KuCoin and Kraken are some of the most popular and widely used cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. KuCoin has a combined spot and derivatives trading volume of over $4 billion, making it one of the top five cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide.
Kraken isn’t as popular, but it’s slowly gaining popularity. It has a 24h spot trading volume of $818 million (37th highest) and a derivatives trading volume of $247 million (23rd highest).
Both exchanges allow spot and futures trading and have powerful platforms. So, which exchange is better and why? Let’s find out.
KuCoin Vs Kraken: Supported Cryptocurrencies
KuCoin has an exhaustive range of cryptocurrencies to choose from. At the time of writing, it offers over 300 cryptocurrencies and 600 trading pairs. This includes everything from popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to new coins with recent ICOs. Hence, you get a lot of options to choose from.
Kraken doesn’t offer this much diversity. It offers 72 cryptocurrencies at the time of writing, including all popular cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum. Polkadot, etc. However, it offers around 200 different trading pairs. You get a lot of options when it comes to choosing the cryptocurrency and the asset you want to trade it against.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Even though KuCoin supports more cryptocurrencies, Kraken also provides many options to choose from.
Kraken and KuCoin both have a tiered fee structure. However, there are certain nuances you should know about. Let’s compare the fee structures of the two exchanges.
Kraken charges fees based on the actions you take on the platform. For example, Kraken charges a 0.9% fee for buying stablecoins and a 1.5% fee for other cryptos or FX pairs.
If you are a Kraken Pro user, a tiered fee structure will apply, where the trading fee will depend on your 30-day trading volume. Kraken Pro has ten tiers.
Users with a 30-day trading volume of under $50,000 fall into the first tier and need to pay a market maker/taker fee of 0.16%/0.26%. Users with a 30-day trading volume of over $1 million falls into the last tier and have a market maker/taker volume of 0.00%/0.10%.
The fee is slightly lower when you trade cryptos against stablecoins and FX pairs, and it’s even lower for margin and futures trading.
Additionally, transactions on both exchanges may attract a blockchain processing fee. The fee goes to crypto miners and the exchange has nothing to do with it.
KuCoin has a tiered fee structure, which is further divided into classes depending on the cryptocurrencies you trade.
KuCoin classified all cryptocurrencies on its platform into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A comprise popular cryptos like BTC, ETH, ADA, 1INCH, etc. Class B includes ABBC, BASIC, CFG, and KOK, and Class C has BURP, COMB, LITH, and MEM.
Coming to the tiers, KuCoin has 13 tiers: Level 0 to Level 13, depending on your 30d spot trading volume or minimum KCS holding. For instance, users with a KCS holding of under 1,000 KCS or a spot trading volume of under 50 BTC/futures trading volume of under 100 BTC fall into Level 0.
For Level 0 users, the spot market maker/taker trading fee is 0.1%/0.1% to 0.7%/0/3%, and the futures trading fee is 0.02%/0.06%.
Similarly, users with a minimum KCS holding of 150,000 and a minimum spot/futures trading volume of 80,000 BTC/160,000 BTC fall into the Level 12 tier. For them, the spot trading fee is -0.005%/0.025%, and the futures trading fee is -0.015%/0.03%.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Both Kraken and KuCoin have a tiered fee structure and similar fees.
Account Funding Methods
Kraken and KuCoin support deposits through cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Fiat funding options on both KuCoin and Kraken depend on the currency you want to deposit.
Let’s compare the account funding methods on KuCoin and Kraken.
KuCoin allows you to deposit funds in three ways: Fast Buy, P2P, and Third-Party. In Fast Buy, you can buy USDT directly using a Visa/MC card. In P2P, you can transfer funds using bank transfer, PayPal, Revolut, and 20+ other options.
Lastly, you can use third-party payment gateways like Banxa and Simplex to transfer funds. The payment options available will depend on your currency, location, and other factors.
Kraken also offers a wide range of funding options to choose from. You can fund your account using eight cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, QTUM, ZEC, XRP, LTC, ADA, and XPR.
Payment methods available for depositing fiat money will depend on the cryptocurrency you deposit. For depositing USD, you can use Fedwire, SWIFT, SEN, Etana, and wire transfer. For EUR, SEPA bank transfer, Etana, and wire transfer are available.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Both KuCoin and Kraken offer a wide range of funding methods and options to choose from.
Opening Account & Account Limits
Both Kraken and KuCoin offer seamless account opening processes. Let’s compare the procedure of the two exchanges.
Kraken has four verification levels: Starter, Express, Intermediate, and Pro. The Starter and Express level of verification doesn’t require valid ID documents. However, these users can deposit $9,000 in their lifetime and withdraw $9,000 per month. Also, Starter and Express users can’t trade in futures.
The Intermediate and Pro levels of verification require ID verification. However, verification unlocks deposit and withdrawal limits, and you get access to advanced features like OTC desk trading, futures trading, etc.
