Luno, a London-based cryptocurrency exchange, is planning to enter Kenya and Ghana with its services, thus expanding its footprint in Africa.
Reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, the exchange is already in talks with partners and stakeholders for the expansion.
The decision to expand Luno’s trading services was made at a time when the trading volume on cryptocurrency exchanges surged significantly due to the seeking of alternate asset classes amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Marius Reitz, general manager at Luno, however, pointed out that though the Coronavirus outbreak opened opportunities for trading platforms, it made traveling extremely difficult which is a key to talk to stakeholders.
Tapping strategic markets
Established in 2013, the London-based exchange offers trading services with Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and Litecoin.
Initially, it was eying to penetrate the Asian markets expanding into multiple countries, but due to resistance in the region from regulators and banks, it wrapped up its operations from Southeast Asia.
The exchange also operated under the regulatory sandbox of the UK Financial Conduct Authority to test its crypto-based remittance service using British pounds.
Luno first entered Africa offering services in South Africa and Nigeria and later expanded to Zambia and Uganda as well. The crypto exchange also banked $3 million in 2015 from Naspers, Africa’s biggest company, along with a few other venture capitals, all of which together own less than 20 percent of the exchange.
It now has a presence in three continents – Africa, Europe, and Asia – and employs 400 staff across seven offices.
The exchange also recently reported that it had onboarded 4 million traders.
Meanwhile, many established crypto exchanges are also eying Africa as the next emerging market. Binance is aggressively expanding into the continent and also backing crypto startups with African presence.