KuCoin Review (2021)

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Since launching in 2017, KuCoin has positioned itself as one of the most feature-rich cryptocurrency exchanges in operation and currently serves over eight million users.

Along with its wealth of services and markets, the platform lists an impressive 470 coins and averages just under $2 billion USD in spot transactions per day, putting it comfortably within the top 10 global exchanges.

If you’re interested in finding out more about KuCoin and the different services it offers, then stick around and keep reading this KuCoin review.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 450+ cryptocurrencies and 900+ markets supported.
  • Several quick-buy options available.
  • Very low trading fees (starting at 0.10% for makers and takers).
  • Suitable for both newbies and advanced users.
  • High liquidity and trading volume.
  • Some of the best staking options and mining pools around.
  • Accepts UK residents and GBP payments.
  • Crypto-lending platform and DeFi trading board available.
  • Great option for those looking for a higher than average level of anonymity.

 Cons

  • No fiat currency trading pairs.
  • Not regulated in the UK.
  • Some features can be confusing to new and novice users.
  • Live chat support has long waiting times.
  • The only bank withdrawal option is through the P2P network.
  • No banking products are offered.
  • 1-star Trustpilot rating.

What is KuCoin?

KuCoin is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange founded by Michael Gan and Eric Don in 2013. After nearly four years of development, KuCoin began operations in 2017, starting with a basic spot market and a peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency service.

Since then, the exchange has expanded substantially and now offer services ranging from derivatives trading, a crypto lending platform, and even their own coin.

Before going into further detail, it’s worth pointing out that KuCoin doesn’t support any fiat trading pairs – although several USDT, USDC, TUSD, and PAX pairs are available.

A brief history of KuCoin

2017: In September of 2017, KuCoin launches its spot cryptocurrency exchange and P2P cryptocurrency network

2018: After just a year of operation, IGD Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital invested $20 million USD in the platform. During this time, KuCoin partnered with payment processor Simplex and acquired the leading Australian cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Australia.

2019: In 2019, KuCoin launched KuCoin 2.0. This featured a significantly more advanced API. Along with the launch of KuCoin 2.0, KuMEX, a derivative trading platform, also went live, offering up to 20x leverage on Bitcoin perpetual contracts.

2020: KuCoin launched the world’s first liquidity market along with it’s PoS mining platform called pool-x. Additionally, a DeFi trading platform is brought online and KuCoin partnered with On Chain Custodian to have its funds backed by insurance.

2021: In June, KuCoin launched its KuCoin Community Chain, a high-performance Ethereum-based decentralized public chain. The following month, KuCoin made trading bots available to web users. 2021 also saw the release of USDT perpetual contracts.

Who runs KuCoin?

KuCoin is run by founders Michael Gan (CEO) and Eric Don (COO) – both of whom are currently based in Seychelles.

In addition to Michael and Eric, VP John Lee and CTO Top Lan are also a big part of KuCoin and both have been with the exchange for over four years.

Is KuCoin registered in the UK?

No. KuCoin is not currently registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

It is currently registered in Seychelles.

Where is KuCoin headquartered?

KuCoin’s headquarters is located in Singapore. However, its press releases come out of Victoria in Seychelles.

What Services Does KuCoin Offer?

As stated in the intro, KuCoin is a feature-heavy platform offering a wide array of services.

This currently includes:

  • Fast Buy Options
  • Debit/Credit Card Purchases
  • Spot Trading
  • Margin Trading
  • Leveraged Tokens
  • Crypto Lending
  • P2P Exchange
  • Pool-X
  • KuCoin Dividends Program

Fast Buy

KuCoin’s ‘Fast Buy’ option makes it as easy as possible for users to purchase cryptocurrency.

Through the Fast Buy interface, users can buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), and Pax Dollar (PAX) all at market price and with reasonable transaction fees.

To use this service, simply choose a payment method (bank card, WeChat Pay, or AliPay), enter the desired amount, and click the buy button.

Unfortunately, GBP is not included in the list of 10 supported fiat currencies – although USD, CAD, and AUD are. Still, some payment methods (like AliPay) will allow UK residents to purchase cryptocurrency via the Fast Buy options, but exchange fees will apply.

Debit/Credit Card Buys on KuCoin

Because the Fast Buy service doesn’t support GBP, most UK citizens use the Debit/Credit Card option instead.

Through this service, users can purchase over 45 cryptocurrencies, including popular coins like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), and Ripple (XRP).

These payments are not processed by KuCoin directly, but by one of two payment processors – Simplex or Banxa. For Simplex, fees range from 2.5% – 8% and Banxa is around the same.

If you use a credit card, it’ll likely be classified transactions as a cash advance (which usually incurs different, and extra, fees).

What cryptocurrencies can I buy with a debit/credit card on KuCoin?

