SA’s Crypto Exchange Luno Hits 5 Million Customers, Expands into Australia
- South African Cryptocurrency exchange, Luno has reached 5 million users in 3.5 months and extended its services to Australia.
- The company says its expansion to Australia was driven by the nation’s supportive fintech environment as well as growing cryptocurrency awareness and adoption.
- Luno customers in South African and the new customers in Australia and UK will receive Bitcoin to the value of AU$20 or £10 – around R240.
Cryptocurrency exchange Luno, which started in South Africa with over 5 million customers in over 40 countries, has now made its platform available to Australians.
The company cites a supportive fintech environment as well as growing cryptocurrency awareness and adoption as some of the reasons for expanding into Australia.
The launch comes shortly after Luno announced it would also be available in the UK.
Marius Reitz (pictured above), Luno’s GM for Africa, says that key factors in the decision to enter the Australian market also included the young age of the population as well as disposable income.
“Our African expansion is moving steadily forward and we recently launched in Zambia and Uganda. Luno is on an expansion drive and the Australian crypto landscape ticked many of the boxes on our checklist,” he says.
Australia has seen a five-fold increase in the number of fintech companies in the past five years. Almost 60% of the digitally active adults in the country are considered fintech adopters.
While there are crypto exchanges operating in Australia, they tend to be quite complex and serve a niche of tech-savvy traders.
“We identified an opportunity due to the relative complexity of their cryptocurrency landscape. Luno’s platform is a simple, easy and safe way for average and starter crypto investors to buy crypto – new customers can go through our digital KYC (know your customer) process and complete their first transaction within a few minutes. We have a distinct focus on helping our customers to learn more about the future of money and cryptocurrencies,” says Reitz.
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Crypto adoption is growing in Australia. Since May, Australians can buy Bitcoin at 3,500 Australia Post offices across the country to add to the 1,500 retail outlets in the Blueshyft payment network, at 1,200 news agents and online payment options to buy Bitcoin.
Another arrangement between Coca-Cola and Centrapay has facilitated the deployment of 2,000 Bitcoin-ready Coca-Cola vending machines in Australia and New Zealand.
Reitz says that Australians display positive sentiments towards cryptocurrency.
“Australia’s Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) estimates that at the current rate of adoption, more than 50% of Australians under 34 will own crypto in the next five years. A third of regular investors spend $100 – $500 per month on crypto.”
Meanwhile, the regulatory environment is a further bullish indicator. The Reserve Bank of Australia has run a proof-of-concept for a wholesale central bank digital currency while the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country’s financial intelligence agency and anti-money laundering regulator, has been regulating the crypto industry since April 2018.
“We believe that regulation is an important catalyst for broader cryptocurrency adoption. Luno welcomes regulation as it will provide consumers and professional service providers, such as banks and auditing firms, with the comfort that the company they are dealing with is held to defined regulatory standards,” says Reitz.
Luno is offering an incentive to South African customers with connections in Australia and the UK. When a friend or family member opens a Luno account and buys Bitcoin, both the South African customer and the new customer in Australia/UK will receive Bitcoin to the value of AU$20 or £10 – around R240.
Luno is a leading global cryptocurrency company on a mission to upgrade the world to a better financial system. Headquartered in London with regional hubs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Luno now has a team of over 350.
With over 5 million customers (wallets) spanning more than 40 countries, Luno’s products and services make it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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