When it comes to the cryptocurrency market, Kucoin and Binance are among the top crypto exchanges in the world. They have many similarities that may make it difficult to choose one over the other. Nonetheless, their striking differences are quite evident to discerning eyes.
If you’ve got to choose between these two leading digital currency exchanges, then these differences are significant in deciding the best choice.
Key differences that should help determine your choice
Having a Kucoin vs Binance comparison is the easiest way to choose between these two platforms. The following are key comparative factors:
1. Differentiating features
The following are the key unique features that can help you choose one of these two platforms:
The platform engine
Any trading platform has an engine that runs it. Binance is powered by the AlgoTrade engine, a universal engine that runs most of the big trading platforms. On the other hand, Kucoin has a custom-made trading engine.
Each approach has its pros and cons. It depends on how one goes about implementing and customizing the engine. To the trader and investor, this isn’t an issue. However, to the technical developers, this can mean a lot of differences. For example, from a technical perspective, a universal engine such as AlgoTrade is easy to implement and deploy. However, it is more difficult to customize. On the other hand, a custom engine is difficult to build and deploy, but far easier to customize.
One of the most important factors that enhance user experience is the user interface. When it comes to user interface, both Binance and Kucoin have different approaches. Either of the two platforms can be considered to have a user-friendly interface, depending on one’s unique needs and level of experience.
Kucoin has a one-for-all beginner-friendly user interface. The interface is clean and sleek. Furthermore, due to its anonymous trading feature, it only requires a verified email and password for one to get started.
Binance has a customizable user interface to meet specific needs. This allows new users and less advanced traders to keep their user interface simple. However, this means that there is a slight learning curve in terms of customizations. On the other hand, advanced crypto investors can add more advanced investment and trading features such as technical analysis and trading strategies to their interface.
When it comes to a beginner-friendly interface that promotes ease of use, Kucoin is a clear winner. On the other hand, when it comes to a customizable interface that meets the trading preferences of experienced users, Binance users have their preferred choice.
Kucoin prides itself on providing anonymous trading. On the other hand, Binance is extremely intrusive. Binance demands a lot of personal information which infringes on one’s privacy.
For those who prefer privacy and anonymity, Kucoin is the better option.
While you can join the Binance platform without providing your personal information, you cannot trade on it without surrendering your personal identification data.
Binance has very strict KYC requirements including requiring users to provide National ID, to undergo facial recognition, avail telephone contact verification, and email verification, among others.
On the other hand, Kucoin allows you to trade anonymously. However, this is subject to an upper limit in terms of the amount of transaction. Thus, Kucoin has a hybrid KYC requirement that allows you to decide whether to provide personal identification or remain anonymous.
Kucoin has elaborate security features that make its platform hard to breach. While the Binance platform is highly intrusive in terms of demanding sensitive personal identification data, this hasn’t stopped its platform from being frequently breached.
Both platforms have advanced security measures including two-factor authentication and the use of a cold storage facility to protect crypto assets. To the ordinary user, the test of their effectiveness can only be determined by their historical performance against breaches. Both platforms have had breaches at some point in time. Unless an independent forensic audit is done, it may not be easy to establish which of the two is more secure.
Both Binance allows the use of fiat payment methods such as bank transfers, and use of credit cards. Binance goes the extra mile by having a debit card linked to its account – the Binance Card.
However, Kucoin is more open to fiat transactions as it allows you to transact in major fiat currencies. Binance, on the other hand, allows very few fiat currencies, mainly, the USD. If you want to use more fiat methods on the Binance platform, you will be forced to use the Binance P2P trading platform where buyers and sellers interact directly – a riskier undertaking.
Negative balance protection
Kucoin provides negative balance protection. Negative balance protection is an important mechanism in margin trading whereby traders use borrowed funds to trade. Through this mechanism, the system ensures that their trade account balance doesn’t go negative and thus incur unwarranted liabilities. This mechanism protects traders especially new traders who are not well-versed with how margin trading works. It also protects those traders who do not have much time to dedicate full attention to market movement.
As of the time of writing this article, Binance has not yet implemented the negative balance protection mechanism. This makes it risky for new traders to engage in margin trading.
Kucoin provides a social trading mechanism. A social trading mechanism allows traders to share information, tips, and strategies while trading. This not only boosts user experience but can also be a great way to weigh the market sentiment.
Binance has yet to come up with an ideal social trading mechanism.
