Luno was founded in London in 2013 under the name BitX. The team that created Luno came from top tech and finance companies, including companies like Google, Amazon, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, and others. Luno was founded by Timothy Stranex, a BSc graduate from the University of Cape Town who previously worked as a software engineer at Google in Switzerland. The company believes that cryptocurrencies will play a crucial role in the future financial world, and they aim to provide effective crypto exchange services to help create that world. Over the years, Luno has focused more specifically on lesser-supported fiat currency trading pairs, including BTC/ZAR and BTC/NGN. Instead of competing with the bigger players on pairs like BTC/USD and BTC/EUR, Luno has found a niche and maximized their presence in that niche. Today, Luno has 2 million users in 40 countries worldwide. Headquartered in London, Luno has offices in Singapore and South Africa. The exchange appears to be independent, although it’s backed by investors like Balderton Capital, RMI, Naspers, Digital Currency Group, and Venturra.
Luno Trading Volumes
Luno’s trading volume sits at around $4.6 million USD per 24 hour period. The vast majority of that trading volume (93% or more) is in the BTC/ZAR pair, with other trading volume occurring in the BTC/NGN, BTC/EUR, BTC/IDR, and BTC/MYR pairs.
Number of Coin Pairs on Luno
Today, Luno offers five different cryptocurrency trading pairs, including BTC/ZAR, BTC/NGN, BTC/EUR, BTC/IDR, and BTC/MYR. As mentioned above, the exchange is focusing on lesser-supported fiat currencies in an attempt to attract users. That’s why you see pairs for the Nigerian Naira and South African Rand, among other fiat currencies.
Who Owns Luno?
Luno appears to be independently owned. Major investors in the company have included Balderton Capital, RMI, Naspers, Digital Currency Group, and Venturra.
Luno Features, Benefits, & Reputation
Luno claims to be the world’s most trusted, secure, and reliable bitcoin exchange. It comes with a simple trading interface that will be familiar to anyone who has used other exchanges. Meanwhile, the advanced features will be useful to more advanced traders. Basic features include real-time market information and mobile trading for Android and iOS. More advanced features include depth liquidity indicators, advanced charts, API access for automated trading, and CSV exporting and reporting.
Other helpful features include fast bank deposits and withdrawals – including support for banks and transfer methods that may not be found on other exchanges. Users can deposit money via SEPA transfer, Indonesian bank transfer, Malaysian interbank GIRO/IBFT transfer, Nigeria bank transfer, and South African EFT transfers.
In exchange for these features, users pay slightly higher trading fees than what you would find on other exchanges. Trading fees on Luno range from 0.25% to 1%. Although these fees seem high, they’re competitive with other exchanges that specialize in specific fiat currencies. You pay higher fees when trading the Nigerian Naira for bitcoin today, but you can avoid paying exchange fees to transfer your NGN into other fiat currencies – which is something you might have to do when using a conventional crypto exchange.
Luno KYC & AML Requirements
Luno requires users to complete KYC/AML verification. Supported countries include most countries in Europe as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa. In total, Luno has 2 million KYC and AML-verified users across 40 countries worldwide.
Luno Fiat Acceptance
Luno accepts a number of fiat currencies, with the most popular fiat currency being the EUR. However, Luno is also known for supporting fiat currencies that may not be supported on other platforms, including the IDR, MYR, NGN, and ZAR, all of which are supported on the platform for deposits, trading, and withdrawals.
Luno Trust Level
Luno’s website transparently lists its office locations, its team members, and other company information. Overall, Luno is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange that seems to emphasize trust, security, and transparency more than many of its competitors. Most information about the company is freely available online, and the exchange is available to be reached via phone, email, and other methods.
Luno Customer Experience & Support
Luno’s Help Centre includes customer support services as well as a Learning Portal. You can choose from pre-arranged FAQs or contact the company directly to learn more. The website is available in English, French, Indonesian, Italian, Dutch, and Polish.
Luno Security History
Luno has had no major publicized security breaches. Although there are scattered reports of users losing bitcoins that were stored in the exchange, these reports are similar for all major exchanges. To date, Luno does not appear to have experienced any significant security issue leading to the loss of customer funds. The only major incident that led to a loss of bitcoin funds was when one user sent over R35,000 worth of BCH to his Luno BTC wallet by mistake. The funds were unrecoverable and the customer was left out of pocket.
