Cryptocurrency platform Luno is now expanding into Australia. The region where bitcoin trading reached a record in February, to $74,000 up from $44,000 in January, still remains largely untapped.
In the last five years, Australia that has a supportive regulatory environment, has seen a fivefold increase in the number of fintech companies, said Luno General Manager Marius Reitz.
The South African company, which operates in Nigeria and the UK and recently started trading Uganda and Zambia as well, employs 350 people across offices in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
According to Reitz, Africa is one of the “most promising” regions for crypto adoption, given the challenges of high inflation rates, volatile currencies, and a lack of banking infrastructure in different countries of the continent.
Moreover, “Africa’s young and mobile-native make the continent even more ideal for the rapid adoption of crypto,” he said. Not to mention, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana are frequently among the top 10 countries by Google searches for the term “Bitcoin.”
Luno has added about a million users to its platform since the pandemic began. Just yesterday, it announced that the company has officially reached 5 million customers.
Founded seven years ago, Luno attracted $3 million in funding in 2015, led by Africa’s biggest company Naspers, which along with Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Ltd, Balderton Capital UK LLP, Venturra Capital, and Digital Currency Group all own less than 20% stakes in the company.
As we reported, DCG here just made a bet of $100 million on bitcoin mining with its fourth subsidiary, Foundry, the other three being Grayscale Investments, Genesis, and Coindesk, to reduce China’s dominance on BTC hash rate and bring it back to North America.
The crypto world is seeing a lot of development in 2020, just this week, Fidelity unveiled its first bitcoin fund for family officers and registered investment advisers with a minimum investment of $100,000.
As the crypto market is enjoying the gains, with Bitcoin up 56.4% YTD, development in the space is gathering speed as well.