Is Kraken Good in Canada? a Power User’s Ultimate Review

Published: April 24, 2024 | Last Updated: April 29, 2024

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

In this review, I will walk you through whether Kraken is any good in Canada. Together we will explore Kraken’s security features, its trading fees, licensing in Canada, and what restrictions Canadian users can expect. We’ll also take a look at the user interface and what deposit and withdrawal options are available to Canadian users. Finally, we will take a look at Kraken’s complementary wallet and alternatives to Kraken in Canada. 

Is kraken good in canada

I have been using Kraken since 2017 when I first became involved with Crypto. I am very familiar with how to use both the Kraken and Kraken Pro app and will tell you the pros and cons of using Kraken in Canada.

Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange with a committed presence in Canada and one of the largest exchanges in terms of trading volume. With over 200 employees in the country, it is in the process of procuring a restricted dealer registration. 

Let’s take a close look. 

Reasons to use Kraken in Canada

1. Security measures

The reason I use and recommend Kraken is its security features. Kraken has never been hacked. 

  • It stores the majority of its funds in cold storage that is guarded 24/7 by armed guards
  • You need to confirm transactions by email and cannot use SMS for account recovery. This is important as phones and sim cards are easy to hack
  • You can set up three separate two-factor authentication codes. One for logging in, one for performing transactions, and one for updating your security settings
  • Kraken also allows you to set up a timelock for when you are away. For example, you can set a 48-hour delay for any withdrawals. This way should anyone gain access to your account they will have to wait a couple of days for their withdrawal to go through during which time you will have been notified. 

While I don’t advocate that you keep your digital assets on a crypto exchange if you are going to do it then Kraken is one of the safest options.

2. Low Fees

Trading fees

Kraken offers some of the lowest fees in Canada. However, there is a trick you need to know about. 

The secret is to use Kraken Pro. 

Kraken Pro fees

Crypto investors who use Kraken Pro are interacting directly with the platform’s order book. This means that Kraken can offer them a better price. Maker fees are 0.25% and taker fees are 0.4% for trades up to $10,000. Fees ladder down the higher the amount you trade. You can find Kraken Pro’s fee schedule here

What does maker/taker mean?

A taker accepts or takes the going price on the market. To do this they place what’s called a market order. In highly liquid trading pairs such as BTC/CAD, this trade will execute immediately because there will almost certainly be someone willing to sell you Bitcoin at the going market price.

A maker sets a limit order. A limit order executes only when the price of the coin reaches the limit price. For example, say the price of ETH is $2,000 today but you are only willing to buy if it drops to $1,500. 

Instead of waiting to see when that might happen, you can set a limit order with a limit price of $1500. 

If the market price of ETH drops to $1,500 then your order will be executed. 

The reason cryptocurrency exchanges charge lower fees for makers is that they bring liquidity to the platform. Liquidity means a crypto exchange needs a large number of limit orders on either side of the trade.

How do Kraken’s fees compare to other trading platforms in Canada?

Kraken Fees compared

Crypto tokens Stablecoins
Maker fee Taker fee Maker fee Taker fee
Kraken 0.25% 0.40% 0.20% 0.20%
Coinbase 0.40% 0.60% 0% 0.45%
Crypto.com 0.075% 0.075% 0.075% 0.075%
Standard Kraken trading fees

If you don’t use Kraken Pro and go for the standard Kraken app the interface is simpler but you get charged more. 

How much more depends on the trading pair but be aware that apart from a trading fee you also pay a spread between what the market price is and what Kraken gives you. 

In all honesty, learning to use Kraken Pro is worth the effort, and it’s not something you should shy away from. 

Deposit and Withdrawal fees.

Deposit fees

It costs 0.5% to deposit Canadian dollars on Kraken using Interac e-transfer. 

You can also use a Visa or Mastercard debit card or credit card and/or Apple Pay/Google Pay. Kraken is not transparent about how much they charge but you can expect 3-5% which is standard in this industry.

