Cryptocurrency: Africa dominates Luno’s eight-million user base

Luno, a global cryptocurrency company, has announced that it has hit a major milestone in its growth, with eight million customers (wallets), achieved in just 12 weeks.

This, according to a statement on Thursday, follows an earlier announcement in April after it reached seven million customers in just seven weeks. 

With a major surge in customers from four million in December 2020 to 5.1 million in May 2021, Africa accounts for Luno’s largest user base and the platform’s recent figures reinforce the huge appetite for cryptocurrencies across the continent.

Last month, the platform announced it recorded trading volumes of $7bn in Africa alone and installs of the Luno app have soared by 271 per cent on the continent since January 2020. 

Luno’s General Manager for Africa, Marius Reitz, said, “Across Africa, we’re witnessing a huge wave of retail investors step into the crypto market for the first time and that’s potentially due to easier access or the lower minimums required to purchase crypto.

“However, this isn’t just a trend that’s been taking off in Africa, it’s something that’s being replicated across all of our emerging markets but what sets the continent apart is a rapidly growing awareness of how crypto could be the ideal solution for Africa’s unique challenges.”

He said the company’s research last year found 54 per cent of Africans were ready to adopt a global digital currency compared to 41 percent in Asia and 35 percent in Europe.

Reitz said, “This growing demand stems from an understanding that crypto can effectively solve major problems in Africa such as volatile currencies, costly payments and high inflation.

“At Luno, we believe the core utility of cryptocurrencies to address these issues not only has the potential to completely upgrade Africa’s financial system, but will be a key driver in transforming cryptocurrencies from a niche technology to an essential feature of everyday life for all Africans.”

Earlier this year, Luno announced the launch of USDC, a stablecoin on the crypto market known as the “digital dollar”.

Pegged to the US dollar, it marks a major breakthrough specifically for African users through not only enabling them to hedge against the volatility of local currencies, but also delivering an upgrade on the functionality of the US dollar by being faster and easier to move across the world, according to the statement.

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