Crypto exchange Luno abandons Singapore months after staff cuts

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Luno, the Digital Currency Group-owned crypto exchange, has announced that it’s set to cease operations in Singapore and will pull its plans to apply for a license in the country.

As reported by Bloomberg, the exchange made the announcement in a blog post on Monday.

London-based Luno, which was bought by DCG in 2020, claims that the move comes as part of a “regular evaluation” of its global strategy and has advised that all Singaporean users should withdraw their tokens and funds by June 19.

Back in April, Luno announced that it had obtained approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) — the country’s central bank — to provide digital payment token services. However, Singapore has since cracked down on retail crypto traders, suggesting strict new measures that include tests for would-be traders, and a ban on buying crypto with credit cards.

Read more: 3AC targeted by Singapore watchdog, says firm handled too much cash

The MAS said last year that it was worried that traders may “not have sufficient knowledge of the risks of trading” and that without the right guidance, they may “take on higher risks than they would otherwise have been willing, or are able, to bear.”

Luno made huge job cuts in January

It’s been a tough year so far for Luno.

Back in January, the company announced that it was preparing to cut 35% of its workforce due to the crypto market’s drastic downturn.

According to reports, the job cuts affected more than 330 employees out of around 960, many of whom were working in the company’s marketing department. The firm’s CEO Marcus Swanepoel moved to reassure users at the time, claiming that the sweeping cuts would have “minimal or no impact on key operating, and compliance teams.”

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