When I last checked Kraken wanted to charge me 5%. 

In all honesty, avoid using your card as Interac e-transfer deposits are near instant and much cheaper. 

Once you deposit your CAD you can buy the following cryptocurrencies

  • BTC
  • USDC
  • ETH
  • XRP

If you want to buy other coins then you will need to convert your CAD to USDC first which will incur a 0.2% fee. So you are looking at 0.5%+0.2%=0.7% as a deposit fee for most cryptocurrencies. This is on the higher side but not a reason to avoid the exchange. 

Note that USDT and other stablecoins such as DAI are banned in Canada at the time of writing. 

Withdrawals fees

Withdrawals cost a flat fee of 10 dollars.

Deposit methods

Kraken allows the following deposit methods

  • Interac e-transfer from your bank account.
  • A debit card or credit card that is 3DS secure. This feature is marketed as “Instant buy” and is available on the standard Kraken app only.
  • Wire transfer
  • In person at a local Canada Post branch

3. Customer service

You can reach out to customer support via live chat or by filing a support ticket. I have personally never needed to use it but scrolling through Reddit forums I didn’t come across anything major to report. 

4. Ease of use

Kraken is available as a website and mobile app. 

Both Kraken and Kraken Pro are easy to use. 

kraken vs kraken pro
Kraken Pro (left) is very similar to the Kraken app. There’s not reason not to use the pro version which is cheaper.

Using Kraken Pro will allow you to place advanced trades such as limit orders and stop-loss orders and is cheaper. 

Do not be intimidated by the interface. 

The simplest thing is to select a market order and that will be equivalent to pressing the buy button on the standard Kraken app. The only difference is that you will pay much lower fees. 

Kraken also offers its users a wide range of educational materials which I find myself often referring to. What is sometimes confusing is that they have similar but slightly different instructions and descriptions for Kraken vs Kraken Pro. 

5. 250+ cryptocurrencies

Compared to other Canadian crypto exchanges Kraken offers the widest choice of coins and tokens. Those seeking lesser-known coins can always use a decentralized exchange such as Uniswap. To do that you will need to set up a crypto wallet. I’ll tell you about Kraken’s wallet further down.

6. Passive income

Kraken makes it extremely easy to stake many of your crypto assets. 

Staking means that you are participating in the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism of a blockchain. We won’t dive into the weeds here.

 All you need to understand is that you can earn a return on your assets between 3-20% per annum. To understand staking better read 

What Does It Mean to Stake Ethereum: Best Beginner’s Guide

7. NFT Marketplace

Kraken offers its users an NFT marketplace where you can buy, sell, and store NFTs  

Things that I would like Kraken to improve

1. Unify the apps

As a first-time user when I first started using Kraken in 2017 I found the fact that it has two apps confusing. Whether you log into Kraken or Kraken Pro you see the same portfolio so why not merge everything into one app? Pro users could press a toggle to switch to the more advanced version while newbies wouldn’t need to do anything. This is what Coinbase has done. 

2. Increase the Range of cryptocurrencies

Granted Kraken is restricted from a regulatory standpoint about the different coins it can offer. 

However, as you become more involved in crypto you will find that there are lower-cap riskier coins that are not available on the major Canadian exchanges including Kraken.

 This means that you will need to become familiar with how decentralized exchanges work. For this, you can either take my course or read up on Uniswap. 

Does Kraken have a crypto wallet?

In April 2024 Kraken launched its own crypto Wallet called Kraken Wallet. 

kraken wallet

You don’t need to use the Kraken exchange to use the wallet but they complement each other well. 

The reason you would want to use a software wallet is that when you store your funds on an exchange you don’t have custody of your funds. 

Instead, the exchange manages the private keys (think of it like a password) to your funds on your behalf. 

If you trust the exchange this is fine. 

