Kucoin is a Hong Kong registered cryptocurrency exchange, founded by Michael Gan. The platform aims to be the most secure and convenient crypto exchange in the world. While Kucoin is not necessarily the most popular exchange, it has established itself as a reputable one by millions of users who trade there daily.
This highly revered exchange is not regulated by any government (like most crypto exchanges) which can be an appealing or unattractive trait to certain individual traders. For some unregulated exchanges are able to list a more diverse range of altcoins. To other traders, unregulated exchanges mean they’re more prone to manipulation as they like to deal with more certainty that come with regulated establishments.
Within this review, we’ll go over the various pros and cons of this increasingly popular Kucoin exchange, covering everything from trading volume, ease of trading, security, restrictions, fees, and so much more.
Without further ado, let’s get started….
Trading Volume & Altcoin Selection
Whenever I review a crypto exchange, one of the first things I look at is their trading volume. Without decent trading volume, an exchange is essentially useless, so you always want to look out for the liquidity of many of its top altcoins. In order to investigate Kucoin’s trading volume, we should check two sources. The first one is coinmarketcap.com.
Based on the information we’ve gathered from CoinMarketCap, Kucoin has ~$207 million worth of trading volume in the past 24 hours at the time of this writing. This trading volume is rather significant, but remember that most cryptocurrency exchanges offer massive volatility as well, so a heavy amount of trading volume is expected.
Kucoin itself currently ranks at #40 at the time of this writing, so it is a part of the top 50 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. You may not think that’s not much now, however there are currently 258 cryptocurrency exchanges located all over the world. Rank #40 doesn’t seem too bad now does it?
It’s also very important to note, there are many other exchanges with horrible reputations known to wash trades in order to gain a higher ranking on CoinMarketCap. Sadly, this seems to be a reason why so many other “lesser-known” exchanges are ranked higher than Kucoin.
If we want more ‘transparent’ ranking and trading volume, check out BTI.live where they claim, “17 of the Coinmarketcap Top 25 exchanges have over 99% fake volume”. BTI.live believes they offer a more accurate statistical picture of exchange standings than CoinMarketCap. Let’s take a look at Kucoin’s trading volume on BTI.live
Not too bad. Kucoin is still part of the top 20 crypto exchanges when it comes to ‘real’ trading volume. There is ~$202 million worth of daily trading volume on July 2nd 2019, which is close to their coinmarketcap numbers.
So, judging by the data of these two popular crypto listing portals, Kucion is a rather viable exchange to trade at. Personally, I find Kucoin has really good volume if you want to trade BTC, KCS, USDT, EOS, XRP, BCH, and BSV.
They also have great trading volume for their most recent IEO token, COTI. Kucoin obviously has many more altcoins other than the ones I mentioned above but there are quite a few altcoins here that have low 24 hour trading volume.
You really have to be careful when trading these lower volume coins with more than a few hundred dollars’ worth of crypto. I typically don’t recommend trading anything lower than a 5 BTC 24 hour trading volume.
Ease of Trading
The second most important quality to consider after trading volume is ease of trading. How convenient is a crypto exchange to use, how fast are the buy and sell orders executed, how easy is it to understand the GUI (graphic user interface), and all of the other features that can affect your trading experience?
I personally find trading on Kucoin to be rather enjoyable, since the interface mimics those of more popular trading platforms like Binance. It’s not the best crypto trading platform out there, but definitely one of my top 5.
I appreciate Kucoin’s trading interface as they don’t overly complicate things with unwarranted interface babble. They also did a great job labeling all their main trading features accordingly. Kucoin stays consistent by utilizing the same terms and interface as many of the other top crypto exchanges. These characteristics make it extremely intuitive to use, even if you’re still new to the trading.
Kucoin utilizes TradingView for their charts which is currently the industry’s standard. Even their crypto pairs selection tab looks very similar to Binance’s pair selections.
The only difference with Kucoin is you need to click the middle-left arrow button before you can see the crypto pairs selection screen. It can be slightly confusing if you are brand new to trading but you should be able to find it easily.
All-in-all I give Kucoin 2 thumbs up on their trading interface as it’s both simple and advanced enough for both novice and experienced traders alike.
Another unique feature to Kucoin’s interface is the availability of its GUI in 12 different languages as well as price translations of more than 30 fiat currencies which is extremely helpful for any international crypto exchange.
Security is definitely one of the most crucial factors to crypto trading. If you’re not trading at a respected secure exchange, then you can find yourself losing all your funds in a matter of minutes. However the good thing is, the Kucoin development team takes security very seriously.
They are partnered with Arwen, a blockchain-based escrow solution for centralized crypto exchanges. With Arwen, it’s much harder for hackers to steal funds from vulnerable crypto traders. To read more on how Arwen works, you can check their how it works page here.
Besides partnering with Arwen, Kucoin also uses industry standards to secure your account on their Security Settings page. Google Verification / 2FA is highly recommended here. You can set phone verifications, email verifications, and trading passwords all on the same page. This is more or less “standard practice” with other popular crypto exchanges.
