How to Activate Futures in Kraken?

by Jennifer

Cryptocurrency futures trading has gained significant popularity as traders seek to leverage market volatility and maximize their profits. Kraken, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, offers a robust platform for futures trading. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to activate futures on Kraken, covering everything from account setup to placing your first futures trade. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to navigate Kraken’s futures market confidently.

Understanding Futures Trading

Before diving into the activation process, it’s crucial to understand what futures trading entails. Futures are financial contracts obligating the buyer to purchase an asset or the seller to sell an asset at a predetermined future date and price. Unlike spot trading, which involves immediate transactions, futures allow traders to speculate on the future price movements of assets, often with leverage, amplifying potential gains and losses.


Benefits of Futures Trading

1. Leverage: Futures trading allows you to control large positions with a relatively small amount of capital, increasing your potential return on investment.


2. Hedging: Futures can be used to hedge against price volatility, providing a way to manage risk.

3. Market Diversity: Futures markets are available for various assets, including cryptocurrencies, commodities, and indices, offering traders diverse opportunities.

Step 1: Create and Verify Your Kraken Account

Creating a Kraken Account

To get started with futures trading on Kraken, you first need to create an account. Follow these steps:

1. Visit Kraken’s Website

2. Sign Up: Click on the “Create Account” button. You will be prompted to enter your email, create a username, and set a password.

3. Agree to Terms and Conditions: Review and accept Kraken’s terms and conditions, and click “Create Account.”

Verifying Your Account

Kraken requires users to complete a verification process to comply with regulatory standards and ensure the security of the platform. Verification levels on Kraken range from Starter to Pro, with higher levels unlocking more features, including futures trading.

1. Navigate to Verification: Log in to your Kraken account, go to the account dashboard, and click on “Get Verified.”

2. Choose Verification Level: Select the level of verification you wish to complete. For futures trading, you will need at least Intermediate verification.

3. Submit Documents: Provide the necessary documents, such as a government-issued ID, proof of residence, and a selfie for identity verification.

4. Wait for Approval: Verification can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days. You will receive an email notification once your account is verified.

Step 2: Enable Futures Trading

Understanding Kraken Futures

Kraken Futures is a separate platform from the main Kraken exchange, specifically designed for futures trading. It offers various futures contracts on popular cryptocurrencies, allowing traders to speculate on price movements with leverage.

Linking Your Kraken Account to Kraken Futures

1. Access Kraken Futures: Once your Kraken account is verified, navigate to the Kraken Futures website.

2. Sign In: Use your Kraken account credentials to log in.

3. Link Accounts: Follow the prompts to link your main Kraken account to the Kraken Futures platform. This process ensures seamless fund transfers between the two platforms.

Funding Your Kraken Futures Account

Before you can start trading, you need to fund your Kraken Futures account:

1. Transfer Funds: Go to the “Funding” tab on your Kraken Futures dashboard. Select the cryptocurrency you wish to transfer from your main Kraken account.

2. Confirm Transfer: Enter the amount and confirm the transfer. Funds should appear in your Kraken Futures account shortly.

Step 3: Understanding Futures Contracts

Types of Futures Contracts

Kraken offers various types of futures contracts, including:

1. Perpetual Futures: These contracts do not have an expiry date and are continuously funded, allowing traders to hold positions indefinitely.

2. Fixed Expiry Futures: These contracts have a set expiration date and are settled at the market price upon expiry.

Key Terminologies

1. Leverage: This allows you to open a position larger than your account balance by borrowing funds from the exchange.

2. Margin: The collateral required to open and maintain a leveraged position.

3. Mark Price: An estimated fair value of a contract used to avoid liquidation spikes and price manipulation.

4. Funding Rate: A periodic payment exchanged between long and short positions to keep the contract price close to the underlying asset price.

See Also: Can you trade futures with TradeStation?

Step 4: Placing Your First Futures Trade

Navigating the Trading Interface

Kraken Futures’ trading interface is user-friendly and packed with features:

1. Dashboard: Provides an overview of your account balance, open positions, and recent trades.

2. Order Book: Displays real-time buy and sell orders, helping you gauge market sentiment.

3. Charts: Kraken offers advanced charting tools for technical analysis.

Placing an Order

1. Choose a Contract: Select the futures contract you wish to trade from the dropdown menu.

2. Set Order Type: Kraken Futures supports various order types, including market, limit, and stop orders.

3. Enter Position Size: Specify the number of contracts you want to trade.

4. Set Leverage: Choose the leverage level for your trade. Be cautious with leverage, as it can amplify both gains and losses.

5. Review and Submit: Double-check your order details and click “Submit.”

Managing Open Positions

1. Monitor Positions: Keep an eye on your open positions via the “Positions” tab.

2. Set Stop-Loss and Take-Profit Orders: These orders help manage risk by automatically closing your position at predetermined price levels.

3. Adjust Leverage: You can modify the leverage of your open positions if needed.

Step 5: Advanced Futures Trading Strategies


Hedging involves taking an opposite position in the futures market to protect against adverse price movements in the spot market. For instance, if you hold a significant amount of Bitcoin, you might short Bitcoin futures to hedge against a potential price decline.


Arbitrage exploits price discrepancies between different markets or exchanges. Traders buy low in one market and sell high in another, locking in a risk-free profit.

Spread Trading

Spread trading involves taking simultaneous long and short positions in related futures contracts to profit from the price difference between them. This strategy reduces exposure to overall market movements.

Step 6: Risk Management

Importance of Risk Management

Futures trading is inherently risky, especially with leverage. Effective risk management is crucial to protect your capital and ensure long-term success.

Key Risk Management Strategies

1. Use Stop-Loss Orders: Automatically close losing positions at a predetermined price to limit losses.

2. Position Sizing: Never risk more than a small percentage of your account balance on a single trade.

3. Diversification: Spread your trades across different assets to mitigate risk.

4. Regularly Review Positions: Stay informed about market conditions and adjust your positions accordingly.

Step 7: Staying Informed and Continuous Learning

Market Analysis

Successful futures trading requires staying informed about market trends and developments. Utilize Kraken’s educational resources, market analysis, and news updates to make informed trading decisions.

Continuous Learning

The cryptocurrency market is constantly evolving. Engage in continuous learning by following industry experts, participating in trading forums, and taking advanced trading courses.


Activating futures trading on Kraken opens up a world of opportunities for savvy traders. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ve learned how to set up and verify your Kraken account, link it to Kraken Futures, understand futures contracts, place trades, and implement advanced trading strategies. Remember, while futures trading can be highly profitable, it also carries significant risks. Always practice prudent risk management and continue educating yourself to stay ahead in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency trading. Happy trading!

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