Kraken is a crypto-currency exchange site: an exchange. It was started in 2011 by Jesse Powell, one of the pioneers in the crypto world. On this platform it is possible to buy and sell digital assets (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) directly in euros and dollars. The strong point of this exchange is the cryptographic security; the company has a clean record and performs regular audits to prove that it holds the exact amount of user funds it is supposed to hold.
💡 If you are a beginner, we advise you to start by reading our guide entitled How to buy bitcoins?. It will help you better understand the world of cryptocurrencies and choose the platform best suited to your needs.
Update of 09/11/2019 : Kraken launches Kraken Pro, its mobile trading application
Investments in cryptocurrencies are risky. Crypto-asset related investments are risky in nature, readers should do their own research before taking any action and only invest money you can afford to lose. This article does not constitute investment advice.
- What is Kraken?
- Our opinion on Kraken
- Register on Kraken
- Have your account verified at the intermediate level
- Secure your account with double authentication (2FA)
- Deposit euros on Kraken
- Buy bitcoins on Kraken
- Withdraw bitcoins from Kraken
- Using Kraken’s Trading Interface
Hello and welcome to this tutorial dedicated to Krakenan exchange platform for cryptocurrencies very popular. We will explain to you step by step how to register on this platform and how to buy your first bitcoins. Happy reading 🙂
What is Kraken?
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange platform (A ” exchange ”) which allows you to convert fiat currency (euros, dollars, etc.) into bitcoins but also into other known cryptocurrencies. It was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and is based in San Francisco. Today, it is one of the largest platforms on the market in terms of volume. She has very good reputation and is very popular in Europe.
Unlike other platforms like Coinbase, Kraken is a marketplacethat is to say, it puts you in touch with other people wishing to sell or buy cryptocurrencies instead of selling or buying them directly from you.
Kraken offers a fairly substantial choice both for traditional currencies only for the crypto-assets. Currencies fiat present are: the euro (EUR), the American dollar (USD), the pound sterling (GBP), the Canadian dollar (CAD) and the yen (JPY). The available crypto-assets are: Bitcoin (XBT)Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Ether Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Eos (EOS), Ripple (XRP), Stellar Lumen (XLM), Cardano’s Ada (ADA), Dash (DASH), Monero (XMR), Tez (XTZ), Zcash (ZEC), Dogecoin (XDG), Qtum (QTUM), as well as three ERC tokens -20 who are the Gnosis (GNO), the Augur reputation token (REP) and the Melon (MLN). Added to this list is the stablecoin Tether USD (USDT).
We will see in this tutorial how to buy bitcoins on Kraken. If you wish to purchaseother crypto-assets available on the platform, the process will be the same. If you choose this path, we invite you to read the next chapter of our guide: Buying other cryptocurrencies.
Our opinion on Kraken
It is one of the oldest bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchangers. One of the only platforms that has never been hacked. Deposit and purchase fees are very low. Two small flats, firstly it is only possible to deposit euros via a bank transfer. Secondly the withdrawal fees can be quite high, for example to withdraw BTC (indicated XBT on the Kraken site) you will have to pay 0.0005 XBT. To withdraw USDT it will be 2.5 USDT. These figures date from December 8, 2020. The platform does not have a very well translated French version, but it deserves to be there. A mobile application was released recently but we haven’t had the opportunity to test it yet.
Our opinion on Kraken is very positive. It is an extremely complete platform and one of the best for those wishing to invest heavily enough in cryptos.
Kraken video tutorial
Do you prefer video to writing? Here is our Kraken video tutorial on YouTube:
Register on Kraken
To register with Kraken, start by going to the Kraken website.
Fill in your e-mail address (1). Choose one username (2) and one password (3). Don’t forget to accept the site terms (4) then finalize your registration by clicking on “ sign-up (5).
💡 Preferably choose a long, complex password dedicated to Kraken. Don’t minimize the importance of IT security, especially when your money is at stake
Then click on the link that will be sent to you by email, enter your password and click on Activate account to connect you.
There you go, welcome to the main page of Kraken 🙂 I grant you it can be confusing at first glance but don’t panic, follow the guide 😉
Have your account verified at the intermediate level
In accordance with state regulations, Kraken requires to know who you are in order for you to use their platform. We will see here how to verify your account so that you have the possibility of buying bitcoins with euros. Before starting the procedure, take a ID (identity card, passport, driving licence) and a proof of address (electricity bill, Internet bill, credit card bill, etc.)
First go to the tab Get Verified.
You should then see a description of the different verification levels. They are 3 in number: beginner (starter), intermediate (intermediate) And professional (pro). Beginners can trade crypto-assets but cannot handle euros, so we will check for the intermediate level. Choose this category.
Display the description of the different verification levels
Then, you will have to fill in your personal information. You will have to fill out the form indicating your Full Nameyour Residence address (a proof of address will be requested), your phone numberyour date of birth and your occupation (occupation).
You will then need to upload digital copies (photos for example) of a ID and a proof of address. The ID can be a ID cardA passport or one driver’s license. For the proof of addressyou can for example provide a bill related to your home : electricity bill, Internet bill, credit card statement, etc.
Files must be at jpeg-format or to PNG format. Photos must be of good quality and well framed. Also be careful that they are not too big!
Finally, you will have to wait for Kraken to validate these credentials. Validation time normally varies between 24 and 72 hoursand it may take longer depending on the situation.
If you encounter any problem, do not hesitate to contact the support from Kraken which is very responsive 😉
Secure your account with double authentication (2FA)
As soon as you register, Kraken recommends that you set up a double authentication (Two-factor Authentication or 2FA). Generally speaking, this is to add a layer of security to your account by requiring both one thing that you know (your password) and one thing you possess (A smart phone or another device) to perform the most critical actions: login, withdraw crypto-assets, etc.
