Coinbase vs Kraken

Coinbase and Kraken are cryptocurrency trading platforms that provides access to a wide range of features. 

At a Glance

Looking at a comparison between Coinbase vs Kraken, it is not difficult to see they have similar features. However, there are also features that set them apart. They are both popular, well-known, and trusted. 

Of the two options, Kraken is the better one because it is a better value when it comes to cost. Coinbase has higher fees but has a simple platform for users. Kraken has a large user base, which is close to four million traders. 

How the Best Choice Was Determined 

We reviewed the Coinbase vs Kraken platforms to understand all of the available features, fees, and limitations. It is essential to use actual data and facts to make determinations about the best overall option for traders. We know it takes time to compare and understand the different features fully. Therefore, we spend all the time needed to review the options completely. This allows us to verify the accuracy of our information. In addition, this provides us with a deep understanding of the differences between the features and functionality found at Coinbase vs Kraken.

We do this in many ways. One of those is to gather feedback from users, traders, and investors. First, there is significant value in the feedback from users when making sound decisions about the best option. Second, we know it is critical to verify all the claims and their validity before we use them for comparison purposes. Third, we dig deep into all the features to understand each platform’s options. Finally, we make sure we have updated information about pricing and services. 

Keep Reading

We have outlined the ease of use, strengths, and weaknesses of Coinbase vs Kraken to help you determine which is the best option for you. 


Coinbase Overview

Coinbase is the best option for a first-time investor that does not know much about trading or investing. A trader has access to over 150 currencies. Coinbase has numerous features to help educate beginning traders to learn about the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is easy to use, especially when trading one cryptocurrency for another or buying cryptocurrencies. 

You should expect to be charged a high convenience fee when you make trades. At the high end, the fees are as high as a .50% spread per trade. The fees charged for purchases have based on a variety of variables. These include the purchase type, credit card, Coinbase wallet, or bank account. In addition, there is a maximum trading amount for each day. 


  • Transactions can be made with PayPal
  • Educational resource use can earn crypto
  • The interface is user-friendly


  • High fees; more than other platforms
  • Less altcoins available for trade
  • Less discounts available

Kraken Overview 

Kraken is an exchange platform based in San Francisco and has been in business since 2011. The platform did not go live until 2013. The platform itself is almost as old as Bitcoin. This allows Kraken to be one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms available in the United States. 

Kraken has advanced tools for trading and superior security options along with a variety of possible currencies to trade. In addition, you have the ability to earn some rewards while using the Kraken platform.


  • Some of the highest security of any platform
  • The exchange has been well tested
  • A mobile app is available 
  • Superior customer service
  • Tokens can be used for trading purposes


  • Restricted access for some states in the U.S.
  • Credit cards or debit cards cannot be used for trades
  • Accounts have a five-day verification process

Comparison of Features 

Available Cryptocurrency

When it comes to the cryptocurrency that is available on the platforms, Coinbase has more to offer, but not by much. Coinable is continuing to add more options, but it does not seem Kraken is. Coinbase has over 100 tradable cryptocurrencies. Kraken offers a wide variety of coins, about 69, which includes three stable coins. These coins include USD Coin (USDC), DAI (DAI), and Tether (USDT). Coinable offers USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT). 

Kraken accepts seven fiat currencies. These currencies include USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, and JPY. It is important to note that U.S. investors are limited to 52 coins. You will find some of the same cryptocurrencies on both platforms. Some of those cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Cardano (ADA), Ethereum (ETH), and Solana (SOL).


As a trader, one of the major considerations that makes a huge difference in which platform is the best for you, especially Coinbase vs Kraken, is the fees that they charge. The fee structure that each platform charges can make a large impact on a trader, especially a beginner. These fees impact your bottom line because the fees will come directly from your cash flow. Just about every trader is looking for fees to be as low as possible. 

Coinbase has additional fees anytime you make purchases with your credit card. They also have maker-taker fees. Maker-taker fees can range from 0.00% to 0.40% for maker fees. Their taker fees range from 0.05 to 0.60%. It is not easy to find this information about Coinbase because they are not the most transparent about their crypto trading fees. You will not find out about the fees until you place your order because that is when they are calculated. They are not published like other platforms are likely to do. 

Coinbase also has withdrawal fees that are only disclosed as you move through the transaction. You are able to move money to your Coinbase wallet for free. There are fees when you move your crypto to a different external wallet. 

