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KuCoin vs BitMEX: Comprehensive Exchange Comparison

Written by Stephen Wedge

Written by:

Stephen Wedge

Stephen Wedge, with over 15 years of experience in finance, holds a Master of Science in Finance from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. He specializes in financial analysis, strategic investment planning, and has a keen interest in the world of cryptocurrencies. With a deep understanding of both traditional and digital financial markets, Stephen offers valuable expertise to investors seeking to navigate the complexities of crypto investments.

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This article has been reviewed by crypto market experts at SCM to ensure all the content, sources, and claims adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and reliability.

Last Updated on July 16, 2024

As I navigate the bustling world of cryptocurrency exchanges, I compare two giants: KuCoin and BitMEX.

In my journey, I’ve come to appreciate KuCoin for its intuitive platform and the sheer variety of cryptocurrencies it offers.

On the other hand, BitMEX appeals to my need for advanced trading with its comprehensive futures and derivatives options.

This article aims to share my insights on their features, fees, security, and overall user experience to help fellow traders choose the exchange that best fits their trading style.

KuCoin vs. BitMEX: Comparative Table

When you compare KuCoin and BitMEX, it’s essential to consider various facets, including their foundational history, supported functionalities, and fees. Below is a detailed table for your perusal.

Feature KuCoin BitMEX
Founded 2017 2014
Founder(s) Michael Gan, Eric Don Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo, Samuel Reed
Supported Coins Offers a wide range of coins Primarily focuses on a smaller range of coins, major cryptocurrencies
Leverage Up to 10x for some future products Up to 100x leverage on Bitcoin products
Trading Volume High, due to an extensive user base High, particularly in the derivatives market
Deposit Methods Cryptocurrency, Bank Transfer, Credit Cards Cryptocurrency only
Trading Interface User-friendly with advanced features for traders Geared towards professional traders with a complex interface
Fees Lower trading fees with KCS discounts are available Trading fees vary depending on the futures contract and market

Please note that this comparison aims to encapsulate key differences and similarities between KuCoin and BitMEX in the current market.

You should further research each platform’s complete offerings and fee structures. It is also advisable to consider the latest updates that may impact these facts, including changes in supported coins, fee adjustments, and available leverage options.

Our 2024's Recommendation

  • Upto 100x Leverage for BTC

  •  Supports over 700+ crypto trading pairs

  • Low trading fees

  • Robust security measures

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Products and Services

KuCoin and BitMEX cater to different needs within the cryptocurrency trading community with distinct offerings.

KuCoin:

  • Spot Trading: You can access a wide range of cryptocurrencies for direct trading.
  • Futures Trading: Includes advanced trading types for seasoned traders.
  • Leveraged Tokens: The ability to leverage positions without managing collateral or risk margin calls.
  • Staking: You can stake certain crypto assets and earn rewards.
  • Lending: Provides opportunities for peer-to-peer lending.
  • Additional Services: Hosts an NFT marketplace and supports various order types for advanced trading.

BitMEX:

  • Derivatives Trading: Specializes in perpetual contracts, futures, and options.
  • Leverage: Offers high leverage options, up to 100x for Bitcoin contracts, appealing to high-risk traders.
  • Market Liquidity: Known for substantial market liquidity.
  • Trading Pair Limitations: Trades are not in fiat currency; profits and losses are in Bitcoin.

KuCoin provides a broad spectrum of services that are suitable for both novice and expert traders.

Its NFT marketplace and crypto-related services push the envelope regarding diversity and innovation. KuCoin’s user interface is known to be intuitive, enhancing your user experience.

Conversely, BitMEX is a more focused platform, excelling in the derivatives trading space with robust features for seasoned traders.

Its high leverage options are noteworthy, though less variety in product offerings can be a limitation for those seeking a one-stop shop for both conventional spot trading and innovative crypto products.

BitMEX’s strengths lie in its liquidity and specialty in high-risk derivative products.

