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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  

 

FP Markets

FP Markets Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 4.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage Typical Spreads
Standard  $100  0.01  1:500 1.45 pips 
ECN Raw $1000  0.01  1:500  0.45 pips + AUD $3.5 / lot (per side)

 

FP MARKETS offers its clients a choice of two live account types: Standard commission-free one, and RAw account which provides tighter spreads, but also involving a commission.


Micro lots are available for trade on both account types and, of course, the broker also provides free Demo accounts, which are always appreciated by inexperienced traders.


The Company. Security of Funds


FP MARKETS (FPM) is a CFD and forex provider specializing in Direct Market Access (DMA) trading, that has over 10 years of experience.


The company behind the FP MARKETS brand is First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd., which holds an Australian Financial Services License and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


ASIC requires licensed companies to meet certain requirements and to comply with various rules. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing. In comparison, UK’s FCA requires forex brokers to possess at least 730 000 EUR and Cyprus’ CySEC – 1 000 000 EUR.


Unlike many EU-based brokers, however, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. FCA-regulated brokerages, for example, fall under Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers up to £50,000 per person per company.


Despite the regulation and the requirements set to Australian brokers, one should be aware of the risks of trading Margin FX and CFDs. Returns and gains are not guaranteed. ASIC, the Australian Government nor any other person guarantees any funds in your account.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $100 in order to open an account with FP MARKETS, which is an average initial amount.


Average Spreads & Commissions

FP MARKETS offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.45, and the ones on the ECN Raw accounts averaging to 0.45 pips on EUR/USD. Considering that commission of $3 per standard lot per side applies on the Raw account, trading costs of such account holders amount to a little over 1 pip, which is a competitive pricing.


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


Maximum Leverage
Clients of FP MARKETS use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage level is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to levels significantly lower than this (i.e. 1:50 in the US), because higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses in excess of initial investments.


Trading Platforms


FP MARKETS offers its customers several trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5, and its in-house IRESSTrader, specialized in CFDs trading.


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to FPM’s clients as PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, extensive back-testing environment and a wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs). By using EAs traders may sit back, while the software does all the work, as Expert Advisers allow full automatization of trades.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is Internet connected 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and FP Markets has partnered with TradersColo and BeeksFX VPS, to provide a customized low latency solution for their clients. The VPS seamlessly connects traders to the Equinix NY4 grid using cutting edge technology and providing excellent execution.


What is more, there are Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4. MetaFX has developed a stand-alone console to assist Multi Account manages in trading. The MAM/PAMM offered are customizable and user friendly.

 

As MT4 will soon be phased out, the broker launched trading in the latest version of MetaQuotes software - MetaTrader 5. It has most of the great features of MT4 (such as the great charting, and EAs), as well as some new ones. Most importantly, the MT5 offer traders the opportunity to trade an extended number of instruments from a variety of asset classes. 


As regards FP Markets’ proprietary platform IRESSTrader, it provides its clients with access to DMA CFDs with industry leading execution, a wide ranges of order types, stop-loss, live news feeds, international data, complete market depth and charting facilities.


IRESSTrader is a web based platform you can access from any PC or even a mobile device.


Methods of Payment


FP MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, AstroPay, Neteller, Skrill, China UnionPay.


Depending on the depositing method, clients may use the following currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


FP MARKETS is a reliable Australian STP broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in variety of assets, including Bitcoin (with leverage 1:10). These can be traded on three trading platforms with NDD execution (no conflict of interest). To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to FP MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low cost of trading, NDD execution No significant doisadvantages
ASIC-regulated  
Many platforms available (MT4, MT5, as well as a proprietary one)  
High leverage levels  

 

Headquarters: FP Markets Pty, Ltd Level 5, Exchange House, 10 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Country: Australia

Regulated by: ASIC

Forex
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