Both of these cryptocurrency exchanges have a similar business strategy and service. They each offer access to hundreds of altcoins that are otherwise hard to purchase. In addition to simply buying and trading crypto, they both offer loads of additional services such as futures market, crypto lending, trading bots, P2P marketplace, margin trading, referral programs, and more, all at relatively low fees. They both start at ~0.1% and have options to reduce this as you move up the trading tiers and or hold their native cryptocurrency.
KuCoin vs Binance overview:
BTC, XMR, DAG, ETH & 200+ more
BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, EOS, XMR, TRX, XLM, NEO & 250+ more
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD & 40+ more
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more
Mobile app available
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card
SEPA & Bank transfer (ACH)
1. Safety - Which is safer?
Again, it is hard to separate the two. Binance started in China and KuCoin started in Hong Kong, both left their original home bases due to difficulties in regulations. It is hard to pinpoint exactly where each is domiciled but it seems Binance has its HQ in Malta and KuCoin in Singapore, although you can find mentions of Japan, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, and more. What seems to be evident is that both are operating in grey areas of regulations and are purposely avoiding strict regulations. This is both bad and good from the perspective of the customer. It is bad because a lack of regulation means a lack of compliance and, therefore, fewer safety procedures to keep your money safe, and good because less investment in compliance officers and regulation means more profits, which reduces the chance of them going bankrupt. Having said that, it is hard to see them do anything except grow and become giants in this young industry. In short, they're both safe options.
2. Fees - which one charges more?
Let's start with KuCoin, they have a typical tiered fee structure meaning the more you trade, the more your fees reduce. When starting on the first tier, you will be forced to pay a marker fee of 0.10% and a taker fee of 0.10% unless you choose to pay in their native currency (KCS), in which case both reduce to 0.08%. To get to the next fee level, you need to trade at least a total value of 50 BTC or hold 1000 KCS for the previous 30 days.
Maker/Taker with KCS
Last 30-Day Trade Volume (BTC)
Now for Binance - they have the same tiered marker/taker structure. Similar to KuCoin, it starts at 0.1% for both the maker and taker fee. If you choose to pay your fees with the Binance native currency (BNB), you are entitled to a 25% reduction in fees, so that is a 0.075% maker/taker fee. This is slightly better than the 0.08% offered by KuCoin when you pay with their KCS.
Maker/Taker with BNB
Last 30-Day Trade Volume (BTC)
As you can see, it's much easier to climb up the tiers with KuCoin; they also have exponentially better fees as you level up your VIP status. However, at the early levels, Binance is marginally better if you use BNB.
Futures Market fees:
When comparing future fees, Binance came out on top. They have a marker/taker fee of 0.02%/0.04% compared to KuCoin, which has a 0.02%/0.06% fee. As you move through the futures tiers, Binance's superior taker fee remains the better option.
Verdict: If you are going to trade large volumes and level up through the tiers, KuCoin is a clear winner here. If you think you're going to be a small trader and remain at the low tiers, Binance is slightly better, but only when you pay your fees with their BNB coin.
If you're going to use the futures market, Binance is a clear winner, as it has a far better taker fee.
3. Range of Cryptocurrencies - who has more?
4. Range of services - who has the best services?
As mentioned before, both KuCoin and Binance are famous for the number of services they provide. They both offer the popular advanced trading dashboard, P2P marketplace, margin trading, futures market, referral programs, and the simple 'buy now' interface. But KuCoin has been able to provide two additional services that set them apart for me.
1. Free trading bot: KuCoin offers all their users a really cool free trading bot; this works on both regular trading and on the futures market. Binance supports third-party trading bots but does not offer their own free one.
2. Crypto Lending: Binance offers crypto lending but it seems users can only lend from them. KuCoin has created a marketplace that connects lenders and borrowers who agree on an interest rate and a time period. The whole thing is insured by KuCoin, which is very cool.
Verdict: And the winner is KuCoin - those two extra features built-in are pretty cool and sets them apart for me.
The overall winner:
As you can see above, there is not much between them and in my personal opinion, you cannot go wrong with either option. Your choice really comes down to what you plan to do. If you want to trade large amounts every month, there is no question that KuCoin is the platform for you based on their superior tiered fee structure. KuCoin is also great if you want to try out a free crypto bot or make some residual income through their lending option (you can set it to auto lend every time the repayment is made). If you want access to as many cryptocurrencies as possible, Binance is a clear winner in the category. I would also recommend Binance to someone who intended to do some small-time trading and wasn't going to move up the tiers; paying your fees with BNB gets you a 25% discount, which is pretty good. So, the final answer on who is better really comes down to what you want to achieve.