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KuCoin Review: Turn-offs and trade-offs

kucoin

KuCoin’s interface can turn off new users, but once you get familiar with the platform, you will love the low 0.1% trading fees and the abundance of trading tools available. We’ve also suggested that KuCoin inform its customers that a wallet upgrade about a coin is planned. Well, if you haven’t joined KuCoin, you would not know where we are at, so I suggest, for a feel, you can sign up for KuCoin. But read this review before you do that.

Also Read:
• KuCoin Price Prediction

What is KuCoin?

KuCoin is a cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2017 and registered in Seychelles. The exchange originally began operations in Hong Kong and started by marketing itself as “The People’s Exchange.” KuCoin was built on the desire to give users worldwide access to a secure and simple cryptocurrency exchange with a wide range of services. With 600+ coins, 45+ fiat supported, over 1000 markets, and an average weekly visit of 4.2 million users, the platform has established itself as a one-stop-shop for several crypto-related operations. Users can easily purchase, sell or securely store coins like Bitcoin (BTC), KCS, ETH, hundreds of ALTS, and several NFT, DeFi, and Metaverse tokens. 

KuCoin boasts of bank-grade security architecture, a slick and beginner-friendly user interface, and several crypto services, including an integrated P2P exchange, crypto lending & staking, margin and futures trading, spot trading, credit/debit card coin purchase, etc. Investors are particularly excited about KuCoin due to the platform’s propensity to list digital coins with small market capitalization and immense upside prospects. The exchange’s trading fees are one the lowest in the market. 

This KuCoin review will look at the exchange’s background, features, fees structure, security infrastructure, pros & cons, and recent developments.

KuCoin history and background

Although KuCoin started in mid-2017, its development team has performed blockchain experiments since 2011. By 2013, the team’s experiments yielded significant results, and the platform’s technical architecture surfaced. KuCoin’s architecture has since undergone several improvements over the years to attain the seamless experience it offers today. Within its ICO in 2017, KuCoin issued KCS or KuCoin Shares – its native token. 

2019 proved to be an excellent year for KuCoin, as the platform rolled out several upgrades. Its user interface was upgraded to version 2.0, and more advanced features were introduced. The advanced features included new APIs, advanced order types, futures trading (KuMEX), and margin trading (up to 10x leverage).

At the start of 2020, KuCoin’s ecosystem grew rapidly, with new features and updates released. KuCoin’s support for fiat-to-crypto purchases improved substantially. The exchange also announced a PayPal integration for the P2P marketplace that supports selling and purchasing cryptocurrencies.

In a bid to enhance the adoption of cryptocurrencies, KuCoin launched its trading bot in January 2021 – a tool designed to help investors earn passively with a computer-generated trading strategy. Within its first month, over 300,000 users worldwide utilized the trading tool. In the following months, and up to January 2022, over 6 million trading bots have been created by users on the exchange, and about 150,000,000 USD have been raked-in in profits. 

Currently, KuCoin Bot supports five(5) trading strategies, including DCA, Infinity Grid, Spot Grid, Smart Rebalance, and Futures Grid. Also, in April 2021, KuCoin launched its mainnet, KuChain – an ETH-based decentralized public chain designed to provide its community with high throughput, enhanced security, low-cost transaction, and low latency.  

Today, KuCoin’s service reach has significantly expanded to major countries, including Canada, Singapore, Japan, Nigeria, India, Turkey, the UK, and many more. In addition, the exchange offers translations in 18 languages, including Spanish, English, French, Hindi, Italian, Chinese, etc.

What is KCS?

KCS is the cryptocurrency of KuCoin, and it is an ERC-20 based coin. Developments in the KuCoin ecosystem drive the value of KCS. KCS owners/holders earn significant trading fee discounts and get a daily share of KuCoin’s revenue from trading fees. To earn daily benefits, users must hold a minimum of six (6) KCS units. KuCoin’s profit-sharing incentive is generous, as about 90% of the trading fees earned are redistributed to the community through its native token (KCS).

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KuCoin features

Spot trading

Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, KuCoin’s crypto spot trading tool allows customers to purchase or exchange digital assets at a spot price with instant settlement. 

