K𝔯ake𝕟 - La𝔯gest T𝔯ading Fi𝔯m
Kraken offers a feature-rich trading platform for individual cryptocurrency enthusiasts as well as large trading firms. It has a variety of account types that cover the needs of all kinds of traders and investors.
With its advanced order system and trading tools – which include a variety of stop loss and profit-taking order types, leverage and margin-based trading, automated strategy trading, and a big pool of cryptocurrencies to trade in – Kraken ranks among the leaders in cryptocurrency exchanges.
Issues with Kraken
Along the way, Kraken has also hit a few roadblocks in recent times. In May 2017, Kraken, along with the bitcoin exchange Poloniex, was hit with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, leading to huge losses for market participants.13
The incident led to a class action lawsuit being filed against Kraken, where plaintiffs are seeking over $5 million which they claim they lost as a result of Kraken’s mishandling of the DDoS attack.14
This was a major blow to Kraken's image, which had boasted that it was the safest cryptocurrency trading platform, and claimed to be the trust winner by Mt. Gox trustees.
As cryto-mania sweeps the globe, a large number of new participants have jumped on the bandwagon. Regular occurrences of performance issues at cryptocurrency exchanges have marred the increasing liquidity and trading activities in the bitcoin market. The spike tested and literally broke the Kraken platform - as a few days “produced 50,000 new account registrations and 10,000 new support tickets” – something that led to questions about Kraken's stability and scalability.15
The Bottom Line
Despite recent challenges, Kraken remains among the most popular virtual currency trading platforms. While it is not uncommon to see even established stock exchanges get hit by temporary snags, the decentralized and anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies makes trading them very challenging.
Although cryptocurrencies largely remain outside of the purview of government regulation, trading exchanges and marketplaces will need to balance regulations imposed by real-world regulators and the unknown, uncontrolled valuation mechanism of the various digital currencies. (For more, see SEC Chair Testified About Cryptocurrency Regulation Before Congress.)
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.
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