Review – Luno offers various services for its users such as a crypto exchange for Bitcoin to Euro, Wallet for Bitcoin and Ehereum and API service for developers. The company was founded in 2013 under the name BitX, but the name was changed in 2016. Luno has offices in various world cities: London (Head office for Europe), Johannesburg (Head office for Africa), Singapore (Head office for Asia) and operational offices in Cape Town, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos. They have been able to develop into a full-fledged company with more than a two hundred employees. The founders are Marcus Swanepoel and Timothy Stranex from South-Africa.
In Europe you can transfer money by SEPA Transfer to the wallet/exchange. SEPA or Single Euro Payments Area is a project of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and European banks, aimed at cross-border payment transfers. The advantage is that it is safe and reliable, the disadvantage is that it takes one to two working days before the money is actually transferred. Hower Luno offers as well card deposits with Visa and Mastercard for verified customers (Level 2).
A more obvious payment method for Netherlands is iDEAL, which can be done via the app as well as via your dashboard in a browser. This is not yet available for all banks, but it is available for clients of the Dutch banks Rabobank, ING, Knab and SNS. Luno can make this clearer on their website. If you look at the payment
options on the website it is rather hard to find.
When the money is transferred it will arrive in your Luno wallet in about 15 minutes (with a card even faster). This can be used on the wallet and exchange to buy your Bitcoin or Ethereum. You can deposit up to EUR 2,000 per transaction, but there may be a limit depending on your bank. The limit increases with a verification levels which Luno has 3.
The website looks very clean and clear, you don’t need to be an expert to know what to do. On the homepage you’ll see a button where you can log in, to which you simply have to follow the steps. You have to verify your e-mail address, pay attention to your spam mail, because this was where the mail ended up with us.
After registering and confirming your mobile number and your BSN (government identification number), you will have a level 1 status. This allows you to deposit and pay out a maximum of EUR 1,000. When you add your identity card, driving license or passport, your status will be raised to level 2. If you also give an invoice of for example your energy bill, you can join the big players and withdraw and deposit EUR 100,000 per month.
You do not pay any fees for transferring to your account via SEPA. However, once you sell Bitcoin or Ethereum again for euro and you want to transfer it to your account, you pay EUR 0.30 cents per transaction. If you actually buy on the Bitcoin or Ethereum exchange, you pay a 0.25% transaction fee. For comparison, with a competitor like BTC Direct you pay 2% fee to BTC Direct when you buy Bitcoin and 1% when you sell.
Looking at the price of BTC, then 1 BTC at Luno costs EUR 3,207.80 (including fee). This is a lower price than for example at Bitonic, which charges EUR 3,248.50. This is a reasonable price difference, only the trading volume at Luno is even lower compared to existing exchanges. In 24 hours there is an average volume of 9.50 BTC.
Most of the cryptocurrency is stored in so-called cold storage. These accounts are not constantly connected to the internet and are multi-signature, so no one gets full access to the accounts. The hot wallet accounts also use multi-signature, so customers can directly access their Bitcoin. Furthermore, one of the keys is in the hands of BitGo, an independent administrator for crypto accounts, a market leader in the field of custodian services.
2-factor authentication (2FA) is available for an additional layer of protection. This is also recommended to use. You can choose to do this via email or via text message.
All communication and web services are sent via SSL-protected channels. All Luno employees must undergo a background check before they can be employed.
Buy and sell bitcoin
After logging in you can switch from your dashboard (browser version) to the exchange. The exchange shows very simplistic. What you see is what you get. In the middle, you’ll see the well-known candle chart and under it a buy and sell tab. On the left side, you’ll find the order book. Here you’ll find the buy and sell orders, on the right you’ll find the trading history.
What immediately strikes me is that you can’t place stop-limit orders. Also, the history of the transactions is a bit short. There isn’t a EURO/Ethereum pair yet. This means that you first have to buy BTC with your euros, and BTC Ethereum with your euros.
Mobile App – Exchange and wallet integrated
The mobile wallet is an ideal addition to the range, today this is really a must-have. While we don’t often see it. The app is quite easy to browse. You can also use the app to transfer fiat money to your Luno account via iDeal, with which you can buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with the same app.
The app is available for free for both Android and iOS. The interface and functionalities are the same as the desktop client. The Luno app has an average rating of 4.0 stars or more in the App stores. It is also possible to use the app to create a wallet.
- Keep and access your Bitcoin and Ethereum securely and anywhere.
- Email Bitcoin and Ethereum to anyone
- Check the current price of Bitcoin and Ethereum
- Receive Bitcoin in your wallet via QR codes, email or simply via a wallet address
- Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum directly
Generate Bitcoin wallet address
Follow the steps below to generate your Bitcoin wallet address with Luno:
- Create an account first
- Log in to your Luno account
- Click on “Receive” (if you are using the website). If you are using the mobile app, you may need to click “More” before you see “Received”
- Select Bitcoin, click on “Generate address” (on the website) or click on the plus sign + if you are using the mobile app
- You will be asked to label the address. Here you can give any name you want
- Then click on “Create” and the address will be generated
- You can generate as many Bitcoin wallet addresses as you need on Luno.
The first impression is very positive, it looks clean and clear. Everything works as it should. Registering is not much more difficult than creating a new e-mail address. If you really only want to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, Luno is a good alternative because of a lower BTC price for example. But you are limited in the offer of cryptocurrency’s, although they are busy increasing the offer. This makes sure that the interface looks very clear. Luno is quite active on social media. All in all a good spot to buy only Bitcoin, if you want more you will probably have to look further.
Disclaimer: this review is part of a content partnership between Luno and Bitcoin Magazine NL