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KuCoin is a cryptocurrency exchange that operates in over 200 countries. While experienced traders might appreciate some of this exchange’s features, KuCoin isn’t licensed in the U.S. and has received poor reviews from users.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Ability to earn interest on crypto
Wide selection of cryptocurrencies
Not licensed in the U.S.
Poor user reviews
- Year Founded 2017
- Official Website https://www.kucoin.com
- Cryptocurrencies Available 700+
- Customer Support Help Center, Live Chat, Support Ticket
Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.
- Ability to earn interest on crypto: KuCoin users can earn interest on their crypto by staking certain assets or lending them to others and charging interest. Earning rewards on your crypto can help you build a larger portfolio.
- Wide selection of cryptocurrencies: Unlike some exchanges that offer a few dozen cryptocurrencies available for trade, KuCoin offers over 700.
- Low fees: Compared with other major exchanges, KuCoin offers relatively low trading fees. Users can expect to pay between 0.005% and 0.10% per trade, and a 20% discount on trading fees is offered when using its token, KuCoin Token (KCS).
- Not licensed in the U.S.: KuCoin is not licensed in the United States, so U.S.-based users should consider other exchanges.
- Poor user reviews: While negative reviews are common with crypto exchanges, KuCoin’s user reviews are especially poor. Reviewers report problems with withdrawals, customer service, and issues with market manipulation.
KuCoin is a large cryptocurrency exchange offering the ability to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. In addition to basic trading options, the platform offers margin, futures, and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. Users can also choose to stake or lend their crypto to earn rewards. Compared to some competitors, KuCoin offers low trading fees, making it an attractive option.
Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
Launched in 2017, KuCoin is a crypto exchange headquartered in Seychelles. Since its founding, it’s grown to be one of the largest global exchanges by trade volume, and it now has over 20 million users and a presence in more than 200 countries.
While U.S. users can sign up for a KuCoin account, access to features is limited because KuCoin isn’t licensed to operate in the United States. Given this, signing up for an account could present some risks. For instance, if U.S. regulators decide to crack down on KuCoin, you might not be able to withdraw your assets. The exchange has also had regulatory issues in countries like The Netherlands and Canada.
When FTX fell in November 2022, a lot of users rumored that KuCoin had significant exposure to FTX. KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu assured users that it had no exposure and wasn't connected to FTX in any way. In light of those events, KuCoin released a Proof of Reserves like other crypto exchanges to solidify user trust.
KuCoin offers over 700 cryptocurrencies for users to buy, sell, and trade. Those looking for a wide selection of assets may appreciate what this exchange provides. Here’s a partial list of cryptocurrencies that are currently available on KuCoin:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Shiba Inu (SHIB)
- XRP (XRP)
KuCoin users can access their accounts through an online portal or mobile apps, available for Android and iOS. Both its desktop site and mobile apps offer an abundance of features and tools.
Once logged in on desktop or mobile, KuCoin users can click to view markets, buy crypto, trade, lend crypto, and more. The platform supports four order types—market, limit, stop-limit, and stop-market. Margin, futures, and P2P trading are also available, which could be a plus for certain users. Additionally, KuCoin supports staking and recently introduced a Trading Bot feature to help simplify the trading process; it essentially acts as a robo-advisor for your cryptocurrency portfolio.
While this exchange offers many options, its desktop and mobile platforms aren’t particularly user-friendly. That said, the site does offer a robust help center where users can find answers to common questions.
Beginner crypto traders will likely be overwhelmed by the many tools and features KuCoin offers. If you’re new to crypto, consider a more user-friendly exchange that’s slightly easier to navigate.
KuCoin offers a tiered maker/taker fee model, with trading fees ranging from 0.005%-0.1%, depending on your tier level. Its fees are relatively low compared to competitors, which may charge up to 0.50% per trade. Users can also get trading fee discounts based on their KuCoin Token (KCS) balance.