Kraken also has a maker-taker fee structure. However, they do offer lower fees than most of the other popular platforms. Even though both platforms have maker-taker fees, Kraken’s fees are lower. Kraken’s fees range from 0% to 0.26%. For someone that is new to trading with a low volume, the maker fee is about 0.16%, and the taker fee is roughly 0.26% on Kraken. You can easily find and read the fee schedule on Kraken’s app. For your awareness, the fees associated with Kraken Pro might be different than what we have listed. It is a good idea to check the fee schedule directly on Kraken’s website. 

Kraken charges $4 to $35 for using a bank account for payment. If you use a debit card, you will incur a fee percentage of about 3.75%. Kraken charges 0.09% to 0.015% for crypto conversion. 

If fees are most important to you, then Kraken is the winner in this category because of its lower fees.

Safety and Security

A key feature that is necessary to consider in determining which platform is more secure. Coinbase vs Kraken both offers the best in superior security to protect the user and the platform. They both have the strictest standards to meet when operating within the U.S. This includes the know your customer rule. Both of these platforms are trusted and well known. 

Both of these platforms offered multi-layer security features. These features include security keys. It would be best if you keyed in a security key to authenticate your login. This generates a one-time code for you. You are able to have more than one key to store in safe places. In addition, both of these platforms offer what they call pretty good privacy. This walks traders through creating encryption for all online communication with the platforms. This ensures that all the correspondences are kept secure and private.

When traders make transfers and withdrawals, they have two-factor authentication. This can be used in addition to authenticator applications. You can receive communication this way instead of via emails or texts. Both of these platforms store their assets in cold storage. Coinbase has insurance that covers funds in both hot and cold storage. Kraken, on the other hand, stores about 95% of its assets in air-gapped cold storage that is guarded. It uses strict surveillance throughout the platform and has multiple checkpoints during the signup process. When it comes to security and safety, both of these platforms are evenly matched.

User Interface

The user interface for both platforms ranks high among users because they are both reliable and simple to learn. In addition, they can be used on both mobile devices and computers. Both interface options are available in well over 100 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Singapore, and 39 European countries. However, residents of Hawaii cannot use Coinbase, and New York residents may also face restrictions. In addition, there are several states that cannot use Kraken. They are Vermont, Texas, New York, Connecticut, Idaho, Hawaii, and Louisiana.

Both Kraken and Coinbase use Know Your Customer (KYC) to provide additional security. These standards have been designed to ensure traders are secure when they access, buy, or trade cryptocurrency. Part of the rules of KYC includes verifying customers, knowing their risk profiles, and their financial profiles. 

Kraken provides strict security, which is great for traders interested in investing large amounts of money. However, the precautions that are in place can be difficult for the trader that wants to get started fast. 

Coinbase has a fast process for the startup, and the funding and trading options are easy to initiate, which is ideal for beginning traders. However, they need a simple phone number verification to get started for as much as $9,000 in assets. In addition, they do need additional verification processes for higher limits and levels. 

Coinbase vs Kraken: The Winner

Best Overall

Kraken is the best of the two platforms overall because of the fees. The fee schedule is among the most important features for all user types. Kraken has slightly lower fees that can range anywhere between 0% and 0.26%. The fees for Coinbase can range from anywhere between 0% to 0.5%. Even with this slight difference in fees, both platforms have competitive fee structures. These fee structures are ideal for rewarding traders who have a higher trading volume per month. One item that makes Coinbase slightly more difficult is that their fees are not published. Therefore, it is challenging to know their fees before you make a purchase. 

Best Choice Based on Ease of Use

When you are looking for a platform that is easy to use, Coinbase is the best option for you. Most people that are interested in an easy-to-use platform are beginning traders that have not used these applications prior. However, it is possible that even the most experienced trader also wants an easy-to-use platform. Additionally, some traders may be more interested in ease of use over a lower cost. Some of the other easy-to-use features found in Coinbase include the use of PayPal and debit cards for funding. Coinbase also has hot wallet features along with other easy-to-use features. 

After you have read all of the information about Kraken and Coinbase, now you are ready to get started. The good news is that Kraken is easy to get started. It will only take a few minutes to create your account. The first step you should take is to go to the Kraken website or mobile app in order to create your account. Next, you will have to read the service and privacy agreement terms. After creating an account, you should ensure you secure the account, email, and devices to ensure you and your account are as safe as possible. The next thing that happens is that Kraken verifies you, and then you can fund your account. Once you do that, you are ready to begin trading.

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