KuCoin is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges that still doesn't require KYC. It's also a popular Binance alternative. But is it any good for Canadians?
Here at RankFi, we've reviewed 20+ Canadian crypto exchanges and brokers. This post covers everything you need to know about KuCoin such as fees, features, regulatory status, and most importantly... is it worth it? So, let's jump in.
The Bottom Line
KuCoin is one of the best altcoin exchanges for Canadians. It has 700+ coins, competitive fees, and you can deposit and withdraw crypto without KYC. On the downside, it's not a good fiat on/off ramp for Canadians so you'll still need a local Canadian platform.
Furthermore, KuCoin is not as big as Binance, but it's available in Ontario since you can trade on it anonymously. And it has billions in trading volume so the fees are still competitive. Our tests showed the BTC spread was 0.00% (tied for 1st place) and the trading fee was only 0.10%.
The cheapest way to use KuCoin is to fund and cash out of your account with crypto. The best choices to use are local Canadian exchanges like Newton, NDAX, and VirgoCX.
Pros & Cons
KuCoin In Canada: What You Need To Know
Is KuCoin Regulated? No, KuCoin is operating as an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange and is not in compliance with Ontario's Securities Law. You can see all OSC registered crypto exchanges here.
Does KuCoin Work In Canada? Despite the OSC's efforts to ban KuCoin, it remains available in Canada, including in Ontario. KuCoin has a relaxed non-KYC policy where anyone worldwide can sign up, deposit, trade, and withdraw up to 1 BTC per day with just an email address.
What Is KuCoin?
KuCoin is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange with over 20 million users in 200+ countries. They were founded in 2017 and currently rank as a top 10 crypto exchange in the world by trading volume.
They brand themselves as "The People's Exchange." On the platform you'll find lots of features like 700+ coins, their own utility token called KuCoin Token (KCS), spot trading, derivatives, interest accounts, loans, lottery raffles, and much more.
It's one of the largest exchanges in the world that still does not have mandatory KYC. Users can sign up with just an email address and deposit, trade, and withdraw up to 1 BTC per day.
- Founded in 2017
- Top 10 crypto exchange in the world based on trading volume
- Over 10 million registered users
- $480 billion in total transaction volume on the platform
- Available in 200+ countries
Key Features & Benefits
KuCoin has a lot to offer but its key features include 700+ coins, low fees (hidden fees included), optional KYC, and advanced trading. You'll also find other things like trading bots, interest accounts, staking, derivatives, and the list goes on. Some features require KYC verification (like their token launchpad), but most of the platform is available without it.
List Of Features
- Trade 700+ Cryptocurrencies
- Spot Trading
- Margin Trading
- Futures Contracts
- Lending & Borrowing
- Pool-X (Earn and Staking)
- Trading Bots
- PoW Mining Pools
- Affiliate Program
- KCS (utility token)
- Spotlight (token launch platform)
- KuCoin Win (lotteries, battles, etc)
- And more
1. iOS, Android and Web App
KuCoin has lots of features and the platform can be accessed on all of your devices. There's a good user-interface which is similar to Binance however, beginners might be overwhelmed with all of the tabs and features.
2. Buying and Selling
KuCoin offers 700+ cryptocurrencies and multiple ways to buy and trade. On the platform you'll find:
- Spot Trading
- Margin Trading
- Futures Contracts
- Trading Bots
- P2P Trading
- Credit/Debit Card Buys
3. Trading Interface
For advanced traders, you'll find technical charts and tools provided by TradingView as well as multiple order types like limit orders, market orders, stop-limit and more.
4. Trading Bot
The KuCoin Trading Bot is a free tool that uses AI to help you automatically trade the market. According to KuCoin, it helps you "earn profits without monitoring the market." There are 4 different trading and investing strategies available:
- Spot Grid - The bot will place buy and sell orders multiple times in order to profit from volatility and market fluctuations
- Smart Rebalance - Automatically rebalance your portfolio based on your targets
- Futures Grid - This bot is similar to the Spot Grid above, but more advanced
- Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) - Profit from making regular, periodic investments into the market
5. Pool-X (Earning & Staking)
KuCoin's Pool-X lets you earn interest for simply holding different crypto assets. There's a variety of ways to earn which include Staking, Flexible Terms (withdraw anytime), Fixed Terms and Promotions. Dozens of coins are eligible to earn you yield and the APR can range anywhere from 1%-70% depending on the crypto asset and your risk tolerance.
