Hello and welcome to this tutorial dedicated to Kraken, a very popular Cryptocurrency exchange platform. We will explain to you step by step how to register on this platform and how to buy your first bitcoin. Enjoy reading 🙂
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2011. On this platform it is possible to buy and sell digital assets (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) directly with dollars. The strong point of this exchange is the cryptographic security; the company presents an irreproachable record and carries out regular audits to prove that it holds the exact amount of user funds it is supposed to hold.
💡 If you’re new to Bitcoin, we suggest you start by reading our Complete Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies guide. It will help you better understand the world of Cryptocurrency and help you choose the most suitable platform for your needs .
What is Kraken?
Kraken is an exchange platform that allows to convert fiat currency (euros, dollars…) into bitcoins but also into other known Cryptocurrencies. It was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and is based in San Francisco. Today, it is one of the largest platforms on the market in terms of volume. It has a very good reputation and is very popular in Europe.
Unlike other platforms such as Coinbase, Kraken is a marketplace, which means that it connects you with other people who want to sell or buy Cryptocurrencies instead of selling or buying them directly from you.
Kraken proposes a rather consequent choice for both traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies. The fiat currencies present are: euro (EUR), US dollar (USD), British pound (GBP), Canadian dollar (CAD), and yen (JPY). The available cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin (XBT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Ether Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Eos (EOS), Ripple (XRP), Stellar’s Lumen (XLM), Cardano’s Ada (ADA), Dash (DASH), the Monero (XMR), the Tez (XTZ), the Zcash (ZEC), the Dogecoin (XDG), the Qtum (QTUM), as well as three ERC-20 tokens which are the Gnosis (GNO), the Augur Reputation token (REP) and the Melon (MLN). To this list is added the stablecoin Tether USD (USDT).
We will see in this tutorial how to buy bitcoins on Kraken. If you wish to buy other cryptocurrencies available on the platform, the approach will be the same..
Register on Kraken
To register on Kraken, first, go to the Kraken website.
Fill in your e-mail address (1). Choose a username (2) and a password (3). Don’t forget to accept the terms and conditions of the site (4), then finalize your registration by clicking on “Sign Up” (5).
Then click on the link sent to you by email, enter your password and click on Activate account to log in.
Here you are, welcome to the Kraken main page 🙂 I grant you it can be confusing at first glance but don’t panic, follow the guide 😉.
Have your account verified at the intermediate level
According to state regulations, Kraken requires that you know who you are in order to use their platform. We will see here how to have your account verified so that you can buy Bitcoins with Euros. Before starting the procedure, please bring an identity document (ID card, passport, driving license) and proof of residence (electricity bill, Internet bill, credit card bill, etc.).
First, go to the Get Verified tab.
You should then see a description of the different levels of verification. There are 3 of them: starter, intermediate, and pro. Beginners can exchange cryptocurrencies but cannot handle dollars, so we will check for the intermediate level. So choose this category.
Then, you will need to fill in your personal information. You will have to fill out the form with your full name, your home address (proof of address will be required), your telephone number, your birthdate, and your profession (occupation).
You will then need to upload digital copies (e.g. photos) of an ID and proof of address. The ID can be an ID card, passport, or driver’s license. For the proof of address, you can, for example, provide a bill related to your home: electricity bill, Internet bill, credit card statement, etc.
Files must be in JPEG or PNG format. Photos must be of good quality and well framed. Also, be careful that they are not too large!
Finally, you will have to wait for Kraken to validate these credentials. The validation time normally varies between 24 and 72 hours, and it may take longer depending on the situation.
If you encounter any problem, do not hesitate to contact Kraken’s support, which is very reactive 😉.
Secure your account with Two-factor authentication (2FA)
As soon as you register, Kraken recommends you to set up a Two-factor Authentication or 2FA. Generally speaking, it is about adding a layer of security to your account by requiring both something you know (your password) and something you own (a smartphone or other device) to perform the most critical actions: logging in, removing crypto-actives, etc.
