The milestone comes amidst the ongoing crypto ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria that restricts all banks and deposit-taking firms from dealing with crypto exchanges.
Following this direction, Luno has reported that its liquidity has dropped by a third of what it was previous to the ban which came into effect on February 5, 20201.
Marcus Swanepoel, CEO, Luno, has expressed his views on the ongoing ban. In a statement, he said:
“Any attempt to restrict access to cryptocurrency does not protect Nigerians. It holds them back and leaves them vulnerable. It prevents honest Nigerians from taking advantage of all that cryptocurrency has to offer them. It also leaves the regulators at a disadvantage.
Blanket bans push people “underground” [i.e. trading via Whatsapp or Telegram groups, for example]. This makes activity involving transparency less transparent and means financial bodies have less visibility of what’s going on.”
– CEO, Luno
The ban has also seen exchanges operating in Nigerian find workarounds that are less visible to regulators such as P2P trading. Commeting on this, Swanepoel says:
“Our view is that P2P trading would go against the spirit of the CBN’s directive. We believe that the focus should instead be on demonstrating to the CBN that exchanges such as Luno have the necessary controls in place to address the concerns it has in relation to cryptocurrencies.”
– CEO, Luno
Luno hopes to work with regulators in Nigeria by having an open dialogue in order to create ‘an inclusive and transparent cryptocurrency ecosystem, making it easier for consumers and regulators alike.”
The South African exchange was recently ranked among the top 6 crypto exchanges in a recent cryto ranking report by CryptoCompare.