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I switched to Kraken from Binance. Here's why you might want to too.
To be completely honest, I didn't have any bad experiences persé on Binance, yet. It's just that since the banking systems in the UK mostly abandoned Binance, they themselves have disabled all (SEPA) bank transactions for all European users. That means that I can't withdraw or deposit fiat money.
That's the second reasoning I have for switching. My total value on Binance was only 2€ worth of BNB anyway, so there wasn't any pressing reason for me not to switch, just in case those banks and investigations turned out to have good reasons. But then the question became.
Well, turns out that since the last time I went looking for an exchange, there's been an exchange boom of sorts. So what did I do? I turned to the very first exchange I ever heard about. Unleash the Kraken!
Anyway, I went through creating an account, which is pretty basic, easy, and simple. Yes, they require KYC for the intermediary level features. But if you want anything more than p2p trading these days, you're going to have to accept that, I guess.
Depositing my first €10 (re-starting my DCA strategy here) was a bit awkward, but that was mainly due to the document I used for proof of residence. It was vague and I had to resend it. But it did give me the chance to discover one aspect of Kraken that is exceptionally good: The support.
I've got a special interest in support, having worked for decades in all kinds of support myself. One of the more irritating and aggravating developments of the past decade is the use of the "Chat" function to represent the support for an organization. There are more and more no chat functions at all but simple "AI" bots that respond to your question by shoveling search results from databases for you and then have you figure it out for yourself. If you then want more support, a form pops up which you fill out to basically just send an email that may or may not eventually be answered. Not so with Kraken!
Here's the transcript of the chat I had with the support guy about my first deposit:
Chat started on 20 Jul 2021, 12:17 PM (GMT+0)
* Visitor 65040848 joined the chat *
Visitor 65040848: I deposited 10€ to my account, but it is not showing up.
* Flynn joined the chat *
Flynn: Hi, I'm Flynn.
Flynn: The processing times vary for wire deposits, which funding provider of ours did you send it to and when did you send it?
Visitor: it was a sepa transfer to payward ltd, gb60 clju 0099 7129 9001 60 (aa04 n84g legal dkma kraken,com at 14.01 today
Visitor: Does that make sense?
Visitor: Copied it from my phone
Flynn: Yes that is Clear Junction they can take up to 3 days to process, but most come in 1-2 days.
Visitor: the bank app sais it was instantly arrived, so that's why i worried.
Flynn: Let me check your account and see if I can see it coming through.
Visitor: If you say wait, i do wait./
Flynn: It might on your Banks side, but it has to be processed by our funding providers side also.
Flynn: Please sign in to our Support Center using this link: www.kraken.com/support-login so that I can view your account.
Visitor: Ok, no problem, i'll just wait a little. The app said it had instantly arrived but if that's before its processed, i'm fine with that. Thanks. If its not there this evening or tomorrow, then i'll ring your bells again. Thanks.
* Visitor has rated the chat Good *
vansilfhout: logged on i think
Flynn: Thank you, please allow me a few moments to look at your account.
vansilfhout: no prob
Flynn: I do not see it in your account just yet, I see the verification team emailed you though 30 minutes ago, did you see that email they sent you?
vansilfhout: o,O no, sorry haven't looked. Was busy with the 2fa and stuff... i'll look into the mail, and fix that and come back if needed? Sound good:"?
Flynn: Yeah perfect, they need you to submit a new "proof of address" document to finish verifying your account, make sure to check your spam folder incase it went there.
vansilfhout: ok, cool, i'll go do that then. Thanks for the quick assist! I'm impressed! (35 years of servicedesk management speaking!)
Flynn: No problem we try to be fast and precise and we are 24/7 365 days a year for anything you need with Kraken:)
vansilfhout: Awesome! Thanks and have a good one!
Flynn: Same to you mate, all the best.
Flynn: Should you need anything else, we are here in live chat 24/7 to help. Bye for now and have a great day! To end this chat, please click the "Options" button (3 lines or dots) in your chat window and select "End this chat".
* Chat Rating request has been sent. *
* vansilfhout has rated the chat Good *
* vansilfhout has commented: swift, precise, helpfull and friendly. Couldn't ask for more!!! *
The whole idea is to (re) start building up my portfolio through the DCA strategy, so the first thing I did when the €10,- had reached my account was a straight-up swap for BCH. Within a few clicks and a few minutes, this was done. No-fuss, no difficulties, fast and cheaply. €9.98 in BCH was on my account in no time, having paid €0.02.
I wasn't planning on using the BCH for trading (I need way more knowledge before I dive back into that little hobby!) but I did have a look at the features that Kraken provides for that. I must say that I'm impressed. There's a chart function on the trading screen that is probably as extensive as that of a premium account at tradingview.com. I did notice though that things like margin trading and futures trading are done differently from how things go on Binance.
