Kuna.io is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Ukraine, accepting the fiat currency Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH). UAH is the only fiat currency accepted, and Kuna is one of the only places that the Ukrainian Hryvnia can be spent directly on cryptocurrency. Kuna also allows crypto to crypto trades with several trading pairs involving some of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies.

Kuna exchange claims to appeal to many Eastern European states, but we can’t see much of a reason to use the platform if you’re not from Ukraine. There are simply too many other ways to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies which are available to Europeans (including Ukrainians). Kuna has an attractive platform, but very low trading volume for all trading pairs.

None of this means that Kuna.io is a bad exchange – simply that its value is limited and its user base niche. We’ll cover its best features and most costly liabilities in the Kuna review to come, as well as offering up a strong alternative to Kuna (eToro) which will offer more value to the vast majority of European cryptocurrency investors.

What is Kuna Exchange?

Kuna is a cryptocurrency exchange catering to the Ukrainian market by offering a number of crucial cryptocurrencies for direct purchase with the Ukrainian Hryvnia. Kuna is not a big player on the world stage. At the time of this writing, they’re the number 123rd most used crypto exchange by 24 hour volume, and their place in the global standings doesn’t get much higher than that. In fact, volume is so low on Kuna that an hour can go by without a single trade taking place.

This is not to say that Kuna is a bad exchange, only that they don’t do a lot of business and their potential client base is limited. We like the way Kuna looks and communicates. We like the way their platform is organized. We like the security Kuna (by all appearances) seems to have invested in for the protection of their customers.

But with so few trades occurring, we don’t know why anyone would choose Kuna over any of a dozen other choices. Everything Kuna can do, some other exchange can do, without the likelihood of the user having to wait hours or days for a simple market order to be matched. It’s possible that Kuna will grow, and they seem to have a strong enough foundation to do so. But without expanding the range of services they provide, particularly beyond a single Ukrainian currency, we don’t see Kuna increasing its sphere of influence much beyond where it stands today in mid 2018.

eToro May Be the Best Alternative for European Buyers

Kuna says that it is built for Eastern Europeans, but most Eastern Europeans do not use the Ukrainian Hryvnia. Some use the Euro, some use other fiat currencies. In most places, the Euro is at least as accessible as the Hryvnia (usually much more so). So Kuna doesn’t distinguish itself as a fiat to crypto onramp, at least as far as most Europeans are concerned.

Kuna also doesn’t offer much in the way of crypto to crypto trades. The cryptocurrencies on the site are either widely traded on other exchanges (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, Ripple, EOS, Litecoin) or so obscure that few in the international community even know about them (Everus, Revain, Golos Gold).

With nothing much to make itself stand out from the pack, European cryptocurrency investors are right to look for a strong alternative. Fortunately, eToro stands out from the rest, offering a simplified crypto investment experience, with a platform that’s much more useful to the average European user, Ukrainian or otherwise.

eToro sets itself apart from traditional exchanges like Kuna in a number of ways. There is no Kuna app, but eToro has a strong one – an indication that eToro understands the needs of the modern trading public. Likewise, Kuna has a somewhat scattered array of available cryptocurrencies, many of which most investors don’t want anything to do with. eToro, on the other hand, supports the world’s most popular and exciting digital assets.

The differences don’t stop here. Kuna is a traditional seller, in that they pair buy orders with sell orders, then send the coins to the new owner. It’s then the owner’s responsibility to move the coins from the Kuna wallet (all exchange wallets are vulnerable to hacking) to a personal software wallet housed on the user’s personal device. New users routinely send coins to wrong addresses, forget passwords, or lose their coins forever by other means. With eToro, there’s simply no chance of this unfortunate outcome.

This is because eToro doesn’t “sell” cryptocurrencies in the traditional sense. Instead, the company uses a investment tool called CFDs (Contract For Difference). A CFD for 1 Bitcoin costs exactly as much as 1 Bitcoin. But the user doesn’t own the Bitcoin. The user owns the right to profit from an imaginary 1 Bitcoin. When the user ends the contract, the price of Bitcoin will either be higher or lower than when it began. If it’s higher, the user profits just as if she’d bought and sold the Bitcoin.

CFDs are a great tool because they are dead simple to use. There’s no chance of misplacing funds or falling for a deceptive hack. All funds are stored on eToro’s trusted secure finance system (in operation without major incident for more than a decade). eToro is well regulated in multiple jurisdictions, and is currently available in more than 60 countries, in Europe and beyond.

As a platform, eToro is as intuitive to use as any, and new users will undoubtedly find it much easier to figure out then Kuna. Of course, if the user wishes to own Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in the traditional sense (to buy stuff with them, for example), eToro won’t be the right choice. But if the user simply wants to invest and (hopefully) profit, eToro is easily the most convenient option for Europe and a growing number of nations and territories around the globe.

