Kraken vs. Binance: Which is Best for Crypto in 2023?
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized system of digital currency or tokens.
The first step to acquiring cryptocurrencies is understanding which cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform are best.
Then, using a crypto portfolio tracker, crypto owners can understand what assets they own and want to do with them.
However, it all starts with trading on the right platforms, and in this post, I will review two of the most popular ones right now.
When putting these two platforms side-by-side, I will compare the following features:
- Advanced cryptocurrency trading
- Use of a mobile app
- Variety of coins available
- Security measures.
- And more.
By the end of the post, you will be able to determine which cryptocurrency exchange platform is better for you.
Let’s dive deep into this topic.
Binance and Kraken are two major trading platforms with millions of active users.
Kraken and Binance are both ranked in the top ten by volume globally, with Kraken coming in at fourth place and Binance being the largest cryptocurrency exchange right now.
One issue that I need to mention immediately is that users that are U.S.-based have to use the Binance.US platform.
This platform, which comes in ninth place in terms of global trading volume, is the only way to trade cryptocurrency with Binance in the United States.
With that out of the way, let’s compare specific features side by side.
Let’s start with the security of the two platforms.
Kraken is a firm that comprehensively protects any traded or invested assets.
Their specialists have incorporated numerous sophisticated precautions to prevent the loss of money or information theft.
When it comes to security, their level of professionalism goes beyond basic financial stability and healthy banking connections, with the platform following the most significant levels of legal compliance.
Around 95% of total deposits are kept in offline, air-gapped, and geographically dispersed cold storage.
They maintain full reserves so that you may withdraw at any time on request.
The storage devices are kept in secure cages guarded by armed guards and video cameras at all times.
There is little opportunity for unauthorized individuals to gain access.
They state that nothing goes in or out of storage without being thoroughly examined first.
Kraken has been in operation since 2013, and there haven’t been any reported data breaches.
This is true even though this platform has been the target of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults over time.
This can be expected when considering the massive amount of traded volume.
When it comes to Binance, their security features offer all the advanced features you’d expect.
In addition, Binance.US also supports FDIC-insured United States dollars (USD) balances, which must be verified by two-factor authentication (2FA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
The cold wallet generation and private key generation are done on an offline, secure server stored in a safe place at a secret location.
Despite all this, the Binance platform was hacked in 2019 and lost 40 million dollars worth of cryptocurrencies.
In addition, in 2019, the U.S. Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths investigated Binance to eliminate any illegal activities that might have happened in a vastly unregulated market.
When making a final marketplace decision, these couple of incidents should be kept in mind.
Kraken has over 60 coins and works with seven fiat currencies.
While this may not be the widest variety of accessible digital currency, it’s comparable to some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges around.
This range of coins allows you to make the exchanges you want reasonably quickly.
When it comes to fiat currencies, these include USD, CAD, EUR, AUD, CHF, GBP, and JPY. People that invest in the U.S. can work with 52 coins.
When it comes to Binance, it supports trading in more than 500 coins, including its own digital BNB tokens.
On Binance US, one can trade around 50 cryptocurrencies, including:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Helium (HNT)
- Tether (USDT)
- Harmony (ONE)
- PAX Gold (PAXG)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Orchid (OXT)
Furthermore, both crypto exchanges provide over 100 trading pairs and support a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
Whatever your level of experience, you’ll discover a Kraken product that meets your requirements at a price point that makes sense.
Depending on the type of transaction you’re making, the fees will vary.
For example, when you perform an instant buy, the Kraken fee is 0.9% for any stablecoin or a 1.5% fee for other crypto or FX pairs.
The payment card processing fee is typically around 3.75%, as is the digital wallet payment processing fee.
Remember that fees are charged on a per-trade basis while using Kraken.
The fees are specified as a percentage of the trade’s quoted currency volume (as default).
When using the Fee Currency option, specific pairs allow you to enter the fee in whichever base currency you choose.
Fees for the execution of trades occurring in the previous 30 days are calculated and only apply to transactions made in this mentioned period.
If you’re not a regular trader but do substantial volume, consider Kraken’s OTC exchange platform for more cost-effective, personalized trading services.
When it comes to Binance, fees are slightly more challenging to understand and vary in terms of the status level.
For example, when it comes to debit/credit cards, fees on Binance can go up to 4.5%, and purchases are calculated as a percentage in the range of 0.02% to 0.10%.
The advantage is that Binance has a 25% fee discount if you pay with Binance Coin (BNB), and the more Binance Coins you have, the lower fees will come into play.
These low fees might be a good incentive to invest in Binance Coin.
Both exchanges have a similar sign-up procedure, with stringent verification procedures required for investors in the United States.
While advanced verification might take up to 15 days using Binance’s system, many users claim that the process is currently taking much longer.
In contrast, Kraken has more transparent timelines for different stages, and users usually get approved within minutes.
The exception is when applying for a Pro account, which can take up to five days to go through.
Once this is done, the user experience is quite good on both platforms.
Both sites are easy to understand and navigate, and their support is good overall.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll still need to go through a learning curve before you can start trading efficiently.
