Kucoin vs BitMEX: What Works Better For Canadians?

Oleg Galeev

9 months ago

Kucoin vs. BitMEX featured image

Kucoin and BitMEX are quite popular choices for Canadians and North Americans to buy crypto assets. None of them were included in our list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for Canadians due to some reasons. Nevertheless, these two are still popular and we compared them. Check more in our Kucoin vs BitMEX review below.

Description

Kucoin is a sort of Canadian-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that offers peer-to-peer crypto trades, lending, and futures trading. Kucoin is suitable for more advanced traders looking for advanced charting and order types. Kucoin has 8 million global users.

BitMEX is a crypto derivatives exchange that offers futures trading, and perpetual contracts. BitMEX aims to become the world’s largest regulated derivatives exchange. You cannot deposit fiat on BitMEX, only BTC and USDT. The exchange is aimed at experienced traders.

Coins

500+ coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Terra, Solana, XRP, EOS, Stellar, Tron, Litecoin, Chainlink, Polkadot, Dogecoin, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Axie Infinity, Avalanche, Cardano

Fees

  • Low maker/taker trading fees ( 0.005%/0.025% to 0.1%/0.1% for class A coins)
  • Free deposits
  • Variable withdrawal fees
  • KCS holders get 20% discount on trading fees
  • Free USDT or BTC deposits
  • Free BTC withdrawals
  • Variable USDT withdrawal fees
  • 0.01%/0.05% maker/taker fees

Pros

  • Low fees
  • Wide range of altcoins available
  • Advanced order types
  • Crypto lending
  • Futures trading
  • Fast crypto purchases
  • Peer to peer exchange
  • Anonymous trading
  • Low trading fees
  • Advanced order types
  • No BTC deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Futures/perpetual trading

Cons

  • Platform is confusing for beginners
  • No fiat to crypto pairs
  • Must buy USDT to trade
  • Previously hacked
  • Not compliant in Ontario
  • Not suitable for buying crypto
  • USDT withdrawal fees
  • Only suitable for traders who understand contracts trading
  • No fiat deposits

Account Limits

Low

Low

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit card 
  • Third party Bank transfer
  • BTC or USDT

Security

  • $275 million stolen in 2020 hack
  • 2FA available
  • All BTC held in cold storage
  • Two employees audit all BTC withdrawals
  • BTC deposit addresses externally verified
  • Multisignature wallets

Kucoin vs BitMEX: Mobile and Desktop Trading

Kucoin is slightly different than your average crypto exchange. You won’t be able to deposit Canadian dollars directly. You’ll have to go through a third-party such as Banxa to deposit fiat. Kucoin does, however, accept credit and debit card payments, but you’ll need to check if your Canadian bank allows crypto transactions.

There are no fiat to crypto pairs, so you cannot buy bitcoin or other crypto directly with your dollars. You’ll need to first purchase Tether USDT on Kucoin and then trade that for the crypto you want.

The Kucoin exchange can be quite confusing for beginners.

Kucoin crypto exchange desktop interface

Kucoin desktop interface

 

Kucoin app screenshot

Kucoin app interface

Kucoin app while trading

Kucoin app interface while trading

There are advanced charting and order types available, plus you can trade on margin and trade futures contracts if you wish.

To buy USDT quickly, go up to the top menu and select the “Fast Buy” option. Here, you can purchase USDT using your credit or debit card or via the P2P exchange, or via a third party transfer. Once you have your USDT, then you can trade it on the Kucoin exchange under “spot trading”. Select the trading pair e.g. USDT/BTC and then choose your order type e.g. market order.

The Kucoin app has a 3.7-star rating from over 2,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and a 2.7-star rating from over 12,000 reviews on Google Play. Many people complain that the app crashes or that there are certain features lacking such as the ability to filter order history by trading pair.

Kucoin’s app is a bit more simple than its desktop exchange but it’s still confusing for beginners. There are lots of features, tabs, and menus. Buying USDT is easy since you do not need to verify your account. Simply sign up with an email and you can buy crypto in seconds using your credit or debit card under the Fast trade option. From there though, you will need to navigate to the spot trading page and select the trading pair you want.

