In a battle between KuCoin and Bittrex, most users will pick KuCoin even though it is the newer kid on the block as it was only founded in 2017. The reason for this is simple, KuCoin features a wider variety a larger list of supported cryptocurrencies compared to Bittrex, even though Bittrex boasts of a more robust and secure platform.
However, Bittrex is not one to go down without a fight. The platform was launched as early as 2014 by an expert team of developers who worked in companies like Microsoft and Amazon. Bittrex offers outstanding advantages such as 90% cold storage of assets on its platform not to mention $300 million insurance coverage. Therefore, while KuCoin might have the upper hand in terms of the variety of listed coins and lower fees, Bittrex offers top-notch security levels and is backed by a team that boasts over 50 years of cumulative experience in the game.
In this article, we will review the performance of the two platforms based on certain ease of use, fees, KYC requirements, and security.
If the crypto industry is the infamous Wild West of the 1800s, then Bittrex is its most famous Sherrif- the one with the toughest security systems to protect the town’s bank.
Bittrex started as a pure crypto-to-crypto exchange that does not accept fiat currency deposits. However, the platform has since advanced and now offers users the ability to buy digital coins with fiat currencies.
Founded in 2014 by Richie Lai, Bill Shihara, Ryan Hentz, and Rami Kawach, Bittrex has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and is backed by a team with over 50 years of experience in security development for mainstream companies.
With more than 200 cryptocurrencies listed on its exchange, not to mention an offer of over 284 unique trading pairs, fees at Bittrex are affordable. Traders can expect to pay a flat rate of 0.25% on every trade. Even though this might be slightly pricier than the average crypto exchange, applying one fee for all transactions simplifies the whole trading process, especially for beginners.
Bittrex is also one of the few crypto exchanges to have implemented a tier-based account verification system. The tiers range from 0 to 3, with the higher your level, the more cryptocurrency you will be able to trade and withdraw on the platform. To achieve Tier 3, for instance, one must submit supporting documents including official state-issued ID cards, bank statements, credit card details, and even selfies of you holding up your ID card. The whole process can take days and is much more rigorous than what you would expect from competitors like KuCoin.
Furthermore, with a strong focus on security and customer support, Bittrex keeps 70-90% of its users’ cryptocurrency in cold storage. Cold storage refers to offline coins, which makes them impossible to hack.
Bittrex Pros & Cons
1. High level of security
2. Decent variety of supported cryptocurrencies
3. Elastic computing for speedy transactional throughput
4. Supports fiat payments
5. Beginner-friendly user interface
1. Customer support could be better
2. Traders have no anonymity
3. Slightly higher fees than normal
Read a full comprehensive review Here
KuCoin is a cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2017 based out of Singapore and seems to be trying its best to dethrone Bittrex and other established cryptocurrency exchanges.
Founded by a team of fintech and crypto professionals including Eric Don, Michael Lavere, Susan Zhou, and Kent Li, the CEO, KuCoin excels at providing a smooth trading experience for both beginners and experienced traders.
It has a large variety of cryptocurrencies listed on its platform as well as a wide range of trading pairs. More than 300 digital tokens are currently available to trade on KuCoin, with new ones added to the list regularly, thanks to collaboration agreements with token developers.
Compared to Bittrex, KuCoin features an affordable fee structure at just 0.1% trading fees for both market takers and market makers. This is almost half of what is charged by Bittrex. On KuCoin, you can expect to only pay $1 for a $1000 worth of Litecoin purchase.
KuCoin also comes with a native ERC-20 token called KuCoin Shares (KCS) that traders can hold to receive up to 50% of the exchange’s trading revenue. Some of the main disadvantages of using KuCoin to trade crypto include the fact that the exchange sometimes experiences issues with liquidity and difficulty in terms of speed during high traffic periods.
KuCoin Pros & Cons
1. Low trading fees
2. Intuitive user interface
3. Anonymous trading with no verification requirement
4. Decent security features
5. A wide variety of coins to trade
1. Lower security ratting
2. Liquidity and trading volume could be better
3. The platform struggles to keep up with high traffic
Read a full comprehensive review Here
Both exchanges offer a beginner-friendly user interface, but the lower trading fees of KuCoin give it an edge over its competitor. KuCoin’s 0.1% fee is much lower than Bittrex’s 0.25% which makes it a more attractive option for beginners but this is not the only factor to consider. KuCoin’s users can reduce the fees even further with the use that platforms native token (KCS) to get discounted rates.
Furthermore, while KuCoin doesn’t support fiat trading, it is connected with several third-party services and thus calculates the best deals for fiat deposits to its platform. For instance, converting USD to Tether’s USDT will attract a fee in the range of 1% to 3% depending on the card you use to deposit. Bittrex, on the other hand, does not charge any additional fees for debit card deposits, and while its fee is higher than what you are charged on KuCoin, there are no additional or hidden fees on its platform.