Signing Up With Kuna Exchange

So let’s say you want to use Kuna Exchange anyway, perhaps because you’re Ukrainian and you’re just dying to buy a bunch of Everus (the world’s 506th most popular cryptocurrency according to CMC; we don’t know what it is, but it’s still somehow the most purchased coin on Kuna?!). You’re ready to go. What do you do?

Fortunately, Kuna news tells us that Kuna signup is really easy. Kuna.io even shows you the steps you need to take, as well as good estimates about how long each stage of the process will take to complete. Here’s a breakdown of the simple process.

First, registration requires only a little bit of personal information, including a working email address. Once you’ve submitted your email, Kuna exchange will send you a verification email with a link to click. This will take you back to the site; but this time you’ll be within the platform. From here you’ll need to attach your debit or credit card for account funding. Funding takes less than a minute. As soon as your funds arrive, you can start making orders.

That’s all there is to it. To Kuna’s credit, you don’t get much simpler than that.

What Coins Does Kuna Exchange Support?

One interesting wrinkle in the Kuna exchange story is the cryptocurrencies they’ve built into the platform. Of course, we’ve got the obvious movers and shakers like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, Waves and Bitcoin Cash. But then we’ve got some relative unknowns, specifically Everus and Aeron (the two most traded coins on the platform by volume!), as well as Russian Miner Coin, Revain, TrueUSD, and Golos Gold.

We won’t dig too far into the unknown coins beyond Everus. Everus is a Malaysian cryptocurrency which seems to deal primarily with everyday cash payments. As there are many coins which work within this competitive niche, we’re not sure why Everus features so prominently within the Kuna platform, but perhaps Everus simply has a big marketing push in Ukraine. Whatever the case, it’s a case in point that Kuna is a niche crypto exchange, so unless you are a rabid fan of Everus, you’ll likely find a better service elsewhere.

Kuna Fees

If you’re still reading and interested in using Kuna.io for whatever reason, you’ll likely want to know about Kuna fees. Kuna fees are fairly easy to understand, but they do vary by currency, so you should pay attention to the information on this page if you want to understand what you’ll pay before you start using the service.

All maker and taker fees are 0.25%, exactly as much as the much larger Bittrex exchange charges. Deposits and withdrawals of the Ukrainian Hryvnia fiat currency are 1% apiece. Deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrencies vary by coin, and are standardized for periods of time set by Kuna.

We’re not a big fan of set fee numbers for crypto withdrawals (0.008 Eth, for example). This is because the price of individual cryptocurrencies is usually so volatile. A set fee price that’s appropriate one day might be much too high on another day. Variable fees tethered to an set amount of fiat currency are much preferable, as the user always know what they’ll be paying, however much the price of Bitcoin jumps around.

Is Kuna Secure?

Kuna exchange seems to be secure. We can’t find many complaints about it anywhere, and there have even been some pretty bold statements about its methods regarding cold storage and hack proofing. Its security options for the daily user (password, 2FA) are industry standard. In general, we are wont to think that very small exchanges are vulnerable to hacking, because they simply can’t afford the standard of security that a larger exchange can. This might be true, but Kuna has yet to have a major catastrophe associated with their platform, so we’ve got to assume it’s relatively secure until we’re proven otherwise.

Strong Points of the Kuna Exchange Platform

Despite all we’ve said about the Kuna exchange thus far, it’s really not a bad platform. It simply has limitations that will make it irrelevant to many. To its credit, the platform looks great and performs flawlessly on mobile, despite there being no dedicated Kuna app. We also like that credit deposits are completed so quickly, usually in less than half an hour. That gets new traders into the game quickly, able to use their new coins as they please without having to wait days or weeks for a bank wire transfer to be completed. Finally, what we know of Kuna support indicates good things about the customer service experience.

Final Thoughts on Kuna Exchange

Despite that handful of selling points, Kuna exchange is nonetheless not of much use to most traders. Even if you’re a user of Ukrainian fiat currency, the very low trading volume might mean you’ll have to wait hours or days to complete a trade in one of several trading pairs.

A great example is the Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash (BTC/BCH) trading pair. One of the most used trading pairs on exchanges worldwide, this pair saw only $27 of value transacted on Kuna within the past 24 hours. Most other coin pairs supported on the platform have less than $10,000 in volume each day – enough to sustain a market, but not nearly enough to attract interest or secure the best prices.

Kuna is an attractive exchange that’s easy to use, but it’s major limitations make it an exchange we can’t recommend for any other purpose than buying crypto with UAH. There are simply too many other strong exchanges in operation today, many of which offer incredible features to people all across continental Europe. eToro is one of the best, and we’ve described them thoroughly earlier in this Kuna review. Try both yourself if you like, and let us know which one you find the more useful.