||0.5%|
Trading fees with Kraken Pro or the online trading platform use a maker-taker fee schedule. Fees for these transactions are no more than 0.16%. The fee you pay is based on your trade’s value and whether you’re a market maker or taker.
|30-Day Volume (USD)||Maker Fee||Taker Stock|
|$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%|
Coinbase’s fees are quite complex. The company charges different fees for deposits, regular Coinbase trades, and Coinbase Pro trades.
Depositing money into a US dollar Coinbase account sometimes incurs a fee. ACH transfers are free, but other payment types cost money. These fees are as low as $1.49 for Coinbase USD Wallet transfers and as high as $10 for wire transfers.
|Total Trade Amount||Fee|
|Less than $10||$0.99|
Trades placed on Coinbase’s standard platform incur a baseline 0.50% fee. Additionally, you’ll pay $0.99 to $2.99 per transaction for orders below than $200. Orders above $200 pay a 1.49% fee.
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|Less than $10K||0.50%||0.50%|
|$10K – $50K||0.35%||0.35%|
|$50K – $100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K – $1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$1M – $10M||0.18%||0.08%|
|$10M – $50M||0.15%||0.05%|
|$50M – $100M||0.10%||0.00%|
|$100M – $300M||0.07%||0.00%|
|$300M – $500M||0.06%||0.00%|
|$500M – $1B||0.05%||0.00%|
For Coinbase Pro, all fees are charged on a maker-taker schedule based on your account balance. Fees for this service can be as high as 0.50%.
|Coinbase USD Wallet||1.49%|
|Wire Transfer||$10 ($25 outgoing)|
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Platform and App
The user-friendliness of your exchange is always an important consideration. Here’s how Kraken and Coinbase stack up when we compare their platform and apps.
Kraken is primarily designed for intermediate to experienced crypto traders, so the layout of its platforms reflects this reality.
The firm offers two online trading platforms: the Kraken Terminal and Cryptowatch. Cryptowatch is a premium trading terminal with high-end charting features. It is best suited for experienced investors. The Kraken Terminal is slightly more accessible for intermediate-level investors, but it’s not the most user-friendly of platforms.
Kraken also offers the Kraken, Kraken Pro, and Kraken Futures apps. These apps are all fairly intuitive and the Kraken app supports Instant Buys.
Coinbase prides itself on convenience, so it comes as no surprise that its platforms and mobile apps are easy to use.
Coinbase’s standard trading platform is about as user-friendly as it gets. It supports only market orders, so it’s ideal for first-time traders. Additionally, all investors can access Coinbase Pro, which is a slightly more advanced platform.
The company has multiple apps including the regular Coinbase app, Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Wallet, and Coinbase Card. All are easy to use and are highly rated on both Google Play and the Apple App stores.
Kraken vs. Coinbase: What We Like (Pros)
Kraken and Coinbase both offer a lot of great features for crypto traders. Here are some of the primary benefits of both exchanges:
- Low trading fees
- Available in more than 150 countries
- Great selection of supported cryptocurrencies
- Offers margin and futures trading
- Allows for limited crypto staking
- Access to the premium Cryptowatch terminal
- Relatively low-cost Instant Buys
- OTC desk for high-volume transactions
- Intuitive, user-friendly platform
- Supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies
- Offers limited crypto staking
- Opportunity to get a crypto-backed debit card
- Easy way to earn free crypto rewards
- Access to a non-hosted hot wallet
- Multiple trading platforms
Kraken vs. Coinbase: What We Don’t Like (Cons)
While Kraken and Coinbase are popular exchanges, there are some features of each firm that leave us wanting. Consider the following drawbacks before opening an account:
- Limited functionality for US residents
- Doesn’t support bank transfers for US accounts
- No in-bound phone-based support system
- Doesn’t offer a non-hosted hot wallet
- High trading and deposit fees
- Complex fee structure
- Doesn’t support futures or margin trading
- Trading platform is complex for new investors
- No phone-based customer service for general inquiries
Who Is Kraken For?
Kraken is an ideal platform for experienced crypto investors that want advanced trading features without high fees.
The firm’s margin and futures trading features are relatively unique in the industry. So it’s a nice platform for traders that feel constrained by their options with other companies. Additionally, the fact that Kraken offers access to the premium Cryptowatch terminal makes it a suitable choice for investors that want powerful, real-time market data.
In A Nutshell
- Minimum Deposit: Varies by currency
- Fees: 0.00% to 0.26% of the order total
- Promotion: None
Who Is Coinbase For?
Thanks to its intuitive design, Coinbase is a suitable platform for new crypto investors. The company’s advanced trading terminal also makes it a nice option for experienced investors that want to access Coinbase’s other features.
Coinbase’s crypto-backed debit card, staking, and rewards features also mean that it’s a great platform for people who see crypto as the currency of the future. However, the firm’s high fees suggest that it’s best for traders that are willing to pay a premium for convenience.
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $2
- Fees: From 0.50% per trade (plus flat fees)
- Promotion: Get $5 in free Bitcoin
FAQs About Kraken vs. Coinbase
Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about Kraken and Coinbase:
Which Is Safer, Kraken or Coinbase?
Kraken and Coinbase use industry-leading security features to help keep account holder’s assets safe. Therefore, one isn’t necessarily safer than the other. However, keeping your assets in an exchange’s hosted hot wallet is always risky. For maximum security, transferring your crypto to a cold wallet is usually your best bet, regardless of the exchange that you use.
Which Is Cheaper, Kraken or Coinbase?
Overall, Kraken is cheaper than Coinbase. Trading fees on Kraken are no more than 1.5% when using the platform’s instant buy feature. Meanwhile, Coinbase charges trading fees up to 2.99%. While you can save money by using Coinbase Pro, the fees on it are still higher than those charged by Kraken.
Which Is Better, Kraken or Coinbase?
Kraken and Coinbase are solid crypto exchanges, so it’s hard to say that one is better than the other. If you are an investor that wants access to advanced crypto trading tools and low fees, Kraken might be the better choice. But traders that prioritize convenience and like extra crypto-focused features on their exchange might be happier with Coinbase.
Kraken and Coinbase are two popular and powerful exchanges that offer a slew of benefits for investors.
Although both firms are chock-full of features, Coinbase is better suited for new and experienced investors that are okay with paying a premium for convenience. Meanwhile, Kraken is the better choice for experienced investors that want to cut costs without sacrificing functionality.
Either way, what’s important is that you find the right exchange for your needs. We hope this Kraken vs. Coinbase head-to-head match-up helped you decide which platform is best for your crypto investments.
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Gaby is a freelance writer and self-employed business owner with a personal interest in all things finance-related. She has a passion for educating others on how to make the most of their money and loves writing about everything from taxes to crypto.
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