Luno rides on cryptocurrency to grow customer base

Country manager Aaron Tang (pic) said the company, which is projecting between 40,000 and 50,000 new users this year, easily surpassed its target despite the global economic uncertainties.

PETALING JAYA: Luno Malaysia, the largest digital asset exchange in the country with about 180,000 users, is confident of significantly growing its customer base in 2021, underpinned by the rising popularity of cryptocurrency.

Country manager Aaron Tang (pic) said the company, which is projecting between 40,000 and 50,000 new users this year, easily surpassed its target despite the global economic uncertainties.

“At 180,000 users, we achieved our target for 2020. For 2021, we hope to attract more users than we did this year, ” he said at a live virtual media session.

“We’re starting to see a lot of institutions take cryptocurrency a lot more seriously now, ” Tang added, citing payments firm PayPal.

Earlier this month, PayPal officially debuted its crypto services in the US, which would allow US customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies.

If successful, PayPal will be looking to bring the service to new markets.

Separately, Tang said Luno is very encouraged to receive such a great reception from Malaysian customers.

“Investments in cryptocurrency have been increasing steadily in Malaysia with many investors looking to cryptocurrencies as a good store of value or a start to their investing journey.

“On Luno Malaysia, 68% of users buy cryptocurrencies for investment purposes as they look for alternative investment vehicles to diversify their portfolios, with the majority of activity in the country coming from users between 30 and 49 years old.”

With over 90% market share of the local regulated digital asset exchange, Luno stores about RM165mil on behalf of its customers across four approved cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.

Going forward, he said Luno planned to offer new products but would make the relevant announcements once it got the approval of the Securities Commission (SC).

“Moving forward, we hope the innovation, democratisation and expansion of access brought about by regulated cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as continued governmental recognition of the services, will provide a conducive environment for users to purchase and trade digital assets safely.”

Luno was the first digital asset exchange to receive full approval from the SC. It relaunched its operations in October 2019.

In collaborative efforts with the SC, Luno has also generated a collection of informational content aimed to educate Malaysians on safety and risks of trading digital assets, said Tang.

“Over the last few years, the infrastructure that allows people to invest in cryptocurrencies have come a long way. Regulated cryptocurrency exchanges must meet stringent anti-money laundering laws and investor protection requirements.

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