What is an Authenticator App?

If you just want to learn how to set up Two-factor Authentication (2FA) using an authenticator app, click here.


An authenticator app is usually installed on a smartphone and it generates a 6-8 digit passcode every 30 seconds.

The passcode can be used for login, trading, and depositing or withdrawing funds from your account, or as a Master KeyNote: 2FA for each of these account actions needs to be setup separately.

How does an authenticator app work?

The passcodes are generated from a secret code that is shared between the service you are using (e.g. Kraken) and your device, as well as the current time.

The secret code is all that is needed for backup.

Note: authenticator apps are not tied in any way to your SIM card or phone number, and that's a good thing.

Where can I get an authenticator app?

There are a variety of authenticator apps that you can download for your smartphone.

A popular example is Google Authenticator, which can be found in Google Play and the iOS App Store.

Open source alternatives include FreeOTP Authenticator and andOTP.

Security tips for using an authenticator app?

Be sure to enable remote locking and erasing of your smartphone in case you ever lose it.

Instructions for Android / iPhone.

Alternatives to an authenticator app?

While an authenticator app is a secure and convenient option that is used by many of our clients, it is still vulnerable to phishing due to the 30-second window.

Yubikeys are considered to be both more convenient and more secure.