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Crypto lendingKuCoin Review: Turn-offs and trade-offs 3

KuCoin’s crypto lending feature allows users to avail potential margin traders of their digital asset holdings. Liquidity providers earn interest on their lent assets, as with traditional P2P lending. The exchange offers 80+ coins for lending, with interest rates dependent on the coin type and term length. The key players in crypto lending are: 

  • The Investor: As an investor, you will fund your coin wallet then activate the cryptocurrency lending function, which will automatically earn you interests depending on your capital. Assume that you funded your wallet with 500 USDT, and the interest rate on the lending function is 10% APY paid weekly. Over 1 year, you will earn 10% interest on your 500 USDT.
  • The Borrower: For borrowers, crypto loans are collateralized. A typical borrower will own some other coin and need fiat money urgently. The borrower has to lock or block some of his crypto holdings as collateral to facilitate the fiat loan. Usually, the loan amount can only be about 25 – 50% of the blocked crypto.

As exciting as crypto lending seems, price dips could result in unexpected loss of assets – USDT is an exception here. Should the account of a crypto loan recipient deplete below 97% of the borrowed balance, KuCoin enacts a margin call that automatically replenishes the loaned asset. Also, if borrowers can not fully repay their loans, KuCoin exchange’s insurance settles the difference; however, full coverage is not guaranteed. KuCoin offers a beginner’s guide for newbies in the crypto lending space.

Margin Trading

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KuCoin exchange’s margin trading feature allows traders of short or long several USDT, ETH, and BTC denominated pairs with a maximum leverage of 10x. The supported denominated pairs include coins like LTC, AXS, XRP, ADA, BTC, XLM, etc. Unlike futures, margin trading can be accessed directly from the spot trading interface.

Contract (futures trading)

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Futures trading on the exchange offers leverage up to 100x. The product provides users with three options on the derivatives interface. The first option is Futures Classic, which offers complete trading tools and maximum leverage of 100x. The second is Futures Lite, with quick and easy-to-use futures trading tools. The third option is the Futures Brawl which allows users to battle each other, Long or Short, BTC, and spin the Wheel of Fortune to win daily points.

KuCoin Earn

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KuCoin’s Earn product avails customers the opportunity to rake in stable profits through its pioneering staking feature. The product promises high yield, flexibility, diversity, and multiple staking options. You can earn by staking popular cryptocurrencies, actively engaging the Polkadot on-chain ecosystem, joining the ETH 2.0 era, or subscribing to liquidity trade.

Trading bots

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The exchange launched its trading bot in January of 2021, intending to help users take advantage of market price actions in absentia through automatic programming actions that execute trades when specified conditions are met. In other words, you can earn without actively monitoring your trades or the market. 

The most profitable trading bots are ranked based on their daily or weekly returns. You can copy the trading configurations of your preferred KuCoin trading bot and replicate the same on your account OR choose your own rules, and the bot will follow through. KuCoin’s trading bot has had an excellent run to date, with over 6 million bots created by users and hundreds of millions of profits made on trades.

Other features offered by KuCoin include Spotlight, KCS Bonus, KuCoin Win, and KuCoin Pool.

KuCoin mobile app

KuCoin has a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices to help customers trade on the go. The mobile app has a sleek user interface, and it offers several of the features available on the desktop site, including a trading bot. 

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The app provides KuCoin’s full trading experience with comprehensive charts, price alerts, and 24/7 online support access.

KuCoin trading fees overview

KuCoin exchange is renowned for its relatively low fees in the crypto market. The platform’s fee rate is tier-based, with coins placed in classes A, B, and C. Spot trading fees are subject to the base currency of KuCoin’s trading pairs. For instance, the fee charged for BTC/KCS and USDT/KCS is based on KuCoin Shares (KCS). 

In addition, all spot trading fees are fixed at a base rate of 0.1% but could decrease further depending on certain variables such as KCS holdings and 30-day trading volume. In other words, higher KCS holdings guarantee lower fees. Also, using KCS to cover your trading fees could earn you up to a 20% discount on fees.

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For Futures trading, KuCoin also uses a tier-based discount structure. The table below shows that trading fees are subject to KCS shares or 30-day trading volume.

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Now, deposit and withdrawals. Interestingly, the KuCoin exchange offers zero deposit fees, while withdrawals attract a small cost, depending on the asset. For instance, Bitcoin’s withdrawal fee is 0.0005 BTC for a minimum of 0.0008 BTC. However, these fees will vary based on the coin’s wallet infrastructure. The withdrawal fee for Bitcoin on the KuChain (KCC) network is 0.00002 BTC, while on the Tron (TRC-20) network, the fee is 0.0004 BTC. At the moment, NEO is free to withdraw from the exchange.