Other crypto exchanges that offer rewards and staking include NDAX, Binance, Kraken and Crypto.com. You can check them out to compare promotions and find the highest offers available.
6. KuCoin Spotlight
Spotlight is KuCoin's token launch platform. This is a higher-risk investment for people who want to find very early projects to invest in. In a quote from Kucoin, "Spotlight aims to assist blockchain projects in raising the needed funds, attracting market attention and improving industrial influence."
Every launch will be live for a fixed amount of time and offered on first-come, first-serve basis. Only KYC verified accounts are able to participate.
7. Lending & Borrowing
KuCoin Lend lets you earn daily interest by lending out your crypto assets. There are various yields, terms and risks to be aware of. You can also borrow crypto with various interest rates.
8. KuCoin Bonus (KCS Bonus)
If you hold at least 6 KCS in your KuCoin account you can earn a daily bonus up to 50% APR. The reward comes from the trading fees KuCoin earns on the platform. Right now, KuCoin keeps 50% of the trading fees and puts the other 50% into the Bonus pool for token holders.
9. Mining Pool
KuCoin's Mining Pool is another way to potentially earn yield on your investments. It supports Proof of Work (PoW) assets like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with a 2% mining fee.
- LuckyRaffling (Lottery Game)
- Futures Brawl - "go long or short to battle and win prizes"
- Bug bounty program
- Light mode/dark mode
- Set custom price alerts
- Affiliate program
Fees & Spread
According to CoinMarketCap, KuCoin is a top 10 exchange in the world by trading volume so they have some of the lowest spreads in the industry. When testing it myself, KuCoin had a 0.00% spread for Bitcoin which was tied for 1st place with Binance. The trading fees are 0.10% with discounts available. If you deposit crypto to fund your account, KuCoin is one of the cheapest platforms in Canada to trade altcoins.
However, it's not a good fiat on/off ramp in Canada. It does not have a CAD fiat wallet or CAD trading pairs. You can make an instant purchase with a credit card but that will be subject to a 3.00% fee or higher. The best way to use KuCoin is to fund with crypto so you can take advantage of its low fees and cash out the same way. To do that, you'll need a local Canadian exchange like Newton or VirgoCX.
*Total BTC Purchase Fee
2.82% (13th place)
*Total BTC Selling Fee
N/A (can't cash out CAD unless with P2P Exchange)
0.10% (plus discounts available)
3.00% fee (credit card)
Free (P2P Exchange Only)
We tested 18 Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges at the same time to compare the true fees. This data was collected on Mar 2, 2022 at 4:41pm and is subject to change since spreads and prices change daily.
- Total BTC Purchase Fee = CAD Deposit Fee + Trading Fee + Reference Price Difference
- Total BTC Selling Fee = CAD Withdrawal Fee + Trading Fee + Reference Price Difference
You can compare all platforms from the price test on this page.
Trading Fee Discounts
Price Test & Spread
Price Test (On Mar 2, 2022)
0.00% (Tied for 1st place)
BTC Buy Price
BTC Sell Price
Ref. Price Difference
Reference Price (Google)
Deposit & Withdrawals
Like mentioned above, KuCoin does not have a CAD wallet or CAD trading pairs. If you want to buy with fiat anyways, which will be expensive, it will require KYC verification which you might be denied for if you're Canadian. It's best to fund and cash out with crypto. This way, you can still take advantage of 700+ altcoins at very low spreads and trading fees.
Limits (24 hours)
Credit / Debit Card
Min $50 - Max $7,000
Varies on seller (usually under 24 hours)
Varies on seller
Limits (24 hours)
Varies on seller (usually under 24 hours
Varies on seller
Crypto Withdrawal Fees
KuCoin is considered a trustworthy platform. They have 10+ million users in 200+ countries and multiple security features like 2FA, trading passwords and more. They also refunded all users from the $285 million hack in 2020.
