Luno has recorded $8.3 billion in transactions worldwide after recently adding nearly a million new South African customers to its crypto platform.

An estimated 15% of South Africans have invested in bitcoin – the second-highest percentage in the world according to the Global Web Index, beating even the USA and Japan.

With over 2.1 million users in South Africa, Luno has around the same number of clients as South African Twitter users according to Statistica. It’s also the fifth most popular finance app on iPhone and third on Android – ahead of most of Africa’s biggest banks.

A three-month average reveals that more than 145,000 South Africans installed the Luno app each month from November 2020 – January 2021.

The average Luno user held over $7,000 in their wallet on 25 January 2021, up 56% from 30 December 2020.

“The past twelve months have hastened the adoption of crypto globally,” says Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and co-founder of Luno. “While a lot of the attention has been around institutional adoption, retail adoption has been growing at an arguably even more frantic pace. In 2021, we expect to continue this exponential growth, on track to reaching our goal of one billion customers by 2030.”

According to Marius Reitz, Luno’s GM for Africa, “South Africans are definitely curious about crypto. Google Trends has South Africa as among the highest in the world for interest in Bitcoin – fourth behind Nigeria, Austria and Switzerland. Searches for #Bitcoin peaked in the first week of January this year.”

Interestingly, crypto investors in South Africa are relatively young. Around 40% of Luno’s South African customers are aged 29 or under. Around 65% of Luno’s users are male and about 35% female which is better than the industry average of 70% male to 30% female.

Reitz concludes, “While regulation generally tends to lag behind innovation, regulators in South Africa have shown a great willingness to engage with the community and work towards pragmatic regulation.”

Edited by Jenna Delport

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