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Kraken Fees Explained | How Much It Costs to Trade Crypto?

Kraken Fees Explained | How Much It Costs to Trade Crypto?
Jordan
Major
3 weeks ago
18 mins read

In this guide, we will focus on the crypto exchange’s Kraken fees. We will examine the costs incurred when using Kraken’s most popular products to provide you with an idea of what to expect in terms of pricing from the exchange.

As early adopters of blockchain technology, Kraken has been at the vanguard of the transformation since 2011 and is routinely rated as one of the best places to buy and trade crypto online, owing to its outstanding service, low fees, flexible payment methods, and high-security standards. 

Whether you’re an experienced trader or a crypto-beginner, Kraken provides investors with confidence thanks to its usability and secure platform. In particular, the exchange offers a variety of tools and services to help you develop your portfolio and manage an ever-increasing number of cryptocurrency pairings.

For further information about the platform and its core products, read our comprehensive Kraken review.


Introduction to Kraken fees

Fees on each individual crypto trade can quickly add up; therefore, traders take this into consideration when choosing a platform. Indeed, since hefty trading and depositing rates on crypto platforms may restrict your earning potential, Kraken clients can rest assured that their expenditures will be reduced when it comes to depositing and trading cryptocurrencies using its services.

Since the firm offers everything from over-the-counter trading to white-glove account management, Kraken is a solid cryptocurrency investment option for institutions of all sizes. Whatsmore, it provides excellent liquidity and competitive pricing, allowing you to reach your investment objectives swiftly and confidently.

Kraken fees explained

Trading platform

The platform supports more than 88 assets, as well as seven fiat currencies for deposits and withdrawals to and from bank accounts. Customers can buy, sell, and trade a variety of digital assets, including BTC, LTC, ETH1/2.0, Ripple’s XRP, ADA, EOS, BCH, XDG, and USDC.

The seven base currencies are:

  • The US dollar;
  • The euro;
  • The Canadian dollar;
  • The British pound;
  • The Swiss franc;
  • The Japanese yen,
  • The Australian dollar;

Below is the Kraken trading platform that shows the buy and sell options to the upper right side.

Kraken trading screen. Source:Kraken.com

In terms of fees, your past 30-day trading volume determines how much you pay in fees. Notably, this only relates to trading fees, not fund deposits and withdrawals, which vary according to the method utilized. 

Nevertheless, it is possible to incur additional margin opening and rollover fees when utilizing leverage (an advanced feature that may be selected as an option). Still, we will discuss them in more detail later in the guide.

Kraken Instant pay 

Instant buy allows customers to buy, sell, or convert cryptocurrencies on Kraken’s website or via the Kraken App. By the same token, customers who want to purchase cryptocurrencies are matched with customers who want to sell crypto (or vice versa) through Kraken’s primary service. 

Note: Once your order is completed (matched with another client’s order), you will be charged a trading fee. Equally, no fees are incurred for orders that are canceled before they are executed (sometimes referred to as “untouched” orders). 

A quick overview of the fee schedule is provided below. For a comprehensive list of fees, please see the Fee Schedule page.

  • Purchases
    • Direct (through account balance) – 1.5% for crypto and 0.9% for stablecoins (e.g., USDT);
    • Debit/Credit cards – 3.75% + €0.25;
    • Wire Transfers/SWIFT/FPS/SEPA, etc. – 0.5% in addition to the Kraken fee.
  • Trading fees
    • Maker fees: 0.16% to 0.00%; Taker fees: 0.26% to 0.10% (the higher the 30-day trade volume, the lower the fees);
    • Stablecoin trades, Maker/Taker fees: 0.20% to 0.00%;
    • Futures trades, Maker fees: 0.02% to 0.00%; Taker Fees: 0.05% to 0.01%;
    • Margin trades, opening fees: 0.01% to 0.02%; Rollover fees: 0.01% to 0.02% every 4 hours.

According to the “Requirements” section of this article, the Kraken App is currently only available in certain countries, so be sure to check it out to see whether it’s available in your region.

Kraken Pro

Kraken has a maker-taker pricing system with volume incentives that depend on your activity in the last 30 days. Thus, trading fees at Kraken are designed to encourage traders to participate more in the market and to generate optimum liquidity, according to its fee schedule.

Makers and takers both pay low fees, while the fee structure for almost all of Kraken’s cryptocurrency pairings is identical, incentivizing market makers to enhance liquidity, making it simpler for you to execute transactions at the price you choose.

In the marketplace, makers generate liquidity through limit orders, whereas takers remove liquidity by fulfilling orders already in the order book.

It is also worth noting that volume generated with ‘Instant Buy’ purchases do not contribute towards your 30-day volume incentives and that Kraken Pro Fees are calculated on a trade-by-trade basis. 

