How to start trading crypto at Kucoin

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How do you trade crypto at Kucoin exchange? This guide will go step by step into the buying journey at Kucoin by using the ‘Spot Trading’ interface.

KuCoin cryptocurrency exchange was founded in 2017 by Michael Gan and Eric Don and is headquartered in Singapore.

Additionally, it swiftly became one of the most popular crypto trading sites. KuCoin boasts of having over 300 coins and 450 cryptocurrency pairs, making it a one-of-a-kind exchange for trading even the most unusual digital assets.

The Singapore-based exchange with over 8 million users to date has executed over 800 million trades generating 360 billion in trading volume (USD).

For crypto users, trading can be done with almost zero fees(0.1%) where you need to hold KCS coins to get an extra discount for the fees.

This guide is going to show you how to trade your first cryptocurrency, via one of the world’s most popular exchanges, Kucoin.

How to start Trading Crypto at Kucoin: Quicktake

In general, buying cryptocurrency at Kucoin is a straightforward process, however, first-timers must do some extra necessary steps before they can start using the platform.

In short, below is the buying process for cryptocurrencies at Kucoin:

  • Register at Kucoin for free by email or mobile phone
  • Optional: Verify your account(KYC)
  • Deposit money or buy with credit card
  • Or: Send crypto(BTC, ETH, DOT, or any other) to Kucoin
  • Trade crypto at Kucoin platform

Open an Account at Kucoin and start Depositing

How to open an account at Kucoin? At this stage, I’ll explain in more detail what is needed for the beginner to open an account and deposit money or crypto.

1. Register for an Account at Kucoin

The first step will be to register for an account at Kucoin. If you haven’t already, register for an account. The process can usually be completed very quickly.

It just takes a few simple steps in order for users to be able to start trading digital currencies on the platform. However, if the goal is to have higher limits, the process needs verification and can take some more time to be completed.

Kucoin sign up screen
Kucoin sign up screen

It’s important to know that you have two options for sign up: by email or by mobile phone.

2. Verify your account

Before you can start trading crypto on Kucoin you have to confirm your account. Additionally, this can be done in two ways and depends upon the way you did your registration.

The easiest and most straightforward way to do this is by using an e-mail account. Therefore, all you need to get started is a valid email address or mobile phone. You will be asked to log in to your nominated email address and enter the verification code.

Notably, there is no need to upload any identification (KYC) documentation unless you intend to withdraw more than 200 BTC in a 24-hour period.

The Verification on Kucoin

For cryptocurrency traders, there are three levels on the Kucoin platform: Unverified, Level 1, Level 2. For the higher levels(1 and 2) you need to register with the KYC procedure and in return, you will have higher withdrawal limits. The table below shows the details:

Verification levelWithdrawal limit(24 hours)
Unverified5 BTC
Level 1200 BTC
Level 2201 – 3000 BTC

Once you have registered, you can log in to Kucoin using your email ID and password. You should also set up and activate 2FA and SMS authentication (highly recommended) for extra security. To do this, navigate to ‘Account Security’ in your Profile section.

3. Deposit Money or Crypto

At this stage, you are ready to use the platform but need to deposit first. Kucoin allows users to fund an account using digital currencies only. There is no option to transfer fiat currency to the exchange.

Additionally, there are only two options available on Kucoin to fund your new trading account:

  • Purchase Crypto with Credit card
  • Deposit cryptocurrency

However, if you don’t own any crypto and want to start trading cryptocurrency I suggest you buy USDT first.

In short, USDT is a so-called stablecoin that is pegged 1 to 1 to the USD. In other words, the value of this digital currency doesn’t fluctuate much like other crypto’s and will always be valued at $1.

Use a Credit/Debit Card

Buying USDT on Kucoin can be done by clicking the ‘Buy Crypto‘ and then ‘Credit/Debit Card‘ options in the menu.

Next, you have the option to choose a fiat currency and the different payment types:

The different payment types on Kucoin
The different payment types on Kucoin

Deposit Cryptocurrency

Finally, if you already have some crypto in a local wallet or at another exchange, just sent it over to Kucoin and you can start using Kucoin right away!

Step By Step Guide: How to Trade Crypto at Kucoin

Next in this beginner’s guide to trading crypto on Kucoin, I will cover the basics of using the trading interface on this platform. Remember that there are several other options available(like advanced orders or margin trading) however, as a starter we will just focus on buying or selling crypto for Bitcoin.

