Africa and other emerging markets are leading the drive for crypto-adoption. A recent survey by Luno exchange indicates that South Africans exhibit more enthusiasm towards cryptocurrency than many Westerners. This is not surprising given the increased instability of the country. In this light, Luno eyes more expansion across Africa to take advantage of the gaining demand.
This year saw a sharp drop in cryptocurrency trade volume. In particular, Bitcoin (BTC) and other major altcoins took the hardest beating due to the dramatic price fall from 2017’s peak. However, the number of people familiar with the digital assets increased. According to the survey’s report, people owning or planning to own cryptocurrency also increased.
High Crypto Demand across Africa Gives Luno Opportunity
According to a Moneyweb analysis of the survey, many SA consumers “are adapting to meet this new financial system head-on.” Further, the news outlet quotes Marius Reitz, country manager for South Africa at Luno, who says, “The world is currently undergoing a major shift in the evolution of money.”
Reitz reiterates that the presence of digital money is facilitating a reimagining of the existing financial system. Most of the world can now access financial services through decentralized platforms. In the process, the financial world is getting better in terms of inclusion. In particular, much of Africa faces the problem of financial inclusion. Therefore, Luno eyes more expansion across Africa to spearhead the new technology and help more Africans access capital.
However, as Business Live reveals, Luno is not forthcoming on exactly which countries it will expand into. Further, the newspaper quotes Reitz who says that the exchange already has services in Nigeria and South Africa. To facilitate the Africa expansion, Reitz said that the exchange is looking for banking partners in the target countries.
“We’ve started engaging with banks and regulators,” Reitz told Business Live. As a result of the expansion, the exchange will grow its staff in its African regional headquarters in Johannesburg. In particular, Reitz says he anticipates the exchange to add 32 more people to the current 8.
However, the cryptocurrency sector in South Africa and Africa at large is still facing a regulatory conundrum. Speaking to MyBroadband at a Johannesburg event, Reitz said that he expects the SA government to institute regulations. Interestingly, he expects that the regulations will facilitate innovation in the nascent sector.
“I think the regulation will be relatively open. I don’t see regulators trying to stifle innovation,” Reitz told MyBroadband.
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