Binance vs Kraken

We compare Binance and Kraken on features offered, availability, fees, security protocols, regulation and user-friendliness.

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Binance and Kraken are two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, providing users with the opportunity to buy, sell and trade a vast range of cryptocurrencies. On top of the standard services, both exchanges offer additional features such as staking and earning interest on digital asset holdings.

Formed in 2015, Binance is an unregulated, globally distributed exchange that regularly claims it has no primary headquarters. The company continues to remain flexible due to the decentralisation of cryptocurrencies. It's flexibility has enabled it to offer an enormous range of industry leading products and services, as it is not regulated by any prominent financial authorities.

Launched in 2011, Kraken is one of the older exchanges in the cryptocurrency industry. Headquartered in San Francisco, US, Kraken is globally distributed, serving over 50 countries.

The main difference between these two exchanges is the number of cryptocurrencies, range of products, and regulation. Binance hosts a substantially greater number of cryptocurrencies and services when compared to the US-regulated Kraken.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

At a glance: Binance vs Kraken

Kraken

Binance

LocationUnited StatesDistributed
Supports fiat currencies?USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUDUSD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, CNY, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH & 40+ more
Range of supported cryptocurrencies?55 cryptocurrencies263 cryptocurrencies
Features
  • Fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange
  • Instant cryptocurrency purchases
  • Ethereum 2.0 staking pool
  • Kraken Cryptowatch
  • Dark pool trading
  • Instant cryptocurrency purchases
  • Derivatives
  • Staking
  • DeFi and CeFi
  • LaunchPad
  • Peer-to-Peer trading services
Trading feesMaker: 0.00-0.16%

Taker: 0.10-0.26%

3.75% + €0.25 for instant buy purchases with cards

1.7% + $0.10 for instant buy with online banking

Deposit fees vary

Withdrawal fees vary

Maker: 0.02-0.10%

Taker: 0.04-0.10%

Holders of the native BNB can receive discounts

Customer supportOnline help centre, email and social media, 24/7/365Online help centre, email and social media
User interfaceIntermediate
  • Clean and sleek design, but less user friendly
  • Designed primarily for a more advanced and active trader
  • Offers "Trading Interface Guide" for new users
  • 3 Kraken mobile apps: Kraken, Kraken Pro and Kraken Futures
Intermediate
  • Both simple and advanced trading platforms are available
  • Slightly more intuitive interface
Set-up for new usersNew users must provide the following:
  • Username
  • Email address

To begin trading, users must provide:

  • Address
  • Phone number
New users must provide the following:
  • Email address
  • Proof of ID for fiat deposits
Supported countriesGlobal (50+ countries)Global (50+ countries)
Learn more

Features

Kraken

  • Instant buy: Buy cryptocurrencies instantly with a card.
  • Fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange: Buy cryptocurrencies with deposited fiat.
  • Derivatives: Futures, options and leverage trading.
  • Dark pool trading: A way for large investors to hide marker orders.
  • Staking: Get rewarded for lending cryptocurrency holding. Includes an Ethereum 2.0 staking pool.
  • Cryptowatch: A premium trading platform linking data from over 25 different exchanges.

Binance

  • Instant buy: Buy cryptocurrencies instantly with a card.
  • Derivatives: Futures, options and leverage trading.
  • Staking: Earn interest on lending your digital assets.
  • LaunchPad: Participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  • Access to DeFi through Binance Smart Chain.

Trading Fees

Kraken

Fees vary and depend on trade volume and order type. Kraken offers stablecoin, dark pool, margin trading, OTC (over the counter) trading as well as standard cryptocurrency trading.

Instant buy: 0.9% fee for stablecoin purchases, 1.5% for cryptocurrency, 0.5%+ fee for bank transfers, and 3.75%+ fee for card processing

Maker: 0.00-0.16%
Taker: 0.10-0.26%

Withdrawal fees vary depending on fiat and cryptocurrency.

Binance

Fees vary and depend on the order type. Typical spot orders use a maker/taker system with fees starting at 0.1%. This drops as volume increases.

Instant buy: 0.5% fee

Discounts available with native BNB cryptocurrency.

Fees for products like futures, options and lending vary.

Withdrawal fees vary depending on fiat and cryptocurrency.

