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Kraken Review: Is Kraken a Safe Cryptocurrency Exchange?

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Having launched in 2011, Kraken is one of the world’s longest operating cryptocurrency exchanges. In this Kraken review, we’ll answer your most pressing questions about the exchange and show you how it stacks up against its newer competitors.

You can navigate this review using the following links:

  • Launched in 2011
  • Based out of San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Consistently a Top 15 Exchange in terms of trade volume.
  • Available Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, EOS, Monero, Stellar, Ripple, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Augur, Melon, Doge, Iconomi.
  • Deposit and Withdrawal Methods: Bank Wires, Transfers, SEPA transfers and Cryptocurrency.
  • Trading Fees: 0.36% or less, see this page for more details.
  • Average customer support.
  • Official Website: Kraken.com

Kraken Review

Kraken has been trusted by it’s users since 2011. In all this time, funds stored by the exchange have never been hacked or compromised (this does not include breaches of individuals Kraken accounts due to poor security by the user).

Kraken follows industry best practices including:

  • Segregating customer funds from company operational funds.
  • Keeping the majority of cryptocurrency funds stored offline in cold storage.
  • Maintaining full reserves.

They also make it a priority to maintain legal compliance. Kraken’s website states, “Bitcoin’s legal status is still being defined, but Kraken takes a highly proactive and informed approach to ensuring legal compliance. Our approach is to operate conservatively, entirely within the bounds of current law, and to constantly monitor regulatory developments so that we can anticipate changes before they occur”.

For securing your personal Kraken account, the exchange offers the following security measures:

  • 2-Factor Authentication via Google Authenticator or Yubikey
  • Kraken “Master Key”, which is another 2FA passcode used for certain sensitive account actions.
  • Global lock settings allowing you to prevent changes being made to your account for a set number of days.

Kraken’s Pros and Cons vs the Competition

Below we’ll compare how Kraken fairs vs the other cryptocurrency exchanges we’ve reviewed.

Pros of Kraken

1) Long-standing Trust

Having operated in good faith since 2011, Kraken has built up community trust over a far longer timeframe than many competitors. While there appear to be many great new exchanges, it’s definitely a positive that Kraken launched just two years after Bitcoin did.

2) Offers a Variety of Cryptocurrencies, While Accepting Fiat Currency Deposits/Withdrawals

Currently, most major cryptocurrency exchanges fall into two categories.

One group of these exchanges offers deposits, withdrawals, and trading in fiat currency (USD, EUR, GBP, Etc.), but offers few cryptocurrencies to trade.

The second group offers a large variety of cryptocurrencies to trade, but does not off any fiat currency support.

Kraken break this mold, by offering fiat currency trading pairs for most cryptocurrencies on their exchange, including.

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Dash
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Litecoin
  • USDT
  • Augur
  • Monero
  • Ripple
  • Zcash

While this is certainly a nice advantage over the competition, you may end up wanting to just go with a cryptocurrency only exchange once you factor in Kraken’s cons (discussed below).

3) Fees Mostly on Par with Their Main Competitors

While Kraken’s fees aren’t particularly low, they are at least on par with their main competitors. Kraken uses a maker-taker fee schedule, that you can see in more detail here.

Cons of Kraken

1) Poor User Experience and Buggy Interface

Our biggest complaint with Kraken is the poor user experience we’ve had using the exchange.

A large contributor to this poor experience has been the user interface. Admittedly, this is a matter of personal opinion, although we’ve seen other users echo this sentiment on forums.

In our opinion, Kraken is hard to navigate, unintuitive, and just plain ugly. To illustrate this, take a look at what happens when you log in, then select the ETH/XBT (Ethereum/Bitcoin) trading pair in the dropdown menu.

Kraken Exchange Review Example of Poor User Interface

Rather than taking you to where you can trade that pair, it keeps you on the overview page. You then must click “New Order” to actually be brought to a page where you can buy and sell your chosen cryptocurrency.

Kraken Exchange Review Example of Poor User Interface 2

While the above is just our opinion, it’s a fact that we’ve experienced bugs when using Kraken including:

  • Orders we placed not going through (stuck loading).
  • Orders we placed going through, but the exchange not indicating that the order was placed. This ended up leading to us buying more of what we were trying to buy.
  • In the past, some even more serious bugs were reported by other Kraken users including this Reddit post.

Considering Kraken has had more time than most exchanges to create a user-friendly, well-functioning platform, there’s really no excuse for the current state of the platform.

2) Strict and Time-Consuming Verification Process

It’s certainly a good thing that Kraken is complying with all required regulations, but the execution of their verification requirements has been an issue for many users. A quick google search will show users complaining about how long verification has taken for their accounts, especially for “Tier 3 Verification”.

If you’re looking to buy altcoins with fiat currency, then Kraken is a well trusted exchange you can use.

With that said, we prefer options like Coinbase, Gemini, and GDAX for buying Bitcoin and Ethereum. We’d then recommend trading those cryptocurrencies on exchanges like Binance or Bittrex to buy altcoins.