To that effect, the help articles on Kraken seem to be more targeted towards beginners while the ones on Binance, on the other hand, require a slightly higher level of skill.
Kraken has a staff of full-time, professional crypto and finance specialists who are well-versed in the space.
Support is included for all users of Kraken, regardless of the level of verification or activity, with any issues aimed to be resolved as quickly as possible.
With a globally distributed team and providing support in various languages, Kraken has a strong focus on providing support regarding its different trade options.
If you have a Binance account, you may contact customer service in various ways.
You can start a chat through their website by clicking on the chat icon within your membership area.
You may also contact Binance through the company’s official Facebook page, which is helpful in some cases.
Speaking of social networks, Binance also has a Twitter page that you may use to contact them if you prefer to use this network.
Both of these platforms have their own Android and iOS apps.
With the Kraken mobile app being user friendly, you may perform various functions, such as paying for your purchases using a credit card or ACH bank transfer.
You can also get stock quotes and portfolio insights right to your phone or tablet.
In addition, you can sort your watchlist based on different variables and then save the trades that you consider to be winners or even losers for future reference.
You also have the option to buy a predetermined quantity of several cryptocurrencies that are listed on Kraken.
In a nutshell, the Kraken app allows you to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies straight from your phone with a beautiful, intuitive design.
On the flip side, Binance has two apps: one for international traders and another for people in the U.S.
Beginners may have difficulty navigating the app at first, much as they would with its web-based counterparts.
Some report that the Binance.US user interface is still buggy, prompting users to struggle to log in, in some instances.
Binance does offer a VISA card that allows you to make purchases through crypto.
This allows you to spend crypto at millions of merchants online.
Kraken does not offer this feature.
Both crypto exchanges provide enhanced trading alternatives to new and experienced cryptocurrency traders.
The choice between which platform is better for you depends on several factors, including fees you’re willing to pay, mobile app functionality, customer support requirements, and various other factors.
Kraken offers international users more choices when it comes to trading, as it is available in nearly all countries.
Plus, its platform provides robust security features out of the box, and the general user experience is better suited to both new and more advanced traders.
Binance offers a large selection of cryptocurrencies and pairs, and it’s quite a sound system for more advanced users already familiar with other exchanges.
It’s not as beginner-friendly as Kraken, but it is a solid platform for experienced traders.
When it comes to Binance and U.S. residents, the Binance.US platform is a good choice for those more experienced, while being less welcoming to first-time traders.
But overall, its platform is quite responsive and boasts high-performance levels.
In general, both exchanges are great at what they do as far as trading is concerned.
Now that we’ve compared Binance vs. Kraken in a side-by-side fashion let’s consider various features that the ideal crypto exchange should have.
While some of these features might not be essential for your needs, it’s still a good idea to be aware of what’s available.
Many of the top crypto exchanges are now doubling as NFT marketplaces. This allows you to buy and sell NFTs for real money on a peer-to-peer basis.
This is extremely useful for traders, who can quickly flip their NFTs.
It’s also great news for gamers and game developers, creating an easy route to unloading unneeded items or earning extra money through playing games.
NFT marketplaces are still in the early stages of development.
However, they provide a massive opportunity for traders interested in buying virtual items that they can sell in the future.
Further to the previous point, some platforms also offer the functionality of an NFT wallet.
This feature allows you to store your NFTs securely without using a third-party site.
This is beneficial for traders who want added security, especially if they’re occasionally trading from time to time, requiring peace of mind between trades.
It also provides a degree of reassurance that items won’t disappear overnight or get frozen by someone trying to access their assets maliciously.
Many of the top crypto exchanges now offer airdrop support.
This means that they will automatically distribute new tokens to your wallet (after you qualify) without any action required on your part.
This is especially beneficial for traders who are only interested in certain coins and tokens rather than all of them.
For example, if you only own 0.5% of an altcoin’s total supply, but it gets listed on a top crypto exchange, this could net you quite a bit of cash.
The best crypto exchanges provide security and privacy features that allow users to trade and buy cryptocurrencies with peace of mind.
These features can include:
The use of 2FA means that even if your login details for the site are compromised, the second layer of authentication is required to access users’ accounts.
This makes it much harder for hackers and cybercriminals to access secure accounts.
These types of keys allow you to create a public/private key pair and access your wallet via the exchange’s website.
This provides a greater degree of security than using a conventional password, as you can create a strong password that would be very difficult to crack.
Many exchanges support cold storage wallets, also known as offline wallets.
The idea is that the wallet is stored in a physical location, away from digital threats such as hackers and malware.
This requires additional security measures to be put in place, such as two-factor authentication and multi-sig support.
The latter feature means that multiple keys are required to access your wallet.
In other words, you could have one key for your wallet and a separate key, each for the exchange’s custodian and cold storage facility.
The use of blockchain technology has helped to instill greater transparency into the crypto industry.
Many exchanges have embraced this trend by making their transactions public, allowing users to track withdrawals and deposits as they happen.
You’ll also need to keep in mind that withdrawal fees could add up if using the wrong platform with this feature in place.
