Kraken.com is a cryptocurrency exchange. This means we match orders from clients who want to buy cryptocurrencies with orders from clients who want to sell cryptocurrencies (or vice versa).
Kraken.com is not:
Kraken is not a wallet
We provide clients the ability to deposit funds to our corporate hot and cold wallets for safekeeping while the funds are being exchanged or used for trading, but we do not provide a personal wallet service.
Kraken is not a bank
While we had our application for a bank charter approved by the state of Wyoming, we have not yet opened a bank for business and when we do it will be a separate entity to our exchange operating at www.kraken.com.
Cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs for each of their clients because exchanges are not savings institutions.
This means that funds should only be sent to exchanges for trading or staking,** not for saving.
Kraken is not a broker
In traditional financial exchanges, direct market access is restricted to a handful of institutions. As a result, mainstream clients need to use brokers to participate.
At Kraken, we give direct market access to any verified client — making brokers obsolete.
This means that:
- Our support team cannot manage (create, modify or cancel) orders on your behalf. It is one of the ways we ensure client security.
- If someone claims to be a cryptocurrency broker, it's often a scam.
Kraken is not an investment fund or advisor
Listing a cryptocurrency on our exchange does not constitute an endorsement by Kraken, nor in any way a recommendation to buy (or sell) the asset or participate in the associated network.
While we do extensive research in our evaluation of an asset before listing, we focus on aspects of the project’s legitimacy (it is not illegal and not a scam) and on the security and reliability of the settlement layer (our risk in allowing deposits and withdrawals of the cryptocurrency). Our research does not in any way consider whether the price is justified or likely to go up or down in the future. Do your own research and invest at your own risk.
Kraken is not a shop
We are not the one selling or buying cryptocurrencies from you.*
This means that:
- If you mess up an order, we cannot undo or "refund" it.
- We have no control over price.
Prices on exchanges are based on client activity.
If there are more or larger sell orders than buy orders, the buy orders start running out faster and this causes the price to go down.
If there are more or larger buy orders than sell orders, the sell orders start running out faster and it causes the price to go up.
This also explains why prices across exchanges are never exactly the same, as they have different clients with different activity.
*Our (optional) OTC desk works differently from our Kraken.com exchange platform. The OTC desk takes the other side of every trade along with all the associated risk.
**An overview of eligibility criteria (including geographic restrictions) for On-chain staking can be found here.