Whatsmore, as a proportion of the trade’s quotation currency volume, fees are computed (by default). Fees can be determined depending on the trade’s base currency selected when placing an order using the Fee Currency setting. 

Additionally, to calculate the number of user fees, the comparable market value of the specified “Fee Volume Currency” is considered at the time of the trade. Keep in mind that this currency may be different from that of the pair’s base or quote currency.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that user fee volume levels are measured and only apply to trades that occurred during the past 30 days. Although, every time you trade, your discount tiers are checked, so you get your discounts as soon as you earn them. 

As a result, Kraken offers volume-based discounts in order to ensure that all investors are rewarded for their purchases.

Stablecoin & FX pairs

FX pairings (EUR/USD), as well as stablecoin pairs (USD/USDT, DAI/USDT, etc.), are included in this fee schedule. Only if the stablecoin is the only quoted currency (BTC/DAI), the Kraken Pro fee schedule applies.

Kraken’s competitive stablecoin fee schedule ensures high liquidity, ultra-tight spreads, and little slippage. We must mention that no volume-based discounts apply to stablecoin and FX pairs order books.

For Stablecoin & FX pairs, below is a list of Kraken’s 30-day volume price schedule, including their maker and taker percentages (USD).

Stablecoin & FX pairs fee. Source: Kraken.com

Spot trading

Spot trading entails buying, selling, and trading assets on the spot market. The deals are settled immediately, and the assets are delivered on the spot.

There are two options for users: they may either execute current market orders or make new orders to be fulfilled at a later price point, known as limit orders.

Watch: Explained: Order Book, Limit Order, Market Order

Kraken – Order Book, Limit Order, Market Order. Source: Kraken

Margin Trading 

Market fluctuations can be amplified by entering into spot trades using leverage (or “margin trading”), allowing you to implement more complicated, aggressive methods. Using Kraken’s sophisticated trading engine, you may purchase (go “long”) or sell (go “short”) on a wide range of cryptocurrencies with up to 5x leverage.

Margin trading is for customers looking for more advanced trading rather than the typical trading products offered. Since it essentially lets you purchase and sell cryptocurrencies on the Kraken exchange, using sums that may exceed your account balance. 

In this case, let’s say that you put $5,000 into your account. Using a margin extension from Kraken, you may buy or sell $10,000 worth of BTC/USD on the BTC/USD order book with this account. 

One of the advantages of margin trading on Kraken is that the costs are relatively low. A position can be opened for as little as 0.02% and kept open for as little as 0.02% (per 4 hours) in rollover costs (a recurring fee, charged every four hours, in order to keep a margin position open), depending on the currency pair you’re trading.

Using the Kraken trading engine, you may increase the size of your trades. For example:

  • Leverage up to a five-fold increase: Use margin to go long or short on a cryptocurrency with up to 5x leverage quickly and simply;
  • Trading interface for professionals: With Kraken’s easy trading interface and advanced order options, you can simply manage your positions;
  • Access to advanced API features: Easy-to-use trading platform and advanced order options make it simple to keep track of your trades;
  • Low rollover fees: When it comes to rolling over costs, never pay more than 0.02 percent (per 4 hours);
  • High margin limits: Up to $500,000 is available to clients who qualify.
Cryptos currently available for margin trading. Source: Kraken.com

At the opening and closure of margin positions, all margin costs are applied in addition to the trading expenses incurred. Significantly, maintaining opening margin positions are restricted to 365 days for clients outside the United States and 28 days for those inside the United States.

Please take the time to thoroughly grasp margin extensions and the particular dangers associated before utilizing them to trade cryptocurrencies. Despite the fact that there are a lot of topics to understand, your money is on the line; therefore, it’s worth your time to go over everything in detail.

Kraken provides a trading terminology and concepts page for traders and investors on how to trade using margin trading since there are so many ideas to learn about, and they might be challenging to grasp at first.

Watch: Margin and Leverage: Introduction

Margin and Leverage trading: Introduction. Source: Kraken
Client eligibility for margin services 

Some regional and eligibility restrictions apply to Kraken’s margin trading services. Most Intermediate and Pro clients who reside outside of the United States have access to margin trading services. 

While Intermediate or Pro clients in the United States must also fulfill specific eligibility criteria to participate in margin trading on the platform, it’s worth noting that Starter and Express clients do not have access to margin trading services. 

Note: In Japan, margin trading services are not available.

Futures Trading

As the name suggests, futures, or futures contracts, are agreements to purchase or sell an asset at a predetermined price at a later period. Traders usually use them to hedge other assets or to lock in profits while trading in turbulent markets. 

Kraken Futures. Source: Kraken.com


Indicators of demand based on aggregated indices from a number of cryptocurrency exchanges are used to calculate Kraken’s futures prices, which are clear and transparent. 

