How to Buy Bitcoin in South Africa
In the online investment market, there’s one dominating cryptocurrency making a splash: Bitcoin. A quick look on any financial forum will surely have a handful of people talking about it; it’s a rapidly exploding currency that’s been taking the online trading market by storm. We’ll teach how to buy Bitcoin in South Africa, according to the platforms and regulations available in this country.
More information about bitcoin
Bitcoin isn’t difficult to figure out. In a nutshell, it’s a form of online payment that works without using an intermediary. The currency was invented in 2008 by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto and was subsequently released as open-source pieces in 2009.
Bitcoin is the world’s first ever decentralised online currency. No central authority controls Bitcoin so its market value can change regularly. Find out more in our Bitcoin Guide.
Why Invest in Bitcoin?
Why are so many people taking a risk on a digital currency when there are chances it could fail?
To start, Bitcoin is renowned for its price fluidity, with its value changing almost overnight in some cases. A small investment now could, potentially, triple in the space of a week. With that, if you leave that for a year, you could have a sizeable return on your investment on your hands.
For example, if you had $1,000 on Bitcoin back in 2012, that would now be worth over $1,000,000. That means a net increase of over 100,000%.
There’s also the added benefit that Bitcoins are incredibly secure, and when you add on how easy they are to buy, sell, and use, you can see why so many people are taking a risk on cryptocurrency.
Buy Bitcoin in South Africa: The Facts
Generally, in the South African Bitcoin market, you’ll be operating with the USD price since that’s known as the ‘international price’ that is used in most of the large exchanges that are allowed to operate in South Africa. Please bear in mind the following considerations.
Finding the Correct Bitcoin Value
Bitcoin price varies depending on the exchange or broker, it doesn’t match exactly. For example, if you were to Google ‘South African Bitcoin’, you would be presented with the Google equivalent, which is an incorrect conversion rate since they convert your local currency to the South African Rand equivalent of the last known Bitcoin price.
This price isn’t the same as the current market value as the prices on each exchange are based on what the current demand is for the cryptocurrency at that given time.
One source may tell you that one Bitcoin is worth 175,505.60 South African Rand, while others could have a different price, so you need to do your research first to see which exchange will be giving you the best rate for your money when you’re buying Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Exchange Rate in South Africa
The exchange rate is much higher in South Africa than in other countries, such as the UK. This is because of South Africa’s stricter controls on international exchanges and trades, which is why, when you buy Bitcoin online in South Africa, you may be paying more than if you bought in the UK.
How and Where Can I Buy Bitcoin in South Africa?
If Bitcoin has caught your interest and you’re now desperate to buy, simply follow our helpful step-by-step guide and we’ll get you up-and-running with your own cryptocurrency in no time at all.
First off, you need to decide if you’re going to buy from an exchange or stick to trading CFD’s – both have their own pros and cons.
CFD’s are excellent for short-term investing and capitalising on regular price movement, plus they also come with a multiplier of up to 25 times the initial amount so that you can get a huge return on your investment. Depending on the type of CFD you opt for, there’s the chance for you to multiply your money a hundred times over.
However, long-term investment can be risky as price swings have the potential to obliterate investments over time if you’re not careful. Ideally, if you’re using CFD’s, you want to get your cash in and out as quickly as you can to monopolise on potentially advantageous swings in the market.
Long-term investment in cryptocurrency is actively encouraged as it’s impossible to lose all your money in the trading market unless you’re unlucky enough that your currency type suddenly becomes worthless on the market, which almost never happens. Plus, if you’re using Bitcoin, the regular price fluctuation can net you a sizeable return in no time at all.
To purchase from an exchange, all you need to do is a pick a website you want to use, or that fits your budget. eToro is our broker of choice, so we’ll show you how to sign up and get buying Bitcoin.
How to Buy Bitcoins using eToro
1) First, head over to etoro.com and click the ‘Join Now’ button on the homepage.
2) Next, enter your account details such as your name, email, phone number, and the username and password you want to use to access the site. Ideally, you should choose something unique to you that will make the account as secure as possible.
3) Then, select ‘Create Account’, and you will be brought to the main trading page and prompted to complete your eToro profile.