There’s a reason Kraken isn’t a top 5 cryptocurrency exchange, despite being one of the first to market, and we think it’s due to the poor user experience. We’d recommend avoiding it, until they make some updates and fix bugs.

Kraken Review
  • Community Trust Grade
  • User Experience
  • Available Cryptocurrencies
  • Deposit/Withdrawal Methods
  • Security
  • Fees
  • Customer Support

Summary

Kraken is a well long-trusted cryptocurrency exchange, but their user experience leaves a lot to be desired.

Compare Kraken to Other Top Exchanges

Source: https://unhashed.com/exchange-review/kraken/

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Are The Tables Turning? Litecoin Transactions Compared To Bitcoin Are 75% And Growing

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Data compiled by @MASTERBTCLTC shows the number of Litecoin transactions is just under 75% of that of the number of Bitcoin transactions.

Litecoin transactions are 75% of the total bitcoin transactions.

When will litecoin transactions flip bitcoin transactions?

Sometime in 2021 I predict.

227k BTC vs 168k LTC transactions.”

More significantly, @MASTERBTCLTC suggests this could be the start of an uptrend leading to a flippening in transaction count sometime this year.

Litecoin vs. Bitcoin transactions

Source: @MASTERBTCLTC on Twitter.com

Considering wider factors, including the environmental argument against proof-of-work tokens, what can we deduce from this trend?

The Difference Between Litecoin and Bitcoin

Even though Litecoin is a Bitcoin fork, it differs in terms of its hashing algorithm, supply, and block transaction times.

Litecoin has a 2.5 minute block confirmation time versus 10 minutes for Bitcoin. This focus on speed and low transaction fees make it more suitable for microtransactions and point of sale payments.

Currently, average LTC transaction fees are coming in around $0.0104. In comparison, the average BTC transaction fee is $8.131.

However, the fundamental difference between the two lies in Litecoin’s use of the newer Scrypt Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm over Bitcoin’s SHA-256.

Cryptocurrency mining can happen using a CPU, GPU, or ASIC miner. ASIC miners can generate more hashes (tries) per second to match the target data string and “win” the block. Therefore ASIC miners have a distinct advantage over other mining methods.

But Scrypt was chosen by Litecoin developers because it is less responsive to ASIC mining. Although Scrypt ASIC miners have since come onto the market, a significant portion of Litecoin mining still occurs using CPUs and GPUs. This makes mining Litecoin more accessible for everyday people.

What’s Behind This Trend?

Much has been said about the environmental damage caused by Bitcoin mining in recent weeks. Although Litecoin and Bitcoin employ computationally intensive proof-of-work algorithms, Litecoin’s Scrypt model relies more heavily on memory than out and out processing power.

The upshot to this reduces the advantage of ASICs and increases network participation and energy efficiency. Hence some would argue that Litecoin is a greener token.

Research compiled by TRG Datacenters showed that Litecoin consumed 18.522 kilowatt-hours per transaction. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin came bottom of the list, consuming 707 kilowatt-hours per transaction.

Interestingly, Dogecoin, which also uses a Scrypt algorithm, consumed just 0.12 kilowatt-hours per transaction.

At the present time, it’s too speculative to state that crypto users are increasingly turning to Litecoin for green reasons.

But at the same time, the three months of data compiled by @MASTERBTCLTC shows a definite downtrend, of lower highs, in usage for Bitcoin.

Taken in conjunction with Litecoin’s rising transaction count this week, this may suggest users increasingly see Bitcoin primarily as a store of value, rather than a coin to make payment transactions with.

Litecoin daily chart YTD

Source: LTCUSD on TradingView.com

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/are-the-tables-turning-litecoin-transactions-compared-to-bitcoin-are-75-and-growing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=are-the-tables-turning-litecoin-transactions-compared-to-bitcoin-are-75-and-growing

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Old Doge, New Tricks: Is This Still The Year Of The Doge?

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It is safe to say that Doge has had an interesting year in 2021. The coin that everyone thought was down and out came back to be one of the top-gaining coins of the current bull market. Sure, the price increase had everything to do with Elon Musk shilling it on Twitter. But Dogecoin has had a tremendous run regardless.

The price of the coin remained flat for the better part of three years. Trading at under a cent. To everyone, Doge had seen its end. There were barely any talks about Doge in the market at all. With people focusing their attention on better-known coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum. That was until billionaire Elon Musk turned his attention on Doge.

The Rise Of Doge

Back in January, a tweet from Musk that simply said Doge went viral. Mere minutes later, the price of the coin had gone up. With the price increase, came investors FOMO-ing into the market.

Related Reading | By The Numbers: DOGE Achieves The Impossible, New ATH with BTC Pair

Amidst the frenzy, there were speculations that this was simply a pump and dump scheme that would burst as soon as it started. But that would not be the case.

