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Whether you’ve been in the crypto investment world for a while or you’re a complete newbie who made a quick Google search about the top exchanges five minutes ago, you’re probably familiar with the top names in the business. If you’re now facing the choice of Kraken vs Binance, chances are you’re wondering how you can possibly decide between them.
As far as heavyweights of the crypto world go, two exchanges that have to be up there are Kraken and Binance. They’re both popular platforms offering great features, plenty of cryptocurrencies, and wide user bases—but how can you decide between them? To help you evaluate whether Kraken vs Binance is the best fit for you, we’ll break down what they offer and how they differ.
Figuring out whether Binance vs Kraken is right for you depends on a range of factors and your personal circumstances. (Source: Unsplash)
There’s no right or wrong answer here—both exchanges are good at what they do. Still, it’s likely that one will suit you and your circumstances better than the other. To figure out which exchange deserves that honor, let’s run through their fees, security protocols, features, and more.
Binance vs Kraken: what to consider
Before we dive straight into the main discussion, it’s worth a moment to clarify how we’ll be comparing the two exchanges. There are dozens of factors we could possibly consider, but we’ll focus on the following four:
Range of cryptocurrencies available
Security measures to look after your crypto
There’s no use in getting excited about the prospect of using either one of these exchanges only to find out too late that the fees don’t make it the right choice for you. That’s why we’re examining them first.
The Kraken vs Binance US fees work slightly differently, so make sure you don’t get caught out. (Source: Unsplash)
Both Binance and Kraken make good alternatives to Coinbase and other exchanges known for their high fees, but while they’re both in the “good” category here, they’re not equally good in every aspect.
Let’s specifically compare Kraken vs Binance US fees.
Binance charges maker-taker fees between 0% to 0.1%, while Kraken charges between 0% to 0.26%. Sounds simple enough, but there are different fees for users of Kraken Pro and Binance VIP (who can access lower fees), and Binance also offers a 25% fee to those who pay using its native token, binance coin (BNB). Fees will also differ depending on your payment method and asset type of choice.
Overall, Binance gets the edge for having the lowest fees, but since there’s so much variation in the types and structures of how charges work, don’t dismiss Kraken. It’s best to check the fee schedules directly from Binance or Kraken, or coinbase vs gemini.
Range of cryptocurrencies
There are thousands of the next cryptocurrency to explode 2022, and new ones are launched practically every day. No exchange can offer them all—new cryptocurrencies are often scams, so a careful vetting process is essential to ensure a project is legitimate.
However, as far as exchanges go, Kraken and Binance are both known for having impressive offerings.
Binance’s international exchange has more than 500 cryptocurrencies for you to start compound interest investment. This is enough to beat just about every exchange out there, including Kraken (which has 69 cryptocurrencies).
However, for US independent investors, things switch around. Those based in the US can only access 52 cryptocurrencies on Kraken, but this is still more than Binance US, which has just 47 cryptocurrencies.
Either exchange will likely be fine for the average trader who wants to hold popular altcoins within the top 100 market capitalization list for cryptocurrencies.
Nobody wants to trust their personal details and assets with a platform that won’t keep their assets safe, so security should be a key concern for crypto investors.
As you might be aware, Binance doesn’t exactly have the best reputation here, not least because it suffered a major hacking attack in 2019. The US banned the exchange due to security concerns, and countries throughout the world have also taken action—for instance, many banks in the UK have blocked their customers from making payments to Binance. It’s also received criticism for a lack of transparency over how much of its holdings are kept in physical storage (where it’s harder for hackers to access).
Meanwhile, Kraken is transparent about keeping 95% of its holdings in physical storage. It’s also never been hacked, which is a testament to its security policies.
Overall, it’s a win for Kraken here, but maybe not by as wide of a margin as you’d expect. Although Binance has made some bad headlines, it tends to attract the bulk of hacking attacks and negative attention since it’s one of the biggest exchanges. It deserves some credit for the fact that, whenever its customers have lost money, the exchange returned the full $40 million stolen to the users.
Most traders will probably base the bulk of their decision about which exchange to use on the factors we’ve looked at already, but if you’re a keen trader then you might be wondering about the presence of certain features.
Kraken vs Binance US fees work slightly differently, so make sure you don’t get caught out. (Source: Unsplash)
Both sites offer advanced charting capabilities and educational resources. A standout for Kraken is its Cryptowatch trading terminal, which lets you trade in real-time and track thousands of markets. Meanwhile, (international) Binance has a dedicated Binance Visa card and offers ways to earn crypto. And there’s a top-tier trading platform for people across the world.
Some further features are assessed in the table below (but note that Binance.US doesn’t offer margin trading).
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Kraken vs Binance—who wins?
Whether you’ve skipped straight to this question or you’ve read the whole article and you’re struggling to reach a conclusion, it’s time for a verdict. Should you opt for Kraken vs Binance? Which one will be the next investment trend?
Overall, Binance wins on prices, Kraken wins on security, and they’re just about equal on features. This means that Binance may be the best choice for non-US users thanks to its wide variety of currencies, while US investors who can’t benefit from this might find that Kraken has the edge.
But to make your decision, it’s best to think about which cryptocurrencies you want to trade and how you want to trade them, then see how the features and fees of the two exchanges compare for that specific use case.
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