KuCoin vs Coinbase

KuCoin vs Coinbase

Daniel Chan

September 14, 2021

Cryptocurrency

KuCoin is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, serving over 8 million customers, and Coinbase is the largest American crypto exchange. How do you know which one is the better exchange, and which one you should choose? In this article I compare these two popular exchanges across various aspects, so you can decide for yourself. In my opinion Coinbase wins, with more deposit options, lower fees when buying crypto, and the ability to withdraw fiat, which KuCoin does not offer.

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Fiat Currencies

USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD & 40+ more

AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK & 10+ more

Number of Coins

250+

70+

Buy/Sell Fees

Deposit Methods

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Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

Debit Card

Apple Pay

SWIFT

Skrill

SOFORT/iDEAL

Cryptocurrency

Features

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User-friendly

Mobile app

Live Chat

Security

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2FA

Biometric security

ISO 27001 certified

Offline cold storage

Website

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Fiat Currencies

USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD & 40+ more

AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK & 10+ more

Number of Coins

250+

70+

Buy/Sell Fees

Deposit Methods

Cell
Cell

Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

Debit Card

Apple Pay

SWIFT

Skrill

SOFORT/iDEAL

Cryptocurrency

Features

Cell
Cell

User-friendly

Mobile app

Live Chat

Security

Cell
Cell

2FA

Biometric security

ISO 27001 certified

Offline cold storage

Website

Pros
  • Large crypto exchange with over 8 million users worldwide
  • Extremely low fees of 0.1% with a further 20% discount if you pay with KCS
  • Mobile app available for iOS and Android
  • Over 250+ cryptocurrencies available
  • Additional features such as crypto lending, trading bots, margin trading, futures trading
Cons
  • High fees when buying crypto with fiat (3%-12%)
  • Cannot withdraw fiat currencies
  • Poor customer service - no live chat support
Pros
  • Coinbase privately insures their own platform so your funds are safe in the event there is a hack
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Only takes a few minutes to register and start trading
  • Over 70+ cryptocurrencies available
  • Extremely secure and trusted platform
Cons
  • Complicated fee structure that is higher than competitors
  • Customer service lacks live chat support - email assistance only

KuCoin vs Coinbase Fees

Both KuCoin and Coinbase have varying fee structures. Keep on reading to find out the full details.

Deposit Fees

KuCoin does not support fiat deposits. If you want to buy crypto with fiat, you can do so at the time of purchase, without pre-funding your account. The cost of this varies from 3% - 12%, depending on your payment method. Click here to find out more information.

To buy crypto on Coinbase, you can either pay for it directly at the time of purchase, or deposit fiat currency into your account first. If you want to deposit first, these are the two methods for US residents:

  • ACH Transfer incurs zero fees
  • Wire Transfer incurs $10 fee 

Trading Fees

KuCoin has extremely low trading fees starting at just 0.1%, and you can receive a 20% discount if you pay fees with KCS coin (Kucoin's token). This reduces the trade fee to only 0.08% per trade. If you are a large-volume trader, or you hold a large amount of KCS, you can reduce your fees even further, on a tiered structure. Click here to see detailed information regarding trading fee discounts.

To buy crypto directly using fiat currency on KuCoin, the fee ranges from 3% - 12% based on payment method and payment channel. So although the trading fee is very low, if you do not have cryptocurrency already to trade on the market, you need to pay a high fee to acquire your initial coins. 

Coinbase has a confusing trading fee structure, consisting of two components. There is a 0.50% spread fee, and then another 'Coinbase fee' on top, which is the larger of the 'flat fee' or the 'variable fee', displayed below.  

Flat fee

Transaction value

Fee

$10 or less

$0.99

$10 to $25

$1.49

$25 to $50

$1.99

$50 to $200

$2.99

Variable fee

Payment Method/Payout Method

Effective Rate of Conversion Fee

US Bank Account

1.49%

Coinbase USD Wallet

1.49%

Debit Card or PayPal

3.99%

Instant Card Withdrawal

up to 1.5% (minimum $0.55)

Withdrawal Fees

KuCoin does NOT support fiat withdrawals which is one of the biggest disadvantages of the exchange. You can only withdraw cryptocurrency, and the flat fee varies depending on which coin you are withdrawing. You can see a full list of KuCoin's cryptocurrencies and their corresponding withdrawal fees here.