Although this is optional, it is highly recommended that you secure your account in this manner before receiving funds into it. To learn more, please scroll down below.
Activate two-factor authentication (2FA)
To activate (or deactivate) double authentication, go to the tab Security and click on the corresponding button. You will then have to choose your double authentication method between a password static (not recommended !), the mobile app Google Authenticator and authentication device Yubikey. For practical reasons, we will choose to use the mobile application.
Thereafter, you will be redirected to a page to configure two-factor authentication. First, download the app Google Authenticator on your mobile phone: it is available on android and on iOS.
For security reasons, copy the 24 character code on a sheet of paper that you keep safe. This code will allow you to reset the double authentication in the event of breakage, loss or theft of your device.
Then scan the QR code displayed on the screen or directly enter the 24-character code on the app. The application should generate 6 digit numbers every 30 seconds.
Finally, enter this 6-digit number on the page and save.
There you go: your account is secure! To log in and perform the most critical actions, you should now need to enter the 6-digit code generated by your phone.
Deposit euros on Kraken
To deposit euros into your Kraken account, go to the tab funding and click on deposit. Then select the currency you want to deposit to buy your bitcoins: here the euro (EUR).
Then, choose the preferred payment method SEPA : the transfer will be free in the euro zone. Finally, you will need to make the bank transfer from the information listed by Kraken.
⚠ Very important : be careful to fill in the transfer the Reference number (which is hidden here). It is a series of 16 characters to which is added the name of the site, kraken.com. As its name indicates, this reference number must be copied entirely (with the kraken.com) in the bank transfer reference.
It takes a maximum of 2 working days to receive your funds on Kraken. Beyond this period, do not hesitate to contact support.
We advise you to start with a transfer of a small amount, 1 euro for example, to check that all the information has been entered and that you are familiar with the process.
Buy bitcoins on Kraken
Once the euros have been deposited in your account, you can proceed with the purchase of the desired bitcoins. Note that on Kraken the bitcoin has the acronym XBT and not BTC.
This will happen in the tab Trade. You will be able to see that the euros are indeed there in Overview → Balance.
To make an exchange, first click on New Order.
You then need to create what is called a purchase order. Click on the menu where it is written XBT (1) and select the euro: this will allow you to indicate precisely the amount in Euros you want to use. The second field (2) corresponds to the price in euro where you want to buy your bitcoins.
To make this clearer, let’s take the following example: I want to buy bitcoin for €50 when its price is equal to (or less than) €4501.20. The fields should be filled in like this:
💡 The total on the right of the image corresponds to the total of bitcoins that we get with our 50 €, namely 0.01110 BTC.
You will be able to observe the status of your order in the list of orders. If it does not pass and you are in a hurry, you can cancel it and recreate another one with a higher price.
Note that you will be charged a fee in the exchange. These can be 0.16% or 0.26% depending on how the order is executed.
Just like your euro balance, you can view your Bitcoins in the section Overview → Balance.
Just like your euro balance, you can view your Bitcoins in the section Overview → Balance. And there you have it, it was as simple as that, you have officially taken your first step into the world of cryptocurrencies!
Find out how to buy Bitcoin.
Withdraw bitcoins from Kraken
After buying your bitcoins, you can keep them on Kraken. Kraken will keep them for you and take care of securing them. However, you will not fully own these bitcoins, and this causes problems:
- In terms of security : if the platform gets hacked or is destabilized internally, you can lose your funds. Fortunately, trading platforms have greatly improved over time and such a situation is very unlikely, especially since Kraken enjoys a very good reputation at this level.
- In terms of profitability : by leaving your funds on Kraken, you do not benefit necessarily various hard forks and airdrops that credit holders of bitcoins (and other cryptocurrencies).
- In terms ofusefulness : to buy things with your bitcoins for example.
To fully control your bitcoins, you will need to use what is called a wallet. If you want to keep your cryptocurrencies safe, we recommend that you follow our guide on the subject: How to secure and store your crypto-currencies? If you want to use your bitcoins, you can turn to software wallets like BRD (on smart phone) Or Electrum (on computer).
Now let’s see how to withdraw your bitcoins from Kraken. Go to the tab funding then in the part Withdrawal (withdrawal). Select bitcoin. You will then have to add a new address. To do so, click on Add-address
Enter thepublic address your wallet: this is a string of characters, usually starting with a 1 or a 3 in the case of Bitcoin. This address can also be that of another exchange platform on which you would like to send the bitcoins.
You will be asked to confirm this address: an email will be sent to you for this purpose.
Once the address is confirmed, make the withdrawal. Indicate in the form the amount in bitcoins you wish to withdraw (here we have put the maximum). Note that some withdrawal fee you will be charged. In our case, they were 0.0005 BTC, or 2€25 at the time of the transaction, which is quite substantial if you are handling small amounts. Other crypto-assets on Kraken have much lower withdrawal fees: you can find these fees at this page.
The status of the withdrawal can be observed in the list of withdrawals. If you encounter any problem, do not hesitate to contact Kraken support.
And There you go ! You are a proud bitcoin holder.
You want to go further but you are lost in the purchase of altcoins? Do not hesitate to read our guide dedicated to this: Buy other cryptocurrencies
Using Kraken’s trading interface
I just showed you how to buy bitcoins on Kraken and maybe you find this method lacking in features. Well, I am pleased to announce that Kraken has a nice trading interface accessible at this address: trade.kraken.com
Here is an overview below:
This trading interface will allow you to place orders with more precision, to have access to the list of open orders, graphs and curves, etc. We explain how to use this interface in detail in this guide: Using Kraken’s secret interface like a pro
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