KYC stands for “know your customer” and means the process of verifying a user’s identity. KYC is a requirement for many financial institutions and financial service businesses, including banks, stock brokers, and cryptocurrency exchanges.
The point of KYC is to confirm that a customer is who they claim to be and to prevent illegal activities, such as money laundering, funding terrorism, and tax evasion. If a crypto exchange doesn’t perform KYC, then it could be liable for those kinds of illegal activities.
You may be able to create an exchange account without going through the KYC process, but your account will have restrictions until you verify your identity. The most likely restriction is the exchange simply not letting you deposit money or buy crypto. Or it could put a limit on the amount of money you’re able to deposit.