de | cn | ru
  VS.    

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  

 

Dukascopy

Dukascopy Review
Trader's rating 3.7
Editor's rating 3.9

Trading Accounts

  

Account type Minimum Initial deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads (and Commission)
Standard $1 000 0.01 1:100 0.2 pip + $3.5/lot*

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side). Commission discounts offered to clients with higher Equity or Net deposits (details provided below).

 

Dukascopy provides a single account type with leverage up to 1:100, tight variable spreads and a reasonable commission. Micro lots are available for trade and all transactions are executed automatically on its ECN, whatever their size.

 

Besides, PAMM services are also available with this broker. The Percent Allocation Management Module (PAMM) is a technical solution allowing Dukascopy’s clients to have their accounts managed by a trader appointed by them on the basis of a limited trading power of attorney. PAMM solution allows the trader on one trading platform to manage simultaneously unlimited number of managed accounts. 

 

The Companies

 

Company  

Country 

Regulation

Dukascopy Bank SA

Switzerland

FINMA

Dukascopy Europe IBS AS

Latvia

FCMC

Dukascopy Japan K.K

Japan

JFSA

 

Founded in 2004, Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss online bank based in Geneva, Switzerland, providing online trading services (with focus on foreign exchange, bullion, CFD and binaries), banking and other financial services through proprietary technological solutions.

 

The broker has a EU subsidiary, as well as a Japan-based unit (as a result of acquisition of Alpary Japan in the beginning of 2015). In addition to its Geneva Headquarters, Dukascopy Bank has offices in Zürich, Riga, Kiev, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

 

All Dukascopy customers take advantage of the Swiss Forex Marketplace (SWFX) ECN dealing model. The broker's pricing model is transparent, and so are its operational metrics. To top this up, Dukascopy offers a historical data feed, and market depth monitor as well. 

 

Security of Funds

 

Dukascopy is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) both as a bank and a securities dealer. So, this broker is rock solid in terms of safety and security.

 

Getting such a license is not an easy task, as applicants must comply with a set of draconian requirements, including a minimum capital requirement of CHF 20 million. Moreover, Swiss forex brokers are obliged to sign the Swiss Banks and Securities Dealers agreement, which protects all customer deposits of up to CHF 100,000.

 

The broker’s subsidiaries are also duly regulated: Ducascopy Europe AS is an EU licensed investment brokerage company based in Latvia, and is regulated by the local Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC); Dukascopy Japan holds Type-1 license by the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA).

 

Besides, Dukascopy Bank exercises consolidated supervision from Switzerland over its subsidiaries, ensures adequate liquidity, risk diversification and capital adequacy at a Group level.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

The initial deposit requirement of $1,000 is probably a tad off-putting to rookies looking to start with a smaller amount of money, however the broker's educational and research section is outstanding and can probably make a pro trader out of a monkey. Calendars, charts, market news and research, signals, calculators and many other tools are at trader's disposal. 

 

Average Spreads & Commissions

The spreads offered by Dukascopy are variable and pretty tight, averaged 0.2 pips for the EUR/USD pair, but traders also need to pay a commission of $7 per lot round trip. Nonetheless, the cost of trading with this broker is around 0.9 pips per lot for this pair, which is really low and competitive pricing. Most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips on EUR/USD.

In comparison, Swissquote, the only other regulated Swiss broker, provides variable spreads starting from 1.8 pips on EUR/USD (and charges no commission fees).

 

Besides, discounts on commission fees are available to clients with higher net deposits or equity in their accounts:

  

Net Deposit/Equity Commission (per standard lot per side)
≥ $5 000 $3.3
≥ $10 000 $3.0
≥ $25 000 $2.5
 
≥ 10 000 000 $1

 

Maximum Leverage

Dukascopy provides its clients with maximum leverage of 1:100, which is considered a low ratio for the market.  If you need higher leverage levels, many forex brokers offer leverage equal to or exceeding 1:500. Keep in mind, however that higher leverage increases the risk associated with trading on margin. That is why Swissquote also offers leverage up to 1:100 and even advises inexperienced traders to use leverage lower than this.

 

Trading Platforms

 

Ducascopy supports the ever-popular MetaTrader4 (MT4), and also offers its proprietary Forex trading platform JForex.

 

The MT4 hardly needs a presentation. This is the most popular trading software, highly praided by traders of all skill levels. The platform has great charting and is especially popular for its automated trading bots, called ExpertAdvisors.

 

JForex platform is designed for traders interested in automated trading and/or developing and testing trading strategies based on the JAVA programming language. It is available as desktop, web and mobile versions. Here are some of the tools and features the platform offers:

 

- 250 indicators and chart studies

- Calendar of economic events, news

- Automated trading on user's machine or Strategy Server

- Automated trading historical tester

- Renko, Range bars, Point&Figure and Line break charts

- Mql4 expert advisor converter to JAVA

 

Dukascopy’s web-based JFrorex. Click to enlarge.

 

Besides, this broker also offers the possibility of API integration for professional traders (who deposit a minimum of USD 100.000). The Dukascopy API is based on FIX4.4 protocol. The API is used to receive real-time data feed, submit orders, set / modify / cancel orders, and receive automated notifications of trading activities.

 

In addition, Dukascopy offers social trading functionality.

 

 

Methods of Payment

 

Clients of Dukascopy can make deposits to and withdrawals from their accounts via bank wire, debit cards (Maestro, Visa Electron), and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa). Unlike most brokers, Dukascopy does not support e-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal.

 

Conclusion

 

Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss forex broker offering a wide range of financial instruments for trade on it robust JForex platform. Holding an actual banking license, among others, it is secure and well-regulated, and offers excellent trading conditions: very tight spreads and fast ECN execution through the SWFX Swiss FX Marketplace technology. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and disadvantages with regards to this broker.

     

Pros  Cons
Very well-regulated Mediocre leverage levels
Tight spreads and low cost of trading High initial deposit required
ECN environment with deep liquidity  
Automated & Social trading available as well a MT4 bridge   

                         

Headquarters:  ICC, Route de Pré-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15 

Country: Switzerland 

 

Regulated by: FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority)

 

Subsidiaries: Dukascopy Europe

 

Forex
de | cn | ru