Binance vs KuCoin – Which is the best cryptocurrency exchange?

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In this article, I will compare two very popular cryptocurrency exchanges of 2020, namely Binance vs KuCoin.

I like to compare products, services and of course cryptocurrency exchanges. It gives me a chance to find out more, but also to question what I think is the best.

That’s why I wanted to focus on doing this for Binance against KuCoin. And to compare these two cryptocurrency exchanges, to find out what sets them apart and what makes them both similar.

To make this comparison of Binance and KuCoin both accurate but also as unbiased as possible I’ve looked into other good comparison articles to find new ideas for categories to use when comparing Binance to KuCoin and vice versa.

Both of these cryptocurrency exchanges have been reviewed by me in the past (Binance review and KuCoin review). But here I will compare them against each other based on a set of chosen categories.

How to compare Binance vs KuCoin and find a winner

I will be judging Binance and KuCoin on a set of chosen categories.

These categories have been selected by me when going through other comparison articles, based on insights from Google trends, Reddit posts and comments and my own personal experience.

Someone else might use other ways of comparing cryptocurrency exchanges, and that’s cool. We all got our ways of doing something, and this is mine.

These are the categories:

  1. Registration process – is it easy? What’s the KYC requirements, etc?
  2. How to trade – what’s the trading interface like?
  3. Payment options – what is available?
  4. Features – what is available? Staking, lending, etc?
  5. Fees – always important to know what and how much in fees you’ll pay
  6. Volume and liquidity – how easy will it be to buy and sell cryptos?
  7. Cryptocurrency assets – how many cryptos are available?
  8. User reviews – now this might be a bit tricky but will try and grab the feedback I can find online about these two

About Binance and KuCoin

A bit of background history, Binance was created in 2017 and is led by Changpeng Zhao, or CZ. It has quickly grown to become one of the biggest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Known especially for its quick adoption of new coins and new user-centred features.

Today there are three separate Binance exchanges, with the original, then Binance Jersey and Binance US. The latter was opened after regulations forced Binance to ban US users from using the main Binance.

KuCoin was also launched in 2017 and rose to fame also during the same famous Bitcoin and cryptocurrency bull run. The founders of KuCoin are Johnny Lyu and Michael Gan.

It shares some similar traits with Binance and what has formed KuCoin to become so popular, mainly due to adopting new altcoins very quickly, providing easy ways to trade and lastly, it has its own cryptocurrency KuCoin Shares (like Binance Coin) that attracted many to its exchange.

Registration

The first step to comparing Binance and KuCoin is how are their registration processes like? Is it swift? Or long and complex?

Let’s find out!

To start trading and using Binance you need to be a registered user. This process if overall fast and easy. You need an email and that’s it. You don’t need to perform several KYC checks to become a customer of Binance.

There are KYC checks if you want to get a higher user level. This might be useful if you want to withdraw very large sums of cryptocurrency out from the exchange. The maximum level for non-identified users is 2 BTC per day.

That’s quite a lot for regular users. So no need to perform any KYC checks with Binance if you don’t want to.

Binance registration process takes perhaps 2-3 minutes, it’s easy and standardised procedure. So no faults there, plus the bonus of no necessary KYC.

Register an account with Binance step
Binance basic information user

Similar to Binance all you need to register an account and use KuCoin is an email address. And the whole process of registering at KuCoin takes similar time as Binance, 2-3 minutes.

Same with the KYC part, you don’t need to perform any KYC checks with KuCoin unless you want to increase the amount you withdraw, and then the Futures Trading leverage amount and the Fiat-to-Crypto Trading Limit.

So unless you are a big trader I don’t think you’ll be forced to complete these KYC checks and you can stay a user of KuCoin with only an email address.

Sign up for an account with KuCoin

KuCoin identity verification information

How to trade on Binance and KuCoin

You have a few different options for trading on Binance, all suited for your trading purpose and experience.

If you just want to buy or sell cryptocurrencies then I recommend traditional spot trading, where you trade one cryptocurrency for another – BTC/ETH for example.

