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Kraken

Kraken Review
Trader's rating 1.4
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker fee Taker fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:5 Max of 0.16% Max of 0.26%

 

Kraken is one of the most popular crypto currency exchanges. It is currently the world’s leader, in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Payward, Inc, USA N/A

 

The Kraken exchange is operated by the San Francisco-based Payward Inc. The company is not under direct regulation by any agency, but this is not unusual in the crypto currency space (at least for now). 

 

The company’s overall reputation is pretty solid. It hasn’t experienced any major hacks yet. Furthermore, it was chosen as the platform, through which payments to creditors of ill-fated Mt.Gox received their claims. If you are not familiar with the case,  Mt.Gox was a huge Bitcoin exchange in Japan, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, following a shady turn of events, which are another topic altogether. The company was then under special administration, which chose Kraken as a reliable partner, in order to facilitate payments to creditors.

 

Most of the coins on Kraken are kept in cold storage, with the exception of the ones currently used for trading, of course.

 

User reviews on Kraken are fairly mixed. Complaints vary from slow processing of deposits, lack of response by the customer support to stop-loss orders not triggering. While the latter is concerning the former two may be related to lack of staff, similarly to the issues which Poloniex currently has.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

 

Kraken offers quite a few trading instruments. Although the exchange is most famous for its Bitcoin and Ethereum to cash (EUR and USD) markets, altcoins are also available. Here is a list of all the coins you can trade one way or another: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Iconomi, Zcash, Augur, Gnosis, Stellar Limens, Dogecoin, Melon. Kraken plans to add new coins in the future.

 

It is worth mentioning this is one of the rather few exchanges which provides trading Bitcoin against currencies like the CAD and GBP. Although majors in the forex market, these are not often provided at crypto-exchanges. That being said liquidity may be an issue.

 

Minimum initial deposit

 

No minimum deposit level is specified by Kraken. Although this is not unusual in the cryptoverese, forex brokers (some of which allow Bitcoin trading) specify this on their websites. As an example, the industry leaders at IG proudly claim they do not have a minimum deposit requirement.

 

Leverage

 

Leverage is only offered for some of the instruments at the Kraken Exchange. It varies from 1:2 to 1:5. These levels may seem low, if you are used to forex trading, where a lot of brokers offer 1:500 in leverage. That being said, even they provide lower levels for crypto currency trading. For instance, the FCA-regulated industry veterans at HYCM currently offer 1:10 for Bitcoin trading.

 

Kraken charges a fee for leveraged trading. It varies from 0.01% to 0.02%, based on the instrument and is applied every four hours. This is a hassle you will not have if you chose to trade Bitcoin with a forex broker. Do keep in mind there is a huge difference between the services provided by forex brokers and crypto-exchanges. For a full breakdown, read this article

 

Fees

 

Kraken charges different fees for market “makers” and “takers”. At the time of writing of this review, they are 0.16% for the makers and 0.26% for the takers (for the lowest volumes). 

 

For those of you who are unaware of what these terms mean, trading on an exchange is slightly different than, forex trading. If you want to buy a particular instrument, you can do this directly, by getting it from the lowest available ask price (offer). This is an “aggressive” entry, which takes away market liquidity and is connected to a bigger fee (the taker fee). On the other hand, you can place your own bid in the order book, which then has to be triggered by another trader, who would sell his asset to you. In this case, you are providing liquidity to the market and pay a lower fee (the maker fee).

 

Overall, the fees provided by Kraken are in line with offerings by other exchanges.

 

Trading platform

 

When it comes to the trading platform, Kraken provides their own solution for some of the functionality, while relying on TradingView for the charting, similarly to Bitfinex.

 

There is pretty detailed access to the short term market dynamics. The tape, includes a historical bid/ask chart, which can be useful. Here is a preview:

 

 

The depth of the market is also presented in an easy to understand manner. Here is a preview:

 

You can see the book on the right side, with a graphical depiction on the left. 

 

The charts, provided by TradigView are a good tool for technical analysts. They are available via a click of a button next to the instrument list. The chart pops-up as a small external window, which you can later move, resize and so on. You can create an entire layout (even on a separate monitor) of your PC can handle the hardware requirements of modern browsers. Here is a preview:

 

 

Kraken also offers a mobile app, which is currently only available on iOS. Hopefully an Android implementation will come soon.

 

 

Methods of payment

 

Fiat currency payments at Kraken are only done via Bank Transfer. There is a slight advantage, if you have a bank account within the European Economic Area, since the SEPA payment system is supported. Crypto currency deposits are also available, but instant real money options such as Credit Card, PayPal or Neteller are not.

