Buying, storing, and selling Bitcoin has never been easier in South Arica. The Rainbow Nation now enjoys the thrill of trading cryptocurrency, pretty much like its most cherished northern and western counterparts.
Although the government has not yet decided how to deal with the new currency, there are more than enough trusted and world-reputed bitcoin exchanges in South Africa, and, of course, lots of equally highly regarded and regulated brokers to get you started. Below, you can find comprehensive lists with some of the most popular South African bitcoin exchanges and brokers.
Most Popular Bitcoin Exchanges in South Africa
Luno is one of the very few bitcoins exchanges that serve the global marketplace. The Bitcoin exchange with the strong presence not only in South Africa but also Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Nigeria offers 0% fees for traders that place their orders and then wait for a seller to take them (aka market makers). Compared to other Bitcoin exchanges in South Africa, Luno has a very interesting particularity – it focuses solely on bitcoin trading. This means that you can purchase bitcoin (BTC) with fiat currencies, including the South African Rand, which is something other exchanges usually don’t accept.
Instant Buy feature
Low withdrawal fees
0% fees for market makers
Low fee for market takers (between 0%-1%, depending on fiat currency).
Extremely high limits for exchange (could be infinite if the trader completes the verification process completely).
One of the most trusted Bitcoin exchanges in South Africa and Asia.
Accepts Bitcoin purchases with South African Rand.
Doesn’t offer altcoin trading.
Users have no control of their Luno wallet; best to store bitcoins in another user-controlled wallet.
Limited deposit options (only bank transfer).
The US-based cryptocurrency exchange is quite popular with the South African bitcoin traders and is considered a leader in terms of BTC/EUR trading volumes. The low transaction fees (0%-0.26%, depending on account tier) and excellent security make it an option worth considering. There are 4 account types (from tier 0 to tier 4), which determine the level of fees you will pay, as well as the amount of money you can deposit and withdraw in both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Basic Tier 0 accounts don’t allow deposits or withdrawals; however, you can easily upgrade your account to Tier 1 by providing only basic information (takes just a few minutes to be verified).
Accepts a wide range of fiat currencies (USD, EUR, CAD, GBO, and JPY).
Free SEPA deposits.
High BTC to EUR liquidity.
Offers bank transfers
Good trading environment
Commissions in-line with the current industry averages.
Withdrawals and deposits can take up to 5 days.
Limited options to fund account (SWIFT, SEPA, and wire transfer).
Mobile all not available to Android users.
No PayPal or credit cards accepted.
Recent negative user reviews due to site’s inability to handle the increasing demand for cryptocurrencies.
AltcoinTrader is a South African cryptocurrency exchange that allows clients to cash out their digital currency in South African Rand or buy cryptocurrencies by depositing in the local currency. You will find neither leveraged trading nor inter-cryptocurrency trading, though. Although the cryptocurrency exchange is not formally regulated (the country has not figured out how to regulate cryptocurrency yet), the company complies with the AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Act and also implements an active KYC (Know Your Customer) policy, along with stringent measures to monitor suspicious transactions.
Supports local currency
Wide range of digital coins offered (total of 9).
Cryptocurrencies and FICA are stored in cold storage
Trading fees are above current industry averages.
Supports only one fiat currency (South African Rand).
No leveraged or inter-cryptocurrency trading.
No mobile app.
ICE³X is a trusted South African Bitcoin exchange launched in December 2013 that supports cryptocurrency trading with local currencies. It is a good option particularly for those located in Africa that are interested in ZAR/NGN vs. cryptocurrency trading, given that it allows them to make deposits in the local currencies (South African Rand and Nigerian Naira) and then trade in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Its markedly regional nature has somewhat limited the exchange’s scope, though. However, it is a preferred destination for traders looking to invest in digital currencies long-term, in Africa.
Competitive fees (1% for trading up to 1BTC/month, falls to 0.5% for larger trading volumes – over 50BTCs per month).
100% cold storage policy
Processes withdrawals from accounts multiple times per day.
Local currencies supported.
No margin cryptocurrency trading/leveraged trading
Limited range of cryptocurrencies available (no exotic altcoins)
Supports only 2 fiat currencies
The South African cryptocurrency exchange ecosystem has a new player that appears to offer a promising range of different virtual currency trading options. CryptoChange has been in operation for around a year and has a small pool of around 2,500 clients. However, it supports direct bank transfer to South African bank accounts – a feature usually not available in South African bitcoin exchanges – as well as a diverse array of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, SaCoin, and more.
Provides BTC to fiat currency in the form of ZAR.
Direct bank transfer to local accounts available.
Transactions are completed within few minutes after payment.
Daily live support.
Conforms with Southern African nations’ Anti Money Laundering legislation.
Limited account funding methods.
AvaTrade offers CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, forex, and EFTs through the popular MT4 forex trading platform. It has zero inactivity fees, withdrawal fees and roll over fees (for short positions on EUR/USD), and it doesn’t charge any commission of CFD shares either. If you choose to do business with AvaTrade, you will be required to sign up for one of the two available account types, depending on the offered spread: a floating spread account that is provided on the MT4 exclusively, and a fixed spread account that is offered on both platforms available. Both account types offer trading in micro lots and are commission-free.
Well-regulated global broker.
Extra benefits offered to traders willing to invest more funds (minimum of $1000 and up to $100,000).
0$ roll over fee for short positions on EUR/USD.
Allows executing a minimum of trade of 0.01 Lot.
