Poloniex and Kraken are two of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges. Based out of the U.S., they are respectively the 16th and 8th largest crypto trading platforms by daily trade volume at the time of writing. In this article we’ll help you choose which one best suits your trading needs by looking at similarities and differences between the two.
In this Poloniex vs Kraken Comparison we’ll discuss:
- Side-by-Side Comparison
- Exchange Background Information
- Are They Safe?
- Interface and Features
- Trading Fees
- Poloniex vs Kraken Summary
|Deposit Methods||Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Withdrawal Methods||Cryptocurrency||Bank Transfers, Bank Wires, Cryptocurrency|
|Trading Fees||0.25% or less||~0.36% or less + deposit fees|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||99 supported coins||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash,
Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple,
Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi.
|Location||Wilmington, Delaware, USA||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Review & User Guide||Poloniex Review|
Launched in 2014 and operating out of Wilmington, Delaware, Poloniex is a cryptocurrency-only exchange that up until 9 months ago was the world’s top ranked trading platform by 24-hour trade volume. Today it’s rare to find Poloniex in the top ten. How did it manage to lose its position and fall so far behind? Keep reading to find out.
The San Francisco-based platform Kraken, was launched in 2011 and is one of the most trusted exchanges in the crypto space. In fact, no funds stored on Kraken have ever been hacked or compromised (in saying this, we do not include breaches of personal accounts caused by users’ poor account information management).
When it comes to security, which is something cryptocurrency enthusiasts hold very dear, Poloniex and Kraken are positioned on opposite ends of the spectrum.
One of the reasons why Poloniex lost its popularity is its poor customer support and related security concerns. Users have complained on major online forums such as Reddit, that it can take months for Poloniex to resolve issues like frozen accounts or missing funds. On top of that, many users have encountered the now-infamous withdrawal issue, in which people experienced ‘pending withdrawals’ for weeks or even months. While these problems were eventually solved, this lack of support alone would make anyone doubt the platform’s security and reliability.
Things looks quite different on Kraken. The platform follows the same industry best practices as other well-respected exchanges like GDAX and Gemini, taking measures such as separating company funds from customer funds, storing most of customers’ cryptocurrency funds in offline cold storage and maintaining full cash reserves.
Furthermore, Kraken takes care of personal account security by offering 2-Factor Authentication, Kraken “Master Key” (another 2FA passcode used for specific account actions) and global lock settings allowing users to ‘lock’ their account from changes for a given number of days.
Neither Poloniex nor Kraken impress us when it comes to user experience.
Kraken is particularly disappointing in this regard due to its user interface, which is buggy, confusing and just plain ugly. Among the bugs we’ve encountered on Kraken: we have experienced placed orders not going through due to stuck loading, and we have had orders go through but not show up on the exchange, making us buy more than we intended. Given Kraken’s long history, bugs like these simply should not happen.
Poloniex, on the other hand, is less buggy, but its blue/gray color scheme is equally unpleasant on the eyes.
- Cryptocurrencies supported: Poloniex’s biggest strength is the wide range of coins available on the platform. Poloniex users can trade nothing less than 99 different cryptocurrencies at time of writing. With that said, we favor exchange Binance and Bittrex for trading a wide variety of altcoins.
Kraken, on the other hand, allows users to trade 16 popular coins, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi. A few fiat currencies are supported as well: USD, GBP, CAD, JPY and EUR.
- Payment methods: Poloniex only allows deposit, withdrawal and trading in cryptocurrencies, meaning users must convert their fiat to crypto on another exchange before being able to use the platform. On top of this, Poloniex doesn’t allow you to withdraw funds if your account has not been verified, so you risk having funds stuck on the exchange if for some reasons your account doesn’t pass verification.
Kraken is undoubtedly the winner of the payment methods battle. The platform offers a number of options to get you started with trading: bank wires, transfers, SEPA transfers and cryptocurrency. Combining fiat currencies with a good number of major cryptocurrencies is definitely one of strongest aspects of Kraken. Most exchanges either have lots of cryptocurrencies but no fiat — like Poloniex — or have very few coins but support fiat. Kraken has both.
Both Poloniex and Kraken use a fee structure that is commonly found in many cryptocurrency exchanges: the volume based maker-taker fee schedule. This system offers different transaction rebates to makers — those that put orders on the books — and takers — those who fill orders from the books.
Poloniex fees are one of the few positives of this exchange. With a maker-taker fee structure where 0.25% is the highest a user can be charged, the platform is one of the most inexpensive in the industry. See an overview of the platform’s fee structure here.
Kraken is a little bit more expensive than Poloniex, with a maximum payable fee of 0.36%. Kraken also uses a maker-taker fee system and has a trading fee schedule with different fees in-line with a user’s 30-days trading volume.
If we were to recommend one of these two exchanges, Kraken would be the one. Its level of security, reasonable fee structure and trustworthy reputation do the trick when compared to Poloniex.
That being said, both these two exchanges offer a very good example of what happens when the user is not the focus of a product. With Poloniex being famous for horrible customer service, and Kraken providing annoying bugs and a non-user-friendly interface, we’d recommend you pick one of the many other good exchanges out there. See here for more reviews that will help you to choose the best platform for you.
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