Kraken vs Coinbase: Which Crypto Exchange Should You Choose?

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Are you aware that there is a wide range of digital currencies, and new ones are constantly being added every month? For those new to the cryptocurrency market and investment, it is essential to kick off by making choices regarding investment strategies, such as how to store digital assets securely. Moreover, investors should consider where and how to transact in cryptocurrencies and conclude whether staking tokens, which involves holding specific cryptocurrencies to earn rewards or interest, is worthwhile. As a result, investors must decide on a reliable cryptocurrency exchange for trading and storing crypto funds and acquire the necessary knowledge to navigate it effectively. 

Cryptocurrency exchange platforms are growing in popularity each day as more and more people learn about the benefits of investing in cryptos. Even though the crypto market is known for its volatility, people are drawn to the chances of gaining large profits with little effort. Crypto exchange platforms are a source for users to connect to the crypto market and invest their money via a safe source.

If you’re considering high-profile exchanges, Kraken vs. Coinbase is a good starting point. Both platforms are dedicated to cryptocurrency and facilitate users from most parts of the world to transfer fiat currency and convert it to different altcoins for profit. While both platforms cater to beginners and experienced investors, your decision between the two will depend on your specific requirements. We’ll examine the significant aspects of each platform, such as fees, user-friendliness, security, and other features that may influence your choice between Kraken and Coinbase.

Also Read:
• Kraken Exchange Review: Convenient Platform For Traders

Understanding a Crypto Exchange

The two crypto exchange platforms, Coinbase and Kraken, are famous around the globe. They’ve built a strong reputation for being practical and reliable crypto exchanges well suited for fiat to crypto exchanges. These platforms allow users to make the best of their fiat savings and invest safely into the crypto market.

Beginners find both Coinbase and Kraken pretty easy to use. Experienced investors and traders might find it easier to understand how both exchanges’ user interfaces and services operate. These platforms offer many features, such as around-the-clock customer services, that can be accessed via mobile and desktop apps.

Each of these two cryptocurrency exchanges attracts users because of its unique features. Coinbase has a much more popular user base in the United States as its policy is more beneficial to its investors. On the other hand, Kraken attracts users owing to its low fees and the ability to help users make high trades with little to no limits.

These cryptocurrency exchanges have curated a stable set of services that attract many users. Their features are different from one another and also share common standard features. We shall go over their features and understand how both these platforms operate. Let’s see if we can assess which is the best crypto exchange platform!

What Services are Offered by Kraken?

Since its founding in 2011, the Kraken crypto exchange has grown into a well-respected platform. As a global crypto platform, it offers various services to its users, whether businesses or individual clients. Kraken users can use nearly 100 different cryptocurrencies; these include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others. The Kraken market expands its services and products to around 200 countries annually.

The Kraken exchange offers a myriad of services for cryptocurrencies and crypto assets. Users can hold crypto to fiat currency transactions and vice versa. Moreover, futures trading, margin trading, and OTC (over-the-counter) trading are easily accessible for Kraken users. Numerous fiat currencies are easily convertible over Kraken, such as Euros, Australian dollars, US dollars, and Canadian dollars. There is an extensive list of services and funding opportunities available over Kraken. Users also can fund their own Kraken account through their crypto asset, such as coins, as long as the platform still supports them.

Kraken is easily accessible via the Apple and Android app stores. The Kraken mobile app would operate efficiently for every user over their phones, and the app also works for laptops. It is easiest to use crypto exchanges with a friendly user interface and low trading fees.

In addition to the numerous services that the Kraken offers, as we’ll discuss below, the Kraken offers online lectures and tutorials about the basics of cryptocurrencies and how to make the best investment in the crypto market.

Suitability of Kraken for Futures Trading

To establish whether or not the Kraken crypto exchange is suited for trading and other crypto-related transactions, we shall assess the pros and cons of the platform. It is one of the most famous cryptocurrency exchange platforms, and the Kraken wallet is one of the most reliable ones. We will go over Kraken’s merits as a good platform.

Pros of the Kraken Crypto Platform

  • Users can access more than 80 different cryptocurrencies.
  • Kraken makes margin trading and futures trading easy.
  • “Over the Counter Trading” (OTC) services are available.
  • Users have full account management support available.
  • Users enjoy rewards from Staking.
  • Resources and insights available to invest and buy crypto.
  • Robust security features
  • Desktop and Mobile apps available

Cons of the Kraken Platform

  • Futures Trading not available in the USA.
  • Kraken does not have its own wallet.
  • Limited to particular states in the USA.

What Services are Offered by Coinbase?

Coinbase is one of the best crypto platforms for new crypto investors as well as experienced ones. Its services allow users to stake their assets, earn rewards in cryptos, store their assets safely, and much more. Users in all the 50 states of the United States benefit from Coinbase as those elsewhere around the globe.

