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Kraken is increasing its fees for the majority of its traders, causing minor outrage from its customers.
Kraken gives Wall Street-like tools to Bitcoin day traders, letting them, among other things, go long or short on the price of Bitcoin using bots.
Late last night, Kraken quietly announced its new pricing plan, and it is a significant increase for some users. One user complained on the r/Bitcoin subreddit, he appeared to slightly exaggerate the rise, but the many users still sympathized.
Kraken lowers trading fees depending on how much volume a user trades. Anything under USD $5,000 now costs 0.35 % and to get the fee down to 0.1% users have to trade more than a USD $1,000,000. You can see the fees below.
The site's previous fees started at 0.30 % for anything under USD $1,000 and decreased to 0.05 % for members who moved over USD $1,000,000.
Kraken clearly isn't designed for small-time day traders playing around with a hundred bucks in Bitcoin they bought last month, it is for the truly engaged and invested.
Kraken received USD $ 5,000,000 in funding from Hummingbird Ventures back in March, and is rapidly growing in market size. However, if Kraken's last 30-days in trade volume is taken as a rough indicator, its market volume would be roughly USD $128,805,867 per year across all of its currency pairs. Assuming Kraken's highest rate of fees, (0.35 %) that should roughly come out to USD $450,821 in revenue a year. After expenses and salaries, it isn't hard to see why the company might be looking for ways to increase that number.
It should be noted that compared to many other popular exchanges, Kraken has a lower fee. Coinbase for an example, uses a flat 1 % fee. However, Coinbase is meant to be an entry level Bitcoin operation, mainly buying Bitcoins meant to be held or spent as a currency. Kraken is more akin to high stakes Wall Street day trading with tools designed to facilitate a high volume of rapid trading.
Still, the increase in fees is obviously turning off some users, it will be interesting to see if Kraken's fee incrase ends up paying off for them.
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