Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in San Francisco in 2011. Today, it is one of the oldest and most respected exchanges in the industry, with a global presence and a strong reputation for security and reliability

Kraken offers users the ability to buy and sell a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including market leaders like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as up-and-coming altcoins. In total, the exchange supports over 185 different coins, making it one of the most diverse platforms on the market. Kraken is available in 190 countries and offers support for individual and institutional investors. 

In addition to spot trading, Kraken also offers margin accounts and futures trading, which allow advanced traders to leverage their positions and take advantage of market movements.  For new crypto investors, the easiest place to start is with the main Kraken platform. This platform is relatively easy to use, even for those who have little to no experience with cryptocurrencies. It is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, with a simple interface that makes it easy to buy, sell, and exchange coins.

For more experienced traders, Kraken Pro offers lower fees and more advanced features. This platform is designed for active trading and offers a range of tools and resources to help users make informed decisions about their trades. However, the interface can be more complex and may take some time to get used to. However, it is important to note that the fees on the main Kraken platform can be higher than on Kraken Pro. 

When it comes to fees, pricing on Kraken varies depending on the platform you are using and the trade you are entering. For instant purchases, the fee is 1.5% for most cryptocurrencies and 0.9% for stablecoins using U.S. dollars or another stablecoin. Additional fees may apply depending on how you fund the purchase.

On Kraken Pro, fees are based on your total trading volume over the last 30 days. Most trades are subject to either a 0.26% taker fee or a 0.16% maker fee. Maker orders are trades that are not instantly matched against existing orders, which add liquidity to the platform. Taker fees are charged to orders that match against an outstanding order from another user on the market and require a slightly higher fee.

Kraken recently reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 9, 2023, to pay $30 million in penalties and discontinue its staking business. As part of the agreement, Kraken will end its staking services for U.S. customers, but non-U.S. clients will still have access to this feature through a separate Kraken subsidiary.