Our deep dive into Coinbase vs Kraken has revealed two top-notch crypto exchange platforms that have stood out because of their unique features. 

The choice of which platform to use for your crypto investments ultimately lies with you. You can make this decision depending on which site best suits your preferences and investment goals.

In this article, we’ll explore the intricate details of Coinbase and Kraken, assessing their fee structures, platform security, and additional features. 

By comparing these aspects, you can make informed decisions tailored to your unique trading preferences in the world of digital assets.

Key Takeaways

  • Coinbase, founded in 2012, shines with user-friendly interfaces, innovative features like Coinbase One, and transparent fee structures.
  • Kraken, established in 2011, stands out for its robust spot margin trading, institutional services, and a comprehensive suite of features, offering diverse options for users.
  • Both platforms prioritize security with Coinbase’s public status and advanced protections and Kraken’s emphasis on user empowerment through modern authentication and proactive security measures.

Coinbase vs Kraken: Overview 

Founded in20122011
HeadquartersSan FranciscoSan Fransisco
KYC MandatoryYesYes
Average quarterly trading volume$145 Billion$207 Billion
Number of crypto coins available240+240+
Mobile appAvailableAvailable

Coinbase vs Kraken: Products and Features

Coinbase products

Below are the products or features that make Coinbase stand out as one of the best destinations for crypto trading:

Trading platform

Coinbase offers you two additional exclusive trading platforms aside from the normal one, namely Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Advanced.

The normal Coinbase platform is the ideal training ground for new traders, however, you may incur higher fees than those on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Advanced.

Both Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Advanced have a fee structure of <=0.4% for makers and <=0.6% for takers. Traders on both platforms can execute Market, Limit, and Stop Limit orders, and they also offer mobile app support for trading on the go. 

In terms of rewards, Coinbase Advanced allows you to earn rewards for holding USDC or up to 6% APY on eligible crypto balances like staked ETH (Ethereum). On the other hand, Coinbase Pro does not support rewards for holding crypto balances.

When it comes to asset availability, Coinbase Advanced offers 550+ market pairs with equivalent liquidity, while Coinbase Pro provides 350+ market pairs. 

In terms of charts, Coinbase Advanced, as the name suggests, offers advanced trading features and tools powered by TradingView, a leading charting platform renowned for its comprehensive analysis capabilities and intuitive interface. Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, offers basic charts with limited indicators.

Both the Pro and Advanced platforms have added perks and you can choose the platform that best aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Coinbase One

Coinbase One

Coinbase One page

Coinbase One emerges as a subscription product designed to offer its members exclusive benefits, enhancing their overall trading and investment experience. 

Some of the perks that you’ll enjoy for subscribing to the Coinbase One Product include:

  • Zero trading fees on selected items
  • Advanced rewards on crypto staking
  • Customer support priority
  • Fileable pre-filled tax forms 
  • Opportunity to win exclusive prizes in the Coinbase sweepstakes, including a chance to secure $10,000 worth of BTC.

Coinbase cloud staking

Cloud Staking is a strong solution that provides top-notch staking infrastructure for various entities like custodians, crypto exchanges, fintechs, DApps, and wallets. 

It offers a wide range of support for over 15 protocols, ensuring a secure foundation for stakeholders in the digital asset industry.

By delegating to public validators through Coinbase Cloud, stakeholders can benefit from excellent staking services without the hassle of managing their own validators. 

The platform handles on-call responsibilities, protocol upgrades, and more, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free staking experience.

Integrated teams staking with Coinbase’s validators have the opportunity for revenue sharing once they meet specific thresholds. 

Coinbase Cloud works closely with these teams to create customized terms that are specifically designed to meet their individual requirements and development plans.

Partners utilizing Coinbase Cloud gain access to dedicated service teams, providing a white-glove experience. This includes consultations with protocol specialists across the 15+ supported protocols, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored approach to staking.

Coinbase Rosetta

Coinbase Rosetta is a set of tools and guidelines that make it easier to connect and work with different blockchains. Rosetta’s main goal is to simplify and speed up the process of integrating blockchains, providing a simpler way to connect compared to traditional methods.

Creating strong connections with blockchains is a complex and time-consuming task. It requires a deep understanding of each blockchain’s unique features and constant communication with its developers to ensure things like setting up nodes, recognizing deposits, and making transactions work smoothly. 

