Whether you want to trade crypto-tocrypto pairs or buy Bitcoin and Ethereum digital currencies, KuCoin will cover both.
The global exchange and third party broker has the highest trading volumes in the industry, as well as a fee structure that will suit most budgets.
This guide will explain the basics of KuCoin. This guide will provide an overview of KuCoin’s fiat currency options, fees and commissions as well as the trading area and customer support.
What is KuCoin?
Launched as recently as 2017, KuCoin is a cryptocurrency exchange that also offers third-party brokerage services. Despite only three years of trading history it is already one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges.
One of the main reasons for this is that you will find over 200 coins with about 450 cryptocurrency pairs hosted at the exchange. This includes major pairs such as BTC/USDT or ETH/USDT. There are also a lot of crypto-cross pairs. Best of all, if you have an appetite to trade a less liquid ERC-20 token, chances are you will find it at KuCoin.
KuCoin was initially a cryptocurrency-only platform, meaning that you could not deposit funds with fiat currency. However, the platform has since formed a partnership with Simplex – a European payment provider that bridges the gap between cryptocurrencies and everyday money.
When it comes to cryptocurrency trading fees, KuCoin charges just 0.10%. It is comparable to Binance. KuCoin also has its own digital token, KuCoin Shares (KCS). KuCoin Shares (KCS) tokens can be stored and used to receive discounted trading fees as well as a portion of the commissions KuCoin collects.
In terms of the numbers, KuCoin claims to have facilitated more than 650 million individual trades since its inception in 2017. This translates to more than $71 billion in accumulated trading volumes. Finally, and as we will discuss further down, KuCoin has not been regulated by any national licensing bodies. This means you can trade cryptocurrency without needing to provide any ID. However, this will not be true if you want to purchase digital coins using a debit/credit card through Simplex.
What can you Trade at KuCoin?
KuCoin offers a vast range of financial instruments that goes above and beyond just crypto-to-crypto pairs. The platform offers futures, margin trading and cryptocurrency indexes. Let’s take a closer look at each asset class.
Each and every trading pair at KuCoin falls within the remit of crypto-to-crypto, not least because it does not offer any fiat-denominated instruments. If you wish to have access to the crypto to USD space, you will need trade your cryptocurrency against the USDT.
If you are a professional cryptocurrency trader, you will already know that this is the industry standard. This means you won’t have any issues trading volumes or liquidity.
You can also trade crypto-cross pairs, outside of USDT. BTC/ETH and ETH/XRP are examples of such pairs. Ultimately, listing each and every trading digital currency is beyond the remit of this review, albeit, rest assured that the platform hosts more than 450 pairs.
Crucially, KuCoin is often one of the very first exchanges that newly launched cryptocurrency token projects opt for. KuCoin is committed to supporting less liquid digital tokens.
For a full breakdown of each and every pair that KuCoin hosts, you can find this information here at CoinMarketCap.
On top of traditional crypto-cross pairs, KuCoin also offers a number of indexes. KuCoin will calculate the average weighted price of a particular cryptocurrency across multiple exchanges. This is to provide a more accurate price for the coin, taking into account variations between different platforms.
KuCoin indexes are available across:
The cryptocurrency exchanges that KuCoin derives its pricing activity from are:
The price of each index is denominated in USD, but settled in the respective cryptocurrency.
Launched in mid-2019, the KuCoin Mercantile Exchange allows you to trade Bitcoin futures. KuCoin Mercantile Exchange launched in mid-24. KuCoin is aiming to compete with BitMEX in this area of cryptocurrency derivatives. As a result, you will have access to Bitcoin futures alongside a substantial margin position of up to 100x.
In simple terms, this means that a $100 account balance would permit a maximum trade value of $10,000. KuCoin again uses the weighted average of various exchanges such as Kraken and Coinbase Pro to determine the spot price.
At the time of writing, KuCoin only supports BTC and ETH futures, although it hopes to add further digital currencies in the near future. Expect to pay 0. 060% as a market taker, and 0.020% as a maker. There are also settlement fees of 0.025%.
Trading Fees and Commissions
First and foremost, there are no fees associated with cryptocurrency deposits, and withdrawals are charged at the standard mining rate as per the coin you are looking to cash out. Trading fees for futures trading outside the futures market will be 0.1%. This means that a $10,000 trade would cost you $10 in fees. This is in line with Binance’s exchange counterpart.
