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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  

 

EverFX

EverFX Review
Trader's rating 3.6
Editor's rating 3

Account Types

 

Account Type   Min.Deposit  Min. Trade Size Maximum Leverage Average Spreads (& Commission)
Standard $300 0.01 1:500 0.2 pips + $6 per round lot
Premium $5 000 0.01 1:500 0.2 pips + $5 per round lot
VIP $20 000 0.01 1:200 0.2 pips + $4 per round lot

 

EverFX offers its clients a choice of several basic account types, depending on the initial investment. As this brokerage is a pure STP one, all accounts provide tight variable spreads, starting out at 0 pips. Commission fees and leverage, on the other hand, vary by account type.

 

In addition, EverFX offers swap-free (Islamic) accounts, which are Sharia compliant (for Muslim investors who are unwilling to earn and pay interest for religious reasons).

 

Keep in mind that EverFX does not offer Contracts for Difference to residents of certain jurisdictions such as the USA, Iran, Canada and North Korea.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

ICC Intercertus Capital Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

 

With EverFX you can trade in currencies, metals, indices, energies, commodities and bonds on the good old MetaTrader 4. In addition, the brokerage offers high-quality educational tools. 

 

EverFX is a trademark of ICC Intercertus Capital Limited and is regulated by Cyprus Exchange and Securities Commission (CySEC).

 

As UK is preparing to leave the European Union, Cyprus is gaining more and more popularity as an attractive forex broker destination in Europe.

 

The Cypriot financial watchdog applies certain rules and requirements to Cyprus Investment Firms. For instance, they must hold at least €730,000 as a proof of financial stability. Besides, the Commission requires forex brokers to keep customer funds in segregated accounts, separated from the company’s operating funds.

 

As a further guarantee to clients’ funds, all CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which is able to pay compensation up to 20,000 EUR, If the company is in default. Similar compensation schemes apply in other jurisdictions.

 

Additionally, every CySEC-regulated investment company is also MiFID compliant and therefore entitled to offer cross-border services in all EU Member States.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

In order to open the Standard account with EverFX, and trade with some of the lowest spreads in the market, traders have to invest just $300 – which is very fair considering the savings on trading.

 

Spreads & Commissions

All account types with EverFX offer one and the same variable spreads, which are pretty tight, averaged 0.3 pips on EUR/USD. Commission fees, however, vary from $4 to $8 per traded lot (round trip). So basically, trading costs on the Standard account are below 1 pip EUR/USD (spread averaged 0.2 pips on EUR/USD + $6 commission = approximately 0.8 pips) per standard lot. This is a really competitive pricing, as most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips for this pair. 

 

For more information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Leverage

EverFX offers high leverage levels, reaching is 1:500. In an attempt to protect traders with the risks associated with trading at high leverage, the Cypriot financial watchdog proposed default leverage levels to be 1:50. Nonetheless, most Cypriot brokers still offer leverage ratios, which are significantly higher: FXTM - up to 1:500 and XM – up to 1:888. You may check out more forex brokers offering leverage equal to or exceeding 1:500 here.

 

Trading Platform

 

This broker offers two platforms to its clients. One of them is the most commonly used forex trading platform - MetaTrader4 (MT4), available in all forms and shapes: for PC, MAC, tablet, mobile and web version.

 

MT4 is internationally acclaimed for its wide range of built-in technical indicators and Expert Advisors (EAs), which users are able to get ready-made or create ones of their own, extensive back-testing options for them, as well as the advanced charting tools and user-friendly interface.

 

More brokers using the MT4 can be viewed here.

 

Additionally EverFX has developed their own unique web-based solution, (which will also be available for mobile devices soon). The Status platform provides an easy access to the forex market, while also packing some advanced functionality. There are two sidebars, which can be extended inwards, toward the chart, revealing the instrument list and news section. Here is a preview:

 

 

At the same time the bottom section is very intuitive. This platform feels like a solid choice for the beginner and veteran alike.

 

Promotions

EverFX often launches various promotions, such as a Refer-a-Friend program or Zero Trading Cost promotion.

 

Methods of Payment

 

The following payment methods are available to EverFX clients: credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard), bank wire transfer and e-wallet payment systems, such as Skrill, Neteller, and Webmoney.

 

There is no minimum withdrawal amount with this broker.

 

Conclusion

 

EverFX is a FX and CFD broker that supports the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and utilizes a pure straight-through-processing execution model. Besides, it is duly regulated by CySEC to operate in all EU countries. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
Well-regulated  
MT4 available     
Tight spreads, starting at 0 pips  
Pure STP execution  
Low initial deposit  
Promotions offered from time to time  

 

Forex
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