When it comes to the cryptoverse, it’s crucial to find an exchange that not only works smoothly but that you genuinely like to use. Sometimes that takes some looking around.

There’s been much ado about rising starts lately, e.g. Binance and KuCoin, but these two services are just scratching the surface when it comes to all the cryptocurrency exchanges available to traders all over the world.

Today, then, we’ll be exploring a smaller exchange to see what it’s all about: Luno. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Luno

Image via Bitcoinafrica.io

Company overview

Luno is a cryptocurrency exchange comprised of “40 technology and finance experts, operating across several countries and continents,” per the company’s About page.

The team’s professed goal? To help billions of users the world over buy, sell, and store cryptos like ether and bitcoin.

Crypto pairs and geographical focus

Luno caters to customers that many other exchanges don’t cater to. This dynamic is clearly present in the trading pairs it offers, which are as follows:

  • BTC/IDR (Indonesian¬†Rupiah)
  • BTC/MYR (Malaysian Ringgit)
  • BTC/NGN (Nigerian Naira)
  • BTC/ZAR (South African Rand)
  • BTC (EUR)
  • ETH/BTC

So, beyond its unique fiat pairs, which obviously show Luno’s focus on presently underserved African and Southeast Asian cryptocurrency clientele, the only crypto-to-crypto possibility for Luno users is between ether and bitcoin.

Luno is also trying to expand into traditional markets in the developed world. For example, they have recently started accepting deposits and traders in Euros from countries in the EU.

Withdraws and deposits

Like Coinbase users in America and Europe, Luno users can purchase bitcoins with their fiat trading pair of choice by linking their bank account to their online exchange account.

Luno’s worked hard to make the whole process as convenient as possible. Fiat withdrawals typically take no more than 48 hours to hit your bank account, while deposits show up in your exchange account between 24 and 48 hours. Take that, Coinbase!

In Europe, they bank with the same one as Coinbase. They accept wire transfers into your account in the form of SEPA payments. These should take no more than 1 to 2 days. They are also trying to find a solution for instant bank payments from a number of European banks.

Fees

Luno adheres to a fee system that’s based on monthly use of the exchange, not singular trades. And within this monthly system, the exchange also relies on a “maker / taker” dynamic.

Accordingly, the fees you end up paying are based on the trade volume you throughput on the exchange in a given month. But, with that said, it doesn’t appear that percentage-wise fees ever top out over 1 percent on Luno.

Verification process

The sign up process is straightforward and Luno prides itself on having some of the fastest verification processes in the industry. We decided to test this out in order to confirm their claims.

You’ll confirm your mobile number and input relevant personal details. You’ll then be asked to upload “identity documents.” Examples of proof include things like bill statements, bank statements, and tax invoices.

After completing these basic tasks, we sat and waited. In exactly 24 hours, we were fully verified and had all withdrawal limits lifted. We were really surprised how quickly Luno was able to on board its clients. This is no doubt a reflection of the increased support staff that they currently have available.

Regulation and Financing

Luno has recently made the news on the back of a successful VC financing raise from London based investors. In September last year the company was able to raise $9m series B financing raise that was run by Balderton Capital.

Apart from the impact that the additional funds could have on the growth prospects of Luno Exchange, the deal also sees Balderton Partner Tim Bunting join the Luno’s board. There is no doubt that they will use this as a launching pad for their European expansion.

On the other side of the world, Luno is facing some regulatory push-back in countries such as Malaysia. Here, the Tax authorities have demanded that Luno hand over user information and have frozen their bank accounts until they comply. This is something we have also seen with the IRS and Coinbase.

Luno says that they are co-operating with the Malaysian authorities but will not breach customer confidentiality data. This is no doubt a good sign in the trust that traders could have in Luno Exchange.

Security

Luno’s never suffered a devastating hack that we know of, so there’s that.

As for individual users, though, the basic security options are available like two-factor identification and email confirmations. So nothing extraordinary.

Customer support

When it comes to getting help from Luno, you’ve got two options.

Have a basic problem? The exchange’s help center might be all you need.

Something bigger going on? Try filling out a help ticket to contact support.

Luno Exchange has currently been growing their support function as they have been on a hiring spree on the back of the fresh VC Funding.

Pros / cons

For its targeted customer base, Luno is an amazing exchange. But its customer base is very targeted at present, so Luno is really only practical for citizens in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, and Indonesia. At least for now.

Another thing to note? Liquidity on Luno is low relatively speaking. That’s always something to consider in dealing with smaller exchanges.

All things considered, we give the exchange a thumbs up.

Featured Image via luno.com

Posted by William M. Peaster

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.