The problem is that exchanges do tend to implode from time to time and as digital assets are not insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation you could end up losing your funds. 

Another concern is that if the Canadian government decides to impose restrictions on crypto withdrawals like it did with the truckers’ movement then the exchange will need to comply. 

If on the other hand, your funds are stored on the Kraken Wallet or any other crypto wallet you own the private keys to your assets. 

No one can take them from you. 

Moreover, when you set up a wallet you are not required to disclose any personal information. For those with significant holdings of digital assets, it’s highly recommended to diversify across wallets. 

Digital wallet alternatives

Here are some hot wallets I would recommend

Is Kraken compatible with hardware wallets?

Yes you can easily withdraw funds to a hardware wallet from Kraken

Why use a hardware wallet?

A hardware wallet is a physical device that is not connected to the internet. This makes it much harder for hackers to access. If you plan on storing a significant amount of crypto in a wallet then consider using a hardware wallet. Read my review of the two most popular hardware wallets below

What are Canadian Kraken users not allowed

To comply with local regulations Kraken implements the following restrictions on its Canadian customers. 

Note that all other legal exchanges in Canada do the same. Check my Canada Crypto Ban article for more.

  1. Margin trading is not allowed. This is probably a good thing as most people get wrecked when they trade on leverage (if you don’t know what this is read What is Leverage in Crypto. Exchanges like it because they can charge hefty fees. 
  2. As Kraken is prepping to obtain a license it’s now asking customers about their source of funds. Depending on your answers it will categorize you in a risk tier. If you qualify for the higher tier you can buy up to $150,000 in net value i.e. after buying and selling. If you qualify for the standard tier this number drops to $30,000 which feels too low. However, this rule does not apply to large established coins such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others. Also, the rules do not apply in Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia.
  3. Stablecoins such as DAI and USDT are not listed for Canadian users. It’s not clear why but there is a group of crypto companies that are lobbying with the regulator for this to change.
  4. Depending on your risk profile Kraken will need to alert you when the value of your portfolio drops below a certain threshold. They are also required to send you monthly statements just like your bank
  5. Canadians won’t be able to trade futures on Kraken

For a more detailed list of restrictions check out the Canada section here and here.

Kraken Pro trading features

Using  Kraken Pro allows you to place the following order types

  • market orders
  • limit orders
  • stop-loss limit orders
  • take profit orders
  • take profit limit
  • Iceberg order
  • Trailing stop

When you enter the trading tab you get a TradingView candle chart and you can also check the order book and depth charts which I never looked at. 

On the portfolio tab you can see your crypto assets and clicking on those will give you more options to trade or withdraw them. 

How to open a Kraken account

To open an account with Kraken you need to be over 18 years old. To sign up for Kraken:

  1.  download the Kraken Pro mobile app on your phone
  2. Set up an account and password with two-factor authentication
  3. You will be asked to share personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. 
  4. Next, you will be asked to verify your identity by uploading a photo of some identification document
  5. Once you are verified you will need to answer the series of questions so that Kraken can assess your risk profile

Kraken is registered as a Money Services Business with FINTRAC which is what most crypto exchanges in Canada are registered as. However, Kraken is in the process of becoming a restricted dealer across Canada. This is the same status that Coinbase has. Kraken has filed a pre-registration undertaking with the Ontario Securities Commission and is waiting to become accepted as a restricted dealer. 

Kraken in Canada

The Digital assets exchange was founded in San Francisco in the United States in 2011. In 2016 they entered the Canadian market with the acquisition of CoinSetter and CoinSetter’s subsidiary CaVirtEx. Kraken set up its first office in Halifax. You can read more about Kraken’s story in Canada here.

Alternatives to Kraken for Canadians

The biggest international alternatives to Kraken are Coinbase and Crypto.com. I like Coinbase because it has an added security feature called vaults. You can read about coinbase vaults here. 

