Kraken Australia Review: Should You Use It For Withdrawals?Last Updated on December 24, 2023 by Kevin Groves
Kraken is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, offering Australians an easy way to buy, sell and swap cryptocurrencies. The platform has a sleek user interface, a solid list of supported digital currencies, and enough features to suit inexperienced and advanced investors. This review will jump into the Kraken exchange for Australians to determine if the platform’s fees, features, and customer support can suit all of your crypto investment needs.
1.5% (instant), 0.16% (maker) & 0.25% (taker)
Number of cryptos:
Bank transfer (OSKO), wire transfer, PayID
Australia (and most other international countries)
Affiliate Disclaimer: We are reader supported and may earn a commission when clicking through the product links. This helps us grow the content and support the website. Read our disclosure for more information.
Here is a quick summary of Kraken Australia.
|Australia (and most other international countries)
|Fiat currencies supported
|AUD, USD, EUR, AED, CAD, GBP, CHF and JPY
|Instant bank transfer (OSKO), Wire transfer, PayID
|BTC, ETH, USDT, USDC, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE + 100 more
|1.5% for Instant Buys, 0.9% for stablecoins, 0.16% (maker) and 0.26% (taker)
|None (except for international withdrawals, which incur a $35 AUD fee)
|Yes (iOS and Android)
The Bottom Line
Kraken is one of the better crypto exchanges for Australians to build their crypto portfolios. It’s very easy to use but has enough advanced trading options to suit a broad demographic of investors. When using Kraken, I found the platform doesn’t necessarily excel at one particular thing. Its fees and supported coins are middle-of-the-road, and it doesn’t have a whole heap of features attached. However, if you want a reputable, well-trusted exchange with an excellent security track record, Kraken is a fine choice.
What we liked:
- Navigating the Kraken platform is easy.
- Has two modern mobile apps – one for beginners and one for experts.
- A solid earn hub for passive income.
- Outstanding TradingView charting.
What we didn’t like:
- Australians have limited access to cryptocurrencies.
- No NFT marketplace (although one is in the works).
- Fees for “Instant Buys” are relatively high.
What is Kraken Australia?
Kraken is one of the oldest crypto exchanges around, having been founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell. The Kraken platform for buying and selling digital assets was released in 2013 and has developed substantially since then. It is one of the most traded crypto exchanges based on daily trading volume, regularly sitting inside the top five, according to CoinMarketCap. The Kraken team is headquartered in San Francisco, although they also have offices in Italy, Japan and Great Britain.
The Kraken exchange offers over 100 cryptocurrencies for Australians to buy, sell and trade. Beginners can easily start investing in digital currencies through the simple “Instant Buy” interface. At the same time, experienced traders can place advanced orders such as Stop loss and Take profit. Kraken has also released a sister platform, Kraken Pro, which is currently in Beta. This version of Kraken is intended for adept traders.
Additionally, Kraken supports staking on 16 different digital currencies, with very competitive annual rewards. You can also use the company’s multi-token wallet to store your assets securely. Though features beyond this are lacking for Australians, Kraken has made its mark on the crypto industry by being an ultra-reliable, secure and professional exchange.
Pros & Cons
Here’s What We Think of Kraken’s Features
Advanced order option will suit traders
Experienced traders will often use advanced order options to complement their investment strategy. Utilising tools like stop loss, take profit and limit orders are all great ways for traders to mitigate some of the risks of trading cryptocurrencies. This way, you can set a “trigger price” that automatically executes a trade when a digital currency hits a particular value. Using these options on the Kraken exchange is a simple process. However, if you’re completely new to trading crypto, it’s recommended to stick to spot market or Instant Buy orders.
Australians can also use leverage when buying cryptocurrency on Kraken, however, no AUD trading pairs are offered. This means you will have to use a supported currency – such as USD or BTC – as collateral. Kraken also supports derivatives in some regions, however, it is not yet available for Australians. If you want to try leverage trading, find out where to margin trade crypto in Australia.
