Kraken vs. Binance: What’s the Differece?

Updated on October 13, 2023
At a Glance: Binance and Kraken are popular cryptocurrency trading platforms. Binance is the largest globally, while Kraken is the fourth largest. Binance has more coin options and is available in more U.S. states, but Kraken offers easier navigation and faster verification. Kraken has better security measures and lower fees, while Binance had a major security breach in 2019. Both platforms cater to intermediate and advanced traders and offer advanced features.

When you are looking for a good crypto exchange platform, you want to make sure you choose one that suits your needs. There are many exchange platforms out there, but some of the most popular ones are Binance and Kraken. If you’ve discovered them during your searches, perhaps you are struggling to choose one of them as you don’t know what they have to offer. This article will reveal all the information you need to be able to choose between Kraken vs. Binance, so let’s get started!

Difference Between Kraken and Binance

Binance and Kraken are some of the most popular cryptocurrency trading exchange platforms in the world. They both have millions of users and are part of the top 10 largest trading exchanges based on trading volume in the entire world. Binance is number one, whereas Kraken is number four. But when it comes to people from the U.S., they have to use the U.S. platform from Binance, which is known as Binance U.S. and it is in the 9th place on the list.

Both platforms are known for the great features they offer. They come with mobile apps and have low fees while providing some excellent trading options. Also, both of them are made to please mainly intermediate or advanced traders. Still, they are different platforms, and they have distinct features that you should know before choosing between them.

What Is Kraken?

Kraken is a cryptocurrency bank and exchange that was founded in 2011. It allows people to trade fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies. However, the exchange was in development for two years, so it launched in September 2013. At first, it offered Litecoin, bitcoin, and euro trades, but later it started offering margin trading and extra currencies.

Kraken is owned by Payward Inc. and managed by Jesse Powell, the CEO, and co-founder. The exchange gained popularity over the years, particularly after 2014.

What Is Binance?

Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of daily crypto trading volumes. Despite being founded only in 2017, it gained a large community and lots of praise. It is registered in the Cayman Islands and was founded by Changpeng Zhao.

Despite being a China-based exchange at first, it had to change its headquarters once China’s government increased the cryptocurrency regulation. As a consequence, Binance’s headquarters are outside of China now.

Binance offers more than 500 virtual tokens and cryptocurrencies for trading, some of them being Ether, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Binance Coin.

What’s the Difference?

Kraken was established before Binance, even if Binance eventually took the lead. But there are some other differences too. For example, Kraken can be used by all U.S. residents except for those living in New York and Washington.

As for Binance, it can be used by people from 43 states. However, those who live in Idaho, Connecticut, Hawaii, Texas, Vermont, New York, or Louisiana cannot make use of it.

Furthermore, people from the U.S. cannot buy MKR, MATIC, ENJ, and ZRX on Kraken, but they can do this on Binance. On the other hand, Kraken’s exchange and website are way easier to navigate and make the search process much simpler.

Kraken also takes little time to do the account verification. It only takes minutes to access the account, unless you choose a Pro account that may take up to five days in total. On the other hand, Binance has a more advanced verification process. It can take up to 15 days, and sometimes even longer depending on the case.


Binance and Kraken are made for traders who have some trading knowledge and experience already. For this reason, they offer more advanced features, so investors can stake crypto, place market orders, and do other transactions as well. At the same time, Kraken supports certain transaction types that Binance does not, such as margin trading.

Unlike Binance, Kraken has a standalone platform, which is known as Cryptowatch. This terminal is a premium trading one that has more than 8,000 crypto markets available, as well as real-time charting and data.

Binance has two versions – one of them is the Binance site and the other is the Binance US site. There are a few differences between the two. For instance, on the U.S. website, people from the United States cannot find any information about the Binance Visa Card, see the Binance Academy or get a rewards center where they can earn crypto. It is only a website with a crypto exchange and FAQs. Still, both websites bring advanced charting options to the table.

Kraken, on the other hand, is an exchange based in the U.S., so investors from the U.S. and the rest of the world are using the same platform. For this reason, the platform is not as limited as Binance is.


Binance offers over 500 coins for international investors, as well as some stable coins such as Tether, DAI, and BVinance USD. 19 fiat currencies are also accepted, such as GBP, HKD, AUD, USD, and INR. But when it comes to U.S. residents, they only get USD fiat currency and 47 altcoins.

Kraken has 69 coins available, as well as 3 stablecoins – DAI, USD coin, and Tether. It has 7 fiat currencies, respectively EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, CAD, JPY, and CHD. People from the U.S. only get 52 coins.

Also, both platforms have 100 trading pairs and offer some of the most popular cryptos, like Cardano, Dogecoin, Monero, Ether, and many others. Kraken is the only one that also offers Polkadot to U.S. residents.


Kraken and Binance are different in the way they offer security. Binance does not offer any details about its security measures, and it only says that “Binance holds a small percentage of coins in its hot wallets”, while the rest of the money is in cold storage.

Still, Binance dealt with a very large security breach back in 2019, with more than $40,000,000 in Bitcoin being stolen. According to Bloomberg, Binance is also being investigated for illicit activity.

Meanwhile, Kraken takes security very seriously and added many measures. 95% of the deposits are held in cold storage, while the platform does regular testing. Moreover, Kraken has never been hacked, despite being around since 2013.

Both of them have two-factor authentication and many other security measures, but Kraken is more transparent and much safer.


Kraken comes with a more easy-to-understand fee schedule, as well as lower fees. Its maker-taker fees go from 0% to 0.26%. Meanwhile, Binance has more complex fees that vary by the VIP level. Their maker-taker fees also go from 0% to 0.10%.

In terms of bank account fees, Binance is free outside the U.S., while Kraken’s fees go from $4 to $35. Binance’s fees range from 3% to 4.5%, while Kraken’s range is 3.75% + €0.25. Purchases differ too, with Kraken having $5 purchase fees while Binance has fees from 0.02% to 0.10%.

Kraken vs. Binance FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about Kraken and Binance:

What Are Kraken and Binance?

Binance and Kraken are two of the largest crypto exchange platforms in the world. Investors can sell, buy and exchange tokens, stablecoins, and cryptos.

Are Kraken and Binance Trustworthy?

Both platforms are considered safe and trustworthy thanks to their security measures. However, Binance’s past is not the best, and it is also not as transparent regarding its safety. Back in 2019, it was also hacked, while Kraken has never been hacked.

How Do Kraken and Binance Work?

On Binance and Kraken, you must be verified before you can trade. Once you get the verification, you will be able to deposit money into your account and then start trading.

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Kraken and Binance are both amazing and come with plenty of offers and features – so, whichever you end up using depends on you. In the end, what matters is that you pick an exchange that suits your needs.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.