Kraken Canada Review (Oct 2022): Why We Don’t Like It

June 14, 2022
Reviews

Kraken is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange and bank that was founded in 2011 and enables you to trade fiat currencies (such as USD or CAD) for cryptocurrencies and vice-versa. However, there are a few significant disadvantages to using Kraken if you're a Canadian citizen, such as having to follow the IRS‘s strict rules instead of the CRA‘s and needing numerous levels of ID verification that could make your account take days to be created.

CoinSmart is the favourite among knowledgeable Canadian crypto investors, both for its high level of security and for its ease of use. It also has extremely low trading fees, so if you're looking for a secure, cost-effective way to buy and sell crypto in Canada with a $50 signup bonus (available until October 4, 2022), I can't recommend CoinSmart highly enough.

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What Is Kraken?

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange and bank that was founded in 2011. It's based in the U.S. (specifically San Francisco), and the exchange allows you to trade fiat currencies (such as CAD or USD) for cryptocurrencies and vice-versa. It also allows you to trade some cryptocurrencies for others.

The exchange provides digital asset price information to the Bloomberg Terminal and is available everywhere in the world except for Cuba, Iran, and North Korea, making it one of the most widely supported crypto exchanges worldwide.

Kraken Features

1. Simple User Interface

The Kraken platform has a simple and user-friendly interface. It's more concerned with the needs of newcomers to the cryptocurrency market and offers them a simplified and approachable trading frontend.

Even if you haven't had any experience as a crypto investor, you'll still find Kraken's platform to be extremely easy to use, and it'll allow you to trade between cryptocurrencies in very few clicks.

2. Kraken Crypto Watch

Kraken also has its Crypto Watch feature, which allows you easily to keep track of the digital currency market and execute trades when the timing is right.

With this feature, you can create price and volume alerts to grab your attention when it's needed, analyze any crypto market with Kraken's growing library of data visualizations, and make trades on crypto markets via multiple exchanges, whether it's on desktop or through the Kraken mobile app.

3. Kraken Customer Support

Kraken has a wealth of information on its website, and it provides customer service in many ways, including email, phone, through their Support Center, and 24/7 live chat.

Also, keep in mind that Kraken has a social media presence, so you can contact the firm through various social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cryptocurrencies on Kraken

Kraken has a very wide array of supported cryptocurrencies, supporting over 93 different digital assets. These include:

Bitcoin (BTC)Moonriver (MOVR)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)PAX Gold (PAXG)
Ethereum (ETH)Polkadot (DOT)
Ethereum Classic (ETC)Ripple (XRP)
Cardano (ADA)Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Dogecoin (DOGE)Solana (SOL)
Chainlink (LINK)USD Coin (USDC)
Balancer (BAL)Yearn Finance (YFI)
Axie Infinity (AXS)Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)
Aave (AAVE)Uniswap (UNI)
Curve (CRV)Badger DAO (BADGER)
Compound (COMP)Algorand (ALGO)
Kyber Network (KNC)Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Litecoin (LTC)Decentraland (MANA)
Monero (XMR)EOS (EOS)

Kraken Fees

Kraken has very low fees, often having trading rates that go between 0% to 0.26% per trade. However, keep in mind that you'll incur a 3.75% + €0.25 for crypto credit card purchases, and you'll also incur a 0.5% plus 0.9% or 1.5% for ACH crypto purchases.

Our Recommendation

Despite its many advantages, there are a few serious drawbacks that Kraken has. For instance, Kraken is based in the U.S., so if you're a Canadian user, you'll have to comply with the strict regulations of the IRS instead of the CRA. It also requires several levels of ID verification, which can take days to get verified.

For these reasons, I can't really recommend using Kraken. Instead, I would suggest that you take a look at CoinSmart, our top crypto exchange in Canada. Here are a few of the reasons I recommend it over Kraken.

