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Coinbase vs Kraken: Who Wins?

  • 30 August 2017
  • Marko Jovanovic

If you are new to the world of selling and buying cryptocurrencies, chances are, you don’t know which exchange to choose. GDAX, CoinMama, LocalBitcoins, Kraken, and Coinbase are all well-known exchanges. However, Kraken and Coinbase are the most popular ones, due to their benefits. So, in this article, we want to compare these two sites so that you can make an educated decision when opting for a certain exchange platform. Let the battle begins.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase vs Kraken

Founded in 2010 by Fred Ehsram and Brian Armstrong, this digital currency platform has 9 million users, making it the biggest Bitcoin exchange. The company is settled in San Francisco and has two essential products – retail exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiat currency, and GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange). In addition to that, this platform offers an API for developers. It operates in 32 countries across the globe, and its wallet is available in 190 countries.

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 What is Kraken?

Image result for kraken bitcoin

Founded in 2011 by Payward, Inc., this is a number one exchange in the world. You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies as well as exchange them. This company is committed to innovation and improvement, therefore it is not surprising that it is the first one that managed to pass a cryptographically audit. Kraken is well known for its high-security level, and liquidity, having hundreds of thousands of users.

Naturally, both of these services have its good and bad sides. So, let’s take a look at them.

1. Ease of use

When it comes to ease of use, it is safe to say that Coinbase is one of the best options for beginners. With a responsive and organized interface, you will not have any trouble with placing an order. Furthermore, buying and selling cryptocurrencies can be done in a few simple steps.

You can receive cryptocurrencies that you bought in a few days or instantly, depending on a payment method you opted for. For example, if you use a wire transfer, you can wait up to five days. But, if you buy cryptocurrencies with a credit card, then the purchase will be instant.

Instant Exchange – Coinbase

Kraken is not such a good option for beginners, as it requires a bit more of technical knowledge. In addition to that, the process of making your account takes a few steps, some of which can take a couple of days to complete. With Kraken, you first have to deposit funds into your account, using bank transfer or cryptocurrencies. There aren’t the options for using credit and debit cards, like with Coinbase.

When your funds arrived, you can trade them for certain cryptocurrency on the exchange. The catch is that the crypto currency's price can significantly decrease or increase when the deposit hits an exchange.

2. Available cryptocurrencies

In case you want to work with something that is not Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum, then forget about Coinbase. But, if you do want to work with only these three cryptocurrencies, know that Coinbase is the leader in Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum exchange.

On the other side, Kraken offers far more options for trading cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, making it the largest exchange in liquidity. With Kraken, you can trade euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, and Canadian dollars. Available currencies are Bitcoin, Monero, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, Stellar/Lumens, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Tether, Augur REP tokens, Melon, Gnosis, EOS, and Dogecoin.

3. Pricing and Bonuses

When it comes to pricing, Kraken is the winner, as it offers lower fees than its competitor. Even though fees vary for makers and takers, in general, they are below .36%. However, you will have to pay additional fees for deposits and withdrawals.  

Fees – Kraken

Coinbase offers higher fees, due to the payment methods it offers. In general, transactions have 1% fee but you also have extra fees, for using credit payment method.

As for bonuses, with Coinbase you can get $10 worth of Bitcoin when you buy $100 worth of crypto currencies. Unfortunately, there aren’t any bonuses with Kraken.

4. Security

Coinbase has gained a bad reputation because it requires from traders to report how they spend their bitcoins. In case they were “naughty” and used bitcoins for adult services, gambling or dark net, their account will be shut. This is one of the reasons why this site offers a high level of security, as they are committed to their customers and their safety. We know that most users don’t agree with this policy, but if you don’t plan to do anything “naughty” then you should be fine with it.

Security – Coinbase

Users also have to submit their personal info. Besides this stalking side of Coinbase (relax, we’re just kidding), it operates in compliance with law and regulations, like Kraken.

Both companies keep the majority of users’ funds in cold storage and offer an array of security features for protection of users’ information. In addition to that, both Kraken and Coinbase offer 2-way authentication method, for securing personal accounts.

Kraken also offers PGP encryption for email communication and a global setting lock. In addition to that, Kraken also requires you to submit your personal info when making your account and trading bitcoins.

Even though these measures are a bit strict and some would say too much, it can be said that these sites offer unparalleled security levels.

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5. Support

Neither of these two services impresses us with their customer support. The good thing is that both sites have an extensive FAQ section, so you can probably find what you need there.

FAQ – Kraken

Now, the problem is contacting support. Namely, Coinbase’s support takes two days to reply, plus it won’t solve your problem. So, you’ll have to wait for two more days to get things done.

But Kraken is much worse than Coinbase.  If you send an email to support, it might take a whole month until they reply to you. But, this is due to a rapid increase in buying cryptocurrencies, so we hope the situation will get better in time.

The Final Verdict

Well, our job here is done. As you probably concluded by now, both sites are excellent options for digital assets. For those of you who are new to the world of cryptocurrencies, or simply don’t want to bother with a complicated exchange process, Coinbase is the way to go. Also, Coinbase is a global market, and many people choose it over other trading platforms.

On the other hand, Kraken offers unparalleled liquidity, and you can save some money on fees. It does require more technical knowledge, but it is a good choice for anyone who wants a safe place for cryptocurrencies exchange.

DISRUPTOR DEAL: Get $10 in Free Bitcoin when you sign up for Coinbase and buy your first $100 in Bitcoin by clicking here!

Voted #1 “Best Cryptocurrency Software Wallet” by our readers!

About Marko Jovanovic

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