The Merkle

Cryptocurrency Exchange Review: Kraken

Finding reliable cryptocurrency exchanges is often a lot more difficult than people would like to think. That’s not because one can’t trust most companies, but mainly because few platforms provide uninterrupted experiences at all times. The Kraken exchange, while one of the oldest in the business, has suffered from major performance issues over the past year or two. It is still one of the better exchanges due to the number of markets it supports, though.

Mixed Feelings About Using Kraken

For all intents and purposes, the Kraken exchange has a very solid reputation in the world of cryptocurrency. It was one of the first major platforms to come to market, and the company has attracted its fair share of funding along the way. Its goal is to provide fiat currency gateways for as many “worthy” cryptocurrencies as humanly possible. Compared to other giants such as Coinbase, GDAX, Gemini, and Bitstamp, Kraken offers a lot more trading markets and fiat gateways for top cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, the company has never suffered from any major issues which set it or its users back. As is the case with any cryptocurrency exchange, its trading engine has had some very odd moments, resulting in people completing trades which should not have been possible under normal circumstances. Thankfully, virtually all of those incidents were minor, and they often got sorted out after a few days or weeks. Companies have to take responsibility in this regard.

One factor that is holding Kraken down, however, is that its infrastructure is absolutely horrible. Orders are placed after a few dozen tries, and it seems these issues are only growing worse over time. This doesn’t just affect any one particular market, as these issues plagued all trading pairs in 2016 and 2017. So far, there is no solution in sight, even though the company promised users that they would see improved services starting in December of 2017. Not much has changed, unfortunately, as the platform is still subpar more often than not.

It is evident that a lot of customers are not too happy with these problems either. Unfortunately, depending on which currencies one aims to trade, there are no options other than Kraken right now. It’s uncanny how so few exchanges list all of the top currencies that are in high demand and have built up solid reputations over the years. Until that situation changes, users will have to rely on Kraken or use a broker to buy or sell specific currencies. The latter option is not preferable, though, as brokers often suffer from liquidity issues when completing large purchases or sales.

Moreover, it seems Kraken has far less trading volume than it could or should have. This goes hand-in-hand with the degraded performance of this exchange, as these issues need to be addressed sooner rather than later. It is unclear when the company will make any progress on this front, even though a large portion of its user base is getting fed up with the subpar service. Verifying one’s account on Kraken is also a very tedious process, as it can take weeks to get a reply. This is pretty common across all major exchanges these days, though.

In the end, there are a lot of things to like and dislike about Kraken. It is evident that the service could be a lot better, yet it offers more fiat trading markets than most other exchanges do. If it could finally upgrade its infrastructure, the company could easily become one of the top three trading platforms once again. For now, users will have to take the good with the bad and exert a fair amount of patience when using this cryptocurrency exchange.