A new cryptocurrency exchange, backed by former First National Bank (FNB) CEO Michael Jordaan, and based in rand, is hoping to challenge SA’s largest incumbent, Luno. Formed by a breakaway team from Rand Merchant Bank, VALR  raised R20m in July 2018, with Jordaan its principal SA backer, along with its four founders. The cryptocurrency platform has also attracted funding from US-based Bittrex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Bittrex “had a similar partnership in South America and Europe and when I approached them they were very keen because SA was one of the emerging markets they were keen to expand into”, said Badi Sudhakaran, VALR’s chief product officer. To date, Luno has dominated SA’s cryptocurrency market and is linked to the RMB stable of companies through AlphaCode, Rand Merchant Investment Holdings’ fintech development hub. Cryptocurrencies are regarded as a form of electronic cash without a central bank and are traded directly between buyers and ...

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