Global cryptocurrency platform, Luno, has recently announced it has reached the momentous milestone of 7 million customers worldwide, just seven weeks after passing 6 million customers. 2021 has seen exponential growth in the business, with January 2021 seeing a 60% increase in the number of app installs compared to December 2020 and over 300% growth year-on-year when compared to January 2020.
In 2020, Luno’s customer base in Africa grew by 2.3mn to 4.7mn and between January 2020 & January 2021, installs of the company’s app across the continent have surged by 271% alongside its trading volume in Africa, which grew over 12x from $555mn to $7bn. Luno’s expansion is telling of the bigger-picture market demand for cryptocurrencies globally, as the industry continues to prove its reputation as building a sustainable financial infrastructure.
The crypto industry as a whole has seen a momentous year of growth, heavily spurred on by the entrance of institutional investors adopting bitcoin due to its store of value properties. The asset, which has become renowned as digital gold, has become more attractive to investors amidst inflation concerns as a result of increased fiscal and monetary stimulus. The 2020 spike bitcoin experienced was also accelerated by its growth in global adoption as the number of global cryptocurrency users surpassed 100 million in Q3 2020.
Over the last few years, infrastructure in parts of the world that could not previously support the crypto market has improved substantially. Luno has played an essential role in these developments, particularly in major African economies and Asia-Pacific, where it has enabled efficient markets for customers to trade crypto in a safe and secure way through local currency. In 2020 alone, Luno provided 1.1 million Asians access to the crypto markets, growing its Asian customer base by 300,000.
Since Luno’s acquisition by Digital Currency Group (DCG) in September of 2020, Luno has seen the number of active users increase by 167%, whilst the number of app installs has increased 119%. As of the 25th of January, the average Luno user held over $7,000 USD in their wallet, up 56% from the 30th December 2020. Luno was ranked in the top six cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide in the latest CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark, whilst also receiving the top tier AA rating.
Founded in 2013 by Marcus Swanepoel, a former investment banker, and Timothy Stranex, who previously worked for Google as a software engineer. Today the company is headquartered in London and has nearly 400 employees across offices in London, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Singapore with customers in 40 countries globally, with over 10% growth in staff numbers since March 2020.
The beginning of 2021 marks the start of a period of exponential growth for Luno. This growth is in part down to the simplicity of its online and mobile platforms, offering education, bank-grade security and self-regulation, along with its proactive stance of working with governments, regulators and banks to safely increase access to cryptocurrencies around the globe. This growth can also be partly attributed to the huge growth in interest surrounding cryptocurrencies in 2021 with the likes of Tesla investing in Bitcoin, US Bank BNY Mellon setting up a Crypto Unit, and Mastercard accepting crypto payments.
Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and Co-Founder of Luno says: “The past twelve months has hastened the adoption of crypto globally. While a lot of the press has been around institutional adoption, behind all the headlines retail adoption has been growing at an arguably even more fanatic pace (With Tesla just announcing they will start accepting Bitcoin as payment). The pandemic has exacerbated the need for digital currencies, and here at Luno, our mission is not only to help educate people about cryptocurrencies and how to use them today, but in the long run leverage the power of this technology to upgrade the world to a better financial system. We want to make cryptocurrencies accessible in a secure and compliant way to everyone, regardless of who they are or where they are located. In 2021, we expect to continue this exponential growth, on track to reaching our goal of 1 billion customers by 2030.“
CEO Barry Silbert from Digital Currency Group says: “Luno has seen phenomenal growth over the past 12 months and is one of the fastest-growing companies in the DCG family. We are proud to be part of this success and will continue to make significant investments to support Luno’s commitment to drive global economic and social change through the transformation of traditional financial services.”