Keep in mind you need to complete your KYC (Know Your Customer) if you want to be able to trade more than 2 BTC per 24 hours.
One of Kucoin’s biggest advantages over their competitors is their trading fees. Kucoin has a tiered trading fee discount program which you can find here. Both standard maker and taker trading fees with Kucoin are 0.1%. However, when you hold Kucoin Shares (KCS) in your account (Kucoin’s own proprietary coin like Binance’s BNB coin), they will award you with trading fee discounts.
The discount percentages depend on your trading volume and your KCS balance for the past 30 days. Check the image below for more details.
This is another important factor to consider. There are cryptocurrency exchanges that completely restrict certain countries from trading such as the U.S. and China. Being an unregulated exchange, Kucoin has the opportunity to open its doors to most countries including the U.S. However, they don’t allow Chinese traders. Personally speaking, being that I’m a US trader, this is another win for Kucoin.
Although Kucoin primarily focuses on crypto-to-crypto exchange transfers, they are partnering with Simplex for debit or credit card deposits. Unfortunately, this is actually one of the ‘cons’ of Kucoin. Simplex charges very high fees for buying crypto directly with your credit/debit cards. I recommend you use Coinbase or Gemini before you transfer your cryptocurrency to Kucoin. You’ll end up saving a lot of money on fees this way.
Their customer support is currently one of the more helpful ones I’ve used among the various cryptocurrency exchanges I’ve traded on. Turnaround times for email support are typically under 24 hours. They also have an active live chat feature which you don’t typically get from any other exchange which will immediately help you with any issues you might have at that moment.
Kucoin has an extensive FAQ section which will resolve most of your questions without ever having to contact support. All in all, I give their support high praise due to their quick turnaround times and live chat feature.
In this day and age where smart phones are used just as much if not more than laptops or desktop computers, the same rings true for cryptocurrency exchange trading apps, which Kucoin provides in spades.
You can easily log into their mobile app and start trading on the platform as soon as you set it up. This typically takes less than a few minutes to accomplish. Seeing that cryptocurrency markets can be extremely volatile at any given moment, utilizing mobile apps like the one provided by Kucoin helps you make quick decisions as well as execute them from just about any location.
The KCS Token Bonus
Kucions own proprietary token (KCS) comes with bonuses that are awarded to each trade or to anyone who holds any these tokens in their account. The most noteworthy is an “incentive bonus” which awards half of all trading fees for those individuals who hold KCS.
This bonus is distributed every day at 2:00 (UTC +8). Traders (or KCS holders) receive their bonus within a 24 hour period, every day. The amount is calculated based off of how many tokens you’ve held within that day as well as the total KCS trading fees for that day. The daily dividends received by each trader are not a fixed number. Overall, the more KCS you hold in your account the more profit you can expect to receive.
As an example…
Let’s say you’re holding 10,000 KCS and the average trading volume for that day is 10,000 BTC which equivalates to 20 BTC in collected fees for Kucoin. You would receive a bonus of 20 * 50% * (10000/100000000) = 0.001 BTC per day. This would be converted to the KCS token and funded into your account. For more detailed information, visit their bonus page here.
Seeing that we covered just about all the noteworthy features of Kucoin, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of my review, shall we?
• Available in most countries, including US traders, but not China.
• Very simple and easy-to-use trading platform. There isn’t much of a learning curve here if you have experience on other cryptocurrency exchanges.
• Good trading volume for top 50 altcoins. Decent trading volume for micro cap coins.
• Very low trading fees at 0.10% for both maker and taker.
• Incredible security due to their partnership with Arwen
• Amazing customer support with a live chat feature.
• A well-designed mobile trading app so you can trade from any location.
• A one-of-a-kind daily KCS Bonus for those who hold their tokens in their account.
• Lower trading volumes compared to some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, Okex, etc
• While Kucoin supports stablecoins (like Tether) it does not support ‘real’ fiat deposits. Kucoin supports debit/credit card processing through Simplex but suffers from really high fees.
• Being a non-regulated exchange means they are not very transparent as they don’t need to obey regulations in any country. Note: this is also the same for most other crypto exchanges in the marketplace right now.
Kucoin is a great cryptocurrency exchange considering it’s relatively recent arrival to the world of crypto exchanges. Currently the assortment of trading pairs are a bit limited, however they do cover most of the top 50 cryptocurrencies and offer quite a few micro cap coins to trade that have decent 24 hour trading volume.
It’s also worth noting that this exchange is very quick to list newer coins before any of the other larger exchanges. This allows you to enjoy massive gains if you’re able to invest early on one or more of these noteworthy tokens before the larger exchanges list them.
Utilizing their extremely competitive trading fees, Kucoin is starting things off on the right foot in order to become a future leader amongst the top cryptocurrency exchanges. Incentives like their “invitation bonus” and “KCS holder bonus” help elevate this platform to newer audiences while giving experienced traders more bang for their buck.