⚠️ Try to hold as little possible on centralized exchanges. 44% of platforms we reviewed have had hacks or incidents. We strongly recommend storing and protecting your crypto on a wallet where you own the private keys, ideally a hardware wallet.
What About The KuCoin Hack?
Unfortunately, KuCoin was hacked in 2020 for $285 million via some of their hot wallets. Luckily, no customers were actually affected or lost any crypto. That's because KuCoin was able to recover 84% of the funds and their insurance fund paid back the other 16%.
After the hack, KuCoin's CEO said they made improvements to their security and platform architecture. However, this is a good reminder why it's not recommended to hold large amounts of crypto on centralized exchanges.
Company Security Features
There is limited info online about KuCoin's company security features. We're not sure how they store users funds but here is what we do know:
- Partnership with "OnChain Custodian" to back its funds by insurance (not many details available)
- Bug Bounty Program
User Security Features
- 2FA (via SMS or Google Authenticator app)
- Biometric login (eg. Touch ID / Face ID)
- Trading password for withdrawals, trades, etc
- View your login history (IP address, device, time, etc)
- Restrict Login IP feature
- Email safety phrase to help identify legitimate KuCoin emails
- Login safety phrase
- Withdrawal safety phrase
We have not tested KuCoin's customer support but they offer a chatbot to help you answer questions which can be accessed in multiple languages 24/7. You also have the option to submit a ticket directly. If you don't need to speak with their team, you'll find a help desk with FAQs, articles and a community forum for additional information.
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KuCoin is still servicing Ontario residents, but they are unlicensed in Ontario and fall under the OSC's warning list. Users can deposit, trade and withdraw up to 1 BTC per day with just an email address and without any warnings on their account.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) mandates that all crypto exchanges must be licensed to offer crypto trading services in Ontario and KuCoin has not obtained the necessary licenses.
Yes. You can withdraw up to the value of 1 BTC every 24 hours. You can only withdraw crypto though, not fiat.
No. Other platforms like Binance and Gate.io show warnings that Ontario users are not allowed. KuCoin does not have any warnings.
KYC is not required. You can sign up, trade, and withdraw crypto on KuCoin with just an email address or phone number. It's very easy to open an account.
You can not access certain features unless you verify your account. For example, you can't buy crypto with fiat or use the token launchpad. Some other features might be restricted as well. The important things like depositing, trading and withdrawing crypto still works and most other features are working as well like lending, KCS rewards, trading bots and more.
The cheapest and fastest option is to use Newton or VirgoCX because they have the lowest fees in Canada and free crypto withdrawals. You can deposit Canadian Dollars with e-transfer then I usually buy Stellar (XLM) and transfer it to KuCoin. I do Stellar because it's free to send and shows up nearly instantly, but you can do any cryptocurrency.
Each cryptocurrency on KuCoin has its own minimum withdrawal amount depending on the coin and network you select but it ranges from $1 to $30 per transaction. As of 2023, there’s a minimum withdrawal of 0.0005 BTC, 0.005 ETH, 0.005 BNB, 1 USDT, 40 DOGE, and 0.002 LTC. Refer to the withdrawal page for more info.
KuCoin offers leverage multiples ranging from 0.01x to 100x. When you open a position, your actual leverage will change as your unrealized profit and loss changes. This means that the leverage multiple can be a decimal and even go beyond 100x. For more information, you can check out this official KuCoin support page.
KuCoin is headquartered in Seychelles, an island country located off the coast of Africa. They have also announced plans to open regional offices in multiple locations including Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
KuCoin is a subsidiary of MEK Global Limited (MGL), a Seychelles-registered entity. It's unclear who owns what percentage of KuCoin, as the company has not disclosed its exact ownership breakdown. However, it does have multiple co-founders, including Johnny Lyu, Michael Gan, Eric Don, Top Lan, Kent Li, John Lee, Jack Zhu, and Linda Lin. In addition, KuCoin has raised over $150 million from investors across multiple funding rounds.