Thanks for joining us as we look down our cryptoscope at two major exchanges that are regularly processing hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars worth of trades on a daily basis. In the battle of Kraken vs Bittrex, Kraken, ranked 4th on our cryptocurrency exchange rankings, takes on Bittrex, which sits in 5th.
Let’s see how they fare in a face-to-face comparison:
Compare Kraken vs Bittrex
|7 Day Volume|
Fees: Kraken vs Bittrex
Kraken’s Trading Fees
First up in this exchange comparison we take a look at those tiny commissions that get taken during a trade. It’s good news for Kraken, which offers a maker fee of 0.16%, and a taker fee of 0.26%, just below average for this industry. A maker fee is applied when a trade is made above the current market price, and a taker fee is charged when the trade is made immediately at the market price.
Like most exchanges, Kraken offers users the chance to reduce their trading fees by trading a higher volume of crypto over a 30-day period, as is shown here. Check out Kraken’s guide to trading costs.
Trading Fees on Bittrex
Bittrex charges a flat 0.2% maker-taker fee for beginners, however, they also charge a 0.25% on all trades, so the true figure is closer to 0.45%. The 0.2% maker fee or taker fee goes to the miners who keep the blocks running, and the 0.25% commission is kept for their coffers. The Bittrex fee schedule has just 5 tiers, making it one of the industry’s simplest.
Crypto withdrawal fees can be found here.
Bittrex vs Kraken: Kraken wins this round comfortably.
Sign Up & KYC Experience
How To Open An Account On Kraken
- Go to Kraken.com and find the ‘Create Account’ button
- Provide your email address, country of residence, and a username and password that you will use to login in the future
- Accept the terms of service and hit ‘Create Account’
- In a new tab, go to your emails and in an email from Kraken, find and copy the long key, then paste it where indicated in the Kraken tab
- Enter your username and password again
- In your navigation bar, find an option to ‘Get Verified’. Click this and choose Intermediate (so that you can transfer fiat currencies to your account)
- Upload a scan or photo of your ID (passport or driving license), a selfie holding your ID, one proof of residence document, and details of your occupation
- Verification can take as little as 10 minutes
- Once verified, you can start trading
Becoming A Bittrex User
- Visit Bittrex.com and click ‘Sign Up’ on the homepage
- Choose to open a ‘Personal Account’ and provide your email address
- Click ‘Create Account’ and then head to your email inbox to find a verification email – click the link inside
- Accept the terms of service
- Give your country of residence, address, and date of birth details
- To speed up the verification time, upload a clear photo or scan of your passport (though driver’s license or state ID will also work, just not as fast)
- Wait about 15 minutes for verification, after which, you can transfer fiat currencies and start trading on Bittrex
Kraken vs Bittrex: It’s a tie.
User Experience: Kraken vs Bittrex
What’s Kraken Like?
Dear Kraken Developers… great job! We approve of the website design, the user portal, the mobile apps, and more. However, aren’t the biggest fan of the browser trading interface, but many of our readers love the retro style and reverse layout.
The ease of use is so high that Kraken is often compared to Gemini and Coinbase (2nd and 3rd on our cryptocurrency exchange rankings), though one unfriendly aspect of Kraken is that they have 3 separate mobile apps. Why not centralize everything and make the ultimate crypto app?
Bittrex feels more corporate than Kraken, which is great for institutional customers but not so much for beginners in this space. Fortunately, to counteract that, they have an incredibly user-friendly Zendesk customer support platform that answers everything you can imagine about Bittrex.
One of the design aspects we most like on Bittrex vs Kraken is how seamless and easy it is to move from your dashboard to the trading interface with the order form open in just one click. Both the website and the app offer this smoothness of use, however, we’ve found them both to be buggy, prone to crashing, and slow to load up. Thankfully, if something should go wrong, users can quickly solve the problem with Bittrex’s excellent customer support.
Bittrex vs Kraken: Kraken wins this time.
Making Deposits On Kraken
Whilst many cryptocurrency exchange founders wish to serve the whole world, the reality of regulations and international compliance is much harder. Kraken does a pretty good job in this department, offering compatibility for 7 fiat currencies to transfer, even for Americans (except those in New York and Washington). Here’s how to make a deposit.
Which are the 7 fiat currencies?
- USD – Fedwire, SWIFT, SEN
- EUR – SEPA, SWIFT
- CAD – Wire, SWIFT, Cash/Debit at Canada Post
- AUD – Bank transfer / Osko
- GBP – FBS, BACS, CHAPS, SWIFT
- CHF – SIC, SWIFT
- JPY – SWIFT
Deposit fees vary on the method chosen, the country deposited from, and the amount. This resource should help clear up any confusion.
