KuCoin vs Coinbase: Pros & Cons and Verdict

KuCoin mentions an interesting fact on their homepage – “1 Out of 4 Crypto Holders Worldwide Is with KuCoin“. This clearly illustrates KuCoin’s popularity and worldwide adoption. A more important question is why is 1 Out of 4 crypto holders with KuCoin. Let’s take a look at a few facts:

1. KuCoin is well-know for listing new projects that have high potential (often below <$100M market cap.).

2. KuCoin supports all of the major cryptocurrencies.

3. KuCoin is great for day-trading

4. KuCoin has DeFi and a trading bot

5. KuCoin now supports NFTs

6. KuCoin allows fiat deposits (but no withdrawals)

KuCoin vs Coinbase: KuCoin Template

KuCoin is quite popular among newcomers and experienced users. They offer a variety of features ranging from Lending/Earning, Trading Automation, Cloud Mining, NFT Gaming, Lotteries, and many more. In short, a one-stop solution for all your needs. Perhaps an incentive from the company to make users keep their assets on the exchange.


Coinbase, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach and, while sharing a lot of similarities with KuCoin, still has its uniqueness and attraction driver.

Coinbase is the largest exchange in the United States, and it is the go-to place for crypto beginners. Coinbase offers a variety of features, including crypto debit cards, Earn & Borrow, NFTs and educational resources. Let’s see what Coinbase is known for is:

1. Coinbase is well-known for listing the ‘BEST’ coins on the market.

2. Coinbase supports all major cryptocurrencies

3. Coinbase Pro is one of the best platforms

4. Coinbase is easy-to-use and intuitive (perfect for beginners)

5. Coinbase has amazing educational resources

6. You can deposit fiat on Coinbase and also withdraw

KuCoin vs Coinbase: Coinbase Template

Today, Coinbase remains one of the leading crypto exchanges in the world. They offer top-grade security with zero security breaches, and it’s a publicly-traded company that is highly trusted in the United States.

Compared to KuCoin, which suffered a severe security breach, Coinbase has never put its customer funds at risk. Still, Coinbase has its issues and faults, which we will discuss further in the article.

Table of Contents

    Coinbase vs KuCoin: Pros & Cons and Verdict


    Before we move further and compare the essential aspects of Coinbase and KuCoin, we have created a table that shows the main & unique features and characteristics of both exchanges.

    Advantages of KuCoin

    • Access to Bitcoin and more than 500 cryptocurrencies
    • Free Tether (USDT) as a signup bonus
    • You can buy, sell, hodl, exchange and withdraw your assets from KuCoin
    • Advanced trading options, including futures and the ability to trade on margin
    • Maker-taker model with tiered fees ranging up to 0.10%

    Disadvantages of KuCoin

    • Not licenced in the United States
      • & U.S.-based investors need to have crypto already
    • Requires KYC for fiat deposits
    • The interface can confuse a beginner user
    • KuCoin suffered a massive security breach, so it has moderate security
    • KuCoin is a centralized exchange. It is advisable never to hold your assets there.

    Don’t let the disadvantages scare you as it is to educate you. The lesson is never to keep your assets on exchanges.

    On the bright side, KuCoin has one of the lowest trading fee percentages (up to 0.05%). Compared to Coinbase, which takes 3.99% in trading fees, this is a no brainer.

    KuCoin supports fiat deposits from third parties like Banxa.Com and Simplex. Both companies are reliable, but they require KYC to exchange fiat for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

    Their Trading bot is also quite good, so if you are interested in any of their services, it is of the highest quality (with high fees).

    Advantages of Coinbase

    • Coinbase is the go-to place for beginners due to its availability, diversity and easy-of-use
    • You can deposit funds from PayPal, which is quite rare and convenient
    • You can buy, sell, hodl, exchange and withdraw your assets from Coinbase
    • Coinbase has its own NFT platform, but we would advise staying away from NFTs in general
    • Coinbase provides both public & private keys upon registration

    Disadvantages of Coinbase

    • High fees (1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases, up to 0.50% spread per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases)
    • The worst customer service
    • Lately, Coinbase is being compared to a ‘Casino’, which was a Tweet from Jack Dorsey (Founder of Twitter)
    • Native USDC stablecoin which can also be a scam since there haven’t been any audits to prove reserves exist
    • Requires KYC

    Coinbase is a top-tier crypto exchange that is the best US platform. Coinbase also has a Pro version which offers better prices, trading experience and fees.

