Bitstamp vs Kraken vs GateHub - Which One to Use in 2020?
Both Bitstamp and Kraken were founded in 2011 and can be named among the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. To date, both exchanges are relevant and successful. According to the Coingecko chart, these exchanges are the top ten exchanges by trading volume (volume-wise Kraken surpasses Bitstamp by around $53 mln). GateHub emerged in 2014. Its reported trading volume is slightly surpassing $22 thousand.
Bitstamp was founded by Slovenian Bitcoin enthusiasts Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak. In 2013 the company moved to the UK. However, due to the lack of cryptocurrency regulations in the UK, Bitstamp moved its headquarters to Luxemburg and licensed in this country in 2016. The main reason for that was the goal to make trading on the platform fully legal and safe. Now Bitstamp is an official payment institution in all the countries of the EU.
Kraken was founded in California by Jesse Powell as an alternative to infamous Mt. Gox after the platform's scandalous hack. In fact, only 2 years after the foundation Kraken became fully operative. In 2014 the company received significant investments and became one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to provide margin trading.
GateHub is a UK-based wallet and exchange. The main purpose of this platform is storing and sending cryptocurrencies and trading Ripple against Euro, USD, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and several other assets.
Interface & Overview
All these platforms have quite a usual and convenient overview. They provide users with candlestick charts and analysis tools. The Bitstamp trading page design is less conventional so it will probably take a while to get used to the interface while GateHub lacks sophisticated analysis tools. In general, Kraken and Bitstamp provide users with a better trading interface.
All exchanges support fiat money trading. Kraken supports trading in 36 digital and fiat currencies (including Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, Sterling pounds, as well as the USD and EUR). The list provided by Bitstamp is way shorter with 5 cryptocurrencies and two fiat currencies (American dollar and Euro). The coin selection on GateHub is limited to around the same number of coins (although Gatehub’s set of supported coins is a bit wider than the one on Bitstamp). So without a doubt, Kraken has much more to offer if we speak of the choice of the supported currencies.
Bitstamp provides more payment options than Kraken and GateHub. To get fiat money to the Bitstamp account one can use Visa or MasterCard credit cards (probably the most convenient way although not so cheap as others), SEPA transfers, and wire transfers (usually it takes 2 to 5 days to complete the transaction). Moreover, Bitstamp users can quickly buy cryptocurrencies through the inbuilt marketplace. Kraken users are limited to depositing fiat money through bank wire transfers. PayPal and similar services are not supported by both exchanges. GateHub customers can deposit money via bank wire transfer and SEPA transfer.
When it comes to fees, it's fair to say that cryptocurrency-trading fees are friendlier on Kraken. Speaking of fiat money deposits and cryptocurrency withdrawals, we should state that Bitstamp offers better conditions. For market takers, there is almost no difference in trading fees between Bitstamp and Kraken while other types of fees are lower on Bitstamp.
Let's start with the mention of real and alleged security breaches that were taking place in the history of Bitstamp and Kraken. Currently, Bitstamp is regarded as a safe exchange keeping 98% of user assets in cold storage. In 2015 the exchange was hacked and as many as 19,000 BTC were stolen. It took not much time for Bitstamp to recover this money to customers so the mission was completed successfully and the lesson was learned. These days good performance and safety are characteristics of Bitstamp.
Kraken has never been a subject of successful hacking attempts despite the fact that in the past there were false rumors on the issue. Nevertheless, this exchange platform suffered a series of other problems. There were complaints about transaction delays caused by the inability of the platform to maintain the network with such a big number of users. In 2017 the exchange performance was affected by the DDoS-attacks. Also, there were cases of fund losses but it appeared that it happened due to the lack of caution by users who were subjected to phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.
GateHub was hacked in 2017. The intruder managed to steal $5 million and numerous user data (hashed passwords of the email addresses, XRP ledger secret keys, first and second names of users, etc.)
These days, all these platforms provide users with the opportunity to protect their accounts with 2-factor authentication. GateHub requires to re-confirm email address after every attempt to enter the account from the unknown IP address. On Bitstamp and Kraken, all the user information gets encrypted. Although Bitstamp has been hacked in 2015, it had no serious issues since then. At times, Kraken continues to receive some negative user reports. The situation is gathering pace due to the inability of the support team to respond to some queries on time. So if we put aside the past troubles and focus on the present state of things, we should agree that Bitstamp has stronger security than Kraken. Both exchanges have better security than GateHub which is objected to a lot of criticism by its users.
Unlike Bitstamp, Kraken is available worldwide which makes this exchange more successful. GateHub is available in most countries. The residents of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and North Sudan are not able to use the basic functionality of the platform. Kraken provides margin trading for a long time while Bitstamp is only working on implementing this feature. GateHub is not providing margin trading, too. Liquidity-wise, Kraken wins by roughly $53 mln although no one can't complain about the Bitstamp's liquidity as it's high anyway. GateHub liquidity is quite low.
Some certain currencies supported on GateHub can bring some traders there but in general, GateHub cannot offer anything significantly better than Bitstamp or Kraken do. Both exchanges are leaders for a good reason. They have downsides and high points. One of these exchanges can be preferred to another due to some certain advantages. Overall, Bitstamp has a little more pros than Kraken. Nevertheless, those who are interested in margin trading or need a diverse coin selection would definitely choose Kraken.