Mistakes in this process can lead to downtime or even the loss of funds. Additionally, ongoing adjustments and testing are needed whenever new software updates are released by blockchain teams.

Coinbase developed Rosetta as a tool to make integrating blockchains into its platform easier and more secure. They decided to share the entire project as open-source to simplify the development and integration efforts for both developers and cryptocurrency platforms.

Coinbase Learning Rewards

Coinbase Learning Rewards is a unique opportunity for you to enhance your cryptocurrency knowledge while earning crypto. The process is simple and rewarding and involves the following:

  • Watch Videos: At Coinbase, you’re free to explore audiovisual educational resources covering various cryptocurrencies. These videos are designed to provide valuable insights into the crypto world.
  • Complete a Quiz: After each tutorial, put your knowledge to the test with a straightforward quiz. It’s a quick and fun way to reinforce what you’ve learned.
  • Earn Crypto: Every successfully completed quiz earns you crypto directly into your Coinbase account. It’s a tangible reward for expanding your understanding of the crypto landscape.

Seize the opportunity today to earn crypto through learning. Act quickly, as learning rewards are limited, and the amounts offered for each quiz may vary.

Coinbase Learning

Coinbase Learning Rewards courses

Kraken features

Here are the features that put Kraken on the map:

Kraken spot margin trading

Spot margin trading on Kraken allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using funds that surpass your account balance. 

Unlike futures and derivatives trading, this method involves the actual buying or selling of underlying assets rather than financial contracts. 

For instance, with $5,000 USD in your account, leveraging margin could enable you to trade up to $10,000 USD worth of BTC/USD.

Here are some of the key features of Kraken’s spot margin trading:

  • Leverage up to 5x: Quickly and easily use margin to go long or short on a wide array of cryptocurrencies across over 100 markets.
  • Stable Rollover Fees: Enjoy stable fees on margin positions, allowing precise calculation and prediction of trading costs.
  • Pro Trading Interface: Manage your positions effortlessly with Kraken’s intuitive trading platform and advanced order options.
  • High Margin Limits: Eligible clients can access substantial margin allowances, providing flexibility for diverse trading strategies.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Explore over 100 margin-enabled markets, enabling you to trade on margin for a variety of crypto assets.

Kraken institutional OTC service

When it comes to executing large cryptocurrency orders seamlessly, Kraken Institutional introduces its premium Over-the-Counter (OTC) trading service. 

With over a decade of experience in crafting crypto-native solutions for enterprises, Kraken Institutional provides a tailored OTC experience with a range of features including deep liquidity, comprehensive listings, and settlement flexibility.

The Kraken OTC trading service offers you several added features including:

  • RFQ via OTC Portal: Experience automated OTC trading through our user-friendly Request for Quote (RFQ) platform. Receive executable quotes in seconds and settle trades instantly using existing funds in your account.
  • Trade via Chat: Engage securely with our trade desk through chat to confirm asset details, lot sizes, and trade prices. Benefit from personalized service from initial consultation to the final trade execution.
  • Full Suite of OTC Capabilities: Kraken OTC offers a complete suite of capabilities, including OTC spot trading for filling large spot pair orders over chat or RFQ. 
  • OTC Derivatives: Dive into OTC Derivatives, including options trading and structured products. This offering provides maximum flexibility, allowing you to tailor investments according to your specific objectives.

Kraken futures trading

Kraken futures offers a range of advantages to enhance your trading journey. One of the key advantages of Kraken futures is the ability to go long or short on over 95 perpetual futures. 

This means you can express your view on price changes by taking positions that align with your predictions. Whether you believe the price will rise or fall, you have the flexibility to take advantage of market movements.

Another advantage is the opportunity to trade with leverage. Leverage allows you to amplify your buying or selling power without the risk of your account balance going negative. This means you can potentially maximize your profits while managing your risk effectively.

At Kraken Futures, you have the freedom to choose how to profit. Regardless of the contract you trade, you can automatically convert any profits into a currency of your choice. This provides you with flexibility and convenience when it comes to managing your trading gains.

When it comes to fees, Kraken Futures offers one of the most competitive fee structures in the industry. With taker fees as low as 0.01%, you can enjoy cost-effective trading and keep more of your profits.