In terms of educational resources for beginners, Bittrex offers slightly more with a dedicated section where its users can research and learn about newly listed coins on the exchange. KuCoin, on the other hand, offers some educational resources, but more can be done to give newcomers a one-stop-shop experience when it comes to conducting research and due diligence on particular coins.
Also, KuCoin falls short in terms of speed and transactional throughput, which can be a dealbreaker for beginners. Bittrex’s elastic computing technology ensures trades are executed quickly to the satisfaction of the trader or investor.
If you have been exchanging cryptocurrency on major exchanges like Binance or GDAX for some time now, you must be familiar with different fee structures and discounts out there. The fees charged on Bittrex and KuCoin are very competitive, and both exchanges feature a volume-based fee structure that is applicable for market takers and market makers.
For instance, if you were to trade $1000 worth of Litecoin on Bittrex, you can expect to pay 0.25% or $2.5 in fees. This means you trade a total of $982.5 worth of LTC after paying the fee for making a market purchase on Bittrex. The fees charged on KuCoin is 0.1%, and since there is a discount for using its native token (KCS) to pay transaction fees, you can be charged at rates as low as 0.05%.
Also, KuCoin doesn’t come with a maximum daily trading amount. This means that traders can execute large volume trades at the lowest fees. Trading on Bittrex, on the other hand, comes with a maximum daily trading limit set at $3,000.
Trust and Security
As far as security is concerned, both exchanges take a similar approach when it comes to dealing with cryptocurrencies deposited on the platform and in offline storage vaults.
In this case, KuCoin falls under Bittrex’s as the latter uses a system that stores up to 90% of its user’s crypto funds in offline cold storage vaults. KuCoin says it stores its client assets offline in cold storage but does not reveal the percentage of funds it stores offline. For this reason, KuCoin falls short in terms of trust because Bittrex’s reports have gone as far as to reveal a $300 million digital asset insurance in case of external theft or internal collusion. Furthermore, Bittrex abides by the rules and regulations set for crypto exchanges in the US, and even though US residents can still use KuCoin, the platform is not licensed in the U.S.
Both platforms, however, offer standard security features such as two-factor authentication and other means of securing user accounts. So far, there have been zero hacking incidents on both exchanges.
Opening an account on both Bittrex and KuCoin is straightforward. However, KuCoin’s process is simpler than Bittrex’s as users can simply sign up with an email address and start trading on KuCoin.
To register for an account with KuCoin, you only have to visit their homepage and click the sign-up button. After agreeing to the platform’s terms and conditions, you will be able to set up an account with your email address. Accessing higher perks on the platform, however, requires you to complete various KYC (Know Your Customer) processes.
The process is pretty much the same on Bittrex, as you will have to set up an account using your email address. However, unlike KuCoin, access to advanced trading tools on Bittrex requires you to prove your identity by uploading relevant documents depending on the verification level required. Submitting inaccurate or false information on Bittrex can delay the account opening process. KuCoin, on the other hand, allows users to trade anonymously without rigorous KYC procedures.
The number of cryptocurrencies available on KuCoin is higher than that on Bittrex.
KuCoin supports over 300 cryptocurrencies, including the following:
- Binance Coin
- Ripple XRP
KuCoin does not support fiat currency trades, which makes it less attractive for traders who want easy access; however, traders can use third-party apps such as Google Pay or Apple Pay to make fiat purchases.
Bittrex also supports a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, albeit with a few limitations when compared to KuCoin. While KuCoin supports about 585 coins, Bittrex supports 433 coins. However, Bittrex comes with a variety of payment options, including an option to buy coins with fiat deposits.
Here is a brief list of some popular coins you can trade on Bittrex:
- USD Coin
- Tether USD
KuCoin stands out for its offers of advanced crypto trading features such as margin trading and support for a variety of stablecoins. Simply put, stablecoin are crypto coins that allow traders to save the value of their assets in real-world currencies, thereby benefiting from the stability of traditional currencies. However, KuCoin’s advanced margin trading features are risky, especially for beginners. KuCoin also comes with a native dividend-paying token which is a plus.
Bittrex, on the other hand, stands out for its inclusion of fiat currency payments and its focus on extensive security measures such as two-factor authentication and explicit permission requests for withdrawals and API key creation. What’s more, Bittex’s 90% cold storage and $300 million insurance cover on digital assets is a huge plus for investors looking for reliability in an exchange platform.
KuCoin is a good platform for beginners but its lack of fiat currency payments limits the functions it can serve to traders. On the other hand, Bittrex offers more reliable features for both beginner and experienced traders. One drawback with Bittrex is that it features pricier fees and comes with a maximum trading limit. However, for traders in the U.S, Bittrex is the best platform for accessing a wide variety of coins at an affordable rate compared to competitors such as Coinbase.
KuCoin is also a great choice, especially for non-U.S residents looking for a reliable, safe, and fast crypto exchange.