Crypto-exchanges viewed by Lucy James, Chief Legal Officer of Luno

Understanding of Luno’s challenges regarding crypto industry regulation coming ahead

Could you tell us more about the origins of Luno? How did this idea come up?

Luno was founded in 2013. We built a platform that makes cryptocurrencies easily accessible to everyone, whoever and wherever you are.

We believe that decentralised cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum will fundamentally change how the world views and uses money. We aim to bring this knowledge to our clients as best we can.

Luno is part of the Digital Currency Group and operates across Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. We have almost 1000 employees across offices in Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and now, France.

Compared to cryptocurrency exchanges registered as DASPs in France (such as Coinhouse and recently Binance), what are your main competitive advantages ? And what about the future development perspectives ? 

Luno’s mission is to make crypto accessible to the largest number of people by making it safe and easy to learn about, buy and store crypto. That means cutting through the hype and giving customers the information they need because, in our view, for a financial system to be fair, everyone needs to understand it.

As a business, Luno prioritises earning the trust of our more than 10 million customers globally. Doing so is at the centre of everything we do and includes developing an on-the-ground presence in local markets, engaging independent auditors to verify the existence of the crypto we store, obtaining our ISO 27001 certification, proactively engaging with governments, regulators and law enforcement and seeking to set the standard in the prevention of financial crime. 

Our proposition will be the same in France, where our ambition is to provide the best in terms of product, security and customer care and protection.

In Europe and notably in France, the crypto industry often sees regulation as a risk rather than an opportunity. What is Luno’s vision about the existing French Regulatory Framework for the Crypto industry ?

Luno very much supports the regulation of the crypto industry and since its founding has advocated globally for robust regulatory regimes that address the relevant risks without unduly stifling innovation. We view ‘trust’ as a critical factor in the growth of the crypto industry and the introduction of strong regulatory frameworks enhances trust throughout the system.

For that reason, we very much welcome the French regulatory framework. In our view, the French regime is a strong example of proactive regulatory thinking. The French government appears to have recognised the enormous potential of cryptocurrencies and has taken steps to ensure that the technology is offered in France in a responsible and sustainable manner. The regime allows operators to provide a full suite of products and services to French customers, but at the same requires the highest standards of conduct, including robust AML/CFT controls and strong consumer protection mechanisms.

According to you, what are the key trends that will shape the 5 coming years of the European Crypto ecosystem ?

The crypto industry is likely to continue to grow enormously over the next 5 years, but we do think there will be some significant differences to the growth we have seen previously. 

Primarily, and as discussed above, the industry will be the subject of considerably greater regulatory oversight. That will, in our view, lead to more safe and sustainable growth. It will help to weed out, and prevent the entry of, a number of less responsible industry players and, in turn, give more and more individuals and businesses the confidence to adopt cryptocurrency. We hope that this greater regulatory oversight will be accompanied by increased consistency of crypto regulation globally, which we consider critical to the industry reaching its full potential. There are some positive signs in this regard (the FATF’s oversight of introduction of the Travel Rule, and the development of MiCA being examples), but we urge governments to keep this as a key priority in their consideration of crypto regulation.

Suivez-nous !


Charles de Maleville

Charles de Maleville

Associé Consulting, PwC France et Maghreb