Coinbase vs Kraken: Head-to-Head May 2024
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Coinbase vs Kraken: Head-to-Head May 2024

Coinbase vs Kraken: Head-to-Head May 2024
Coinbase vs Kraken: Head-to-Head May 2024
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Coinbase and Kraken are two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. In this guide, we’ll be comparing the two exchanges on key factors — like fees, user interface, and advanced features! 

Coinbase vs. Kraken

Coinbase vs Kraken: What’s the best choice for me? 

Coinbase and Kraken are both fantastic platforms. The best choice for you may vary depending on your specific situation. 

While Coinbase is the best cryptocurrency exchange overall, Kraken is the best choice for experienced investors looking for low fees. 

Coinbase Kraken
Fees 0 - 0.60%, fees may be higher depending on other factors 0 - 0.40%
Cryptocurrency selection 260+ 120+
Staking support Available for some US customers No longer available for US clients
Learn and Earn Yes No
Mobile app Android/iOs Android/iOs
Security features 2-factor authentication, encryption, all customers funds held in reserve 1:1 2-factor authentication, encryption, audited Proof of Reserves
Advanced features Advanced charting Account management for advanced trading, futures trading, advanced charting

Coinbase vs Kraken: User Friendliness

Winner: Coinbase

Coinbase is the best choice for newcomers in the crypto space. The platform is renowned for its easy-to-use interface and user-friendly design. 

While Kraken is considered relatively easy-to-use as well, it may not be as intuitive for beginners as Coinbase. 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Regulatory Issues

Winner: Tie

Coinbase and Kraken are both trusted exchanges that take steps to comply with regulations in relevant jurisdictions. 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Fees

Winner: Kraken

Kraken is the best choice for traders looking for low fees. 

Kraken: 0 - 0.40% 

Coinbase: 0 - 0.60% (According to Coinbase’s website, fees may be higher depending on factors like ‘payment method, order size, market conditions, jurisdictional location, and other costs [Coinbase] incur[s] to facilitate your transaction.’) 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Security 

Winner: Tie

Coinbase and Kraken are both considered highly-secure platforms. Both platforms use two-factor authentication and encryption to protect user data, and hold customer funds 1:1 offline. 

Kraken: 2-factor authentication, encryption, all customers funds held in reserve 1:1

Coinbase: 2-factor authentication, encryption, Proof of Reserves audited by third-party 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Cryptocurrency Selection

Winner: Coinbase

Coinbase offers a wider cryptocurrency selection than Kraken.

Kraken: 120+ cryptocurrencies

Coinbase: 260+ cryptocurrencies 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Staking

Winner: Coinbase 

In recent years, Kraken and Coinbase have both faced scrutiny from the SEC over staking. While Kraken no longer offers staking to US customers, Coinbase is currently fighting the SEC in the courts and continues to offer staking to most US customers. 

Kraken: In 2023, Kraken was fined $30 million by the SEC and forced to shut down its staking program in the United States. 

Coinbase: Coinbase is currently engaged in a lawsuit with the SEC over its staking offering. However, Coinbase is still offering staking to customers in most US states (except California, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, and Wisconsin). 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Advanced Features 

Winner: Kraken 

Kraken is the best choice for experienced investors looking for advanced features. While Coinbase supports advanced charting, it’s important to note that the platform is geared towards beginners and does not support features like futures trading and custom account management. 

Kraken: Account management for advanced traders, futures trading, advanced charting, margin trading (for select traders who meet eligibility criteria)

Coinbase: Advanced charting 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Customer Support

Winner: Kraken 

Kraken is the best option for customer support. 

Kraken: Kraken has been praised for offering fast customer support. The platform provides customer service via phone, email, and live chat. 

Coinbase: While Coinbase does offer customer support via phone and live chat, the platform has faced criticism for slow/unhelpful customer service. Coinbase does offer Coinbase One, a subscription service that offers priority customer support amongst other benefits. 

Coinbase vs Kraken: Tax

Winner: Tie 

Both Kraken and Coinbase issue tax documents to users. Both exchanges send Form 1099-MISC to the IRS and give users the option to download their transaction history for tax purposes. 

However, it’s important to note that exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase have trouble calculating your capital gains and losses if you transferred your cryptocurrency across exchanges. This is not the fault of the exchanges themselves, but is rather due to cryptocurrency’s unique properties. 

The best way to accurately report your cryptocurrency taxes across different exchanges and wallets is to use crypto tax software like CoinLedger. Crypto tax software can pull transactions from your platforms and help you generate a complete tax forms in minutes. 

Final Verdict

While Coinbase is the best exchange overall, Kraken offers advantages like low fees and advanced features. Before you get started with a crypto platform, consider your own unique situation and what you’re looking for in a cryptocurrency exchange.

Frequently asked questions

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