UK residents can currently purchase 46 cryptocurrencies with their debit or credit card on KuCoin:

  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB)
  • DigiByte (DGB)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Harmony One (ONE)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Decentraland (MANA)
  • Hacken Token (HAI)
  • DogeCoin (DOGE)
  • Nano (NANO)
  • Chiliz (CHZ)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Enjin (ENJ)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • AAVE (AAVE)
  • XDC Network (XDC)
  • Terra (LUNA)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Eos (EOS)
  • Ultra (UOS)
  • Axie Infinity (AXS)
  • NEM (XEM)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Klever (KLV)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Celo (CELO)
  • VeChain (VET)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • GamerCoin (GHX)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • KardiaChain (KAI)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Govi (GOVI)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Kusama (KSM)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • KuCoin Token (KCS)
  • Coti (COTI)
What is better: Simplex or Banxa?

Neither is outright better than the other, but the exchange rate that each of them offers varies all the time.

Each time you queue a transaction, KuCoin will show you which of the two offers the better deal – which makes it easy to decide.

Spot Trading on KuCoin

With 470 coins and 900+ markets available, few exchanges can compete with KuCoin when it comes to variety. In fact, of all top 10 exchanges, only Gate.io currently supports more coins/markets.

But as mentioned, KuCoin doesn’t list any fiat currency pairs – something that may be a significant drawback for some users. However, it does have several USD stablecoin pairings.

KuCoin has become known for having one of the most robust spot trading platforms around – one that comes equipped with a good number of drawing tools, technical indicators, and customizable features.

Another benefit of KuCoin’s trading terminal is the ability to switch between the spot, margin, and futures options with ease. By contrast, many other exchanges (e.g., Kraken) require users to open up entirely different terminals to access the futures market.

There are two main drawbacks though:

  • Only limit, market, stop limit, and stop market orders are available. Alternatives like FTX and Kraken support more order types.
  • KuCoin doesn’t have a buy/sell interface that fits somewhere between their quick buy services and their trading station. Kraken, Binance, and gate.io all have options that allow users to put several conditions on buy/sell orders without opening up the trading terminal.

All-in-all, KuCoin’s spot market is one of the best around – providing users with access to many coins they would otherwise have to purchase on a DEX like Uniswap at a significantly higher cost.

Can you access the KuCoin trading station on a mobile device?

Yes. KuCoin has both an Android and iOS app available which you can use to access the trading interface (albeit with less supported features).

Does KuCoin support trading bots?

Yes. KuCoin has made several trading bots available.

For a complete overview of the available options, visit here.

What cryptocurrency pairs can I access on the spot market?

Currently, KuCoin has 97 spots markets:

  • BTC/USDT
  • ETH/USDT
  • SHIB/USDT
  • LUNA/USDT
  • DOGE/USDT
  • XRP/USDT
  • ADA/USDT
  • DOT/USDT
  • AVAX/USDT
  • BNB/USDT
  • XTZ/USDT
  • ICT/USDT
  • VET/USDT
  • ALGO/USDT
  • FTM/USDT
  • EOS/USDT
  • LINK/USDT
  • TRX/USDT
  • ONE/USDT
  • LTC/USDT
  • USDC/USDT
  • XLM/USDT
  • THETA/USDT
  • OMG/USDT
  • KCS/USDT
  • MATIC/USDT
  • FIL/USDT
  • ZIL/USDT
  • UNI/USDT
  • BCH/USDT
  • KSM/USDT
  • CAKE/USDT
  • 1INCH/USDT
  • BTT/USDT
  • WIN/USDT
  • XMR/USDT
  • MASK/USDT
  • ROSE/USDT
  • SUSHI/USDT
  • GRT/USDT
  • SAND/USDT
  • CRV/USDT
  • ENJ/USDT
  • AAVE/USDT
  • NEO/USDT
  • API3/USDT
  • VELO/USDT
  • CHR/USDT
  • SNX/USDT
  • DASH/USDT
  • MIR/USDT
  • COMP/USDT
  • IOST/USDT
  • MANA/USDT
  • CHZ/USDT
  • SXP/USDT
  • CKB/USDT
  • DODO/USDT
  • DAO/USDT
  • CRO/USDT
  • ORN/USDT
  • WAVES/USDT
  • ZEC/USDT
  • ANKR/USDT
  • DECO/USDT
  • BSV/USDT
  • BAT/USDT
  • YFI/USDT
  • MKR/USDT
  • LRC/USDT
  • LUNA/BTC
  • ETH/BTC
  • XRP/BTC
  • ATOM/BTC
  • TRX/BTC
  • ADA/BTC
  • EOS/BTC
  • LTC/BTC
  • XMR/BTC
  • ZIL/BTC
  • BSV/BTC
  • OMG/BTC
  • EOS/BTC
  • TRX/BTC
  • FTM/BTC
  • VET/BTC
  • ATOM/BTC
  • XLM/BTC
  • LTC/BTC
  • IOST/BTC
  • BCH/BTC
  • DASH/BTC
  • ZRX/BTC
  • ZEC/BTC
  • ATOM/ETH
  • BSV/ETH

Margin Trading on KuCoin

One impressive aspect of KuCoin’s margin program is the higher-than-average leverage available, which goes as high as 10x. By comparison, many other popular platforms only offer up to 5x leverage on select coins.