This is beneficial for users who want to monitor their transactions and ensure everything is above board.
The level of transparency also aids in holding exchanges accountable for any suspicious activity on their platforms.
Even the best cryptocurrency exchanges can experience issues from time to time.
This means that having reliable customer support can come in very handy. If you ever have any problems with your account or orders, you will be able to get in touch quickly and easily.
Having access to support in various languages can also be beneficial, especially for traders who are based outside of the country where the exchange is located.
Different exchanges will offer various payment methods and currencies they support.
Some platforms specialize in specific regions or countries and only accept deposits using local fiat currency.
This could make it challenging to fund your account if you’re based outside of this particular region.
Similarly, not all exchanges will allow you to buy cryptocurrencies with a credit card, a debit card, or direct bank transfers.
Some only let users purchase coins with other cryptos (or even cash).
Others are far more flexible but generally speaking, there are fewer options for funding your account if you need to use a specific payment method.
Buying cryptocurrencies with fiat currency can be a tedious process that involves several steps and time-intensive processes.
Withdrawing your money from cryptocurrency exchanges into your bank account can similarly be long and drawn out, especially since most exchanges have been slow to adopt new payment methods such as ACH.
To combat this, some exchanges offer instant ACH withdrawals (via SEPA) which means you’ll receive your funds immediately after completing the transaction.
Additionally, some exchanges offer the option to buy back any cryptocurrency that you sell if it has enough liquidity to do so.
This allows traders to take advantage of price volatility by buying low and selling high without waiting for their money or coins to process.
The trading fees structure is another crucial aspect to consider when choosing an exchange.
Whether takers or makers are charged more for each trade could provide different results.
Generally speaking, takers pay a higher taker fee than makers because they initiate the trade to drive down their own cost of trading.
However, if you’re a long-term holder and only make occasional trades, it makes more sense to opt for a maker-based model, which tends to result in cheaper fees.
While this is not so common yet, there are occasions where you’ll be able to link your crypto trading account with some of the best crypto tax software.
This will allow you to make the process of reporting your cryptocurrency income easier.
Knowing what your chosen tax software is capable of will allow you to make smarter, more informed decisions about which exchange(s) to use.
Also, an increasing number of crypto exchanges are starting to offer more advanced tax reports with specific filters enabled.
By allowing traders to upload their trading history, these exchanges will then provide users with a report to make the filing of taxes more straightforward.
Margin and futures trading are two types of trading where you can use leverage to trade cryptocurrencies.
Margin trading essentially means borrowing money from your account to trade with it.
This results in potentially more significant profits and/or more considerable losses, so you need to be very careful when using this feature, as it might result in substantial financial loss if done incorrectly.
Futures trading is similar to margins, except futures contracts are bought and sold at specific times before reaching their expiry date.
In contrast, margin trading has no limits or restrictions on how long trades can remain open.
If you’re involved in retail investor accounts, then the importance of advanced trading tools shouldn’t be overstated.
As an everyday trader, these features might not be necessary, and you can use a suitable exchange that focuses on the cost to trade cryptocurrencies.
Advanced trading tools are essential if you’re involved in high-frequency trading (HFT).
The best cryptocurrency exchanges will concentrate on offering their users various types of advanced trading options such as:
- Stop Loss orders
- Trailing stop-loss orders
- Take Profit orders
- Advanced order types
Crypto news is constantly breaking – so find an exchange that provides fast updates as well as crypto price alerts.
All traders will want to access this information to stay ahead of the curve instantly.
Knowing the latest news from industry influencers and crypto market movers before everyone else can help you take advantage of price volatility and trade accordingly.
What does charting mean when trading?
Charting is used to track prices and analyze price trends. Some exchanges offer advanced charting tools such as:
- Candlestick charts
- Renko charts
- Point & figure charts
Kraken does offer a more advanced platform to its end users.
Kraken Pro is a sophisticated real-time trading platform for the Kraken exchange. This is ideal for more advanced users that want to trade more efficiently.
Coinbase is another significant, well-known exchange that offers many tradable cryptocurrencies on its platform.
Yes, many reputable, well-known platforms are safe when trading crypto on them.
Keep in mind that decentralized platforms also exist, and understanding the difference is essential.
Centralized exchanges are a different kettle of fish to decentralized ones because, in a way, they are safer when considering attacks from hackers and other sources.
For an exchange to be considered safe, it must have been running for several years without any issues, with regular audits from security experts confirming its safety amongst customers.
While best is relative and you should do your research, some of the best tokens to consider might be XRP, LTC, Dogecoin, Ripple, and Litecoin.
Before choosing a crypto exchange, there are some essential things you need to consider.
You should weigh up factors such as trading fees, security, geographical restrictions, customer support, and more before deciding on a particular provider.
When it comes to Kraken vs. Binance, these two crypto exchanges do have some similarities but, at the same time, are not created equally.
By keeping in mind the factors mentioned above, it’s possible to narrow down your choice and make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
What do you think? Have you ever used either of these exchanges? I’d love to hear from you – let me know what you think in the comments below.
Last Updated on December 8, 2022 by Adam Enfroy