KuCoin vs Kraken

KuCoin vs Kraken

Daniel Chan

September 20, 2021

Cryptocurrency

KuCoin is one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, with over 8 million users, and Kraken is an extremely popular US based crypto exchange. Which of these should you choose? In this comparison article I take a look at different aspects of KuCoin and Kraken to help you work out which is best for you. I recommend Kraken over KuCoin, the main reasons being excellent Live Chat support, and ability to withdraw fiat currency, both of which are not available on KuCoin.

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Fiat Currencies

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

USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

Number of Coins

250+

50+

Buy/Sell Fees

0.16% / 0.26%

Deposit Methods

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Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

(not available in USA)

Debit Card

(not available in USA)

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

USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD

Number of Coins

250+

50+

Buy/Sell Fees

0.16% / 0.26%

Deposit Methods

Cell
Cell

Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Fedwire

PayPal

Credit Card

(not available in USA)

Debit Card

(not available in USA)

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
  • Well-established, trusted and secure crypto exchange since 2011
  • Easy-to-use interface perfect for beginners
  • Advanced features not found on other user-friendly platforms, eg: futures trading, margin trading, forex trading, OTC desk
  • Over 50+ cryptocurrencies and 7 fiat currencies supported
  • Live Chat support with a real person 24/7
Cons
  • Trading fees are higher than KuCoin
  • Does not offer as many cryptocurrencies as KuCoin

KuCoin vs Kraken Fees

One important aspect that people compare between crypto exchanges is the fees. Read my full breakdown of KuCoin and Kraken fees to find out which is better.

Deposit Fees

KuCoin does not accept fiat deposits. To buy crypto with fiat currency, you pay at the time of purchase, without pre-funding your account. This fee varies from 3% - 12%, dependant on payment method. Read here to find out more information.

To deposit fiat currency into your Kraken account, there may be a fee, dependent on which currency and deposit method you use. For example, using FedWire (MVB Bank) to deposit USD is free, but depositing USD with FedWire (Synapse) costs $5. Click here to find out the deposit fees applicable to you.

Trading Fees

KuCoin's extremely low trading fees start at just 0.1%, with a 20% discount if you pay fees using KCS coin (Kucoin's token). This makes the trade fee 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 want to buy crypto on KuCoin using fiat currency, the fee ranges from 3% - 12% based on your payment method and payment channel of choice. Even though 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 purchase your first coins. 

Kraken's spot trading fees start at 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers. You can reduce your trade fee if you have substantial trading volume, based on the table below.

If you want to use Kraken to buy or sell crypto with the Instant Buy/Sell feature, the fee is 1.5% per transaction.

Withdrawal Fees

On KuCoin, fiat withdrawals are NOT possible, which is one of the biggest criticisms of this exchange. You are only able to withdraw cryptocurrency, with a flat fee depending on which coin you are withdrawing. To see a full list of KuCoin's cryptocurrencies and their corresponding withdrawal fees, click here.

To withdraw fiat currency on Kraken, you may be charged a fee, based on your currency and method of withdrawal. Click here to see the fees for your withdrawal method and fiat currency.

Withdrawals of cryptocurrency from your Kraken account will incur a flat fee to cover the transaction costs. This fee varies depending on which coin you want to withdraw. A full list of coins and withdrawal fees can be found here.

Winner - Kraken

Kraken is the winner when it comes to fees. Although KuCoin has a lower trading fee of 0.1%, compared to Kraken's 0.16%/0.26% fee, the transaction fee to purchase crypto with fiat is 3% - 12% which is unreasonably high. Kraken offers some fee-free deposit methods, and to purchase from crypto using fiat on the market is only 0.16% for makers. To top it off, KuCoin does NOT support withdrawal of fiat currency, which is a huge disadvantage.

KuCoin vs Kraken Deposit Methods

KuCoin and Kraken both offer a wide range of payment methods, to cater for users all over the world. 

KuCoin accepts SEPA, Skrill, PayPal, Apple Pay, Debit card, Credit card and Cryptocurrency.

Kraken accepts Bank transfer (ACH), Fedwire, SWIFT, Wire transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, SEPA, Debit/Credit card (excludes some countries, such as USA), Bank transfer (OSKO), PayID, FPS/BACS, CHAPS, SIC and Cryptocurrency.

Winner - Kraken

Both Kraken and KuCoin offer a range of payment methods, but Kraken wins with a wider selection to suit more users around the world.

KuCoin vs Kraken Features 

The features of a crypto exchange can often be a deciding factor on which platform to use, so let's take a look at some of the standout features of KuCoin and Kraken. Both of these exchanges have too many features to discuss in detail here, so I will only mention some that are of particular interest. To find out the full range of services of these crypto exchanges, check out my review of KuCoin (here) and Kraken (here).

