Luno is a cryptocurrency platform aimed at making cryptocurrencies more accessible in developing countries and emerging markets. Luno offers cryptocurrency exchange for these emerging markets that are typically excluded from markets.
In this article, we’ll talk about Luno and answer all your burning questions. We will talk about Luno’s features, interface, pros, and cons. We will also give our verdict on whether Luno is worth checking out. Let’s dive in.
Luno is a decent and reputable platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. It has a good range of basic features and some excellent extra features like a savings wallet. Luno also makes crypto more accessible in developing markets, so it is significantly smaller than the likes of Coinbase, Binance and FTX. That said, it has a solid product offering and has built a good reputation since its founding.
Pros & Cons
|Easy to use||Not many supported coins|
|Instantly buy crypto||Small exchange|
|Good help section|
How Does Luno Work?
Like most other exchanges, Luno is a platform that directly connects buyers to sellers. This means that Luno itself does not set the rates or buy or sell crypto; they are just a platform where people can come to do so.
The trick is that Luno focuses on several countries that many other crypto platforms do not include, such as Malaysia, Nigeria, and Indonesia. However, Luno recently started offering an instant buy/sell option where they act as the broker.
To get started with Luno, you need to go to the website and sign up. Enter an email address, or sign up with an existing Google or Facebook account. You will receive an email to verify your account. You will have to go through a KYC verification before you can use the trading platform to the full extent.
Once you do that, you need to create a wallet and connect a payment method.
Select Wallets from the main menu, pick the currency that you want, then press on Deposit. The exact payment options allowed depending on your country of residence.
In the UK, you can connect a regular bank account or debit card. Luno is currently working on adding credit card support to UK accounts, but it is not available to everyone as of writing.
Once you’ve funded your account, you can start trading crypto on the exchange. You can trade and receive cryptocurrencies using the unique ID code of your wallet.
Onboarding/Sign Up Process – 7/10
Luno’s onboarding process is a fairly straightforward process. The platform does a decent job of walking you through the signup and verification process, but after that, you are kind of on your own.
At the very least, the startup and signup process is super fast. If you have your info on hand, you can create an account and start trading crypto very quickly. Just sign up, deposit money, and buy crypto. It is easy to use for basic stuff, so you don’t need much direction at the offset.
To their credit, Luno has a pretty comprehensive self-help section so if you get stuck on anything you can probably find an answer. But it would be nice if they gave you a little more instruction from the offset, especially if you are new to cryptocurrencies.
User Interface – 8/10
Luno’s interface is a selling point of the platform. Everything is well laid out and readable, and the layout is very responsive. Luno is designed around making crypto as simple as possible so they nailed it with the impressively smooth interface. Luno’s developers have taken the time to ensure that their application experience is the same across the desktop, mobile, and tablet versions.
Luno’s app is full of soft colours and simple shapes. At no point does the interface overload you with information, and everything automatically sizes to fit the screen you are working on. You can browse through crypto pair trading and look at data from past performance and other metrics.
Ease of Use – 9/10
It’s pretty straightforward buying crypto with Luno. You can select from the available currencies through a drop-down list and enter the denomination you want to buy. Hit the confirm button, and you will complete the transaction. The instant buy feature is a bit more straightforward to use and has less information than the exchange tool, but with the exchange tool, you can see detailed charts about crypto performance, candlestick charts, and more.
Features – 8/10
The exchange platform is the main draw of the Luno platform. The exchange is a platform that connects crypto buyers and sellers. It is important to realise that Luno does not buy crypto on this exchange. They merely give a platform where people can buy and sell. Using the exchange, you can navigate offers, set limit orders, and other basic crypto things.
The exchange platform also gives users some very nice features. You can scale up charts of the currency to see past price movements and there are tons of ways to arrange the data on the chart. Luno also offers unique API access so you can set up automated trading bots for buying and selling crypto.
The overall volume of the exchange platform is pretty tiny compared to some of the other large exchanges out there, but it has seen relatively consistent growth in the years that it has been around. The exchange is also small given that many of the users come from developing countries and emerging markets.
Luno used to be solely an exchange platform, but they recently added an instant buy option where they act as the broker so you can buy and sell crypto directly with them.
This platform greatly simplifies the buying process as you do not have to use the potentially confusing exchange platform. You just enter the denomination of the currency you want, enter the amount, and submit a request. As to be expected, with added simplicity comes added fees. More on this later.
The mobile wallet is another core feature of the Luno platform. The mobile wallet works for both iOS and Android devices and can activate your wallet on the desktop platform and mobile platform. The main problem with this is that any crypto that you purchase through Luno is not actually kept in the wallet. Instead, a “custodial” version of the coins is there meaning that Lunbo ultimately has control over those coins. You would not be able to get the private key for your currencies if you want to.
Luno also recently introduced their BTC savings wallet. With Luno’s savings wallet, you store BTC and earn up to 4% interest on any funds.
Sounds great, right? Hold your horses… let’s get a few things out of the way.
They have variable interest rates, so you aren’t guaranteed the 4% return. Also, the way the savings account works is that Luno lends your BTC to a third-party organisation. That means that they are not insured or guaranteed.