Coinbase's withdrawal fees vary based on location and payment method. The most popular fiat withdrawal methods are listed here, with their respective fees.

Bank Transfers (SEPA): €0.15
US Wire Transfer: $25

Coinbase does NOT support fiat withdrawals in Singapore and Australia, since you are not allowed to sell your cryptocurrency on Coinbase in those countries. You can read about why in this Coinbase help article.

Winner - Coinbase

Coinbase wins the heads-up battle over fees.

 wins when it comes to fees. Although KuCoin has a low trading fee of only 0.1%, the transaction fee to purchase crypto with fiat ranges from 3% - 12% which is extremely steep. Coinbase's fee structure is confusing, but you can make a purchase of crypto for 1.99%, which is lower than KuCoin. Moreover, KuCoin does NOT allow withdrawal of fiat currency, which is a major downfall.

KuCoin vs Coinbase Deposit Methods

KuCoin and Coinbase both accept a wide range of deposit methods, to suit users from all around the world. Both exchanges accept bank transfer (SEPA), PayPal, credit card, debit card, Apple Pay and cryptocurrency.

KuCoin also accepts Skrill as a payment method, which is not accepted on Coinbase.

Coinbase accepts various payment methods that aren't supported on KuCoin, namely bank transfer (ACH), Fedwire, SWIFT and SOFORT/iDEAL. 

Winner - Coinbase

Both of these crypto exchanges have a wide array of deposit methods, but Coinbase wins as it offers several more that are not available on KuCoin.

KuCoin vs Coinbase Features 

KuCoin and Coinbase are both well-established cryptocurrency exchanges with plenty of features. In this comparison article I will only discuss a few features that make each exchange stand out. I'm not going to describe in detail each service that is offered. If you are keen to learn all about that, you can take a look at my reviews for KuCoin (here) and Coinbase (here).

KuCoin has trading bots on their platform that are free for you to use and can help you maximise your profits. It appears that if you are using the desktop site, you can only access the Spot Grid Bot. If you want to use the other bots, you'll need to download KuCoin's mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android. You can set the rules for your bot to automatically trade for you, and you can even copy the parameters of the most successful bots. The bots run on a cloud, so your phone or computer doesn't need to be running for the bot to operate.

KuCoin gives you ways to earn extra crypto while you leave it in your KuCoin account. The first way is to buy and hold KCS coin (KuCoin's own token). If you hold at least 6 KCS, you automatically earn daily interest on it, with an estimated APR of 22%. Another way to earn interest on your crypto is to lend it to other users. 

There are over 70 available coins to lend, and you can select your term of 7, 14 or 28 days. You get to choose how much daily interest you want to charge on your loan. If you set a higher interest rate, you will benefit from higher returns, but it is also less likely someone will borrow from you, if there are more attractive interest rates available.

Conversely, if you need to borrow some crypto, you are able to do that on KuCoin. All you need to do is select the coin, the amount, and the daily interest rate that you want.

Coinbase also has a unique way of earning crypto on their platform called Coinbase Earn. You get paid free crypto to watch short videos about cryptocurrency! These videos are only about 3 minutes each, and you earn crypto after watching each one. For example, if you watch three videos about Compound coin, you will earn $9 of COMP crypto.

Coinbase has its own Wallet app that is available to download on your mobile device. There are over 1 million downloads on Google Play store, with a 4.3-star rating from 24K reviews. Users of the Coinbase Wallet can store crypto safely and access a wide range of decentralised innovation. You can participate in airdrops and ICOs, collect NFTs, browse decentralised apps (DApps), and send crypto to anyone, no matter where they are.

Winner - KuCoin

KuCoin wins when it comes to features. It has trading bots, crypto lending, margin trading, futures and a P2P marketplace with zero fees. Coinbase isn't bad in terms of features, it's just that KuCoin has more to offer.

KuCoin vs Coinbase Security

KuCoin adopts many security measures to keep their users' funds safe, such as micro-withdrawal wallets, industry-level multilayer encryption and dynamic multi-factor authentication. They also have dedicated internal risk control departments that oversee all transactions daily. KuCoin was subject to a hack in 2020, where $150 million was stolen. The way the exchange responded was excellent - they worked quickly to recover a large portion of the stolen funds, and their insurance covered the remaining amount. None of their users suffered losses from this cybersecurity breach.