 

Conclusion

 

Kraken is a US-based crypto currency exchange. That being the case, the company operates a lot with Europan customers, as it is the world’s leader in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. Kraken is as reputable, as one can get in the cryptoverse, with no major hacks or scandals so far. The trading environment feels good, providing detailed tape-reading potential. Commissions are in-line with the current industry averages. Here are Kraken’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Reputable company, no hacks yet  Credit cards and Paypal not accepted
High Bitcoin to EUR liquidity  Mobile app available only for iOS
Solid charting, by TradingView  Recent negative user reviews
Commissions in line with the industry  
Bank Transfers available  

 

BDSwiss

BDSwiss Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts & Conditions

 

Account type Min. deposit Min. trade size Max. leverage

Average spread

Basic  $200 0.01 1:30  1.5 pips
Raw  N/A 0.1 1:30  0.4 pips + $8 /lot
Black  N/A 0.01 1:30  1.1 pips

 

BDSwiss offers trading in wide range of financial instruments – many forex pairs, as well as CFDs on indices, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Its clients are offered access to the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and a choice of three account types – Basic, Raw Spread, and Black. Swap-free services are available for all of them

 

Overall, the trading conditions of BDSwiss seem good – the initial deposit for the Basic account is not high and the spread is on the upper end of average. However, we could not find information on the initial investment amounts for the other two accounts, which offer better spreads. For more information on trading costs in forex trading, check out the below link.

 



>> Compare some of the tightest spreads here <<

 

 

As regards leverage, the maximum level provided by the brokerage is 1:30, in line with the regulations applicable for this Cypriot brokerage. As you probably know, the maximum leverage available to retail investors was capped at 1:30 throughout the EU.

 

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Bdswiss Holding PLC

Cyprus

CySEC

 

Formally known as Bank De Swiss,  BDSwiss was initially a Cypriot binary options broker, but changed the nature of its offering after this type of trading was banned across the EU in July 2018 (and ESMA keeps renewing the prohibition ever since). The broker is owned by Bdswiss Holding PLC, a Cyprus Investment company operates another forex brokerage brand, Swiss Markets. Firm (CIF), licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Now that the UK is about to leave the EU, Cyprus is becoming the most popular destination for European forex broker.  Here are some of the rules which CIFs have to comply with.



First of all, CySEC requires Cyprus-based brokers to hold a minimum of €730 000 in order to prove their good financial standing. Moreover, all CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which may cover tour investment loss to a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event that the broker becomes insolvent. Such compensation schemes serve as an additional guarantee to clients’ funds.


In addition, as CySEC is part of the European MiFID regulations, and the companies regulated by the Cypriot financial watchdog are free to operate in all EU Member States. Therefore, they are also required to comply with all the rules and restrictions, introduced on a EU level: the leverage cap which we already discussed, provision of negative balance protection, and ban on trading incentives such as bonuses with trading volume requirements, among other things.

 

 

>> More brokers regulated in Cyprus <<

 

 

BDSwiss also has an offshore entity, BDS Markets Ltd. (Domain bdswiss.com), which is said to service clients outside the European Union Area.

 

 

Trading Platform

 

As we already mentioned, BDSwiss offers the renown MetaTrader 4, delivering a wealth of information in a simple layout, and also allowing clients to automate their trades by Expert Advisors (EA). This is one of the reasons why this platform is so popular among trader. What is more, it offers a great charting package with a number of technical indicators, and extensive back-testing environment. Here you may check out more brokers that support it.

 

 

>> Find the best MT4 brokers <<

 

 

Methods of Payment. Transfer fees

 

Clients of BDSwiss may use credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Sofortüberweisung, Skrill, Neteller, iDEAL, DotPAy, GiroPay, and PostePAy for deposits, and Credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Skrill, and Neteller for withdrawals.

 

With the exception of bank wire transfers, BDSwiss does not require a minimum withdrawal amount. That being said, please note that a 10 EUR fee will apply to any bank wire withdrawals under 100 EUR and any other withdrawals amounting to 20 EUR or less. Bank wire international payments are charged with a 10 EUR basic fee, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 50 EUR. The same fee applies to SEPA transfers, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 5 EUR.

 

 

Conclusion

 

BDSwiss is a Cypriot forex and CFD broker that has more than 7 years of experience in the financial markets. The broker supports the MT4 platform and is duly licensed by CySEC, which is its greatest advantage.

 

To sum up our review on BDSwiss:

Pros

Cons

CySEC license

Leverage capped at 1:30

MT4 available

No info on minimum investment amounts on Raw & Black accounts

Competitive spreads

 

Wide range of financial instruments

 

 

 

 

Headquarters: Makariou III Street 160 3026, Limassol

Country: Cyprus

Regulation: CySec

Forex
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