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Kraken vs. KuCoin: Which crypto exchange is better?

Both KuCoin and Kraken are popular cryptocurrency exchanges — find out which one is better for beginners.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

Kraken and KuCoin are different cryptocurrency exchanges with their own unique approach to providing crypto services to their customers. In general, Kraken has a focus on quality and security, whereas KuCoin has a focus on quantity and diversity of services. KuCoin is one of the most used exchanges in the world and Kraken focuses on maximizing its usefulness to professional traders.

Round 1: Kraken vs. KuCoin on vital statistics

Kraken focuses on maximizing security, compliance and usefulness to professional traders in developed countries. Its main clientele is in North America and Europe. Kraken has reasonable fees across all its services and is FCA registered in the United States. KuCoin, on the other hand, offers the full range of cryptocurrency services such as lending and margin/derivatives trading with high leverage. In terms of which exchange is better for beginners, Kraken has a simpler interface, fee structure and fewer services. Simplicity is better for most newcomers to cryptocurrency.

Kraken Cryptocurrency ExchangeKuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Overall rating★★★★★★★★★★
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Registered
Exchange locationUSAHong Kong
Offers a debit card
Earn returns on crypto
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Winner: Kraken


Round 2: Supported coins

KuCoin offers vastly more cryptocurrencies than Kraken. This is part of its core offering as it markets itself as a cryptocurrency exchange that is constantly up to date with the latest digital assets. Kraken focuses on providing lots of volume to its relatively smaller number of offered cryptocurrencies. If a beginner is looking for diversity, then KuCoin is the better option.

Kraken Cryptocurrency ExchangeKuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Number of tradeable crypto assets152660
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Winner: KuCoin


Round 3: Supported fiat currencies

Kraken focuses on providing cryptocurrency services to a small number of countries, while KuCoin tries to be as global as possible. As such, KuCoin accepts many more fiat currencies than Kraken. The ease in which fiat currencies can be deposited into KuCoin varies based on the fiat currency. Contrast this to Kraken where each fiat currency deposit method is fairly well fleshed out.

Kraken Cryptocurrency ExchangeKuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Number of supported fiat currencies750
Supported fiat currenciesGBP, AUD, EUR, CAD, USD, JPY, CHFGBP, ARS, AUD, EUR, AZN, INR, BRL, BGN, CAD, CLP, CNY, COP, NZD, CRC, CZK, DKK, DOP, USD, GEL, HKD, HUF, IDR, ILS, JPY, KZT, CHF, MYR, MXN, MDL, MAD, NAD, ZAR, NGN, NOK, PEN, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, RUB, SGD, KRW, SEK, TWD, TRY, UAH, AED, UYU, UZS, VND
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Winner: Kucoin


Round 4: Fees and costs

Kraken has a more complex fees and costs structure than KuCoin. KuCoin allows users to unlock cheaper fees based on how many KCS (KuCoin Shares) the user is holding. Kraken gives discounts based on monthly trading volume. Apart from discounts being less accessible on Kraken than KuCoin, there are different fee structures for purchases made through the app, Kraken Pro, futures and stablecoins. KuCoin only has differing fees for spot and futures. Both exchanges charge no fees for cryptocurrency deposits, though Kraken charges an address setup fee for some assets. Both have comparable rates when withdrawing fiat and cryptocurrency.

Kraken Cryptocurrency ExchangeKuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Deposit FeesFees varyNone
Trading FeeMaker: 0.00-0.16%
Taker: 0.10-0.26%
0.1%
Withdrawal FeesFees varyFees vary
Deposit methodsBank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Wire transfer, Osko, SEPA, Apple Pay, Google Pay, SWIFTCryptocurrency, PayPal, Wire transfer, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA
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Winner: KuCoin


Round 5: Wallets

KuCoin has built its own non-custodial wallet for mobile devices. The wallet allows users to hold a wide range of cryptocurrencies including its signature token KCS. Kraken does not have its own wallet, but is a big proponent of the ethos, “not your keys, not your coins.” So although it doesn’t build its own wallet, Kraken encourages its users to use non-custodial wallets.

Winner: KuCoin


Round 6: Ease of use

Both the KuCoin and Kraken user interfaces can be confusing for crypto beginners. Neither one is exceptionally easy to understand. So to determine a winner for the ease of use round, we can look at the learning portals created by both companies. Kraken and KuCoin publish educational material and tutorials for using their services. Since Kraken offers fewer features at a higher quality than KuCoin, it is easier to use for crypto beginners.

Winner: Kraken


Round 7: Security

Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and has never been hacked. It promotes self-insurance, meaning it has set aside company funds in the event it’s hacked and needs to reimburse users. KuCoin has been hacked before and has since made improvements to its security standards.

Winner: Kraken


Kraken vs. KuCoin winner: Draw

It’s too close to crown a winner of the Kraken vs. KuCoin contest. Kraken may lack in the number of cryptocurrencies it offers, but this is less important for crypto beginners anyway. Its approach is to offer high-quality features and services and make its system as simple as possible for both new and experienced users. This ethos is reflected in its adherence to security practices and the slim but high-quality nature of its service offerings.

Go to Kraken's website
Go to KuCoin's website

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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