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The popularity of cryptocurrencies is at an all-time high as prices of almost every leading cryptocurrency are setting new records. Such growth is attracting new users to the cryptoverse in huge numbers, which is benefiting the crypto exchanges. In this article, we will be comparing two such globally-renowned exchanges - Luno and Uphold, which have millions of users around the world.
On one side, we have Luno, a crypto exchange and wallet provider. Launched in 2013 as Bitx, it was rebranded as Luno in 2017. Focused mostly on emerging markets, especially in the African region, Luno is the most popular crypto exchange in Nigeria and South Africa.
On the other hand, Uphold, formerly known as Bitreserve, offers its users an opportunity to trade over 60 assets. Having processed over $8 billion to date, Uphold is one of the largest multi-asset exchanges globally.
Luno vs Uphold - Number of Supported Countries
Currently, Luno offers its services across 40 countries and has 6 million users. Mostly focused on the emerging markets, Luno is one of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges in Africa, especially in South Africa and Nigeria. Whereas, Uphold offers its services in 184+ countries and has amassed 1.7 million customers globally.
Luno vs Uphold - Supported Cryptocurrencies
As of now, Luno supports six cryptocurrencies, which include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and USD Coin (USDC). Uphold, on the other hand, supports eight cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and XRP (XRP). Both are almost evenly matched when it comes to the number of supported cryptocurrencies.
Luno vs Uphold - Crypto Trading Fees
Luno does not charge maker fees, but it does charge a taker fee. It depends upon the user's trading volume in the last 30 days. If it is between EUR 0.00 - EUR 249,999.99, then the taker fees will be 0.10%, which is the lowest fee on Luno. If a user's trading volume in the last 30 days is more than EUR 16,000,000.00, they will have to pay a 0.03% fee.
Along with exchange services, Luno also offers an instant buy/sell service, and its fees are different from its exchange services. For crypto/fiat pairs, the instant buy/sell fees on Luno is in range of EUR 1.00 - EUR 100,000.00 / GBP 1.00 - GBP 100,000.00. For crypto-to-crypto pairs, the fees vary by the type of cryptocurrency. For instance, a BTC/BCH pair will attract BCH 0.002 - BCH 40.00 in fee or BTC 0.0005 - BTC 5.00 in counter currency.
On the other hand, Uphold charges no commission on trades. But it does not mean that Uphold is a free service. Users have to pay for withdrawing crypto to external addresses. Additionally, users also have to pay a spread, known as a service fee on Uphold, which is typically around 0.8% to 1.2% on BTC and ETH in the United States and Europe. In other countries, the spread is around 1.8%. Depending upon the liquidity of the crypto assets, the spread may be significantly higher.
Luno vs Uphold - The Takeaway
Both Luno and Uphold are well-known in the crypto space. But when it comes to offering fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat services in emerging markets like Africa, Luno is better. The reason is that Luno allows users from emerging markets like South Africa, Uganda, among others, to deposit and trade in local currencies like ZAR, UGX, etc. A high-volume trader will also find Luno to be better than Uphold, as their fees will go down with an increase in trading volume.
But when it comes to the availability of a crypto debit card and the number of tradable assets, Uphold has an edge over Luno as users can trade precious metals and US equities on Uphold, which is not possible on Luno.