Our experience selling bitcoins on the Kraken Exchange
Please note: This review is based on selling a relatively small amount of bitcoin into euro. The stats outlined in this review may not apply to larger traders. This review is part of our series of bitcoin exchanges.
So as we generate bitcoin from some work we do, and our mining efforts as we conduct our reviews of mining pools, the next in our series of bitcoin exchange reviews looks at San Francisco based Kraken. While they are not based in Europe, they do have SEPA ability, and as we’re in Ireland that was what we were looking for. So here’s our experience getting registered, lodging bitcoin, and selling it for real money. Kraken also has a trading platform, but we did not evaluate this as part of this article.
So to begin, Kraken is an exchange that also includes a trading platform, which can be used by a number of financial services platforms. Like other systems, you have to go through a verification process, but it lets you register to use the system fairly quickly. To sell like we did, we needed to provide identification documents, and their system then very quickly (ie less than half an hour) got back to us to say we were approved. This enabled our account to lodge bitcoin. Depending on how you want to use the exchange, there are increasing levels of requirements, but tier 2 worked fine for us with the amount we’re selling so we verified our bank details too.
The network supports four fiat currencies; euro, sterling, dollars and yen. It also supports several cryptocurrencies; bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin as well as ven, namecoin, stellar and ripple.
One (minor) annoying thing was that when we lodged the funds, we couldn’t easily find any place to see “pending” lodgements. It popped up after six network confirmations, but I looked through several screens and couldn’t see anything. A minimum of €50 is for fiat, and bitcoin amounts of any amount can be lodged. Looking at the security, there is lots here. They recommend 2FA, and you can also put in a pin code to further secure certain actions. All their email communications can be encrypted, and there’s a setting to put in PGP details. The sytem also has an auto log out, and settings locks which temporarily freezes things.
So we lodged 0.33 bitcoin onto the exchange, and then sold it using the market rate. At the time, this was €284.15, and at the time we received €94.09, from which a €0.32 exchange fee was deducted and €93.77 put into our account. After this, it was simple to then go to the cashout screen, and withdraw to our bank account. Kraken has a low withdrawal threshold, as the minimum is only €5, and there’s a reasonable flat fee of €0.09 to process a SEPA transaction. Within 24 hours, our online banking updated showing that the lodgement had arrived as promised.
Of the four exchanges I’m reviewing as part of this series, Kraken was by far the quickest and most easy to get using. A quick registration, followed by a simple and quick verification meant that I could use the exchange within hours, not days. All the costs are transparent, and the site is very intuitive, with the various screens bringing you through a relatively intuitive process. I’m not a trader, and it was very straightforward and hassle free. Plus getting the funds within 24 hours was a great plus. So it’s easy to recommend Kraken, it does exactly what it’s supposed to and I’m very happy with my experience using it. Will definitely consider it again.