Binance vs Kraken 2021 | Which Crypto Exchange you should Choose?

Today, the market offers various cryptocurrency trading exchange platforms, each of which has its unique features. Two of these exchange platforms are Binance and Kraken. Both of these platforms are extremely popular, well-rated, and successful cryptocurrency exchanges

In this, we will compare Binance vs Kraken, which will help you identify the best crypto exchange for you based on your trading requirements and style. 

Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange as of now and offers various services under one platform. It was developed by Changpeng Zao (aka CZ) in July 2017 and is headquartered in Malta. It provides the most affordable rates globally and is even one of the fastest cryptocurrency trading platforms. The trading engine is capable of processing up to 1.4 million transactions in one second. They have a vast user base of around 13.5 million users.

Kraken is one of the oldest and popular cryptocurrency exchanges. It was founded by Jesse Powell in July 2011 and is based in San Francisco, California. They have over 4 million users worldwide.

Summary (TL;DR)

  • Binance and Kraken are popular cryptocurrency exchanges founded in 2017 and 2011, respectively.
  • These exchanges offer various trading features such as spot, margin, futures trading, and staking.
  • They offer API, which helps you connect with third-party applications to place and manipulate trade orders.
  • Both exchanges are entirely secure and use various measures such as cold storage, anti-phishing, two-factor authentication, and more.
  • They offer easy-to-use interfaces.
  • Binance and Kraken support more than 150  and fifty cryptocurrencies, respectively.
  • They support multiple deposit and withdrawal methods. Specific payment methods in Kraken take time to complete.
  • Binance has lower trading fees compared to Kraken.
  • Binance offers extensive customer support, whereas Kraken’s customer support is limited.

Binance vs Kraken: Margin Trading

Margin Trading enables you to trade with borrowed funds by using your current balance as collateral. It is not recommended for beginners since it can exponentially increase the losses as well as the gains. If you decide to do margin trading, you should use risk mitigation tools and risk management strategies like stop-limit orders.

Binance Margin Trading

Binance Margin Trading allows you to borrow funds to perform leverage trading on digital assets. It offers two modes: Isolated Margin Mode and Cross Margin Mode

You can select Margin Short or Margin Long according to the market’s direction for short and long positions, respectively. A short position indicates that the asset’s price will decrease, while a long position indicates that the asset price will increase.

Your assets will act as collateral for the funds borrowed by you when a margin position is open.

Kraken Margin Trading

Kraken Margin Trading offers a variety of order types and two types of position options. It is affordable and delivers high margin limits and high liquidity. 

You can open short or long positions and close them by using the settling command or creating opposite positions. Kraken offers different leverage levels for various cryptocurrencies depending on the base and quoted cryptocurrencies. 

It is beneficial and allows you to enhance your profits and leverage your positions, enabling you to perform more active and complex trading strategies. It offers up to 5x leverage to eligible traders on a variety of cryptocurrencies, which means that your earning potential can be up to 5 times as compared to spot trading. Kraken allows you to manage your positions easily using advanced options like advanced API access. 

Binance vs Kraken: Futures Trading

Binance Futures Trading

Binance Futures platform allows you to go short or long with leverage to enhance profits and reduce risks. Binance Futures platform offers you the following options to trade:

  1. USDⓈ-M Futures: These contracts have clear pricing rules and allow you to trade with leverage up to 125x. They are settled either in BUSD or USDT. These contracts are not inverse and have no expiration. 
  1. Coin Futures: They may or may not have an expiration date and allow you to trade Perpetual and Quarterly COIN -M Futures with leverage up to 125x.
  1. Leveraged Tokens: You can trade these tokens on the spot market. These tokens are derivative products that offer you enhanced leverage without the risk of liquidation, maintaining a margin level, or having to put up any collateral. Binance Leveraged tokens do not allow you to trade with constant leverage; however, they retain a target leverage range between 1.25x-4x. Your position’s notional value determines the maximum amount of leverage available for you. A larger position generally offers lower leverage. Therefore, the leverage selected by you determines the initial margin deposits.
  1. Vanilla Options Contracts: Binance Futures platform allows you to buy or sell Vanilla Options, which are European-style Options. These Options allow you to sell or buy a commodity at a specific price from the start time until the Options are executed. Binance offers a separate Options account for every user, for which the trading and settlement currency is USDT. You are not bound to settle your positions even if you buy an Options contract.