    Coinbase has never suffered a security breach, but they have its own set of problems. For one, Coinbase’s customer service is well-known for its unresponsiveness. Many users have reported issues with withdrawals, account restorations and resets.

    Eventually, most problems have been addressed and solved, but on Coinbase’s subreddit are some disturbing posts.

    In short, Coinbase is the go-to place for US customers, and it offers all the features one may need to purchase, trade, store or withdraw (which is encouraged) their cryptocurrencies. On top of this, Coinbase has its debit card, which allows you to spend your crypto as a fiat currency where Visa is accepted.

    KuCoin vs Coinbase: Security, Fees and Features


    Let’s dive deeper and discuss important topics relevant to your account safety, user experience and flexibility. We will discuss the features of both Coinbase and KuCoin, their security measures and trading & deposit/withdrawal fees.

    Security: Coinbase vs KuCoin Standoff


    To begin with, as we’ve noted, KuCoin has suffered a security breach in the past. Coinbase has never encountered one. So it’s safe to assume that, in terms of potential hacks, temporarily storing funds on Coinbase is safer than on KuCoin.

    On the one hand, since the KuCoin hack in 2020, where $150 million was stolen, KuCoin and their insurance company have reimbursed the losses. Since then, KuCoin has established an internal risk control department that monitors transactions (in its entirety) happening on the platform. Including trades, fiat purchases and withdrawals. This can be quite concerning and frightening for many. If you feel so, try using Coinbase or Binance.

    Coinbase is free from similar instances, but they have some problems too, which can be alarming. In the case of bankruptcy, Coinbase may take the assets of its users and use the cryptocurrencies to their advantage.

    On the other hand, Coinbase and KuCoin offer similar security levels and provide 2FA authentication, SMS code verification, Email verification and withdrawal address whitelisting (only for Coinbase).

    To take a deep look, apart from 2-factor authentication, Coinbase offers biometric logins (fingerprint and face ID), data encryption with USB drives and paper backups. It’s also important to note that Coinbase employees must complete a criminal background check. Unlike KuCoin, Coinbase stores 98% of its digital assets in cold storage. Lastly, Coinbase is a USA publicly-traded company. The United States is well-known for its crypto regulation, and from a compliance standpoint, Coinbase operates at a higher standard.

    Fees: Coinbase vs KuCoin


    In this section, we will compare trading fees and also deposit & withdrawal fees. Both exchanges offer competitive pricing, and each has its own strong and weak points.

    One of the dealbreakers for KuCoin is that it doesn’t support fiat withdrawals. Coinbase allows its users to withdraw funds to Bank using SEPA or wire transfer (Singapore and Australia are excluded).

    KuCoin vs Coinbase: Trading Fees

    One of the main reasons KuCoin became so popular in the first place was its fee structure and the bonuses the KCS token offers. Below, you can see the benefits of holding KuCoin Shares (KCS) token:

    • Receive daily cryptocurrency dividends, which amount to 50% of the collected trading fees (the minimum requirement to be eligible is 6 KuCoin Shares).
    • Get trading fee discounts (the more KCS you hold, the more discount you get).
    • Additional trading pairs are available, including BTC, USDT and ETH.
    • Receive exclusive KCS holder perks and offers.

    As we have mentioned, KuCoin’s popularity is mainly due to its low fees – merely a 0.1% per transaction. I have attached a picture that shows the fee structure based on a user’s level:

    Coinbase uses a simple maker-taker model (KuCoin uses the same model). Coinbase’s maker fees range from 0% to 0.4%, and taker fees are from 0.05% to 0.6%. Note that investors have to pay additional fees for using credit cards for fiat deposits (For KuCoin).

    For day trading, KuCoin is way better than Coinbase. Their fees, user-friendliness and an extensive ecosystem encompassing futures, derivatives, DeFi, Trading Bots, and Borrow/Lend systems it’s a no-brainer!

    On the other hand, Coinbase Pro can be a potential competition for KuCoin. Especially for US users. Coinbase Pro is well-known for its unique trading system, widely used by whales and pros. Additionally, Coinbase Pro offers better fee rates. Below, the table illustrates the current Coinbase Pro fees (which also use the maker-taker fee model).

