KuCoin vs Coinbase

KuCoin vs Coinbase

Robert McDougall 

December 5, 2022

Cryptocurrency

KuCoin is one of the largest crypto trading platforms in the world, serving over 11 million customers. It has a huge range of 700 coins, and a variety of trading markets. Coinbase is the largest US-based crypto exchange, and is focused on making it simple for beginners to purchase crypto. In this article, we compare these two popular exchanges across several aspects, so you can decide which is better for you.

For newcomers to crypto who are looking for a user-friendly exchange, Coinbase is the better option, with more deposit methods, and the ability to easily withdraw fiat currencies. However, for advanced crypto trading, KuCoin is the clear winner, with extremely low trading fees (0.1% for spot, 0.02/0.06% for futures), more than 700+ cryptocurrencies on offer, plenty of trading markets, and advanced features. 

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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

700+

160+

Buy/Sell Fees

Payment 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

700+

160+

Buy/Sell Fees

Payment 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 11 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 700+ cryptocurrencies available
  • Additional features such as crypto lending, trading bots, margin trading, futures trading
Cons
  • High fees when buying crypto with fiat (3%-5%)
  • Cannot withdraw fiat currencies without using another crypto exchange
  • 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 160+ 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

Deposit Fees

KuCoin does not support fiat deposits, but you can buy crypto using fiat at the time of purchase, using the fiat gateway. You can use debit/credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and various local methods for payment, and the fee varies from 3% - 5%, 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: no fee
  • Wire Transfer: $10 fee

Trading Fees

KuCoin has extremely low spot 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. If you trade futures on KuCoin, the fees are even lower, at just 0.02% for makers and 0.06% for takers.

To buy crypto directly using fiat currency on KuCoin, the fee ranges from 3% to 5% based on payment method and payment channel. Although the trading fee is very low, if you do not already own cryptocurrency 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 the biggest disadvantage 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, since you are not allowed to sell your cryptocurrency on Coinbase there. You can read about why in this Coinbase help article.

Winner - Depends on your needs

Which fees are better will differ depending on who you are. If you are an investor who wants to buy and sell crypto, Coinbase is the better option. If you are a frequent trader, then KuCoin is more cost-effective, with 0.1% trading fees.

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, we will only discuss a few features that make each exchange stand out. We won't go into detail describing each service that is available. If you are keen to learn all about that, you can take a look at our 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 160 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 5 million downloads on Google Play store, with a 3.4-star rating from 37K reviews, at the time of writing. 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 - Depends on your needs

KuCoin is one of the most popular exchanges around the world, with over 11 million users, while Coinbase is one of the best crypto exchanges in the US, so which one is better? It all comes down to what you are looking for from your crypto exchange.

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. 

If you are an experienced day trader, KuCoin is an excellent choice, with low trading fees of 0.1%. The only downside is that it is expensive to purchase crypto on KuCoin to begin trading - in this case I would suggest buying on another exchange, for example Coinbase, Coinmama or Gemini and sending it to KuCoin free of charge. If you want to sell your crypto on KuCoin, 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 buy/sell fees, and you can withdraw your fiat if you decide to sell it.

Overall Winner - Depends on your needs

For beginners who want to buy/sell crypto, Coinbase is the winner. If you are a serious crypto trader, KuCoin has much lower fees, many advanced markets, and 700+ coins.

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
MEXC Global
Pionex
Coinmama
Uphold
Crypto Exchange
Crypto Exchange
eToro
MEXC Global
Pionex
Coinmama
Uphold
Fiat Currencies
Fiat Currencies
USD
USD, TWD, AED, PHP, AUD, JPY, CAD, EUR & more
USD, TWD
USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY
USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, AUD, JPY & 21 more
Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies
BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, ADA & 75 more
MEXC, BTC, ETH, EOS, BCH, LTC & 1,520+ more
BTC, ETH, LTC, SOL, DOT, TRX & 120+ more
BTC, ETH, ETC, UNI, LINK, LTC, BCH, DOGE, MATIC, EOS, AAVE, COMP, OMG, YFI, WBTC
BTC, ETH, ADA, DOGE, COMP, DOT & 125+ more
Deposit Methods
Deposit Methods
PayPal, Debit card, Credit card, Wire transfer, Online banking
Visa/Mastercard, Bank Cards, Bank Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cryptocurrency
Credit card, Cryptocurrency
Credit card, Debit card, Fedwire, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Bank Transfer (ACH), Bank Transfer (SEPA), Debit/Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Faster Payments Service, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
Trading Fees
Trading Fees
1%
0.2% for spot, 0.02%/0.06% for futures
0.05%
2.93% - 3.90% (depending on loyalty level)
Fees included in the spread

eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. "Virtual currencies are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk."

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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