Crypto firm, Luno targets 20 new markets in 2019

The firm disclosed this at the Luno Meetup which held on 8 December, 2018 in Lagos Nigeria.

L-R: Olaleye Awe, cryptocurrency trader; Owenize Odia, country manager, Luno Nigeria; Lucky Uwakwe, co-founder; Frank Eleanya, cryptocurrency consultant.

The firm disclosed this at the Luno Meetup which held on 8 December, 2018 in Lagos Nigeria. The event with the theme “Building trust in Nigeria’s cryptocurrency market’ brought together experts, traders and buyers from across the country to address the issues like regulations, cyber security in the cryptocurrency space and encourage collaboration among stakeholders.

Owenize Odia, Country Manager of Luno Nigeria noted that the aim of the meet-up was to deepen the education of cryptocurrency to empower users to make informed decisions and protect them from internet criminals. The market is growing in Nigeria but knowledge of how it works is still very low.  The Luno Meetup will be held at least once every quarter to bridge this gap.

A survey of one thousand people conducted by Luno Nigeria recently showed that 65 per cent were familiar with cryptocurrency. 25 per cent said own a cryptocurrency while 29 per cent own bitcoin and Ethereum.


51 per cent view cryptocurrencies as investment while 19 per cent say they use it for remittance. 16 per cent have used it to make an online purchase and 11 per cent made transfers to family and friends using cryptcurrencies.

Lucky Uwakwe, co-founder of and chief operating officer (COO) of Blockchain Solutions Limited said the growth in awareness so far could be attributed to the changing narrative from the country’s financial regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CBN, he said, has moved from negative to neutral in their perception of cryptocurrencies.

“The CBN is now issuing caution to traders and buyers because of the high volatility in the market,” Uwakwe said during a panel session. “It is different from when it used to threaten banks not to get involved in any form in the market.”

He suggested the possibly of regulators issuing license in the coming year, for players in the industry, so as to have oversight on there activities in Nigeria


According to Luno issuing licenses to exchanges will bring trust to the cryptocurrency market in Nigeria. After an important recovery from a sharp fall in prices, public interest in bitcoin rose dramatically to a 4-month high. Google Trends also showed the highest level of interest for this period was recorded a week ago, and since then, the trend has remained above normal levels.

Olaleye Awe, a cryptocurrency trader, also affirmed that a regulated market will address the challenge of fraud and rising criminality that is discouraging a lot of investors from bringing in funds into the market.

Odia noted Luno is already planning for a regulated market with several checks put in place to give customers the confidence they need when trading on the platform.

“Luno welcomes regulation which is why we self-regulate,” Odia said.


Speaking on the downward trend in the market in which prices of major cryptocurrencies has dropped below expectation; Awe said it could be positive for people who want to take a position.

He also added, “The best approach is to be an investor and a trader. I have made more money when bitcoin was falling than since I began trading in 2016.”

He believes that the cryptocurrencies that will lead the future will be nothing compared to what is presently available.

“We believe in leveraging technology to make a meaningful and long-term positive impact on all members of society, no matter who are or where you are from,” Marcus Swanpoel, co-founder and CEO of Luno said in a statement. “Upgrading to this better financial system will empower billions of people by ultimately lowering their cost of living, providing them with more and better economic as well as new decentralised products and services, increase the value retention of their wealth, and overall providing more financial freedom.”

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