|Daily volume trading
|Number of cryptocurrencies
|Crypto and fiat
|Credit Card, Bank Transfer
KuCoin seemed to appear out of nowhere, emerging quietly on the crypto scene in 2017. At the time, buying altcoins (basically anything that’s not bitcoin) meant heading to shady exchanges and hoping for the best. KuCoin exploited this unfilled niche, offering potential buyers a way to acquire obscure altcoins on a legitimate exchange with low fees and an (at the time) unparalleled referral programme. KuCoin quickly became one of the world’s most popular exchanges, with a global user base of 6+ million.
A good selection of altcoins is KuCoin’s main redeeming feature. For traders just looking to work with established coins (BTC, ETH), it might be better to use exchanges like Kraken. If you want to scout for the next Dogecoin, KuCoin is a great place to start. Users can also get a piece of the KuCoin pie by buying KuCoin Shares, the native token. Holders are entitled to reduced fees and extensive dividends.
The poor security and privacy concerns are major blows against KuCoin. The exchange was hit with a $281 million hack in 2020. While the perpetrators were identified and the money either recovered or reimbursed by KuCoin’s insurance, the fact that it happened at all is worrying. However, KuCoin’s solid selection (200+) of altcoins and low fees bring it back from the brink.
Is KuCoin legit? It seems so, although security breaches should make any trader wary of using their services.
It’s impossible to talk about KuCoin’s security without acknowledging that it has been hacked. On September 25th, 2020, the exchange was hacked to the tune of $281 million. Hackers obtained the private keys to one of the exchange’s hot wallets, leaving cold wallets unaffected. Cold wallets are not connected to the Internet, and are generally considered more secure than hot wallets.
KuCoin was reportedly able to recover 84% of the lost funds, though they faced heavy criticism for their methods. The other 16% was reportedly covered by insurance. The North Korean hacker crew dubbed Lazarus Group is accused of carrying out the heist.
What measures are KuCoin taking to ensure further hacks are prevented? There is an ongoing bug bounty programme that rewards security researchers who find and disclose vulnerabilities. Users can also set up two-factor authentication via Google Authenticator. KuCoin also launched the vaguely defined Safeguard Programme in 2020, which is apparently dedicated to providing “comprehensive protection and support for individuals and institutions who are affected by “security incidents”. This includes […] assistance with technical support, evidence retention, asset confirmation and offering preferential policy.”
Beyond what’s listed, it’s difficult to find further information about KuCoin’s security measures. Given the astonishing amount of capital they handle, that’s not very comforting. This does impact our KuCoin review.
Signing up for a KuCoin account is incredibly easy. To open a KuCoin account, visit the KuCoin signup page. Once there, you’ll be asked to verify your email and phone number. After that, choose a strong password and you’re set. If you love the exchange, KuCoin offers an affiliate program where users can earn a commission from recommending others.
Once you’ve made your account, you can set up two-factor authentication by clicking the profile avatar on the upper right corner and choosing “Account Security” from the dropdown menu. This is also where you can go through the KYC process to access higher withdrawal limits. KuCoin is less strict about customer identification than some other exchanges, so the last step is optional.
Once security is set up, you’re ready to trade. The first step is funding your account. Unlike other exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase, KuCoin separates your account into a ‘main account’ and a ‘trading account’. The main account is generally used for storage, as APIs can only access the trading account. If you want to use third party APIs, you can be extra careful by keeping the majority of your funds in your main account.
In order to trade, you need to fund your main account by purchasing crypto with fiat, or sending crypto to your KuCoin account from an external wallet. From there, transfer the funds to your trading account and you’re ready to start trading.
If you want to withdraw your funds, you’ll need to send crypto from your trading account to your main account
Buy crypto in your preferred currencies like USD, EUR, CHF or PLN
Due to the lax KYC protocols, you can use KuCoin from almost any country. There are a few of countries where KuCoin is restricted.
KuCoin does have a wallet.
A better question might be which coin’s aren’t on KuCoin. With 268 coins at time of writing, if you’ve heard of it it’s probably on KuCoin.
As evidenced by the 2020 hack, KuCoin probably isn’t the safest exchange around.
Visit https://www.kucoin.com/ and click the “Sign Up” button on the upper right hand corner. From there, you’ll be asked to verify an email and a phone number.
KuCoin operates a 24-hour support chat available in English and Mandarin on the website. There is also a support centre.
Read our detailed review of Coinbase here.Visit KuCoin
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