KuCoin vs. BitMEX: Contract Types

When evaluating the types of contracts available on KuCoin and BitMEX, you need to consider the variety each platform offers. KuCoin allows you to engage in different kinds of futures contracts, which include:

  • Inverse Futures Contracts: This type lets you use cryptocurrency as the margin to place bets on the future value of a coin.
  • COIN-M Futures: These contracts are margined and settled in the coin rather than a stablecoin or fiat currency.

BitMEX, on the other hand, has positioned itself as a pioneer in cryptocurrency derivatives and offers a robust selection of contracts:

  • Inverse Perpetual Contracts: With these contracts, you can trade a cryptocurrency against USD without an expiry date, and the margin is posted in the cryptocurrency.
  • Linear Perpetual Contracts: Unlike inverse contracts, these are quoted in USD and margined in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
  • Options: BitMEX provides options trading, which allows you to buy or sell a contract at a predetermined price before a set expiration date.

Both platforms enable trading with leverage, enhancing the potential for profits and corresponding risks.

BitMEX is known for offering high leverage on its contracts, but you must manage the risks carefully. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the contract types offered:

Feature KuCoin BitMEX
Inverse Perpetual Not Available Available
Linear Perpetual Not Available Available
Inverse Futures Available Available
COIN-M Futures Available Not Available
USD-M Futures Not Available Not Applicable (Contracts are inverse)
Options Not Available Available

Your trading strategy and preferences will guide your choice between KuCoin and BitMEX. Before trading, researching each platform’s specifics regarding fees, leverage limits, and contract specifications is recommended.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Supported Cryptocurrencies

When comparing KuCoin and BitMEX, your choice might depend on the variety and range of cryptocurrencies each platform supports, especially regarding futures and leverage trading options.

kucoin supported coins

KuCoin boasts a substantial selection of cryptocurrencies. You have access to a diverse array of over 700+ spot trading coins, extending to its futures platform with a robust selection. For futures trading on KuCoin, some of the most popular pairs include:

  • BTC/USD
  • ETH/USD
  • LTC/USD

These pairs offer you leverage up to x100, which is a common feature looked for by advanced traders seeking higher stakes and risks.

Conversely, BitMEX stands out with a more focused approach. It is primarily a crypto derivatives exchange that provides a range of futures trading options denominated in Bitcoin.

This means that profits and losses on BitMEX contracts are always calculated in Bitcoin. Notably, BitMEX allows up to x100 leverage on Bitcoin contracts, attracting traders looking to trade in high volumes and with high leverage.

For BitMEX, the most popular future trading pairs include:

  • XBT (Bitcoin)
  • ETH
  • XRP

It’s important to note that BitMEX does not support spot trading and prefers to specialize in derivatives and futures. This might limit your options if you want a broader cryptocurrency market experience.

Choose based on your interest in futures and the variety of cryptocurrencies you wish to trade with leverage.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Leverage and Margin Trading

When trading on KuCoin, you have access to margin products that were launched in 2019.

This enables you to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum with leverage of up to 10x.

Moreover, you can benefit from lowered trading fees if you pay them using KuCoin’s native token, KCS. Remember that, with margin trading, while leverage can amplify your potential gains, it also increases the risk of possible losses.

In contrast, BitMEX is primarily known for its leverage and derivative offerings.

It allows significantly higher leverage for your trades, with the maximum going up to 100x on specific contracts.

This provides a substantial opportunity to magnify your positions and prospective returns.

However, the higher the leverage, the closer you are to the liquidation price, meaning even small market movements can significantly affect your positions.

Both platforms have specific margin requirements, and you need to monitor these requirements to maintain your positions. Remember, failure to meet margin calls may result in liquidating your positions.

Here’s a quick comparison:

Feature KuCoin BitMEX
Max Leverage 10x 100x
Margin Trading Launch 2019 Earlier (Derivatives focused)
Fee Discount Yes (with KCS token) N/A
Liquidation Risk Proportional to leverage Extremely high at max leverage

Remember that while both exchanges offer the tools to increase your exposure, they also come with a high liquidation risk, especially if the market moves against your position.