For a comprehensive review check out my ranking of the best crypto exchanges in Canada

Supported cryptocurrencies

Kraken supports the following crypto coins in Canada:

Kraken Cryptocurrencies in Canada

Ticker Coin Network
0x ZRX Ethereum (ERC-20)
1inch 1INCH Ethereum (ERC-20)
Aave AAVE Ethereum (ERC-20)
Aavegotchi GHST Ethereum (ERC-20)
Acala ACA Acala (Polkadot)
Adventure Gold AGLD Ethereum (ERC-20)
Akash AKT Akash
Alchemix ALCX Ethereum (ERC-20)
Alchemy Pay ACH Ethereum (ERC-20)
Algorand ALGO Algorand
Alien Worlds TLM Ethereum (ERC-20)
Altair AIR Altair (Kusama)
Ambire AdEx ADX Ethereum (ERC-20)
Ampleforth Governance Token FORTH Ethereum (ERC-20)
Ankr ANKR Ethereum (ERC-20)
ApeCoin APE Ethereum (ERC-20)
API3 API3 Ethereum (ERC-20)
Aptos APT Aptos network
Aragon ANT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Arbitrum ARB Arbitrum One network
Arpa Chain ARPA Ethereum (ERC-20)
Astar ASTR Astar (Polkadot)
Audius AUDIO Ethereum (ERC-20)
Augur REP Ethereum (ERC-20)
Augur v2 REPV2 Ethereum (ERC-20)
Avalanche AVAX C-Chain
Aventus*** AVT Aventus network
Axie Infinity AXS Ethereum (ERC-20)
Badger DAO BADGER Ethereum (ERC-20)
Balancer BAL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Bancor BNT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Band Protocol BAND Ethereum (ERC-20)
Barnbridge BOND Ethereum (ERC-20)
Basic Attention Token BAT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Basilisk BSX Basilisk (Kusama)
Beam BEAM Ethereum (ERC-20)
Biconomy BICO Ethereum (ERC-20)
Bifrost BNC Bifrost (Kusama)
Bitcoin BTC Bitcoin, Lightning
Bitcoin Cash BCH Bitcoin Cash
BitDAO BIT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Bittorrent BTT Tron (TRC-20)
Blur BLUR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Bluzelle BLZ Ethereum (ERC-20)
Boba Network BOBA Ethereum (ERC-20)
Bonfida FIDA Solana (SPL)
Bonk BONK Solana (SPL)
Bricks BRICK Arbitrum Nova network
Cardano ADA Cardano
Cartesi CTSI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Celer Network CELR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Celestia TIA Celestia network
Centrifuge CFG Centrifuge (Polkadot)
Chainlink LINK Ethereum (ERC-20)
Chiliz CHZ Ethereum (ERC-20)
Chromia CHR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Civic CVC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Compound COMP Ethereum (ERC-20)
Coin98 C98 Ethereum (ERC-20)
Convex Finance CVX Ethereum (ERC-20)
Cosmos ATOM Cosmos
COTI COTI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Covalent CQT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Crust Shadow CSM Crust Shadow (Kusama)
Curve CRV Ethereum (ERC-20)
Dai* DAI Arbitrum One network, Ethereum (ERC-20), Polygon network
Dash DASH Dash
Decentraland MANA Ethereum (ERC-20)
Dent DENT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Dogecoin DOGE Dogecoin
Dogwifhat WIF Solana (SPL)
Dymension DYM Dymension network
dYdX DYDX Ethereum (ERC-20)
Energy Web Token EWT Energy Web
Enjin Coin ENJ Ethereum (ERC-20)
Enzyme Finance MLN Ethereum (ERC-20)
EOS EOS EOS
EthereumPoW ETHW Ethereum PoW network
Ethereum ("Ether") ETH Ethereum (ERC-20), Arbitrum One network, Arbitrum Nova network, Linea network, Polygon network, Optimism network, zkSync Era network
