As more people in Africa and the middle east learn about Bitcoin and join the movement, they are faced with the challenge of buying Bitcoin. Blockchain.info and Coinbase are usually introduced to for Bitcoin account. However, buying bitcoins from these platforms is restricted to your Geo location (for example Coinbase only accept people from certain countries in the world)
Luno and Remitano are two platforms that make it easy for people especially in Africa and the rest of the world to deal in bitcoin. They provide you with a Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets, make it easy for you to buy, sell, send, receive and even trade Bitcoin and Ethereum at an affordable price. Most countries that are not allowed in Coinbase will have no issues on these platforms. I have reviewed Luno and also Remitano in the past, however, I have not directly compared them.
Today I am going to do just that.
Luno is similar to Coinbase, they provide users with Bitcoin wallet and enable them to buy Bitcoin directly from the platform. On the other hand, Remitano is Similar to Local Bitcoin; they provide a common ground for Bitcoin buyers and sellers to trade Bitcoin directly with each other. Secure trade using the escrow system to ensure fairness amongst traders. And also provide users with a Bitcoin wallet.
I am going to see how far NGN30,000 will go to buy Bitcoin on either platform (I am using the Nigerian naira in my examples; you can relate it to other currencies, the concept is the same)
Luno Vs Remitano – Countries Accepted
Luno: 43 Countries are accepted in Luno: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Remitano: 52 Countries are supported in Remitano: Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Ivory Coast, China, Colombia, Denmark, Dr Congo, Spain, Ghana, Indonesia, Israel, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Nepal, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, South Africa, South Korea, Zimbabwe.
Luno: requires that you only provide and verify your email address to use its wallet. However, to buy and sell on Luno, you need to provide additional information. The Limit of bitcoins you can buy and sell on Luno depends on the number of verifiable information you provided. These include; email verification, phone number verification, identity verification (government issued ID card) and resident verification.
Remitano: Remitano only requires you verify your email address. You can buy bitcoin on Remitano without additional verification. However, additional verification is required if the seller you want to buy from indicates he only wants to sell to verified users. The Verification required is phone number verification and ID card verification.
Luno: Fees are incurred on 3 different types of transactions in Luno depending on the country you are operating from. These transactions are;
- Deposit: Luno does not charge you for deposit but sometimes they employ the service of a third party to process your transaction. The fee you incur is the fee charged by the 3rd Deposit in most countries are free but in Nigeria, PayU charges you 1.5% of deposit amount up to a maximum of NGN2,000 for each deposit they process.
- Withdrawal: Luno levies an administrative fee to process your withdrawal. This fee depends on your currency of withdrawal, however; it is independent of the amount you withdraw. The fees for each currency are BCH 0.00, EUR 0.30, IDR 6,500.0, MYR 0.10, NGN 200.00, ZAR 8.50.
- Send/Receive Bitcoin: It is free to send Bitcoin on the Luno platform; it is also free to receive Bitcoin over email. However, when you receive Bitcoin to your public bitcoin address, you are charged a fee of 0.0002btc, this is inclusive of the standard Bitcoin transaction fee.
Remitano: There is a 1% transaction fee paid when you buy Bitcoin in Remitano. This 1% fee is included in the listing; you do not pay it separately. The standard Bitcoin transaction fee is also included in the 1%.
This is probably the biggest difference between them all and maybe the deciding factor to where people might buy from. At the time of writing this article, the exchange rate on Luno is NGN1,612,903 for 1BTC (although what you will see on the site is NGN1,578,600 which is the amount they buy from you), on the Remitano platform on the other hand, the seller at the number one position sells at NGN 1,593,127 per BTC that is 1.24% less. The seller at number 10 spot sells at NGN 1,599,941/BTC that’s 0.81% less.
So NGN 30,000 on Luno will get you 0.0186000026BTC, on Remitano it will get you between 0.0187506914BTC to 0.0188308904BTC depending on the seller you are buying from. The difference might not be much unless you are buying a large amount of bitcoin.
Note: If you are in Nigeria you will pay extra 1.5% of 30,000 as processing fee when buying from Luno. Therefore, you will be paying NGN30,450 for 0.0186000026BTC.
Luno is not great when it comes support. In plain words, they suck at it. If you wish to contact their customer support, you will have to fill a support ticket, then wait for 3 to 4 days before you receive a reply from them. Most times their reply will refer you to an answer in their help centre FAQ which might not comprehensively answer your question (from personal experience). Remitano on the hand has a very good support system. They have a ‘live chat’ that will reply you within 10mins of initiating a chat (also from personal experience). They also have a system integrated into the ‘live chat’ where users can rate the performance of the customer support. I have communicated with them a couple of time even on twitter.
The verdict – Luno or Remitano?
There is no straight answer to this as both companies have their strength and weakness. At the end, it all depends on what you want. As a summary, I will point out the following:
- If you are looking for a fast and easy way to buy Bitcoin instantly then you should go with Luno. However, Remitano is not bad with time; the duration of a transaction on this platform is dependent on the seller, usually, most sellers take about 15mins to complete a transaction.
- If time is not your problem but you want more value for your money, then you should go with Remitano.
- If you want an ever available customer support 24/7 Remitano will avail you of that.
- Security of transaction; when buying or selling bitcoin on Luno, you deal with Luno directly. But Remitano brings Buyers and sellers together to trade, they try as much as possible to make it secure using the escrow system and also provide a 24/7 customer support. However, at the end of the day, you are dealing with individuals who might not be trustworthy. Read my review on Remitano to know how to buy and sell Bitcoin safely on Remitano.
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