Kraken vs. Binance: What’s the Differece?

Updated on January 7, 2024

At a Glance

  • Binance and Kraken are popular cryptocurrency trading platforms.
  • Binance is the largest globally, while Kraken is the fourth largest.
  • Binance offers more coin options and is available in more U.S. states.
  • Kraken provides easier navigation and faster verification.

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.

Features

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.

Currencies

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.

Security

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.

Fees

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%.

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Conclusion

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does Kraken compare to Binance?

Kraken and Binance are both popular cryptocurrency exchanges, but they have some key differences. Kraken offers a wider range of cryptocurrencies and has more advanced trading features, while Binance has a larger user base and offers lower trading fees.

Which exchange is better for beginners?

For beginners, Binance is often considered more user-friendly. It has a simple interface and offers a wide variety of educational resources to help users get started with cryptocurrency trading.

Can I use both Kraken and Binance?

Yes, you can use both Kraken and Binance. Many cryptocurrency traders have accounts on multiple exchanges to take advantage of different features and trading options.

What are the fees on Kraken and Binance?

Kraken and Binance have different fee structures. Kraken’s fees vary depending on the trading volume and the type of order, while Binance has a standard fee structure that decreases based on the user’s trading volume.

Are Kraken and Binance secure?

Both Kraken and Binance prioritize security and have implemented various measures to protect users’ funds. They use advanced encryption, offer two-factor authentication, and store the majority of user funds in offline cold wallets.

How long does it take to withdraw funds from Kraken and Binance?

The withdrawal times on Kraken and Binance can vary depending on several factors, including the cryptocurrency being withdrawn and network congestion. Generally, withdrawals are processed within a few minutes to a few hours.

Is Kraken or Binance better for trading altcoins?

Kraken has a wider selection of altcoins available for trading compared to Binance. If you are specifically interested in trading altcoins, Kraken may offer a more extensive range of options.

Does Kraken or Binance have better customer support?

Both Kraken and Binance provide customer support, but the quality and responsiveness may vary. Kraken offers 24/7 live chat support, while Binance has a support ticket system and a knowledge base for self-help.

Can I buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currency on Kraken and Binance?

Both Kraken and Binance allow users to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currency, such as USD or EUR. However, the availability of fiat trading pairs may vary depending on your location.

Are there any deposit limits on Kraken and Binance?

Kraken and Binance have deposit limits that depend on the user’s verification level. Higher verification levels usually come with higher deposit limits. It’s important to check the specific limits on each platform.

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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.

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