Experienced cryptocurrency traders can get the most out of KuCoin's advanced features, low fees, and wide range of coins. However, KuCoin is not licensed to operate in the U.S. and that drags on our rating. Read our full KuCoin review to find out if you should open an account.
KuCoin is the 5th-largest retail crypto exchange by market cap. Unlike some exchanges, KuCoin only trades cryptocurrency. Users can buy crypto and fund their accounts with a bank card, wire transfer, or PayPal, but there are no fiat currency trading pairs available. This allows the exchange to skirt some regulations and provide a more anonymous service to its users.
Still, the exchange did implement know-your-customer (KYC) regulations in 2018, with the goal of increasing user trust and improving account security. The KYC process involves providing identifying information like a government-issued ID. However, KYC verification is not currently required by KuCoin, it’s simply highly suggested. KYC verification is not available to U.S. customers. This is the biggest factor as to why KuCoin is unlicensed and limited in the United States.
Before getting started on KuCoin, be sure to do your due diligence and remember that trading cryptocurrency involves substantial risk. The market can be extremely volatile and price swings tend to happen very fast.
KuCoin does let you buy cryptocurrency with fiat money, but you'll need to do it through a third-party app. You can pay by credit or debit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, but you can't deposit money by bank transfer.
App: Log in to your KuCoin account, click "Assets" - "Withdraw" to enter the withdrawal page. Step 2: Once you have selected the correct token, you will need to add the wallet address (composed of remark name and address), select the chain, and enter the amount
Many popular coins trade on KuCoin, and it also supports several less-popular coins with lower market caps. In total, there are over 500 different spot currencies on the exchange.
Some popular coins being traded on KuCoin are:
KuCoin also supports common coins like Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL), Dogecoin (DOGE), as well as hundreds of others.
The most common trading pair for cryptocurrencies on KuCoin is the Tether (USDT) trading pair. For example, most people trading SHIB on KuCoin are trading SHIB/USDT, meaning they are buying or selling Shiba Inu coins in exchange for Tether coins.
The trading experience on KuCoin is fairly user-friendly. Along the top menu bar of the KuCoin homepage, users can find tabs for markets, assets, news, trading, derivatives, finance, and support.
From the Markets tab, you’ll need to enter the name of the cryptocurrency you’re looking to trade. Then KuCoin will display the different trading pairs available. To trade a coin, you’ll have to be holding one of the coins in that pair. To trade BTC/ETH, for example, you would need some bitcoin or ether.
After selecting a trading pair, you’re brought to the main trading page. Here you’ll see the current order books (existing buy and sell orders) for your chosen trading pair. To buy at the current market price, find the Buy tab on the lower half of the screen. Enter the number of coins you’d like to buy and select the blue number next to Best Price.
KuCoin also allows users to lend crypto to each other for margin trading or charging interest. To lend crypto using the platform, you must first transfer the assets you intend to lend into your Main Account. This is different from your Trading Account.
While KuCoin was originally a crypto-only exchange, the platform now lets users buy crypto using several payment methods. However, crypto-to-fiat trading pairs are still unavailable. Available payment methods include debit card, PayPal, wire transfer, and Simplex.
KuCoin has its own exchange token called KuCoin Shares (KCS). By holding KCS in their exchange wallets, KuCoin users receive discounts on trading fees.
For the average trader with less than 1,000 KCS in their account, fees for both maker and taker trades will be 0.1%. For those trading higher volumes and holding more KCS, fees can go as low as 0.0125% for maker trades and 0.03% for taker trades.
Both trading fees and withdrawal fees on KuCoin mostly align with those of Binance, which is known for its low fees.
While deposits on KuCoin are free, withdrawal fees vary according to the cryptocurrency in question. A full table of these fees can be found on KuCoin’s fee page. The page notes that the exchange reserves the right to “adjust the withdrawal fees according to the cryptocurrency market’s performance,” so that’s important to be aware of if you plan to trade on KuCoin.
In September 2020, KuCoin’s hot wallets were hacked for about $281 million worth of crypto.2 The funds were covered by an insurance fund and most of the crypto was later recovered.
The exchange typically doesn’t suffer from outages during times of peak market activity, which is a plus for active traders. And to help keep user accounts safe, KuCoin comes with industry-standard security features, including:
KuCoin also offers a separate password for trading, as opposed to the one used to log in to your account. This is a security feature not offered by all exchanges.
It’s worth noting that although KuCoin offers security features, some people might argue that the exchange still isn’t safe because it’s unregulated.
Regardless of what exchange you’re using, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of all available security features, use strong and unique passwords, and use your own hardware wallet for cold storage to hold your crypto.
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To open a KuCoin account, do the following:
At this point, you’re ready to start trading crypto on KuCoin, assuming you already have crypto to deposit from somewhere else.
For users who want to buy crypto on KuCoin using fiat currency, a few additional steps will be necessary. These involve completing know-your-customer (KYC) verification and adding a payment method—either PayPal or wire transfer.
The KuCoin Earn service pays interest on your cryptocurrencies in two ways: You can stake coins through Pool-X, a KuCoin-backed company, or loan out your crypto and get paid the interest.
Experienced cryptocurrency traders can get the most out of KuCoin's advanced features, low fees, and wide range of coins.
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KuCoin offers a comprehensive support center on its site and two options for customer support:
Wait times for the chat are generally long, but the service runs 24/7.