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To the moon! The Luno brand story.

Marcus Swanepoel
3 minute read

We believe that decentralised digital currencies like Bitcoin will fundamentally change how the world views and uses money: cheaper, faster and safer transactions; more privacy and financial freedom; a significantly better user experience; and ultimately, more equality by giving everyone in the world access to the same financial system.

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This financial revolution already will have a seismic and lasting impact on society, and as early pioneers in this industry, we feel it’s our duty to bring this knowledge and excitement to the world as best we can.

Over the past few years, we’ve been working hard to help the world access and learn more about Bitcoin. This includes introducing more mechanisms to convert local currency to Bitcoin, building some of the most reliable and user-friendly products, and extending our presence to more countries around the world.

All of these initiatives have the same end-goal in mind: to connect with our customers in a more meaningful way, and bring the power and excitement of Bitcoin to everyone, everywhere.

But as we advanced on our journey we paused to consider – what if this sense of progress and excitement was not only reflected in our products and services, but also in our name?

As a starting point, we asked ourselves: what created excitement about digital currencies like Bitcoin in the first place? For many, including us, it can all be encapsulated in one simple phrase that has been one of the industry’s most popular expressions, and is still widely used today: “To the moon!”.

While this mostly refers to the potential of the Bitcoin price rising to a very high level and generating a lot of wealth, it also reflects the optimism and excitement about this new technology.

But the more we thought about it, the more we realised that there was a lot more to this metaphor than just the price.

Going “to the moon” is in some sense an escape from the gravity of the existing financial system, an exciting new place where the rules are different and possibilities endless. And while it’s undoubtedly a great adventure for some, for many others the journey is also one that can be very perilous: the path is unchartered and there are many risks, especially given the concerns around safety and security.

When someone goes on a journey like that they need a partner that they can trust to lead them along the way, and help them get there safely. The products and services we build provide for exactly that: a safe vehicle and a trusted crew to take people to this ‘new world’.

Lastly, “to the moon” also reflects some of Bitcoin’s grander long term vision. It is meant to create an open and equal financial system that anyone can access from anywhere at any time, free of restrictions or controls. Whether you’re sitting in a penthouse in New York, your backyard in Melbourne, atop mountains in Patagonia or outside your hut in the middle of the jungle, when we all look up at the evening sky we all see the same moon. It is one of the world’s only constants, and in many ways, the world’s one true leveller.

We believe that the concept of ‘moon’ is very fundamentally ingrained in who we are, what we are trying to achieve, and how we interact with our customers. And we wanted our name to reflect that.

‘Luno’ is the Esperanto word for ‘moon’. Esperanto is a language devised in 1887 with the main aim of being an international medium of communication, effectively a way to connect everyone in the world through language. Bitcoin is a perfect financial equivalent of this, and in some ways an even better way to connect us all, through money, one of humanity’s oldest and most important mediums of exchange.

We’re still the same company and team, we have the same much-loved products and services (with a few exciting new additions!) and as always, we’re keeping your Bitcoin safe and sound. It’s now just being done with a brand that better reflects our identity and aspirations, and that will ultimately allow us to build better products and services for you.

To the moon!

Avatar Marcus Swanepoel
Author

Marcus Swanepoel

Marcus is the cofounder and CEO of Luno. Previously, he worked for Standard Chartered in Singapore and before that 3i and Morgan Stanley in London. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a CFA charterholder. He is a South African citizen and a Singapore Permanent Resident.

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