• Binance Features: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Kraken Features: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Binance - Ease of Use: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Kraken - Ease of Use: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Binance Security: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Kraken Security: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Binance Fees: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Kraken Fees: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Binance vs Kraken [2022's Comparison]

Fact-checked
  • Binance Features: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Kraken Features: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Binance - Ease of Use: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Kraken - Ease of Use: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Binance Security: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Kraken Security: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Binance Fees: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Kraken Fees: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Best For

Binance is for those looking for crypto invest; Kraken is good for new investments.

STRENGTHS

  • Binance: offers access to various crypto trading options
  • Kraken: supports a huge number of trading options
  • Binance Visa Card allows you to spend your crypto holdings at over 60 million merchants worldwide
  • Kraken: Kraken Learn is a massive resource of information

WEAKNESSES

  • Binance: is not available in US
  • Kraken: high fees

In this article, we’ll take a look at two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Below, you’ll find an in-depth Binance vs Kraken comparison across key factors to help you choose the best crypto trading platform for you.

In this comparison article, we’ll break these two platforms down in terms of:

  • What are Binance and Kraken?
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Security
  • Fees
  • Availability
  • Consumer Ratings & Reviews
  • FAQs

What Are Binance and Kraken?

Both Binance and Kraken are cryptocurrency exchanges that allow you to buy, sell, and trade crypto and other digital currencies. You can purchase digital assets with fiat money which can then be traded. Since they operate as maker-taker markets, Binance and Kraken fees are imposed on transactions, which is their main source of income.

Binance

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange that was co-founded by Changpeng Zhao and Yi He in 2017. While registered in the Cayman Islands, it’s effectively an online business operation.

In 2021, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of the crypto trading volume. Binance is available all over the world, except for the US. However, US residents can use its scaled-down derivative Binance.US. Binance deals in over 500 currencies. Binance fees are considered some of the lowest in the industry, which makes the platform even more attractive.

Binance Holdings Ltd. is currently under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service due to concern over illicit activity on the platform. While it’s not clear whether Binance is suspected of taking part in these activities, its role (if any) in facilitating illicit activities is being investigated.

Kraken

Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and bank founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, California. Kraken is available to users in 176 countries and 48 US states, excluding New York and Washington. It provides fiat-to-crypto currency trading as well as currency exchange. The Kraken exchange is particularly well-known for its tight security, having never been hacked. It can easily be considered the best Bitcoin trading platform in terms of safety.

Features

Both Binance and Kraken are highly feature-rich crypto trading platforms with tools that everyone from beginners to experienced traders or even institutional investors will find useful.

For example, both offer highly sophisticated charting tools. These might be slightly overwhelming for beginners but are indispensable tools for nearly anyone trading seriously for profit.

Both also provide extensive APIs for developers or institutional investors to integrate their systems or leverage automated trading capabilities.

Unfortunately, you can’t get a Kraken or Binance wallet with either platform. If this is something you want, you’ll want to look at other options. For example, Coinbase is one of the top contenders for the best Bitcoin wallet in a crypto exchange.

What Features Does Binance Offer?

While they share many similarities and both have the capabilities to make them suitable for traders at all levels, there are some important differences in their capabilities and standout features that one should consider. Here are the features you can expect from Binance:

Trading Options

Binance offers nearly unparalleled access to various crypto trading options. You can take part in any trading activity, such as limit order, market order, stop-limit order, trailing stop, and post-only order as well as peer-to-peer trading, margin trading, one-cancels-the-other order, and more. Jumping on the latest trends, Binance also offers a marketplace for trading in NFTs.

Binance Visa Card

This is easily one of the most unique features we found in our Binance review, you can apply for an actual Binance Visa Card with which you can spend your crypto holdings at over 60 million merchants worldwide. The card carries zero fees and you can earn up to 8% cashback on purchases. Your card balances are also protected by the Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU).

Binance Academy

Binance Academy is a useful self-teaching resource filled with cryptocurrency knowledge and trivia. It covers everything from useful terminology and phrases to in-depth explanations of specific cryptocurrency technologies and standards.

Binance.US

If you’re a US-based trader, there’s some bad news. Binance.US offers a much more limited trading platform than its international counterpart. For example, you won’t be able to earn crypto through the reward center, apply for a Binance Visa Card, or access the Binance Academy. However, Binance.US meets all US regulatory requirements and provides many of the same benefits.

What Features Does Kraken Offer?

And, here are the most important features we identified in our Kraken review:

Trading Options

Kraken supports a huge number of trading options. On top of simple buy/sell, send/receive, or exchanges, you can also take part in margin trading, limit orders, futures trading, stop-loss market orders, take profit market orders, and more.