    Pricing TierTaker FeeMaker Fee
    $0-10K0.60%0.40%
    $10K-50K0.40%0.25%
    $100K-1M0.20%0.15%
    $1M-20M0.18%0.08%
    $20M-100M0.15%0.05%
    $100M-300M0.10%0.02%
    $300M-500M0.08%0.00%
    $500M+0.05%0.00%

    KuCoin vs Coinbase: Deposit & Withdrawal Fees


    As we’ve already mentioned, KuCoin doesn’t offer fiat withdrawals, but we can still deposit fiat via third parties like Simplex and Banxa. There’s also a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) section and active markets for BTC, USDT, USDC, KCS and ETH. Lastly, deposits are possible via “fast trade”, but it is not active in every region.

    Since KuCoin doesn’t support fiat deposits natively and relies on third parties, the fees don’t depend on them. Currently, fiat deposit fees vary from 3% – to 12%, depending on your payment method, amount of money to deposit and whether it is a bull run.

    KuCoin and Coinbase accept a wide range of deposit methods, including SEPA, PayPal, Revolut, Wise, credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, and cryptocurrencies.

    The difference between ‘KuCoin vs Coinbase: Deposit Options and Fees’ is that KuCoin supports Skrill, whereas Coinbase supports bank transfers (ACH), SWIFT, SOFORT and Fedwire.

    Coinbase deposit fees are pretty flat for US residents. Namely, ACH Transfer incurs zero fees and wire transfer incurs a $10 fee.

    In short, if you already have cryptocurrency, it is better to trade at KuCoin (or maybe Coinbase Pro if you reside in the US); otherwise, purchasing assets should be done at Coinbase, or we would recommend FTX.

    KuCoin vs Coinbase: Features


    There are significant differences in terms of features, for example. Coinbase offers a crypto-backed debit card which is accepted anywhere Visa is. On the other hand, KuCoin has a fantastic trading bot, a vast DeFi market, Earn/Borrow, “KuCoin Win”, “KuCoin Mining”, and many more.

    Several KuCoin bots are available. The “Grid Bot” is available for desktops. Other bots are accessible only from mobile apps.

    Lending is also excellent on Kucoin, and you can choose terms like 7, 14 and 28 days. There are hundreds of coins available. Many users report around 20% APY if the possibilities are explored correctly.

    On the other hand, Coinbase offers its own set of unique features. For example, a crypto-backed debit card is fantastic if you want to spend your crypto as fiat.

    Coinbase Wallet is another fantastic creation which allows users to store and spend crypto safely, participate in ICOs, trade NFTs, browse dApps and control & monitor spending.

    Overall, feature-wise, both exchanges are pretty good. For trading purposes, KuCoin stands out. As for Coinbase, it is the best place to go for US customers and beginners.

    KuCoin vs Binance vs Coinbase


    Lastly, before concluding the article, let’s compare KuCoin and Coinbase with Binance and see how they stand against one of the industry leaders.

    KuCoin

    • Incentives for holding KCS token
    • Moderate security levels
    • Unique features that are no were to be found (like a trading bot)
    • Requires KYC
    • No fiat withdrawals, high cryptocurrency withdrawal fees
    • Native KCS token that lowest trading fees
    • Low market cap gems

    Coinbase

    • Visa debit card with cashback (with any asset) & staking rewards
    • Coinbase Pro is great for day-trading
    • Highly-secure
    • Average customer service
    • Requires KYC
    • Crypto withdrawals are associated with extra fees
    • Native USDC token

    Binance

    • Visa debit card with cashback (with BNB) & staking rewards
    • Binance is great for day-trading
    • Highly-secure
    • Good customer service
    • Requires KYC
    • Crypto withdrawals are associated with extra fees
    • Native BNB ecosystem

    Bottom Line


    KuCoin and Coinbase are both famous, established and innovative crypto exchanges. Both have their advantages and disadvantages too. If you are a US resident and want to purchase your first cryptocurrency, we advise you to go to Coinbase.

    If you want to trade more, experiment with trading bots, and enjoy a fantastic DeFi market, KuCoin is an excellent option. On top of this, KuCoin is well-known for listing “gem” coins with low market caps with a high potential of 100x.

    This is somehow true because, for small projects, it is budget-friendly to first list on KuCoin rather than on Coinbase since the latter is much costlier.

    It is also true that after being listed on Coinbase, the ‘listing pump’ leads to ATH, and after that, the projects mostly experience a persistent downtrend.

    To sum this up, if you are looking for small projects and want to gamble your money, we would advise researching the projects that are on KuCoin and are not yet listed on Coinbase.

    REMEMBER: we only endorse Bitcoin, and we would advise you to stay away from every alternative cryptocurrency. Regarding purchasing Bitcoin, we would recommend Coinbase over KuCoin, and an honourable mention is FTX.

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