Bitstamp VS Kraken: Which Exchange is Better in 2021?

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If you are trying to compare Bitstamp vs Kraken, it's important to understand the differences. Absolutely crucial that you choose the right and most convenient exchange for yourself and your business. Trading on the right exchange option can, and probably will take your crypto experience to another level finding it beneficial, entertaining and fun, and of course, you’ll grow in knowledge even faster!

But how can we decide on Bitstamp or Kraken? After reading this guideline, you’ll be able to build your criteria to choose which exchange option is the most appropriate for you and your goals. As we go on, we will let you know about all the characteristics of both platforms. Come with us to find out.

 Let the games begin!

Bitstamp VS Kraken:  The Origins!

A little bit of history might help you understand a lot of things that are crucial so we can comprehend these exchanges better. Check out these bullet points:

  • Everything started in 2011. Unprecedentedly, one Bitcoin (BTC) reached an equivalent value of one US dollar, and at this stage, everyone aware of that started to have an idea of how much value cryptocurrency could reach not so far into the future.
  • Coincidentally, during this time Mt. Gox, was hacked. This turned out to be a bridge for people to start losing trust and start thinking about how to innovate and improve the Cryptocurrency system.

The 2 points above would give birth to the ideas of 3 three men (who we will mention soon),  who were aware of the rise of Bitcoin and Mt. Gox falling. 

One of these men gave birth to Kraken, while the other two built Bitstamp.

Bitstamp Story

bitstamp vs kraken

Bitstamp is the game and Nejc Kodric and Damian Merlak are the names. These two men are the ones behind Bitstamp's creation in Slovenia, the home country of these two visionaries. 

The duo was looking to create a platform that users could trust the same way as they trusted the Bank of England or the New York Stock Exchange. That vision was one of the main reasons they were able to establish the company as envisioned. 

In order to do this, they moved some of Bitstamp’s operations to the UK back in 2013 but as time went on and thanks to suggestions from PayPal’s president,  in 2016, Bitstamp moved to Luxembourg and became the world’s first nationally licensed crypto exchange. At this point, Bitstamp had to follow the same laws as other financial institutions in Luxembourg. By gaining a proper operational license in Luxembourg it meant Bitstamp automatically was licensed throughout the 28 countries of the European Union.

Kraken Story

bitstamp or kraken

Kraken was founded by Jesse Powell in the United States, San Francisco, California. This man had the experience of personally visiting the offices of Mt. Gox in Japan and was stoked and surprised by what he saw there. He spurged with excitement. 

Kraken was created specifically to be an exchange option in which users could trust in. Powell believed in transparency and he was looking for its users to be able to visualize how Kraken worked/functioned, and most importantly to know that their money was safe there. He was clever as he anticipated the importance of the user experience from the very first moment.

One fair point for Kraken lies in its solid partnerships with large financial institutions in Europe and Asia as well as buying other crypto businesses such as CryptoWatch and Glidera. In 2016, Kraken bought three-coin exchanges: Coinsetter, Cavirtex, and CleverCoin. Buying Coinsetter and Cavirtex helped Kraken grow in North America and CleverCoin made it even more powerful in Europe.

These actions mentioned above, allowed Kraken to grow long arms able to cross the worldwide oceans, just like the giant sea monster.

As you can guess,  Bitstamp and Kraken are currently two of the pioneers and most important trusted exchanges in the cryptocurrency world. However, if this is not enough for you to make a decision yet, we’re going over some specific differences and elements that they have in common. Let’s go!

Fiat Currencies

Probably the main fact you want to know about any crypto exchange is whether or not you can trade using fiat currencies.

NOTE:  A fiat currency is any currency that is supported by a government. They are the legal currencies of countries. Examples of fiat currencies are the US Dollar, the Japanese Yen, The Euro in the EU, and so on. 

This happens to be the first element in common between Bitstamp and Kraken. Both give you the option of exchanging fiat currency for coins. This is best for traders and investors, especially beginners, to buy and sell coins using their local currencies. 

Bear in mind that Bitstamp offers just USD and Euros, and Kraken offers a greater number of fiat options such as USD, Canadian dollar, Yen, Euro, and even pounds. We believe that if you understand and take the right decision in this aspect you can change your game and could be a great starting point. 


Fees vary between currencies, the location of the person, and the coins being exchanged. In general, fees charged by Kraken will be a bit higher than what Bitstamp’s fees are. Bitstamp sticks to a standard charge for all trades under $20,000, while Kraken charges buyers 0.16% and sellers 0.26% per trade. Kraken’s withdrawal fees are also another thing to consider but they are very reasonable, among the best in the market.

