Table of contents
- Overview and History
- Kucoin Main Exchange
- Kucoin OTC Fiat Gateways
- Kucoin Leverage Trading
- KuMEX Futures and Perpetual Swaps
- Perpetual Swaps
- Funding Fee
- Futures Contracts
- Other Kucoin Products
- Kucoin Mobile App
- Kucoin Spotlight (IEO platform)
- Kucoin Soft Staking
- Pool-X Staking Platform
- KCS (Kucoin Shares)
- Kucoin Customer Support
- Operation Security
Overview and History
Kucoin, which touts itself as “The People’s Exchange”, is a global cryptocurrency exchange that offers a multitude of different cryptocurrencies for its users to trade. It is one of the top altcoin destinations and is known for being the first to list promising new projects. They have a large pool of cryptocurrencies to choose from currently offering 213 different coins across 457 trading pairs. Although they launched in September of 2017 and have been operating for only 3 years, they are a well known and reputable exchange continuously offering new products and coins. They have established themselves especially in the altcoin niche. They have 5 million registered users from 200+ countries and regions. They register over $30 million worth of daily transactions.
From the onset, Kucoin has positioned itself to be a global player. They provide users with multi-language and 24/7 customer service. KuCoin has also established local communities in different parts of the world such as South Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, India, and other regions.
KuCoin was founded by Michael Gan and Eric Don along with eight other members. Many of them come from backgrounds working for blockchain and fintech giants like Ant Financial, GF Securities, Youling, Jianbang Communication, and iBOX PAY. KuCoin operates from Seychelles, which is an African country well known for its forward thinking and blockchain friendly regulations. Seychelles also hosts many global cryptocurrency exchanges, the most famous of which is the premier derivatives exchange, Bitmex.
Kucoin Main Exchange
Kucoin’s spot exchange is the first thing you will register and log in to the exchange. The url should show “trade.kucoin.com/spot”. Kucoin’s spot exchange looks very modern and sleek especially in dark mode. All of the things you will need to trade fit neatly into the screen. The different trading pairs are on the left, and the order books are on the right. In the middle, you will see the main chart which is integrated with TradingView so it comes with all the functionalities such as indicators and the different drawing tools. The order options are right below the charts. They offer the most commonly used ones which are limit orders, market orders, stop limit orders and stop market orders.
One of the unique features of their interface is that Kucoin allows you to open multiple charts in one page. You can see from the picture above, right above the different timeframes, there are actually different trading pairs that i can easily switch around with. From experience, this really helps you to keep track of multiple trading pairs without opening a bunch of tabs on your browser which inevitably slows down your browser.
On the left side, Kucoin also offers a price alert system. Just enter the cryptocurrency that you would like to set an alarm to and at what price. Once this price or level is hit, you will be notified.
Kucoin also positions itself for high volume traders. They offer the different features such as the ones listed below.
- Advanced API: Offers an easy and efficient way to develop a secure and programmatic trading strategy
- Efficient Matching Engine: Supports up to 1 million transactions per second without any overload
- Multiple Fiat Gateways: Buy crypto with fiat through Simplex, Banxa, and OTC, supporting a number of fiats including USD, JPY, KRW, EURO, GBP and more
- High-Yield Finance Service: Earn up to 10% annualized return through our finance services
Kucoin OTC Fiat Gateways
For fiat purchases of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, Kucoin works with Simplex and Banxa as their payment providers. They accept credit cards, debit cards as well as other more region specific payment methods. Now anyone with a card can easily buy Bitcoin without any hassle. The fees will be automatically be computed which is around 3% – 4%.
Kucoin’s trading fees start at 0.1% for both maker and taker fees. This is a competitive rate considering others charge upto 0.5%. There are also two ways to lessen these fees even more. The first is by accruing enough volume on a 30 day rolling average. And the second is by holding their exchange token called KCS (Kucoin Shares). More details are seen here: KuCoin Fees
Crypto Deposit Fees
Like most exchanges, Kucoin does not charge any fees for depositing cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Withdrawal Fees
Kucoin charges a minimal fee when it comes to withdrawals. The fee will vary depending on the coin. They also update the fees regularly. On January 2020, Kucoin decreased the withdrawal fees of different cryptocurrencies to the new rates below:
- BTC has been reduced from 0.0005 BTC down to 0.0004 BTC.
- ETH has been reduced from 0.005 ETH down to 0.003 ETH.
- BCHABC has been reduced from 0.002 BCHABC down to 0.001 BCHABC.