In addition to trading fees, KuCoin also charges withdrawal fees that vary by asset and are subject to change based on market performance. Deposits are free on this exchange, but it’s important to note that KuCoin offers limited options for fiat deposits at this time.
While KuCoin offers KYC verification and industry-standard security features, this exchange was subject to a major hack in 2020. Hackers stole over $280 million worth of crypto from users’ hot wallets. Fortunately, the assets were covered by an insurance fund, but a security breach of this magnitude is still concerning.
In addition to its security features like multi-factor authentication and encryption, KuCoin offers users a separate password for trading. This password is in addition to users’ regular login information and is required to make trades or withdraw assets. It provides an added layer of protection and is an uncommon security feature among crypto exchanges. KuCoin also has a business wallet address verification system, to reduce the rate at which users fall for phishing scams.
Opening an Account
Opening an account with KuCoin is simple, and the process takes just a few minutes. To get started, visit the KuCoin homepage and click “Sign Up” in the upper right-hand corner of the page. From there, you’ll enter your phone number or email address, a verification code, and a password. Once your account is set up, you can start trading.
You can then choose to go through the KYC verification process, which will give you access to higher daily withdrawal limits and access to more features. KuCoin offers both basic and advanced KYC verification options.
To complete the basic process, simply log into your account, click on “KYC verification” under your avatar, and enter some basic personal information. If you choose to complete the advanced process, you will need to provide supplementary documents, like a selfie or a photo of your government-issued ID, in addition to your basic personal info. Completing the advanced verification gives you access to more trading benefits.
KuCoin offers multiple options for customer support, though similar to many competitors, you can’t contact someone directly over the phone or via email. However, users can engage in a live chat to get answers to basic questions or submit a request for assistance to get help with more complicated issues.
KuCoin also offers a support page, which could be useful if you need help navigating the site or its features and tools.
KuCoin receives poor marks overall from its users. Several negative reviews report problems with customer support, the withdrawal process, and making deposits. Others accuse KuCoin of market manipulation and say their assets randomly disappeared from their accounts, which is especially concerning. Despite the negative feedback, some reviewers did have positive things to say about KuCoin’s low fees and wide selection of cryptocurrencies.
Users can access their KuCoin accounts via desktop, Android, and iOS mobile devices. Its platforms are available for free and once you’re signed up, you can log into your account to buy, sell, and trade crypto whenever you’d like. If you encounter problems or have questions about your account, you can reach out to KuCoin via live chat or submit a request for assistance.
How KuCoin Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies
KuCoin offers a huge selection of cryptocurrencies and relatively low fees compared to other crypto exchanges. It also supports staking and margin, futures, and P2P trading, which may appeal to more experienced users. However, there are some drawbacks to be aware of as well. KuCoin isn’t licensed in the U.S. and it was the subject of a major hack in 2020. If you’re interested in buying or trading crypto, here’s a look at how it compares to another top exchange, Coinbase.
KuCoin vs. Coinbase
Both KuCoin and Coinbase rank among the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by trading volume. However, there are some important differences between the two platforms:
- KuCoin is not licensed in the United States, but Coinbase is licensed in the U.S.
- KuCoin offers 700+ cryptocurrencies, while Coinbase supports just 150+.
- Coinbase has higher trading fees than KuCoin.
- Coinbase users can get phone support, while KuCoin doesn’t offer this option.
For U.S.-based users, Coinbase is likely the better option despite its higher trading fees. However, those outside of the U.S. may appreciate KuCoin’s lower fees and wider selection of crypto.
Read our full Coinbase review.
KuCoin is a large global exchange that offers several features and tools that could appeal to more advanced traders. However, it receives poor marks from users and it’s not licensed to operate in the United States. If you’re based outside of the U.S. and have experience trading crypto, you may appreciate what KuCoin has to offer. However, be sure to do your due diligence before you sign up to ensure it’s the right platform for you.
Investopedia is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.
Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the review process and weighted data points, is available for review.
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