You have three different spot trading option on Binance; Basic, Classic and Advanced.

What separates them are basically the interfaces. With basic removing most of the options to make it a more slimline and easy-to-use trading view.

Another option you have is to buy cryptocurrencies with a credit or debit card on Binance. This will give you instant access to cryptos.

Basic trading view on Binance

If you are comfortable with trading or at least trying to trade I’d recommend you to check out classic or advanced modes. This will give you additional options for your trades.

You can then for example trade either with a:

  • Limit order – set your limit price and your bid/sell with get activated when the prices trade at or below your limit price
  • Market order – you buy at the current market prices
  • Stop-limit order – you buy at your set limit price and when it has gone/drop below your stop price

Binance advanced trading interface

Additional trading options you have at Binance are:

  • Margin trading with leverage – this is where you borrow funds to trade, and with leverage means that you can amplify your leveraged amount with up to 10x. Meaning $100 USD with 10x leverage would be $1000 USD to trade with.
  • Futures trading, OTC (large sums trading), P2P trading and more.

Overall Binance is a complete trading platform for both the beginners to the expert traders. You can also use Binance with most of the popular cryptocurrency trading bots to automate your trades.

KuCoin Cryptocurrency exchange

Trading on KuCoin is similar to Binance, overall most cryptocurrency exchanges copy each other. But Binance KuCoin can be very similar.

On KuCoin you have two accounts, your trading account and your main account.

To trade on KuCoin you need to move your funds between your basic to your trading account. This is free and instant. But sometime newcomers miss this and get confused to why they can’t trade on KuCoin.

KuCoin has added their own version of Binance’s basic trade option, which is the Instant Exchange. This is tailored for complete beginners that want the easy option.

KuCoins instant exchange for fast trading

However you can only buy a few cryptos this way and you can buy them with either BTC or USDT.

But I recommend for all users to try spot trading and start with a small amount to learn how it works. It’s not complicated.

And KuCoin like Binance have the option to buy cryptos with a card for the users that can’t wait and don’t mind paying more in fees.

Otherwise it also has traditional spot trading, margin trading with leverage (10x) and Futures trading.

KuCoins like Binance also has limit orders, market orders and stop-limit orders.

Spot trading on KuCoin

Payment options

These are the current payment options at Binance:

  1. You can buy cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card
  2. Buy cryptocurrencies with a bank transfer (via 3rd party suppliers and P2P trading)
  3. And buy cryptocurrencies with another cryptocurrency

That means you can buy cryptos with fiat money (USD, EUR, GBP, etc) and with cryptos. That makes it a 360-type exchange and suited for people that are starting out and those that wants to sell.

But if you want to sell cryptocurrencies for fiat money at Binance the most viable options is to go via their P2P desk. And sell USDT for the fiat currency of your choice.

And at KuCoin you have:

  1. Here you can also buy cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card
  2. Buy cryptocurrencies with a bank transfer (only via P2P trading)
  3. And buy cryptocurrencies with another cryptocurrency

You don’t have the 3rd party suppliers for bank transfer at KuCoin. That means if you want to buy cryptos with a bank transfer you need to go via the P2P trading desk.

This trading desk usually doesn’t have that much volume which makes this option not suited via KuCoin.

Features

Another important part that I always look for is what intersting and useful features does an exchange have?

I am thinking about staking, lending and other earning features first and foremost. But additionally there could be other interesting things to consider when comparing an exchange to another.

Binance is packed with useful features, for example:

  1. Savings – with a fixed or flexible account with rates over 10%+
  2. Staking – stake your cryptos directly from Binance and earn 10% rates
  3. Crypto loans – take out a crypto loan directly from Binance and use your cryptos as collateral
  4. Smart Pool – a service that enables the user to get higher profit by auto-switching hash rate to mine different currencies with the same algorithm (read more)
  5. SAFU – a fund that reimburses users in the case of a successful hack to Binance.