Ethereum Classic ETC Ethereum Classic
Ethereum Name Service ENS Ethereum (ERC-20)
Euler EUL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Fantom FTM Fantom
Fetch.ai FET Fetch.ai
Filecoin FIL Filecoin
Flare FLR Flare network
Flow FLOW Flow
Frax Share FXS Ethereum (ERC-20)
Gala Games GALA Ethereum (ERC-20)
Galxe GAL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Gari Network GARI Solana (SPL)
Genshiro*** GENS Genshiro parachain network (Kusama)
GensoKishi Metaverse MV Ethereum (ERC-20)
Gitcoin GTC Ethereum (ERC-20)
GMX GMX Arbitrum One network
Gnosis GNO Ethereum (ERC-20)
Green Satoshi Token GST Solana (SPL)
Harvest Finance FARM Ethereum (ERC-20)
Hashflow HFT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Helium HNT Solana network (SPL)
HydraDX HDX HydraDX network
ICON ICX ICON
IDEX IDEX Ethereum (ERC-20)
iExec RLC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Immutable X IMX Ethereum (ERC-20)
Injective Protocol INJ Cosmos network*
Integritee TEER Integritee (Kusama)
Interlay INTR Interlay (Polkadot)
Internet Computer ICP Internet Computer Protocol
Jasmy JASMY Ethereum (ERC-20)
Jito JTO Solana (SPL)
JUNO JUNO Juno network
Jupiter JUP Solana (SPL)
Karura KAR Karura (Kusama)
Kava KAVA Kava
KeeperDAO ROOK Ethereum (ERC-20)
Keep Network KEEP Ethereum (ERC-20)
Keep3r Network KP3R Ethereum (ERC-20)
KILT KILT KILT (Kusama)
Kin KIN Solana (SPL)
Kintsugi KINT Kintsugi (Kusama)
Kusama KSM Kusama
Kyber Network KNC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Lido DAO LDO Ethereum (ERC-20)
Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange LCX Ethereum (ERC-20)
LimeWire Token LMWR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Lisk LSK Lisk
Litecoin LTC Litecoin
Livepeer LPT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Loopring LRC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Maker MKR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Mango MNGO Solana (SPL)
Marinade SOL MSOL Solana (SPL)
Marlin POND Ethereum (ERC-20)
Mask Network MASK Ethereum (ERC-20)
Merit Circle MC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Mina MINA Mina
Mirror Protocol MIR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Monero XMR Monero
Moonbeam GLMR Moonbeam (Polkadot)
Moonriver MOVR Moonriver (Kusama)
Moons MOON Arbitrum Nova network
Multichain MULTI Ethereum (ERC-20)
MultiversX EGLD MultiversX network
MXC MXC Ethereum (ERC-20)
My Neighbor Alice ALICE Ethereum (ERC-20)
Nano NANO Nano
Near Protocol NEAR Near network
Nodle NODL Nodle (Polkadot)
Numeraire NMR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Nym NYM NYM network
Ocean OCEAN Ethereum (ERC-20)
OMG Network OMG Ethereum (ERC-20)
Ondo ONDO Ethereum (ERC-20)
Onyxcoin XCN Ethereum (ERC-20)
Optimism OP Optimism network
Orca ORCA Solana (SPL)
Orchid OXT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Origin Protocol OGN Ethereum (ERC-20)
OriginTrail*** OTP OriginTrail network (Polkadot)
Oxygen OXY Solana (SPL)
PAX Gold PAXG Ethereum (ERC-20)
PayPal USD PYUSD Ethereum (ERC-20)
Pepe PEPE Ethereum (ERC-20)
Perpetual Protocol PERP Ethereum (ERC-20)
Phala PHA Khala (Kusama)
Picasso*** PICA Picasso network (Kusama)
PlayDapp**** PLA Ethereum (ERC-20)