BitMEX’s exchange is also confusing, but that’s because it is aimed at experienced traders who understand perpetual and futures contracts trading. BitMEX has a more outdated interface than Kucoin, making it seem clunky and old. However, the lighter colour scheme makes it easier to see the different menus and tabs.

Bitmex desktop app

There is a tab for each cryptocurrency market available, which makes it somewhat easy to navigate, view charts and order books.

To start trading contracts, you will need to sign up but you only need to provide an email address to do so. Once you have deposited your Bitcoin or USDT, you can use that to trade for the other cryptocurrencies available.

Leverage is one of the main features of BitMEX and the platform offers a handy leverage slider that can be adjusted to your risk when you trade.

BitMEX is only available as a desktop platform.

Kucoin vs BitMEX: Security

In 2020, $275 million worth of crypto was stolen from Kucoin by North Korean hackers. Later, $200 million of the stolen funds was recovered. Still, it doesn’t bode well for Kucoin. If you have funds on the exchange, it’s best to move them to a private crypto wallet

There is very little information on Kucoin’s website regarding its security measures, so trade with care. You can, however, set up Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication. 

BitMEX offers slightly more information on its website, stating that it utilizes cold storage for all of the bitcoin funds. BitMEX also uses multi-signatures wallets and every bitcoin withdrawal is audited by hand by at least two BitMEX employees. All bitcoin deposit addresses sent by BitMEX are externally verified to ensure the keys match those of the founders. If they do not match, BitMEX will shut down and halt trading. 

Kucoin vs BitMEX: Regulatory compliance

To sign up and start trading on Kucoin you only need to provide your email address. There is a daily limit to how much you can withdraw (1 BTC or 400 CAD) but you do not need to verify your account unless you want to get higher withdrawal limits. This poses the question how compliant Kucoin is. It is not easy to find compliance information on Kucoin’s website, but a press release from June, 2020 announced Kucoin was partnering with Chainalysis to help prevent money laundering and fraud on its platform. 

In June, 2021, the Ontario Securities Commission stated that Kucoin was illegally offering its residents securities and derivatives trading, but Kucoin did not respond to this. Binance faced the same allegation and has since ceased operations in Ontario.

BitMEX also withdrew operations in Ontario, but was not officially named by the OSC. BitMEX is still operational in other Canadian provinces but it is facing legal trouble with the USA due to allegedly offering securities trading illegally. 

While you can use Kucoin and BitMEX safely, trade at your own risk and be aware that they could both cease trading in Canada due to regulations. 

Kucoin vs BitMEX: Customer support

Kucoin has 24/7 customer support available by email or their website ticketing service. It also has a helpful FAQ section on its website. BitMEX offers support via a contact form on their website and has a detailed FAQ section as well. 

Conclusion

Both Kucoin and BitMEX offer derivatives trading which puts both platforms in a grey area when it comes to compliance. If you overlook that, BitMEX is the winner when it comes to futures and perpetual contracts trading whereas Kucoin is the winner when it comes to trading crypto to crypto. BitMEX has slightly lower trading fees, but Kucoin offers hundreds of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs (sign up for Kucoin here). You can only deposit USDT or BTC on BitMEX whereas with Kucoin you can purchase USDT with your credit or debit card. Keep in mind that Kucoin has been hacked in the past whereas BitMEX seems to offer more advanced security. If you’re only looking to trade contracts then BitMEX is the better choice as that type of trading is their main focus (sign up for BitMEX here). 

Author

Oleg is a crypto expert who has been trading since 2016. He started out with Coinbase, Kraken and Peer-to-Peer exchanges. After some time, centralized exchanges started charging crazy fees to their users.

He decided to review different crypto exchanges in order to educate Canadians on what kinds of things are going inside each one while giving them unbiased advice. On top of that, Oleg also has experience with NFT, airdrops, and crypto staking and he is constantly checking on new crypto assets.

His writing has been featured in popular Canadian media sources such as Toronto Sun.