- LTC has been reduced from 0.002 LTC down to 0.001 LTC.
- BSV has been reduced from 0.005 BSV down to 0.0005 BSV.
- TRX has been reduced from 20 TRX down to 1 TRX.
Kucoin Leverage Trading
Margin trading allows you to borrow money from the exchange and use it to trade while using your available assets as a collateral. Margin trading in Kucoin offers users up to 10x leverage to use. Unlike futures or derivatives, you are still trading the underlying asset or cryptocurrency.
Unlike other exchanges which offer only set daily interest rates, Kucoin lets you choose between different loan terms. They currently offer 7 day, 14 day, and 28 day terms.
KuMEX Futures and Perpetual Swaps
Kucoin has branded their futures and derivatives platform as KuMEX. Kucoin Mercantile Exchange. KuMEX (KuCoin Mercantile Exchange) is a cryptocurrency trading platform dedicated to building a world-class cryptocurrency contract platform to offer the most secure and professional leveraged contract trading products and top services to users. Right now, KuMEX has two versions, KuMEX Pro and KuMEX lite.
KuMEX lite is the simplified and stripped down version tailored for beginners. You can choose between a line chart and the candlestick chart. Instead of full features, you can only choose the leverage and how many contracts you’d like to buy. The long and short ratio is also seen which is helpful as this gives an overview of the general market sentiment. The only pair offered is the Bitcoin Perpetual swap.
The advanced version is called KuMEX Pro. It is designed with experienced traders in mind. Right now, they offer both Perpetual Swaps and futures contracts but are limited to just Bitcoin.
KuMEX Perpetual Swaps mimics the spot market price but since it is just a derivative of the actual market, price variations can vary but is often miniscule. The index price is taken from different exchanges to ensure the validity of the index price. Traders can long or short a position to profit from the increase or decrease of a token’s price. This is also a useful tool to manage their investment risks through hedging.
One thing to note about perpetual swap contracts is that they do not have an expiry unlike traditional futures markets. There will be a funding mechanism that is used to anchor the perpetual swap prices to the spot price. This will be explained in the funding fee section below.
One additional fee that is added for trading perpetual swaps is called funding fee. This is a fee added on top of the maker and taker fees. The funding fee essentially works as a mechanism to reach spot price equilibrium. When there are more buyers (long position) than sellers (short position), the funding fee is positive. This means those in a long position will pay the funding fee to short sellers. And if there are more short sellers, the funding fee is negative and short sellers pay those in long. You basically get rewarded for going against the majority.
Funding rate is seen above the chart. You will also see the open interest and the countdown for funding settlement.
Unlike perpetual swap contracts, futures contracts do have an expiry date. You can trade up to a max leverage of 100x. Kucoin offers only quarterly futures contracts. For example, if you are trading the June contract, you are trading the BTC contract that will expire at June 26. If you expect the BTC price to settle at $10,000, you can buy it now for 8,800 and receive the BTC upon expiration. For futures contract trading, you will not be charged funding fees which is an main advantage against perpetual swap contracts. Futures contracts often trade at a premium or discount depending on market sentiment.
Other Kucoin Products
KuCloud is a B2B2C product offered by Kucoin which boasts instant deployment (One click, 72 hours). They provide advanced technology solutions to other companies to easily build spot and derivatives trading platforms. This is a faster solution compared to building an exchange from scratch. KuCloud offers this top-tier white-label solution while tapping into Kucoin’s market liquidity and also learn from Kucoin’s breadth of experiences.
Kucoin Mobile App
Kucoin has made trading easier for traders even while they are on the go. Their app is available on both iOS and Android. The app offers a full set of features. You can trade within the app on all three platforms: spot, margin and futures. You’ll also notice that Kucoin also has multiple in-app promotions that are exclusive to the mobile app. They are currently running the check-in candies promotion. They also offer red envelope sending. This shows Kucoin encouraging users to use the mobile device.
When it comes to the mobile chart interface, they offer more compared to other exchanges. They have interactive charts as well as different indicators to choose from. Although drawing is not an option, the app still works good enough since it allows you to be updated while on the go. You can also set and view alerts from here.
Kucoin Spotlight (IEO platform)
Kucoin Spotlight is the IEO token sale platform of Kucoin. Launched in April 2019 at the height of the IEO craze, Kucoin Spotlight has had 5 successful IEOs already. An IEO is similar to an ICO, also known as an Initial Coin Offering. An ICO is the first time that a crypto token has been made available for sale to the public. This is akin to an IPO in traditional markets. What makes IEOs different is that instead of companies raising funds directly from users, companies transact via a trusted third-party exchange. This allows projects to leverage an exchange’s brand as well as user base.
