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SA-founded Luno acquired by Digital Currency Group (US) - a perfect fit

10 September 2020 6:38 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
bitcoin
cryptocurrency
Luno
Ethereum
Marcus Swanepoel
Cryptocurrency sector
Digital Currency Group
DCG
cryptocurrency exchange

The cryptocurrency exchange is a huge SA success story and they'll continue to invest heavily 'at home' says CEO Marcus Swanepoel.
Picture credit: https://www.luno.com/en/

"A South African-bred business - Starts in Singapore! Moves to London! Bought by Americans, but still with SA soul!"

That's how Bruce Whitfield describes the trajectory of Luno, our largest and obviously hugely successful cryptocurrency exchange.

RELATED: How Luno outgrew Cape Town for London, handling Bitcoin billions in 40 countries

The business has now been acquired by the New York-based Digital Currency Group (DCG).

Marcus Swanepoel (Luno co-founder and CEO) tells The Money Show what sealed the deal with DCG after they'd rebuffed many acquisition offers.

It's our earliest investor, shares a very similar vision of what needs to happen in the crypto space, has a very strong balance sheet and are in it for the long run.

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

We looked at the opportunity and we decided: You know what? We can all do something much bigger together... The stars just aligned and we decided it was an amazing opportunity for us to grab.

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

Swanepoel traces his longstanding relationship with the CEO of DCG, Barry Silbert.

Seven years ago when we were just five people in a room starting the first iteration of Luno which was then called BitX, I remember sitting on a call, speaking to him in New York about the future of crypto...

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

That conversation has really just continued over the last seven years. He's been a very close adviser to us and a close friend.

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

Swanepoel says he's considered over the years how best to build the most successful vehicle for addressing the "incredibly huge market opportunity" in the cryptocurrency space.

You need to touch every aspect of the ecosystem whether it's on mining, or trading or institutional investors or retail investors... DCG are not trying to do everything themselves...

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

They invest in entrepreneurs and management teams, they build brands that are very targeted...

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

... and as you rightly say, ECG has quietly been amassing a presence across all the crypto opportunities globally and all the types of products and customer segments except for this one in the retail space and emerging markets. We just fit so nicely into that and we're just completing the puzzle for them for their broader strategy.

Marcus Swanepoel, Co-founder and CEO - Luno

Hear more about Swanepoel's plans which include continuing to invest heavily in South Africa:


10 September 2020 6:38 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
bitcoin
cryptocurrency
Luno
Ethereum
Marcus Swanepoel
Cryptocurrency sector
Digital Currency Group
DCG
cryptocurrency exchange

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