With every tweet about Doge from Musk, the coin price just went up. People faithfully followed the billionaire’s tweeting patterns to buy and sell the coin. Soon, a coin that was trading at less than a cent a couple of days before was trading at 80 cents. More than 10,000 percent gains from its low.

Debates were started about the legality of the shilling. But it didn’t seem that Elon had broken any laws.

Doge price chart, showing the rise of dogecoin

Dogecoin recovers after crash | Source: DOGEUSD on TradingView.com

This gave the rise to meme coins. An ode to meme stocks. A phenomenon that started with GameStop on Reddit.

Investments in meme coins are made based on the social media buzz behind that coin. And what better buzz than the one created by one of the richest men on the planet.

Subsequent Crash And Recovery

Over the past five months, Doge has had its ups and downs. Mostly following the price of bitcoin as altcoins are wont to do. But it is no secret that the buzz has started to die down.

With a lot of investors buying at the top or near the top, the subsequent crash has left a lot of investors in losses. The “Dogefather,” as Musk is fondly called, seems to have abandoned the coin.

There has not been a tweet from Musk regarding Doge since April. And without him, the coin has been in a continuous downtrend. Investors in the coin have suffered massive losses in the market.

Related Reading | Down But Not Out, Dogecoin Stages 50% Recovery From Tuesday’s Low

People are calling for the “Dogefather” to help save the coin. But it would seem help is not forthcoming.

The coin crashed to 16 cents. A price point the coin had not been in since April. But the coin made a great recovery. Going up 40% in one day. A lot of Doge enthusiasts are still holding out hope that coin will replicate the massive run in January.

Despite people believing the bubble would burst on Doge and it would come crashing down, the coin has held its own in the market. Currently trading at 24 cents as at the time of this writing.

Featured image from FullyCrypto, chart from TradingView.com

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/old-doge-new-tricks-is-this-still-the-year-of-the-doge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=old-doge-new-tricks-is-this-still-the-year-of-the-doge

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Shanghai Man: China retains mining control? Alipay’s ancient NFTs and Amber’s big raise

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This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.

So low you’ve got to reach up to touch the bottom

This week in China felt like one giant mining-farm sized pile of FUD. This is usually a pretty good indication that a bottom is close to being in, but one can never be too sure when it comes to downwards volatility in cryptocurrency. Canaan, one of the largest mining companies in China, announced it was setting up shop in neighboring Kazakhstan. This is an ideal compromise for Canaan as it can remain close to China, while mitigating their regulatory risk. Reading between the lines, it seems like the plan is to mostly continue administration of the company from China while sending the machines overseas.

This would put a wrench in the works of the Bitcoin purists who believe that the crackdowns are a good way to break up China’s dominance in the mining industry. Just this week, a professor at a university in Singapore wrote in Chinese that the shift to a more decentralized network would be a good thing. This raised some eyebrows for the use of a made up word that translates roughly to ‘de-China-ization’, but the article holds even less weight when large mining companies like Canaan are able to shift physical equipment overseas but still remain in control of the governance.

Too big for postage stamps

On June 21, CNBC’s Beijing Bureau Chief Eunice Yoon posted on Twitter that a logistics company in Guangzhou was shipping 3,000 kilograms worth of mining hardware to Maryland, US. According to her claim, the price was $9.37 per kilogram. Some quick math reveals that the total cost would be less than the price of one Bitcoin, at least at the time of writing.

Bitmain lends a helping hand

Cointelegraph reported on June 23 that massive mining company Bitmain was suspending sales of mining hardware in a move to support the over-supplied secondhand markets. According to the article, sales of hashing power in China has seen a decrease of around 75% since the Spring. Bitmain is reportedly moving operations abroad as well, which would be a major move for the hardware manufacturing giant.

Mine-ami

Francis Suarez, everyone’s favorite Bitcoin-friendly mayor, was at it again on June 18 when he announced that all Chinese Bitcoin miners were welcome in Miami. The announcement was translated and posted on Sina Finance’s Blockchain Weibo account, which attracted over 53 comments from surprised netizens. Most of these user comments were negative in nature however, both towards Suarez and Bitcoin in general. A large portion of Weibo users hold cryptocurrencies in ill-regard, especially those that have been investing in the stagnant Chinese stock market.

Amber is the color of your energy

Amber, a cryptocurrency service provider based in Hong Kong, completed a Series B funding round worth $100m. Amber is well known among institutions for their financial services that include asset management, OTC services and lending.

Alipay’s foray into NFTs

Top payment processor Alipay continues to push its AntChain technology by partnering with the Dunhuang Research Academy to release 8,000 NFT skins. Dunhuang is famous for being an old silk road outpost and is home to Mogao Caves, a Unesco Heritage site. The NFTs featured artwork inspired by the cultural site and quickly sold out. AntChain is a private blockchain developed by Alibaba’s Ant Group.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/shanghai-man-china-retains-mining-control-alipay-s-ancient-nfts-and-amber-s-big-raise

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