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Digital Currency Group Acquires Luno, a Leading Bitcoin and Digital Asset Exchange

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Digital Currency Group (DCG), a global enterprise that builds, buys, and invests in blockchain companies, announced the acquisition of Luno, a leading cryptocurrency exchange.

Based in London and with regional hubs in Singapore and Cape Town, Luno has grown significantly in recent years, with nearly 400 employees and more than five million global customers spanning over 40 countries.

New York-based DCG will be making a significant financial commitment to help Luno expand globally, both in geographies where Luno currently operates and beyond. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Led by co-founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel, Luno has become a digital asset powerhouse in many emerging and frontier markets, providing digital asset education, knowledge, and investment tools for individuals in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Luno has helped broaden the global crypto investment community and the company has seen record growth of its customer base in 2020.

In Africa, the company saw more than 550,000 new users on its platform in Q2 2020 and contributes the largest share of cryptocurrency trading volume on the continent across non-P2P exchanges.

Luno is a leading exchange in several countries that have the highest percentage of cryptocurrency ownership, including South Africa (third-highest of its citizens owning digital currencies), Nigeria (fifth-highest), Indonesia (sixth-highest), and Malaysia (tenth-highest).

DCG is an investment firm that has backed more than 160 blockchain companies around the world. In addition to its venture portfolio, DCG is the parent company of several wholly-owned subsidiaries, including Grayscale Investments (the world’s largest digital currency asset manager), Genesis (a leading digital asset prime brokerage), CoinDesk (the preeminent media and events company in the industry), and the recently-launched Foundry, which provides institutional expertise, capital, and market intelligence to bitcoin miners and manufacturers. DCG first invested in Luno in its seed round in 2014.

“We are proud to have supported Luno as an early investor, and we recognize a shared commitment to building mission-driven companies that can help transform traditional financial services and improve economic freedom for people all over the world,” said DCG Founder and CEO Barry Silbert. “Luno is a high growth, global business and there is a massive opportunity to expand organically and through acquisitions.”

DCG enables its subsidiaries to operate as independent companies, providing leadership, partnership, and investment capital to help scale the businesses. The Luno leadership team will remain entirely intact and Swanepoel will lead acquisition efforts in his role as CEO.

“The past seven years have been an incredibly exciting journey for Luno – helping millions of our customers get access to crypto for the first time,” said Swanepoel. “DCG has been an integral part of the Luno story during all of this time, and we’ve been fully aligned on our vision and culture since day one.

Having the full backing of DCG just as we’re experiencing such a pivotal moment of growth in the industry is not just an exciting and important milestone for Luno, but more importantly it will significantly accelerate our ability to reach our goal to help upgrade 1 billion people to a better financial system by 2030.”

“We have been extremely impressed with Marcus and the Luno team since we made our initial investment,” added Silbert. “Marcus understands our culture and appreciates how well Luno fits into the DCG family. He is a focused, high integrity leader and exactly the kind of person we want running one of our companies at this critical moment when the crypto industry is at an inflection point.”

Founded in 2013, Luno has been backed by global tech giant the Naspers Group and Balderton Capital amongst others. During these last seven years Luno has maintained its commitment to upgrading the world to a better financial system. The company believes that the legacy system was built for a non-digital age, ignoring the needs of modern individuals and adding unnecessary inefficiencies and gatekeepers.

The world now has access to new technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that will fundamentally change how the world views and uses money. Like communication evolving from landlines to mobile phones, money is finally catching up with other information revolutions.

Luno maintains regional offices in Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Jakarta, and Johannesburg, and will continue to focus on the existing geographies where it operates across Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Luno team has also developed an aggressive road map for future growth and will ultimately compete with financial services firms globally. Luno is actively hiring for positions all over the world.


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Join Inlaks Live TechTalk Edition on Hyosung’s Revolutionary MV 100 ATM Model

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Inlaks, the leading Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of highly scalable ICT Infrastructure solutions, will on Monday September 28, deploy the second edition of its virtual thought leadership segment called “TechTalk”.

Techtalk which was formerly a pre-recorded segment hosted on the organisations YouTube channel has now transitioned into a live virtual event across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The virtual edition kicked off in August 2020 with a segment on Financial Crime Mitigation, honing in on the superiority of Temenos Financial Crime Mitigation Solution with Emmanuel Orororo, Sales Manager, Financial Business, Inlaks.

The 2nd edition of Tech Talk promises to offer the same measure of insights as it dives into the world of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with a focus on MoniValue 100, a revolutionary ATM solution by Hyosung TNS. The MoniValue 100 is especially adapted to the present times as it is a cardless, contactless and changeless solution.

Join this virtual event live by logging on to any of the social media pages below on Monday, 28th September 2020. YouTube: Inlaks, Facebook: InlaksNg, Twitter: Inlaks, Instagram: InlaksNg

Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.

Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.

With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.

Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities and the Distribution sectors of the economy. For more information, please visit www.inlaks.com


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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