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Kucoin vs VirgoCX: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

In this comparison, we delve into two prominent cryptocurrency exchanges: Kucoin, a global platform known for its advanced trading features, and VirgoCX, a Canadian exchange offering an array of cryptocurrencies paired with secure, easy-to-use interfaces. While they share similarities in terms of functionality, their regulatory stance, security measures, and user feedback paint a distinctive picture.

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

VirgoCX is based in Ontario, and offers Canadians an easy way to trade crypto. They have an NFT marketplace, OTC services to trade large amounts of crypto, and a foreign currency exchange should you wish to convert your fiat. 

Coins

500+ coins

VirgoCX offers Canadians the ability to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies.

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 CAD deposits and withdrawals
  • Free crypto deposits
  • High spreads

Pros

  • Low fees
  • Wide range of altcoins available
  • Advanced order types
  • Crypto lending
  • Futures trading
  • Fast crypto purchases
  • Peer to peer exchange
  • Anonymous trading
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • OTC Desk
  • NFT marketplace
  • Insurance for crypto assets
  • Fully regulated in Canada
  • USD and CAD accepted
  • Crypto education portal
  • Advanced trading features
  • Quick Trade available

Cons

  • Platform is confusing for beginners
  • No fiat to crypto pairs
  • Must buy USDT to trade
  • Previously hacked
  • Not compliant in Ontario (but you can still use it though)
  • Advanced trading platforms can be confusing for beginners
  • Relatively higher spreads than other exchanges

Account Limits

Low

  • Interac e-Transfer deposit maximum is $10000/day (same for withdrawals)

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit card 
  • Third party Bank transfer
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire Transfer
  • Bill Payment
  • Credit & Debit card

Security

  • $275 million stolen in 2020 hack
  • 2FA available
  • $1 Million in crime insurance coverage
  • Cold storage
  • All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner
  • FINTRAC and PIPEDA compliant

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Kucoin and VirgoCX offer robust and user-friendly mobile and desktop trading platforms. Kucoin's mobile app has gained widespread approval on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, with users praising its user-friendly interface.

VirgoCX's mobile app, meanwhile, holds a 3.6-star rating from 48 reviews on iOS, but hasn't been rated yet on Google Play, though it has gathered numerous positive reviews.

As for desktop applications, Kucoin's advanced trading features, such as futures and margin trading, are particularly highlighted. VirgoCX's desktop platform is praised for its simplicity and clarity, with quick trading options and advanced order types to suit both beginners and seasoned traders

Kucoin

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.

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.

Kucoin crypto exchange desktop interface

Kucoin desktop interface

Kucoin desktop app (Fast Trade)

Kucoin desktop app (Fast Trade)

Kucoin app screenshot

Kucoin app interface

Kucoin app while trading

Kucoin app interface while trading

VirgoCX

VirgoCX has a mobile app for both iPhone and Android users. On iOS, the VirgoCX app has a 3.6-star rating with over 50 reviews. On Google Play it does not currently have a rating but has many positive reviews. Some reviewers say the verification process takes a long time, but others say the app is easy to use and reliable. 

Advanced trading with VirgoCX

Advanced trading with VirgoCX

Main dashboard on VirgoCX

Main dashboard on VirgoCX

Quick trade and Advanced trade on VirgoCX mobile app

Quick trade on VirgoCX app

VirgoCX mobile app

VirgoCX mobile app view

Security Compliance

Kucoin provides world-class security meaning your coins are in relatively safe hands. It has two-factor authentication, so you can prevent unauthorized access to your account.

Keep in mind, $275 million worth of crypto was stolen from Kucoin by North Korean hackers in 2020. 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

VirgoCX offers $1 Million in crime insurance coverage with Coinbase Custody. Should the exchange be compromised, VirgoCX could potentially refund any customers’ stolen coins. 

VirgoCX’s crypto assets are held in cold storage with Coinbase Custody and only a small amount are kept on the platform for trading. All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner, though it is not mentioned who the partner is. However, we always recommend transferring all the funds to your own Canadian crypto wallet.

Kucoin's security infrastructure includes robust features, though there have been instances of security breaches in the past. Its security measures involve an in-house risk control department and a multilayer encryption approach.

Conversely, VirgoCX offers strong security measures with $1 Million in crime insurance coverage, held in cold storage with Coinbase Custody. A small amount of assets are kept on the platform for trading, and fiat assets are stored with their Canadian banking partner. However, the exchange doesn't specify who this partner is.

Regulatory Compliance

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. As a result, Kucoin is still available in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada. You can use Kucoin at full capacity whether it’s a simple buy order at market price or a more advanced order type. Bear in mind, Kucoin does not allow Interac e-Transfer to deposit Canadian dollars to your account. Instead, you will have to use a debit or credit card or a SWIFT transfer with USD.

VirgoCX is registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA. Therefore, it is fully compliant in Canada. VirgoCX also has regular audits which prove that its reserves exist. 

Regulatory compliance differs significantly between the two exchanges. VirgoCX is a fully compliant Canadian exchange, registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA, thereby conforming to Canadian federal laws and regulations.

Kucoin, on the other hand, faces restrictions in some parts of Canada, having been fined and banned from operating in Ontario due to non-compliance with the Ontario Securities Commission's regulations.

Customer support

Kucoin offers helpful FAQs and online ticketing service for their customers as well as 24/7 support and a live chat option.

If you need help, you can contact VirgoCX’s support team via email or live chat 24/7. They also offer multi-language support. Not many exchanges offer live chat.

Kucoin provides 24/7 customer support via live chat and email. The platform is dedicated to customer service, despite some reports of delayed responses.

In contrast, VirgoCX’s support team can be contacted 24/7 via email or live chat, offering multi-language support. Not many exchanges provide live chat assistance.

Conclusion

Both exchanges provide a solid platform for crypto trading with reliable security measures and customer support. However, considering the factors of regulatory compliance in Canada, the diversity of advanced trading options, and favorable user feedback, Kucoin emerges as the preferred choice. Its non-compliance in Ontario should be taken into account, and individuals from this province should consider other options.

We recommend choosing Kucoin over VirgoCX for your cryptocurrency trading needs. By opting for Kucoin through our referral link, you support us in conducting comprehensive independent analyses of crypto trading options for Canadians.

If you find that neither Kucoin nor VirgoCX meets your requirements, we encourage you to explore our monthly-updated list of the best exchanges for Canadians to trade crypto. This list provides a range of alternative options that may better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Author

Oleg is a Canadian citizen & 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 that operate in Canada and start a Youtube channel 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 and Ottawa Citizen.