Know Your Fees on KuCoin Exchange

I Really Like KuCoin, But There's Some Hidden Fees. Know About Them.

KuCoin is a very popular and user friendly exchange that offers millions of people around the world their only way to get a large number of low-cap, often new, crypto assets. And all without KYC (Know Your Customer -- you can sign up and trade without showing anyone your passport or drivers license, as long as you have some initial crypto you can transfer in). They have low trading fees which go even lower based on your level, and your level is determined by a number of factors, among them,

  • Referral Bonus. 
    If you sign up using a referral, you're typically given a discount off fees.

  • Holding KCS, the native KuCoin token. The more KCS you hold, the more your fees are discounted.

    Kucoin standard fee schedule.

In addition, holders of 6 KCS or more receive a cut of all the trading fees on the platform, which is just great. KCS in fact stands for "KuCoin Shares". Because you get a share of the trading activity. (As of this writing, the spot price of KCS is less than $15 USD.)

Kucoin Shares

Now, as indicated, these trading fees are reasonable... they start at 0.1% for Maker/Taker, and go down to 0.08% for holding a mere 1 KCS. If you use the platform, be sure to enable "KCS Pay Fees" in the trading area. Once you do this, it will be enabled for every trade by default. Using my example, in my case I'd then be getting 0.08% on my trades, in KCS.

Enable KCS fees

However, this doesn't always happen! You see this little percentage symbol next to the KCS Pay Fees checkbox?

Check The Fees

Click that, and you'll see the real fees you'll be paying. Contrary to what's on the fee schedule page, they may be different depending on the trading pair you're using. For instance, DAO / USDT has a 0.2% Maker/Taker fee. This is a unique fee for this particular trading pair. Even KCS/USDT is 0.2%. For common pairs like BTC/USDT, the fee does match your base level, displayed on the main page. For me, 0.08%. But there are exceptions, and you should always check before trading, if these fees matter to your bottom line.

Special Fees for Special Trading Pairs

Just one more thing you may be curious about... KuCoin uses a somewhat complex method for calculating fees in KCS. Even though I have enabled to pay trade fees in KCS, they're initially taken as USDT, at the full trading rate. Then, the USDT is refunded to my account. Afterwards, there's a conversion to KCS, according to my trading discount, and that KCS is then deducted.

The Kucoin Fee Process

The image above shows this. The top part is taken from the "Trade History" on the trading page. The middle table is from the Account Details for the Trading account, displaying USDT transactions. The bottom table is the Account Details for KCS transactions.

The only thing I can't figure out about this method is what spot price KuCoin is using to calculate how much KCS corresponds to the initial USDT fee. My math didn't match up to the time of my trade or the time of the subsequent KCS fee withdrawal.  If anyone has any insight there, please chime in! 


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