KuCoin Exchange Review | NextAdvisor with TIME
At first glance, KuCoin appears to be ideal if you are an experienced and active cryptocurrency trader. The exchange offers access to hundreds of tokens, as well as the ability to trade futures products and use margin. Combine all of this with relatively low fees, and KuCoin can be an attractive choice as a cryptocurrency exchange.
But there are some issues that make it less than ideal for most US crypto investors, and especially those who are more on the beginner side of the spectrum. KuCoin is not licensed to operate in the United States, making it unnecessarily complicated for most US crypto investors. For starters, KuCoin has never allowed US investors to buy crypto with US currency – although it recently introduced a feature that the exchange claims allows this, albeit with some hurdles to cross. In addition, user reviews are strongly negative.
KuCoin was launched in 2017 and claims to be “the people’s exchange”. The company is based in the Seychelles and is not subject to US regulations.
Here is what you need to know about KuCoin.
Advantages and disadvantages of KuCoin
Access to over 500 coins
Free Tether coins (USDT) when you sign up
Ability to bet for profit
Advanced trading options including futures and the ability to trade on margin
Relatively low fees
Not licensed in the United States
US-Based Investors Must Have Crypto Already
Difficult to navigate for new crypto investors and traders
Bad reviews on Trustpilot
KuCoin at a glance
- Centralized, so transactions go through a third party, which can increase security
- More than 500 currencies available
- Maker-taker model with tiered fees of up to 0.10%
- Free deposits, but there are withdrawal fees
- Up to $500 in USDT (Tether) available to users after making a first deposit or transfer of at least 50 USDT
- Offers leveraged margin and coin trading options, giving you the ability to multiply your returns by borrowing
- Offers a trading bot to automatically trade for you
- Ability to trade cryptocurrency futures
- Staking lets you earn extra coins
- Multiple opportunities to earn additional tokens through cloud mining, pooling, and crypto lending
Cryptocurrencies available on KuCoin
KuCoin offers access to over 500 cryptocurrency tokens. Some of the most popular coins offered on KuCoin include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Money (BCH)
- Solana (SOL)
- Peas (DOT)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Chain link (LINK)
- Decentralized (MANA)
KuCoin also offers a variety of trading pairs, including those based on BTC and on KuCoin (KCS), the native coin of the KuCoin chain and exchange, as well as altcoin pairs. US dollar trading prices are actually based on Tether (USDT), a US dollar-pegged stablecoin.
KuCoin has a tiered system, using a maker-taker model for spot trading and futures trading. With spot trading, you are not actually “buying” a cryptocurrency, rather you are exchanging something you already have for another coin. Usually, you can choose a “limit” or “market” order. With a limit order, you trade when the cryptocurrency reaches a specific price. A market order is executed immediately at the current price. And with futures trading, you buy or sell an asset with a predetermined date and price.
In a maker-taker model, makers typically end up with lower fees because they provide liquidity to the market by offering two sides to the transaction. Takers, on the other hand, are those who simply buy at market rates.
KuCoin’s tiered system, which ranges from levels 0 to 12, is based on your holding of KuCoin tokens or your 30-day trading volume expressed in BTC. When you level up, you pay lower fees. Additionally, you can get a 20% discount on trading fees when you pay fees using KCS.
The highest fee you will pay for spot or forward transactions is 0.16%. However, if you are a maker, you may be eligible for negative fees at certain levels, rewarding you for providing liquidity.
KuCoin also offers a trading robot that you can configure to execute your trades. You can choose from Classic Grid, to sell high and buy low; DCA, or Fixed Sum Periodic Purchase, where you regularly invest small amounts instead of a lump sum; Grid Futures, where you can take advantage and go short if you expect a coin’s price to fall or go long if you expect it to rise; and Smart Rebalance, which rebalances your holdings to maintain your portfolio percentages.
