Cryptocurrency and crypto trading is all the rage these days. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency in 2009, today there are nearly 22,000 cryptocurrencies available according to CoinMarketCap. Crypto enthusiasts are, therefore, spoiled for choice when it comes to trading in these digital coins.
Accordingly, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges have come to facilitate buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. One such exchange is KuCoin. It is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency spot exchange with over 18 million users from around the world.
All potential crypto traders want to do their due diligence before putting their money in any exchange. When it comes to KuCoin, a lot of them also wonder- Is KuCoin trustworthy? Is it legit? Is keeping money on KuCoin safe? In this article, we will try to answer all these questions and help you decide whether KuCoin is the exchange for you.
Though KuCoin was officially launched in 2017, founders Michael Gan and Eric Don started working on the code in 2013. Described as the “people’s exchange”, KuCoin aspires to “facilitate the global free flow of digital value.”
Claiming that 1 out of 4 crypto holders worldwide are associated with it, KuCoin wants to build the largest social trading platform and a global community that is home to users from multiple countries speaking different languages.
It has a massive collection of over 700 different coins. With an accumulated trading volume of more than $1 trillion, KuCoin ranks fourth among the top cryptocurrency spot exchanges as per CoinMarketCap. This Seychelles-based exchange offers its services in over 200 countries and supports 20+ languages.
KuCoin hosts over 700 coins on its platform. Be it the more conventional coins, stablecoins, memecoins, and DeFi tokens- it has something for everyone. It also has a native token called KuCoin Token(KCS). Some of the cryptocurrencies available on KuCoin are:
- KuCoin Token(KCS)
- Binance USD(BUSD)
- Shiba Inu(SHIB)
Large Number of Cryptocurrencies Available
KuCoin boasts of a collection of over 700 coins on the platform. From Bitcoin(BTC) and Ethereum(ETH) to newer coins like HIBIRDS, TEM, and HIAZUKI, KuCoin has something for everyone.
KuCoin is open and transparent about the fees it charges. The fee is reasonable and extremely low compared to its competitors like Coinbase. Even on the lowest level, it charges a maker-taker fee of only 0.1% which can be further reduced by paying with KCS.
Albeit limited, users can still trade on KuCoin without verifying their KYC. This is perfect for traders who want a level of anonymity while trading and want to avoid going through the hassle of uploading their documents and then waiting for them to be verified.
Earn Interest in Crypto
On KuCoin, users can lend their crypto and earn interest on it. They can also choose to stake their cryptocurrency and earn some passive income through it. Users can choose between flexible or fixed-term assets or a mixture of both as per their needs.
Advanced Trading Features
The exchange has several advanced trading features such as margin trading that allow users to leverage their positions. It also has Trading Bots that can automatically buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the users’ behalf.
Though it should be remembered that the bots are not without glitches and might not be very useful for long-term trades.
Not Licensed in the USA
KuCoin does not have a license to provide its services in the USA. While US residents can still register on it, this makes using KuCoin risky for them. Further, they won’t be able to do much on the platform since their KYC cannot be verified.
Complex Fee Structure
KuCoin’s convoluted fee structure can be rather difficult to understand for beginners. The three classes, multiple levels, and the several conditions associated with them can be hard to grasp for some users.
It has some exceptionally poor reviews complaining about lousy customer service, the listing of scam coins, and difficult withdrawals on the platform. The allegations of market manipulation put forth by some customers have made traders wary of using KuCoin.
KuCoin is not the most beginner-friendly cryptocurrency exchange out there. The sheer number of coins, products, and services available on the platform can be overwhelming for several people.
You can sign up on KuCoin for free either via the website or by downloading the exchange’s app. The process for registering on KuCoin is quite simple and you can be done in as little as ten minutes.
The Sign Up button is on the top-right corner of the homepage. Click on it and you can register by using your phone number or e-mail address. To get the verification code, click on the Send Code button.
