How to Buy Crypto in South Africa

South Africa ranks second in Bitcoin transactions Africa after Nigeria. Due to economic uncertainties, regular political tension, and the volatility in its currency, some people are turning to Bitcoin investment in South Africa. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in South Africa alongside a few altcoins.

Quick facts about cryptocurrency

  • Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used for buying goods and services as well as crypto investment.
  • There are many cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and shitcoins. The most popular crypto is Bitcoin, which is the one we recommend. Bitcoin is the original and the leading digital currency. It was created in January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is not known.
  • As of January 28, 2022, 1 bitcoin equals 570,432.54 ZAR. While the South African Rand can be subdivided into 100 cents, the smallest unit of bitcoin, called Satoshi, is one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC).

Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise all over the world including South Africa. Don’t entertain social media messages or emails asking you to “join bitcoin” and get rich instantly. Beware of individuals or companies that promise huge returns on crypto investment. Learn more about cryptocurrency scams and how to avoid them.


What You Need Before You Buy Cryptocurrency in South Africa

Before you can buy crypto in South Africa, you need the following.

  • A cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa. A crypto exchange is a platform that allows its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is a cryptocurrency marketplace (or a cryptocurrency “shop”). A cryptocurrency exchange can be a local one or a global one with multi-currency support.
  • Payment method. Your payment method will depend on the cryptocurrency exchange’s supported payment method. It can be mobile money such as MTN Mobile Money, debit card, credit card, bank transfer, money transfer services such as Western Union, Wise (formerly TransferWise), etc.
  • Crypto wallet. Cryptocurrencies are not physical currencies. Therefore, you need a secure cryptocurrency wallet in South Africa to store your cryptos. Bitcoin wallets in South Africa are of different types: mobile, web, desktop and hardware. Best Bitcoin wallets in South Africa include software cryptocurrency wallets such as Samourai or a hardware wallet such as Trezor and Ledger. All these are best cryptocurrency wallets for South Africa.

Your Bitcoin wallet is protected by “private keys” (a form of password). You are advised to store your cryptocurrency in a wallet that you have the private keys for (non custodial wallet). Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the ones listed below, may have their own wallet where you can store your bitcoin but you don’t have the full control. And as it is said in the crypto community, “Not your keys, not your coins.” You should always buy hardware wallets directly from the original manufacturer or official resellers. Other private sellers online might have manipulated the wallet before selling it in order to steal your cryptos.

Is Cryptocurrency Legal in South Africa?

Cryptocurrency regulation in South Africa is under the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). SARB does not treat Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as currency but as Crypto Asset. SARB requires that firms wishing to trade in Bitcoin register with the Financial Intelligence Center as a way of taking care of the risk related factor. Unfortunately, the growing Bitcoin adoption in the country has led to the increase in Bitcoin scams. Therefore, the role of SARB is to address the issue to protect consumers.

South African regulators have warned that transferring cryptocurrency bought from the local exchange into another country is now considered a criminal offense. It has also been reported that banks in South Africa are blocking customers from using their debit/credit cards to purchase cryptocurrency from international exchanges.

Tax on Cryptocurrency in South Africa

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) views tax for cryptocurrencies the same as income or capital gains. The tax authority has shown keen interest in taxing crypto owners. According to Business Insider, some South African taxpayers are receiving audit letters asking for information about their cryptocurrency holdings. Furthermore, SARS has included questions about cryptocurrency investments in the latest tax returns, with codes for crypto-trading profits (2572) and losses (2573).

How to Buy Cryptocurrency in South Africa

There are many cryptocurrency platforms in South Africa where potential buyers can buy Bitcoin and other cryptos. However, to buy cryptocurrency, you first need to have a cryptocurrency wallet. It is important for every buyer first to ensure that he or she has a secure Bitcoin wallet in South Africa before buying. Once you have a wallet, you can choose the cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa you wish to use to buy cryptos.