Funding rates for futures contracts will also apply and can impact the cost of holding positions over time. Understanding these elements is crucial as they can affect your trading strategy and overall risk management.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Trading Volume

When evaluating KuCoin and BitMEX, your consideration of trading volume is crucial for trading efficiency, execution of trades, and minimal slippage.

KuCoin:
Your experience with KuCoin’s more diverse offerings may result in higher liquidity.

They provide trading on over 1000 tokens, and their platform’s capability to handle significant trading volumes is notable.

This variety in trading options broadens your trading horizons and contributes to a robust trading volume, enhancing your trades’ execution and reducing the potential for slippage.

Key Metrics:

  • Supports over 1000 tokens
  • Encourages advanced trading with futures and leveraged opportunities

BitMEX:
BitMEX, traditionally known for strong liquidity in the market, allows you to engage with various derivative products like futures and perpetual contracts, which may draw higher volume trading.

The liquidity ensures efficient trade executions and modest slippage, even during volatile market conditions.

Key Metrics:

  • Specializes in crypto derivatives like futures and perpetual contracts
  • Potentially lower slippage due to high market liquidity

Liquidity Rankings:
When sourcing liquidity and volume data, look to trusted market analytics platforms and rankings to gauge where KuCoin and BitMEX stand.

Despite the substantial volume on both exchanges, rankings can fluctuate, so review the latest data to inform your trading decisions.

Remember, the liquidity and volume these exchanges command dictate your ability to complete trades at desired prices without significant market impact.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Futures Trading Fees and Rewards

Understanding the fee structure is crucial for your profitability when trading futures on cryptocurrency exchanges like KuCoin and BitMEX.

Both platforms offer competitive fees and incentive systems that can impact your overall trading experience.

KuCoin Futures Fees:

kucoin fees

  • Maker Fee: 0.02%
  • Taker Fee: 0.06%
  • Settlement Fee: 0.025% after contract settlement

KuCoin offers a tiered fee structure; your fees can decrease with higher monthly trading volumes or more extensive holdings of KuCoin’s native token, KCS. For example, holding over 70,000 KCS or having a trading volume of over 15,000 can qualify you for zero fees.

BitMEX Fees:

bitmex fees

  • Maker Fee: Often rebates of -0.025% (you earn)
  • Taker Fee: Generally 0.075%
  • Settlement Fee: Varied based on the product traded

BitMEX fees are also determined by trading volume, with potential rebates for makers, encouraging liquidity on the platform.

Fee Examples:

  • On KuCoin, if you place a futures order that serves as a maker, you might pay a fee of 0.02% on the transaction. Therefore, for a $10,000 trade, the cost would be $2.
  • On BitMEX, as a taker on the same trade volume, your fee would be $7.5. However, if your order provides liquidity, you could receive a rebate, thus earning $2.5.

Both exchanges do not charge for deposits, but withdrawal fees apply and vary based on the cryptocurrency.

It’s important to review each platform’s fee schedule as these fees can change and differ for various cryptocurrencies and trading products.

Remember, fees and rewards are significant factors in trading, and it’s wise to consider them alongside other features when choosing a platform that aligns with your trading preferences and strategies.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Deposits & Withdrawal Options

When considering KuCoin and BitMEX, it’s essential to understand the differences in their deposit and withdrawal options.

KuCoin:

  • Supported Currencies: Offers a broad range of cryptocurrencies.
  • Payment Methods: Supports bank transfers, credit/debit card transactions, and crypto deposits.
  • Processing Times: Crypto transactions are typically swift, but fiat deposit times can vary depending on the method.
  • Minimum/Maximum Amounts: Varies by asset, with clear guidelines provided on their platform.

BitMEX:

  • Supported Currencies: The primary focus is on cryptocurrencies.
  • Payment Methods: Mainly limited to crypto deposits and withdrawals.
  • Processing Times: Crypto transactions maintain network-typical speeds.
  • Minimum/Maximum Amounts: Defined per contract or trade, with specific information on their site.

Both exchanges pride themselves on a secure and efficient system for moving your funds. With KuCoin, you have versatility in both fiat and crypto options, which is appealing if you need multiple payment methods.