To open an account on KuCoin, visit the website and click on Sign Up in the top right corner. A registration form will appear. Fill that form and confirm your account using the OTP you’ll receive. That’s it. You can fund your account and start trading.
KuCoin doesn’t have mandatory KYC requirements, though there are limitations. Non-verified users can withdraw only 1 BTC per day, whereas verified users can withdraw up to 200 BTC per day.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both KuCoin and Kraken have optional KYC verification. You can unlock limits and access more features by verifying your identity.
Ease of Use & Interface
KuCoin and Kraken both offer full-fledged trading platforms with advanced features and functionalities. Let’s draw a head-to-head comparison between the two to determine which one is better.
KuCoin has a powerful and feature-rich futures trading platform. The center of the trading terminal has a charting system powered by TradingView. You get multiple timeframes, ranging from 1 minute to 1 week.
Coming to chart types, KuCoin allows you to choose among bars, candles, hollow candles, Heikin Ashi, line, area, and baseline. In addition, you get hundreds of indicators to choose from to enhance your technical analysis.
KuCoin has an intuitive order. You get up to 10x margin on margin trading and 100x margin on futures trading. The platform offers limit, market, and spot limit orders. You can also see your past and present orders.
Overall, KuCoin’s platform is powerful and intuitive. It’s easy to use and has a minimal learning curve. If you’re a complete beginner to crypto trading, it may take you a few days to get accustomed to it. Also, to help you onboard faster, here is a KuCoin tutorial.
However, If you have used trading platforms before, you won’t face any difficulties.
Kraken’s margin trading platform is very similar to that of KuCoin. The left half of the trading terminal is entirely covered by Kraken’s proprietary charting system. The charting system is robust and has all the features you see in TradingView and other systems.
You can perform multiple timeframe analysis with candlesticks ranging from 1 minute to 1 week. The platform additionally has drawing tools and over 50 indicators to choose from. The number of indicators may be less, but it has almost all the indicators you’ll need.
The right side of the terminal has the order book, watchlist, volume overview, and order book. The order book is simple and intuitive. You can choose from a wide range of orders, including market, limit, stop-limit, and stop market. You can also place conditional orders. To know more about the exchange, you can check this Kraken tutorial.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges have robust trading platforms.
Let’s compare the security features of the two exchanges.
KuCoin is a safe and secure cryptocurrency exchange that implements a wide range of industry-standard security features. Some essential security features implemented by KuCoin are:
- Multi-signature cold storage wallets
- Multi-factor authentication
- IP allowlisting
- Manual monitoring and authorization of withdrawal requests
- Anti-phishing safety phrase and login safety phrase.
Please note that KuCoin was hacked once in late 2020, causing a monetary loss of $250 million. However, 84% of the entire lost money was recovered, and the users weren’t impacted. Despite one hacking instance, KuCoin remains a safe crypto exchange.
Security measures taken by Kraken are similar to that of KuCoin. It stores 95% of the user’s funds in cold storage wallets, ensuring complete protection. Other security features include two-factor authentication, SSL encryption, and IP allowlisting.
Kraken also has a global settings lock (GSL) which is available after you set up two-factor authentication.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both KuCoin and Kraken take similar security measures.
If you’ve never traded crypto before, you could face some issues in the beginning. For example, your orders may go through, or your position may cut in a loss automatically. In such cases, you’ll need a skilled and helpful customer support team to answer your questions.
Let’s compare the customer support and service of KuCoin and Kraken.
KuCoin has fantastic customer support. It has a comprehensive knowledge base with articles, blog posts, and frequently asked questions. If you want to reach a customer service agent, you can do that by live chat or email.
Kraken, on the other hand, is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that offer phone support. You can contact the support team by chat, phone support, and email. Additionally, the exchange has a vast help section to answer your questions.
Verdict: Kraken is the winner, as it offers phone support.
- Is KuCoin a Safe Exchange?
Yes, KuCoin is a safe exchange. It implements all security measures, like cold storage wallets, two-factor authentication, KYC verification, and more. KuCoin is also one of the most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
- Is Kraken a Safe Exchange?
Yes, Kraken is a safe cryptocurrency exchange with some of the most advanced security features and functionalities. It has features like cold storage wallets, multi-factor authentication, global settings lock, etc.
KuCoin and Kraken are similar cryptocurrency exchanges. Both offer almost the same features, so it’s difficult to choose a winner.
If you want more options, you can choose KuCoin. It has over 300 cryptocurrencies and features like crypto lending, mining pool, and more.
If you want better customer support, opt for Kraken, as it offers support by phone.
Overall, both KuCoin and Kraken are amazing exchanges with top-notch features and security. You can choose an exchange you like for trading cryptocurrencies.
See how KuCoin & Kraken compares to other crypto exchanges:
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- KuCoin vs Huobi
- KuCoin vs Phemex
- Kraken vs Binance
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