Along with high leverage limits, KuCoin has an impressive 91 margin trading pairs available, with new ones being listed regularly. All margin pairs on KuCoin either have a USDT or BTC base, although two ETH pairs are available.

To trade on margin, KuCoin requires all users to first open a margin account, which can be done in just a few moments. Once set up, cryptocurrency can easily be transferred from your main account into your margin account to serve as collateral.

What does 10x mean in margin trading?

10x denotes a level of leverage users can access. If you were to make a buy using 10x leverage, a purchase of £1,000 pounds worth of BTC would give you access to £10,000 worth of BTC.

Leveraged Tokens

Leveraged tokens are spot tokens with a built-in leverage function that allow you to participate in margin trading – but without assuming many of the associated risks.

The naming convention for each token is very simple and works out to be the name of the underlying asset + leverage amount + long or short.

For example:

  • If VET rose in value by 1%, VET3L would rise by 3%.
  • If VET goes down by 1%, VET3S would lose 3%.

KuCoin currently lists 26 leveraged tokens, all of which use large-cap coins as the underlying asset.

What Leveraged tokens are available on KuCoin?

KuCoin currently lists 26 leveraged tokens:

  • ADA3L
  • ADA3S
  • BCH3L
  • BCH3S
  • EOS3L
  • EOS3S
  • ETH3S
  • LTC3L
  • LTC3S
  • VET3S
  • VET3S
  • BTC3L
  • BTC3S
  • XRP3L
  • XRP3S
  • ETH3S
  • LUNA3L
  • LUNA3S
  • DOGE3L
  • DOGE3S
  • SOL3S
  • SOL3L
  • LINK3L
  • LINK3S
  • DOT3L
  • DOT3S
What are the benefits of leveraged tokens?

The main advantage of leveraged tokens is that they don’t come with the same risk as traditional margin trading.

When buying cryptocurrency on margin, users must provide collateral. If the value of the position goes too far up or too far down (depending on whether they have a short or long position open), their entire position (collateral included) can be liquidated.

Leveraged tokens don’t work this way – as no collateral is required to purchase them. To learn more about how they work on KuCoin, check out this.

What extra fees come with leveraged tokens?

On top of regular spot trading fees, leveraged tokens have some additional fees attached to them:

  • Subscription Fee: When leveraged tokens are purchased, an extra 0.1% is charged.
  • Redemption Fee: When leveraged tokens are sold, an extra 0.1% is charged.
  • Management Fee: A management fee of 0.045% is charged every day, meaning leveraged tokens are more expensive the longer they are held.

Crypto-Lending on KuCoin

KuCoin’s lending platform lets you lend out unused cryptoassets to users looking to borrow them.

As of now, KuCoin supports the lending and borrowing of 73 different coins/tokens, all of which have different daily interest rates. You can lend out coins for 7, 14, or 28 days.

Likewise, when borrowing cryptocurrency, users must pick their preferred coin, their desired amount, and payback period. Borrowers must hold a cryptocurrency balance of equal or greater value than the amount they are borrowing.

If the borrower fails to pay back their loan within the agreed-upon time, KuCoin will automatically remove funds from their account to pay back the lender.

Which coin returns the highest APR when lent out?

Of all 73 coins/tokens included in the lending program, Tether (USDT) is currently the best performing asset, with an average APR of around 20%.

Several other coins, like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) have APR’s starting at around 3% to 5%.

Can UK residents participate in the lending program?

Yes. Anyone who has an account with KuCoin can participate in the lending program.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network

KuCoin’s P2P network is a decentralized exchange that operates by linking two parties looking to exchange assets. Currently, KuCoin’s Peer-2-Peer network lists Tether (USDT), Bitcoin (BTC) and KuCoin Token (KCS) and is accessible in over 10 fiat currencies.

For GBP purchases, I could only find listings if you were looking to buy Tether (USDT) with GBP. You should be able to choose between three payment methods – bank transfers, PayPal, and Skrill.

No KYC form seems to be required for users looking to purchase Tether (USDT) with GBP on the KuCoin P2P network.

Staking with Pool-x on KuCoin

Launched in 2019, KuCoins pool-x service allows users to stake cryptocurrencies and operate nodes. The service also includes a liquidity exchange and has developed into a proof-of-stake ecosystem with mining pools.

Pool-x currently supports a total of 16 soft staking options and frequently runs staking pool promotions which can number up to 10 at a time.

