Bitcoin Daily: Digital Currency Group Buys Luno Exchange; Venezuela Bars MercaDolar, Coinbase Access

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Blockchain firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) has bought the Luno cryptocurrency exchange, which it will keep running as an independent subsidiary, according to a Wednesday (Sept. 9) announcement. DCG first backed the company six years ago during its seed round.

“We are proud to have supported Luno as an early investor, and we recognize a shared commitment to building mission-driven companies that can help transform traditional financial services and improve economic freedom for people all over the world,” DCG Founder and CEO Barry Silbert said in the announcement.

Silbert also noted in the announcement that there is a tremendous potential to “expand organically and through acquisitions.”

Luno, which is headed by Co-Founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel, has over 5 million worldwide clients covering more than 40 nations and almost 400 staffers, according to the announcement. The U.K.-based company offers digital asset instruction, investment technology and information for people in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Luno is a top exchange in a number of nations that have the top percentages of digital currency ownership, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa, according to the announcement.

DCG, for its part, has invested in over 160 blockchain companies throughout the globe and is the parent firm of a number of wholly-owned subsidiaries.

In other news, Venezuela has prevented internet users from operating the MercaDolar remittance system and Coinbase, Finance Magnates reported, citing Venezuela Inteligente, a group that assists those in the country in getting around the web restrictions.

The precise reasoning behind the ban is not reportedly known. The news comes as Venezuela has reportedly obstructed two significant virtual private networks (VPNs) in recent times.

The country has grappled with a lengthy period of hyperinflation, while the government has rolled out the Petro cryptocurrency and is trying to make its use more regular. In August, a large share of a group of mayors inked a deal to take payment for taxes through the country’s digital currency.

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