Kraken vs Coinbase: Find Out Which Option is Best for You

Kraken vs Coinbase Comparison

Kraken and Coinbase are two of the world’s most popular and longest operating cryptocurrency exchanges. In this Kraken vs Coinbase exchange comparison, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each platform.

Kraken vs Coinbase

Exchange

Coinbase Best Bitcoin Exchange Logo
Coinbase

Kraken Exchange Logo
Kraken

Beginner Friendly? Yes

Yes

No
No

Buy/Deposit Methods Debit & Credit Cards,

Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency

Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency
Sell/Withdrawal Methods PayPal, Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency
Purchase Fees ~1.49 % via bank transfer


~3.99% via Credit/Debit Card

~0.36% or less + deposit fees
Supported Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash,

Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple,

Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi.

Mobile App mobile icon

Yes

No
Location San Francisco, California, USA San Francisco, California, USA
Trust Grade A+ A+
Customer Support Good Okay
Review & User Guide

Coinbase Review

Kraken Review

Site

Visit Coinbase

Visit Kraken

Exchange Coinbase Exchange Logo Small Table
Coinbase

Kraken Exchange Logo SMALL
Kraken

Beginner Friendly? Yes

Yes

No
No

Buy/Deposit Methods Debit & Credit Cards,

Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency

Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency
Sell/Withdrawal Methods PayPal, Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency Bank Transfers, Cryptocurrency
Purchase Fees ~1.49 % via bank transfer


~3.99% via Credit/Debit Card

~0.36% or less + deposit fees
Supported Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum,

Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin,

Bitcoin Cash, Monero,

Dash, and More

Mobile App mobile icon

Yes

No
Location San Francisco, California, USA San Francisco, California, USA
Trust Grade A+ A+
Customer Support Good Okay
Review & User Guide

Coinbase Review

Kraken Review

Site Visit Coinbase

Visit Kraken

Payment Methods

As shown in the above table, Coinbase offers the ability to make purchases with both debit/credit cards and bank accounts, while Kraken only offers bank transfer deposits.

Another benefit to Coinbase’s credit card option is you can instantly purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash using this payment method. Kraken deposits will take 1-5 business days and then require you to trade on their exchange to get your cryptocurrency.

Users Experience and Beginner Friendliness

As we’ve discussed in our Coinbase review, the goal of Coinbase is to make buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrencies as easy as possible. In our opinion, they’ve fully accomplished this goal.

The Coinbase platform is cleanly designed and very intuitive. When creating an account, you’ll be taken through an account set up wizard. This process will help you set up a payment method and verify your identity, so that you can begin investing in cryptocurrency.

Coinbase Sign Up Form Phone Number

The platform allows you to buy and sell; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. The actual process for doing this could not be any simpler.

All that’s required to make a purchase is to enter the amount you want to invest. Unlike Kraken, Coinbase directly sells their users cryptocurrencies, rather than having their users trade on an exchange.

The price and fees you’ll pay on Coinbase are clearly stated at the time of your purchase.

Coinbase Credit Card Buy 1

Coinbase also offers a mobile app, allowing you to buy, sell, and send cryptocurrency on the go. Kraken does not offer a mobile app.

Coinbase Mobile App Review

Our experience using Kraken has been far less pleasant. We’ve found the user interface to be unintuitive and have experienced bugs when using the exchange.

When using the order from to purchase cryptocurrency on Kraken, we’ve experienced bugs where we were unable to submit an order. We’ve also experienced bugs where it seemed an order wasn’t placed, when in fact it was.

Kraken themselves seems to be aware of their site having issues. They’ve posted the announcement, “The service is under heavy load and performance is degraded. Upgrades coming soon.”

Kraken Announcement

Hopefully these upgrades will fix the issues we’ve experienced, but until then it’s tough to recommend using Kraken.

Company Turst

From a trust perspective, both Kraken and Coinbase are at the top of the industry.

Both exchanges are based out of the United States, which means they have more regulatory oversight than many competitors.

Kraken was launched in 2011, while Coinbase was launched in 2012. This makes them two of the longest operating cryptocurrency exchanges.

It’s worth noting, Coinbase has raised far more money from outside venture capital. In total Coinbase has raised more than $200 million, while Kraken has raised just $6.5 million. While the huge discrepancy could be due to a difference in business plans, some Coinbase users find confidence in the amount invested into the exchange from well-known investment groups.

You also may want to consider how users are voting with their business. Coinbase and GDAX (owned by the same company) have a far larger user base than Kraken. They also handle far more trade volume than Kraken.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase supports buying and selling Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

Kraken supports trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi.

If your looking to buy a variety of coins with fiat currency, Kraken has far more options. With that said, we recommend first buying Bitcoin, then using it to buy altcoins through an exchange like Binance or Bittrex.

Fees

Overall, Kraken has lower fees than Coinbase. It’s important to remember that Coinbase functions differently from most exchanges, so they charge higher fees for their services.

Kraken Deposit Fees:

  • USD Deposit $5
  • USD Swift Deposit $10
  • EUR SEPA Deposit Free
  • CAD Wire Deposit Free

Kraken Trading Fees

  • .36% or less, see trading fee schedule for more details here.

Coinbase Estimated Buy Fees

  • Bank Account purchase ~1.49%
  • Credit Card Purchase ~3.99%

If you’re looking to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, while saving on fees, we recommend checking out our GDAX Review. We prefer the platforms of both of these exchanges to Kraken and they offer very similar or lower fees.

Customer Support

Cryptocurrency prices have exploded in recent times. With these exploding prices, we’ve also seen a huge increase of new cryptocurrency investors.

As a whole, the cryptocurrency exchange industry has struggled to keep up with their rapidly rising user bases. With that in mind, our experiences and the experiences we’ve seen expressed across internet forums have us favoring Coinbase in customer support.

Coinbase offers customer support through email, phone, and their help center.

Kraken does not offer phone support, but does offer support through email and their help center.

Coinbase vs Kraken Summary

If you’re looking for the easiest way to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency, then Coinbase is the best option for you. In our opinion, they’ve created the simplest way for new investors to get Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. It’s also the only one of these two exchanges that accepts debit and credit card purchases.

The real value to Kraken is that it’s one of the few trustworthy exchanges where you can buy a large variety of altcoins with fiat currency. If this isn’t important to you, but your looking to save the most on fees, we recommend checking out some of the other cryptocurrency exchange options we’ve reviewed.

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Bitcoin Bitcoin $6,734.31 +2.74%
Ethereum Ethereum $241.475 +8.47%
XRP XRP $0.590118 +30.21%
Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin Cash $482.67 +5.62%
EOS EOS $5.9586 +4.76%

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