KuCoin does not charge deposit fees, but if you withdraw your tokens from the exchange, you will pay a fee based on the coin in question. You may also be subject to a minimum. Here are some examples of withdrawal fees depending on the token you choose. Minimum amounts and fees may change based on price fluctuations.
|Token||KuCoin fees||Minimum withdrawal amount|
|BTC||0.0005 BTC||0.0008 BTC|
|GROUND||0.01 SOL||0.2 SOL|
The KuCoin exchange uses standard security protocols to protect accounts, and you can also set up two-factor authentication. Since KuCoin is not licensed to operate in the United States, you will need to follow a process to use US dollars, and you don’t have protection for cash deposits through FDIC-insured accounts like you can get with other traditional exchanges like Coinbase.
In 2020, KuCoin was the target of a hack in which private keys associated with hot wallets were leaked. A number of cryptocurrencies were stolen, including BTC and ETH, worth around $285 million. Once the hacker stole the crypto, they were able to turn around and quickly sell coins on decentralized exchanges.
KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said in a statement that users were reimbursed for the theft of $285 million, through the recovery of $239.45 million from law enforcement and other platforms. exchange, and $45.55 million from business insurance. Additionally, KuCoin says it has measures in place to reduce the risk of this happening again, including redeploying hot wallets and updating risk management protocols.
Who is KuCoin for?
KuCoin is best if you’re an advanced cryptocurrency trader who wants features you can’t get on an exchange like Coinbase or Gemini, including access to hundreds of altcoins that aren’t available on d other exchanges.
Especially for US-based traders, we think more mainstream platforms like Coinbase, Gemini, or eToro are better bets.
KuCoin can be a good choice if you are a more advanced crypto investor looking to earn additional tokens by lending your crypto to others, as well as if you want to trade cryptocurrency futures and effect tokens of leverage. This exchange is not ideal for beginners, who need to get used to the interface, which is not intuitive, and those who are not crypto enthusiasts.
How to open an account with KuCoin
Opening an account is quite simple and you can do it on your phone or via email. Once you’ve set a username and password and verified the account with a code, you’re set up.
You can also verify your identity by following a more complex process and providing documentation with the KYC verification feature. Once you complete these steps, you can access higher withdrawal benefits and trading features that might not be available otherwise.
KuCoin compared to others
|Coins||500+ cryptocurrencies||150+ cryptocurrencies||65+ cryptocurrencies|
|Costs||Up to 0.1%, depending on level||Spread of 0.50%, fees between 1.49% and 3.99% (or fixed fees of $0.99 to $2.99)||0.1% trading fee; You can get a 25% discount on your fees if you hold Binance Coin|
|Wallet storage||Hold the coins in exchange, kept in an active wallet or transfer them to your own wallet||Hold the coins in a Coinbase account, Coinbase Wallet or transfer them to your own wallet||Hold the coins in a Binance.US account or transfer them to your own wallet|
|Minimum trade||Depends on token||$2||$10|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can US citizens use KuCoin?
KuCoin is not authorized in the United States. Therefore, citizens may have restrictions on the amount they can withdraw, as well as the leverage available. Moreover, the process of using US dollars by KuCoin is a bit more complicated than other traditional exchanges. The US “currency” used on KuCoin is USDT, a US dollar-pegged stablecoin, not US fiat currency.
Is KuCoin legit?
Yes, KuCoin is a legit cryptocurrency exchange. KuCoin uses standard encryption and offers two-factor authentication. The company says it has an insurance fund designed to cover losses from hacking, such as the 2020 hack-related loss of KuCoin hot wallets.
Is KuCoin better than Coinbase?
Coinbase is regulated in the US and cash deposits are protected by FDIC insurance, so you have more security and can use US dollars to buy crypto more easily. Coinbase is also easier to use for beginners, but has higher fees. KuCoin is not allowed in the US, so you might have more risk, and you can’t use US fiat currency as easily. However, you will see more features for advanced traders on KuCoin and access to a wider variety of altcoins.