Kraken is fast becoming the application with which to buy Bitcoin and other crypto currencies. It is a European based exchange and is apparently getting glowing reviews from major investors. One of its most positive aspects is the charts it provides for the major crypto currencies. These charts have proved to be extremely popular with most of the crypto currency news sites who quote them regularly.

Kraken is a top European based exchange and offers a variety of fiat to bitcoin pairs such as JPY, EUR, GBP and USD. Volume is decent especially on the JPY BTC pair after MT Gox's collaps - with Kraken assuming the mantle in that region. The exchange also has a smattering if popular crypto to crypto pairs including Litecoin and dogecoin.

Another feature, but only for the brave is margin trading, with Kraken offering the ability to leverage your account balance on specific trading pairs. Although not for most this does give you cash more punch in the markets - but beware of margin calls draining your balance if the markets go against your trade.

Security is very high with their two factor authentication and PGP/GPG encryption.

Fees vary depending on the volume - for main trading pairs this is between 0.1-0.35% - however for other less common crypto pairs the range can be as low as 0.05% or as high as 0.75%. There are also 0% fees for traders offering liquidity.

Withdrawals and deposits are variable depending on the method - although in general all fees are 0.19% with a $20 minimum. For JPY there is a minimum deposit of 5000 Yen and no transaction fee for deposit - but 20 Yen to withdraw.

Payward, Inc. operates Kraken, a Bitcoin exchange that trades bitcoins for euros, the U.S. dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, and Japanese yen. The company offers accounts for businesses and high volume individual traders. It also enables users to trade Bitcoin with other digital currencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Ripple, Namecoin, Stellar, and Ven. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco, California.

In 2016, Kraken acquired Cavirtex, a Calgary-based exchange for buying and selling bitcoin in Canadian dollars. No financial terms were disclosed. Kraken, a global bitcoin exchange, said the acquisition of Cavirtex and New York’s Coinsetter will set the stage for its “immediate and significant expansion into the North American market.” Founded in 2011, Cavirtex claims to be Canada’s first bitcoin exchange. It joined with Coinsetter last year. San Francisco-based Kraken has secured funding from several venture capital investors, including Hummingbird Ventures, which led its Series A round in 2014.

In a related deal, Kraken also announced a partnership with American payment provider SynapsePay to allow rapid, low-fee domestic USD deposits and withdrawals to individual and institutional clients in 37 US states and Washington DC. For the first time, the vast majority of Americans will have access to Kraken’s full suite of advanced exchange services including seamless bitcoin-dollar (XBT/USD) trading.

Canadian clients can deposit and withdraw funds to the exchange through Kraken’s continuing partnership with Vogogo, a leading payments platform in Canada.

Clients across the globe will receive the benefits of Kraken’s leading and ever-improving exchange. Outbound Coinsetter CEO Jaron Lukasiewicz said, “I’m excited what our acquisition by Kraken means for Coinsetter and Cavirtex customers, who will all benefit from Kraken’s leading platform, global team and unparalleled customer service. For years, the teams at Coinsetter and Cavirtex have worked closely with traders, bitcoin companies and investors to advance the burgeoning bitcoin space in North America. We are confident that Kraken is the right world-class company with the resources, vision and drive to successfully carry our torch far into the future.”

Kraken has previously concentrated on developing market share outside of the US, particularly in Europe where Kraken has become the dominant exchange for bitcoin-euro (XBT/EUR) trading. “The acquisition of Coinsetter and Cavirtex marks the beginning of a new era for Kraken,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell. “The consolidation of these three veteran giants is the largest exchange deal to date. Combined, we represent over thirteen years of bitcoin exchange experience in an industry that is only seven years old. Kraken has big, exciting plans for 2016. This year we will fully leverage what we’ve built as the world’s most trusted and secure bitcoin exchange. This is the year that we make long strides to capture key markets and crank up the volume. This is the year of the Kraken.”

Founded in 2011, Kraken was the first bitcoin exchange to have its market data displayed on the Bloomberg Terminal, the first to pass a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit, a partner in the first cryptocurrency bank, and one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged bitcoin margin trading. Kraken is trusted by hundreds of thousands of traders, institutions, and authorities across the world, from Toyko’s court-appointed trustee to Germany’s BaFin regulated Fidor Bank. In January 2016, Kraken announced that it was acquiring prominent bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex to expand its global reach. Kraken is backed by investors including Hummingbird Ventures, Blockchain Capital, and Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, among others.