Polkadot DOT Polkadot
Polkastarter POLS Ethereum (ERC-20)
Polygon MATIC Ethereum (ERC-20), Polygon network
Polygon Ecosystem Token POL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Powerledger POWR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Psta PSTAKE Ethereum (ERC-20)
Pyth Network PYTH Solana (SPL)
Qtum QTUM Qtum
Quant QNT Ethereum (ERC-20)
Radicle RAD Ethereum (ERC-20)
Rarible RARI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Raydium RAY Solana (SPL)
REN Protocol REN Ethereum (ERC-20)
Render RNDR Ethereum (ERC-20)
Request REQ Ethereum (ERC-20)
Ripple XRP Ripple network
Robonomics XRT Robonomics (Kusama)
Rocket Pool RPL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Rubic RBC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Saber SBR Solana (SPL)
Samoyed Coin SAMO Solana (SPL)
Secret SCRT Secret network
Sei SEI Sei network
SelfKey KEY Ethereum (ERC-20)
Serum SRM Solana (SPL)
Shiba Inu SHIB Ethereum (ERC-20)
Shiden SDN Shiden (Kusama)
Siacoin SC Siacoin
Solana SOL Solana (SPL)
Songbird SGB Songbird
Spell Token SPELL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Stacks STX Stacks network
Stafi Protocol FIS Ethereum (ERC-20)
Star Atlas ATLAS Solana (SPL)
Star Atlas DAO POLIS Solana (SPL)
Starknet Token STRK Starknet network
Stargate Finance STG Ethereum (ERC-20)
Stella ALPHA Ethereum (ERC-20)
Stellar Lumens XLM Lumen network
Step Finance STEP Solana (SPL)
STEPN GMT Solana (SPL)
Storj STORJ Ethereum (ERC-20)
Sui SUI Sui network
SuperVerse SUPER Ethereum (ERC-20)
SuperRare RARE Ethereum (ERC-20)
Sushi SUSHI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Swipe*** SXP Ethereum (ERC-20)
Synapse SYN Ethereum (ERC-20)
Synthetix SNX Ethereum (ERC-20)
tBTC** TBTC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Terra 2.0 LUNA2 Terra
Terra Classic LUNA Terra
Tether EURt EURT Ethereum (ERC-20)
TerraUSD Classic* UST Terra
Terra Virtua Kolect TVK Ethereum (ERC-20)
Tether* USDT Arbitrum One network, Ethereum (ERC-20), Optimism network, Polygon network, Solana network, Tron (TRC-20)
Tezos XTZ Tezos
The Graph GRT Ethereum (ERC-20)
The Sandbox SAND Ethereum (ERC-20)
Thorchain RUNE Thorchain
Threshold T Ethereum (ERC-20)
Tokemak TOKE Ethereum (ERC-20)
Tron TRX Tron (TRC-20)
TrueFi TRU Ethereum (ERC-20)
TrueUSD* TUSD Tron (TRC-20)
Unifi Protocol DAO UNFI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Uniswap UNI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Universal Market Access UMA Ethereum (ERC-20)
USD Coin* USDC Arbitrum One, Ethereum (ERC-20), Optimism, Solana (SPL), Tron (TRC-20) Polygon network
WAVES WAVES WAVES
Wormhole W Solana (SPL)
Woo Network WOO Ethereum (ERC-20)
Wrapped Bitcoin** WBTC Ethereum (ERC-20)
Wrapped Ether*** WETH Ethereum (ERC-20)
Wrapped Axelar WAXL Ethereum (ERC-20)
Yearn Finance YFI Ethereum (ERC-20)
Yield Guild Games YGG Ethereum (ERC-20)
Zcash ZEC Zcash

References

Up next

Best Canadian Crypto Exchange: 18 Top Trading Platforms

Best Canadian Crypto Exchange

In this post, I will walk you through the top trading platforms to help you find the best Canadian crypto exchange. ​

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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