Binance's Smart Pool mining option

Staking at Binance

And here is a list of KuCoin’s main features:

  1. Staking – earn 10%+ rates with either soft staking at KuCoin or the promotional X-Pool staking which has increased rates of 5-10%+ more for some cryptos (find out more)
  2. Lending – you can also lend out your cryptos to earn even higher rates
  3. KuCoin lockdrops – lock up your cryptos to have the chance to win free POL tokens

Those are some of the useful features that KuCoin offers.

KuCoin staking with bonus yields

KuCoin lending assets and rates

Fees

Fees is a very important part of any trading platform or exchange. You might not think about a fee that is just a few percent, but it can quickly rack up to become quite a bit in fees if you trade a lot.

Same goes for purchasing with your card which can come with fees of up to 5-10% sometimes.

These are the main fees that exist on Binance:

  1. Withdrawal fees – which changes from crypto to crypto (deposits are free)
  2. Spot trading fees – 0.1% and downwards
  3. Margin borrowing interest rate – changes a lot check fee schedule
  4. Futures trading fees 0.02% and 0.04% and downwards

There are reduction in fees depending on how much BNB you own (Binance Coin) and your overall 30-day trading volume.

To find the full Binance fee schedule click on this link

Binance's fee schedule, for trading fees and withdrawal fees

And these are KuCoin’s fees:

  1. Spot & margin trading fees – 0.1% and downwards
  2. Futures trading fees – 0.02% and 0.06% and downwards
  3. Withdrawal fees – which changes from crypto to crypto (deposits are free) – check this via your wallet and then withdraw for any specific coin/token
  4. Margin interest rates – range a lot, check this page for more details

So the fees are fairly similar, what Binance has is the reduction in fees if you own Binance Coin (BNB).

KuCoin on the other hand will give you a percentage of the revenue from trading fees if you own KuCoin Shares (KCS). So similar ways of reducing fee costs you could say.

Both of them have some of the lowest fees in the industry, so top marks here.

KuCoin's fee schedule

KuCoin's withdrawal fee for ETH - 0.004ETH

Volume and liquidity

The order book depth at KuCoin for BTC/USDT

A very important part of choosing which cryptocurrency exchange to use is to inspect its trading volume, or liquidity.

This essentially means how many buyers and sellers are there, and how ‘big’ is the order book. I.e. how many buys and sells orders are there.

The more orders the easier it will be to find a buyer or seller and the less you have to wait to get your orders filled (depending on price, etc).

Unfortunately not all orders on the order book are genuine. Some, if not most orders are in fact fake volume. These trading orders are put on there to create buying/selling pressure.

That means you could want to buy Bitcoin instantly and to do this you’d need to add your price above/below those current orders to get your price accepted by someone.

That’s normal and this is how it works everywhere.

But it becomes an issue when the orders that are below you are actually fake orders.

These orders are often removed instantly when you remove your order. As they often don’t want to buy/sell at all. Just want to move the price by frustrating other users.

Another issue is wash trading, and this can be trading done by the exchanges itself to show that there is genuine volume, but in fact, it is using the same player that buys and sells on repeat.

Sells what they bought / bought what they sold on repeat.

To help you find accurate trading volumes and liqudity I like to use 3rd party sites that evaluate the trades to show the more truthful insight into what the genuine trading volumes are.

You can use Coinpaprika or Nomics that both try to give you more truthful and transparent trading data.

Coinpaprikas trading volume data

If we go with Coinpaprika and BTC order book then Binance would be in the top 1 position. And this would apply for both reported and adjusted volume (the latter tries to remove fake and wash trading).

Coinpaprikas exchange table with Binance on first spot

We would find KuCoin first on the 29th position.

KuCoin finds itself at 29th position on Coinpaprikas exchange table data

I am not sure these numbers are 100% accurate, not perhaps even 80-90% but it should at least give you a strong indication of the difference in trading volume between Binance and KuCoin.

Overall this means there is a huge difference between Binance and KuCoin. This is compared with BTC trading data. But it would apply over the board in general. But you need to check the trading data for the cryptocurrency you want to buy.

