Crypto exchange KuCoin is introducing mandatory KYC for all users

Quick Take

  • KuCoin is introducing compulsory know-your-customer procedures for all clients starting July 15.
  • The move is to “better comply with the applicable regulatory requirements,” KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu told The Block.

Crypto exchange KuCoin is set to mandate know-your-customer (KYC) procedures for all clients starting July 15.

Users must complete KYC to fully access KuCoin's products and services, or they will face limitations, the exchange operator said Wednesday. If KYC procedures are not completed, users will only be able to use services such as spot trading sell orders, futures trading deleveraging, margin trading deleveraging, "earn" product redemptions and ETF redemptions, KuCoin said. They will not be able to make deposits to the exchange but they can withdraw.

The move comes four months after New York State Attorney General Letitia James sued KuCoin, saying the crypto exchange is an unregistered commodities and securities broker or dealer. KuCoin rival Binance was also recently charged by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where the regulator said Binance designed “special policies and procedures to help VIP customers evade both IP address-based compliance controls and KYC documentation-based compliance controls.”

The updated KYC policy is to "better comply with the applicable regulatory requirements," KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu told The Block. "As users provide more information to complete their profiles, we will offer users a wider range of platform products and services, including but not limited to higher daily withdrawal limits, more comprehensive trading tools, and a greater variety of user activities," Lyu said.

KuCoin's updated KYC policy

Launched in September 2017, KuCoin is currently the eighth largest crypto exchange by trading volumes, according to The Block's Data Dashboard. Lyu said KuCoin has over 27 million users across the globe and serves both institutional and retail clients. It does not serve users in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong, according to its terms of use.


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KuCoin's total trading volume this month to date is above $15 billion compared to Binance's over $211 billion, per the dashboard. Given the new KYC policy, Lyu said there could be "a short-term decline in trading volume, but in the long run, mandatory KYC is highly beneficial for combating malicious activities within the industry, protecting the funds of users/partners, and establishing a healthy and sustainable ecosystem."

"We also believe that our users will adapt to changes and support our initiatives," Lyu added.

Last year, KuCoin was valued at $10 billion when it raised $150 million in a pre-Series B funding round. Investors included Jump Crypto, Circle Ventures, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners.

Updates with detail about New York recently suing KuCoin

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Yogita Khatri is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things crypto. As one of the earliest team members, Yogita has played a pivotal role in breaking numerous stories, exclusives and scoops. With nearly 3,000 articles under her belt, Yogita holds the records as The Block's most-published and most-read author of all time. Prior to joining The Block, Yogita worked at crypto publication CoinDesk and The Economic Times, where she wrote on personal finance. To contact her, email: [email protected]. For her latest work, follow her on X @Yogita_Khatri5.


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