The Pre-Challenge Party!

Estimated time needed: 30 - 60 minutes

The Brief
Welcome! In this special pre-challenge step we’re going to set up your exchange account so that you’re ready for day 1! Exchanges are places where you can buy, sell and trade cryptos (like Bitcoin) online

Quick Checklist

For this step you will need:

A smartphone (Apple or Android)

An email address

A crypto friendly bank account

What is a crypto friendly bank? Click here

Your photo ID (passport or driving license)

Got everything ready?

Great! Now it’s just a case of 1) setting up your account and 2) depositing some funds!

So you have TWO steps to complete now:

Step 1: Setup Your Kraken Account

Stuck on anything? View Kraken’s signup guide here or contact their support team here: Kraken Support.

Step 2: Deposit Funds

We recommend direct bank transfer but you can also pay card. See a guide to the different funding options here.

Still need some help with setup? Check out our guides:

1. Setup Your Kraken Account (Click to View Step-By-Step Screenshots)

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

2. Deposit Funds to Your Kraken Account (Click to View Step-By-Step Screenshots)

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Please note: For this last screen they are giving you the payment details for their bank account.

So you need to go to your online banking (with your crypto friendly bank!) on their website or phone app and make the payment using the details they show you on this screen.

It’s just the same as if you were paying a business or making a ‘payment’ using online banking.

For the amount to pay (in your online banking) use the amount that you entered in Kraken in the box above (e.g. £217.87 or whatever amount you wish to deposit).

And again just to highlight the reference code is super important. Make sure you include this. This is the verifier that tells Kraken to enter the funds into your Kraken account. If you don’t add this you will have to contact their customer service and try to chase the funds.

Typically funds will go through within the hour but can take 1-3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: "What is a 'crypto friendly' bank?"
Many UK banks are modern and have embraced crypto.

Others are lagging behind and will prevent you making deposits on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Then there are a handful which are happy for you to make deposits but may call you to do a security check when you try to do so.

I don’t know why certain banks make it difficult. It may be that they have an antiquated view or that they see cryptocurrencies as a competitor and want to shut them out.

This is improving, gradually, but if your bank doesn’t accept it don’t be put off, there are plenty of others that do.

At the time of writing the following UK banks ARE crypto friendly (although please do check first):

Natwest (some reports of them being far more strict!)

At the time of writing the following are NOT crypto friendly:

Capital One

This is not an exhaustive list and there will be others.

The easiest way to check is to Google the name of your bank along with “accept crypto deposits” e.g. “does Barclays accept crypto deposits”. Make sure you take an info from a reputable source – ideally the banks own help/support pages.

Alternatively contact your bank directly and check with them.

If your bank doesn’t currently allow it, don’t panic!

Plenty of excellent, free banks do and many will let you setup a free account the same day (for example setting up a Revolut account is extremely fast). Other, newer, challenger banks such as Cashaa, Xace and Fidor are also crypto friendly.

Important: The above is just a guide and was correct at the time of writing. However you should always check directly with your bank first for peace of mind and so that you avoid any potential delays or complications.

Question: "Why are we using Kraken and not a different exchange?"
There are dozens of crypto exchanges to choose from but Kraken is the exchange that we ourselves (at the CTA) use most frequently to trade because of a) their low fees and b) excellent track record on security.

To keep things simple we have chosen ONE exchange for these challenges so that we can all work from the same page.

Important: We have absolutely no affiliation with Kraken or any other crypto exchange and receive no commission or kickbacks.


Question: "How do I deposit money (£ / $ / €) into my Kraken account?"
You need to deposit some money into your Kraken exchange account so that you can buy crypto in the next step.

Think of your exchange account as a trading account. You’re going to deposit some GBP/EUR/USD (or whatever your home currency is) and then in the next part of this challenge we’re going to exchange that for some crypto.

How do I deposit money into my new Kraken account?

You can see Kraken’s guide to the different funding options here.

We highly recommend using the following option:

Direct Bank Transfer using FPS

(FPS is the same online banking process you use when transferring money by direct transfer to a friend or business).

They have a page on this here.

We prefer this method because it is free to do and there is a minimum deposit of just £1. Kraken quote 0 – 3 days as a transfer time but typically the money transfers within an hour.


Question: "Why will I need my passport/driving license and other personal details?"
Crypto exchanges (just like banks, building societies and other financial institutions) are required, by law, to do KYC checks.

KYC simply means ‘Know Your Customer’ and it’s there to help guard against criminals using these platforms for money laundering and other illegal activities.

Question: "The verification photos I've submitted keep getting rejected. Do you have any tips?"
As part of the signup process you will have to run through some simple KYC (Know Your Customer) checks. This will involve photographing your proof of identity as well as your face.

Most people don’t experience any issues with this (and you may have done this before if you have signed up for a bank account recently) but if not and if you experience any problems here are a few tips:

– Make sure you photograph your ID in good light (i.e. outside or in a bright room if day time or near good lighting if not)

– Avoid glare. Glare is when light, usually artificial light, hits the surface of something (such as a glossy passport page) and makes areas unreadable. Try different areas of the room

– Ensure you stay within the visual guidelines they provide when photographing

– The head on ‘birds eye’ angle is always best when photographing ID or documents. Remember a computer has to read this information so imagine you are acting a bit like a human photocopier when photographing

– If you are having a hard time keeping your passport open on the right page (if that’s the ID you are using) while taking a picture of it at the same time get a partner/relative/friend to help you hold it

Question: "My account hasn't been approved yet. What can I do?”
The first thing to remember is that the speed new user accounts are verified can depend on a variety of different factors including: how many applications they are currently processing at a given time and whether they have all the infomation they need.

Typically accounts are verified within a few minutes or the same day but it can take up to 5 days in some cases.

Run through this checklist to ensure they have everything they need:

1. Double check that you have submitted all of the information they have asked for (for example the image of your photographic ID and so on). They cannot (by law) approve any new accounts without fulfilling all the necessary KYC (know your customer) checks. So until they’ve received and approved all this information your account will remain pending. As part of this it’s always worth checking your spam/junk holder to ensure they haven’t tried to contact you there.

2. Could there be a reason for a delay in approving your account? If it’s a weekend or a public holiday for example they may well be working with reduced staff. More likely still is that they are simple deluged with new applications. This can be incredibly frustrating when you’re first setting up an account (especially if the markets seem like they are going up and up and up) but it’s worth the wait!

3. If you’ve already filled out everything they’ve asked for, had your ID approved and have still been waiting a long time, with no sign of approval in sight, then get in touch with their support and they should be able to help.

This is the link you need to contact Kraken support.

Please note: We have no affiliation with any of the exchanges so if you do run into difficulty with your account setup it is always best to contact them directly.

Question: "Help, I'm still stuck. How can I contact Kraken support?"
You can contact Kraken’s support team here:

Kraken Support