Luno launches Ethereum Rand trading on its exchange


South African cryptocurrency traders, will be able to buy Ethereum using Rands directly on the Luno exchange at attractive launch fees of between 0% and 0.2%.

Marius Reitz, Luno’s GM: Africa, says that a direct Ethereum/Rand pair will make it quicker, simpler and cheaper for customers to interact with and use Ethereum on the exchange. “We are working on a number of enhancements to our platform and this pairing has been introduced in response to demand from our customers. Previously, customers could buy Ethereum through our instant buy option but having this ability directly on the exchange makes it faster and cheaper for traders,” he says.

There are several use cases for Ethereum aimed at automating daily processes and removing the middlemen from the systems we use making everyday life more efficient and cost-effective. These range from legal and finance, to medical and more. 

Luno supports Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to Reitz, there are over 2000 cryptocurrencies. “However, many of these are scams, so customers need to trust that the exchange they use has verified the track records of cryptocurrencies available on their platforms. Luno limits the currencies on offer to those on which we have completed extensive research and due diligence and we are satisfied with their credibility in terms of security and adoption. Luno will be adding additional cryptocurrencies to its platform later this year,” he explains.

Luno, the exchange which makes it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about cryptocurrencies, has over 2,7 million customers (wallets) spanning 40 countries. Reitz says that Luno has invested heavily in scaling in anticipation of the next cryptocurrency surge by upgrading its platform, opening new offices in new countries and increasing its team.  “We have very robust technology systems to reinforce and expand our business as we prepare for the bull run that takes us to mass adoption and a stable market. We expect a sharp shift from using traditional financial systems to the next step in the evolution of money,” he says.

How is Ethereum different to Bitcoin?

Ethereum is a public, peer-to-peer network or blockchain. Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and its practical applications are vast in comparison to others. Where Bitcoin stores a list of balances and transactions on its blockchain, Ethereum is designed to store different types of data. 

This data can be used by computers running on the Ethereum blockchain. These programs are called decentralised apps, or dApps. Another significant difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum is that the supply of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million. Ethereum is not capped to any specific quantity. 

Developers around the world can build and run decentralised applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The purpose of these is to improve finance, personal information storage, governance and other industries by using the transparent nature of blockchain. 

“We have a dedicated Ethereum series on our learning portal as part of our commitment to encouraging responsible investing,” says Reitz.

South Africans seek changes to the financial system

Luno recently carried out a ‘Future of Money’ survey in seven key markets including South Africa to analyse the understanding and attitudes that individuals across the globe have towards the financial system. The findings indicate that the respondents from emerging markets are seeking a change to the way global money exchange and banking operates.  

Reitz explains, “Individuals in these markets cannot afford to, and should no longer need to, pay high exchange rates, accept national currency devaluation or lose out when they simply transfer money. Access to a more inclusive financial system will enable people everywhere to think of new and better ways of exchanging value and technology allows this.” 

Over 91% of respondents in South Africa said they pay for a personal bank account and 75% said they use mobile banking. The results also indicate that respondents in South Africa are savvier with their money than those in European markets, as the second highest percentage of respondents that said they invest in products (i.e unit trusts and stocks) came from those in South Africa. In comparison, a high percentage of individuals from European markets; France (70%), UK (61%) and Italy (59%) said they do not usually invest with the purpose of increasing their wealth.