Kraken: Europe’s Top Bitcoin Exchange

Kraken and Its Connection to the United States

Kraken predates most cryptocurrency exchanges that exist today, including Binance and Bitfinex. It is also one of the most respected exchanges, due to its long-running support of the cryptocurrency ecosystem as well as its airtight security practices.

Kraken’s Famed Security Measures

Despite its troubles with New York regulators, Kraken offers several security measures to ensure customer safety and retain public trust. They include:

  • Regular audits, showing that the exchange has sufficient reserves to back the cryptocurrency trades happening on its platform. Usually, Kraken submits documents of its holdings and provides addresses, which are checked by an auditor. In the aftermath of the Mt. Gox crisis, Kraken was the first to provide proof of its reserves that was cryptographically verifiable.
  • The public signatures of the given addresses are summed up to confirm the total BTC balance at a given point in time. Each customer’s account balance is handed over to the auditor who checks it against the Bitcoin balance.
  • User data used in the audits is independently verified and protected with two-factor authentication to protect it from leaking.
  • After the audit, Kraken encourages its users to set up a Master Key that can be used for account recovery in the event of any mishap. This negates the need for a password reset if, for any reason, a user is locked out of their account.
  • Kraken offers a Global Setting Lock (GSL) for users who plan to leave their digital assets on the exchange for extended periods. This feature prevents any changes to account settings and protects sensitive information. Basically, if such an account is compromised by a bad actor, they will be unable to add a new wallet address to siphon tokens through. They will also be unable to add a new email address to the account or change the current one associated with it.
  • The exchange also allows its customers to set up an email feature called PGP which ensures that all email communication between the exchange and the user is genuine and secure. This adds an extra layer of security since either party may need to convey sensitive information.

What Other Features Does Kraken Offer?

In addition to its extensive security features, Kraken offers the following:

Liquidity

A large portion of the exchange volume is focused on Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), EOS, Tether (USDT) and Monero (XMR) respectively. Although both USD and EUR pairs are offered for all digital currencies, the EUR pairs have more liquidity.

Dark Pools

These allow users to make private orders for both Bitcoin and Ethereum for an additional fee. They allow for the placement of large order sizes that would have an effect on the market if they were public. Kraken lets users execute these orders in the intermediate and advanced tabs.

New Altcoins

Kraken regularly adds new digital currencies to its platform which supports several ERC20 tokens such as REP, ICN, MLN and even coins like Monero, Stellar, Dogecoin and Zcash. However, altcoins like Nano, Cardano, and Tron are still unavailable on the exchange. The most recent addition is Bitcoin Cash.

Flexibility

The Kraken platform allows users to make various orders. This ensures trade flexibility and market adjustment depending on what type of trade a user is carrying out.

Perception of Kraken Exchange

Kraken is generally considered one of the safest cryptocurrency exchanges in existence. It began to peak in October 2013 after the discovery of a vulnerability in the Namecoin protocol which developers were able to fix. Namecoin was later removed from the platform due to other issues.

Final Thoughts

Due to its numerous accomplishments, attention to detail and security, Kraken has become a global driving force within the cryptocurrency industry. It has been recognized by journals across the world and continues to expand.

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