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Luno CEO: ‘Industry Accelerated a Lot Faster This Year Than We Anticipated’


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The pace of the crypto industry’s acceleration in 2021 has surprised many, including Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Luno. Swanepoel recently remarked: “We knew it was coming, but just not that fast, particularly in certain subsectors like NFTs and some altcoins.”

Subsectors at ‘Top of Their Hype Cycle’

The acceleration of the crypto industry in 2021 surprised some players in the space, including Marcus Swanepoel, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange platform Luno. Although Swanepoel notes this acceleration was expected, he nonetheless concedes that the pace of the growth was not anticipated.

In remarks published by the Daily Maverick, the CEO offers his thoughts on what may have caused the rapid acceleration.

“The industry accelerated a lot faster this year than we anticipated. We knew it was coming, but just not that fast, particularly in certain subsectors like NFTs and some altcoins,” Swanepoel is quoted explaining.

However, Swanepoel opines that some of the subsectors are probably at the “top of their hype cycle” and will likely cool off in the next cycle. The CEO also lamented that “less than 90% of what people see [in the crypto industry] is actually useful or legitimate.”

CBDCs Beneficial to Crypto

In addition to sharing his thoughts on the crypto industry’s growth, as well as Luno’s journey since its acquisition by Digital Currency Group, Swanepoel also offered his views on the perceived threat to cryptocurrencies posed by central bank digital currencies (CBDC). He explained that while many governments are seemingly interested in issuing or are experimenting with CBDCs, the reality is that it will take several years before such digital currencies are fully rolled out.

In the event that many countries succeed in rolling out a functioning digital currency, Swanepoel argues this will be beneficial to crypto, elaborating:

But if they [governments] do pull it off, it would be very beneficial for crypto as it would just increase the ease of switching in and out of decentralised crypto such as bitcoin.

On the regulation side, Swanepoel suggests that progress toward the creation of appropriate regulatory frameworks has been very slow globally. In the same interview, Swanepoel also quipped about how China’s crackdown on bitcoin mining has resulted in the shifting of this activity to North America.

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