KuCoin Shares – or simply KCS, is a proprietary cryptocurrency token created by the exchange. KCS tokens can be purchased and held to enjoy a variety of benefits.
Discounted Trading Fees
One of the most notable benefits of holding KuCoin Shares is that you will get discounted trading fees. Crucially, while a standard fee of 0.1% is industry-leading, you stand the potential to reduce this by an additional 20%. Simply click on the KCS Pay Fee button to enjoy the discount.
On top of reducing your trading commissions, holding an allocation of KuCoin Shares affords you the opportunity to earn dividends. In a nutshell, KuCoin as a platform will distribute 50% of the trading commissions that it collects from members each and every day. This is then divided equally among all KuCoin Shareholders. Let’s say you have 1% of the total KCS supply. If the platform pays out $250,000 in commissions, you would receive $2,500. To receive the dividends, you must have at least 6 KCS.
To say the value of KuCoin Shares has capitulated since its all-time highs of January 2018 would be an understatement. At a peak of over $20 each, you can now obtain the very same tokens for less than $1 in mid-2020.
Nevertheless, if you do want to get your hands on KuCoin Shares you can do this by exchanging them at the platform for an alternative cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Fiat Currency Facilities at KuCoin
As the end of 2018, KuCoin has since formed a partnership with European-based payment provider Simplex. The partnership ensures that users from over 100 countries can now deposit real-world funds with a debit or credit card. This is ideal for those who want to trade cryptocurrencies and futures at KuCoin, but don’t have any digital currencies. You can instead enter your debit/credit card details to get cash into the platform.
With that being said, it is important to note that the fees associated with this are not cheap. Although the occasional promotion is offered on deposit fees, this will cost you a whopping 2.5 – 3.5% (with a $10 minimum).
This means that a $1000 debit/credit card deposit would cost you $25 in fees. It is noticed that this is slightly cheaper than the likes of Coinbase, which charges 3. 99% (with various minimums in place). KuCoin is also developing an OTC Trading Desk where all users can buy and sell major coins such as BTC, USDT, PAX, without paying any fees. OTC platforms currently support USD, CAD and CNY.
KuCoin offers a proprietary trading platform that was built from the ground-up. KuCoin’s trading platform can be accessed via any standard web browser. There is no need to install or download any software. The platform is potentially suited to both newbie investors and seasoned traders. This is because, while the platform is very clean and simple to use, you have access to a lot of advanced tools. You can customize your KuCoin trading screens in any way you like.
When it comes to trading volumes and the availability of liquidity, you should have no concerns at all when trading more popular pairs. You might, however, find that volumes are low on less liquid pairs – especially those involving ERC-20 tokens.
If you have a tendency to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies on the move, then you might be interested in the KuCoin mobile trading app. The application can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. The app will allow you to access most account features, including placing orders, checking your portfolio’s value, depositing and withdrawing money.
How Long do Withdrawals Take at KuCoin?
In the vast majority of cases, KuCoin will process your withdrawals within 30 minutes of receiving the request. The platform notes that this is automated, and that manual authorization is only required if the size of your deposit is larger than 100,000 times that of the handling fee (mining fee). Once the funds have left KuCoin, they are transferred to your chosen cryptocurrency wallet address. KuCoin cannot verify that your address is correct.
Earn Interest at KuCoin
An additional feature available at KuCoin is that of its lending program. You can earn interest on your digital currency holdings if you loan it out. This is the simplest form. The idea is that the tokens can be used to fund margin accounts.
For example, let’s suppose that a KuCoin trader decides to apply leverage of 10x on an order. The trader would have to pay interest for each day the position is open overnight. They trade with more cryptocurrency than they have, and this is a costly cost.
With that said, KuCoin has opened its doors to everyday investors by giving you the opportunity to fund margin positions. This option is available for several coins, including USDT, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The specific interest rate will vary depending on the coin. As an example, by lending out Bitcoin for 28 days, you could be earning an annualized interest rate of 4.83%. KuCoin has a profit estimation calculator that will help you estimate your potential profits. The calculator can be used to calculate how much you could earn by simply entering the amount you are willing lend, what digital currency you want, and how long you would like to borrow it.
It is important to note that while the rates of interest offered are extremely competitive, you should also consider the potential risks. KuCoin is not regulated and you should consider this when weighing the risk and reward.
Is KuCoin Safe?
As is the case with all cryptocurrency exchanges, it is crucial that you are able to ascertain whether or not KuCoin is safe. This includes the platform’s regulatory standing and its internal and externe security practices. Let’s look at these metrics in greater detail.
