It can be difficult to choose a cryptocurrency exchange when there are so many choices available, and so many conflicting reviews about them. Today, we’re going to look at two of the most popular Asian cryptocurrency exchanges on the market today. The exchanges are Binance and Kucoin which have reviewed separately in the past, but this time we are going to put them head to head and see if we can determine which is the better exchange.
What makes a good exchange?
Before we get into what makes an exchange good or bad, we need to lay out what are some of the most important factors to be considered. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to look at the following: broad asset support, fees, security, and customer service.
Not all exchanges are going to work for all traders, no matter how good they are. For example, if you want to trade in Putin Coin, you will not be able to use Kucoin because that asset is not supported there. Additionally, your location in the world in relation to the servers of the exchange could potentially pose a problem or a benefit depending on your circumstance.
This article is not meant to endorse or denounce any particular exchange and is instead simply intended to present the available information on these two exchanges and how they compare with each other. Always do your own research before participating in any cryptocurrency business.
So without further ado, let’s begin.
Binance and Kucoin
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange that originally came from China. Following the crackdown in the mainland of all exchanges, Binance relocated to Hong Kong and has since seen spectacular growth.
Read our Full Binance Review Here.
The growth has been so explosive, in fact, that Binance had to temporarily hold new sign-ups as to allow the website time to grow under the pressure and they still only allow a certain amount of new members to join each day. To sign up at Binance, no ID is required. ID is only required if you wish to have a higher level of membership. But for the vast majority of traders, the base level account should be more than sufficient.
Kucoin is also from China and also moved to Hong Kong after the crackdown. Kucoin has seen steady growth and did offer an affiliate program that encouraged users to get others to sign up for the exchange, again they have had to close this program down due to the overwhelming amount of new members. It is not clear at this time if they will resume this offer.
Read our Full Kucoin Review Here.
The fees for Binance are 0.1% per trade. There are no fees for making deposits. For withdrawals, this depends on the individual asset. For some examples of the largest assets, the bitcoin withdrawal fee is 0.001, for Ethereum it is 0.01 and for Litecoin it is also 0.01. Neo requires no fee. These fees are relatively low for cryptocurrency exchanges. Some other competitors charge as much as 0.18%.
Kucoin, like Binance, also offers fees of 0.1% per transaction. However, holders of Kucoin tokens can potentially receive half of this transaction back through its unique dividend system. More on that later.
Binance offers a wide array of assets but does not offer the absolute most amount overall. This will be fine for most traders, however, as most traders only want to deal in the top 100 currencies. At present, Binance offers a total of 242 trading pairs according to coinmarketcap.com.
In addition to trading pairs with bitcoin and Ethereum, Binance also offers pairs in its own currency known as Binance coin, and US dollar tokens or Tethers.
Kucoin currently supports 179 trading pairs. While this is fewer than Binance, Kucoin also has trading pairs with NEO, Kucoin tokens, and Bitcoin Cash. This is in addition to all of the other trading pairs offered by Binance, minus the Binance coin.
Binance supports two-factor authentication which should be a standard offering for all exchanges at this time.
At this time, there is no information available suggesting a major hack against Binance. Generally, this is good news, as most every exchange is under constant attack from hackers attempting to fraudulently withdraw or misappropriate cryptocurrency assets.
However, we have found several points which should be made note of regarding security at Binance. First, back in December, Binance announced that they have detected a growing number of phishing sites that were appearing on search engines when users were attempting to find the exchange.
We have recently noticed Binance phishing websites popping up on various search engines. Please double check that you are visiting https://t.co/EHudIk47cq, and also remember to enable Google Authenticator or Mobile SMS verification of your account.https://t.co/n8gZlGeh80
— Binance (@binance) December 21, 2017
This, unfortunately, is a growing problem in the cryptocurrency world, where fraudsters will purchase advertising on search engines that will point to a fake site intended to steal passwords instead of the real site. This is outside of Binance’s control, however, therefore they cannot be held responsible for this.
A user on Reddit submitted a post at the beginning of this month stating that their Binance account was hacked and was emptied of funds. The user admits that they did not have two-factor authentication enabled on their account. This again just goes to show how important two-factor authentication is when storing cryptocurrency on a website or exchange, even for a short amount of time.
In terms of Kucoin security, the exchange also appears to have remained hack free. Additionally, it supports two-factor authentication, and we could not find any reports suggesting that individual accounts are being hacked.
Binance offers several avenues for customer service. The main method of customer service is through its own ticketing system. Some users on Reddit are reporting that their tickets are taking multiple days to get a response. The most egregious case is one user claiming to have an unanswered ticket for two full weeks. Overall though, the support offered by Binance seems to be at least average if not above average among other exchanges.
Kucoin, on the other hand, is quite famous for its lightning fast customer service. The company offers a 24-hour telegram support chat and is known generally for extremely fast turnaround times on support requests.
Exchange specific cryptocurrencies
Both Binance and Kucoin offer their own cryptocurrency token. In the case of Kucoin, the tokens are used as a way for owners to receive periodic dividends of 50% of the exchange’s earnings. Holders of the token may also be able to get a lower transaction fee rate, however, we were not able to verify this completely due to some conflicting reports.
Binance coins are used to “pay for any fees on our platform, including but not limited to: exchange fees, withdraw fees, listing fees, any other fee”.
Now let’s go over the major categories one by one and see if there is a clear winner, or not.
When it comes to the total number of asset pairs offered, Binance is the winner. Kucoin also offers a number of unique assets and allows for exchanges against Bitcoin Cash, which does give it a slight advantage in that area.
For the asset support category, the result is a tie. Traders will need to take a look at the offerings to see who has what they need.
When it comes to fees, both Binance and Kucoin have the same basic fee structure. The difference seems to lie in the connection between the exchange fees and the cryptocurrency tokens that are specific to each exchange.
For instance, if someone were to have purchased a large amount of Binance Coin tokens at a very low price, the amount of fees they would be paying would be comparatively quite low. Conversely, if someone participated in Kucoin’s affiliate program, then they could actually benefit from the fees paid by others. Additionally, holders of Kucoin tokens will receive the periodic dividend payment.
So the result of the fee section is once again a tie, as it almost entirely depends on the trader’s relationship with the tokens.
Overall, we were not able to find any significant issues that were the direct result of oversights or mistakes made by the exchange itself. However, it appears that some Binance users have lost funds due to not enabling all security features.
The results for the security section is a very, very close win by Kucoin.
In this category, Kucoin is the clear winner. While for most traders, Binance seems to offer satisfactory support, they seem to sometimes fall behind and as a consequence are very slow to respond to some customer service tickets. As well, their reliance on a ticket-based system means that responses will always be a minimum of a few hours away, if not days or weeks.
With Kucoin offering its live 24-hour chat support with quick turnaround times, they are the clear winner in this category.
While there is no clear or absolute winner in this comparison, we’ve personally found that there are a number of differences between Binance and Kucoin that traders should pay attention to before signing up. Overall both exchanges seem to be quite popular and have their own support base. It is up to the traders own preference and requirements to ascertain which one is the best for them.