Coinbase has extensive levels of security such as 2FA (2-factor authentication), biometric logins (fingerprint and face ID), and data encryption, with USB drives and paper backups distributed geographically in safes and vaults around the world. Coinbase employees have to pass a criminal background check, and have encrypted hard drives. Coinbase stores 98% of its digital assets offline in cold storage, and has crime insurance cover to protect digital assets against losses from theft. For more information about how users are covered, click here. Coinbase operates in the USA, which has much stricter regulation standards than most countries. KuCoin strategically domiciled its business in Singapore, which has relaxed regulations and tax laws. From a compliance standpoint, Coinbase operates at a higher standard.

Winner - Coinbase

KuCoin and Coinbase are both very secure crypto exchanges, with insurance cover for any cybersecurity breaches. Coinbase wins here as it has not experienced any hacks and because it is subject to the USA's strict regulations and compliance standards.

Verdict - Coinbase

KuCoin is one of the most popular exchanges around the world, with over 8 million users, while Coinbase is one of the best crypto exchanges in the US, so which one is better?

Coinbase has more deposit methods, lower fees for buying crypto and higher level of compliance and regulation, while KuCoin has low trading fees of only 0.1%, trading bots, and a wealth of additional features including ways to earn interest on your crypto. Unfortunately for KuCoin, the two points holding it back are the unreasonably high fees (3% - 12%) for buying crypto with fiat, and the fact you cannot withdraw fiat from the exchange.

KuCoin is a great choice for experienced day traders that want to take advantage of the lower fees - in this case I would suggest buying your crypto on another exchange, for example Coinbase, Coinmama or Gemini and sending it to KuCoin free of charge. When you want to sell your crypto, you will have to send it back to one of the other exchanges to convert it to fiat. 

For beginners to crypto, or investors that plan to buy and HODL their crypto, I would suggest using Coinbase over KuCoin. It is easier to use, will cost you less in fees, and you can actually withdraw your fiat if you decide to sell it.

Overall Winner - Coinbase

More deposit methods, lower fees when buying crypto with fiat and the ability to withdraw fiat currency make Coinbase the winner in this comparison.

Still Researching?

To read more detailed information about these two exchanges, follow the links to my KuCoin review and Coinbase review. If you are a US resident, you might be interested in my breakdown of the best US crypto exchanges. Here's a quick comparison table to see a summary of the key information.

Comparison Table of the Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA

eToro
Gemini
Uphold
Crypto.com
Coinbase
Coinmama
Crypto Exchange
Crypto Exchange
eToro
Gemini
Uphold
Crypto.com
Coinbase
Coinmama
Fiat Currencies
Fiat Currencies
USD
USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD
USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, AUD, JPY & 21 more
USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY & 10+ more
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK & 10+ more
USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY
Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies
BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, ADA & 20+ more
BTC, ETH, BCH, DOGE, LTC, ZEC, ZRX, MKR, BAT, AAVE & 50+ more
BTC, ETH, ADA, DOGE, COMP, DOT & 50+ more
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, CRO, ADA, DOT, SOL, DOGE & 140+ more
BTC, ETH, ADA, DOGE, SOL, DOT & 70+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, DOGE, ADA, LTC, XRP, XTZ, LINK, UNI
Deposit Methods
Deposit Methods
PayPal, Debit card, Credit card, Wire transfer, Online banking
Bank transfer (ACH), Debit card, Wire Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Bank Transfer (ACH), Bank Transfer (SEPA), Debit/Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Faster Payments Service, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
Bank Transfer (ACH), BPAY, SEPA, Credit/Debit card, PayPal, TransferWise, Fedwire, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card, Fedwire, PayPal, Apple Pay, Cryptocurrency
Credit card, Debit card, Fedwire, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Trading Fees
Trading Fees
Fees included in the spread
From 0.25% (maker) and 0.35% (taker)
Fees included in the spread
Exchange: from 0.4%, App: Free (included in spread)
0.5% + flat fee ($0.99 - $2.99) OR variable fee (1.49% - 3.99%)
2.86% - 3.90% (depending on loyalty level)

Marketplacefairness.org provides all its content for informational purposes only, and this should not be taken as financial advice to buy, trade or sell cryptocurrency or use any specific exchange. Please do not use this website as investment advice, financial advice or legal advice, and each individual's needs may vary from that of the author. This post includes affiliate links with our partners who may compensate us. 

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