Binance has a desktop version of its app. Kucoin doesn’t have one. A large-scale financial institution where desktops are the primary mode of trading can find this to be a significant drawback.
2. Differentiating products
The following are some of the products available on one platform but absent on the other platform:
Binance has a liquid swap mechanism. The liquid swap mechanism allows traders to swap various trading pairs without the need for an Order Book. This is made possible by the use of liquidity pools. The liquid swap mechanism speeds up transactions, lowers transaction fees, and is highly flexible.
So far, Kucoin hasn’t implemented the liquid swap mechanism. Thus, the Binance trading platform has a significant advantage in this regard. This makes it the best cryptocurrency exchange in terms of liquidity swap.
Kucoin has managed accounts. A small-scale financial institution that doesn’t have the resources to hire and maintain a pool of experts will find it advantageous to have a managed account. A managed account allows the account holders to receive financial advice from the exchange platform about the performance of various assets.
Unfortunately, Binance doesn’t provide this essential customer service. This grants Kucoin a slight advantage in terms of institutional customer support. This makes Kucoin the best crypto exchange for those seeking managed accounts.
3. Fee structure
Each of these two platforms offers a very competitive fee structure. The following are some of the key elements that differentiate Binance fee structure from that of Kucoin:
Kucoin charges a maker fee of 0.02% and a taker fee of 0.06%. On the other hand, Binance charges a standard fee of 0.1% for both maker and taker.
As can be seen, Kucoin is cheaper than Binance in terms of maker and taker fees. Thus, if you are a trader looking for a better taker fee and overall low trading fees, go for Kucoin.
Both platforms charge withdrawal fees on crypto assets. Kucoin charges 0.0005 bitcoins per withdrawal, while Binance charges 0.0002 bitcoins per withdrawal.
Thus, Binance fees are 2.5 times cheaper than Kucoin when it comes to cryptocurrency withdrawals.
Neither Kucoin nor Binance charges deposit fees.
4. Fiat deposit methods
Both platforms support using credit cards as a fiat deposit method. However, Binance supports a direct bank transfer.
5. Native token
Both platforms have a native token. Binance’s native token is called Binance Coin (BNB) while Kucoin token is known as Kucoin Shares (KCS).
6. Trading volume
By trading volume and market capitalization, Binance is in a league of its own. It surpasses Kucoin by far. Binance has almost twice as much daily trading volume as Kucoin. High trading volume is an indicator of high liquidity levels. This means that Binance traders can easily liquidate their cryptocurrency transactions.
Binance commands a huge market share in the crypto space.
7. User base
Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange platform by the number of users. Kucoin has just a small fraction of the number of users that Binance has. This makes the Binance marketplace highly liquid as a large user base helps to drive up trade volumes.
Binance was co-founded in Hong Kong in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao. Kucoin was founded in the Seychelles in 2019. However, due to the intense crackdown on cryptocurrency entities by the Chinese government, Binance relocated its headquarters to Malta.
Compared to Kucoin, Binance is available in most countries of the world, including the United States. Kucoin is not registered in the United States. As such, those who use Kucoin in the US are not legally protected due to a lack of regulation in that jurisdiction.
However, Binance has faced a myriad of legal issues in various jurisdictions including the United States and India which makes it inoperable in those markets. Whether Binance will be able to overcome these legal challenges to maintain its jurisdiction is yet to be established.
9. legal issues
Both Binance and Kucoin have faced a myriad of legal issues. At some point in time, Binance funds had been frozen in the US for violation of the US regulatory regime. On the other hand, towards the end of 2023, Kucoin faced legal issues in India. As such, Kucoin had been disallowed from the trading in the Indian market. However, Binance has also faced the same fate in India together with 6 other cryptocurrency exchanges, including Kraken, Huobi, Bittrex, and Bitstamp.
Generally, very few cryptocurrency trading platforms can claim to be immune from legal tussles. This is due to the nature of cryptocurrencies. They are not legally recognized in most countries and thus operate in the grey zone. The risk of operating in a grey zone means that their contracts are not legally enforceable.
In drawing similarities, we factor in those qualitative aspects that are similar to both platforms, regardless of the quantitative differences.
1. Common features
The following are some of the features that are common to both platforms:
Both platforms have great trading options that users can exercise. These include:
- Futures trading
- Spot trading
- Margin trading
Crypto lending is a DeFi feature that allows crypto holders to lend their crypto holdings and thus earn interest.
