More than RM2.5m worth of digital assets were traded within the 1st 10 days after it resumed operation
by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
CRYPTOCURRENCY investment and trading is now officially recognised in Malaysia as Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd relaunched its operation after obtaining a licence to operate from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) in late October.
Luno hopes to regain as much as they could, especially from customers who “exited” the market temporarily.
Founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel said more than RM2.5 million worth of digital assets were traded within the first 10 days after it resumed operation, indicating a huge potential of cryptocurrency market that Luno is ready to tap on.
“In the 10 days, we transacted about RM2.5 million compared to 2017 which at a point, we recorded RM600 million in just a month.
“(But) the number could grow as now we are at a very early stage. We have not gone into a very broad market yet.
“Especially with something new like the regulatory framework, we need to make sure that everything works as intended so that people would have the customer-based experience,” Swanepoel told the press after relaunching the platform in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.
Luno, one of the world’s Digital Asset Exchanges (DAXs), received the regulator’s full approval after the firm, together with Sinegy Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd and Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn Bhd, was shortlisted in the SC’s “conditionally approval” list last June.
There were a total of 43 DAXs identified by the SC in January, but only the aforementioned companies remained while the other 40 were told to cease operations and return their customers’ assets.
Cryptocurrency has almost US$200 billion (RM836 billion) of market capitalisation, with bitcoin — the first established virtual currency invented in 2008 — dominating the market with about US$130 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com.
Currently, Luno is trading bitcoin and an alternative coin (altcoin), ethereum, from the total of around 1,600 altcoins published in the decentralised cryptocurrency world. Swanepoel said when the company found footing in Malaysia around 2015, they took almost a year to pick up the momentum.
“Hopefully, this time around it would not take a year, but perhaps just a couple of months (for Luno to regain footing),” Swanepoel said.
Swanepoel also believes that Luno could make Malaysia as the digital hub for cryptocurrency in the region with the relaunched, despite its growing operations in Singapore and Indonesia.
“The gravitas of our business in South-East Asia is in Malaysia because here is where we have the licence, as well as a lot of customers.
“The Singapore office is quite small and it is to provide some coverage for the region, but at the moment Malaysia has the biggest office.
“We also plan to invest in hiring more people from other region, so it is going to grow significantly,” he added.
According to him, Luno currently has over 300 manpower working at its headquarters in London, Singapore and Cape Town, South Africa, with over three million customers (wallets) spanning over 40 countries.
The company established its physical office in KL in the first quarter of 2018.