Coinbase users can use about 80 different cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, etc. However, its services do not cover margin accounts, and futures trading to its users like Kraken does.

The main benefit of the Coinbase platform is that it allows users to stake rewards. This service allows Coinbase users to gain from their knowledge of crypto assets. This feature is known as Coinbase Earn. There are two options available to Coinbase users, the standard one and the Coinbase Pro account, to purchase crypto and sell it.

The crypto exchange platform Coinbase offers numerous advanced trading routes via Coinbase Earn, the Coinbase Card, and the Coinbase Wallet. The Coinbase Pro perhaps has the most advanced trading options. The platform offers its users full access to market data and statistics in real-time and access to order books. Trading APIs, FDIC insurance protection, and charting tools are among the other services available.

Coinbase Prime offers institutional services for large-scale users and cold storage. The platform provides individualized services and cold storage. Crypto startups provide various benefits, including commerce services and venture capital fundraising. 

Android and Apple users can download Coinbase’s digital app. It is pretty easy to set up and even more straightforward, even with advanced trading tools.

Suitability of Coinbase for Futures Trading

Pros of Coinbase

  • Offer minimums on low accounts.
  • Users can access 80 plus cryptos.
  • Cold Storage avDigital wallet.
  • Extra resources for helping users.
  • Mobile and desktop versions of the Coinbase mobile app are available.
  • Earn through interest by holding assets.

Cons of Coinbase

  • Lower balances cost more.
  • Margin trading is not available.
  • Futures trading is not available.  

Kraken vs Coinbase: Features

Both cryptocurrency exchanges cater to both experienced investors and beginners. However, Kraken is better suited for global investors or US traders who are willing to sacrifice convenience for lower fees and additional services. On the other hand, Coinbase’s options are more convenient for US investors. From both Kraken and Coinbase, one can get the following:

  • Availability: Coinbase and Kraken have different levels of availability, with Coinbase offering trading services in over 100 countries, while Kraken in 176. However, the functions available on the exchanges depend on the location. For instance, Coinbase isn’t available to residents of Hawaii, while Kraken isn’t available in New York or Washington.
  • Support: Both platforms offer 24/7 global customer service through live chat, but support availability can decline, and wait times can surge due to high-traffic trading times. Both platforms also have help center guides and question-and-answer centers.
  • Margin Trading: Kraken provides margin trading with up to five times leverage, which is the standard in the industry. While Coinbase added the feature in early 2020, it had limitations in availability at three times leverage and was promptly disabled by November 2020.
  • Mobile Application: In terms of providing a smooth user experience, both exchanges have highly rated mobile applications that offer all the features available on the web browser. However, Kraken’s mobile application is unavailable in five countries and one territory. 

Kraken provides Cryptowatch, a trading terminal that analyzes and produces data on more than 2,000 cryptocurrency markets. This complimentary service enables traders to track market trends and price movements on various platforms, as well as set price alerts. In addition, users can enhance this service by paying one credit per alert to receive more timely notifications.

On the other hand, Coinbase offers an additional feature of a hot wallet, which users can utilize to deposit, store, and withdraw currencies. The wallet is available for anyone to use, not exclusively Coinbase users, making it an ideal option for traders who exchange between various fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. While Kraken provides its customers with a digital wallet to store coins between purchases, they do not offer a personal wallet service.

Kraken vs Coinbase: Security

It’s important to prioritize security measures when selecting an exchange to use. Fortunately, both platforms boast impressive security track records with no significant breaches to date. Kraken, for instance, employs strict surveillance measures across the platform and incorporates multiple checkpoints throughout the signup process. Additionally, 95% of its assets are stored in secure, air-gapped cold storage.

Meanwhile, Coinbase utilizes an offline method, which is geographically distributed cold storage, to safeguard 98% of deposits of US traders. Moreover, there is a plus point for US traders as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures up to $250K cash. 

Moreover, these two exchanges offer the following security layers:

  • Security keys: Physical security keys authenticate your login and generate a unique passcode when inserted into your computer drive. It’s recommended to create multiple keys and store them in secure locations. However, both exchanges have SSL encryption.
  • Privacy: To enhance privacy and security for cryptocurrency communications, pretty-good-privacy (PGP) encryption can be set up with the guidance of the respective platform.
  • 2FA: Kraken and Coinbase provide two factor authentication as an additional layer of security for making withdrawals and transfers. Coinbase’s default login verification method is SMS-based 2FA.
  • Authenticator: Authenticator apps, such as Google Authenticator, are also available as a 2FA option and can be used instead of a text message or email verification. Both Kraken and Coinbase enable this feature.