Kraken institutional

Kraken Institutional provides a comprehensive suite of tools meticulously crafted to meet the diverse needs of institutional traders. 

With a focus on trading, staking, custody, and more, Kraken Institutional delivers tailored solutions that unlock the full potential of institutional crypto endeavors.

Kraken institutional serves trading firms, intermediaries/partners, investment funds, asset managers, investment advisors, and many alike.

Kraken offers a full institutional-grade trading package that includes the following services:

  • Spot trading
  • Futures for Institutions
  • Custody and storage
  • CF Benchmarks (Kraken company that creates indices by utilizing a wide range of data sources)
  • Staking for institutions
Kraken Institutional

Kraken Institutional

Coinbase vs Kraken: Fees

Coinbase fees

Coinbase provides transparency regarding its fee structure for various services. Here’s an overview to help you understand the costs associated with different transactions:

  1. Cash and Hosted Cryptocurrency Balance Service:
    • Free of Charge: Coinbase offers a service to store cash and support cryptocurrencies at no cost.
    • No Transfer Fees: Transferring cryptocurrency between Coinbase users’ primary balances is free.
  2. Network Transaction Fees:
    • Incurred for Off-Platform Transactions: When sending cryptocurrency off the Coinbase platform, you may incur network transaction fees (such as miner’s fees).
    • Coinbase Fee: A fee is charged based on Coinbase’s estimate of prevailing network fees, with the final fee subject to potential variations.
  3. Efficiency Gains and Network Fees:
    • Batching Transactions: Efficiency gains from batching transactions may lead to aggregate estimated network fees exceeding the final fees paid by Coinbase.
  4. Adding Cash and Cashing Out:
    • Fee Depending on Payment Method: Charges may apply when adding cash or cashing out, contingent on the selected payment method.
    • Review Fees: It’s essential to review fee details before completing transactions to understand associated charges.
  5. Credit Transactions:
    • Borrowing USD: If users borrow USD from Coinbase or an affiliate and BTC collateral is sold, a flat fee of 2% of the total transaction is charged.
  6. Trading Fees and Spread:
    • Fees for Buying, Selling, or Converting: Coinbase charges fees for trading cryptocurrencies, influenced by factors like payment method, order size, market conditions, and jurisdiction.
    • Spread: A spread is included in quoted prices for simple buy and sell orders and when converting from one cryptocurrency to another.
    • Spread in Coinbase Advanced: No spread is included in Coinbase Advanced as users interact directly with the order book.
  7. Coinbase One:
    • Fee-Free Transactions: Coinbase One, a subscription product, offers fee-free buying and selling of cryptocurrencies with certain limitations. Members may have spread included in quoted prices.
  8. Changes to Fees and Spread:
    • Testing and Rolling Out: Coinbase occasionally tests changes to fees and spread, across different regions, assets, order sizes, and trade types.
    • Transparent Previews: Users can view the total amount, inclusive of spread and fees, before and after executing a trade.
  9. Trade Execution:
    • Central Limit Order Book: All trades from the Primary Balance are executed through Coinbase Exchange’s central limit order book or competitive auctions.
    • Real-time Order Book: Users can view a market’s order book, bid, ask, and depth in real time.

Kraken fees

The Kraken fee structure is outlined on their site to provide you with clarity on the costs associated with various services. Here’s an overview of Kraken’s fee considerations:

  1. Instant Buy/Sell Services:
    • Fee Components:
      • Displayed Fee: Charges for buying, selling, or converting assets include a displayed fee.
      • Spread: A spread is included in the price and may vary based on factors like market conditions, asset, order size, trade type, payment method, and participation in Kraken’s VIP program.
    • Payment Method Impact: Fees may differ based on the selected payment method, such as account balance, card, or ACH.
  2. Convert Small Balances Feature:
    • A 3% fee is applied when converting balances below the minimum order size using the “Convert small balances” feature.
  3. Kraken Pro Fee Structure:
    • Per-Trade Basis: Fees are charged for each trade conducted on Kraken Pro.
    • Calculation Method:
      • Percentage Basis: Fees are calculated as a percentage of the trade’s quote currency volume by default.
      • Currency Specification: For certain pairs, the fee calculation can be based on the trade’s base currency, with options to specify the Fee Currency.
    • User Fee Volume Levels:
      • Measurement Period: Fee volume levels are measured for trades occurring in the last 30 days.
      • Market Value Calculation: Levels are based on the equivalent market value of the listed “Fee Volume Currency” at the time of the trade, which may differ from the pair’s base or quote currency.
    • Discount Tiers:
      • Assessment Timing: Discounts are assessed after each trade, ensuring users receive discounts promptly.
      • Attainable Design: Volume-based discounts are designed to be attainable, offering rewards for traders of all sizes.
    • OTC Service Option: For users with significant volume but infrequent trading, Kraken recommends its OTC service for a more cost-effective and personalized experience.