BitMEX, on the other hand, keeps a tight focus on cryptocurrency, emphasizing streamlined crypto-only transactions. Evaluate the necessary currencies and methods that align with your trading strategy to determine the best fit for you.

Remember that the processing times and associated fees can fluctuate based on the current network load and the selected deposit or withdrawal method.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Native Token Usage

KuCoin and BitMEX are two notable players in the cryptocurrency exchange field, each having its native token that serves unique functions within their ecosystems.

KuCoin Token (KCS):
KuCoin’s native token is KCS, an ERC-20 token you can use on the KuCoin exchange to attain various benefits.

As a holder, you can expect to enjoy reduced trading fees, which makes your transactions more cost-effective.

Moreover, KCS plays a role in the KuCoin Bonus Plan, a feature rewarding users with a portion of the exchange’s overall trading fee revenue.

KCS is also central to the upcoming decentralized trading solutions from KuCoin, potentially increasing its utility in the future.

BitMEX Token:
BitMEX differs in its approach. While they offer features like futures trading and perpetual contracts, as of the current knowledge cutoff in 2023, BitMEX doesn’t have a native token comparable to KCS.

Here’s a simplified breakdown of the token usage for both exchanges:

KuCoin (KCS) BitMEX
Native Token Yes (KCS) No
Utility Reduced fees, participation in revenue sharing Not Applicable
Accessibility ERC-20 support available to all platform users Not Applicable

As you engage with these platforms, understanding the implications of token utility can provide significant advantages, especially in the case of KCS, with its fee reduction and other potential benefits intrinsic to the KuCoin ecosystem.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: KYC Requirements & KYC Limits

KuCoin and BitMEX are cryptocurrency exchanges implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) policies. Still, they differ in strictness and the impact these requirements have on your ability to trade.

KuCoin:

  • KYC Requirements: As of July 2023, KuCoin requires you to complete KYC verification to access most of its features. You must provide personal details, proof of identity, and possibly additional documentation.
  • Limits without KYC: Before passing KYC, your account will have certain limitations, notably withdrawal amounts. You may still withdraw funds but within these restricted limits.
  • Limits with KYC: Upon completing the KYC process, your daily withdrawal limits increase considerably, enhancing your trading capabilities and the security of your transactions.

BitMEX:

  • KYC Requirements: BitMEX also mandates KYC verification. This involves submitting identification documents and may include supplementary information depending on the account level.
  • Limits without KYC: If you haven’t completed your KYC, BitMEX imposes restrictions on deposits, withdrawals, and trading activity.
  • Limits with KYC: With complete verification, you’ll enjoy less restrictive limits, allowing for more extensive trading and account features.

Both exchanges likely instituted these measures to comply with regulatory standards and mitigate risks such as fraudulent activities.

While KYC can be seen as an encroachment on privacy, it bolsters account security.

Your choice between the two platforms may hinge on your preferences for privacy versus the need for higher transaction limits and the full array of trading tools.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: User Experience

kucoin Ui

When comparing KuCoin and BitMEX, you’ll notice a distinct difference in their user experience.

KuCoin’s platform is designed with newer users in mind, offering a more intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface. Its web interface is clean and well-organized, which means you can find trading options and customer support easily.

The mobile app mirrors this user-friendliness, offering smooth and responsive navigation, essential for trading on the go.

Feature KuCoin BitMEX
Interface Clean Complex
Navigation Intuitive Requires Familiarity
Mobile App Smooth Responsive, Less Intuitive
User Support Accessible Standard

bitmex ui

In contrast, BitMEX offers a platform that caters more to experienced traders.

The interface on web and mobile versions can initially appear overwhelming due to complex charting tools and many order types.

While this complexity might be a hurdle for some, it provides a robust set of features for seasoned investors who require such comprehensive tools.

As for performance, both platforms are commendable for their speed and reliability. KuCoin stands out for its trade execution speed, making sure you can enter and exit trades efficiently.

BitMEX also boasts strong performance, especially regarding uptime, which is crucial for those trading derivatives and utilizing advanced trading strategies.