The following are a few of the advantages of this form of trading:

  • Protecting yourself from price risk: In order to reduce the danger of a decreasing price, investors might concurrently take a “short” future position on the asset. “Short” positions will minimize losses if the price falls by giving more revenue;
  • Stabilize price volatility: Using futures that smooth out price fluctuations, crypto merchants such as miners or ATM operators are able to focus on their main business while reducing risk;
  • Trade regulated cryptocurrency futures products: Access to regulated futures products is possible via Kraken Futures. As a global leader in cryptocurrency futures trading, Kraken is committed to offering a reliable and diversified service for cryptocurrency futures traders.

Cryptocurrency Futures on Kraken include Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ethereum, and Bitcoin. For more information on each currency pair, see the chart below.

Crypto pairs futures chart. Source: Kraken.com

Users can leverage up to 50x since futures are very capital-efficient, as less money is required to open positions compared to spot trading (1x) or margin trading (3-5x)

To put it another way, if you have 10 Bitcoin and are worried about the price dropping, you have to trust 100 percent of your money to a spot exchange to sell, or 20 percent of your money on margin trading. However, if you are worried about the pricing using 50x futures, you only put 2% of your money at risk. 

Therefore, crypto Futures enable you to take bets with up to 50x leverage using collateral as low as 2% of the notional amount, providing you the freedom to position yourself in the market while retaining low exchange risk.

Visit Kraken´s support article to find out if you qualify to trade Bitcoin and other crypto Futures.

Watch: Introduction to Futures

Introduction to Futures. Source: Kraken

OTC (over-the-counter)

Trading over-the-counter (OTC) is the settlement of orders between buyers and sellers that are generally too big to be listed on the platform’s order book. Consequently, traders are able to engage more directly with the platform, which acts as a middleman and facilitates secure transactions.

In more detail, the firm provides institutional investors and high net worth individuals with more liquidity and more customized service when filling big orders that would be disruptive if placed on the open markets at the stock exchanges.

Depending on the trading requirements, the OTC desk will offer clients execution and settlement services that are safe, confidential, and competitive, no matter if it’s $100,000, €10,000,000, or 1,000 Ethereum being traded.

In addition to secure and discrete transactions and settlements, OTC provides a variety of other benefits, including:

  • Expert market knowledge: Trading desk members have extensive expertise in the finance sector, having previously thrived at major financial organizations such as JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, UBS, Morgan Stanley & Merrill Lynch. In addition to daily trade and market summaries, OTC clients will also receive professional desk insights on the current crypto market.
  • Personal Service: All services are provided in a highly personalized manner from the initial professional advice to trade execution, as well as reporting and market insights. Intending to build a pleasant and long-lasting connection, Kraken addresses all of your inquiries throughout the process with one-to-one service.
  • Global coverage 24/7: In the Americas, Europe, and Asia, the OTC desk is open 24 hours a day, excluding major holidays.

The Kraken OTC desk can support all fiat currencies and digital asset currencies listed on the Kraken Exchange, including: 

Fiat currencies:

  • US Dollars (USD);
  • Euros (EUR);
  • Canadian Dollars (CAD);
  • Japanese Yen (JPY);
  • British pounds (GBP);
  • Swiss francs (CHF);
  • Australian Dollars (AUD).

Digital assets:

  • Bitcoin (BTC);
  • Ethereum (ETH);
  • Tether (USDT);
  • Monero (XMR);
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC);
  • Augur (REP);
  • And many others.
Conditions of Participation 

As a rule, orders must be at least $100,000; however, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, and Kraken OTC does not hold assets on behalf of trading counterparties. 

Lastly, AML/KYC and other criteria must be met in order to be eligible for OTC trading;

Note: To see how to complete the account verification, check our step-by-step Kraken KYC guide for further information on the process.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

It’s important to note that there’s an initial deposit minimum, as well as an address registration fee or a deposit fee for some cryptocurrencies – but most are free to deposit. Over and above that, if you make a deposit that is less than the necessary minimum, the funds will not be credited to your account. 

The Address Setup Fee is a one-time fee charged on the first deposit made to a newly created deposit address. Bear in mind a single address is used for all ERC-20 tokens in your account; therefore, the address setup cost will only be charged once during the initial creation.

Crypto deposit fee

Kraken’s minimum deposits for Bitcoin are 0.0001 BTC, 5 ADA for Cardano, and 0.05 ETH for Ethereum, and the address setup fee is free for those three currencies. Correspondingly, Bitcoin and Cardano both have free deposits, while Ethereum has a variable on-chain fee for moving it into Kraken’s wallet.

The Kraken cash crypto deposit screen is shown below, where you can copy the address or scan the QR code.

Kraken crypto deposit. Source: Kraken.com

Please visit Kraken’s cryptocurrency deposit fees and minimums page for a full list of deposit fees and minimum deposit amounts.

