Ether Investing: Our Kraken Experience

19 November, 2017 – Update
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We are generally very pleased with the Kraken service but in recent times they have been experiencing the following issues:

  1. Like many of you, we have received multiple ‘Error 502s’
  2. Orders often get rejected and need to be resubmitted multiple times prior to a successful transaction
  3. Kraken limited their currency trading pairs which increases the costs to end users
  4. Kraken limited the Intermediate and disabled the Advanced functionality of their trading platform which again can increase the cost to the consumer

We have provided Kraken with our review including the recent challenges we are experiencing as end users. As soon as we hear back we will share the feedback with you..

In the meanwhile, please review our original article below and share your experience with Kraken or the other providers in the comments section below.

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December 4, 2016 – Original Article

As mentioned in our previous article, investing in Ether is worth getting right upfront. Kraken was not the first platform we experimented with but after some further investigation, we decided to settle with Kraken and haven’t looked back since.

For us, the registration process was easy. We got access to the platform within minutes. The first step was to provide our preferred email address and create a username and password. Kraken then sent us an activation code and we were done.

The second step was to get verified. Given that we were new to cryptocurrency and didn’t already hold some form of it, we needed to be verified to at least Tier 2. This allowed us to deposit and withdraw up to 2,000 USD. The requirements were pretty basic. Each of us provided our full name, date of birth, country of residence, phone number and address. The form is online and there was no physical documentation required.

We wanted to increase our daily deposit and withdrawal limits to 25,000 USD so we got verified to Tier 3. We provided scans of our government-issued IDs and proofs of address issued within the past three months. There is an option to increase these limits to 100,000 USD but we did not need to at this stage.

Kraken sent an email within 2-3 days notifying us that they successfully verified our accounts. We were immediately able to fund our accounts after this. For new investors, Kraken gives you the option to deposit in 5 major currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, CAD and JPY. Note that Kraken only supports bank transfers and does not support card payments. This was not an issue for us as we knew that other providers that offered card payments charged an additional fee.

As mentioned in the previous article, we suggest that you deposit a small amount initially to test the waters and ensure you are comfortable with the associated fees from both your personal banking provider as well as Kraken’s. Different members of Empty Bucket tried depositing in EUR and GBP. From our experience, the deposit of the EUR took 3 days and the GBP deposit took between 5-10 days. Obviously, we followed up on the GBP deposit. The Kraken team responded within the hour for each of our questions and there was a clear indication from the team that they wanted to resolve the issue quickly. Subsequent transfers took much less time which suggested it was an outlier. We had no issue with the fees given how competitive they were.

Once we funded our accounts, we turned on two-factor authentication. This effectively meant that we needed two passwords to access the platform. Small effort for improved security and a reduction in the chance for our data to be compromised. Empty Bucket chose to activate two-factor authentication for only the account login though there are further options to set it up for placing/closing/canceling orders as well as for deposits and withdrawals to make it even more secure.

Given Kraken’s user-friendly platform, buying Ether was an easy process for us. We specified the amount of Ether we wanted to buy, checked the price against our nominated currencies, EUR and GBP, and then executed on the trade. Kraken also offered more detailed graphs for those of us who were more inclined towards technical analysis. A record of our transactions were available immediately, allowing us to verify that the trades were executed at the corresponding price and cost.

Given that Empty Bucket is invested for the long term, we haven’t closed our positions yet, but the procedure for selling would be similar to the method outlined above. Kraken also allows you to set limit orders in case you want the sale to be triggered at a certain price in the future.

In summary, having opened the account for more than a month now, all members of Empty Bucket have been very satisfied with Kraken’s level of service and security. The responsiveness of customer support and Kraken’s notifications on best practices for security make us comfortable in keeping our Ether on the platform. Kraken was the first to launch Ether trading in 2015 and has never looked back since. The number of people using the platform clearly demonstrates a working model and it has certainly worked for us.

If you liked this article, please consider donating even a fraction of an XLM!

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