In essence, it allows users to participate in what has become known as proof-of-stake mining. It seems like one of the more advanced platforms offering this service (along with Binance, Huobi, OKEx).

What cryptocurrencies can I stake on Pool-X?

Pool-x currently supports 16 cryptocurrencies for staking:

  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Origin Dollar (OUSD)
  • Anchor Protocol (ANC)
  • Hydra (HYDRA)
  • Kusama (KSM)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Terra (LUNA)
  • Ziliqa (ZIL)
  • KuCoin Token (KCS)
  • Systems (VSVY)
  • WanChain (WAN)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Eos (EOS)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
Can UK residents participate in staking, mining, and node pools on pool-x?

Yes. Anyone who has a KuCoin account and one of the supported cryptoassets can participate in any Pool-X service.

KuCoin Dividend Program

KuCoin operates a unique dividends program in which 50% of each day’s trading profit is distributed to users holding 6 or more KuCoin Token (KCS), which is the exchange’s native token.

Along with acting like a dividend program, users who hold KuCoin Token (KCS) will receive reduced trading fees and access to the KuCoin VIP program (if you qualify).

KuCoin Token (KCS) is an ERC-20 based token that runs on the Ethereum network. As of now, it has a total supply of 200 million – although KuCoin plans on running a buy-back program to reduce the total supply to 100 million.

Supported Countries

KuCoin doesn’t have any limitations on who can open an account. This means that UK residents should be able to open an account.

That being said, it doesn’t offer KYC options to all countries.

However, it’s important to mention that KuCoin doesn’t have any mandatory KYC rules – but there are a few services that unverified users will be unable to access if you don’t verify your identity.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

KuCoin currently lists more than 450 small and large-cap cryptocurrencies.

For an up-to-date list of supported coins/tokens, visit here.

KuCoin Fees

KuCoins trading fees are some of the lowest around.

They start at 0.1% for both market makers and takers. Those who hold KuCoin Token (KCS)  will get even lower fees (up to 0.08% for both makers and takers).

High-volume traders who transact over 5 BTC in a 30-day period will receive slightly lower fees. For a complete overview of the trading schedule, head over here.

Fees for trading on the futures market come out to 0.20% for makers and 0.06% for takers.

How do KuCoin’s trading fees compare to other popular alternatives?
ProviderMax Maker FeesMax Taker Fees
KuCoin0.10%0.10%
Kraken0.16%0.26%
Binance0.10%0.10%
FTX0.02%0.07%
Huobi0.20%0.20%
Gate.io0.20%0.20%
Gemini0.35%0.25%
CEX.io0.16%0.25%
What are the withdrawal fees on KuCoin?

When withdrawing cryptocurrency from KuCoin, users are charged a small transaction fee to cover network costs – although many coins can be withdrawn free of charge. You can find an up-to-date overview of current withdrawal fees, visit here.

NOTE: Users who haven’t been KYC verified have a withdrawal limit of 1 BTC per 24 hours. KYC-verified individuals will have much higher limits.

KuCoin Alternatives

The top alternatives to KuCoin include Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, and Huobi. All of these places have scores of 8/10 or higher on CoinMarketCap.

However, there are several features on KuCoin that users won’t find anywhere else (like the Pool-X platform and KuCoin Community Chain).

Provider# of Supported CryptocurrenciesGBP Trading Pairs
KuCoin450+1
Binance300+18
Coinbase Pro100+42
Gemini30+2
Bitfinex50+2
Huobi350+32

Is KuCoin Safe?

KuCoin’s reputation was hit hard in 2020 when hackers were able to run off with more than $275 million USD worth of cryptocurrency.

However, it’s important to understand that the hack was not due to a vulnerability in their platform – but rather the leak of a hot wallet key.

Still, the exchange holds a security score of just 2.3 on CryptoCompare. This is significantly behind Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, and other top crypto exchanges that are available in the UK.

These issues aside, KuCoin employs the following security features:

  • Password Protected Margin Account: Each margin trade requires users to enter a secondary password that is different to their account password.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: All users can enable a second-factor verification on their account (e.g., Google Auth).
  • Account Separation: All accounts are separated into a trading account and a main account. APIs are prohibited from accessing funds in the main account.

Bottom Line: KuCoin Exchange Review

No other cryptocurrency exchange offers the same collection of services as KuCoin does.

Here’s what stands out to me:

  • Allows you to trade more cryptocurrencies, and on more markets, than alternatives.
  • Some of the lowest trading fees in the industry (up to 0.1%).
  • Several ways to earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings.
  • A dividends program that grants users a share of the trading profits.

To top it off? You can open an account in under a minute with just an email address.

Head over to their website to learn more.

Any Questions?

Thanks for checking out this KuCoin review!

Have something you want to ask?

Let me know in the comments section below!

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