Kraken Learn

Kraken Learn is a massive resource of information on all things related to cryptocurrencies and trading. It covers everything from security basics to foundational knowledge on different types of cryptocurrencies.

Earn Rewards

Kraken allows you to passively earn rewards from your crypto holdings through staking. Some of the Kraken crypto coins that are eligible include Cardano, Kusama, Polkadot, or Ethereum. Staking means that you make your coin available to help validate transactions on the blockchain. Earnings are paid out twice a week and may be as high as 20% a year.

Cryptowatch

Kraken is also behind the trading platform Cryptowatch. It’s a standalone platform aimed at more advanced traders or institutional investors, allowing you to trade on multiple exchanges from a single dashboard. It can be used via the dashboard or downloaded and installed as a desktop app.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, Kraken will undoubtedly be the more user-friendly option for beginners. It provides a more minimal, modern, and intuitive interface that doesn’t feel so daunting when you just start out. This is true, whether you’re using the browser or mobile Kraken app.

Binance took a slightly different approach. The dashboard is more similar to what you imagine a typical investment platform should look like. While this is great for experienced traders, it might be a bit too intimidating for beginners.

Both also offer advanced charting tools which can be overwhelming at first but are crucial for trading in the long run.

Binance and Kraken follow a very similar setup process to most exchanges:

  1. Go to the website and click the button to register an account
  2. Provide basic personal and contact info
  3. Verify your email using a verification code

You will then need to go through an identity verification process. US residents may have to pass an even stricter check in order to open up all crypto trading options on the Binance or Kraken exchange. This usually involves submitting photo identification and waiting for it to be verified by the customer service team. For most Kraken accounts, verification only takes a few minutes to hours while certain levels of verification on Binance may take up to 15 days. In fact, users frequently complain about the long verification process.

Security

Security is a critical consideration when signing up with any exchange. Billions have been lost in crypto exchange hacks over the years, from data breaches, system hacks, or user account hacks. Both Binance and Kraken are considered to be secure platforms, although Kraken’s honesty and flawless track record seem to give it the edge.

Is Binance Safe?

In general, Binance is considered a safe crypto exchange by experts as well as consumers. However, they did fall victim to a major hack in 2019 wherein $40 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Binance’s hot wallet. However, its Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) did cover most user losses.

Binance is somewhat tight-lipped about its security systems. However, here is what we do know:

  • 2FA Verification: You can set up two-factor authentication to help protect your account against credential hacking.
  • FDIC-insured USD Balances: USD balances are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This also recently extended to Binance.US users. This means that Binance is safe, particularly for US users.
  • Device Management: You can manage which devices have access to your Binance account through the web portal or app as well as remove access to certain devices.
  • Withdrawal Address Whitelisting: You can provide addresses that are allowed to make withdrawals from your account, blocking any other addresses from withdrawing funds.
  • Cold Storage: Although they don’t provide exact percentages or figures, Binance claims that most funds are protected by being kept in cold storage.

Is Kraken Safe?

Kraken is much more open about its security policies and practices that you can read about on its website. Also, Kraken has never been hacked before, which is a major achievement for a crypto exchange. Here are the most important security features you should know about:

  • 2FA Authenticator: Kraken allows you to use either Google Authenticator or YubiKey to secure your account. You also get email verifications each time a withdrawal is made. Accounts can’t be recovered with simple SMS recovery to avoid accounts being stolen.
  • Air-gapped Cold Storage: Kraken claims 95% of deposits are stored in physically and network-isolated, geographically distributed cold storage.
  • Security Practices: Kraken claims their security teams do everything possible to protect their systems and customers. This involves running penetration tests, bug bounty programs, and independent proof-of-reservers audits as well as constant monitoring and surveillance. This leaves little doubt if you’re wondering, “Is Kraken legit?”
  • API key permission control: You can customize your own API key settings for granular control over access permissions within certain range boundaries.
  • SSL Encryption: All sensitive information is encrypted at all times; while you’re browsing Kraken, at rest, and at the data level. Emails are also PGP-signed and encrypted for secure communications.

Fees

Both Binance and Kraken are known for offering competitive fees. This is due to both using a maker-taker fee structure. With both, it’s possible to qualify for trading fees as low as 0%.

Which is the cheaper option depends somewhat on your trading habits, modes of transaction, trading amount, and trading volume. For example, Binance fees are based on their 10 different VIP levels, each with its own fees. Different payment methods may also influence your deposit and withdrawal fees.