To ensure the smooth processing of withdrawals, Kraken withdrawal fee structure implements a minimum requirement for each transaction. Additionally, a flat fee is charged to cover the associated costs of transferring cryptocurrency from your Kraken account.

Kraken Spot Crypto Fees

Kraken Pro Spot crypto fees

Coinbase vs Kraken: Security

Is Coinbase safe?

Coinbase has established itself as the premier platform, earning the trust of both individuals and businesses seeking a secure space for crypto transactions. 

Coinbase’s status as a public company, achieved in April 2021, brings about a high level of financial transparency. Quarterly financial statements and annual audits by independent third-party entities contribute to the platform’s credibility.

Respecting user privacy is a core principle for Coinbase. The platform collects only essential personal data to provide optimal protection and services. Transparency in data usage and sharing practices is a priority for Coinbase.

The technological infrastructure of Coinbase is fortified with state-of-the-art encryption and security measures. A dedicated security team also continuously works to counter emerging threats and ensure user and asset protection.

Coinbase provides a suite of powerful tools for account protection, including auto-enrolled two-factor authentication, robust password management utilizing irreversible hashing, and enhanced protections that monitor and secure login credentials.

Advanced account protections such as 2-step verification, password management, enhanced account protections, the ability to lock accounts, and the Coinbase Vault with optional security steps collectively contribute to an elevated level of security.

Is Kraken safe?

Kraken places a paramount emphasis on security, acknowledging that user vigilance is equally vital. The platform believes in empowering users to protect their accounts and crypto assets from potential threats.

You can fortify your account using various security tools provided by Kraken, including:

  • Robust Device and Session Management Tools: This allows you to have control and visibility over the devices accessing your accounts.
  • FIDO2-based Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This modern authentication method enhances protection against unauthorized access.
  • Global Settings Lock: This feature ensures that even in the event of unauthorized access, critical settings remain intact.
  • AI-Based Activity Analysis: This proactive approach helps identify and respond to potential security threats promptly.

Conclusion: Which one is better, Coinbase or Kraken?

In the dynamic landscape of cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Kraken emerge as leading platforms, each offering a unique set of features and services. 

Coinbase, as a publicly traded company, stands out for its financial transparency, robust security measures, and diverse range of products such as the Coinbase Rosetta and even the well-known Coinbase wallet, which can’t be adequately given the praise it deserves in this review. 

With an intuitive interface and a variety of trading platforms, including Coinbase One and Coinbase Advanced, users can choose the platform that aligns best with their specific needs.

On the other hand, Kraken boasts an extensive list of supported countries, a robust fee structure, lower trading fees in some cases, and advanced trading options and features like spot margin trading and institutional-grade services. 

Kraken’s commitment to security is evident through its array of tools, including FIDO2-based 2FA and global settings lock.

In conclusion, both Coinbase and Kraken provide robust platforms for cryptocurrency trading, and the choice between them depends on your individual preferences and specific needs. 

You are encouraged to explore the detailed information provided in this article to make well-informed decisions in your crypto endeavors.


Is Kraken available in the US?

Yes, Kraken is available in the United States. It provides cryptocurrency trading services to users across the country, allowing them to buy, sell, and manage various digital assets.

Where is Kraken based?

Kraken is based in the United States and its headquarters are located in San Francisco, California.

Is Kraken a good crypto exchange?

Yes, Kraken is considered a good cryptocurrency exchange, offering a range of features and services to meet diverse user needs.

Does Kraken require KYC?

Yes. Kraken requires users to complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification process. 

Does Coinbase require KYC?

Yes, Coinbase, like many other cryptocurrency exchanges, requires users to undergo Know Your Customer (KYC) verification.