​You don’t have to buy a whole Bitcoin

A common misconception is that you have to buy a whole Bitcoin to get started. For anyone new to cryptocurrencies, this can be off-putting. But since Bitcoin is digital and can be divided into as many as one hundred million pieces, you don’t need to buy a whole one. You can purchase, sell, send and receive a tiny fraction.


Local currencies break down into pieces: pounds break down into pence, dollars and euros into cents and so on. One Bitcoin divides into units as small as 0.00000001 BTC.

Exchanges like Luno let you buy cryptocurrencies with a specific amount of your local currency. So if you want to spend £1000 and the price of Bitcoin is £10,000, you’ll get 0.1 BTC. You can also specify the amount of cryptocurrency you want to buy.

Note: these examples assume no fees on the transactions. The currencies supported by Luno are on our countries & fees page.

Useful for day to day transactions

The price of Bitcoin has gone up significantly in the past few years. As the value of a one Bitcoin increased, to be useful for day to day transactions, people started using smaller units.

Breaking it down into smaller units keeps Bitcoin usable as the price rises. When it was worth next to nothing, people might use hundreds or even thousands of Bitcoin for a single transaction. Now it’s standard to use a tiny part.

Minimum amounts to buy/sell on Luno

You can deposit and use small amounts of local currency to purchase Bitcoin over time. The minimum transaction amounts are:

Currency Minimum amount
MYR 2 – 3
ZAR 2 – 10
NGN 100 – 300
IDR 15.000

Basic Bitcoin units of measurement

Bitcoin units of measurement follow the International System of Units, a global measurement standard used for centuries. The most commonly used units are “bitcoin”, but sometimes it is expressed in bits, satoshis and other ways:

Unit Value (BTC)
BTC (or Bitcoin) 1
bit 0.000001
satoshi 0.00000001

At the moment most Bitcoin platforms —including Luno— only use Bitcoin as a unit of measurement: e.g. 1 BTC, 0.0023 BTC and so on.

What is my local currency worth in Bitcoin?

If you want to see how much Bitcoin (or fraction thereof) you can buy:

  1. Visit the Bitcoin Price page
  2. Select your preferred currency
  3. Enter the amount (in your local currency)
  4. The Bitcoin amount, at the current exchange rate, will be shown to you

Did you find this useful?