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Comparatively, KuCoin withdrawal fees are similar to those of Binance – an exchange renowned for offering the lowest fees in the market through its Binance Smart Chain (BSC) infrastructure. You can check out the platform’s fee structure web page for a complete outlook of KuCoin’s withdrawal charges per asset.

KuCoin security

Despite its KYC verification and top-level security procedures, the KuCoin exchange victim of a massive security breach in 2020. Users’ hot wallets were hacked, losing almost $280 million in cryptocurrencies. Fortunately, a significant portion (94%) of the stolen assets was recovered, and insurance covered the remaining losses., Despite KuCoin’s swift action and efficient asset recovery mechanism, the massive security failure is alarming.

In an interview with Bitcoin.com News in 2021, KuCoin’s Johnny Lyu emphasized the exchange’s commitment to pursuing security. He mentioned that the platform had re-architectured its security system by introducing a more powerful and effective risk control system to WEB, API, and APP access systems. Johnny Lyu also added that KuCoin has deployed upgraded network security that complies with financial-level requirements.

Finally, Johnny mentioned that the exchange had restructured its security team and formed partnerships with anti-APT agencies and top security corporations. 

On the customer side, KuCoin has implemented several account security settings to help secure funds:

  • Trading password
  • 2FA
  • Anti-phishing and login phrase
  • Email and mobile verification
  • Security questions
  • Login IP restrictions

Getting started with KuCoin

The signup procedure on the KuCoin exchange is quite straightforward. To get started, click here.

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Click the signup button at the top right corner.

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You can choose to sign up using your phone number or email address. After inputting either of the two, hit send code, and a verification code will be sent to your preferred registration method. Please copy the code and paste it into the appropriate section. Also, input your preferred password, including numbers, lower case letters, and uppercase letters.

If you have a KuCoin referral code, type it into the available space. Check the box if you agree, click sign up, and complete the captcha. Finally, check your preferred email address for a confirmation link.

After completing the signup process, you can now deposit crypto or use the exchange’s Buy Crypto option. Before or after adding funds to your account, it is good practice to set up your account security options to safeguard your assets further. These security settings include 2FA, safety phrases, login IP restriction, and a trading password.

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KuCoin allows unverified users to access special features on the exchange but with certain restrictions. For instance, BTC withdrawals cannot exceed 1 BTC daily.

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Click start verification to complete the individual verification process to bypass this restriction. In addition, KuCoin also offers verification for institutional investors/traders.

How to deposit crypto on KuCoin (step-by-step)

KuCoin offers users several crypto purchase methods such as Fast Buy, P2P, and third-party providers.

Fast Buy 

This method allows you to purchase BTC, ETH, or USDT with over 30 local currencies using MasterCard/Visa, SEPA, Skrill, or Wise payment options.

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Peer-to-Peer (P2P) 

The P2P option on KuCoin exchange allows users to buy or sell USDT, USDC, KCS, BTC, and ETH with zero trading fee. However, keep in mind that certain payment methods may charge processing fees.

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Third-Party Payments 

With this method, users can purchase a variety of coins fiat currencies via payment infrastructures like Simplex, BTCDirect, Banxa using Giropay, Bancontact, EPS, SOFORT Banking, Apple Pay, SEPA, iDEAL, or Visa/MC payment methods. Usually, the available payment options depend on trade volume, preferred fiat, and the crypto to purchase. For every purchase, KuCoin will suggest the best possible offer. 

Generally, the fees paid when using third-party payment settlers varies. Also, traders should note that the fees to be paid will also depend on the purchased volume of assets. For example, a purchase of USDT via the Banxa channel using USD starting from $584 attracts 4.8% charges, while a lower volume purchase attracts between 7.8 – 14% fees. Simplex takes even higher fees.

KuCoin Review: Turn-offs and trade-offs 18

It is important to note that KYC verification must have been completed to use any of KuCoin’s Buy Crypto options.

Pros and Cons of KuCoin

Pros

  • Minimal fees
  • API users get exclusive privileges
  • 600+ cryptocurrencies supported
  • Advanced trading tools and investing features
  • Trading bots with positive reviews
  • Strong customer base
  • SEPA fiat deposit method
  • Bank level asset security
  • Enhanced customer support

Cons

  • No fiat withdrawals
  • Not licensed in the US; hence limited functionalities for users
  • Limited resources for newbies
  • Most suited to advance/experience traders

KuCoin Exchange developments 2022

On January 24, 2022, KuCoin added the SEPA payment option to the exchange. The integration was effected to allow users living in 36 SEPA-member regions to fund their KuCoin EUR wallets easily and securely while leveraging the zero transaction cost that comes with the SEPA option. Furthermore, users can fund their accounts with up to 1,000,000 Euros per transaction and purchase USDT with their wallet balance.

