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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 3.7

Basic Information

 

Minimum deposit  Min./Max. bet size Payout %  Deposit Bonus  Trading platform Regulation
$100  $5/ $1,500.00  Up to 85%  N/A SpotOption  CySEC


Formally known as Bank De Swiss, BDSwiss is a reputable European Binary options broker, offering trading in over 200 underlying assets on the most popular SpotOption binaries platform under quite competitive trading conditions.


BDSwiss` customers get access to comprehensive training materials to help them optimize their trading strategies. The broker offers rich education center on its website, online webinars, live seminars, market news, economic calendar and more.


Trading Accounts


BDSwiss offers a single type of account, which is rather unusual, as most binaries brokers differentiate their clients based on their initial deposit. This means that BDSwiss clients may not choose between different account types, but ion the other hand, treating all clients equally is a good thing.


Besides, BDSwiss does not offer demo account either. While many consider this a disadvantage, it is also true that many demo platforms do not mimic the actual trading on the site.


The Company. Security of Funds


BDSwiss is one of Europe’s leading financial institutions specializing in Forex/CFD and Binary Options trading. It also appears to be quite popular with traders.


BDSwiss is operated by BDSwiss Holding Plc, a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF), licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).


In order to provide a certain level of security, Cypriot financial watchdog applies a set of rules and requirements to license holders.


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.


Trading Conditions


Trading Options: Call/Put, 60 seconds, Pairs, Long term, One Touch, Ladder
Assets: Stocks, Indices, Currencies, Commodities
Expiry Times: 60 sec, 90 sec, 120 sec, 180 sec, 300 sec, 30 min, 1h, 2h, 4h, 8h, 12h, 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 7d

 

Minimum Initial Deposit
The minimum initial deposit for clients of BDSwiss is $100, which is attractive, since most binaries brokers usually require $200 - $250. For instance, Cherry Trade, a broker operating out of the Caribbean. requires $200 from traders to open an account.

 

Min/Max bet size
The minimum bet size with this broker is just $5 (for 60 Second Options), which is on the lower end of average. In comparison, with OptionsClick one is able place a trade with at least $10. Such low minimum bet sizes allow better risk management.

 

Payout amount
The payout provided by this broker varies by different options, but is usually between 65%-85%, which is on the upper end of average.


In comparison, HY Options’ payout for the EUR/USD pair A Day binary Up/Down for EUR/USD offers a payout of 85%. 60 Seconds Binary Options have a payout of 70%.


Of course, the higher the percentage payout offered by the broker, the larger the traders return would be.

 

Trading Platform


Like many binary options brokers, BDSwiss supports the most widely used binaries trading platform, SpotOption. All popular binary options are supported: Call/Put, 60 seconds, Pairs, Long term, One Touch, Ladder. What is more, it offers some additional option features (In the overview of open positions).


Instead of letting your option expire, you can use “Sell”, “Double Up” and “Rollover” to adjust your option individually, if, for example, market conditions change.


As the name suggests, “Sell” gives you the opportunity to sell your option before it expires. If you are confident in the current trend, you have the opportunity to “Double Up” which will open a new option with the same conditions of your open position, but at the current price. Finally, if you think your option needs more time to move in the desired direction, you can extend the expiry time by using the “Rollover” feature.

Bonuses
Unlike most binary brokers, BDSwiss does not have a set bonus structure. On-deposit bonuses are not offered on a constant basis, but are instead available at various times for a limited duration.


Instead, this broker offers $100 refer a friend bonus.

 

Methods of Payment


There are a number of payment methods available to BDSwiss’ clients: Credit/Debit cards, Bank Wire, Skrill, Neteller, Giropay, eps, Sofort & Ideal.


Keep in mind that withdrawals under €100.00 will be charged with a €25.00 processing fee.


Conclusion


BDSwiss is a regulated and reputable binaries broker, offering outstanding range of assets and trading options, while keeping their account structure simple and their plat form easy to use. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks in relation to this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Regulated broker No deposit bonus 
Low minimum bet size & min. initial deposit No choice of trading accounts, no demo either
Payout up to 85%   
Wide range of tradable assets & instruments  
Refer a friend bonus  
   

 

 

Headquarters: Makariou III Street 160 3026, Limassol

Country: Cyprus

Regulation: CySec

Forex
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