To me, it seems a bit less intuitive, but as I've not looked into it in any detail, I won't be able to make any reliable statements on that. Luckily, there is a load of learning material available to get you from ignorant to day trading experts for those who want to take trading to a next level. Just to see how the Support people handle the crypto illiterate, though, I hit up another chat with them. Here's the transcript:
Chat started on 22 Jul 2021, 04:11 PM (GMT+0)
* vansilfhout joined the chat *
Visitor: Do i understand correctly that "Short" is sell and "Long" is buy? And why aren't the words sell and buy used on exchanges?
* Flynn joined the chat *
Visitor: (i know dumb question but i'm a n00b0
Flynn: Hi, I'm Flynn.
Flynn: It is not a dumb question:)
Flynn: You are correct in that to short is to sell and to long is to buy.
Flynn: But Shorting and Longing are used in "margin positions" when trading on "leverage"
Visitor: ah ok. but still don't understand why?
Flynn: You will see Buy and Sell for the order types when you make a trade on the order form.
Visitor: buying and selling with margin and leverage still takes the same time don't it?
Flynn: Well a margin position is not exactly physically buying and selling it is opening a margin position to buy or sell, which the terms "long and short" are used for.
Visitor: ok. point taken.
Flynn: How do you mean the same time?
Visitor: somehow my brain wanted to think that buying took longer than selling. But now i get that it was a stupid notion.
Visitor: One more question. Isn't futures trading just margin trading with bigger leverage?
Flynn: Have you ever traded with "leverage" before?
Flynn: Yes to a degree it is, I am not a "futures" expert though.
Visitor: Not on kraken. I came here from Binance, which isn't trusted by banks, so i guess i shouldn't either right
Visitor: Anyway on binance they had 2 categories of margin trading, i don't see that here. Is that right?
Flynn: I am not sure how margin trading works on Binance sorry, but it is not the exact same on all exchanges. On Kraken selecting leverage on a spot order will open a margin position, either going long or going short.
Flynn: And then you have the option to either "close" or "settle" the margin position that you have opened, when you want to end it.
Visitor: on binance the difference was that "isolated" margin trading had a different wallet and you were restricted to certain pairs but the leverage was 10x. Normal margin trading had its own wallet too but not limited to a pair and had only 3x margin. But i guess here the "isolated" is umbrella'd under futures?
Flynn: That isolated system they have sounds a but like "Kraken Futures" which has higher leverage options.
Visitor: ah well, that's not something i should bother you with i guess. I just learned i have to hold off on margin and futures for a while and sit on my bch while i go through all of your videos. No sense in risking what little i have on opening a goofy position that makes no sense. The basic thing i learned now is "things are different here. Go learn some...." ;) Thanks! (You guys are another thing binance don't have by the way! You're breathtaking!!)
Visitor: one tiny itty bitty question: OTC doesn't mean over the counter?
Visitor: Yeah i was allready on that page, watched one video. But i was kind of itching not to miss the breakout the price is gonna do tonight. :D But i guess i'll have to hope i'm wrong for the first time in weeks and that the price is still at this level after i get through the vids.
Visitor: Thanks again, have a good day! Stay safe and stay happy!
Flynn: I totally understand:) trying to catch a moment to place a trade can get the emotions going, slow and steady wins the race though is my motto, better to make sure steps than run and miss a step:) Yes watch the videos and we have the Youtube channel also, is some videos on it, you can see here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChYclcUdjcVAoHkA689PswQ
Visitor: Hey is it okay if i use this chat transcript in an article about how much better Kraken is opposed to Binance.
Flynn: Same to you, I hope you and yours will be safe and well.
Flynn: I am sure it will be ok, we have been getting good feedback lately online about us having the best support options for the major Crypto exchanges.
Flynn: Do you know how to email the transcript to yourself?
Visitor: Thanks. Yes, i just found the option. Again thanks a lot and have a good one! Bye Flynn
* Visitor has rated the chat Good *
Flynn: Same to you, take care and if you need anything else you know where we are mate.
Flynn: I'll let you go for now, but please chat with us again anytime. To end this chat, please click the "Options" button (3 lines or dots) in your chat window and select "End this chat".
With the detailed information provided and the support they provide i feel confidence and secure when I'm dealing with Kraken. Have a look at the funding page:
I am pleased and enthusiastic about Kraken.com. They seem to be reliable (can't find many bad experiences on the internet), their support (so far) is exceptional, and they provide more than Binance can offer at the moment. They also have a load of resources to learn what you need to trade on their platform and their other services. The fees seem to be competitive, and they are transparent to a level that some might feel they're too meticulous.
But for now, I am comfortable in recommending Kraken.com as a very good, reliable, extensive, and feature-rich exchange that's certainly better than my experiences on Binance and other exchanges I've been on.