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Buy Bitcoin & Crypto in South Africa

Bryan Aulds
Bryan Aulds
Updated: 7th October 2020

Disclaimer: This page includes affiliate links. When you make a purchase through one of our links, we may receive commissions.

Most Popular Exchanges in South Africa

Coinmama Logo

Coinmama

Founded 2013

Coinmama allows users to easily and quickly make bitcoin purchases from almost anywhere in the world using many different payment methods, including credit cards.


Kraken Logo

Kraken

Founded 2011

Started in 2011, Kraken was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges. Founder Jesse Powell started the exchange after helping with MTGOX's 2011 crisis/hack. It was during this experience that Jesse realized the importance of security for a bitcoin exchange. Determined to do better, Jesse started what would become Kraken later that year. As a testiment to the focus on security, Kraken has never been hacked and remains of the of top Bitcoin exchanges in the world.


CHAPTER 1

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading in South Africa

The cryptocurrency exchange you use will depend on what your goals are. Some people buy only bitcoin, while some buy many cryptos. Some trade, while some buy and hold.

We'll outline some of the best options for each type of buyer and trader.

Bitcoin mobile transfer
Bitcoin mobile transfer

Best for Buying

If your only goal is to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum or another coin, the following exchanges have smooth and easy buying processes:

Bitcoin blockchain
Bitcoin blockchain

Best for Trading

If you plan on trading in and out of different coins, the following exchanges support many cryptocurrencies:

Now, let's give a bit deeper into some of the exchanges mentioned above with our detailed overviews.

CHAPTER 2

Top Cryptocurrency & Bitcoin Exchanges in South Africa

Coinmama Logo

Founded 2013

Coinmama Logo

Coinmama Popular

Founded 2013

Coinmama Popular

Coinmama allows users to easily and quickly make bitcoin purchases from almost anywhere in the world using many different payment methods, including credit cards.

Visit Site More

PROS

  • Super Fast Withdrawal
  • Higher privacy that most exchanges
  • Super convienent and easy to use
  • One of the few places to buy bitcoin using credit cards

CONS

  • Higher fees than some other exchanges

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Credit Card Debit Card Wire Transfer

Headquarters: Israel

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Super easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Super fast

Fees icon

Fees

Medium

Reputation icon

Reputation

Excellent

Limits icon

Limits

-

Visit Site Read Review
Kraken Logo

Founded 2011

Kraken Logo

Kraken Popular

Founded 2011

Kraken Popular

Started in 2011, Kraken was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges. Founder Jesse Powell started the exchange after helping with MTGOX's 2011 crisis/hack. It was during this experience that Jesse realized the importance of security for a bitcoin exchange. Determined to do better, Jesse started what would become Kraken later that year. As a testiment to the focus on security, Kraken has never been hacked and remains of the of top Bitcoin exchanges in the world.

Visit Site More

PROS

  • Excellent Security record
  • Large Volume

CONS

  • Slow Customer Service response
  • Slow account verificaiton

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Debit Card Bank Transfer Cash BACs Chaps

Headquarters: San Francisco, USA

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Super easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Slow

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Excellent

Limits icon

Limits

Medium

Visit Site Read Review
CHAPTER 3

Best Bitcoin Wallet for South Africa

Bitcoin wallets are just software or hardware, so the truth is that wallets can work in any country.

However, we've highlighted some Bitcoin wallets we think would be good for South Africa users here.

Trezor Model T
Best for Security

Trezor Model T

Secure storage with high res color touch screen

Read Review

The Trezor Model T is perfect for long term holders of many coins. It's full color high resolution touch screen makes it easy to navigate and advanced features make it the most secure hardware wallet

Ledger Nano X
Best for Traders

Ledger Nano X

Secure Storage with Bluetooth Functionality

Read Review

The Ledger Nano X is great for traders who need to access their coins on the go. The on-board bluetooth functionality allows you to access your coins on your mobile device.

Electrum Logo
Best for Desktop

Electrum

Multi-feature desktop wallet that works with hardware wallets.

Visit Website

Electrum is a Bitcoin-only desktop wallet that offers many advanced features for higher level users. It is best paired with a hardware wallet.

CHAPTER 4

More Bitcoin Exchanges in South Africa

Most Popular Exchanges in South Africa

Coinmama Logo

Coinmama

Founded 2013

Coinmama allows users to easily and quickly make bitcoin purchases from almost anywhere in the world using many different payment methods, including credit cards.


Kraken Logo

Kraken

Founded 2011

Started in 2011, Kraken was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges. Founder Jesse Powell started the exchange after helping with MTGOX's 2011 crisis/hack. It was during this experience that Jesse realized the importance of security for a bitcoin exchange. Determined to do better, Jesse started what would become Kraken later that year. As a testiment to the focus on security, Kraken has never been hacked and remains of the of top Bitcoin exchanges in the world.


Binance Logo

Founded 2017

Binance Logo

Binance

Founded 2017

Binance

Binance's US arm has fewer currency pairs than thier main exchange, but still has a solid offering. They offer fiat on and off ramps as well, allowing you to get new money into the market quickly.

Visit Site More

PROS

  • Easy Fiat Deposit
  • Dollar Cost Averaging tool

CONS

  • Less pairs than Binance main site

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Credit Card Debit Card Bank Transfer Wire Transfer

Headquarters: San Francisco, USA

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Super fast

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Average

Limits icon

Limits

High

Visit Site Read Review
Cex.io Logo

Founded 2013

Cex.io Logo

Cex.io

Founded 2013

Cex.io

Since its founding in 2013, CEX.io has never lost any user funds. As a pioneer in credit card payments for crypto, CEX has kept it easy to access and buy coins. Since it supports 99% of all counties,you can use CEX no matter where you are to buy and sell your favorite crypto assets

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PROS

  • Supports 99% of all countries
  • Multiple Fiat pairs
  • No customer funds lost
  • Easy account creation

CONS

  • Slow withdraw times

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Credit Card Debit Card Bank Transfer SEPA SWIFT

Headquarters: London, GBR

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Slow

Fees icon

Fees

Medium

Reputation icon

Reputation

Good

Limits icon

Limits

High

Visit Site Read Review
BitMEX Logo

Founded 2014

BitMEX Logo

BitMEX

Founded 2014

BitMEX

Started by commodities trader Arthur Hayes in 2014, BitMEX quickly became the leading place to make leveraged bets on the price of bitcoin. Thier unique Bitcoin only depoist/withdraw system, along with top notch security have continued to set it apart from challengers.

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PROS

  • Up to 100X leverage
  • New products constantly rolled out
  • Top Notch Security

CONS

  • For Advanced Traders

Supported Fiat: No

Payment methods include: Bitcoin

Headquarters: SYC

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Super fast

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Excellent

Limits icon

Limits

Unlimited

Visit Site Read Review
BTCC Logo

Founded 2011

BTCC Logo

BTCC

Founded 2011

BTCC

As the oldest exchange in China, BTCC has a good reputation that only longevity can earn. Easy fiat on and off ramps and many cryptocurriencies to trade continue to make BTCC China's premere exchange

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PROS

  • Easy fiat on and off ramps

CONS

  • Trader Privacy is extremely low.

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Credit Card Debit Card Coin Payments Wire Transfer

Headquarters: Hong Kong, China

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Slow

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Good

Limits icon

Limits

High

Visit Site Read Review
LocalCryptos Logo

Founded 2012

LocalCryptos Logo

LocalCryptos

Founded 2012

LocalCryptos

LocalCryptos is a Peer to Peer exchange that escrows funds, allowing two parties to trade cryptocurriences with no prior knowledge of each other.

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PROS

  • Peer to Peer

CONS

  • Can be slow. Trade speed depends upon the speed of the other party, not LocalCryptos

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Credit Card Debit Card Bank Transfer Coin Payments Cash

Headquarters: Richmond, Australia

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Average

Privacy icon

Privacy

High

Speed icon

Speed

Slow

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Good

Limits icon

Limits

-

Visit Site Read Review
eToro Logo

Founded 2006

eToro Logo

eToro

Founded 2006

eToro

eToro was started before bitcoin existed, however it recently has added bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading to its platform. Now it is one of the most trusted places to buy, sell and trade various cryptocurriencies. It's large platform allows it to have low fees and spreads.

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PROS

  • Low fees
  • In businisses longer than any other crypto exchange

CONS

  • 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider
  • Withdrawals can be slow

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Bank Transfer

Headquarters: UK

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Slow

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Excellent

Limits icon

Limits

Unlimited

Visit Site Read Review
Bittrex Logo

Founded 2014

Bittrex Logo

Bittrex

Founded 2014

Bittrex

Founded in 2014, Bittrex was a mainstay of crypto trading during the 2017 bull market. It has many cryptocurrency paiirs and now even allows Fiat on boarding.

