Luno, one of Africa’s pioneering crypto exchanges, has revealed that South Africa’s cryptocurrency trading is largely dominated by young people with those under the age of 29 accounting for 40% of transactions. The exchange, which claims to have added nearly a million new South African customers in 2020, also reveals that “around 65% of Luno’s users are male and about 35% female.” These figures compare favourably with the industry average of 70% male to 30% female.
Rising Retail Demand
In addition to achieving a 300% year-on-year growth, Luno reports seeing the number of active users surging by 167% during the same period while “the number of app installs increased 119%.” Meanwhile, a report quotes Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and cofounder of Luno attributing the increase in transactions volumes to rising retail demand for cryptos. Swanepoel explained:
While a lot of the attention has been around institutional adoption, retail adoption has been growing at an arguably even more frantic pace. In 2021, we expect to continue this exponential growth, on track to reaching our goal of one billion customers by 2030.
Between January 2019 and 2020, Luno, which was acquired in September 2020 by Digital Currency Group, says it “recorded $8.3 billion (R121 billion) in transactions worldwide.” Further, Luno says it “processed nearly $3 billion in volumes in South Africa last year, and was already above this number at the end of March.”
South Africans Curious About Cryptos
Meanwhile, the same report also quotes the exchange’s general manager, Marius Reitz, stating that “South Africans are definitely curious about crypto.” To support this assessment, Reitz points to Google bitcoin search trends data. According to this data, South Africa is ranked fourth globally and on the African continent, the country is placed second behind Nigeria.
In addition, to the Google Trends data, Luno also makes reference to the Global Web Index data which shows that “an estimated 15% of South Africans have invested in bitcoin.” With this figure, which is the second-highest in the world, South Africa ranks ahead of countries like the U.S. and Japan.
Do you think South African crypto transactions volumes will surge again in 2021? You can share your views in the comments section below.