How to safely buy Bitcoin in   (2021)

A guide to buying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies securely in South Africa. Review and compare the top Bitcoin platforms as a resident of South Africa to get started.

Bradley Mills
Editor at Buy Bitcoin Finder
Last edited: 
June 23, 2021

How to buy Bitcoin in South Africa

Buying Bitcoin in South Africa is much easier than many think. It is as simple as picking an exchange, creating an account, depositing money and executing your trade.

Where to purchase Bitcoin in South Africa

Review and compare the best cryptocurrency exchanges below to find the fastest and most secure way to make your first Bitcoin purchase in South Africa. Buy Bitcoin Finder gives order placement preference to exchanges located in South Africa, or exchanges that enable the smoothest verification for citizens of South Africa.

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Best in class for security and data protection.

Kraken was founded in mid-2011 by long time Bitcoin advocate Jesse Powell and has grown to become one of the world's largest exchanges. Based on volume alone, they are the largest exchange in Europe and the UK.

Kraken is one of the most trusted exchanges worldwide.

Pros

  • Very low fees for traders. 0.25% maker and taker fees
  • Best in class for security and data protection
  • Great volume for traders needing liquidity

Cons

  • User interface can be confusing to newbies
Useability
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One of Africa's largest Cryptocurrency exchanges

Luno is one of the largest exchanges to buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with that operate out of South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria. Formerly known as BitX, Luno is a long running Bitcoin exchange that was founded way back in 2013 in South Africa.

Luno is highly regarded as an exchange and is known for being the best way to buy Bitcoin in emerging markets and countries. Buy Bitcoin Finder considers Luno to be the best place to buy Bitcoin in most African countries.

Pros

  • Easy to use instant buy feature
  • iOS and Android app
  • Highly regarded around the globe

Cons

  • Fees on instant buy feature can be expensive
Useability
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Buy Bitcoin with Luno

The Premier Bitcoin OTC Desk in South Africa

OVEX are a Bitcoin and crypto OTC desk service based in Cape Town, South Africa that specialise in assisting high net worth and sophisticated investors with buying and selling large amounts of cryptocurrency.

They also offer a normal exchange service to buy and sell cryptocurrency for every day investors.

Pros

  • The best OTC desk in South Africa
  • They offer interest accounts up to 4% apy
  • The best option for buying large sums of crypto

Cons

  • Not the best option for retail users
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Buy Bitcoin with OVEX

The premier exchange for Bitcoin traders

Binance is arguably the world’s largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange. They offer the best platform for crypto to crypto trades if you are looking to boost your Bitcoin holdings and stack some satoshi’s.

Buy Bitcoin Finder recommends Binance as the best place to trade Bitcoin against other cryptocurrencies for the lowest fees and the deepest liquidity. Binance also offer a Bitcoin Futures trading platform with up to 125x leverage.

Pros

  • The best exchange in the world to trade cryptocurrency
  • Binance offers margin trading and perpetual futures
  • Easy to use interface for new traders

Cons

  • Fees for day traders can get expensive if you do not trade using Binance coin
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Access to Bitcoin across most European countries

Bitpanda is a Bitcoin and crypto broker that is based in Austria, Europe. The exchange has become extremely popular across Europe and is available in most countries. Bitpanda is well designed, easy to use and offers managed wallets to hold your Bitcoin.

Bitpanda has a wide variety of payment methods for users, including credit and debit cards, Skrill, SEPA, and online bank transfer.

Pros

  • Clean and easy to use interface
  • Available across most of Europe
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Fees are included in buy price, so not transparent
Useability
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South Africa's Largest Selection of Cryptocurrencies

VALR is a cryptocurrency exchange based in South Africa that offer Bitcoin, Ethereum and over 50 other digital assets. Users can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum with South African Rand through EFT from any bank.

VALR are well known for their fast KYC times, with users based in South Africa getting fully verified within 5 minutes.

Pros

  • Extremely fast verification, buy Bitcoin in minutes
  • Local exchange based in South Africa
  • Regulated by financial services laws in South Africa

Cons

  • Relatively new exchange compared to others
  • https://www.valr.com/details
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Invest in Bitcoin with a Debit Card or Credit Card Instantly

Coinmama allows users from any country around the world to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and Chainlink using their exchange. They are one of the few exchanges that allow Credit Card and Debit Card purchased for Bitcoin and crypto using Visa and Mastercard.