Luno Listing Procedures
Luno lists only a small number of cryptocurrency and fiat currency pairs on its website. Any coins listed on the platform will need to be approved by the company. Luno seems to focus mostly on NGN, ZAR, MYR, and IDR pairs, and future growth will likely be in pairs linked to these fiat currencies.
Luno is one of the pioneers of the cryptocurrency exchange world. Founded in 2013, the exchange has grown to serve 2 million customers in 40 countries worldwide. The exchange has particularly strong trading volume with bitcoin and the South African Rand (ZAR), although other supported currencies include the Nigerian Naira and Euro. Overall, Luno seems to be transparent and honest. The exchange charges higher trading fees than what you would typically see on some of its larger competitors, although the fees (0.25% and up) are similar to what you see on smaller exchanges. Overall, Luno is one of the best and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges for customers in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, and other countries.
LocalBitcoins Trust Level
The trust level is remarkably high on LocalBitcoins, considering that the exchange has been breached at least once, although possibly many more minor hacks have gone largely without serious comment.
Apart from the Maven affair, minor and less minor breaches of the platform’s security has occurred over the years, yet the whole ethos and atmosphere of the portal somehow seems to make these lesser crimes in the minds of enthusiasts, as opposed to admittedly bigger heists on other exchanges.
LocalBitcoins Customer Experience and Support
Although the exchange has set up complaint resolution protocols in anticipation of a fair amount of those when P2P dealings happen, support remains average at best. Typical of digital exchanges the world over, support is often tardy on LocalBitcoins. Although the site could essentially palm off much of the negative feedback as belonging to a P2P transaction, the company does a little better than that, but response times still often infuriate users. LocalBitcoins remains on a par with other exchanges’ idea of support, which is to say, fairly abysmal.
LocalBitcoins Security History
There are user considerations to the platform not encountered on most other digital exchanges. As deals are P2P, an element of trust between parties also comes more into focus on this platform. Users can qualify buyers and sellers by looking at a fairly comprehensive status that denotes the other party’s history and overall rating, whether they are trustworthy or not.
Unfortunately, during April 2014, at the same time that the company announced it would commence manufacturing bitcoin ATMs, LocalBitcoins succumbed to a hack that cost some 30 BTC, worth about $11,500 at the time.
Although details are hard to pinpoint (a case of the relatively offhand manner in which the platform’s security shortfalls are glossed over by the community), numerous allegations of user accounts being hacked dot the net. Although typically an issue that no exchange can account for, as these wallet hacks usually result from phishing attempts, it does appear that users’ LocalBitcoins wallets have been hacked via the exchange, at least on some occasions.
Perhaps because most traders are in and out in a hurry, security concerns on the platform rank lower than on others, where this kind of history could very well close a company down. It has become cryptosphere unofficial protocol that platform users do, indeed, get in and out quickly and only transact with the needed amount, cold vaulting other holdings.
LocalBitcoins Listing Procedures
There are no listing procedures o LocalBitcoins, as the site is an exclusively BTC platform.
LocalBitcoins still fills a very relevant gap in the digital market, although other competitors are emerging. Overall, in part due to the low value of the one officially acknowledged hack and in part due to the fact that most traders are in and out quickly, lapping up the traditional mixed marketplace feel of the platform, the site’s overall reputation remains buoyant. Especially newcomers will need to exercise extreme caution when transacting through the site, however, as although transparency hasn’t been poor, it’s not at the level of many other virtual exchanges. Likewise security, which already has a few wrinkles in it, should remain uppermost in especially new users’ minds when engaging the site.
For many, LocalBitcoins remains the best low-fee, simple route to trading bitcoin. User adoption is still growing, while the company comes to terms with KYC and AML implications. A far more real-world platform that demands a modest return of old school trust between parties, especially when meeting face to face as some do, LocalBitcoins is becoming compliant and is now more responsive than ever before, at least in terms of dealing with regulatory pressures.
It remains to be seen whether security and support are visibly elevated on the company’s agenda, something that could polish the fun platform’s image and allow for typical industry security and client liaison to reach legacy levels.