Bittrex Deposit Methods
Bittrex members will need to give some personal information if they are to use the exchange’s services. By providing a name, date of birth, address, and country of residency, users can get a basic verification level that allows them to deposit and trade up to 4 BTC per day.
An Enhanced verification status on Bittrex allows users to deposit fiat currencies but will require an upload of your ID and a selfie holding that ID. Users in the United States must also provide additional documents relating to banking and residency. For American users, deposits can be made via a debit card with a 3% charge, or with a wire transfer (at least $50).
Non-US users with Enhanced verification status can make a deposit through the SEPA Network, an International Wire Transfer, or Credit and Debit Card Deposits (3% fee).
Kraken vs Bittrex: Kraken offers better deposit options.
Instant Buy Options (Buying with Credit or Debit Card)
Buying Crypto On Kraken
Since we wrote our last piece about Kraken, they’ve added even more cryptocurrencies and trading pairs, currently boasting 60 coins and 243 markets. This is a great selection for users, who can make instant purchases via debit or credit card (must be 3DS-enabled).
The fees for instant purchases are 3.75%, plus a flat fee of €0.25 per transaction. This is costly, but pretty fair compared to their rival crypto exchanges. The unfair part is the spread, which is the difference between the real current market price, and the price that Kraken brokers crypto for, which varies between 2% and 10%.
No Brokerage On Bittrex
Unlike Kraken, Bittrex decided not to broker cryptocurrencies, which is a little strange, but we won’t hold it against them.
If you’d like to buy cryptocurrencies ‘instantly’ you’ll need to make a fiat deposit first (so it’s not really instant) and then trade that fiat currency in a fiat-crypto market pairing, like USD/BTC (US dollar and Bitcoin). If you purchase at the current market price, your deal will go through, but if you try to get a better deal, you must wait for the market conditions to change.
Bittrex vs Kraken: Kraken wins again.
Kraken: Something For Every Trader
Aside from the retro design of the web trading interface, there’s not a lot we can find fault in regarding the trading experience on Kraken. They have all of the charts, graphs and data you would expect. They have three great mobile apps, Kraken, Kraken Pro, and Kraken Futures, which offer different services.
More advanced traders who may be reading this will be pleased to know that Kraken offers up to 5x leverage on their trading activity, giving the opportunity to trade with greater risk.
Bittrex: Intuitive Trading Features
We’ve been brutally honest about Bittrex’s platform, the lag, the crashing, and the charts that fail to load up, but we haven’t said enough about the good things that they do. For one, it’s among the simplest crypto exchanges for beginners to use (though not as basic as Coinbase), offering the full trading experience without the complications that create overwhelmed traders.
Using Bittrex is no easier or more difficult than using Binance, which is the most-used exchange in the world, so that’s a big positive. For any fledgeling investor who wants to learn to trade and to have a huge selection of altcoins, the 600 market pairings should be plenty to get you started on your venture into crypto. Plus, if anything goes wrong, the customer support is fantastic.
Kraken vs Bittrex: Kraken’s got this one.
Reputation & Security
Kraken: Gold Star!
Here’s a little anecdote you probably didn’t know about Kraken. A few years back, they decided to publish a Proof-of-Reserves Audit, which is a document that proves you’re holding all of your users’ funds responsibly in cold storage. They got a lot of good feedback for that and suddenly other exchanges started following suit and mitigating their risks too.
Kraken has never been hacked, which should serve a very good indication of how highly they value security. Users have a lot of control over their security settings and are advised to set up two factor authentication to make sure their devices are protected.
Bittrex: Another gold star!
The founders of Bittrex were a team of cybersecurity engineers who had been working previously at Microsoft, Amazon, and Blackberry. Perhaps this explains why they’ve never been hacked and why their security and reputation are solid.
If there is a negative about Bittrex, it’s that some American users feel they’re getting a bum deal, with fewer cryptocurrencies available than their European counterparts.
Bittrex vs Kraken: It’s a tie.
Kraken vs Bittrex: Who Wins?
At the start of this Bittrex vs Kraken exchange comparison, we told you that Kraken is ranked 4th and Bittrex 5th on our cryptocurrency exchange rankings and that isn’t likely to change soon.
Bittrex has a lot of great qualities, but in truth, they’re quite far behind Kraken in terms of trading volume, user-friendliness, and attracting beginners.
For US users who make the bulk of our audience, and users in all other permitted countries, the clear winner here is Kraken, Bittrex will have to try harder in 2021.