Luno Malaysia to bring in more cryptocurrencies next year

PETALING JAYA: Luno Malaysia aims to add a number of cryptocurrencies or coins to its digital asset exchange (DAX) in 2022, according to its country manager, Aaron Tang (pix).

He believes the expansion of the coins offered on the platform will be a key driver for local users, as access to certain coins has been its clients’ number one request.

“By adding more and more coins in Malaysia, we hope we can grow the ecosystem in a safe and responsible manner,” Tang told the media at Luno’s year-in-review and outlook briefing yesterday.

“This means Malaysians do not have to go to overseas exchanges to access a particular coin and trade directly from the ringgit to the coin of their choice.”

The DAX operator is unable to disclose the name of the cryptocurrencies it is planning to launch in 2022 as their introduction is still subject to regulatory approvals.

In regard to the emerging cryptocurrency trend of non-fungible tokens (NFT), the country manager stated that it does not have any plans to onboard NFT to the platform. He believes NFT will drive some volume in the cryptocurrency sphere but they will not command the majority of the volume.

An examination of the statistics of the most popular NFT market, OpenSea, against the transactions in a typical exchange shows the bulk of activities is still in investing and trading of cryptocurrencies, Tang pointed out.

“Furthermore, it is Luno’s direction to educate our Malaysian customers on the basics of cryptocurrencies and we are going to focus on these reputable digital assets such as bitcoin and ethereum.

“With NFT there are no plans at the moment but perhaps in a couple of years down the road.”

Luno had garnered more than 600,000 customers at the end of November 2021, an increase of over 233% year-on-year from around 180,000 customers recorded at the end of November 2020.

As the largest DAX in Malaysia, Luno has processed more than RM12 billion worth of payments in 2021, a 4.3 times increase from the previous year, crossing the RM2 billion threshold in stored value, on behalf of its customers across five approved digital assets — bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Tang said the numbers are testament to strong consumer demand for cryptocurrencies in Malaysia.

“Interest in digital assets among Malaysians continued to grow in 2021, with many investors looking to cryptocurrencies as an alternative store of value or a start to their investing journey.

“Hence, we remain optimistic that our customers can achieve their financial goals of growing and preserving their wealth through investing in digital assets,” he added.