Interest on your account is paid monthly, which is fantastic for a savings account, but it can take up to a week to access any funds that you have saved in this wallet.
Lastly, Luno launched Luno for Business not too long ago. Luno Business is a platform that lets you trade and transact crypto for your company. This specific service is directed at miners, firms, and crypto startups who need an efficient way to move their assets.
Cryptocurrency Selection – 6/10
Compared to some platforms, Luino offers relatively few cryptocurrencies. As of the time of writing, they offer
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
As of 2021, they also offer these fiat currencies
- Indonesian Rupiah
- Nigerian Naira
- South African Rand
- Polish Zloty
- Ugandan Shilling
- British Pound
- Malaysian Ringgit
So all things being equal, Luno offers fewer supported cryptocurrencies, but they do accept some fiat currencies that are not accepted on most major exchanges in the country. They do offer most of the major cryptos around the world.
Fees – 6/10
Luno offers a simple way to trade but they have a somewhat complicated and obscure fee structure. In the UK, receiving any currency accepted on the platform is free. So if someone sends you crypto, you won’t have to pay any fees to accept it. The platform also does not charge any deposit fees or withdrawal fees.
So far so good, but here it starts to get complicated. Fees for sending various currencies vary depending on several things like
- Time of day
- Trading volume
The only currency that has a flat fee is Ripple, which incurs a 0.03% send fee.
Luno also charges fees for its instant buy feature. The fee depends on the amount that you are trading. The more you spend the lower percentage fee you get.
Fees for trades are based on a 30 day trading volume and start at a 0.10% taker fee for between £0 to £249,999 all the way to 0.03% for moving more than £16,000,000 in the platform.
In addition to fees, Luno has limits on instant buy/sell transactions. For example, you cannot buy more than 20 Bitcoin at once using pounds. These limits only apply to the instant buy function and do not apply to the exchange.
Lastly, Luno has 3 verification levels at the first two verification levels, you have a £1,000 call time limit and £5,000 monthly limit for level 1 and level 2 verification. For level 3 verification, there are no deposit limits.
Security – Is Luno Safe?
Luno goes to great lengths to make sure that your assets are secure. They perform what is known as deep freeze storage; a method of storing private keys in multiple different bank vaults.
These coins are encrypted and cannot be used except through a coordinated effort of everyone who has a key. Wallet backups are also kept in this kind of deep freeze storage.
To complement the cold storage, Luno has hot wallets that they maintain for instant withdrawals. One of the keys is controlled by Luno and the other by a third-party organisation called BitGo. Splitting the keys between these two companies makes hot wallets more secure as both keys need to be stolen to compromise security.
On the user end, Luno offers 2-factor authentication for all accounts by creating a unique code for your account that is stored on your smartphone device.
Passwords and other sensitive data is stored on encrypted data banks, though there is always the possibility that you accidentally give your password away.
All in all, Luno offers a very secure apparatus for trading crypto. Keep in mind that none of their wallets or savings accounts are part of the FCSC. If you lose your wallet ID number or send money to the wrong wallet ID, then you probably will never get it back. Likewise, savings accounts are not insured so you can lose your money.
What Other People Are Saying
In the 7 years it has been around, Luno has built a pretty solid public reputation.
The company has a 4.2 out of 5 rating out of 5,291 reviews on Trustpilot. The majority of reviews praise how intuitive and simple the platform is. The app and desktop versions are easy to use and the platform is stable and reliable. A number of people also praise the instant buy features specifically for making it extraordinarily simple to invest in crypto.
There are some complaints though. The most common negative comment we saw was the variable fees. We understand that crypto is highly volatile and fees are variable to reflect that, but fees can jump significantly during the day depending on demand and trading volume. Only one of the currently supported coins (Ripple) has a fixed transaction fee.
Some users also complain that the app does not give enough information. For example, wallets do not show the percentage gain or loss over a certain period of time, something that many other wallets do.
There are a handful of people who claim that the platform was either buggy or did not transfer their money properly, but these were in the vast minority. They also use a service ticket option for customer service so it can be hard to get a prompt response from the customer support team.
- What is Luno?
- Luno is a crypto exchange and broker service that focuses on getting crypto into developing markets. The company has existed as Luno since 2016 and has raised over £13 million in funding from large partners.
- Is Luno legit?
- Luno is 100% legitimate. The company is registered with the relevant legal and financial authorities and they deal with everything over the table. The company takes great pains to secure your funds and they have never had a major security issue with their accounts.
- What cryptos are supported on Luno?
- As of the time of writing, Luno only offers support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
- Can I buy crypto from Luno?
- Yes, Luno has an instant buy feature where they act as a broker and you can buy crypto directly from them.
- Did Luno rebrand from BitX?
- Yes, Luno was first founded in 2013 under the name BitX and renamed itself to Luno in 2016. They currently operate 3 offices around the globe in London, Cape Town, and Singapore.
- How many people use Luno?
- Luno serves over 3 million users around the world and employs over 100 people.
- How much did Luno raise?
- Luno has raised nearly £13 million in capital funding from prominent investors.