Now, you have to configure your account’s security settings before you start trading. Choose Account Security from the drop-down menu. Enable Google 2-step verification. Then set a 6-digit trading password to add another layer of security to your account.
To prevent phishing, KuCoin supports e-mail safety phrases, login safety phrases, and withdrawal safety phrases. Create a safety phrase for each one to ensure you are using the official KuCoin website and not a phishing site.
Now that you are all set to trade on KuCoin, you have to fund your account either by depositing crypto or fiat money into it. Make sure that the deposit address you filled in for transferring crypto is correct as it may not be possible to recover assets if they are sent to the wrong address.
You can purchase cryptocurrency on KuCoin with your fiat money using a credit card, bank card, or third-party payment gateways. Remember that you may have to pay some additional charges depending on the payment method selected.
You can now use multiple features on KuCoin such as spot trading, margin trading, or futures trading. Newbies generally go for spot or crypto-to-crypto trading while margin trading and futures trading are better for experienced traders.
KuCoin Fees- Is It Reasonable?
KuCoin has adopted a maker-taker model for charging fees. Like many crypto exchanges, it has multiple levels depending on the trading volume which determines what fee a trader ends up paying. Traders can also get a discount on the maker-taker fee if they pay it with the exchange’s native KCS token.
Spot Trading Fees
On a level zero account where the 30-day spot trading volume is less than 50 BTC, the maker/taker fee charged is 0.1%/0.1% but it can come down to 008%/0.08% if paid with KCS. A Level 12 account with a 30-day spot trading volume greater than or equal to 80,000 BTC pays a maker/taker fee of -0.005%/0.025%. A 20% discount is applicable for paying with KCS which effectively brings the maker/taker fee to -0.005%/0.02%.
Futures Trading Fees
For a Level zero account that has a 30-day futures trading volume of less than 200 BTC, the maker/taker fee is 0.02%/0.06%. When it comes to a Level 12 account, the 30-day futures trading volume is greater than or equal to 160,000 BTC and the maker/taker fee charged is -0.015%/0.03%.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
There is no fee for depositing cryptocurrency on KuCoin. The withdrawal fee and the minimum withdrawal amount are different for different coins. For example, the fee for withdrawing ADA is (1+Amount*0%)ADA and the minimum amount that can be withdrawn is 2 ADA.
KuCoin charges quite low fees compared to some of its rivals. That said, the fee structure on it is rather convoluted. There are different classes for spot trading and those classes are further divided into levels. The above fee is as per Class A spot trades. Understanding the different classes, their required conditions and the final fees charged can be hence, complicated for traders.
KuCoin Security Review
KuCoin employs leading industry technology to protect user privacy and assets. It conducts regular security code audits, penetration tests, and architecture reviews to ensure platform security. Application firewalls and server threat detection also provide a multi-level defense to the platform.
Multi-factor authentication helps to maintain user account security. For access security, API access controls, device certificate management, and functional area isolation are used. It also employs industry-standard encryption methods for ensuring the security of data during transit and in storage.
The security of assets is tightened by 24/7 address monitoring and suspicious behavior alerts sent to users.
Despite all this, KuCoin has been the victim of one of the largest breaches in the history of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. In September 2020, hackers got access to the private keys of KuCoin’s hot wallets and stole over $281 million worth of coins and tokens.
To the exchange’s credit, they acted swiftly and blocked all transactions, and launched an investigation. It managed to recover 84% of the stolen cryptocurrency by the next year and the remaining 16% was covered by the exchange through its insurance fund.
We can say that KuCoin is a largely safe exchange. Though it has not been hack-free, the response of the team in dealing with the security breach shows its commitment to ensuring the security of users’ assets and funds.
If you are facing some problems while operating KuCoin, you can head over to its help center and find the answers to your questions in the FAQ collection. If that doesn’t work, you can also submit a ticket describing your issue and set its priority level i.e. low, normal, high, and urgent.