Crypto withdrawal fee

Bitcoin has a withdrawal fee of 0.00015 BTC with a minimum withdrawal fee of 0.0005 BTC. In contrast, Cardano has a withdrawal fee of 1 ADA, with 5 ADA minimum withdrawal, and lastly, Ethereum has a withdrawal fee of 0.0035 ETH with a minimum withdrawal amount of 0.005 ETH

Please visit Kraken’s cryptocurrency withdrawal fees and minimum withdrawal amount for a complete list of cryptocurrencies, their withdrawal fees, and minimums page.

Cash deposit fee

Using one of the accepted currencies, you’ll need to fund your Kraken account before you can buy or trade cryptocurrencies. Generally, a unique reference number, a bank transfer from your bank account to Kraken, is the most frequent way to fund your account.

However, if you reside in one of these countries after completing the Intermediate or Pro verification process, you may also use your debit or credit card to buy cryptocurrencies immediately. Conversely, clients in the United States cannot use a debit or credit card at this time, but they may use ACH online banking via instant buy, which is available to them.

The Kraken cash deposit screen is shown below, where you can select the currency and the amount you want to deposit. 

Kraken cash deposit. Source: Kraken.com

Your verification level will determine the maximum amount you may deposit. Visit Kraken’s deposit options page for a full list of cash deposit fees, minimums, and processing times for each country and currency.

Watch: How Do I Send a Domestic Wire Transfer to Kraken from Bank of America

Sending a wire transfer to Kraken. Source: Kraken

Cash withdrawal fee

Kraken supports the following currencies: USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, and JPY, but it charges withdrawal fees. Besides, depending on your verification level and financing type, you may be limited to a certain amount when withdrawing funds (i.e., Synapse).

Generally, an account withdrawal hold is imposed on all first-time cash deposits for 72 hours. Aside from that, cash withdrawals, credit & debit cards, or third-party payment processors aren’t allowed. 

Visit Kraken’s cash withdrawal options page for a complete overview of withdrawal options and their minimums, fees, and processing times for currency and country.

Visa and Mastercard purchases 

Using your debit or credit card, you may quickly acquire various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, it’s required that your account is verified at the Intermediate or Pro level, and you must have a valid Visa or Mastercard in the same legal name as your Kraken account.

As previously indicated, a charge of 3.75% + €0.25 is taken from the total spending amount set for every crypto transaction made with your card. The minimum transaction amount is €10, with a maximum spending limit of €7,500 for a seven-day rolling period, and as previously mentioned, withdrawals to cards are not supported.

Below is the dashboard where you can buy and sell cryptos.

Kraken’s buy/sell dashboard. Source: Kraken.com

Kraken fee credits (KFEE)

Kraken fee credits (KFEE) are internal tokens that can only be used to pay for trade fees on the exchange. Kraken.com is the only place you can find them, and they’re marked with the code KFEE or FEE.

On the Kraken exchange, 1,000 KFEE is equal to 10 USD in trading fees, and the trade does not need to involve USD. Whatsmore, the exchange will use the KFEE balance you have to pay for any trading costs you have incurred. To put it simply, you may trade fee-free up to a specific volume using KFEE. 

For example, a trade charge that would usually cost 10 USD would take 1,000 KFEE from your balance instead of USD equivalent, and because KFEE balances never expire, there is no need to rush into trading.

Kraken security

Kraken has a multitude of security features in place to keep the exchange safe (such as Global Settings Lock, Master Key, and 2FA); it also provides its users with an abundance of information on how to make their accounts as safe as possible by securing externalities such as internet connection, email, and phishing. 

Ultimately, customers can better monitor their accounts and guarantee the safety of their funds with Kraken’s proactive approach to security solutions. However, if a hacker is able to gain unlawful access to your account, there is also a 24-hour customer care line that may be contacted in such a circumstance.

Nevertheless, users can rest assured that there have been no security breaches on the platform since Kraken’s establishment.

Note: For further information regarding security on Kraken, read our in-depth ‘is Kraken safe?’ guide.

Final thoughts 

To conclude, the high-performance trading platform from Kraken makes it possible for individuals and institutions alike to safely and securely purchase, sell, and trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other major digital currencies.

As a FINTRAC licensed and registered Money Services Businesses (MSB) with FinCEN platform offers competitive pricing, liquidity, and institutional-grade custodianship to customers who want to convert fiat money and cryptocurrencies. Whatever your experience level, Kraken’s products will satisfy your demands as an ordinary or an institutional investor.

Finally, the platform’s cost structure is clear and transparent, allowing traders to understand the setup without any difficulties so users can ultimately take advantage of the competitive prices in terms of spot, futures, deposit, and withdrawal fees, amongst others. Kraken is presently one of the most cost-effective cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Jordan Major
Author

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.