• 𝗸𝗿𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗻-𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝗻

    What Is Kraken?

    Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular with investors, traders, and other market participants across the globe. Along with a significant surge in the launch of numerous virtual currencies, the launch of trading venues for these cryptocurrencies is also on the rise.

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    Similar to the workings of a stock exchange, these cryptocurrency exchanges facilitate the buying and selling of virtual currencies by retail as well as by large investors and traders.

    How Did Kraken Become Popular?

    Over the years since its launch, a lot of factors have contributed to Kraken as a trading destination of choice for a variety of cryptocurrency market participants.

    As cryto-mania started gripping the world around 2014, Kraken, along with Coinbase exchange, was selected to provide the market data of bitcoin trading to the Bloomberg terminal.3 Getting associated with the leading market data provider helped Kraken gain popularity among the trader community. Bloomberg clients were then able to access virtual currency prices, charts, news, and social media posts through appropriate Bloomberg services and terminals.

    Shortly afterward, Kraken partnered with the global leader in chart-service provider, TradingView.5 It continued to add more cryptocurrencies, like lumen, to its trading platform and enabled funding and trading in various fiat currencies like the USD, GBP, and JPY. fter having a smooth initial phase post-launch, Kraken made headlines in late 2014, when it was selected “to support an investigation into the missing bitcoins, as well as the distribution of remaining assets to Mt. Gox's creditors.”6

    Mt. Gox, which once claimed to be the largest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy in early 2014. It was struggling with a huge debt pile, and 850,000 lost bitcoins.7

    Up to that point, Kraken was not among the largest exchanges, and was primarily serving European customers through a partnership with Germany-based Fidor Bank, and had just started in Japan.8

    The selection of Kraken was based on its cautious approach and adherence to regulatory compliance.9 All Mt. Gox creditors who wanted to get back their lost bitcoins were required to open Kraken accounts, and the bulk of them continued to use its services. Kraken then quickly rose in popularity amid surging trading volume on its platform.

    In February 2016, Kraken announced it was making significant progress in its Mt. Gox investigations and had approved numerous claims from thousands of creditors of Mt. Gox.10

    Growth during early 2015 was boosted by the launch of several new features that made cryptocurrency trading popular among the masses as well as among the professional traders community. It included launching the margin trading facility, and the dark pool services.1112 Dark pools clients are eligible for potentially better prices, as they are allowed to discreetly place large orders that get executed against similar-sized orders offering them price advantage.

    Issues with Kraken

    Along the way, Kraken has also hit a few roadblocks in recent times. In May 2017, Kraken, along with the bitcoin exchange Poloniex, was hit with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, leading to huge losses for market participants.13

    The incident led to a class action lawsuit being filed against Kraken, where plaintiffs are seeking over $5 million which they claim they lost as a result of Kraken’s mishandling of the DDoS attack.14

    This was a major blow to Kraken's image, which had boasted that it was the safest cryptocurrency trading platform, and claimed to be the trust winner by Mt. Gox trustees.

    As cryto-mania sweeps the globe, a large number of new participants have jumped on the bandwagon. Regular occurrences of performance issues at cryptocurrency exchanges have marred the increasing liquidity and trading activities in the bitcoin market.