Staking is nice but limited
Kraken has a solid earning hub where you can stake 16 different cryptocurrencies in exchange for passive income. Kraken is unique in that its earning program consists entirely of staking crypto on-chain (although some countries other than Australia can stake off-chain too). This means that you can only earn on Proof-of-Stake digital currencies. Therefore, you cannot passively profit from major coins like Bitcoin and Binance Coin. Other platforms we have reviewed like Binance and Swyftx offer a lending protocol, which lets you earn on a much broader range of popular cryptocurrencies.
However, Kraken makes up for the earning hub’s lack of depth through its ease of use. You can stake tokens you buy on the platform with just a few clicks and receive very competitive reward rates. At the time of writing, over a third of the coins available yield 10%+ annually. In addition, there are no lock-up periods so you can unstake your assets at any time without penalty. To compare Kraken with our list of the top crypto staking platforms, read this article next.
Multi-coin wallet if you don’t have a hardware wallet
Kraken makes it clear that they are an exchange service and does not provide a personal wallet for storing cryptocurrency. That said, digital currencies purchased on the platform can be kept in Kraken’s corporate wallet for “safekeeping” while being staked or traded. Kraken holds its crypto in a mesh of hot and cold storage to ensure convenience while maximising security. You can find all of your held cryptocurrencies via the “Funding” page on the platform.
So, while investors can keep their coins on the Kraken platform indefinitely, it’s recommended they research the best crypto wallets in Australia for a longer-term storage solution.
Referral program to invite your friends
Kraken supports an affiliate program for high-profile investors, influencers and community members who bring new users to the exchange. The affiliate will receive 20% of all trading fees collected from referees. Those using an affiliate code can obtain a similar discount on their costs. Kraken has an additional referral program, this time aimed at everyday users. You can only access it via the Kraken smartphone app. Every time you refer someone new to the app, you will receive $10 in BTC – up to 10 people (or $100 in BTC).
Kraken also has a Bug Bounty rewards program for experienced coders. Anybody who is able to identify and report a bug or security issue in the Kraken software, coding, website, or mobile app will receive BTC as a payout.
Intuitive mobile app (but confusing to use)
Kraken has two separate mobile applications – Kraken, and Kraken Pro.
The base Kraken app is ideal for beginners that want to add to their cryptocurrency portfolios on the go. The application is available on both Android and iOS devices. It offers a streamlined, clean way for quickly buying and selling most major digital currencies. Users can also use it as a portfolio tracker for keeping up-to-date with the performance of their investments. Most of the advanced features from the Kraken website are left off the base mobile app. The app has over 2 million downloads and an average star rating of 4.5 across the Apple and Google Play stores.
Kraken Pro App
Kraken’s second mobile app, Kraken Pro, is geared toward experienced traders wanting to bring the exchange’s full suite of features to their portable devices. Kraken Pro supports advanced order types like SL and TP and margin trading for certain users. You can read more about the best margin trading exchanges for Australians in this article.
Kraken Pro’s trading interface is a little complex for beginners but ideal for those wanting charting features, liquidity and order book information. It is one of the top crypto trading apps on the Australian market.
Good selection of cryptos to buy and sell with AUD
Kraken is middle-of-the-range when it comes to its list of supported digital currencies. Most prominent coins are available on the platform to buy with AUD are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Cardano (ADA) and Solana (SOL). Kraken also supports a variety of stablecoins, including the “big two” Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). There are also quite a few niche tokens that experienced crypto investors can buy, such as Robonomics (XRT), Saber (SBR) and Mango (MNGO).
US users can access over 200 coins, while Australians miss out on about 100 of these. For example, Aussies cannot buy prominent Binance coins such as BNB and BUSD, or certain privacy coins like Monero and Verge. If you want the broadest range of tokens available, it’s worth considering alternative Australian exchanges like Swyftx or CoinSpot (320+ digital currencies), or even Binance Australia (600+).
What Are The Fees For Australians?
AUD deposit fees
Kraken supports two AUD deposit methods – bank transfer and wire transfer. Bank transfers can be done via PayID or Osko, which are near-instant and free. Alternatively, a wire transfer can take up to a few days but is also free.