Payment methods

Kraken

  • Bank transfer
  • Cryptocurrency
  • SWIFT
  • Wire transfer
  • Osko
  • SEPA

Binance

  • Credit card
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Debit card
  • Osko
  • PayID

Volume

According to information collected by exchange aggregator CoinGecko, Binance is the largest exchange in the world by trading volume, while Kraken comes in third place.

Likewise, at the time of writing, Binance had the largest liquidity score on market aggregator CoinMarketCap, while Kraken was fourth.

Both are among the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, which ensures high liquidity and low slippage.

Security

Binance and Kraken are widely considered among the safest exchanges on the market. They both offer a variety of ways to secure your account, including customer support for compromised accounts and 2-factor authentication (2FA) which has become a standard procedure in the cryptocurrency industry. This is often facilitated through a mobile phone.

For cryptocurrencies stored on the exchanges, Binance and Kraken employ cold storage facilities to mitigate against online attacks. Cold storage means that funds are held within offline wallets and cannot be accessed without physical presence.

Kraken explicitly states that 95% of its funds are currently held in cold storage. While Binance does not disclose the percentage of funds held in offline facilities, it does promote a "SAFU" fund (Secure Asset Fund of Users). This is an emergency fund comprising 10% of all trading fees and can be used to reimburse users in response to a security breach.

Kraken is praised as being one of the most secure exchanges on the market, having never been hacked. Binance, unfortunately, did suffer a hack in 2019 that resulted in the loss of roughly 7,000 BTC, after which it audited and upgraded its cybersecurity. It is now also touted as being one of the safest exchanges in the cryptocurrency space.

Regulation

Binance operates in a distributed manner, with the location of its primary business and operations subject to controversy. Although based in Hong Kong, the exchange has historically been reported to be registered in Malta. This is disputed by the Malta Financial Security Authority (MSFA) that has stated "Binance is not authorised by the MSFA to operate in the cryptocurrency space and therefore is not regulated by its laws". There have also been further claims that Binance is registered in the Cayman Islands and/or Seychelles.

Originating in the US, Kraken is a US-regulated organisation. The exchange is registered with FinCEN and has recently been granted a US state banking charter. It is a Wyoming-based cryptocurrency bank, being the first of its kind. The company is also registered in Canada, the UK, Australia and Japan. It complies with all laws and regulations of the countries it operates in.

Verdict: Should you use Binance or Kraken?

Binance and Kraken are without a doubt among the top exchanges in the world and can be used by both beginner and advanced cryptocurrency investors. They both have a unique set of features, with a rich environment that extends beyond standard trading. Users looking to extend their cryptocurrency experience to things like staking or derivatives will feel at home on either of these exchanges, as will total beginners.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, with the biggest difference between the two being where the companies are located and therefore regulated, which affects the depth of products they can offer.

Binance

Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume and hosts the greatest number of cryptocurrencies. It is widely known for its vast array of products, offering services such as staking and lending. Thanks to its popularity, its fees are among the lowest on the market.

It is one of the better platforms for accessing the decentralised finance (DeFi) space via its newly created Binance Smart Chain. The native BNB token is required for interaction on this platform and also provides discounts for users within the main exchange.

Overall, Binance is a superb platform for users trying to get the most out of their cryptocurrency experience.

Kraken

Kraken has become one of the largest and most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. It provides a versatile range of financial products such as staking, dark pool trading and derivatives trading. For those interested in the new upgrade of Ethereum, the exchange has also recently opened an Ethereum 2.0 staking pool.

Kraken's competent customer service desk, with availability 24/7 365 days a year, is above average, and while being a veteran cryptocurrency exchange, it delivers top-notch security protocols. Kraken is widely touted as a premier platform.

Compare Binance and Kraken

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat currencies Cryptocurrencies
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Osko, PayID
USD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, CNY, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH & 40+ more

263
cryptocurrencies

Binance is the world’s largest exchange by trading volume. Get started with instant zero fee AUD deposits and withdrawals in Australia, and enjoy low trading fees, a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and 24/7 local customer support.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, SWIFT, Wire transfer, Osko, SEPA
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

55
cryptocurrencies

Buy, sell and trade a range of digital currencies on this high-liquidity exchange – suitable for beginners right through to advanced traders.
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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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