Even if it is optional, it is highly recommended to secure your account in this way before receiving funds. To learn more, please scroll down the content below.
To enable (or disable) dual authentication, go to the Security tab and click the corresponding button. You will then have to choose your dual authentication method between a static password (not recommended!), the Google Authenticator mobile application, and the Yubikey authentication device. For convenience, we will choose to use the mobile application.
As a security measure, copy the 24-character code onto a sheet of paper that you keep in a safe place. This code will allow you to reset the dual authentication in case of breakage, loss, or theft of your device.
Then scan the QR code displayed on the screen or enter the 24-character code directly into the application. The application should generate 6-digit numbers every 30 seconds.
Finally, enter this 6-digit number on the page and save.
And there you have it: your account is secure! To log in and perform the most critical actions, you should now need to enter the 6-digit code generated by your phone.
Deposit dollars on Kraken
To deposit Dollars to your Kraken account, go to the Funding tab and click on Deposit. Then select the currency you wish to deposit to buy your Bitcoins: here the US Dollars (USD).
Now follow the instructions to deposit your dollars into your Kraken Account.
It takes a maximum of 2 business days to receive your funds on Kraken. Beyond this delay, do not hesitate to contact support.
We advise you to start with a transfer of a small amount, 1 euro for example, to check that all the information has been entered and that you are familiar with the process.
Buy Bitcoins on Kraken
Once the Dollars have been deposited into your account, you can proceed to the purchase of the desired Bitcoins. Please note that on Kraken the bitcoin has the acronym XBT and not BTC.
This will happen in the Trade tab. You can see that the euros are there in Overview → Balance.
To make a trade, first, click on New Order and move to the Intermediate Tab.
The interface should look like this:
You will need to specify the amount of Bitcoins (XBT) you want to buy in Amount.
Order type lets you chose between buying at a specified price (Limit) or at the current market price.
Please note that a fee will be charged for the exchange. These can be 0.16% or 0.26% depending on how the order is executed.
As well as your Dollars balance you will be able to view your Bitcoins in the Overview section → Balance.
And it was as simple as that, you have officially taken your first step into the world of Cryptocurrency!
Withdrawing bitcoins from Kraken
Once you have purchased your Bitcoins, you can store them on Kraken. Kraken will keep them for you and take care of securing them. However, you will not be the full owner of these Bitcoins, and this poses problems:
- In terms of security: if the platform gets hacked or destabilized internally, you can lose your funds. Fortunately, trading platforms have greatly improved over time and such a situation is very unlikely, especially since Kraken has a very good reputation in this area.
- In terms of profitability: by leaving your funds on Kraken, you do not necessarily benefit from the various hard forks and airdrops that credit bitcoin (and other Cryptocurrency) holders.
To fully control your Bitcoins, you will need to use what is called a wallet. If you want to keep your Cryptocurrencies safely, we recommend you to follow our guide on the subject: How to secure and store your Cryptocurrencies?
Now let’s see how to withdraw your Bitcoins from Kraken. Go to the Funding tab and then to the Withdrawal section. Select bitcoin. You will then have to add a new address. Click on Add address
Enter the public address of your wallet: this is a string of characters, usually starting with a 1 or a 3 in the case of Bitcoin. This address can also be the address of another exchange platform where you would like to send Bitcoin.
You will be asked to confirm this address: an email will be sent to you for this purpose.
Once the address has been confirmed, complete the withdrawal. Indicate in the form the amount in Bitcoin you wish to withdraw (here we put the maximum). Note that you will be charged a withdrawal fee. Other cryptocurrencies present on Kraken may have much lower withdrawal fees: you can find these fees on this page.
There you go! You are now a proud holder of Bitcoins.
Using the Kraken trading interface
I just showed you how to buy Bitcoins on Kraken and maybe you find that this method lacks functionality. Well, I’m pleased to announce that Kraken has a nice trading interface available at this address: trade.kraken.com
Here is an overview below: