DCG-owned Cryptocurrency Exchange As the Company’s Woes Worsen, Luno Loses its Top Global Executive

DCG-owned Cryptocurrency Exchange As the Company’s Woes Worsen, Luno Loses its Top Global Executive

Vijay Ayyar, a senior executive of cryptocurrency exchange Luno and one of the company’s first employees, is departing.

Ayyar, who is Luno’s vice president of corporate development and international, resigned from the firm after seven years working there, he told CNBC Tuesday (May 2, 2023).

It comes after the company, owned by Digital Currency Group, announced the closure of its Singapore office, where Ayyar is based.

Ayyar said the move was not related to Luno’s decision to exit Singapore, however, and that he quit to join another company in the crypto and Web3 space. Ayyar did not disclose which company he is joining next.

“I’ll be leaving Luno after 7 years at the company,” Ayyar said in a WhatsApp message. “Given the time I’d spent at Luno, just seemed like it was time for another challenge.”

A Luno spokesperson confirmed Ayyar’s decision Tuesday (May 2, 2023).

“Vijay will be leaving after seven years,” the spokesperson said. “His role is a global one and isn’t tied to anything related to our Singapore closure. He’s leaving to pursue a new opportunity in the industry.”

Ayyar held a number of roles at Luno over the years. He was recently entrusted with expanding the firm’s business-facing offerings, marketing Luno accounts to funds, fintech organizations, and corporations interested in using cryptocurrency.

Before that, Ayyar led Luno’s partnership efforts globally and helped the exchange launch in over 40 markets across Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the U.S.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities at Luno, Ayyar also serves as something of a crypto market guru, providing frequent commentary to the press on moves in markets.

His departure comes as Luno undergoes a major restructuring effort to contend with the lull in crypto markets. Luno laid off 35% of its workforce in January, joining a host of other crypto exchanges that have cut jobs.

The company also lost its co-founder and chief technology officer, Timothy Stranex, in December.

In March, Luno announced its CEO Marcus Swanepoel was stepping down and would be replaced with Chief Operating Officer James Lanigan.

The company hired Canaccord Genuity, the investment bank, to court outside investors for the first time since it was taken over by DCG in 2020.

The parent business of Luno, DCG, has been dealing with the lingering fallout from last year’s drop in token prices and the collapses of multiple crypto companies and projects, including Terra, Three Arrows Capital, and, most famously, FTX.

DCG reported a loss of $1.1 billion in 2022, DCG-owned crypto news outlet CoinDesk reported in February, citing the firm’s annual investor report. The firm blamed the huge loss on the impact of collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital defaulting on a loan to digital currency lender Genesis, which DCG also owns. Genesis filed for bankruptcy in January owing creditors north of $3 billion.