See Also: How to transfer Bitcoin from Coinbase to Kraken

Coins Offer

Bitstamp offers a lesser number of coins including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.

Kraken offers nearly 17 coins on its exchange including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Melon, Dogecoin, Ripple, Monero, Ethereum and many more. 


Bitstamp and Kraken have apps that allow customers to buy/sell cryptocurrencies, check their latest prices, access the latest information and more.

That's good news as both exchanges offer to trade on mobile apps.

You can only use Kraken on iOS but you can use Bitstamp on iOS and Android. Bitstamp’s app has a better reputation as Kraken’s app can be buggy and unreliable at times, even glitchy.

You will be able to know what currencies you can trade, what kinds of trades you can make and what devices you can use easily using these apps!


Well, this is an aspect that could be really subjective on the high level, however, we’ll give you the best overview possible so you can decide which one works better for you as you consider important facts as your time, page navigation, and other things in order to optimize your exchange actions.

NOTE: The user interface for both platforms is quite simple and smooth, but since both were not designed keeping beginners in mind, there can be a few confusing elements at times.

Bitstamp Interface:

bitstamp interface

Kraken Interface:

kraken interface

Bitstamp does a better job of providing customers with up to date information regarding currencies. It lists coins out cleanly and provides a comprehensive trading page. Kraken has too many things going for it on the trading page with charts, volumes, and statistical tools that are ideal for advanced traders. Investors can choose either as they might not be interested in looking at these pages every day. It really comes down to your level and preference.

When it comes to interface, once you have chosen the platform you want to use, the best advice we can give you is to get as familiar as possible with the interface and make it your strength, even though if you choose one platform, you’ll be missing the positive characteristics of the other one. Keep that in mind! There are great things to learn from both!

Which is Safer – Bitstamp or Kraken?

Bitstamp was hacked once in 2015 and has since doubled up on its security. Although no customers lost coins, the site’s security protocols have raised a few eyebrows as that affects their credibility. You can read more about the safety of Bitstamp here.

So, we want to be honest as we can be when it comes to safety. Kraken has been killing it over Bitstamp as it has never been hacked. They keep most of the cryptocurrencies offline. Kraken is very safe and uses two-factor authentication to keep accounts and coins safe. 

Bitstamp vs Kraken: Size

Let’s go over the size of these cryptocurrency exchanges by looking at some numbers,  specifically by its 24-hour trading volume. The trading volume of an exchange is the total amount of cryptocurrency that is bought and sold in one single day. It is usually written down as an amount of US Dollars. Below are the trading volumes for Bitstamp and Kraken on 04/18/18;

Kraken: 184,509,912 USD

Bitstamp: 134,724,737 USD

Is it important to understand how these numbers compare with the rest of the market? Of course:

The 24-hour trading volume of all the exchanges listed on was more than 18 billion USD for 04/18/18. This gives Kraken about 9% and Bitstamp about 6% of the market. Kraken is rated as the 12th biggest exchange on the market and Bitstamp is 14th. That’s huge.

But size isn’t that important when choosing a crypto exchange, it is the currencies that an exchange offers, so we should never forget that. 

So, Kraken is bigger, but not by much. One could say if Kraken is Coca Cola then Bitstamp is Pepsi!

Final Comments

Kraken vs Bitstamp are international platforms with a lot of satisfied and loyal users all over the world. 

Bitstamp is a very safe, customer-focused platform. It wants its users to trust it as much as they trust their own bank. Its fees are low, so it’s a good place to start trading (especially if you live in the EU). For a beginner, Bitstamp’s features are probably easier to use than Kraken’s. However, there are talks about Bitstamps’s leveraged trading (which is not for the faint of heart) being in the works. We’ll find out soon enough if that does materialize. 

Kraken offers near unbeatable fees and coin choices. It has enough trading features to keep users of all experience levels interested. If you’re a beginner and a fast learner, then Kraken is a suitable place to start crunching. Not to mention that Kraken has pretty much unbeatable security for its clients.

The world of crypto exchanges changes fast. Platforms will come and go but it seems like these two are here to stay. 

Your choice and your decision: Bitstamp vs Kraken, which is your favorite? 

Have you learned to differentiate Bitstamp from Kraken and, most importantly, are you ready to pick one? 

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Looking forward to hearing from you.

See Also: Bitstamp VS Coinbase

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superb post.Never knew this, thanks for letting me know.

Legendary Trader(smile)

Great Article Jose! I am a total newbie and this has helped me to pick a site. Security wins in my mind!