If you are looking to get into crypto trading, you might be researching all its aspects including different cryptocurrency exchanges. After all, registering on an exchange is the first step towards getting into the world of crypto trading. Here, we will talk about the sign-up process for one such exchange which is Kraken.
San Francisco-based Kraken is among the top 3 cryptocurrency exchanges as per CoinMarketCap. Beginning with only Bitcoin, Litecoin and other Euro trades, it is now one of the largest crypto exchanges. Kraken has two versions- a basic platform and a pro version. Creating an account is mandatory to trade on either of them. Read on if you want to know how to sign up for a Kraken account.
What is Kraken?
Founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and Thanh Luu, Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. Based in San Francisco, Kraken hosts more than 185 cryptocurrencies and has over 9 million clients in 190+ countries. It has been at the forefront of the blockchain revolution since the beginning. The exchange has been a vital player in the formation of the Committee for the Establishment of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority to set the best crypto industry practices and standards.
Why Create an Account on Kraken?
You might be wondering what distinguishes Kraken from other crypto exchanges. What is it about this exchange that you should go through the effort of signing up on the website? Well, this is because Kraken has several features that make it an excellent choice for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Basic and Pro Version
Kraken essentially has two platforms- a basic and a pro one. The basic version is suitable for beginners who just want to buy and sell some cryptocurrency. They can transition to Kraken Pro when they are ready to dabble into advanced features like margin trading and stop orders. Plus, you get to take advantage of lower fees on Kraken Pro as compared to basic.
Registered and Regulated Entity
A lot of cryptocurrency exchanges often do not offer their services in the USA due to regulatory reasons. Kraken certainly has an advantage in this sphere. It is registered as a Money Service Business(MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network(FinCEN) and adheres to the legal requirements of the territories where it operates.
Staking your crypto on Kraken to earn some passive income can be a lucrative option. You can get rewards as high as 21% by staking your cryptocurrency on the exchange
Kraken values the security of its customers. Right from the beginning, it encourages users to make unique usernames and passwords for the exchange that they don’t use anywhere else. It does not even support email sign-in for security reasons.
It employs 2-factor authentication and you can also enable the Global Settings Lock for added security. The website is SSL encrypted and it keeps the majority of the crypto assets in advanced cold storage. This protects the assets from being stolen by hackers via an online attack.
Also, the fact that Kraken has never faced any major system-wide hack should be reassuring to you.
You can learn a lot about crypto simply by browsing Kraken’s “Learn” section. It has a blog, guides for individual cryptocurrencies, videos as well as a podcast on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. You can choose whichever format you like and gain some knowledge about cryptocurrencies before investing in them.
How to Register on Kraken
You have to create an account if you want to trade on Kraken. This is a very straightforward process; you can comfortably finish it in a few minutes.
- Step 1: Go to the Kraken website and click Create Account in the top-right corner.
- Step 2: Fill in your Email address, Username, Password and Country of Residence. Unlike other exchanges, Kraken does not support email sign-in. Hence, you need to create a unique username that you do not use anywhere else. Ensure that it is a mix of letters, numbers, dashes and underscores and does not contain Kraken in it.
- Step 3: The password you use for Kraken should not be used elsewhere. It is better to make it a combination of numbers, letters and special characters.
- Step 4: An activation code will be sent to your registered email address, so open your email address to access the activation code
- Step 5: An email containing the activation key will be sent to your registered email id. Enter the key in the Account Verification Form. Alternatively, you can also just click on the link in the email to complete activation.
- Step 6: Next, you have to confirm your password. You may also be asked to complete a captcha. After that, click on Create Account.
How to Verify Your Identity on Kraken
Kraken has four verification levels- Starter, Express(available only in the US), Intermediate and Pro. Different levels have different ID verification requirements. Starter and Express levels require only a few things like date of birth, physical address and social security number. Intermediate and Pro levels, however, require documents such as proof of residence, valid ID and face photo.
- Step 1: Log in to your Kraken account and click on your name in the top corner. Then click on Get Verified.
- Step 2: Now, you can see your current and pending verification levels. Click on Verify for the account level you want.
- Step 3: The Starter level only requires some personal information like phone number, date of birth and physical address. For the Express level, you have to also provide your Social Security Number and Occupation Information.
- Step 4: The verification for these levels is automated and can be completed in 1-2 minutes.
- Step 5: The intermediate level, in addition, requires a valid ID to be submitted along with proof of residence and a face photo. Take a picture of your ID in a well-lit environment and ensure the text is readable. Then Upload the photo.
- Step 6: Take the face photo with good lighting and do not wear anything that obscures your face. You can also upload a recent unedited picture from your device.
- Step 7: Since the intermediate level verification process is automated, it hardly takes more than 4-5 minutes to be approved if everything is correct.
