Luno allows residents in more than 40 countries (including the UK) to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin (BTC) and 10 other cryptocurrencies. In the UK, you can deposit GBP using a bank transfer or instantly buy supported cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card.
You’ll pay 1.5% in fees when you buy Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies with GBP deposited with a UK bank transfer. However, you’ll pay a maximum of 0.1% in fees if you use the Luno Exchange instead.
You can use Luno via a browser or a mobile app – either way, it’s all been designed with beginners in mind. If that’s you, then Luno might be a match made in heaven.
What is Luno? How does it work? Is it safe?
In this Luno review, I’m going to go through everything you need to know about this cryptocurrency platform. I’ll cover the payment methods you can use, supported cryptocurrencies, the fees you’ll be charged, and much more.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Fees are low on the Luno Exchange (up to 0.1%).
- No hidden fees (i.e., real exchange rate).
- 40 supported countries.
- Available via web or mobile app (iOS and Android).
- Interface is simple and easy to use.
- ID verification sorted within minutes.
- Supports business accounts.
- Cheaper to buy cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card elsewhere.
- Only supports Bitcoin (BTC) and 10 other cryptocurrencies.
- Low trading volume for GBP trading pairs on the Luno Exchange.
What Is Luno?
Luno is a cryptocurrency broker and exchange that’s headquartered in the UK. It was founded as BitX in 2013 by Timothy Strannex and Marcus Swanepoel, but it was rebranded to Luno in 2016.
- More than 10 million customers across 40+ countries.
- Processed upwards of $14 billion via their platform.
- Offices in 8 countries.
- Trading volume of approx. $11.5 million per day (when I checked).
One of the founders was previously a software engineer at Google and the other worked in private equity, consumer, and investment banking before starting the company. Of the near 400 employees that now work at Luno, many have worked at global companies like Google, Amazon, and Morgan Stanley.
They’ve raised about $13.8 million in funding since launching and have recently been acquired by Digital Currency Group (DCG) – which was one of Luno’s earliest investors back in 2014. Find out more about this recent news here.
How Does Luno Work?
Luno has two sides to it.
The easier to use and beginner-friendly side is where you’re buying directly from Luno (i.e., they’re acting as a cryptocurrency broker).
You can access this via a web browser, or by downloading the app onto your mobile device. This is referred to as instant buy/sell by Luno.
There’s then the Luno Exchange. This is a trading platform which allows you to submit market orders (where you buy at the best price available in the moment) and limit orders (where you can specify conditions to execute a trade).
The Luno Exchange is a little more complicated than their instant buy/sell functionality (geared towards advanced users) but has much lower fees (up to 0.1%). However, it doesn’t seem to have decent trading volume for most trading pairs right now.
Security: Is Luno Safe?
Similar to alternatives like Coinbase and Gemini, Luno store the majority of their cryptocurrency funds in multi-signature “deep freeze” wallets. The multiple keys required to access these funds are stored in different bank vaults.
“No single person ever has access to more than one key. Spending any Bitcoins from deep freeze storage requires a coordinated effort with multiple layers of encryption and security checks. Wallet backups are also stored in encrypted form.”
To facilitate instant withdrawals, Luno maintains a multi-signature wallet – with one of the two keys controlled by BitGo.
This is the high standard that you’d expect from a cryptocurrency platform like Luno.
You can also enable some security features on your Luno account:
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): A second layer of protection which means you’ll need to provide a code from Google Authenticator (or similar) to access our Luno account.
- Disable Cryptocurrency Sending: You can turn off outbound cryptocurrency transfers from your Luno wallets. To turn on transfers, you’ll need to verify you want to do this via SMS and then wait between 24 hours and 2 weeks (depending on where you’re located).
- Login Notifications: Whenever your Luno account is accessed, you’ll receive an email notification to let you know.
Luno currently fully supports 40 countries which includes the UK, Europe, Australia, and Malaysia.
Head over to this help article for the most up-to-date list.
While Luno provides services to Nigerian residents, it was recently forced to restrict local currency deposits and withdrawals by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Luno allows you to buy, sell, and store 11 cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Solana (SOL)
- Avalanche (AVAX)
- USD Coin (USDC)
It costs nothing to deposit cryptocurrencies into your Luno wallets, but you will need to pay “dynamic fees” to withdraw most cryptocurrencies. This just means that Luno will pass along the network fees to you (and is what most alternatives will do too).
In the UK, you can:
- Deposit GBP with a bank transfer, then use those funds to buy cryptocurrencies on Luno.
- Instantly buy Bitcoin (BTC) and other supported cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card.
There are no fees to deposit or withdraw GBP, but you will pay fees when you buy or sell cryptocurrency on Luno.
There are three different account levels, which are tied to how much information you want to share with Luno.
|Level||Requirements||Deposit Limit||Withdrawal Limit|
|1||Phone Number, Basic Details, Selfie Photo||£1,000 (total limit)||£1,000 (all time)|
|2||Proof of Identity (accepted documents)||£5,000 per month||£5,000 per month|
|3||Proof of Address (accepted documents)||No Limits||No Limits|
I just submitted enough information to get a level two account, but you could test out Luno without submitting any identification. If you want to find out more, check out this help article.
If you’re using Luno’s instant buy/sell functions, then there’s an additional limit of £8000 per transaction (but there’s no limit to the number of transactions you can make).
