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Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that is gaining traction and so there is an increasing acceptance of what cryptocurrencies enable, both in terms of a store of value use case, as well as a robust payment system, said Sherry Goh, country manager for Singapore, Luno, told Blockhead, in a conversation about the mainstreaming of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies among investors.
The rise of NFTs in 2021 has also helped boost interest in the industry, she said. “As we see increasing mass market adoption of cryptocurrency this year, we should also expect to see even more significant developments unfold in 2022.”
Founded in 2013, Luno was one of two companies that yesterday received an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide digital payment token services in Singapore.
The company, founded in 2013, was acquired by the Digital Currency Group (DCG) in 2020, DCG further secured over US$700 million in a secondary funding round from investors including Google’s Capital G and GIC Singapore, valuing DCG at USD$10 billion.
The crypto exchange recently hit a milestone of 10 million customers across 40 countries, with over 1 million users added within the last six months.
Expansion on the cards
“Greater expansion across the Asia Pacific is definitely on the radar,” Goh said. Singapore, where Luno’s global expansion team is located, is an important market as part of Luno’s expansion plans. She added that the company hopes to bring cryptocurrency to over 1 billion customers by 2030.
As Luno’s Global Expansion Manager, Goh oversees the development and execution of Luno’s global expansion strategy and leads a cross-functional team in Singapore, the US, London, and Cape Town.
In her role as country manager for Singapore, Goh also cultivates relationships with participants in the local cryptocurrency sector, local banks and key government bodies to help drive business and industry interests in cryptocurrency.
The company has already set foot in regional markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia, growing its headcount from less than 10 in 2018 to 70 currently, with hiring across its key offices in Sydney, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, with aim to double this in the next year to continue fueling growth within the region.
Education is key
One of Luno’s key strategies to further grow the platform’s user base is by focusing on education.
“Cryptocurrency is a relatively new form of assets, and definitely one with a higher level of complexity given that it’s still considered an emerging asset compared to other more well-known and traditional financial instruments, such as equities,” she said.
For those just getting started on their crypto journey, Goh offered some advice: “While cryptocurrencies help an investor to diversify their investment portfolio. It does come with its own risks and rewards – so due diligence and having adequate understanding prior to engaging in cryptocurrency investing is essential.”
“It is important to find a service provider that suits your personal needs. Look for platforms that provide resources and learning portals that can provide you with the necessary education and knowledge to understand the space and to better equip you to make informed decisions,” she added.