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PROS

  • Many Currency Pairs

CONS

  • Extensive KYC

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: -

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, USA

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Average

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

-

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Good

Limits icon

Limits

Medium

Visit Site Read Review
Bitit Logo

Founded 2015

Bitit Logo

Bitit

Founded 2015

Bitit

EU based exchange supporting 15 different fiat trading pairs and dozens of coins beyond Bitcoin. This is one of the more established exchanges with a long track record and a clean UI that is easy for newbies and veterans alike.

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PROS

  • 15 fiat trading pairs
  • Multiple payment options supported
  • 50 countries supported
  • €10,000 initial weekly Neosurf cash payment limit with only 8% fees

CONS

  • Very low limits to buy without KYC
  • Tiny weekly €500 limit for credit and debit card purchases
  • Low limits overall

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: Credit Card Bank Transfer Cash Cash Libs Wire Transfer

Headquarters: Paris, FRA

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Slow

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Average

Limits icon

Limits

Medium

Visit Site Read Review
Paymium Logo

Founded 2011

Paymium Logo

Paymium

Founded 2011

Paymium

Paymium is one of the oldest exchanges in Europe. It is compliant with all EU regulations and is extremily well trusted. Paymium is based in France and supports several payment methods, including SEPA transfers and credit card purchases.

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PROS

  • High limits for SEPA transfers
  • Makers get paid to trade with low taker fees
  • Great mobile support for trading on the go

CONS

  • Not the easiest exchange to use
  • Limited desposit methods that only supports euros

Supported Fiat: -

Payment methods include: Credit Card Bank Transfer SEPA SWIFT Apple Pay

Headquarters: Paris, FRA

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Easy

Privacy icon

Privacy

Low

Speed icon

Speed

Super fast

Fees icon

Fees

Low

Reputation icon

Reputation

Good

Limits icon

Limits

High

Visit Site Read Review
BestChange Logo

Founded 2007

BestChange Logo

BestChange

Founded 2007

BestChange

BestChange is a specialized online e-currency exchange service that monitors rates for dozens of popular conversion pairs in near real-time and offers one-click access to lists of reliable e-currency exchangers capable of helping you complete your transaction quickly and efficiently.

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PROS

  • Just about every kind of payment option you could think of
  • Very private if you pick the right options

CONS

  • Doesn't sell Bitcoin directly
  • just exhaustive directory for how to acquire it with different methods.

Supported Fiat: Yes

Payment methods include: -

Headquarters: RUS

Bitcoin mobile transfer icon

Ease of Use

Average

Privacy icon

Privacy

High

Speed icon

Speed

-

Fees icon

Fees

High

Reputation icon

Reputation

Excellent

Limits icon

Limits

-

Visit Site Read Review

The history of Bitcoin in South Africa

Map of South Africa

South Africa has been one of the most Bitcoin-friendly countries in all of Africa since the beginning. While banks have not been as receptive in their response to fintech, mobile phones (which are a HUGE commodity in many African countries) have, and this impact has been noticed by those looking to test out new Bitcoin and blockchain technologies on a willing audience.

The current status of Bitcoin in South Africa

Bitcoin network concept

Simply, yes. It is legal to buy and sell Bitcoin in South Africa. But, as is the situation with most countries, the governing body in charge of finances (in this case, the South African Reserve Bank), has issued warnings about mining.

Currently, there are no specific laws or regulations governing the use or trading of Bitcoin or other virtual currencies in South Africa. However, in December 2014, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the central banking institution responsible for creating and implementing monetary policy, as well as issuing banknotes and coins within the country, issued a position paper on virtual currencies, claiming that only the SARB can issue legal tender and, therefore, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not considered legal tender within the country.

The SARB also officially endorsed warnings of the various financial risks associated with the mining, storing, and use of virtual currencies in South Africa, going so far as to say that there would be no legal protections afforded to users or traders and that Bitcoin mining should be practiced at the user's own risk. It did also mention that, at the time, despite the reservations, the SARB did not consider Bitcoin or any other virtual currency to be a systemic threat but emphasized the need for constant monitoring of markets.

Some of the most popular exchanges for buying Bitcoin in South Africa include Coinmama, eToro, and Luno.

Explore more exchanges