How to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and FX on Kraken

Before you can start buying and selling, you'll need to deposit funds into your Kraken account. 

Once your account is funded, you can use this guide to place your first order!

Note: Kraken has numerous trading options and order types. To help keep things simple, this article will review our instant buy option and cover a basic Market or Limit order as well.

Instantly buy crypto on Kraken

The quickest way to buy, sell and convert crypto instantly is using the Buy Crypto button when you are signed in to, or on the Kraken app. Not all cryptocurrencies will be available via this option. Transactions using the Instant Buy/Sell Services are subject to fees. You are presented with the applicable fees after selecting ‘preview buy’ before entering into the transaction. 

Trading on the exchange

  1. 1
    Select currency pair

    First you will need to know what assets you would like to exchange, for example buying Bitcoin with your USD or selling Ethereum (ETH) for euros. After you know which pairs you’ll be trading, you can select them from the ticker/quote bar near the top left corner while viewing the Trade tab.


    To find out what each ticker stands for, see: Cryptocurrencies available on Kraken.

    The first currency in a pair represents the base currency, while the second in a pair represents the quote currency.

    In a Buy order: you pay the quote currency, and receive the base currency.

    In a Sell order: you sell the base currency, and receive quote currency.

    From here you can select any of the trading pairs.

  2. 2
    Fill out order form

    After selecting your trading pair, go to the New Order page and select the Simple form.


    Here you’ll see three text boxes and the option to use a market or limit order. Before we input values into these boxes, knowing how a market or limit order works is necessary.

    A market order is meant for immediate execution, as it will match with limit orders that are already available on our order books. Market orders will always incur a slightly higher fee known as a taker fee (the second percent beside your 30 day volume). With market orders you can only input the volume you would like to buy or sell and not the price.


    Limit orders will execute at the price you’ve set or better, once the market reaches your limit price. They can be subject to maker or taker fees depending on when it executes. If a matching order already exists and it’s executed immediately, then taker fees will be charged.

  3. 3
    Submit order

    Once you’ve decided on if you’re looking for a market or limit order, you can select your choice with the buttons to the left of the Total field.

    After things look good you just need to press the large buy/sell button and you’ll be brought to an order confirmation screen for a chance to double check your order.

    This screen can be avoided if the Skip order confirmations box is checked.

    Note: the order confirmation page will truncate (not round) the amount of cryptocurrency to spend/receive based on that cryptocurrency's price precision (rather than the volume precision). The extra volume not shown is still included in the order.
  4. 4
    Wait for order execution

    If a market order is selected, the trade will happen instantly and your balance will change. Funds can be withdrawn or used to trade again right away. You can view successfully executed (closed) market orders on the Orders tab.

    Limit orders may not be filled right away but you can view their status in the Orders tab. In the below example, the BTC/USD price would have to reach $54,500 for the limit buy order to be executed.

    If your order has not yet been executed you are able to cancel the order by selecting the red x button under New & Open Orders.