Digital Currency Group: Digital Asset Firm Luno Announces Leadership Transition

Luno has announced that their co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Swanepoel is moving into a new role as Executive Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. Luno is a crypto exchange that is part of the Digital Currency Group (DCG).

James Lanigan, who has been with the company for five years, is elevated to CEO.

As Executive Chairman, Marcus will “continue to work closely with James to guide Luno’s vision and strategy, while focusing on broadening Luno’s investor base to support the company’s next stage of growth.”

Marcus stated:

“Co-founding and serving as the CEO of Luno for the past ten years has been the greatest honor of my career and I’m excited for our next chapter as we continue to put the power of crypto in everyone’s hands. The opportunity for crypto is bigger and brighter than ever, and James is a seasoned operator and an outstanding leader with a track record of success across all aspects of running a truly global fintech business. I have the utmost confidence that James will continue to deepen our trust with customers and key stakeholders alike, driving both Luno’s business and the industry forward.”

Currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer, James established Luno as a brand across multiple markets, “building local teams throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia Pacific, while also growing Luno’s product portfolio for easier access to crypto.”

In this capacity, James reportedly “oversaw Operations, Commercial, Countries, Product, Marketing, and Customer Success departments.”

Prior to joining Luno in 2018, James has “held senior commercial, operational and marketing roles across multiple industries, most recently as the Chief Marketing Officer at Bookatable – now TheFork, a leading global online restaurant reservation platform acquired by Michelin in 2016.”

James added:

“It has been a privilege to serve alongside a founder and leader as strong as Marcus, who cares so deeply about making a positive impact for our customers and employees. I’m passionate about continuing to help Luno build the products and services that guide our customers in a responsible way along every step of their crypto journey, while maintaining our dedication to trust, security and compliance.”

Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, DCG, said:

“Having first invested in Luno’s seed round in 2014 followed by an acquisition in 2020, we want to thank Marcus for his dynamic leadership and enduring enthusiasm for the global crypto landscape as he transformed Luno into a digital asset powerhouse. With James at the helm and strategic partnership from Marcus in his new role as Executive Chairman, we look forward to supporting Luno in its ambitious and continued growth journey.”

As covered in January 2023, digital asset exchange Luno said it would be cutting 35% of Its staff. Luno’s management stated that the upcoming job cuts will impact company workers in all supported regions. Luno is part of the Digital Currency Group (DCG) and reports having over ten million customers globally.

Luno further noted that the job cuts were being made because it has been an “incredibly tough year,” which has negatively impacted the crypto-assets market and the larger traditional financial markets.

As noted by the firm via its LinkedIn page, Luno had over 600 workers on its payroll, which now means it will cut more than 200 jobs (as of January 2023). Luno’s management added that the planned layoffs should impact workers in all supported areas.


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