An API is a way for you to give controlled and limited access to your Kraken account to third-party applications without having to share your sign-in information.
An API is mostly used by advanced traders to have their trading bots communicate with their Kraken accounts. However, an API can also be used for more friendly and accessible applications such as the official Kraken Pro mobile app.
You can create multiple API keys with different permissions for different purposes. For example, see our instructions on generating an API key for the mobile app.
You can change API permissions at any time from your Kraken account settings; there's no need to create a new key.
The API key is like a username, and the API private key is like the password. The combination of the two can be displayed as a QR code which can be scanned instead of having to manually enter the keys.
Be careful where you share your API keys though. In the wrong hands, an API key with too many permissions enabled can still result in the loss of funds and privacy. Unless you're an advanced trader, you should only share your API key with the official Kraken Pro mobile app.
Benefits of API:
✓ You can customize permissions at any time
✓ You can revoke access (delete the key) at any time
✓ You can create multiple keys for different purposes
✓ More securing than having to enter your sign-in details
Downsides of API:
✘ Can't be used to control staking
✘ Not compatible with trading 2FA