KuCoin offers free trading bots on their platform that are easy to set up and can help you optimise your trading strategy. You can choose what rules your bot will follow to automatically trade for you, even when you are asleep with your phone and computer off. KuCoin displays the most successful bots from other users, and you can even copy their bots' parameters to achieve better results for yourself.

On KuCoin, you can grow your crypto investment while it sits on the exchange. One way to earn interest on your crypto is buying and holding KuCoin's own coin (KCS). When you hold 6 KCS or more in your account, you will automatically earn daily interest, estimated at 22% APR. 

You can also earn interest on crypto by lending it to other KuCoin users. You can choose which coin you want to lend (70 different coins supported) and the term (7, 14 or 28 days). Then you select the daily interest rate you wish to receive. A higher interest rate will give you higher returns, but lowers the chance someone will borrow from you if there are lower-rate options for them to choose.

If you want to borrow crypto instead, it is easy to do on KuCoin. Simply select the cryptocurrency you want to borrow, the amount, and the daily interest rate that you are happy with.

On Kraken, you can also earn interest on your crypto holdings, by staking. You can even stake fiat currencies (USD and EUR) which is not normally found on crypto exchanges. The rewards are paid twice a week and you can grow them further by compounding the future rewards. These are the staking options available on Kraken at the moment.

Kraken offers forex trading for crypto traders who want to delve into it without setting up a different account. Kraken offers low trading fees, a professional trading interface, and industry-low minimum orders of 10 units of base currency. You can trade 9 forex trading pairs, as shown below. 

Kraken offers excellent customer support, that is rare among large crypto exchanges. Usually you are faced with a bot that provides automatic answers and links to webpages. Kraken has done an excellent job by focusing on customer support, with 24/7 Live Chat with a real person. You can also choose to contact Kraken using phone or email ticket request.

Winner - KuCoin

KuCoin is a feature-packed crypto exchange,

 with free trading bots, crypto lending, margin trading, futures and a P2P marketplace with zero fees. Kraken also has a lot of features, including forex trading and Live Chat support. KuCoin slightly edges out Kraken in this area.

KuCoin vs Kraken Security

KuCoin is a secure exchange, ensuring their users' funds are safe with micro-withdrawal wallets, industry-level multilayer encryption and dynamic multi-factor authentication. KuCoin also have dedicated internal risk control departments to oversee all transactions on a daily basis. However, no crypto exchange is inpenetrable, regardless of their security measures, and in 2020 KuCoin was hacked, with $150 million stolen. KuCoin responded quickly, recovering a large portion of the stolen funds, and their insurance covered the unrecovered amount. None of KuCoin's users lost any money in this cybersecurity breach.

Kraken also has robust security measures to safeguard users' funds and personal information, storing 95% of digital assets offline in air-gapped geographically distributed cold storage, and servers secured in cages with 24/7 armed surveillance. Kraken is based in the USA so it is regulated by FinCEN, and it offers financial stability, with full reserves, healthy banking relationships and the highest standards of legal compliance.

Winner - Kraken

KuCoin and Kraken both rank highly in terms of security, but Kraken wins since it faces stricter compliance and regulatory conditions in the USA (regulated by FinCEN).

Verdict - Kraken

KuCoin is one of the largest and most popular exchanges around the world, with over 8 million users, and Kraken is another big name, especially in the USA, so which one is the better of the two?

Kraken is the winner for me - not only does it have more deposit methods, lower fees when buying crypto, and stricter compliance and regulatory standards, the biggest advantage of Kraken over KuCoin is that you can withdraw your fiat currency from the exchange, which isn't supported on KuCoin.

KuCoin does have its advantages, such as plenty more features, and lower trading fees of only 0.08% (if you pay with KCS), but the high fee to purchase crypto with fiat, and the fact users can't withdraw fiat really holds it back. If you do want to use KuCoin, I would recommend buying crypto on another exchange, such as Coinbase, Coinmama or Gemini and sending it to KuCoin. When you eventually want to convert your crypto to fiat, you can send it back to one of the other exchanges, which allows fiat withdrawals. Note that you will likely be charged a transaction fee to transfer crypto from one exchange to another. 

For newcomers to crypto investing, or long-term crypto investors that plan to buy and HODL their investment, Kraken is the choice over KuCoin. The fees are lower and you can sell your crypto and withdraw your fiat currency.

Overall Winner - Kraken

Live Chat support, lower fees when buying crypto with fiat and the ability to withdraw fiat from the exchange means Kraken wins this overall.

Still Researching?

If you wanted to find out more about these two exchanges, read my in-depth breakdowns of KuCoin (here) and Kraken (here). US residents may find this article on the best US crypto exchanges useful. I have included a quick comparison table that summarizes some key information below.

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 & 40+ 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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