I’ve been trading on Kraken for some time and I’m tired of their performance issues as anyone else. Still, it’s one of the few exchanges allowing margin trade on BTC/USD and BTC/EUR pairs, so I stuck there, gradually lowering my trading fees to acceptable levels. But lately there is the constant “Insufficient margin” on both pairs, meaning I have to trade own assets, and then there is something worse, that makes me think twice if I want to do it. It’s not just slow, it’s going to extremes that no exchange ever went, redefining slow, and… there is no reason for this.
I’ve been around the daily trade enough to notice when there are too many people and the exchange couldn’t handle them. But then comes a day (say some Saturday after the fellow Americans got to bed) with like 10 trades per minute and you realize you are still unable to place an order for 20 minutes, and cancelling one is even worse, and at the same time someone makes split second orders on dips. And of course you begin to question the whole unresponsiveness, as it seems somehow artificial. I mean – it cannot be SO slow! Even with an average 0.1% fee we are looking at 0.11 BTC per hour from fees, just on the BTCUSD pair, on a slow day, and it’s not the NY exchange, so that has to be enough for upgrading the shit out of their infrastructure and software.
But you know what, it’s much more profitable to have the ability to place or remove orders instantly while the rest of us try to do it for 10 minutes after a dip, and Roger Ver invested in Kraken, and the margin pool is gone like most of the time, and you think – fuck you, I have to get my funds out of there, because someone is leading me to believe this is a regular exchange. Their explanation was fishy – lots of new users. Right, but that’s everywhere else too, and still you can see flying bot wars at Poloniex, and you can’t see the numbers on GDAX as they move too fast. And then there is their Kraken API, which obviously works for some bots and for Tradingview, but it won’t accept my order for 33 times, for example, or it will give me errors 10 times and after all the refreshing it will post 3 orders at the same time (imagine you are trying to close long positions on a raise and then instead of one short you get three of them…
Hell, there are tons of users even at YoBit and Cryptopia, their volumes are small just because they are not the BTCUSD exchanges you’d choose, yet both are probably having more users at a given time just because they trade what not and beyond, and are still flying compared to what is supposed to be one of the top exchanges in the world.
There are bugs too – like when you click on a price in CW and try to place an order at this price, but the website doesn’t accept it because it’s over the numbers after the decimal point it works with. Yet, the order you clicked on is there (probably an automated limit order that obviously doesn’t follow the same rules). Plenty of similar problems, but let’s assume these are just overlooked.
IMO it’s becoming something of an elaborate scam service, and while I can still occasionally make a trade there, and I rarely score a loss, my largest losses were forced by unwanted doubled or tripled orders. And mind you – I do use the refresh button at least twice after each order (which makes it impossible to put orders fast anyway). Unless they prove me wrong by making it lightning fast in December, I’d keep to my opinion that Kraken has some shitty internal rules giving faster access to some people thus scamming the small traders. Not to mention it’s so easy to manipulate it with walls and support sometimes, that all it takes is 100 BTC placed strategically and you could hold off the market until it reaches $300+ differences to the faster exchanges. Not that I know the reasoning behind paving with walls, mind you, I’m not that good at trading. There is also the matter of support changing places, something in my experience I only managed once in Cryptowatch (and, btw, you don’t have to pay or register there, despite what it says after you see the login button and a month passes after your registration). But some people obviously manage to do it, as the amount is moved around according to a trend or on a whim.
So, until I’m proven wrong, I’d advise against using Kraken for anything but exchanging to USD/EUR and withdrawing funds.