Kraken vs Coinbase: Crypto Trading Fees

Trading fees play an essential role for traders when choosing a crypto exchange between Coinbase and Kraken. When it comes to Coinbase, their primary platform operates on a somewhat mysterious fee structure involving “spread fees.” But roughly, it goes to pay around 0.5% of each transaction for buying or selling crypto. The good news is as you trade more, the fees go down. For example, if you choose to use Coinbase Advanced Trade, you’ll start off with maker and taker fees of 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively, which decrease as your trading volume goes up.

Over at Kraken, they offer “Instant Buy,” which lets you buy crypto quickly, but be prepared to pay a fee of 0.9% for stablecoins and 1.5% for other cryptos. And if you decide to pay with a credit or debit card, brace yourself for additional fees. But there is a relief if you opt for Kraken Pro; the fees are much more reasonable. For example, trades of $50,000 or less come with a 0.16% maker fee and a 0.26% taker fee based on your transaction in the last 30 days. 

Furthermore, if your top priority is to save on trading fees, consider Binance.US, as the fees are even lower than Kraken and Coinbase’s best options. 

Kraken vs Coinbase: Cryptocurrencies 

Both Coinbase and Kraken facilitate trading in several fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, and JPY. While Coinbase allows trading in over 120 cryptocurrencies, Kraken has a slightly smaller selection, with 97 cryptocurrencies available. Users can explore both platforms to find specific options that fit their requirements.

For example, Kraken provides access to Flow (FLOW) and Icon (ICX), while Coinbase supports Filecoin (FIL) and Yearn Finance (YFI) but not Tron (TRX) or Siacoin (SC).

Apart from Bitcoin, which is a popular cryptocurrency available on both platforms, other frequently traded crypto coins on Coinbase and Kraken include Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Chainlink (LINK), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).

Kraken vs Coinbase: Quick Look

Who Should Choose Kraken?

If you are an advanced cryptocurrency trader looking for a platform with top-notch security features and advanced margin and futures trading options, then Kraken is the best option for you. With its wide range of coins and lower rates for Kraken Pro users, it is a popular choice for sophisticated traders. Moreover, if you have a larger portfolio, you’ll enjoy their staking opportunities, which can help you generate passive income from specific coins. 

However, the vetting process of Kraken can be complicated, and the fee structures are complex, which might not be ideal for beginners. But, if you are cost-conscious, you can always check out other lower-cost alternatives.

Now, if you are a beginner in the crypto market and want to try your luck in crypto staking, then Kraken and Coinbase are the best in offering staking opportunities. Still, Coinbase might be a better fit for you with its more straightforward platform and user experience. However, keep in mind that cryptocurrency is a volatile asset with large price swings. So, before you invest any money, make sure you understand the risks involved and only put in what you can afford to lose. Furthermore, it is to be remembered that margin trading can magnify your losses, so it is advised to be cautious and keep a level head. 

Who Should Choose Coinbase?

If you are a beginner in the crypto world, then Coinbase is the better option than Kraken. As a beginner, you will appreciate their low fees on the basic exchange, which beats out Kraken’s “Instant Buy.” Moreover, there is excellent educational material on Coinbase, which can teach you everything you need to know about the crypto market. Additionally, you can even earn free crypto by completing their courses. 

But there are more – if you’re planning on spending or transferring your crypto, Coinbase is the way to go. With their top-rated crypto wallet and crypto-rewards debit card, you’ll be all set to make your purchases.

Now, advanced investors may also find some benefits on Coinbase, especially with their Coinbase Advanced Trade product. But if you’re really looking to up your experience, Kraken might be a better option. They offer more advanced features and tools for those who are serious about investing in cryptocurrency. So, it is wise to choose your platform based on your needs and experience level. 


Are you looking to explore a broader range of cryptocurrencies beyond just Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin? Then you might want to consider Kraken as your go-to platform. With a greater variety of cryptocurrencies on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice. And if margin trading and low fees are what you’re after, Kraken should be added to your list.

However, navigating the world of cryptocurrency can be daunting, especially for beginners. That’s where Coinbase comes in, as it offers its user-friendly interface and excellent educational materials, making it the perfect platform for those just starting out. Additionally, its basic exchange charges and low fees make it a cost-effective option for beginners.

The Kraken vs Coinbase debate goes on. It is no secret that both these exchanges are among the most reliable and suitable options for individual crypto traders and large-scale institutional investors. It would be safe to say that Kraken and Coinbase are amongst the best crypto exchanges.

So, choose your platform wisely based on your experience level and investment goals. With Kraken, you’ll get more variety and advanced features, while Coinbase offers a simpler and more beginner-friendly experience.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Micah Abiodun

Micah is a crypto enthusiast with a strong understanding of the crypto industry and its potential for shaping the future. A result-driven Chemical Engineer (with a specialization in the field of process engineering and piping design), Micah visualizes and articulates the intricate details of blockchain ecosystems. In his free time, he explores various interests, including sports and music.

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