Kraken Binance
Withdrawal fees (fiat) $4 to $35 ($20 to $150 minimum) $1 to $15
Deposit fees Free – $10 Free
Debit/credit card purchases 3.75% + €0.25 (0.5% online bank processing fee) 3.5% or $10, whichever is higher
Conversion fees  0.9% for USD/stablecoin to stablecoin

1.5% for other currency to stablecoin

N/A
Trading fees 0% – 0.26% based on volume 0% – 0.1% based on volume and BNB holdings

Availability

Binance is available in nearly every country. The exchange itself can be accessed in nearly any country, although it might not be allowed by governments themselves. For example, Binance has recently been banned in the UK. Still, you can access Binance in over 180 countries worldwide. Binance withdrawal fees are some of the few that don’t change much by country.

The one catch is that US residents are prohibited from using Binance. However, they can trade on its derivative, Binance.US, which is available in 43 states.

Only a handful of countries are restricted from accessing Kraken, such as North Korea, Syria, and Afghanistan. Other countries have limited access, such as Namibia, Somalia, and Yemen. However, Kraken is also available to US residents, with the exception of Washington and New York. Unlike Binance, Kraken withdrawal fees can differ quite a lot from country to country.

Some currencies are restricted to US residents though, such as Ripple, ENJ, MATIC, ZRX, and MKR. On the other hand, Binance rarely limits available options by country.

Ratings and Reviews

As is usually the case with cryptocurrency exchanges, customer feedback for both Binance and Kraken is relatively poor. Binance reviews give it an average of only 1/5 stars on BBB (15 reviews) and 2/5 on Trustpilot (2,216 reviews). Most negative reviews are due to the difficulty in getting in touch with actual support representatives, the slow speed with which issues are resolved, and users who have lost funds or experience difficulty with withdrawing their balances.

There is no BBB profile for Kraken, but consumer reviews average 1.9/5 out of 889 reviews on Trustpilot which is similar to Binance. The feedback and complaints are very similar to that of Binance. However, it’s worth noting that these are common complaints about virtually any trading platform.

In terms of expert reviews, both of these platforms get much higher ratings, usually in the 4-5 star range.

Binance vs Kraken: In a Nutshell

Binance Rating 

(1-5)

Kraken Rating 

(1-5)

Features Binance Academy

Binance Visa Card

Huge variety of trading options

Developer APIs

4/5 Earn crypto rewards

Kraken Learn

Cryptowatch

REST API

4/5
Ease of Use Aimed at intermediate to advanced traders

Familiar dashboard for experienced traders

4/5 Aimed at intermediate to advanced traders

Modern and user-friendly interface and navigation

4/5
Security 2FA Authentication

FDIC-insured USD Balances

Device Management

Withdrawal Address Whitelisting

Cold Storage

4/5 2FA Authentication

Air-gapped cold storage

Top-grade Security Practices

API key permission control

SSL Encryption

5/5
Fees 3.5% or $10, whichever is higher for debit/credit card

0% – 0.1% trading fee

5/5 3.75% + €0.25 (debit/credit card)

0% – 0.26% trading fee

0.9% – 1.5% conversion fee

4/5
Availability 500+ cryptocurrencies

180+ countries (excluding US)

4/5 50+ cryptocurrencies

Small number of restricted countries

4/5
Ratings and Reviews Not BBB accredited

Positive expert reviews

1.5/5 Not BBB accredited

Positive expert reviews

1.9/5

Binance vs Kraken: The Verdict

Choosing a clear winner between Kraken and Binance isn’t straightforward. They have more in common than simply being popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Both offer feature-rich platforms and advanced trading tools that will be most useful to relatively experienced expert traders. Beginners will also be able to quickly catch up due to the superb help resources and intuitive interfaces. However, Binance trading fees are generally more attractive while Kraken has the more confidence-inspiring security track record.

FAQ

Is Kraken cheaper than Binance?

No. Binance has lower fees ranging between 0% – 0.1% for most trades, while Kraken’s trading fee ranges from 0% – 0.26%. However, these fees depend on your trading activity and account status.

Which is better, Kraken or Binance?

Neither platform is better than the other. Kraken is the more highly trusted platform with a flawless security record and industry-leading safeguards. Binance, on the other hand, offers more cryptocurrency pairings and trading options with generally lower fees.

What is better than Binance?

While Binance is an excellent trading platform, it’s not the leader in all fields. For example, when comparing Binance vs Kraken, Kraken offers superior security and is available in the US. Coinbase, on the other hand, provides more opportunities to passively earn income as well as a more user-friendly experience.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.