UK based crypto company, Luno has revealed that its user base has hit a milestone of 7 million in 2021. This is a growth from more than 6 million customers in January 2020.
According to CEO Swanepoel, Luno’s numbers have been increasing month-on-month over the last seven years. However, this is the first time it is seeing an acceleration of this magnitude.
Luno was founded by Marcus Swanepoel and Timothy Stranex in 2013. Since then the crypto exchange has grown to have nearly 400 employees across London, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Singapore, with customers in 40 countries globally.
The huge acceleration can be traced to the incredible growth of Bitcoin in the last few months. The increasing price of cryptocurrency has made it a great investment asset for people especially Africans.
This, added to the growing popularity of Bitcoin making people millionaires has driven a large number of people to cryptocurrency on the continent. Luno with its strong presence in Africa is one of the major beneficiaries.
Out of the 7 million customers it has globally, 4.7 million are in Africa. This is more than 67% of the total user base of the company. Luno’s African users were just 2.3 million in January 2020.
The crypto exchange app installs across the continent have increased by a whopping 271% within this time frame, and trading volumes skyrocketed 12 times, from $555 million to $7 billion.
The Crypto Boom
In general, this year has been a great year for cryptos. The Bitcoin rally spurred by the entrance of institutional investors caused a momentous growth in the industry.
The global adoption of cryptocurrency is at an all-time high as the total estimated users surpassed 100 million in Q3 2020. The is from the 5.8 million recorded in the second quarter of 2017, according to Binance Research.
Also, the rise of the price of Bitcoin to over $65,000 pushed the valuation of Bitcoin to over 2 trillion and also increased the profit margins and user bases of most crypto exchanges.
Like Luno, many crypto exchanges have benefited from the bitcoin rally this year. Coinbase which is going public on Wednesday generated an estimated revenue of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
Similarly, crypto trading on Robinhood spiked to 9.5M customers in Q1 and Binance one of the world largest crypto exchanges launched a zero-commission, tradable stock tokens.
The stock token which could become a competition for the stock exchange allows users to trade fractional stocks. The first Binance Stock Token to be listed is Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and it will be denominated, settled, and collateralized in BUSD.
Luno Targets 1 billion Customers By 2030
In September 2020, Luno got acquired by Digital Currency Group (DCG), an investment firm that builds, buys and invests in blockchain companies.
DCG portfolio companies include Coindesk, Genesis and Grayscale Investments.
Before acquiring Luno for an undisclosed fee, DCG invested in the company’s seed round in 2014. Swanepoel told Techcrunch that he took the deal because he saw an opportunity to take Luno to a larger scale
“The first five to six years for us was on a small scale and now, we want to go big. So it helps to have a global platform like DCG to do it from because they have large amounts of capital and are committed to investing in Africa as well as outside the continent,” he remarked.
Since the acquisition, Luno has seen immense growth and adoption on its platform. By numbers, its active users increase by 167% and as of January, the average user held more than $7,000 in their wallet, up 56% from December 2020.
According to the company’s CEO, its target is to have about 1 billion people to a better financial system by 2030.
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