Just because Bitcoin has a larger trading volume at Binance than KuCoin doesn’t mean it will be the same for lets say BAT (Basic Attention Token) or VET (VeChain).

Cryptocurrency assets

This is another very important part that decides which cryptocurrency exchange to use. If you wanted to buy Ether (Ethereum) then you obviously need to use an exchange that trades ETH.

Not all cryptocurrency exchanges trades the same cryptocurrencies. It is up to the exchange and the people behind the cryptocurrency to decide that.

So you need to check first which exchange trades which cryptos. You can do that on for example Coingecko or Go CryptoMarket.

Find the cryptocurrency exchanges that trades your favourite cryptocurrencies at Go CryptoMarket

Both Binance and KuCoin have a long list of supported cryptocurrency assets. Here they both excel compared to other exchanges.

You can check all the spot, futures and ETF markets for Binance here. Binance overall supports most of the popular cryptocurrencies out there.

From Bitcoin, to ETH, LTC, VET, ATOM, LINK to 100+ more.

Binance markets

KuCoin also has a good support for cryptocurrencies and you can easily use KuCoin for most of your cryptocurrency trades. But it of course doesn’t have the same volume as Binance.

You can check KuCoin’s spot markets here. But like Binance it supports most of the world’s popular cryptos.

KuCoin's markets

User reviews – Binance vs KuCoin

The last chapter of this detailed cryptocurrency exchange review comparison of KuCoins vs Binance will be to get a sense of the overall user reviews that I can find.

I want to find out more what others are saying.

To find what they are complaining about and what they like. Of course, I am aware that people mostly complain about a brand rather than giving it compliments.

So I will find more negative reviews than positive ones. But I am doing this more for fun and to get a sense rather than portraying the complete user review landscape.

This is what people think of Binance:

Out of 332 reviews on Trustpilot Binance has a 2.7* score. That’s quite bad. But I noticed quickly there were lots of spam reviews. In fact I think 7/10 are fake reviews, mostly giving Binance a bad review rather than a positive one.

I would ignore Trustpilots review score as too much of the reviews were fake.

But the overall genuine-sounding people at Trustpilot likes:

  • The number of available features, such as staking and lending
  • The good trading volume
  • The number of trading pairs

And they dislike:

  • The difficulty to trade sometimes
  • Problems getting in touch with customer support

For more insight into what others think of Binance check their Reddit page.

KuCoin on Trustpilot

This is what people think of KuCoin:

At Trustpilot, KuCoin does a lot better. With a 3.6* score from 92 reviews. I can quickly see KuCoin also has lots of scam/fake reviews on Trustpilot.

But overall the positive are:

  • Good with no KYC
  • Lots of cryptocurrency pairs
  • Good staking options

And the negatives are:

  • Complaining about KuCoin Shares
  • Too complicated and not user-friendly
  • And poor customer support

For more insight into what others think of KuCoin check their Reddit page.

Conclusion – which is the best exchange?

I will try to summarise the overall experience and name a winner.

Overall both of them are quite good at similar things. They are both good from a user-perspective in terms of what features are available. You can stake, lend, trade with margin and leverage at both of them.

They are also both very good in terms of which cryptocurrencies they support.

And overall people tend to like and dislike the same things when reading user reviews about Binance and KuCoin.

The winner has to be Binance though. Because they do the same things overall, but Binance just does it a bit better.

It has the better trading volume and liquidity.

Binance has more features than KuCoin.

And in general it just seems to be a bit more cohesive.

There are some areas with KuCoin that can be a bit confusing. Understanding the difference between soft staking and the other staking option in Pool-X, finding the full fee schedule with withdrawal fees, etc.

The small things. But they also matter.

Not to say that KuCoin is bad. On the opposite it (for me) is really easy to use, has good enough trading volume (unless you are a whale), good support for cryptocurrencies and great staking rates.

Either of Binance or KuCoin would be a good exchange to use, but Binance is my winner. What is your favourite? Let me and the rest know by leaving a comment below!

Binance - Exchange to buy Bitcoin

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