Several funding methods (credit card, bank transfer, Neteller, PayPal).
Demo account available.
Floating & Fixed spreads available.
Lengthy withdrawal process.
Spreads on the most popular currency pairs are slightly low.
Recently made available in South Africa, 24option is one of the most reliable and recognised CFDs and forex brokers in the online trading industry. The broker accepts ZAR deposits and is clearly designed to meet traders’ need to expand their trading experience within a fast trading environment. What South African traders need to know is that the currency they select to make a deposit should be the same as the one they choose in the withdrawal process.
Alternative payment method available for South African traders (PaySafe Card).
5 account types available.
Good and reliable mobile app for both iOs and Android users.
Wide range of underlying assets offered to South Africa traders (43 stocks, 19 indices, 11 commodities, and 30 currencies).
May take up to 5 business days to see the money on trader’s account.
Quite high fees when using credit cards (3.5%).
CoinCorner is a bitcoin exchange in South Africa, also catering to users in Europe, the UK, Australia, Canada, and certain South American and Asian countries. Users can purchase bitcoins with credit/debit card, SEPA, Neteller, bank transfer, SWIFT, and online payment services.
Wide range of payment options
Advanced security features
Video tutorials that cover the basics of Bitcoin available.
Instant credit card purchases.
Good customer support.
Relatively high fee for buying with a credit card (5%).
Slightly high trading fee (1%) compared to European standards.
Not private (requires ID verification).
Confusing user interface for first-time buyers.
User needs to sign up to be provided with exchange prices for comparison.
Truted Bitcoin Exchanges in South Africa (With Higher Fees)
The following is a list of equally trusted and reputed bitcoin exchanges in South Africa that are certainly worth considering, despite the slightly high fees:
Coinmama – Operates almost globally and allows bitcoin purchases with a credit/debit card, charging about 6% fee on each purchase. Good option if you want to make small purchases as no verification process is required.
Bitit – It allows you to make purchases online with Cashlib vouchers, cash, or 3DS-enabled credit/debit cards (8% Neosurf fee) while there are also Bitcoin gift cards available.
Mycelium Local Trader – Works pretty much like LocalBitcoins. It helps you find bitcoin sellers to conduct a trade. You get to arrange an in-person meeting with the seller and pay Mycelium absolutely nothing in fees. Works like a charm in highly populated areas, where the possibility to find a seller is increased.
5 Most Popular South Africa Forex Brokers
FXTM is an award-winning broker with global clients from over 180 countries, including South Africa. It offers an impressive plethora of almost everything, from trading accounts and tradable products to execution types and payment methods. It is a well-regulated broker with tight ECN spreads and low commission fees that also offers various secure payment methods, including Bank Wire transfers, credit/debit card payments, and several e-wallets. Finally, users can stay relaxed with negative balance protection and high leverage levels.
IG is one of the oldest brokers in the world that has been provided CFD, forex, spread betting, and stock financial services since 1974. It is regulated by both the ASIC and Financial Conduct Authority (UK). With more than 120,000 traders, a wide range of platforms, and low margins and spreads, it is a good option for those in search of a trusted trader that also provides a decent plethora of trading options and markets. The funding methods available are credit card, bank transfer, and PayPal, while users can choose between 3 different types of accounts, plus a demo account.
One of the most popular brokers not only in South Africa but across Europe and America too. Navigating through its platform, one instantly realises that it is a platform that takes trading a bit more serious than some others. With cTrader and MT4 accounts, a low starting deposit ($100), exceptional customer service, two quality platforms (one for traders and one for investors), negative balance protection, mobile platform version, and very competitive spreads, FxPro is indeed a broker worth noting. Well-regulated and full of valuable information on the market, it is no wonder it has received so many awards as a broker.
Harborx is not a broker per se, rather than a mobile-only trading platform that helps users learn how to trade using a particularly user-friendly UI. The innovative STP broker is fully regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and while it supports a small array of payment methods (bank wire transfer, credit cards, PayPal, and e-wallets), its proprietary trading mobile app makes it great for those that wish to trade on the go. Let us also not forget that, on top of everything else, it offers commission-free trading and the option to trade in micro lots on its mobile apps.
CMTrading is a South African brokerage with good trading platforms – including an Android mobile app – and several promotions from time to time, giving South African traders the opportunity to benefit from exclusive bonuses. The popular FSB-regulated brokerage also has a broad range of account types (plus an Islamic option), as well as minimum deposit levels and varying features and spreads.
Is bitcoin trading legitimate and regulated in South Africa?
Although cryptocurrency exchanges and digital coins, Bitcoin included, have no official legal status in South Africa, it is highly likely this will change in the near future given the country’s recent approach to cryptocurrency regulations.
I want to trade cryptocurrencies with higher leverage. Can I use a forex broker?
Absolutely. South Africa has a great array of binary options brokers and forex brokers. Both are well regulated by the Financial Services Board (FSB) and come with relatively few limitations (i.e. investment limit of R5 million). Check out the list of South Africa Forex Brokers above.
Are Forex gains taxable in South Africa?
Yes. Forex traders have to pay tax in South Africa, even if their capital and brokage are overseas. You, as a South Africa citizen, need to declare taxes pretty much the way you do with any other income (as a company or individual).
Are there any regulations in forex trading in South Africa?
The official body that regulates all non-banking in South Africa, including forex brokers, is the Financial Services Board (FSB). Their role is to protect the public from financial irregularities and crime. (as a company or individual).