Introducing CoinSmart: Canada’s #1 Crypto Platform

Best Overall

Trading fees: 0.2%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

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Rated 4.9/5

I recently broke down 10+ of Canada’s most popular crypto platforms, and CoinSmart came out on top. It scored so well because it excels on what I believe are the three most important factors when choosing a crypto platform: fees, security, and customer support.

Here’s how CoinSmart performs in each of those areas, and why I believe it's the best crypto trading platform in Canada. And to get your $50 signup bonus with CoinSmart, use this signup link and the special promo code YOREOYSTER.

#1 Lowest Fees In The Industry

CoinSmart’s trading fees are just 0.20%, the lowest of any crypto platform in Canada. And those savings add up quickly: if you trade $100,000 worth of Bitcoin in a given year (buying and selling $25,000 worth twice), you’ll save $800 in trading fees compared to a platform that charges 1% ($200 vs. $1,000).

Perhaps more important than trading fees, though, are spreads: the difference between the Buy price and the Sell price. CoinSmart has razor-thin spreads, which makes day trading possible and keeps more money in your pocket.

#2 Bank-Level Security

CoinSmart maintains a 95% cold storage policy, which means at least 95% of its users’ crypto is always held offline. This is a security measure that only the most advanced trading platforms employ, and CoinSmart is leading the charge.

CoinSmart is also the only publicly traded crypto platform in Canada, which means it’s subject to far more financial scrutiny than any other platform. It’s regulated by FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada) and the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission), it's an official member of the anti-money laundering group TRUST, and its financials are audited by external professionals at least once per year.

#3 Excellent Customer Support

CoinSmart offers 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email, and their customer service reps are actually helpful rather than just following a script. I’ve never had to wait more than about 60 seconds on hold, and they’re very responsive via live chat and email, too. 

The only time I ran into an issue with CoinSmart, I called them and had it sorted out within 5 minutes. Keep in mind that telephone and live chat support is only available for registered users, so if you have a question for CoinSmart, the best way to get it answered is to open an account

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In Summary

Kraken is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange and bank that was founded in 2011 and allows you to trade fiat currencies (such as CAD or USD) for cryptocurrencies and vice-versa. However, the exchange has a few serious drawbacks if you're a Canadian, such as having to comply with the strict regulations of the IRS instead of the CRA and requiring several layers of ID verification, which can make account creation take days to happen.

CoinSmart is the favourite among knowledgeable Canadian crypto investors, both for its high level of security and for its ease of use. It also has extremely low trading fees, so if you're looking for a secure, cost-effective way to buy and sell crypto in Canada with a $50 signup bonus (available until October 4, 2022), I can't recommend CoinSmart highly enough.

CLAIM MY $50 BONUS
Offer ends October 4, 2022.

Kraken FAQs

How To Withdraw From Kraken

To withdraw funds from your Kraken account, you only have to follow a few simple steps. These are as follows:

  1. Sign in to your Kraken account.
  2. Click on the “Funding” tab.
  3. Click the “Withdraw” option.
  4. Use the search bar to find the currency you want to withdraw.
  5. Choose a Funding Provider from the drop-down menu.
  6. Request a withdrawal.
  7. Select a bank account from the drop-down menu.
  8. Enter the amount of currency you want to withdraw and click on the “Review Withdrawal” option.
  9. Double check that the details are correct.
  10. Click on the “Confirm Withdrawal” option.

Is Kraken Safe?

Yes, Kraken is a safe and reliable crypto exchange that has yet to be hacked. Kraken also provides various levels of protection for its users, including 2-factor authentication and a Masterkey level of security.

Is Kraken Legal In Canada?

Yes, Kraken is legal to use in Canada. However, even though the exchange is legal to use in Canada, do keep in mind that Canadian crypto users cannot trade Ethereum tokens that have been staked for Ethereum 2.0, and crypto futures trades are banned for Ontario users.

Kraken Referral Code

Unfortunately, there aren't any Kraken referral codes available at this time.

Does Kraken Report To The CRA?

No. Since Kraken is a U.S.-based crypto exchange, it reports large financial transactions to the IRS, which has stricter regulations compared to the CRA.

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