Kraken also supports linking a credit/debit card to your account to instantly buy crypto with AUD without making a deposit. The convenience of using a card may be an advantage for some investors. However, the fees for buying crypto with one are a whopping 3.75%. This is a high rate and can quickly wipe out potential profit margins. It’s worth noting you can not deposit AUD or fund your account using a card. You can only use it to buy digital currencies immediately, like you would when buying a product from an online shop.
Only having two deposit methods for AUD isn’t top-of-the-line compared to other Australian exchanges, which may offer cash deposits or alternative bank transfers. However, instant and free bank transfers should be adequate for most investors.
The deposit limits will vary depending on your verification level. The first level allows deposits of up to $9,000 USD every 24 hours, the second, $100,000 and the third over $10 million. Limits can be increased via special request.
Depositing crypto is usually free, but a minimum deposit varies from coin to coin.
Kraken’s trading fees are fairly competitive, albeit slightly higher, compared to most Australian exchanges. Instant Buys – the simplest way for beginners to accumulate cryptocurrency on the platform – have a flat fee of 1.5% per transaction. By comparison, Swyftx only charges 0.6% and CoinSpot charges a 1% fee. However, buying stablecoins with a fiat currency like USD/AUD or another stablecoin only incurs a 0.9% fee.
Kraken makes up for its high instant trading fees by having rather inexpensive market fees. Experienced traders using Kraken Pro or the advanced trading interface will find base fees of 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers. This is comparable to most other trading-centric exchanges like FTX. You can reduce the fee further – if you’re a high-volume trader – down to 0% maker and 0.1% taker fees.
AUD withdrawal fees
Aussie investors can link an Australian bank account to their Kraken profile to easily withdraw AUD. There are no fees for withdrawing AUD via bank transfer. However, withdrawing to an international bank account using SWIFT will incur a $35 AUD fee. Withdrawal limits for AUD and other fiat currencies are the same as deposits and depend on your Kraken account tier.
Withdrawing crypto from Kraken to a third-party wallet will incur a variable fee. This fee depends on the specific digital currency transferred, its current network conditions, and gas price. The withdrawal limit for cryptocurrencies follows the same structure as fiat, however, the values are slightly different.
How To Get Started with Kraken?
Kraken has positioned itself as an intermediate exchange – suitable for both beginners and those with more industry experience. Because of this, signing up on Kraken is a simple process. New users can select “Create account” or “Buy crypto with $10” to initiate the sign-up process.
Kraken accounts are unique compared to many other exchanges, which often allow you to sign up with a Google/Apple account, or just an email or password. While you are still required to submit an email, Kraken users must also create a username to sign in with.
As an AUSTRAC-registered exchange, Kraken requires all new users to pass Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocols before depositing AUD and trading crypto. Kraken has multiple tiers of verification that you can pass, affecting your deposit and withdrawal limits. Most small-time traders will only need to pass Level 2, while higher-capital investors will likely need to pass Level 3.
Starter (Level 1) accounts only need to provide basic personal info to begin transferring cryptocurrency. However, these accounts cannot use bank transfers or fiat currencies. Intermediate (Level 2) accounts require a form of government-issued ID, such as an Australian Driver’s License. This process is automated and usually only takes a couple of minutes. Finally, Pro (Level 3) accounts must submit financial info, which will take a few days to process.
This Is What Trading On Kraken Is Like
Australians with minimal crypto trading experience will find the Instant Buy process a breeze. Buying crypto from here is incredibly simple. All you need to do is navigate to the “Buy Crypto” page, input the digital currency you wish to buy and specify the investment amount. You can link a credit/debit card to complete the transaction immediately, or deposit AUD beforehand through the “Funding” page on the platform.
This process of buying cryptocurrency is perfect for beginners, but if you have a little more experience, you should likely use Kraken’s more comprehensive trading platform. This will help avoid the relatively high “Instant Buy” fees and give you more options for customising your order.
Kraken’s “simple” trading hub isn’t much harder to use than the “Instant Buy” page and follows the same process. You simply choose the crypto asset you want to buy, input the amount of AUD (or other currency) to part with, and complete the transaction.