Remember, the mobile experience can significantly affect your trading, especially when managing trades away from your desk. KuCoin’s app tends to be more forgiving for newcomers, focusing on a seamless experience.

BitMEX, while fully functional, might require a learning curve to navigate its feature-rich environment efficiently.

In your assessment of these two exchanges, consider your individual need for simplicity against the requirement for advanced trading features. Your experience will greatly depend on your expertise level and your comfort with trading technology.

KuCoin vs. BitMEX: Order Types

When trading on KuCoin, you have access to various order types that can enhance your trading strategy.

The most common is the market order, which enables you to buy or sell instantly at the current market price. This order type guarantees execution but not price.

For more control over the price, you can use limit orders. These allow you to set a specific price for buying or selling.

Stop orders on KuCoin act as trigger points for a market order once a preset stop price is reached, which is helpful in managing risks. Limit stop orders, which combine the features of limit and stop orders, are also available.

Advanced traders can use Iceberg and Time Weighted Average Price (TWAP) orders to minimize market impact.

On BitMEX, you also have market and limit orders catering to immediate and specific price trading needs. Stop-limit and stop-market orders are BitMEX staples for triggering actions at particular price points.

For strategists, trailing stop orders are available, which adjust the stop price at a fixed distance from the market price as it moves.

Moreover, BitMEX offers post-only orders to ensure you pay the maker fee and reduces only orders to limit your position size. Hidden orders allow anonymity and are not displayed to other market participants.

Below is a brief comparison:

Order Type KuCoin BitMEX
Market
Limit
Stop
Stop-Limit
Trailing Stop
Iceberg
TWAP
Post-Only
Reduce-Only
Hidden

Use these tools to manage your trades, mitigate potential losses, and capitalize on market shifts on both platforms according to your individual trading preferences.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Security Measures & Reliability

When selecting a cryptocurrency exchange, understanding the security measures and reliability is crucial for protecting your funds and personal data.

KuCoin boasts commendable security practices. With features such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption, and internal risk control departments, KuCoin strives to safeguard your investments.

Though it experienced a significant security breach in 2020, the platform has since enhanced its security measures, aiming to fortify its defenses against potential threats.

KuCoin’s security teams continually identify and neutralize risks, aiming to provide a secure trading environment.

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Bank-level encryption
  • Continuous security upgrades

On the other hand, BitMEX is primarily known as a crypto derivatives platform.

BitMEX employs a multi-signature deposit and withdrawal scheme, which requires all transactions to be authenticated by multiple parties, thereby enhancing security.

Furthermore, BitMEX’s trading platform is built on kdb+, a database technology widely used in capital markets for its performance and security features.

  • Multi-signature deposit and withdrawal system
  • kdb+ database for enhanced security
  • Real-time risk checks

Both exchanges have demonstrated a commitment to providing a reliable trading experience.

While security incidents in the past have prompted these platforms to reinforce their systems, you need to be aware that no service is entirely immune to risks.

It’s always wise to use exchanges that actively update and improve their security measures and maintain a transparent relationship with their users regarding how they handle and protect funds and personal information.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Insurance Fund

When considering a cryptocurrency exchange’s reliability, understanding its insurance fund policy is crucial. KuCoin and BitMEX operate insurance funds, but they serve slightly different purposes within each platform.

KuCoin doesn’t publicly outline specific details regarding an insurance fund.

However, it’s known that KuCoin has mechanisms to protect your assets. They might utilize part of their operating funds or employ other risk management strategies to mitigate losses in unforeseen market movements.

