Coinbase vs. KuCoin: A Comprehensive Comparison

KuCoin and Coinbase stand as two prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, each with unique offerings…

KuCoin and Coinbase stand as two prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, each with unique offerings. This comparison will delve into their differences in fees, security, available cryptocurrencies, and other essential factors.

KuCoin’s Legal Grey Area in the U.S.

For potential U.S. KuCoin customers, the legal status is ambiguous. KuCoin’s optional know your customer (KYC) process cannot be completed by U.S. users due to geographic restrictions. Some U.S. customers use the site without KYC verification, limiting their access to full services, such as depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies. This situation poses a risk as authorities tighten crypto enforcement.

KuCoin vs. Coinbase: Fees

Cryptocurrency purchases involve three main types of fees:

  • Deposit fees
  • Trading fees
  • Withdrawal fees

These fees vary across platforms, so understanding them is crucial.


Depositing cryptocurrency on KuCoin is free and doesn’t require KYC approval. U.S. users can buy crypto with fiat money via third-party transfers. Trading fees on KuCoin are lower than many exchanges, including Coinbase. KuCoin employs a maker-taker system with discounts for using its native token, KCS.


Coinbase offers two platforms: one for beginners and Coinbase Advanced Trade for experienced traders. The latter has much lower trading fees. Coinbase’s fee structure depends on the payment method and transaction amount, making it somewhat complex.

Coinbase Advanced Trade

This platform offers more transparent and lower fees than the main Coinbase platform, with free bank transfer deposits and a maker-taker fee system.

For fiat money purchases, Coinbase Advanced Trade generally offers better fee terms.

KuCoin vs. Coinbase: Available Cryptos

KuCoin is known for its extensive selection of smaller tokens, with over 650 cryptocurrencies listed. In contrast, Coinbase’s range is more limited due to U.S. licensing, offering about 90 tokens for U.S. customers.

KuCoin vs. Coinbase: Wallets

Both exchanges operate custodial wallets, with Coinbase also offering a separate, standalone wallet. KuCoin does not have a separate wallet feature.

KuCoin vs. Coinbase: Security

Security is paramount in crypto exchanges. Both platforms employ robust measures:

  • Coinbase: Utilizes 98% cold storage and third-party insurance, along with other security features.
  • KuCoin: Partners with Onchain Custodian for asset safekeeping and also has third-party insurance.

Final Thoughts

KuCoin and Coinbase cater to different investor types.

Coinbase is suitable for new crypto traders, offering accessibility and educational resources. It is a reliable exchange available in every U.S. state except Hawaii.

KuCoin offers a wider range of tokens and advanced trading tools. Its low trading fees are appealing, but the high cost of using fiat currency to buy crypto may deter some users. U.S. residents should exercise caution due to the unlicensed status of the platform.

In terms of fees, frequent traders with cryptocurrencies ready to trade might find KuCoin more economical, while those making regular dollar deposits may prefer Coinbase Advanced Trade.