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OKCoin

OKCoin Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed None Max 0.20%


OKCoin is one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges, at the time of writing of this review. They focus mainly on the Chinese market and more specifically on retail customers.


 
The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
OKCoin.cn Inc China N/A


 
OKCoin is based in China and also has a second brand. The company has a structure similar to Coinbase and GDAX, one of the brands is focused on the needs of basic customers and the other on more serious traders. OKEX is the name of the more trading oriented solution.



While OKCoin accepts real money transfers, they can only be done in Chinese Yuan (CYN). This is simply the company’s focus, which also carries on to the trading instruments offered (more on them later in the review). That being said, OkCoin used to accept USD deposits, but “issues with intermediary banks” caused the company to cease this activity, much like Bitfinex. Additionally OKCoin stopped accepting US clients, probably because of pressure to comply with US regulators.



While we are on the topic of regulation, we must mention the rather obvious (for some, at least). While China is not strictly against Bitcoin and cryptrocurrencies altogether, the country recently banned ICOs. With that in mind, they may be planning on applying rules on all crypto-transactions, which may affect OKCoin.



OKCoin has not been involved in major hacking scandals so far. The non-Chinese user reviews on the company aren’t that many, but are generally positive, which can’t be said for all cryptio-exchanges.



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)
There are a few altcoins available at OKCoin, but this is definitely not an exchange which list a lot of coins. The options currently available are: BTC, LTC, ETH, ETC and BCC. The addition of Etherem Classic and Bitcoin Cash will be appreciated by some users. Trading at OKCoin is only done against the Chineese Yuan (CNY), while the other brand owned by the company provides more products.


 
Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum deposit at OKCoin. This is rather odd, especially given the fact they accept deposits in Yuan. We are used to forex brokers, disclosing their entry barriers. For instance FXCM only requires a $50 deposit, for the opening of a new trading account.


 
Leverage
Margin trading is not available at OKCoin, while it is at the company’s other brand OKEX. In essence OKCoin is the company which takes fiat currency deposits (only in Yuan), while the other website is the more trader-oriented exchange. Leverage at crypto-exchanges is usually lower than the one provided for forex trading, where brokers often allow 1:500 or even higher ratios. That being said, cryptocurrencies are a lot more volatile, so margin trading is a lot riskier, in general.


 
Fees
Fees at OKCoin are competitive with the current offers by other brokers, going as high as 0.20%. With greater volumes, the rate declines, which is also a procedure applied by multiple exchanges. Luckily for the more aggressive traders there is no difference for market “makers” and “takers”. The forex brokers who offer bitcoin trading on the other hand include all of their costs in the spread. They also mostly provide CFD trading. For a full comparison of the two types of services read this post.


Trading platform


 
The platform provided by OKCoin is web-based and a bit simplistic, especially when compared to the one provided by the other brand owned by the company. That being said there are a lot of options, when it comes to charting. Traders can choose between several styles of charts. There are simple ones, the solution provided by trading view, as well as a proprietary solution. Here is a preview:




 

 

The charting is very nice, with some technical indicators being pre-loaded, to stimulate more active trading. The order book at OKCoin is also very user-friendly. Here is a preview:




 

One can clearly distinguish between the bids and asks. The tape is also conveniently located to right.

Overall this is a solid platform. The company’s other brand OKEX offers an even more sophisticated solution.


 
Methods of payment


 
Money transfers in CNY are accepted at OKCoin. Other than that crypto-currency transfers in BTC LTC ETH ETC and BCC are also accepted. Essentially you can open a wallet for each of the coins and use them to transfer funds.


 
Conclusion


 
OKCoin is the largest Chinese cryptocurrency exchange, which is mainly oriented towards the domestic market. The company targets retail customers, while also providing another brand OKEX, for the more sophisticated traders. Trading volumes and liquidity for the major coins are quite high. Here is a summary of the pros and cons:

 

Pros    Cons
No major hacks yet  Trading against CYN
Accepts CNY payments Few altcoins available
Competitive commissions Does not accept US clients
Relatively nice trading platform  
Has another brand for sophisticated traders (OKEX)  


 

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  

 

Forex
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