In this Kucoin review, we will examine whether you can trust KuCoin for trading cryptocurrencies. KuCoin was launched in 2017 by what the company as “blockchain enthusiasts”. The CEO is Michael Gan, an Ant Financial alum.
KuCoin dubs itself as the people’s exchange as well as the international exchange. The trading platform is fueled by its ERC20 KuCoin (KCS) token and it’s highly incentivized with promotions and bonuses, all of which are very popular among its users. Perhaps this has something to do with the new Tesla Model S car that KuCoin gave away to one of its lucky traders.
KuCoin, which issued the KuCoin digital currency through an ICO, is also in demand among new coin issuers that are looking to join the many digital currencies that are listed on the exchange. The company’s goal, as stated in its White Paper, is to be among the top 10 global exchanges.
Based on the KuCoin’s blog, the headquarters are in Singapore and they also have offices in the Philippines. Originally, the exchange may have been based in China’s Sichuan province but seemingly relocated following the government crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges. As of Q2 2018, KuCoin is looking to expand into the following regions: the UK, Lithuania, Dubai, Malta, Japan and South Korea.
There have been no major hacks to the trading platform, though some individual users have posted about funds disappearing. The exchange requires two-factor authentication (2FA) for trades, but there doesn’t appear to be a requirement for know-your-customer (KYC) verification processes, at least not yet. The poster on the following Reddit thread, kentli35, is representing KuCoin.
The exchange has five markets -- bitcoin, Ethereum, NEO, USDT and their own KuCoin Shares (KCS), but they support 133 cryptocurrencies in total across more than 300 trading pairs. KuCoin’s goal is to create an automated system in which market participants can “self-register new cryptocurrency pairs, as per the White Paper.
As of Q2 2018, the KuCoin exchange is ranked No. 28 based on trading volume in the most recent 24-hour period. A post on the Medium blog about fabricated crypto asset volume, however, triggered a response from Kucoin’s Gan. The blog post suggested that there was “a ton of very obvious wash-trading” that “kicked off [KuCoin’s] activity.” Gan tweeted in response –
KuCoin is one of the exchanges that came on the scene when cryptocurrency fever was catching on in 2017. They provide a timeline of their journey, from when they established an R&D center to when the exchange’s API was published in September 2017.
· Supports several markets and hundreds of cryptocurrency trading pairs. They require two-factor authentication (2FA) for all trades, which traders may bemoan as inconvenient, but it strengthens security.
· Convenient and it has proven to be safe with no known security breaches.
· Fast transaction times amid what the exchange describes as a “high performance engine.” KuCoin boasts transaction times including a peak of more than 2 million per second for order-making and an order-processing peak of more than 1 million per second. The exchange guarantees “no delay or lag.”
· Promotion and bonus heavy, including deals where trading fees on specific coins are lifted for a period.
· They offer benefits for KuCoin (KCS) coin holders, including slashed fees/income/votes for new coins.
· They’re restructuring the support desk for better response times to user issues.
· Mobile apps for both iOS and Android are in beta format.
· The site interface is simple to navigate.
· Competitive trading and withdrawal fees.
· Candlestick charting tools.
· Income opportunities for customers via a referral program.
· No withdrawal limits
· No fiat currency deposits.
· They removed support for all Bitcoin Cash trading pairs. They say this was in response to “user feedback.”
· It’s unclear how much vetting takes place for the many altcoins that they allow on their trading platform.
· Lacks liquidity and trading volume, according to a YouTube KuCoin review. This may have something to do with the fact that KuCoin supports many thinly traded altcoins and/or reflective of the bear market in the first quarter of 2018.
· They don’t appear to support KYC for security.
KuCoin vs. eToro
KuCoin and eToro have both developed incentivized strategies for traders to join their platforms, KuCoin with its referral program and eToro through its CopyTrader. Both programs give traders a way to earn income on top of any trading profits they may generate from the exchange.
eToro, however, is a more mature exchange, having launched in 2007 and offering markets in stocks, commodities, FX and ETF trading platforms in addition to cryptocurrencies. KuCoin only came on the scene in 2017 during the cryptocurrency frenzy. Therefore, eToro offers traders a more established exchange with a proven history on which to trade cryptocurrencies. While KuCoin has a good security track record so far, it’s earlier innings for them versus eToro.
Fees, Minimums and Limits
· Zero deposit fees
· 0.1% trading fee (charged from the asset being transacted)
· Here’s a link to KuCoin’s withdrawal fees for the hundreds of digital currencies supported on its platform. If the amount of the trade is less than the withdrawal fee, they say your transaction will be completed “in a flash”. Based on this, KuCoin doesn’t appear to have a minimum transaction size.
· No withdrawal limits
KuCoin vows to keep its fees, which is how the exchange generates income, low.
While there are no major security breaches to speak of, KuCoin in 2018 was the target of what appear to be phishing attacks, in response to which a KuCoin community spokesperson reminded traders on the Reddit platform –
As per the KuCoin white paper: “Wallets in the platform … adopted multiple security levels of storage solution in line with their storage scale. We have stored the micro-withdrawal wallets in the private network architecture built on Amazon Web Services Cloud which has multi-layer firewall on the basis of security isolation.