BitMEX, on the other hand, has a more transparent approach to its insurance fund. Essential points to note about BitMEX’s insurance fund include:

  • It’s designed to prevent Auto-Deleveraging in traders’ positions.
  • The fund grows from liquidations executed with a price better than the bankruptcy price of that particular position.
  • It ensures winning traders receive their expected profits even if the losing side cannot cover the loss.
Feature KuCoin BitMEX
Transparency Not explicit Highly transparent
Purpose General asset protection Prevent Auto-Deleveraging
Growth Operating funds? Liquidation surplus

Remember, when you trade on these platforms, an insurance fund offers protection but does not remove all risks associated with cryptocurrency trading. Your due diligence is paramount.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Customer Support

When choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, customer support can be critical to your trading experience. KuCoin stands out with its range of support options. You have access to:

  • 24/7 live chat
  • Email support
  • Online ticketing service
  • An extensive FAQ section

KuCoin’s live chat service ensures immediate assistance anytime, which is a significant advantage if you require prompt support.

In contrast, BitMEX offers:

  • Contact form on their website
  • A comprehensive FAQ section

While BitMEX lacks direct 24/7 support options like live chat, their detailed FAQs can resolve common queries and issues. You’re encouraged to use the contact form provided on their website for further assistance.

Remember, the availability of numerous support channels does not necessarily equate to quicker or better service.

Consider your preference for support type—the convenience of live chat with KuCoin versus the structured contact form of BitMEX.

Both platforms aim to provide adequate support to their users, but the response times may vary depending on the complexity of your issue and the current demand for support services.

KuCoin vs BitMEX: Regulatory Compliance

KuCoin and BitMEX, as cryptocurrency exchanges, must navigate intricate regulatory environments. They operate under different jurisdictions, which impose specific legal and compliance requirements.

For KuCoin, adherence to regulations is evidenced by its efforts to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines.

You may find their framework designed to protect against illegal activities on the platform. KuCoin’s availability in various countries suggests that they meet the respective regulatory conditions set by those nations.

However, details of specific licenses or certifications are vital to assess their full compliance status.

On the other hand, BitMEX has faced challenges regarding regulatory compliance. Historically, they have been known for offering high-leverage trading options, which have brought them under scrutiny.

In the past, legal actions have questioned their adherence to regulatory standards.

Despite this, BitMEX has initiated steps to improve its regulatory standing, focusing on enhanced compliance with AML and KYC practices and incorporating financial oversight mechanisms.

Compliance Highlights:
  • KuCoin:
    • Engages in KYC/AML practices.
    • Operates in multiple jurisdictions with presumed compliance.
  • BitMEX:
    • Historically, it faced regulatory scrutiny.
    • Implemented more robust KYC/AML measures.
    • Underwent legal actions prompting a push for enhanced compliance.

Your awareness of these exchanges’ compliance is crucial when considering their services. Keep informed on any developments in their compliance and regulatory status, as this can impact their operational integrity and your security as a user.

Conclusion

When deciding between KuCoin and BitMEX, your choice depends on your trading needs and preferences.

For beginners, KuCoin’s user-friendly interface and additional features such as peer-to-peer trading and crypto lending could be particularly beneficial.

Moreover, KuCoin caters to various trading styles with its advanced charting and order types. However, if you’re a trader who requires fiat currency transactions, the lack of this facility on KuCoin might be a limiting factor.

  • For experienced traders:
    • KuCoin offers advanced charting tools.
    • BitMEX: Ideal for crypto derivatives like futures trading and perpetual contracts.

BitMEX, on the other hand, specializes in derivative trading and might appeal more to those interested in futures and leveraged trading. Its platform is recognized for its focus on these instruments, which can be advantageous if your investment strategy is aligned with these offerings.

  • Considerations for Canadian users:
    • KuCoin seems to be more adapted for Canadian users in peer-to-peer trades.

Remember that fees play a vital role in determining profitability in trading activities. Therefore, weigh the cost structure of each platform carefully.

  • KuCoin: Lower fees but lacks fiat currency support.
  • BitMEX: Known for derivative products but might involve a higher fee structure.

Lastly, consider aspects such as security, regulatory stance, and geographic location when making your final decision.

About the Authors

Stephen Wedge, with over 15 years of experience in finance, holds a Master of Science in Finance from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. He specializes in financial analysis, strategic investment planning, and has a keen interest in the world of cryptocurrencies. With a deep understanding of both traditional and digital financial markets, Stephen offers valuable expertise to investors seeking to navigate the complexities of crypto investments.