Firstly, to start using the Kucoin trading platform, it’s important that you transfer your funds from the ‘Main Account‘ to the ‘Trading Account‘. To do this go to your ‘Main Account‘ which is under the ‘Assets‘ option in the menu.

Transfer funds between accounts on Kucoin
Transfer funds between accounts on Kucoin

Finally, click on the ‘Transfer‘ button which allows you to transfer funds and start trading at Kucoin.

1. Select currency pair

Initially, you’ll need to know what assets you would like to exchange, for example buying Bitcoin with your USD, or selling Ethereum (ETH) for euros.

After you know which pairs you’ll be trading, you are able to load the Kucoin trading interface for the first time. Next, you go up in the menu and click on ‘Trade‘ and then ‘Spot Trading‘ where the graph for BTC/USDT loads as default.

Kucoin Spot Trading interface
Kucoin Spot Trading interface

⚠️Pay attention: In this tutorial, I’m using the BTC/USDT pair as an example. Unfortunately, the Kucoin platform doesn’t offer the USD as pair to trade against. Instead, you can use the USDT which is a stablecoin.

Again, the BTC/USDT trading pair is the one I’ll use in this example and we don’t need to search for another pair. Besides, for trading, another pair just go to the BTC/USDT symbol at the upper left and click on it. Next, a search text box appears where you can type any symbol you want.

Search ETH on Kucoin
Search ETH on Kucoin

2. Setting up the order(BUY)

Just to rephrase, in a buy order, you pay with the quote currency(USDT) and receive the base currency(BTC). Above you selected the trading pair so now it’s time to set up the order.

Notably, the Kucoin trading interface has blocked setting up orders at default as an extra security measure. To enable this go to the right below the order book and enter your 6 digit trading password.

Enter 6-digit trading password on Kucoin
Enter 6-digit trading password

If you don’t know your password or have to create it click ‘Forgot trading password?‘.

Next, if everything went fine and you entered the password correctly, the box will refresh and show you a new screen. In addition, you’ll see the highlighted ‘Spot‘ tab with two text boxes and the option to use a Limit, Market, or Stop Limit order.

Kucoin Buy Order
Kucoin Buy Order

To continue, before you start entering values into these boxes, knowing how a market or limit order works is necessary.

Market order

A market order is meant for immediate execution, as it will match with limit orders that are already available on Kucoin order books. In other words, by executing a market order you take 1(or more) order(s) from the available order book.

Also, market orders will always incur a slightly higher fee known as taker fee. With market orders, you can only input the volume you would like to buy or sell and not the price.

Kucoin Market Order screen
Kucoin Market Order screen

Limit order

Limit orders will execute at the price you’ve set or better, once the market reaches your limit price. They can be subject to maker or taker fees depending on when it executes.

For example, you entered a buying price of $45000 into the order book while BTC is trading at $45500. Once the BTC price reaches $45000 the order will be executed at maker fees.

On the other hand, if a matching order already exists(at $45000), then it’s executed immediately, where the taker fees will occur.

Setting up a Limit Order at Kucoin
Setting up a Limit Order at Kucoin

⚠️Pay Attention: For both the market and limit order you have the option to pay your fees with KCS coins by clicking the checkbox ‘KCS Pay Fees‘ in the upper right corner. So if you have some in your account you can use them for a 20% discount on trading fees!

3. Submit the Order

Once you’ve decided if you’re looking for a market or limit order, you fill in the required data and continue.

As you can see in the pictures above setting up the order can be done by typing data or clicking the % options(25, 50, 75, or 100%) below the ‘Amount‘ textbox.

Finally, make sure the data is correct before you submit the order by pressing the green ‘Buy BTC‘ button.

4. Wait for Execution

At this stage, your buying journey on trading crypto at Kucoin is coming to an end. Moreover, you just need to wait for the order to be completed. Remember that completion can occur in two ways:

Immediately, where a market order was selected and your balance will change as well. Also, funds will be available right away for new trades or to withdraw.

Unfilled orders occur when a limit order was selected and you need a little patience for this order to be executed. In addition, if it takes too long or you need the funds, you can cancel the order at any time.

Finally, below on the screen you can see the status of the orders these are:

  • Open orders – Orders that are currently running or unfilled in the order book
  • Stop orders – Open orders that are using a stop loss value
  • Order history – All orders(inclusive canceled) that apeared in the order book
  • Trade history – All trades that have been executed in the order book

…That’s it! At this point, you just traded your first USDT for BTC at Kucoin which is one of the most popular trading engines in the world. Happy trading 😁!


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