There are two ways that you can use Luno – and this significantly impacts how much you’ll pay in fees.
If you use Luno’s instant buy/sell functionality, you’ll pay fees of 1.5% (in the UK and EU) when you buy Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies with GBP deposited with a UK bank transfer.
If you use a debit/credit card, then you’ll pay a fee of 3.5% (in the UK and EU). While it is more convenient to use a credit/debit card, it’s not that much quicker. My UK bank transfer credited in about 20 minutes, which really isn’t that long to wait.
These fees are slightly different in some supported countries, so make sure to check the Luno fee schedule in your country.
When I checked, it looked like there were no hidden fees in the BTC to GBP exchange rate. In other words, it was quoting cryptocurrency prices which reflected the real market rate.
The plus side of the Luno Exchange is that you’ll pay much lower fees than when using its Instant Buy interface:
- If you’re a market maker, then you’ll actually be charged 0% in fees.
- But even as a market taker, you’ll pay a maximum of 0.1% in fees.
To find out more, check out this page.
It’s worth noting that the trading volume for GBP market pairs is quite low. When I checked, the BTC/GBP trading pair had less than $100,000 in 24hr volume.
The mobile app can be used to access everything that Luno has to offer – including the Luno Exchange.
There is an ever-growing number of places where you can buy cryptocurrency in the UK with a bank transfer, credit card, or debit card.
But one of the main issues with some alternatives is that they’ve grown to not bas simple or intuitive as they used to be.
If that’s a priority for you, then CoinJar is an alternative worth checking out.
It charges lower fees than Luno when buying cryptocurrencies with a UK bank transfer (1%) and has a great mobile app. However, it’ll give you access to a wider range of cryptocurrencies which you can buy (50+).
And it also works out as one of the cheapest ways to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK (2% fee).
Check out my CoinJar review to learn more.
Summary: Perfect for Beginners
“on a mission to upgrade the world to a better financial system” (Source).
The one thing that stands out about Luno is how simple, easy-to-use, and quick they’ve made it.
- I sent GBP using a UK bank transfer and it was credited in about 20 minutes.
- The fees aren’t bad either. You’ll pay 1.5% in fees if you buy Bitcoin (BTC) or other supported cryptocurrencies GBP deposited with a UK bank transfer.
- For more advanced users, there’s also the Luno Exchange – which charges much lower fees (max 0.1%). The only caveat is that the trading volume is quite low for GBP trading pairs compared to the best cryptocurrency exchanges out there.
Luno seems perfect for beginners.
Give it a shot yourself. Verification was almost instantly sorted for me.
Have a Question?
Thanks for reading this Luno review!
Have a question you want to ask us about Luno? Or just want to share your experience?
Comment below and let us know!
6 thoughts on “Luno Review (2023)”
Hey Dean, I like your review on Luno exchange platform. The crypto exchange is no longer functional in Nigeria, ever since the Central Bank (CBN) banned banks from accepting crypto transactions. But so far, so good… Luno was great option though.
Glad you like it!
Thanks for letting me know – I’ve made some small edits to reflect this change. According to this, it still sounds like Nigerians can trade, store, and send cryptocurrencies on Luno – but are restricted from depositing or withdrawing Nigerian Naira.
Great review Dean!
I use Luno in the Netherlands and yes, I fully agree it is geared for crypto-newbies. The number of coins & features available is miniscule compared to what’s available on, say, Binance.
Having said that, I very much like the fact that they have 0% maker fees in Europe for the Luno Exchange – it makes it very advantageous to swap between the major cryptos of BTC, ETH & XRP depending on daily price movements. Saves a lot compared to having to pay 0.1% many times when swapping among these 3 cryptos, with the potential of getting more crypto than you started with if you’re able to buy the dip!
My primary use case for Luno is for hodling, not so much for trading.
Have you tried withdrawing fiat from your Luno wallet? How long does it take to reach your bank account?
FYI In the Netherlands, enabling send takes 24 hours for activation.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nik – glad you liked the review!
The only thing I’d watch out for on Luno’s Exchange is price slippage if you submit market orders, as it doesn’t have as much activity as cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance. Good to hear you’re saving some money on fees though, as they can quickly stack up!
When I tried withdrawing GBP from Luno, it took less than 30 minutes to land in my account – which is pretty good. But if you’re withdrawing EUR with a SEPA bank transfer, then it’s going to take a few business days (Mon – Fri) to be processed. There’s a little more information here.
I agree with your review. I use Luno in Malaysia and find it very user friendly. However, I have friends in the UK who started using Luno but tell me there is a 2 week wait to ‘enable send’ instead of the usual 24 hours. Do you know if this is true? Or is it just for the first time you want to ‘enable send’?
It seems to me that having to wait 2 weeks is really going to put people off using Luno in the UK and I am probably going to stop recommending it, unfortunately.
Hope you can shed some light on the subject.
Thanks for sharing this, Helen!
You’re correct. I’ve just tested this on my account (as a UK resident) and withdrawals are restricted for two weeks. This wasn’t previously the case and it’s a little strange that it’s only in specific countries. I’ve reached out to Luno for more details.
I like that you can restrict withdrawals, but two weeks does a bit much. If you’re looking for UK alternatives, then I think CoinJar has a great mobile and web interface – and works out a little cheaper too. It doesn’t support credit or debit card deposits though.