Both Binance and Kucoin provide crypto lending mechanisms.
Both Kucoin and Binance have cloud mining pools. Popular coins mined on both platforms include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE).
Both Kucoin and Binance have a lock-in deposit mechanism. The Binance lock-in deposit feature is known as Binance Earn while the Kucoin lock-in deposit feature is known as Kucoin Earn. The Lock-in feature works the same way as the traditional fixed deposit account feature. It allows cryptocurrency exchanges to carry out crypto lending while depositors of those cryptocurrencies earn regular interest on their locked-in deposits.
Both Binance and Kucoin platforms offer market-maker features. This allows both platforms to increase their crypto market liquidity levels thus making it easy for buyers and sellers to easily find and exchange digital assets.
Binance supports P2P trading. This trading is done via the P2P marketplace. This marketplace allows both buyers and sellers to interact and transact directly without the need for an Order Book.
The big advantage of the P2P marketplace is that it allows more fiat currencies than the main platforms could allow thus enabling the use of local currency pairs.
A market in which futures trading takes place is known as a futures market. The main commodity being traded in a futures market is the futures contract. A futures contract is a kind of contract that obligates a seller to sell (or a buyer to buy) a given financial instrument at a certain future date at a specific price.
Futures contracts help to bring stability in the market prices.
TradeView charting tool
Both Binance and Kucoin use TradeView as their charting tool. This is an advanced charting tool that provides an in-depth visual presentation on a trading screen about the performance of different categories of crypto assets on the exchange market.
Fiat currency support
Kucoin and Binance support paying and withdrawing in major fiat currencies.
Some of the key fiat currency support features include:
- Fiat money deposits – both platforms support free fiat money deposits via credit cards and bank transfers.
- Fiat currency pairs – both platforms support fiat currency pairs. However, one currency in a given pair must be a cryptocurrency. On Binance, Binance Coin (BUSD) is the most dominant crypto that is paired with various fiat currencies.
- Fiat money withdrawals – Both platforms support fiat money withdrawal to your bank account.
Both Binance and Kucoin support Stop Orders. However, unlike Kucoin, Binance doesn’t support Trailing Stop Orders.
Each platform provides a free trading bot. The trading bots allow users to automate frequent trading actions.
Kucoin provides trading signals to its users. Kucoin trading signals alert users of potential opportunities to sell or buy certain crypto assets. This allows users to exercise various trading options based on information derived from these signals.
Binance is a new entrant in this field. Thus, its trading signals are not as established as those of Kucoin.
Kucoin provides a Copy Trading mechanism. Copy Trading mechanism allows new investors to copy the trading strategies of advanced traders. This is not only a great learning opportunity but also a less risky way for beginners to start trading.
Binance has also implemented this mechanism. It is still in its early stages. Not a lot of user experience has been documented.
Both platforms have endeavored to enliven user experience by providing various tournaments that provide generous rewards to winners. Binance has the ‘Futures Grand Tournament’ while Kucoin has the ‘Grand Tournament Trophy’. New trophies keep popping up on these platforms to incentivize their respective user bases.
2. Common products
The following are the common products available on both marketplaces:
- Crypto loans
- Futures contracts
- Trading options
- Crypto Staking
- Perpetual swaps
3. NFT marketplace
NFT lovers will find both Binance and Kucoin ideal for their needs. Binance NFT marketplace is more established than Kucoin since it started earlier. One great feature of the Binance NFT marketplace is the ‘mystery box’ that randomly generates one guaranteed NFT which may appear in different forms such as Normal (N), Rare (R), Super Rare (SR), or Super Super Rare (SSR).
Kucoin’s WindVale is a decentralized NFT marketplace that provides a wide range of services to its users.
4. Mobile App
Each platform has a mobile app that can be accessed from both Android and iOS devices.
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Choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange can be mind-bogglingly confusing. There are so many exchanges out there. First of all, there are multiple types from order book exchanges to decentralized ones. Secondly, how do you know which one to trust? Even the large ones seem to implode from time to time. Thirdly, most sites aren’t exactly impartial in their recommendations. You won’t be shocked if I tell you that these websites rank exchanges according to whichever rewards them the most. Not to fret though. In this post I will walk you through 20 objective criteria you can use to choose a crypto exchange and find the one that suits you best. Read more.