David Low General Manger of Southeast Asia

Luno is 3rd legal Digital Asset Exchange in Malaysia

SouthAfrican-based Luno, recently got its application to be a ‘Recognized Market Operator (Digital Asset Exchange)’ conditionally approved by the Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia. This makes it one of three digital asset exchanges to be regulated in Malaysia, allowing investors to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies.

In an email interview with Enterprise IT News, David Low, Luno General Manager of Southeast Asia, answers some pertinent questions.

Q: How many customers does Luno have and what is your target in the near future?

A: Luno has more than 2.5 million customers (wallets) across 40 countries. While we’re unable to share the exact number of Malaysian customers, it’s an extremely important market for Luno, and we have seen tremendous growth here in the past few years.

Q: What is the growth plans and strategy for Luno?

A: Once we have satisfied the conditions by the SC, we will re-launch full services in Malaysia very soon. Regulation brings clarity and protection to the average consumer, hence it will allow many more Malaysians to safely get their first experience with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Following which we will continue rolling out our education and awareness plans for the Malaysian market. Apart from building world-class products and services, we invest in education because it’s the key to helping people upgrade themselves and their communities. We expect the market to continue growing steadily, as we have seen not just in Southeast Asia, but in our experience all over the world.

Q: Which are the crypto currencies that Luno supports now, and possible new ones over the next 12 months?

A: Luno currently supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are the two most established cryptocurrencies today. We review listing new coins on a periodic basis, and will keep everyone informed should we plan to list any new digital assets. It’s important to note that the SC needs to approve listings of any new digital assets.

Q: What does the ‘Recognized Market Operator’ actually mean? How is it different or similar to a regular Market Operator?

A: As per the SC’s guidelines, a recognised market essentially covers an alternative trading venue, marketplace or facility that brings together purchasers and sellers of capital market products. Terms and conditions may be imposed on the RMO by the SC to commensurate with the risk profile, nature and scope of the proposed recognised market operations.

In Malaysia, there are currently three types of recognised markets: a) Equity crowdfunding b) Peer-to-peer lending and c) Digital asset exchanges.

Q: What are some of the security measures that Luno adopts to ensure data privacy for its customers?

A: Luno places great importance on ensuring the security of its customers’ personal data. We regularly review and implement up-to-date technical and organisational security measures when processing sensitive data. Employees of Luno are trained to handle personal data securely and with the utmost respect, failing which they may be subject to disciplinary action.

Q: Who are your main ‘competitors’?

A: Apart from Luno, the SC recently also provided conditional approval to two other Digital Asset Exchanges. Friendly competition is always good for the end consumer. However instead of focusing on the competition, we prefer to focus on providing the best products, services and experiences for our customers and future customers.

David earlier quotes in a distributed Luno press release:

“We are extremely grateful to the Securities Commission for granting us conditional approval. It has been a long journey for Luno, from our entry into the Malaysian market in 2015, which led to us becoming, in just two years, the largest digital asset exchange in the country. We look forward to relaunching the Luno services so they are again available to all Malaysians; and have been

working closely with regulators and banks to complete the groundwork for the buying, selling and storing of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, which we believe are the future of money.

Regulation will ultimately bring clarity and protection to consumers, and will ensure that all cryptocurrency businesses have adequate standards in place to protect investors and their funds. Luno’s commitment to compliance is demonstrated by our continued registration with, and institutional reporting through Bank Negara Malaysia.  

We know there is a lot of demand for our service so we are coordinating with our partners in Malaysia to get Luno back and operating as quickly as possible. The Malaysian government’s proactive regulation of the digital asset industry shows the significance they place on this sector. We firmly believe that cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technologies will bring innovation in both old and new industries.”

Note: Luno is now headquartered in London with regional hubs in Singapore and Cape Town. Luno currently has over 250 employees with close to 3 million opened wallets across over 40 countries.