While searching for an exchange where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, you may find yourself having to choose between FTX and Kraken. In those circumstances, you are likely to find a side by side comparison of the two crypto exchanges useful. That is what you will be getting in this article.
Our FTX Vs Kraken comparison is on the basis of things like supported coins, fees, security, customer support, supported countries, leverage levels and ease of use. With respect to all these factors, both FTX and Kraken have their pros and cons, as we shall be seeing shortly.
What Is FTX?
FTX is a platform where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. As such, it is a crypto currency exchange. Based in the Bahamas (but incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda), FTX was founded in the year 2019.
What Is Kraken?
Kraken is also a platform where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Therefore it is a crypto exchange. Kraken is based in San Francisco, US, and was founded in the year 2011.
FTX Vs Kraken Supported Coins
Because both FTX and Kraken are crypto exchanges, a good place to start our FTX Vs Kraken comparison is by looking at their respective supported coins.
Both FTX and Kraken support all the major coins. There are well over 275 coins that you can trade on FTX.
On the other hand, there are well over 69 coins that you can trade on Kraken. Therefore if the only consideration in this Kraken vs FTX comparison is the number of coins supported, FTX wins. But it is worth noting that the 69 coins that Kraken supports include all the major ones.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for an exchange where you can buy those small-time/non-mainstream coins, then chances of finding them are higher if you opt for FTX. In other words, chances of finding any particular coin are higher if you opt for FTX, rather than Kraken. That is simply on account of the fact that FTX supports more coins.
FTX Vs Kraken Supported Countries
Another important aspect of the FTX Vs Kraken comparison is that of the supported countries. None of these crypto exchanges will be useful to you if it is unavailable in your country to start with.
Now one noteworthy thing about FTX is that it does not onboard US residents. Therefore if you are in the USA, the main FTX exchange platform (ftx.com) will not really be available to you. But you can trade on FTX.us.
FTX also won’t take you on board if you are in Cuba, Crimea and Iran. Other disallowed countries are Afghanistan, North Korea, Syria, Sevastopol and, ironically, Antigua and Barbuda where it is incorporated.
On the other hand, it is worth noting that Kraken has almost full support for US residents.
But Kraken won’t take you onboard if you are in countries like Libya, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Cuba.
Ultimately, we see that most of the nations that FTX has restrictions for are also the nations that Kraken has restrictions for.
But then Kraken allows people in the US to trade, while FTX doesn’t allow them in its main platform. That tips the balance in Kraken’s favor.
If you are in the US, and you have to choose FTX or Kraken, you may have to choose Kraken.
If you insist on using FTX, then you have to make do with FTX.us. And that comes with some limitations. For instance, the main FTX platform allows you to buy/sell 275 cryptocurrencies. But you will find that you can only buy/sell 22 on FTX.us.
Thus in this aspect of the Kraken vs FTX comparison, we see that Kraken wins. And this is by virtue of the simple fact that it offers full support for US residents. And it is also a local (US) company.
FTX Vs Kraken Fees
While comparing FTX exchange vs Kraken, it is worth paying attention to the fees.
Starting with FTX, we see that it has a market maker fee of 0.02%. FTX’s market taker fee, on the other hand, is 0.07%. That is for its tier 1 traders.
Turning to Kraken, we see that it has a market maker fee of 0.02%. Kraken’s market taker fee, on the other hand, is 0.05%.
Therefore in choosing Kraken or FTX, if the taker fee is your only consideration, we see that FTX has a somewhat better deal.
With regard to withdrawal fees, we see that FTX doesn’t charge, except for small BTC withdrawals, as well as for ETH and ERC-20 withdrawals.
Kraken, on the other hand, imposes some modest withdrawal fees. And it also has minimum withdrawal requirements for the various coins.
In the final analysis, when you compare Kraken vs FTX fees, we see that FTX offers a marginally better deal.
Indeed if you compare most FTX exchange review articles to most Kraken exchange review articles, it is hard to miss the emphasis on these marginal fee differences.
FTX Vs Kraken Customer Support
Both FTX and Kraken offer decent levels of customer support.
In FTX, you can get support via email, Twitter, Facebook and WeChat.
In Kraken, you can get support via Live chat, email, Facebook and Twitter.
Clearly, FTX seems to offer somewhat more customer support options than Kraken.
For instance, while FTX has support through Twitter and WeChat, Kraken doesn’t seem to have the WeChat option.
But in qualitative terms, there are those who may find Kraken customer support to be somewhat better than FTX’s.
It is also worth remembering that Kraken is a local (US) company, while FTX is not. There are those who may therefore feel that Kraken, being a local company, has better capacity to understand the issues they raise in their support tickets than FTX.
But both FTX and Kraken seem to take almost similar amounts of time to resolve customer concerns.