If you are the buyer and you hold an Options to the expiration date, you can choose whether you want to exercise that right or not. However, if you are the seller, you have to match the Buyer.

There are two different types of Vanilla Options: Put Options and Call options.

Kraken Futures Trading

Kraken Futures allows you to trade derivatives on digital assets with up to 50x leverage. 

You can go long or short and benefit from price swings or protect yourself from financial losses. Kraken futures trading offers you agility and preparedness for the market and allows you to safeguard existing spot positions without adding additional cryptocurrency. 

You can visit here to know more about the products of the regulated futures provided by Kraken Futures. 

Binance vs Kraken: Staking

Binance offers locked and flexible staking options.

Flexible staking does not have any lock-in period, and you can trade or withdraw any time you want. Locked staking has lock-in periods of fifteen, thirty, sixty, or ninety days. You cannot withdraw or trade during this period.

Flexible Staking offers lower returns compared to locked staking. You can check the rates for all the supported assets here.

Kraken allows you to stake your cryptocurrency and fiat holdings and earn staking rewards. Depending on the asset you stake, you will receive weekly or bi-weekly rewards. 

There is no bonding or waiting periods except for Ethereum(ETH). You can un-stake your assets whenever you want. 

They provide both on-chain and off-chain staking.

Currently, Kraken offers on-chain staking for the following assets. 

CurrencyRewards per annum Minimum Staking/Un-staking amountReward Schedule
Tezos (XTZ)5.5%0.000001XTZMonday/Thursday (1:00 UTC)
Cosmos (ATOM)7%0.2ATOMSunday/Wednesday(1:00 UTC)
Polkadot (DOT)12%0.2DOTTuesday/Friday(1:00 UTC)
Kusama (KSM)12%0.2KSMWednesday/Saturday(1:00 UTC)
Ethereum (ETH)5% to 7%0.00000ETHSunday(1:30 UTC)
Kava (KAVA)9%0.2KAVASunday/Wednesday(2:00 UTC)
Flow (FLOW)4.6%0.2FLOWThursday(1:30 UTC)

Off-chain staking is allowed for Bitcoin(XBT), US Dollar(USD), and Euro (EUR).

CurrencyRewards per annum Minimum Staking/Un-staking amount
Bitcoin(XBT)0.25%0.0005XBT
US Dollar(USD)2%1USD
Euro (EUR)1.5%1EUR

Binance vs Kraken: API

Binance has a RESTful API to connect to the Binance servers via a third-party application using programming languages such as Python to manage your assets or trading. 

A Binance API is used in the third-party application, allowing you to view your data and assets and move, deposit, withdraw, or trade funds. You can use it to automate your trading. Binance API uses HTTP requests to receive and send data. There are various third-party libraries available for Binance API, out of which python-binance is the most popular one.

Kraken API allows you to integrate with the trading terminal and give us information about market data and private user data. It will enable you to place and manipulate order books. 

Binance vs Kraken: Additional Features

Binance is a one-stop shop for trading and offers various additional features.

  • Binance Peer to Peer offers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly with other users.
  • Binance Earn allows you to lend funds, deposit your funds to a DeFi service via Binance, or stake your Proof of Service coins to earn interest.
  • Binance Pool allows you to earn passive income.
  • The Binance Visa Card, a cryptocurrency card that makes your cryptocurrency payments experience seamless.
  • Binance crypto loans provide loans by using your digital assets as collateral.
  • Binance Liquid Swap provides extraordinary annual profits by offering liquidity to liquidity pools.