Like most cryptocurrency exchanges, KuCoin doesn’t have a phone number or e-mail listed through which customers can directly talk to a customer service representative. Though there is a chatbot, there is no option to live chat with a person.
However, KuCoin does have a separate Technical Support Channel which was launched in 2022. Users can consult with KuCoin’s technical engineers by dropping an e-mail. The technical engineers would then help the users find an optimal solution to their problems.
KuCoin is rated bad on Trustpilot with a score of 1.6 out of 5 and 804 reviews. Most reviews complain about poor customer service and scam coins being listed on the exchange. Some customers have also raised concerns about potential market manipulation on the exchange.
Bad experience with customer support is common among KuCoin users
Getting in touch with a human customer service representative seems to be an uphill task
Positive reviews meanwhile, praise KuCoin for its low fees but also point out that it is better to use it mainly for trading and not much else.
KuCoin is praised for its low fees and excellent trading mechanism
KuCoin’s interface is a plus point but the spam emails it sends are not
Is KuCoin better than Coinbase?
Both KuCoin and Coinbase are popular established cryptocurrency exchanges. They are the fourth-largest and second-largest cryptocurrency exchanges respectively. But when it comes to choosing an exchange, the eternal question is- which exchange is better? Sure, KuCoin has a lot to offer but in which areas does it beat Coinbase? And in which areas does Coinbase defeat KuCoin?
These are questions that need to be answered to help you make that choice.
KuCoin is available in around 200 countries but it is not licensed in the USA. Coinbase is also available in over 100 countries including all the American states except Hawaii. American traders, therefore, are better off using Coinbase than taking a risk with unlicensed KuCoin.
KuCoin supports a massive 700+ coins on its platform. Coinbase meanwhile hosts only around 150 cryptocurrencies. Therefore, if users want access to a large variety of coins, they should head over to Coinbase.
Coinbase wins hands down in this department. It has a straightforward and intuitive interface that facilitates easy buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. KuCoin however involves a learning curve for users, especially beginners due to the sheer number of features and services available on it.
KuCoin charges extremely low fees for trades. Even on its lowest-level accounts, the maker-taker fee charged is only 0.1% for spot trading. But it should be noted that KuCoin’s fee structure is rather complex and can be a bit confusing to grasp.
Coinbase while not disclosing the exact transaction fee, states that it charges a flat 1% fee for all transactions on Commerce Accounts. The final fee paid though depends on a multitude of factors such as market conditions and order size.
Generally, however, the final transaction fee paid on KuCoin tends to be lower than on Coinbase.
KuCoin Frequently Asked Questions
Is KuCoin a Chinese company?
No, KuCoin is not a Chinese company. It was launched in Singapore in 2017. Its headquarter is now located in Seychelles.
Can I trade on KuCoin without KYC?
You can technically use KuCoin without KYC verification but you would not be able to access all its features. Unverified accounts are restricted to a 24-hour withdrawal limit of 1 BTC and 400 USDT for P2P trading. It is, therefore, better to get your account verified if you want to properly use KuCoin.
Is KuCoin legal in the US?
No, KuCoin is not licensed to operate in the USA. But as per CoinMarketCap, traders and investors still have the option to register an account.
Does KuCoin have a monthly fee?
No, KuCoin does not have a monthly fee. It does charge a fee for transactions conducted on the exchange but it is quite low and comparable to other cryptocurrency exchanges. There may also be additional charges depending on the payment method used.
KuCoin is a popular exchange with a global presence. The advanced features offered by it coupled with the low fees make it an attractive option for seasoned traders. Since it is not licensed in the US, American traders should go for other exchanges that are actually allowed to operate in the country.
KuCoin is something that is suited more for the needs of advanced traders rather than beginners. However, it is important to do due diligence before putting your money in any exchange. Have a look at customer reviews to get a sense of what using KuCoin is like.
Further, since cryptocurrencies are risky investments, it is better to evaluate your goals and risk tolerance and consult with a qualified professional before investing in any cryptocurrency.