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.
Pros and cons of Luno
- Active in the world of cryptocurrency since 2013, Luno is a trustworthy and reliable place to trade cryptocurrencies.
- Being one of the easiest to use exchanges today, Luno scores high on usability and is perfect for beginners.
- Luno offers multi-language customer support and supports local payment methods, resulting in the best possible user experience.
- They have adopted a deep-freeze storage strategy offering a high level of internal security.
- Luno has country-based restrictions. As of now, Luno is available only in Australia, Europe, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Zambia.
- Compared to the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Luno supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies.
Pros & Cons of Uphold
- The anything-for-anything trading model of Uphold makes it easy to trade any supported asset for another supported asset on Uphold.
- Uphold offers a user-friendly way of trading multiple assets via desktop and mobile applications.
- There are no hidden fees on Uphold as they have inclusive pricing and are upfront about the spread.
- Users don't have to pay any commission for trading on Uphold.
- Uphold is available for use in 184+ countries.
- Slow response from Uphold customer service team.
- Compared to some of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, the spread charged by Uphold is on the higher side.
- There have been instances of Uphold locking users out of their accounts.
- Users have complained about being unable to login into their Uphold accounts because of issues related to authentication codes.
- Uphold has placed a weekly cap on funding user accounts via debit/card.
- Users withdrawing BTC, ETH & ERC20 tokens from Uphold will have to pay a fixed fee along with the network fee.
Frequently asked questions about Luno
We’ve compiled some answers to questions we often get. Should you have any other questions, feel free to reach out below in the comments.
What are the current fees on Luno?
The fees charged by Luno varies by the type of service. Luno charges deposit fees on certain deposit methods. They also charge a transaction fee from takers and withdrawal fees for withdrawing crypto to external addresses.
Luno charges trading fees only from the takers, and it is between 0.03%-0.1%. The fees depend on your trading volume in the last 30 days. When it comes to Luno's Instant Buy/Sell service, the fees vary by the amount of cryptocurrency you want to purchase, the type of cryptocurrency, and the fiat currency you are using for the purchase.
What is the minimum deposit for Luno?
The minimum deposit is $10 on Luno
Is Luno safe to use?
Luno has never been hacked, however, it’s worth noting that it could always get hacked and you need to be very cautious to not fall victim to phishing or other hacking attacks.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Luno?
It generally takes up to two business days to withdraw funds from Luno.
How to Start Trading With Luno?
Working with Luno is easy. All you need to do is download the app and sign up for your free Luno wallet. Once you’ve set up your profile, choose your preferred payment method like bank transfer or credit card to add money to the wallet. Once you have added funds, you can start buying, storing, or sending the crypto assets using Luno.
How Protected is My Private Key with Luno?
To protect your private keys, Luno stores them in a physical bank vault secured with stringent access control mechanisms like fingerprint and retina scans. The keys are stored in several vaults across many continents. The entire system is built in a way that you have to access the keys from multiple vaults and put them together before you could use them to extract the Bitcoin.
Does Luno have an API?
Yes, Luno has an API that can be leveraged to access present and historic Bitcoin and Ethereum market data, submit and view orders, buy, sell, send, and receive Bitcoin and Ethereum and generate receiving addresses.
How to Verify Identity with Luno?
First, you need to confirm your mobile number and your basic personal details. Then you need to submit a photo or a scanned image of your government-issued ID. You also need to file a selfie photo, not more than 24 hours old. The final step is to enter your residential address and select your employment status.
Can a Foreign Resident Open Account in Luno?
Yes. To open a Luno account as a foreign national, you will have to furnish documents related to proof of identity, proof of residency, proof of bank account with residential address, and proof of residential address.
How secure is Luno?
Luno has taken all necessary steps to ensure the security of the exchange and user funds. They have an authentication strategy in place, and it involves passwords stored in hashed form and the 2FA or two-factor authentication model. Entire communication happens over SSL-secured HTTP channels, whereas the wallets are stored using PGP encryption. All personal information is encrypted and securely stored.
Frequently Asked Questions About Uphold
You may still have questions after reading the rest of this review. We’ll do our best to answer the most common questions people have about Uphold below.
What Trading Assets Does Uphold Support?
Does Uphold Mastercard debit card offer cash back?
Yes, for every USD-sourced transaction, an Uphold Mastercard Debit cardholder will earn 1% cashback in USD. As for crypto purchases through Uphold debit card, the cardholder will receive 2% cashback.
Are there any fees on Uphold?
Uphold does not charge any commission on trades, but the users have to pay a service fee, depicted as spread by Uphold. Apart from the spread, a user also has to shell out money for funding their Uphold account via Debit/Credit Card or China Union Pay, along with exchange fees, which is usually less than 0.75%. Uphold also charges its users for withdrawing funds.
For crypto withdrawals, a user will have to pay $2.99 as a fee and for bank withdrawals, Uphold charges a $3.99 fee.
What is the spread for trading on Uphold?
The spread on BTC and ETH fluctuates between 0.8% to 1.2% in the United States and Europe. On the other hand, the spread on BTC and ETH is typically around 1.8% in other parts of the world.
The spread on cryptocurrencies with low liquidity on Uphold is likely to be significantly higher than the spread on BTC & ETH. It includes cryptocurrencies, such as DOGE, XRP, ZIL, among others.
For currencies like the USD, EUR, and GBP, the spread is around 0.2%. As for precious metals, the spread is around 3% of the bid price asked by the supplier. On the other hand, if you are trading US equities, the spread will be 1.0%.
Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Uphold?
Yes, Uphold has capped the minimum and maximum amounts a user can deposit and withdraw. It varies by the type of deposit and withdrawal method that a user opts for.
For debit/credit cards, the minimum deposit is $10, and the maximum amount is $1500 per week. When it comes to ACH bank transfers, the minimum amount for funding is $10, whereas the maximum amount is $2500 a day. For withdrawals via bank transfers and ACH, the minimum amount is $5, and the maximum amount is $10,000.
There are no capped limits on US wire transfers, Euro SEPA, British Pound FPS transfers, and supported cryptocurrencies for funding Uphold accounts. But for withdrawals, Uphold has set a minimum and maximum amount for these individual methods, and it varies by the type of method the user opts for. For instance, the minimum withdrawal amount for Euro SEPA transfers is €10, and the maximum amount for withdrawal is €50000 per day.
Are there any fees on Uphold debit cards?
There is a one-off issuance fee of $9.95. As for usage charges, there is a $2.50 withdrawal fee per transaction and $3.50 per international withdrawal transaction. Uphold cardholders do not have to pay any charges for domestic purchases and foreign exchange as it is free for them.
Is Uphold secure?
Security of user funds and data is a number one priority for Uphold. They have put in sophisticated encryption and layered defenses to protect against any potential attacks. They also make sure that their products go through security audits by experienced security professionals to single out loopholes, if any, in their systems.
There is 24/7 monitoring by the Uphold Security Operations Centre to keep an eye on threats and respond to them immediately. Uphold also has a bug bounty program and rewards anyone who reports security vulnerability.
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.