Some of the advantages that SEPA transfers bring to KuCoin include:

  • Easy and secure transactions with no 3rd parties involved
  • Up to 1,000,000 EUR in a single deposit
  • Zero transaction fees

To facilitate your transaction, KuCoin recommends that you include the reference note issued with your payment details when transferring from your Bank. The platform has also hinted at the possibility of introducing EUR withdrawals soon. Also, users must have completed KYC to use the SEPA transfer feature.

How does KuCoin compare?

Compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, KuCoin has a huge selection of digital currencies and low fees. In addition, it features a wide range of advanced trading options. However, KuCoin is not without its drawbacks. If you would like to purchase or sell crypto on the KuCoin exchange, it might be a good idea to juxtapose the platform with other top-tier exchanges. 

KuCoin vs. Binance

KuCoin is a well-established and reliable exchange with the best crypto trading fees. In comparison to Binance, the fees are similar, but KuCoin’s trading volume is lower. In addition, KuCoin offers more ALTs and less-known cryptos. So, if you are looking for small market cap coins, KuCoin is your best bet. Binance.US is regulated in the states, but KuCoin isn’t – US residents may be better off with the former, while non-US residents will find KuCoin useful.

Conclusion

The KuCoin cryptocurrency exchange offers over 600 digital currencies, and it is renowned for its minimal trading fees and free peer-2-peer marketplace. In addition, KuCoin boasts several features such as margin trading, bot trading, crypto lending, spot trading, and futures that are particularly appealing to various traders.

Despite the exciting features and addons on the KuCoin network, its stringent fiat policies and advanced user interface are some of its downsides. Purchasing crypto with fiat attracts a minimum trading fee of 3%. Also, KuCoin does not offer fiat withdrawal services yet, and its overall product portfolio is more beneficial to experienced traders than newbies. Before using this exchange, ensure that it is the best choice.

FAQs about KuCoin

Can KuCoin be trusted?

KuCoin has been in operation since 2017, and its customer base has grown to over 10,000,000 registered users worldwide. The platform leverages a multi-layered security architecture with industry-grade encryption and multiple-factor authentication to secure assets. Also, KuCoin’s internal risk assessment department monitors daily transactions to flag irregularities and curb fraudulent activities.

So, can users trust KuCoin! Yes, the KuCoin exchange can be trusted.

Is KuCoin licensed in the US?

The United States’ regulations on crypto exchanges are stringent; for this reason, KuCoin is one of the many unlicensed operators in the US. If you must use KuCoin as a US resident, you will have to do so without completing the platform’s KYC verification (partial verification). Using the exchange without completing KYC comes with several downsides, such as restrictions on withdrawals and access to minimal leverage. In addition, unverified KuCoin users do not receive similar support as verified folks in case of theft or fraud.

If you are based in the states, you might consider other exchanges like Coinbase, Binance US, Gemini, or Kraken.

Has KuCoin ever been hacked?

Regardless of an exchange’s security network, hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities, and KuCoin was a victim of these notorious hacks in 2020. However, the exchange dealt with the situation expertly and recovered large sums of the stolen digital assets. The company’s insurance made up for the unrecovered cryptocurrencies, which means that no KuCoin user lost anything to the security breach.

Is it safe to keep crypto on KuCoin?

Yes, KuCoin is a safe exchange for keeping your cryptocurrencies. The platform’s multifaceted security and wallet infrastructure ensure that users’ assets are secure and safe. Whether or not a hack occurs, users are guaranteed the safety of their funds.

How do I contact KuCoin?

KuCoin’s biggest selling point was never its customer care team, but this has improved recently, with the exchange creating more channels and improving responsiveness by launching an answer bot in 2021. Typical of other exchanges in the crypto space, KuCoin does not provide its customers with a support phone number. If you run into a problem with KuCoin, your best bet is to contact the company’s Help Desk via email, mobile app chat, onsite chat, or social media handles.

Shawn Du'Mmett

Shawn Du'Mmett

Former IT development and consultant, remote team and collaboration expert, PM, CCO, writer, dreamer, idealist looking to collaborate with global teams on a global teal/turquoise organisation. Shawn's dream is working together openly, to get what writers need and want, and to solve biggest global problems. He is building a collaboration system from the start that everyone can own and define, allowing them to work together, to decide how it works and to their highest ideals.

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