Bitstamp vs Kraken: Find the Exchange That’s Best For You
Launched in 2011, Bitstamp and Kraken are two of the longest operating cryptocurrency exchanges that still remain very relevant today. In this Bitstamp vs Kraken comparison, we’ll break down all the major differences between the platforms, so that you can choose the one that’s best for you.
Bitstamp vs Kraken Key Comparison
In the comparison table below, you’ll notice a few major differences that we’ll explain in more detail in the following sections.
|Deposit Methods||Bank Wire, SEPA Transfer, Credit Cards, Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Withdrawal Methods||Bank Wire, SEPA, Credit Cards, Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Trading Fees||0.25% or less, 5% for credit card purchases||~0.36% or less + deposit fees|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash,|
Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple,
Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi.
|Location||Offices in London, Luxembourg, and New York||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Review & User Guide||Bitstamp Review|
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
Kraken currently offers fiat currency deposits through USD bank wires, USD international SWIFT wires, EUR SEPA bank transfer, EUR international wires, JPY domestic bank transfers, and CAD international SWIFT wires.
In the image below, you can see fees for each of these deposit methods.
Users can place withdrawals through the same methods, however withdrawals may come with higher fees as shown in the image below.
Users can also deposit and withdrawal any of the cryptocurrencies supported by Kraken, which we’ll cover in the following section. Generally these fees are incredibly low.
Perhaps the biggest win for Bitstamp is the fact that they accept credit card purchases in addition to USD/EUR wires and EUR SEPA transfers.
EUR SEPA deposits are free, while SEPA withdrawals come with a €0.90 fee. For users based in the U.S. or another country outside of the EU, you’ll face slightly higher fees. International wire deposits carry a 0.05% fee, with a minimum fee of 7.5 USD/EUR and a maximum fee of 300 USD/EUR. Withdrawals have a fee of 0.09%, with a minimum of 15 USD/EUR and no maximum.
Credit card purchases understandably have fees a great deal higher than wires (5%), due to additional risks and general fees associated with accepting credit cards. Still it seems many newcomers take advantage of this offering.
It is worth noting, we’ve seen complaints from users located in the U.S. who’ve tried to make credit card purchases from Bitstamp. It seems these purchases are often declined by users’ credit card providers. As an alternative to Bitstamp for credit card purchasing, we’d recommend Coinbase (see our Coinbase Review Here).
Available Cryptocurrencies and Trading Fees
Bitstamp offers trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash.
The exchange uses a volume based trading schedule, with a maximum trading fee of 0.25%.
Kraken offers trading for all of the cryptocurrencies Bitstamp does, plus a good deal more.
The following is a list of all cryptocurrencies available on Kraken:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
While Kraken offers more coins than many competitors, we favor cryptocurrency only exchange options like Binance (see Binance review here) for those looking to trade a large variety of altcoins. Binance offers over 100 different cryptocurrencies and is constantly adding new coins, something Kraken hasn’t been very active at.
Kraken uses a maker-taker volume based trading fee schedule, which you can learn more about here. In general the maximum fee you’ll pay for trading is 0.36%.
User Interface and User Experience
One of our biggest issues with Kraken is their user interface and our user experience on the platform.
We’ve found the site to be clunky and have a few bugs, which we’ve covered in our Kraken Review.
In contrast, we’ve found Bitstamp to be very user friendly and cleanly designed. For newcomers to crypto, you should have no problem executing a trade through its Simple order form. You can learn more about the platform in our Bitstamp Review here.
Whenever talking about cryptocurrency exchanges, we always warn that as a whole customer support is lacking. The crypto-world has exploded so fast, that most exchanges have struggled to keep up with increasing support demands. With that said, we’ve found Bitstamp to be a bright spot as far as this is concerned, in both our own experience and what we’ve seen expressed by others. We’d rate Kraken’s customer support as being more average.
Bitstamp vs Kraken Summary
In this Bitstamp vs Kraken guide, we’ve covered the pros and cons of both options. Bitstamp is generally great for beginners looking for an easy way to start investing in crypto, while Kraken offers a few more altcoins.
Of these two exchanges, we generally only recommend Bitstamp, specifically to EU based users. For those in the U.S. we’ve found Coinbase to be a better alternative for newcomers, while choosing GDAX for more serious traders looking to save on fees. If you’re interested in buying a variety of altcoins, we recommend some combination of Coinbase/GDAX with Binance instead of Kraken. You can also check out our full comparison of exchanges here.