In a nutshell, KuCoin is not regulated by any national licensing bodies. This is not a surprise as many platforms operate without licenses in the cryptocurrency exchange market. It all depends on which side you are on about whether you feel comfortable trading on an unregulated exchange.
If you’re the type of trader who prefers anonymity when buying and selling cryptocurrency pairs, then KuCoin might be a good choice for you. KuCoin may not be suitable for you if your trades require a regulatory safeguard.
As noted above, KuCoin is not required to ask you for any personal information – nor will they demand sensitive identity documents. The exception to this rule is when you intend to deposit funds using a debit card or credit card via the Simplex integration.
To ensure compliance with anti-money laundering laws, you must upload a copy your government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s licence. This is the nature of crypto-exchanges when fiat currency is used.
KuCoin Security Practices
In terms of internal security practices, KuCoin claims to run institutional-grade systems that ensures it keeps crime away from the platform. KuCoin also supports cold storage.
Although KuCoin does not disclose the exact percentage, it is believed that the vast majority of client funds are kept offline. To ensure that the platform can offer its automated and near-instant withdrawals, the rest is kept in hot wallets.
To date, KuCoin has not been the victim of any major hack, which is a good sign. You should be aware of the potential for an external hack to your funds, which are stored in wallets you don’t control.
Also, it is worth noting that in April 2020, KuCoin completed a strategic cooperation with Onchain Custodian, Singapore’s crypto asset custody platform. Onchain Custodian, a custody company for KuCoin’s crypto assets, will be available. Lockton, the largest private insurance brokerage firm in the world, will provide support for custodial funds. This will increase the security of the exchange.
Best of all, KuCoin allows you to install two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. You will receive a unique code to your mobile device every time you want to perform certain account functions. You can log in to your account and request a withdrawal.
KuCoin Customer Support
When it comes to customer service, the team at KuCoin provides an around the clock support team that operates 24 hours per day – 7 days per week. The team can be reached via email. However, live chat is best for those who need immediate support.
Sentiment on this is somewhat mixed in the public domain. Some users report connection times of less than a second, while others complain about waiting times that are unacceptable. It all depends on the team’s availability at the time. Telephone support is not available.
How to get Started at KuCoin
Like the sound of KuCoin and think the platform is suitable for your long-term trading needs? We will now show you how to open a trading account.
Step 1: Open an Account
To get the ball rolling, head over to the KuCoin homepage and click on the ‘Sign Up’ button at the top of the screen. After that, you will be asked to enter your email address.
You will need to verify the email address you have provided before you can link up 2FA with your mobile phone. You will not be asked to provide any personal information at this stage.
Step 2: Deposit Funds
Once you have opened your KuCoin account you will then be promoted to deposit some funds. There are two options in this regard. You can deposit a digital token you already own into KuCoin.
Simply go to the deposit page, and search for the coin you are looking for. Click on the deposit tab and you will see your unique wallet address. Copy the address to your clipboard. Next, go to your private wallet and enter the amount of coins you want to deposit. Finally, confirm the transaction.
Depending on the cryptocurrency you are depositing, it typically takes around 10-20 minutes for the funds to be credited into your KuCoin account.
Fiat Currency Deposit
If you do not have access to a digital currency, you will need to deposit funds with your debit or credit card. Click on the “Buy Crypto” button, then click on “Buy with Credit Card”.
Follow the screen-specific instructions. You will need to verify your identity in order to be able to use your debit/credit cards. Simplex handles the entire process.
Step 3: Start Trading
As soon as your KuCoin account has been funded, you are ready to start trading. The type of financial instrument that you want to trade in will determine the trading area you require. KuCoin seperates its cryptocurrency exchange from future derivative platforms.
KuCoin Review: The Verdict?
In summary, it is clear to see why KuCoin is now one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the space. Not only does it give you access to over 450 cryptocurrency pairs, but you can also trade crypto-specific indexes and Bitcoin futures.
Moreover, standard trading fees amount to just 0.1%, which you can reduce by an additional 20% by paying fee with KuCoin Shares. You can also deposit funds using a debit or credit cards, but you must first go through a KYC process. Our main complaint about KuCoin is its non-regulation. While this does mean that you can trade crypto-to-crypto pairs anonymously, your funds are never 100% safe.
On the flip side, reports about a KuCoin hack are yet to surface since its inception in 2017 – which is an excellent sign.