It’s not a secret that crypto still has a way to go before its use for everyday transactions will catch up with speculative demand. However, one outspoken crypto executive sheds a bit more light on the current status of crypto. At least, at the company he manages.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno, a crypto wallet and exchange provider with more than 2.5 million global accounts, revealed that among his company’s customers, a good 90% uses crypto for speculative purposes only.
Asked in the interview if cryptocurrencies are currently being used for transactions, Swanepoel said:
“We operate in about 40 countries across emerging markets and developed countries, and roughly about 90% I would put in the category of investments/speculation […] and about 10% would be transactions, that would be e-commerce or remittances, or moving money in and out of a country.”
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According to the company’s website, they’ve processed USD 8 billion worth of transactions in total.
In the interview, Swanepoel was also confronted with the often-repeated narrative that Chinese people are buying Bitcoin to avoid capital controls when they move money out of the country, as well as to “retain some asset value” as the Chinese Yuan depreciates.
To this the executive replied that it could be “just speculation and trading.”
“You see that with the Chinese stock market. A lot of people like to trade shares in China. There’s a strong retail base there. It’s a similar thing for some of these asset classes,” Swanepoel pointed out.
In the interview, he also spoke about the use of bitcoin as a safe haven asset when the traditional financial markets enter so-called risk-off phases. As explained by the show host, bitcoin has shown a tendency to rise during these periods along with traditional safe-haven assets like gold and the Japanese Yen, and then fall again once the risk sentiment comes back into the traditional markets.
To this, however, Swanepoel said that “one should be careful to ascribe too much of that necessarily to crypto, but it’s certain that that element is at play.”
“A lot of people take a very long-term macro view on bitcoin, they take a 10, 20-year view on it,” he said, before adding: “We are in a broader macro cycle for cryptocurrencies.”
Meanwhile, in an interview a year ago, one of Luno’s executives, told Cryptonews.com that contrary to popular belief, the real crypto revolution is happening in the emerging, not western markets as people in regions such as Africa and Asia are actually starting to use cryptocurrencies for transactions.
The whole interview with Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel:
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