Cryptowatch

Kraken acquired Cryptowatch in 2019, which offers a premium trading terminal that provides real-time cryptocurrency market data, charting, and trading services for more than twenty-five exchanges. The data is fetched using APIs from more than 4000 markets. 

They offer both free and paid plans. You can build custom paid plans and pay for only what you use.  You can check the pricing here.

Some of the popular features are as follows –

  • Trade on multiple exchanges from one terminal
  • Analyze market trends using an advanced charting interface
  • Check trade history, orders, and positions
  • Chat with fellow traders using Trollbox
  • Recieve price, volume, order fill, and technical analysis alerts
  • Automate alerts and orders using Triggers and actions with Zapier

Kraken vs Binance: Security

While choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, comparing security is very important since a non-secure platform can cause you to lose all of your funds. While both of these exchanges offer high-security measures, below is a detailed comparison between the security services of Binance and Kraken.

Binance offers anti-phishing measures and allows you to set up anti-Phishing codes to enhance your account secure and protect your assets. It provides the following authentication measures for trading, withdrawals, and security modifications: e-mail address authentication, SMS authentication, and two-factor authentication (2FA).

KYC verification is required at the time you are setting up your account. It also offers measures such as YubiKey ( hardware device) and whitelist addresses.

Kraken is highly secure and reliable. It provides email confirmations for withdrawals and offers two-factor authentication (2FA (YubiKey and Google authentication). While 2FA prevents others from accessing your account, it can’t prevent your account from phishing or getting hacked. 

Kraken provides an extra layer of protection for your accounts, such as SIM swapping, customizable API key permissions, SSL encryption, and configurable account timeout. It allows you to keep 95% of your assets in cold storage devices, which means that those assets are available offline and entirely air-gapped. 

Additionally, it also offers personal identification, PGP email encryption, and a master account lock. 

Kraken vs Binance: User Experience

Binance has various user interface layouts; while some are simple and easy to use, others can be complex for beginners. The advanced Binance interfaces can give you a hard time becoming familiar with Binance and its technicalities, but the basic one is straightforward to use and start trading. 

It allows traders to be able to trade from anywhere. The website supports more than fifteen languages.

The Desktop application is available for Windows, macOS, Linux deb, and Linux rpm. The mobile application supports Android and iOS platforms and helps you manage your accounts on the go.

Binance Trading Terminal
Binance Trading Terminal

Kraken has a simple and easy-to-use interface. It is user-friendly, especially for beginners. According to your need and experience, you can choose among Kraken (basic), Kraken Pro, and Kraken Futures. 

The basic app for Kraken provides an easy-to-use trading terminal for beginners. Kraken Pro offers a broader range of features, and Kraken Futures offers futures trading. 

These apps are available for Android as well as iOS. A desktop version for the app is not available, but you can use it on a desktop via emulators.

Kraken Trading Terminal
Kraken Trading Terminal

Binance vs Kraken: Cryptocurrency Support

Binance supports many cryptocurrencies, which is one of the main reasons behind its astounding growth and success. It is compatible with more than 150 cryptocurrencies, which include Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, TomoChain (TOMO), ZCoin (XZC), BAT (Basic Attention Token), CyberMiles (CMT), and more.

Kraken supports over 50 cryptocurrencies. You can find the complete list of the supported cryptocurrency pairs that you can trade on Kraken here

Binance vs Kraken: Deposits and Withdrawals

Binance allows you to buy, sell, deposit, and withdraw cryptocurrencies. Additionally, it also supports FIAT. It supports the following payment methods:

  • Credit and Debit cards
  • External wallets
  • P2P trading
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash balance or fiat currency; it accepts 65 fiat currencies such as Canadian dollars (CAD), Indian Rupee (INR), Euros (EUR), US dollars (USD), etc. 
  • Third-party payments through organizations such as Banxa and Simplex.

