Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as multi-factor authentication (MFA), is an extra layer of security for your Kraken account.
Kraken supports two 2FA methods:
2FA with a Passkey (most secure)
A Passkey is a small physical device used for additional security next to your password and is considered to be one of the most secure methods of 2FA. Most Passkeys are very simple and you only need to touch or tap a button while it is plugged into the USB port of your device.
At this moment only sign-in 2FA can be secured with both FIDO2 and Yubico OTP protocols. We expect to support FIDO2 for all 2FA functions in the near future.
An Authenticator app (moderately secure)
An authenticator app is usually installed on a smartphone and generates a 6-8 digit code every 30 seconds. The code can be used for signing in, trading, depositing or withdrawing funds from your account or as a Master Key.
Note: 2FA for each of these account actions needs to be setup separately.
How to secure your account with a Passkey
Make sure your Security Key is compatible with Yubico OTP or FIDO2.
- 1Sign in to your Kraken account and select your name in the upper-right corner of the page.
- 2Select Settings and click on Security.
- 3Decide which function you want to set up with a Passkey.
- Select the OFF/ON toggle under the desired function (Sign-in, Master key, Funding) or select Change method if you currently have 2FA set up and you would like to change it.
- 4Select Passkey.
- 5Select the Security Key menu and click on the Set up key button.
- 6Insert your Security key into your device. Some Passkeys will instead require you to hold it against your device.
- 7Click Allow on the following screen.
- 8Touch your Security Key.
- 9Congratulations, you have secured your Kraken account!
How to secure your account with an Authentication app
- 1Sign in to your Kraken account and click the profile icon in the upper-right corner of the page.
- Select Settings and then click Security.
- 2Decide which function you want to set up 2FA for.
- Select the OFF/ON toggle under the desired function (Sign-in, Master key, Funding, Trading) or select Change method if you currently have 2FA set up and you would like to change it.
- 3Select Authenticator app.
- 4Open the authenticator app on your device and either scan the QR code provided or manually enter the setup key. 2FA that uses the authenticator app method can be backed up by storing the setup key.
- 5Enter the numeric code that appears in your authenticator app and click the Confirm button.
- 6If you set up sign-in 2FA, you will see "2FA app" appear under authentication method.
- If you set up funding 2FA, trading 2FA, or Master Key 2FA, the "On/Off" dial will be toggled to the on position to the right.
- In all cases, 2FA app will be shown as the method.
- 7Congratulations, you have secured your Kraken account!
Differences between an authenticator app and a Passkey
Each function can have 2FA enabled using different methods. For example, you may choose to use the Passkey method for the sign-in function because Passkeys are the most convenient and secure to use in daily life.
Then for your Master Key function, you may choose to use the authenticator app method because it is less convenient to use and not needed as frequently. The Master Key is only needed in the rare case when you've lost your sign-in 2FA, have to change your password or need to remove the GSL immediately.
Having sign-in 2FA and the Master Key on the same device cancels out the security that these functions guarantee when kept separate. The 2FA method used for the Master Key should be different from the one used for your sign-in 2FA, otherwise it defeats the purpose of the Master Key.
Why should I use a Passkey instead of an authenticator app?
- Simplicity All you need to do with a Passkey is plug it into, or hold it against your device and touch or tap a button. No need to copy a passcode from an authenticator app or worry about your device's battery running out.
- Security OTP’s generated by a Passkey are significantly longer than those from an authenticator app (44 characters versus 8 or less characters). FIDO2 adds additional security on top of this, because the protocol will only respond to a challenge from the website that you registered it on, and will therefore prevent phishing.
- Harder to lose We see a lot of tickets at Kraken Support because someone lost their phone. In our experience, it is less likely to lose a device specifically used for 2FA than a phone that is carried around all the time.
- Privacy Even if you lose your Passkey, it has no identifiable information about what it is used for or who it belongs to. In contrast, an authenticator app mentions the website name and some identifiable account information because the passcode needs to be manually read by a human.