- Step 8: When it comes to the Pro level, you need to be intermediate verified first. It requires more extensive documentation and you need to submit a KYC questionnaire and enable 2-factor authentication(2FA) sign-in.
- Step 9: After you submit the documents, it may take a few days for your application to be approved because the applications for the Pro level are manually reviewed.
How to Fund Your Kraken Account
You need to fund your account before you start trading on Kraken. Here, you can either go for bank deposits or use your debit or credit card or directly transfer crypto from another wallet into your Kraken account.
Adding a Debit or Credit Card
- Step 1: Sign in to your Kraken account and click on the Buy Crypto widget. Then select Payment Methods and after that, click on Add a Card.
- Step 2: The First and Last Name column is pre-filled with your legal name as verified on Kraken. Note that the card you are trying to add is issued in your name only and not someone else’s.
- Step 3: Enter your 16-digit Visa or Mastercard card number, the expiration date and the 3-digit security code on the back of your card.
- Step 4: Your billing address is pre-filled although you can edit it if you want. Check that the information you’ve entered is correct and then click on Continue.
- Step 5: Your card will now be validated after which you can find it in the Pay With options.
Making a Bank Deposit
- Step 1: Sign in to your Kraken account and navigate to the Funding tab. Select the Deposit option.
- Step 2: Type in the name of the currency you want to deposit and click on it. The number of available fiat currencies may be different for different regions.
- Step 3: Fill in the deposit amount and select your funding provider. Kraken recommends copying their bank details directly to your bank for smooth transfers.
- Step 4: It might be better to directly contact your bank for specific instructions since different banks may have different deposit requirements.
- Step 1: Log in to your Kraken account and go to the Funding tab. After you click on Deposit, start searching for the cryptocurrency you want to deposit and click on it.
- Step 2: If this is the first time you are depositing crypto, you will have to generate a new deposit address before moving further. Click on Generate Deposit Address. The deposit address will be available after a few seconds.
- Step 3: Before you deposit crypto, go through the instructions and deposit requirements on each individual currency’s page.
- Step 4: Copy the deposit address and paste it into the wallet from which the funds would be transferred. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code to transfer funds from your mobile wallet.
- Step 5: Crypto deposits have to meet a minimum number of confirmations on their blockchain before they can be credited to your account. The time taken for a cryptocurrency to be credited depends on the minimum confirmations required.
For example, AAVE requires approximately 70 confirmations and the processing time is about 14 minutes. On the other hand, DOT does not require confirmations and the transfer is near-instant.
How to Secure Your Kraken Account
Securing your account is of utmost importance to protect your information and assets from getting into the hands of hackers and other malicious actors. On Kraken, you can secure your account with a basic app-based 2-Factor Authentication(2FA) and then set up a Security Key and Global Settings Lock(GSL).
- Step 1: Click on your name in the top corner after you log in to your Kraken account.
- Step 2: First click on Security and then select 2FA settings. Turn 2FA On or Off for the required functions i.e. sign-in, trading, funding, Master Key or API Keys.
- Step 3: Install Google Authenticator or any other Authenticator app on your phone. Scan the QR code displayed on the screen. In place of that, you can also manually enter the setup key.
- Step 4: Enter the code shown in your 2FA app and click on Confirm.
A security key is a physical device that is a more secure way of setting up 2FA. Sign-in 2FA on Kraken can be secured with FIDO2 and OATH OTP protocols but funding 2FA and Master Key only support OATH OTP(Yubikey).
- Step 1: Before starting the process, ensure that your security key is compatible with OATH OTP or FIDO2. Then, sign in to your Kraken account.
- Step 2: Click on your name at the top and then select Security under which you have to click on 2FA settings.
- Step 3: Choose the functions for which you want to turn on 2FA. Go to the Security Key menu and keep your key ready.
- Step 4: Click on Set up Key and insert your security key into your device. Some keys, however, might require you to hold them against the device instead of inserting them.
- Step 5: Click Allow to enable Kraken to confirm the make and model of your security key.
Global Settings Lock
It is recommended to activate Global Settings Lock as it not only hides sensitive information but also prevents changes from being made to your Kraken account.
- Step 1: Log in to your account and click on your name displayed at the top.
- Step 2: You need to first set up a Master Key before moving forward with GSL. Switch it on in the 2FA settings under the Master Key section.
- Step 3: Next, select Global Settings Lock under Security settings.
- Step 4: Now, you have to set the unlock timer. This is the required waiting period before you can unlock the GSL. The default is 3 days but you can change it as per your needs.
- Step 5: In the final step, click on Activate Global Settings Lock to complete the set-up.
Venturing into crypto trading may seem intimidating but the right exchange can make it easy and convenient. Kraken is an exchange that offers something for both beginners and advanced traders. Registering an account on it is a very straightforward process and the exchange values your security from the first step. Follow the above steps and you will have no trouble creating an account on Kraken.