FTX Vs Kraken KYC Requirements
As one would expect of companies that deal with finances, both FTX and Kraken have KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements. FTX KYC requirements are generally easier to meet than Kraken’s.
For instance, while instant account verification is a possibility with FTX, it is not really something you can do with Kraken.
In FTX, by just providing your email address, full legal name, date of birth, country of residence and phone jurisdiction, you get a $2,000 limit.
If, beyond those, you provide proof of address, assets source description, ID and facial verification, you get to trade with no limits.
In Kraken, you can’t really do much of anything without proof of address and phone verification.
Going through most FTX vs Kraken Reddit threads, it becomes clear that FTX’s KYC is clearly less of a hassle than Kraken’s. Indeed, even if we were to do a FTX vs Kraken vs Binance comparison with regard to KYC requirements, FTX would probably still come on top.
It is not that FTX doesn’t have a KYC process. It is just that FTX KYC requirements are somewhat easier to meet. Moreover, going by the sentiments in most Kraken vs FTX Reddit threads, it becomes clear that the FTX KYC process moves faster.
In the final analysis, if KYC process is the only basis for your FTX Vs Kraken comparison, you will see that FTX is somewhat better.
FTX is definitely better if you want a platform where you can get through the KYC process fast, and start buying/selling crypto almost straightaway.
FTX Vs Kraken Security
Because both FTX and Kraken are platforms that handle people’s money, they go to great lengths to ensure that they are secure.
Both FTX and Kraken use 2 factor authentication. Both encrypt sensitive account data. And both have alert systems, through which you can get to know about transactions taking place in your account in almost real time.
Both FTX and Kraken are legit platforms, so that base is covered.
Of course, Kraken has been around for longer. Kraken has been around since 2011, whereas FTX has been around since 2019. And people tend to trust platforms that have been around for longer than newer ones. So Kraken has a slight edge in this regard.
Further still, it is worth remembering that Kraken exchange headquarters are in the US. FTX exchange headquarters, on the other hand, are in the Bahamas, though the company is incorporated in Antigua and Barbados.
There are those who may be inclined to have greater trust in Kraken, because it is a local (US) company, with local headquarters.
Furthermore, because Kraken’s KYC process is more stringent (see above) there are those who may have more faith in it on that account.
But it is still worth noting that FTX has a backstop liquidity fund worth about $200 mm.
In Kraken, there is emphasis on cold storage for coins. Kraken says that 95% of the coins in its hands are in offline, cold storage. This should be reassuring to folks whose money happens to be in Kraken’s hands.
In the final analysis, it becomes clear that both FTX and Kraken are legit crypto exchange platforms. But because Kraken has been around for longer, is based locally (in the US) and has more stringent KYC requirements, there are those who may trust it more on those accounts.
FTX Vs Kraken Leverage
In FTX, there are limitations on who can undertake margin trading.
On the other hand, in Kraken, anyone can undertake margin trading.
In July 2021, we saw FTX cutting leverage limits from 100x where they were, to 20x. Therefore presently, in FTX, you have up to 20x leverage.
Turning to Kraken, it has up to 5x leverage (on margin).
Therefore if the leverage limit is your only consideration in undertaking a FTX Vs Kraken comparison, then it is clear that FTX still has a higher limit. That is at 20x, in comparison to 5x for Kraken.
But you have to remember that while Kraken allows anyone to undertake margin trading, FTX has restrictions in that regard.
FTX Vs Kraken Ease Of Use
Both FTX and Kraken are reasonably easy to use crypto exchange platforms.
There are those who may find that Kraken’s user interface is somewhat less intimidating than FTX’s.
There are also those who will argue that, for a beginner, performing various tasks on Kraken is much easier than performing the same tasks on FTX.
This is also where the FTX mobile app vs Kraken mobile app comparison may come into the picture.
Both FTX and Kraken have mobile apps – for Android and iOS. But then again, one may get the feeling that the Kraken mobile app is simpler and easier to use. So it may appear simpler and easier to use than the FTX mobile app.
At the very least, the time and effort it seems to take to complete various tasks on the Kraken mobile app is somewhat less than what it takes to complete the same on the FTX mobile app.
So with regard to ease of use, Kraken seems to have a slight edge over FTX. But this is subjective. There are those who may find the opposite true: with FTX being the easier to use crypto exchange.
Final Verdict – FTX Vs Kraken
There are clearly some aspects with regard to which FTX is better than Kraken. There are other aspects with regard to which Kraken is better than FTX.
If you are seeking a platform that supports more coins, charges lower fees, has a faster KYC process and offers higher leverage limits, then FTX may be better for you.
On the other hand, if you are seeking an older, better established platform that allows margin trading for everyone, offers full US support and is generally very user-friendly, then Kraken may be better for you.