Five questions for… Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno

Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno

What does your business do?

Luno is an exchange that aims to makes it safe and easy for people to buy, store and use cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or ethereum. That is only the beginning though. In the long run we are helping the world make the transition to a new and better financial system.

What has been your greatest achievement?

Signing up our millionth customer in November last year (we are now close to double that number). Another has been launching in Europe, which means that people in more than 40 countries can now use our product.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Educating a wide range of stakeholders about the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies – this includes our customers, but also banks, regulators, governments and the media. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it’s important to separate facts from fiction, and to differentiate between the different segments in our industry. For example, cryptocurrency, blockchain and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are all very different concepts.

What are your plans for hitting your targets this year?

We are investing a lot in educating customers, as well as in easier “on-boarding” for our product. This will include faster, more convenient verification and funding, all supported by world-class customer service.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?

It’s an entrepreneurial cliché, but it’s true: persevere. All the hard work and sacrifice eventually pays off, so don’t give up. And remember, it takes up to ten years to build a decent business, so don’t expect overnight success.