Not your keys, not your bitcoin

  • Custodial vs non custodial wallet: A custodial wallet is a crypto wallet in which the private keys are kept by a third party. An example of this is a wallet held by a cyptocurrency exchange (the marketplace where you buy cryptos) such as Luno. A non custodial wallet is a wallet in which the crypto owner holds the private keys and has the full control over their cryptocurrencies such as Samourai. A non custodial wallet are safer than custodial wallet

Where to Buy Bitcoin in South Africa

Best Crypto Exchange in South Africa

The best place to buy bitcoin is from a cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa. A crypto exchange is a digital platform that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. These are some of the best crypto exchanges in South Africa.

ICE3x, the oldest cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa, which has been around since 2013, initiated liquidation proceedings in April, 2021 following discrepancies in the balances pertaining to Bitcoin and Litecoin held on the platform. The exchange’s status update reads, “We regret to inform you that the platform will not return to operation and that we have been advised to initiate liquidation proceedings.” The platform further said, All remaining assets (Tokens & FIAT) are now held in trust by Manong Badenhorst & Badenhorst Attorneys and liquidation proceedings have been initiated.”

Luno South Africa

Luno is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Africa. Luno supports deposits from a bank account or debit and credit card payments. You can buy cryptocurrency on Luno exchange via the “Instant Buy” function on Luno app or on Luno Exchange. After signing up, you need to deposit local currency to your account and then follow simple instructions to buy bitcoin.

If you bank with ABSA, Standard Bank, Capitec, Nedbank or Tyme Bank, to make an electronic transfer to Luno, simply search for “Luno” under “Public Beneficiaries”. With other banks such as FNB, you need to set up Luno manually as a beneficiary. Here’s more information on how to deposit funds into Luno from your bank account. You can also deposit money from a supported bank using Instant EFT with PayU.

Yellow Card South Africa

Yellow Card is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows anyone to buy Bitcoin in South Africa. The exchange also offers high net worth individuals and institutions the ability to trade through Over-The-Counter (OTC) desk. Supported methods for making payments are bank transfer, bank deposit, and fiat deposit via Prepaid 24.

LocalBitcoin South Africa

LocalBitcoins shows you people near you that are selling or buying Bitcoin. Through the website, you can state whether you want to buy or sell Bitcoin and trade with other users in South Africa. Using LocalBitcoins, you can buy Bitcoin with PayPal in South Africa as well as a bank transfer, and cash. It is not advisable to meet the seller or buyer face to face as it is very risky in South Africa.

Coinbase South Africa

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The crypto platform only supports debit card payments and bank account transfers. Coinbase supports many cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, etc. Experiences Coinbase users have the option of using its trading platform, Coinbase Pro. And online merchants are also able to use Coinbase Commerce, a cryptocurrency payment gateway, to accept cryptocurrency payments in South Africa.

We do not advise you to use Coinbase because of many issues such as transparency, privacy, and security. In addition, Coinbase is known for pushing and listing high-risk shitcoins.

Paxful South Africa

Paxful is a safe and secure cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa. After creating your account, you will have access to Paxful bitcoin wallet. Once you are ready to buy, click on the “Buy Bitcoin” button in the top right corner of the home page. You will be taken to a page with three input fields: payment method, currency, and location. Filter the list of shown offers to find offers that meet to your preferences.

Supported payment methods for Paxful in South Africa include mobile money, cash deposit, PayPal, bank transfer, and Amazon Gift Cards. One of the key benefits of using Paxful is that you can buy cryptocurrency in South Africa with MTN Mobile Money.

Send, Deposit, Exchange, and Buy Bitcoin with Telegram Online in South Africa

  • It is now possible to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa, receive, exchange and send to other wallets for free using the instant messaging app, Telegram. At the moment, you can only buy with a bank card.
  • To use the feature, open the Telegram messenger and search for “wallet”. Open the Telegram’s official wallet bot, click “/start” and select the options showing depending on whether you want to buy, send, receive or deposit cryptocurrency. You should also add it to the menu (for easy access).


EasyCrypto is more of a retailer/broker in South Africa rather than a crypto exchange. While exchanges hold onto your funds, the platform offers a way to buy crypto without keeping your fiat currency or crypto. EasyCrypto’s rates are inclusive of all costs, whereas the rates you see on an exchange won’t include network fees, overseas payment card fees, and currency conversions.

