KuCoin Shares Cryptoasset exchange platform

KuCoin is a cryptoasset exchange platform aiming to offer low-cost trading for users. Ultimately, the platform plans to transition to a decentralized exchange platform.


KuCoin is a cryptoasset exchange that describes itself as a hybrid exchange integrating features of both centralized and decentralized exchanges. The long-term goal of the team is to transition to a fully decentralized exchange model.

Currently, the exchange operates through more of a centralized model, attempting to duplicate best practices in traditional asset exchanges including dedicated risk and compliance teams. These teams are responsible for internal controls and cross-departmental reviews aimed at reducing fraudulent activity on the platform.

KuCoin Shares (KCS) is a token used to reward users and attract new customers to the exchange. Users holding a specified amount of KCS in their account are eligible for discounts on trading fees. Furthermore, holders of KCS receive a daily dividend, called a KuCoin bonus, equal to 50% of trading fees on the exchange. Those that have referred new users to the platform are eligible to receive 40% of fees while the exchange retains the remaining 10%. Dividends are paid in whichever token was the most traded during the day.

To encourage referrals, each user receives a registration link they can share. Referral bonuses are paid for both direct and indirect activity. Users receive bonuses for both the activity of their direct referrals as well as the activity from any new users their referrals add to the platform. Users holding enough KCS in their exchange account receive a discount on trading fees. KCS held off-exchange is not eligible for this rebate program. Additional benefits such as a personal investment consultation and expedited customer service are offered to users on a tiered basis as they increase their KCS holdings.

While trading rebates and referrals are the current use case for KCS KuCoin plans to use the token for transaction fees once they launch a fully decentralized platform. Current trading fees on the exchange are 0.1% at the time of this report.


KuCoin was created using the guidelines for regulated financial institutions in Hong Kong. All user data is encrypted and stored in line with these standards. To minimize the chances for disruptions the operations team is split between two sites in Hong Kong and Singapore. Three data centers are maintained with overlapping functionality so operations for the entire business can be run using any of the centers.

The trading system is designed to handle high trading volumes, up to one million orders per second, through desktop and mobile interfaces.

KuCoin uses multiple wallets with varying levels of security based on the time frame for transactions. Micro-transactions are supported through a multi-firewall private network built on Amazon Web Services. KuCoin employees are provided with a unique cipher code to initiate withdrawals from the wallet. Longer term holdings are stored in bank custody with multiple signatures via independent private keys required to access them.

Withdrawal requests are first inspected using an internal artificial intelligence algorithm designed to process transactions instantly while still maintaining risk and security measures. KuCoin also offers multifactor authentication for transactions.

KuCoin hopes to release a feature whereby exchange participants can self-register new cryptocurrency pairs and start trading automatically to help reach the goal of having 1,000 tokens listed and a daily exchange volume exceeding 100,000 BTC by December 2018.

Tokens that fail to meet ongoing listing standards are not immediately delisted on the exchange but are instead put under special treatment rules. Projects may fall under this classification if they are likely to cease activities during the next three months, fail to have enough volume to make markets, appear insolvent, fail an audit, fail to report details in a timely fashion, engage in malicious market activities, dissolve the founding team, or any other reason at the discretion of KuCoin.

Projects in special treatment are designated as such on the platform, so exchange participants are aware the associated token is a candidate for delisting.

At the end of the observation, period tokens are delisted if they continue not to meet the volume required for listing or the project does not take the necessary actions to remedy the reason special treatment was applied. Alternatively, if a project passes the review, it is restored to the platform in good standing, and the special treatment designation is removed.