The Trials and Tribulations Of Buying Cryptocurrency

By Don Friedman

For any event I produce I feel it’s important to own one of the products or strategies related to the conference subject matter. Talk is cheap. I feel you need to have skin in the game otherwise you’re not a legitimate participant.

With that being said, as we prepare for our Digital Asset Strategies Summit, I bought XRP on June 28, 2018 on the Kraken exchange. What a confusing process it was. The GUI/front end is drastically different from any of the Wall Street GUIs I’ve used such as E*TRADE, Fidelity, Schwab or TD Ameritrade.

I’ll spare you the details but now that I own it, when I go to the “Positions” screen it says “no open positions currently available”! That got me a little freaked out because in my Wall Street accounts you can track your portfolio by looking AT YOUR POSITIONS.

I might add there is no phone number to call and when I sent an email I received the following response:

“Thanks for contacting Kraken Support. Your request (xxxxxx) has been received.

We’ll reply to your ticket as soon as possible, but in some cases it can take several days if we experience a heavy volume of requests.
We have site content that answers many of the most common support questions. Please take a moment to visit the pages below and see if your question is answered there.

If you’re able to solve your request before we reply, we’d be grateful if you let us know by replying to this email.
Thanks for your patience. You’ll be hearing from us soon.

The Kraken Support Team”

Several days????? Hmmm…

I did spend some time using their Chat feature and the person was somewhat helpful. Bottom line is if the goal is to have institutions adopt cryptocurrencies there needs to be drastic improvement in simplifying the order entry process and making the front end far easier to read and understand.

I’m also aware that other firms tout they have a far more user-friendly front end which very well might be so. The industry as a whole (similar to Wall Street) would benefit if all exchanges learned from how Wallstreet has built their GUIs to make it easier on the investor.

I’m excited that we’re planning to execute a crypto trade at the Digital Asset Strategies Summit. I’m confident this will not only be helpful to me but to the rest of our allocator audience as well.
Happy trading!