Binance deposits and withdrawals are generally processed fast.

The withdrawal and deposit limits depend on the level of verification your Kraken account holds.

Kraken: Deposits and Withdrawals Limit
Kraken: Deposits and Withdrawals Limit

Additionally, Kraken allows you to deposit/withdraw using cash and credit/debit cards. 

Fiat currencies: You can buy crypto using fiat currencies such as Canadian dollars (CAD), Euros (EUR), British Pound (GBP), and US dollars (USD).

Cash: Deposits are allowed via cash only in CAD (in-person) 

Debit card: Deposits are allowed via cash only in CAD (in-person)

Kraken usually takes 1-5 days to process deposits and withdrawals.

Kraken vs Binance: Fees

Binance uses a maker-taker model. The rate depends on the trading volume in the last thirty days and BNB Balance.

Your trading volume over thirty days and BNB Balance will be updated every day at 0:00 am UTC. The  maker-taker fees and tier-level is updated at 2:00  UTC

Trading fees is deducted from your BNB balance by default with a 25% discount on your trading fee. You can avail of an additional 20% discount by referring your friends to Binance.

Binance Trading Fees
Binance Trading Fees

You can check the detailed guide for Binance and Binance US Fees here.

Kraken uses a maker-taker model where the rate depends on the last thirty days’ trading volume. The volume generated using instant buy is not included in your trading volume. 

Kraken Fees
Kraken Fees

You can check the fee schedule for Stablecoin and FX-pairs, margin, and futures here.

Kraken vs Binance: Customer Support

Binance has a very responsive customer support team that is ready to assist you whenever you need assistance. They offer a 24×7 live chat. You can connect with them on Twitter. 

They have an interactive Telegram community in Chinese and  English, along with a separate channel for announcements. You can also check their  Youtube channel for tutorials.

Kraken does not provide any email or phone number. The customer services are minimal.

You can connect with them on Twitter.

CategoryWinnerReason
Trading FeaturesBinanceBinance is a one-stop-shop for all the trading requirements and offers crypto loans, liquidity swap, peer-to-peer exchange and more.
User ExperienceSameThe trading terminals are easy to use
SecuritySameThe platforms are entirely secure.
Cryptocurrency SupportBinanceBinance supports more cryptocurrencies than Kraken
Trading FeesBinanceBinance offers lower trading fees
Customer SupportBinanceBinance provides 24/7 customer support through various channels.

Binance: Pros and Cons

 Pros

  1. Binance offers the most affordable rates.
  2. It is compatible with more than 150 cryptocurrencies.
  3. The exchange offers a user-friendly interface.
  4. It provides high liquidity because of the high trading volume.
  5. Binance provides a lot of tutorials for you to get familiar with the exchange. 
  6. It helps you access your account from anywhere since it is compatible with both desktop and mobile.
  7. The exchange allows you to trade using cryptocurrency as well as FIAT.

Cons

  1. The KYC verification is considered negative by the users who seek anonymity.
  2. Only Binance Futures has TestNet.

Kraken: Pros and Cons

Pros 

  1. Kraken supports more than 50 cryptocurrencies.
  2. It supports FIAT.
  3. Kraken allows you to trade over various exchanges through their Cryptowatch platform.

Cons

  1. Kraken provides limited customer support services.

Binance vs Kraken: Conclusion

Binance and Kraken are user-friendly and secure cryptocurrency exchanges. After comparing all the features, we see that Binance offers lower trading fees, more trading options, better cryptocurrency, and customer support. Though, if you don’t need the additional features, you can also go ahead with Kraken.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cryptowatch?

Kraken acquired Cryptowatch in 2019, which is a premium trading terminal that provides real-time cryptocurrency market data, charting, and trading services for more than twenty-five exchanges. The data is fetched using APIs from more than 4000 markets. You can build custom paid plans and pay for only what you use.

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