4) During the profile completion stage, you’ll have to enter personal details like your address, date of birth, and other information. This process usually takes a few minutes and once complete you can depositing funds into your account whenever you like by clicking the ‘Deposit Funds’ button on the main online trade page.
5) Depositing cash into your account is straightforward; simply enter your payment details. eToro accepts several different payment options from credit and debit cards to PayPal, wire transfers, Skrill, Neteller, and many more. After entering your payment details, select the amount you wish to deposit and then click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to purchasing and trading Bitcoin online in South Africa.
Most Popular Bitcoin Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin in South Africa
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.
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.
Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange. It’s 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). These determine the level of fees you will pay, and the limits for deposits and withdrawals. 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).
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
- A wide range of digital coins offered (total of 9).
- Cryptocurrencies and FICA are stored in cold storage
- Trading fees are above current industry averages.
- Low liquidity
- 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)
- Low liquidity
- 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.
- Low liquidity.
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 rollover 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 micro-lots trading and are free of commissions.
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 it clearly tries 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.
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.
- A 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.
- Users need 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.
The Future of South African Bitcoin Trading
As the proud owner of Bitcoin, however much that may be, your focus should now be on what the market holds for your valuable digital cash. After all, making sure your investment works the best it possibly can for you is the secret to maximising your profits.
If you’re a South African Bitcoin trader, the coming years are arguably going to be strategic for Bitcoin’s growth. Due to the volatility, you’ll need to take all factors into consideration, managing your risk accordingly. If you use a broker, you’ll be able to take advantage of ups and downs in price. The regular increase in the Bitcoin South Africa market is down to the perceived notion of SA investors that it’s a safe haven for financial assets during times of geopolitical tension.
Like gold, Bitcoin has a maximum supply. But BTC it’s more portable, easier, and cheaper to store, and no central company or government controls it. It’s starting to be taken seriously as a place to store your money in times of potential economic downturn and, arguably, the South Africa Bitcoin market is at the forefront of this push.
Also, although currently the trade of cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin sellers in South Africa is not regulated, there is a behind-the-scenes push for the government to step in. According to Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, the government is holding talks with a number of privately-owned businesses that hold a sphere of influence in the Bitcoin South Africa market.
So, perhaps in the coming years, we could see Bitcoin taking off in a big way in South African, to the point where potentially it could become the number one currency over the Rand or the US Dollar.
Buying and selling Bitcoin has never been easier; there are lots of different platforms and ways in which you can have your fill and turn a tidy profit with this cryptocurrency. In closing, here are a few helpful tips that we recommend sticking to when you’re just starting out:
- To begin with, if you’re looking for a reliable and secure way to purchase Bitcoin, we recommend going through a broker and having them handle your transactions. This is chiefly because of the majority of brokers out there are all strictly-controlled and heavily regulated to ensure that they do not perform any shady practices with their investors. This is our main choice over using an exchange to handle your cash as they can be a little daunting for first-time users and there’s not always a reliable option that’s available to provide help.
- We recommend eToro as our broker of choice because of their benefits and ease of use.
- eToro provides you with a myriad of different tools to guide you through the process of becoming an online trader. With tons of discussion boards and a useful messaging system, they actively encourage social trading on their platform. They also have an excellent, dedicated account team that is always at your disposal should you need support with your account, plus you can stay up-to-date with the latest trade news, and even enrol in a training course to hone your skills as an online trader.
If you’re a beginner, then stay away from exchanges until you’re confident.
More about Cryptocurrency in South Africa
- Best South Africa Cryptocurrency Brokers and Exchanges
- Cryptocurrency gains now taxable income in South Africa
- South Africa reserve bank tests Blockchain
Is bitcoin trading legitimate and regulated in South Africa?
Digital coins—aka cryptocurrencies— like Bitcoin are not officially legal in South Africa. However, it is highly likely this will change in the near future. The local government has shown a closer approach to cryptocurrencies recently.
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 where you can also trade crypto.
Can I buy Bitcoins with South African Rand (ZAR)?
Most popular exchanges won’t offer ZAR as a base currency for buying Bitcoin in South African. However, you’ll find a short list of platforms where you can get BTC using rands directly. By the time of edition (February 2019), CyptoCompare lists 5 exchanges: Luno, LocalBitcoins, Remitano, Bitsquare and Monetago.
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).
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