However, using this method can be a bit messy for Australians due to the lack of AUD trading pairs. You can only buy Bitcoin with AUD using the simple interface. If you switch to the Advanced view, there are a few more AUD pairs, but it is still rather limited.
Say you wanted to trade for a niche cryptocurrency, such as Mango. This particular asset only has USD/EUR trading pairs, which will incur currency conversion fees if you use AUD. So, a cost-effective strategy might be purchasing a stablecoin like USDT with your AUD, then converting it to MANGO (or another desired cryptocurrency) via the Kraken homepage.
Kraken’s advanced trading hub is pretty comprehensive and will suit most advanced traders, however, it is still a step behind other “trading-first” exchanges like ByBit, Binance Pro and FTX. So, Kraken decided to match their competitors by releasing a beta of Kraken Pro, which has all the bells and whistles one might expect of a modern trading platform. You can access customisable charts, view market depth and liquidity, as well as set advanced orders like SL and TPs.
Customer Service Met Our Expectations
Kraken is one of the more reputable exchanges on the market, and it maintains this reputation through a responsive and helpful customer support team. The platform has a thorough Help Centre, with informative guides that walk new users through the most common issues and questions.
If the Help Centre isn’t enough to sort out your problem, Kraken is one of the few exchanges to offer 24/7 live support through chat. A chatbot runs the live chat, but you can easily access a human “support specialist” if you’re willing to wait 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, Kraken also offers 24/7 phone support, however, the support offices are located outside Australia and may not be suitable to answer Australian-specific inquiries.
Finally, for less pressing matters, you can submit a ticket request via email/contact form, which customer support will usually answer within 24 hours. Overall, we were quite impressed with the range of support options available on Kraken. Their team is very professional and helpful when answering questions of any type.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Kraken be trusted?
Yes, Kraken is one of the most well-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges available to Australians. Kraken has been around for over a decade, and in that time has garnered a reputation for being secure, having top-of-the-line customer support and never experiencing a server hack.
Which country owns Kraken?
Kraken hails from the United States, with office headquarters located in San Francisco. Although Kraken have offices all around the world, they are yet to expand their in-person operations to Australia.
Has Kraken ever been hacked?
No, in its decade-spanning operation, the Kraken servers have never encountered a significant hack. Although individual accounts may have been compromised, money or digital currencies have never been stolen directly from Kraken’s holdings. This is a noteworthy achievement for the exchange, as many other platforms with excellent security measures (like Binance) have still suffered some form of hacking event.
Does Kraken have a wallet?
Kraken does not have a dedicated multi-token wallet like some other exchanges. The management team stresses that Kraken is an exchange first and foremost, not a wallet. However, assets purchased on the Kraken platform can be stored indefinitely in the businesses’ corporate wallets for safekeeping.
Is Kraken allowed in Australia?
Yes, Kraken offers its digital currency trading services in Australia. However, restrictions apply where futures trading and off-chain staking services are not available. The AUSTRAC-registered cryptocurrency exchange allows Australians to deposit Australian Dollars via bank transfers and PayID, buy over 100 crypto assets, and access on-chain staking features.
Kraken is easily one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges by various metrics – trading volume and active user base. It has attained positive media attention and business success through a strong security history, accessible customer support and a decent UI. It is relatively beginner-friendly, and the fact that it accepts debit/credit cards makes building a digital currency portfolio incredibly easy.
However, we found that Kraken sits middle-of-the-road in some metrics compared to alternative exchanges for Australians. The fees for “Instant Buys” are nearly triple that of Australian-based platforms like Swyftx and Digital Surge that we have assessed. The supported list of cryptocurrencies is solid, but pales in comparison to exchanges such as Binance and CoinSpot. The staking hub is comparable to most Australian offerings, and the web design isn’t as straightforward as some others.
Kraken makes up a lot of this ground through its trustworthiness. It is regarded as one of the safest crypto exchanges in the world, experiencing very few attacks and security issues. While Kraken lacks certain elements, Australians who want a sense of security when buying crypto will feel at home on the platform. Additionally, Kraken Pro – although still under development – is set to bring the exchange up to speed with most modern trading platforms.
Ben has a Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT. He is passionate about crypto and has written about crypto topics for various publications.