The platform offers 140+ cryptocurrencies in South Africa. Payment methods on EasyCrypto in South Africa include Ozow and SiD EFT. However, for the fastest payment, use bank transfer.

CoinCorner South Africa

CoinCorner is cryptocurrency exchange platform available in many countries around the world including South Africa. With CoinCorner, you can buy Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. To buy Bitcoin, you need to deposit funds into your CoinCorner account via a debit card, credit card, bank transfer or Neteller. CoinCorner also supports Dollar Cost Averaging method. This is an auto-buy feature, which allows you to set up a standing order and choose how often you want to buy Bitcoin to reduce the impact of volatility on the overall purchase.

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is an investment strategy in which an investor divides up the total amount to be invested across periodic purchases of a target asset in an effort to reduce the impact of volatility on the overall purchase. Buying Bitcoin little by little will often help you save long-term and reduce concerns about any short-term price fluctuations.

Crypto ATM in South Africa

You can also buy cryptocurrency through Bitcoin ATM in South Africa. A bitcoin ATM in South Africa is a machine that allows people to buy Bitcoin and other cryptos. There are 13 South African bitcoin ATMs. In addition, cryptocurrency ATMs in South Africa allow you to convert cryptos into Rand.

How to Use Bitcoin ATM in South Africa

You can buy Bitcoin using your cash, credit or debit card at crypto ATM (BATMs). The Bitcoin you have bought will be deposited into your crypto wallet after scanning a QR code at the cryptocurrency ATM. Alternatively, some BATMs can generate a paper wallet containing the private keys of the the Bitcoin you just bought. Some crypto ATMs will also require buyers to provide their ID for KYC purposes. The cost of buy Bitcoin from a crypto ATM is usually high because the ATMs charge a fee for their services.

Buy Bitcoin with PayPal in South Africa

You can use PayPal to buy Bitcoin online. However, it is not an easy option for beginners. You can find instructions on how to buy bitcoin with PayPal in South Africa here.

VirWox exchange used to be one of the easiest platform to buy bitcoin with PayPal in South Africa. However the platform closed in January, 2020

How to Sell Bitcoin in South Africa

After buying cryptocurrency, you can “hodl” until the price goes higher than what you paid for and decide to sell. There are people who make a living from trading cryptocurrency in South Africa. If you wish to sell Bitcoin in South Africa, here is what you need to know. Selling Bitcoin when everyone else is trading could make you lose money. To make a profit, ensure that you do not sell your Bitcoin when everyone else is selling. In order to sell your Bitcoin, there are a few steps that you need to take. Here are the steps.

Step 1: Sign up for an Exchange Account

Selling bitcoin through an exchange is safer and fast. You can use the cryptocurrency exchange platform you used to buy your crypto in the first place (such as the ones listed above). You will need to ensure that you have Bitcoin in your wallet so that you can then sell them. Use the transfer function available in your wallet to send the crypto amount you want to sell to the exchange and then wait for the confirmation message that your Bitcoin has arrived in the exchange.

You can place a limit order so that the exchange can only sell when the market price is at the figure you would like. Once you have done that, the rest of the transaction doesn’t need much of your input. The trade should be quick in case they are selling at the prevailing market price. Bitcoin will be transferred from your account, while in turn, you will be paid with the fiat currency that you choose.

Final Thoughts on How to Buy Bitcoin in South Africa

The means of conducting the a Bitcoin transaction is different depending on the exchange platform that one is using. Some sites have exclusively online transactions through bank transfers, while other sites like LocalBitcoins and Paxful have other options such as cash, mobile money, and gift cards. Some of these methods are time-consuming. Before deciding to sell your Bitcoin, ensure that many people are not trading to avoid losses.

More Information on Bitcoin in South Africa

FiFi Finance is a financial website. We want to help to improve financial literacy, by making finance work for everyone. We believe that Bitcoin will help you to secure your financial future. We wish to educate our readers about bitcoin, how to invest in it, how to use it and what to be careful about. Read more about us.