Kucoin Soft Staking
Kucoin’s soft staking service follows the growing trend of staking services offered by exchanges. Instead of your funds just staying in the wallet, staking services allow it to earn interest based on the network’s annual reward rate (inflation rate). This applies only for Proof of stake networks. Right now, they offer the staking service for the following PoS coins: ALGO, AION, EOS, ATOM, TRX, IOST, NEBL, NRG, ONION, NULS, TOMO, EOSC, LOOM, VSYS, WAN, IOTX, XTZ, ELA, LOKI, PIVX, DCR, LUNA and DAI.
Each coin will have different annualized rate of return. This can go as high as 7-8%
Pool-X Staking Platform
Pool-X is a trading platform where you can take part in staking pools and operate nodes. There are no lock in periods which means that you can unstake your tokens at any time. This is a big plus since token price can fluctuate at any moment. You can easily stake again once you would like to.
The Pool-X ecosystem was created as a means to facilitate the development of the staking market as a whole. Services such as the node supermarket, where users can find and join nodes, or the multi-currency wallet, which allows users to store their tokens, make the platform much more convenient and user-friendly.
You will also be rewards with their own token called POL. They currently support multiple currencies such as ATOM, TRX, KCS, WAN and other mainstream currencies.
KCS (Kucoin Shares)
KCS or Kucoin Shares are the native exchange tokens for Kucoin. The main use case for the token is that it works as an incentive bonus. It pays out a share of revenues to its holders. 50% of trading fees collected are distributed to KCS holders. This comes in the form of market buys of KCS and then redistributing it to KCS holders. The more KCS you hold, the more bonus you will get. Another use case is that it can be used to pay for fees. Paying your trading fees with KCS gives you a 20% discount.
During its ICO, Kucoin sold 100 million Kucoin Shares (KCS), which is an ERC-20 token, for 0.000055 BTC each. KuCoin raised nearly $20 million USD in BTC (according to BTC’s value at the time) through its ICO held from August 13, 2017, to September 1, 2017.
Kucoin Customer Support
Kucoin offers multiple ways to help you solve any problems or issues in case you run into one. They have a very comprehensive FAQ that covers all topics and even has a beginner’s guide. If you have a specific inquiry, you can chat with one of their support staff who are very attentive with very little waiting time.
Security is one of Kucoin’s top priorities. It is no joke when you are dealing with millions of dollars worth every single day. To date, Kucoin has no known hacks or breach which is why millions of users around the world trust them. They also offer multiple ways for users to safeguard their assets be it from external threats (e.g. scammers) or even liquidations.
Multiple Accounts – Kucoin allows users to separate their accounts. They will have a main account, trading account and margin account.
2FA – This has been a standard form of account protection. This involves using a separate device that generates a unique code or combination every few seconds. You will be asked to enter this upon signing in, making withdrawals, API creation and etc.
SMS verifications – If you’re not comfortable with 2FA, SMS verification is also an option which most people are familiar with especially with OTP passwords becoming more and more widespread. Whenever you would like to withdraw funds, an SMS code will be sent to you which you have to input to verify.
Trading Password – Kucoin lets users set a trading password which you have to enter in order to trade. This password will be asked from you when you enter the trading screen. It has a validity of 2 hours.
Email verifications – Whenever you would like to withdraw funds, an email will be sent to your email address for you to confirm if this transaction is legitimate.
Anti-Phishing – This is a word that you set up on your security settings. You choose a word that will be sent on official emails from Kucoin or on the log-in page. This helps you confirm that those are really from Kucoin.
Hot and Cold Wallets – This is a standard procedure that separates revolving funds (hot wallet) and most user funds (cold wallet). The cold wallet is disconnected from the internet so it is less likely to be hacked. It is akin to banks not having all of their money locked in a giant safe. They only hold what they expect to be transacted that day.
Kucoin is one the best mid-tier exchanges currently in the market. With all the product innovations, coin listings, they definitely deserve more love. They have already built a solid user base around a specific niche. With the new products, they can expand and capture more active users. Their products are very well designed and offer some of the best user experience which shows that they do have a knack for product innovation. On the other hand, the one thing they need to improve on is the liquidity for their different markets. Beginners and professional traders alike will definitely have a good experience trading in Kucoin.