KuCoin has integrated what they describe as “bank-level disaster proof deployment” with a multiple locations and centers to juggle tasks at the same time. The exchange applies this system across the trading platform as well as the accounting system. As a result, KuCoin should remain operational in the event of a “hardware failure” or “natural disasters.”
KuCoin relies on an “industry standard transfer encryption protocol” for data transfer layers, which basically means that your personal information is encrypted. The exchange also has “multi-factor” authentication for transactions including withdrawals. KuCoin says it has similarly implemented tight operational/internal risk controls to protect user data.
KuCoin further attributes its financial security to a key-dependent multi-layer encrypted wallet “cipher code” that’s “preserved by a special person.” The exchange also points to “macro-wallets” that are “stored in bank custody.”
· Enter an email address
· If you have an invitation code, enter that as well.
· Verify your email address.
· Once you’ve created an account, KuCoin recommends you activate two-factor authentication (2FA).
· To activate 2FA on mobile, go to your account.
· Click on Settings/Google/2-Step and you will receive a QR code or key.
· Open Google Authenticator from your mobile device to scan the QR code or to enter the email address and key from the KuCoin website.
· Login/trading/withdrawal require a verification code.
Trading on Kucoin
KuCoin boats artificial intelligence (AI)-fueled prepay and withdrawal functions. The automated system is designed to facilitate entries and withdrawals instantaneously.
When you’re ready to trade, you’ll be brought to a dashboard that’s split into three columns – a color coordinated (green and red) screen for order book on the left and a color-coordinated dealt orders screen on the right. In the center you’ll see candlesticks with recent price history. When you’re buying, use existing sell orders or place your own buy order, and vice versa for selling coins.
This YouTube review of KuCoin shared the following screenshot of the candlesticks -
The website interface is available in both English and Chinese languages.
Referral Program and Bonuses
One of the unique features of Kucoin that has seemingly been copied by other exchanges is a referral program. On KuCoin, users can invite other traders to register on the platform via an invite link and QR code that’s provided to customers. Let’s say you use your link to invite someone to join KuCoin. If that individual uses the link you provided to sign up, you become entitled to a share of the fee revenue generated by that new user’s trades. No wonder the platform is growing by leaps and bounds.
As previously mentioned, the KuCoin exchange is fueled by the KuCoin token. Let’s examine some of the benefits that are tied to holding KCS coin -
· Incentive bonus of 50% of the total trading fees charged on the exchange (this percentage is subject to change). The bonus is deposited into the token holder’s KuCoin account in the relevant currency
· Holders of a certain amount of KuCoin tokens receive a trading fee discount
· Privileges such as access to an investment consultation
KuCoin has an API, the documentation for which can be accessed here.
The exchange also has a mobile app for both iOS and Android systems. You can access the downloadable links for both apps here. Use the downloadable links from the KuCoin website to get the official mobile app from the exchange. Otherwise you might not download the official app.
You should be able to buy and sell coins with the app. As of Q1 2018, the app was in beta format though it remains fully functional. The exchange is monitoring user feedback and plans to make changes to functionality soon. One of the issues that users reported on Android was not being able to use the search function for coins.
A common theme knit throughout the positive and negative reviews of KuCoin are the exchange’s bonus and promotion incentives. The reviews cover both KuCoin the digital currency as well as the exchange. For instance, in this KuCoin review on Reddit, a coin holder didn’t receive a distribution while another coin holder said their bonus wasn’t being reflected on their account. Support kept this user waiting for two weeks, according to the post.
Holders are of the KuCoin digital currency have reason to support the exchange, considering that the coin is designed to power the exchange. The strategy seems to be working, with one of the few complaints being that the price of the coin has risen too high.
And while mostly it’s individual traders who take to the forums, KuCoin has been panned by an entire company. Blockchain startup Verify reportedly had a negative experience with the exchange, where the company spent months in discussions to have their coin listed to no avail. According to the report, Verify characterized KuCoin as “unprofessional,” saying the exchange is “incapable of dealing with its own popularity.”
The KuCoin reviews on Quora are largely positive, with posters calling the exchange “the next big thing” and pointing to features like the referral program and fee redistribution to coin holders. On Quora, the users say they prefer the KuCoin trader interface over that of Binance.
KuCoin claims to provide around-the-clock customer support across the website (though based on online forums and the fact that they’re reorganizing their support center, this may not have panned out the way they expected) a hotline and email. The exchange said on its blog that its support center was being “overhauled” and “streamlined” amid complaints from customers who were left waiting for a response to their help tickets. As a result, this project shot up to the top of the exchange’s priority list.
You can reach KuCoin at [email protected]
KuCoin is a Wild West for altcoins, with the trading platform already supporting hundreds of trading pairs with plans for more. Other exchanges, like tk’s BTCC, take a more risk-averse approach, shunning most altcoins altogether. The approach that’s best depends on the risk/reward profile of the trader.
KuCoin hasn’t experienced any major security breaches and it adopted a seemingly secure wallet system on Amazon Web Services Cloud involving a “multi-layer firewall.” They’ve unlocked the secret to creating a devoted following, which is through its bonus and promotion strategy that seems to be working. KuCoin boasts a seasoned management team that has been engaged with cryptocurrencies for years, despite the exchange’s late emergence in 2017.