If you are a customer in Europe, you can also buy Bitcoin with a SEPA transfer for a lower fee. Coinmama is an extremely private and secure option to invest in Bitcoin as they will send it to your personal Bitcoin wallet, as opposed to having the Bitcoin or cryptocurrency on a managed and less secure wallet on their platform.

Pros

  • Purchase crypto with a Debit Card and Credit Card
  • Highest limit to invest in Bitcoin using a Credit Card
  • Reliable and trustworthy exchange

Cons

  • Relatively high fees when using a Debit Card or Credit Card
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Peer to peer (P2P) Bitcoin exchange

Local Bitcoins is a decentralized exchange that acts as an escrow service to facilitate peer to peer buys and sells of Bitcoin by allowing users to list their own Bitcoin advertisements or trades.

Users can choose to meet and pay in person or online, making Local Bitcoins the most private way to buy Bitcoin. Local Bitcoins facilitates transactions in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa and virtually every other country around the world.

Pros

  • The best choice for privacy
  • Requires no personal information
  • Instant purchases available with cash

Cons

  • Users must be careful of scams
  • Slightly higher Bitcoin price than exchanges
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Trade a range of assets in one platform

eToro is a world renown multi-asset brokerage company that allows users to invest in Bitcoin as well as buy and trade other cryptocurrencies, stocks, ETFs, currencies, indices and commodities.

eToro is a well respected business that is best in class in terms of security and regulation from a global standpoint. eToro is available in most countries around the world including Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and more.

Pros

  • Gold standard in terms of regulation and security
  • Simple user interface for new traders
  • Social trading allows you to copy trade famous traders

Cons

  • It isnt a pure Bitcoin exchange, which results in high fees
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A well regarded exchange based in the Isle of Man

CoinCorner is a long running Bitcoin exchange that is bade in the Isle of Man. As an exchange, they are one of the most widely available on-ramps for Bitcoin with users in the United Kingdom, most of Europe, New Zealand, CanadaAustralia, South Africa and certain Asian countries.

CoinCorner offer a variety of payment methods to onboard and require no verification or KYC for purchases under 100 pounds.

Pros

  • Trusted company based in the UK
  • Instant credit card purchases
  • Diverse payment options

Cons

  • 1% fee is higher than standard
  • No transparent pricing before sign up
Useability
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Global cryptocurrency exchange and lending platform

Based in Hong Kong, Bitfinex has been one of the longest running and largest USD and USDT (Tether) based Bitcoin exchanges around the world. Bitfinex is a go to exchange for institutional investors, with bank wires being one of the only options to onboard with the cryptocurrency exchange.

Notably, In August 2016, Bitfinex was involved in one of the larger hacks in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency when the lost around 30% of all user funds.

Pros

  • A good option for institutional investors
  • Low maker and taker fees

Cons

  • Has been hacked before
  • Limited payment options
Useability
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Industry Leading Bitcoin Futures Trading Platform

Binance has created an industry leading Futures trading platform that allows users to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Chainlink and more against Tether (USDT) with up to 125x leverage. You can open a Binance Bitcoin Futures account anywhere around the world in minutes and gain access to deep liquidity, fast execution and an array of different features.

Click this link for an in depth Binance Futures Review.

Binance have the lowest fees for Bitcoin Futures trading and if you sign up through this link, you will get 10% taken off your trading fees.

Pros

  • Very low trading fees at 0.1%
  • Deep liquidity on Bitcoin and other cryptos
  • Up to 125x leverage for futures trading

Cons

  • You can only trade against Tether (USDT)
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Trade Bitcoin Futures on Binance

A South African digital asset market with 10 different crypto assets

iCE3 is a Bitcoin exchange based in South Africa that offers over 10 different cryptocurrency markets.

They allows users in South Africa to buy with South African Rand, Nigerian Naira and USDT or Tether.

Pros

  • Over 10 cryptocurrency markets

Cons

  • Exchange UI is confusing and the platform is slow
  • New and relatively unknown exchange
Useability
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Is it Legal to Buy Bitcoin in South Africa?

Bitcoin is an extremely popular asset class in South Africa due to rising economic and political uncertainty in the nation. A review of Google Trends for the the query "Buy Bitcoin" reveals that South Africa ranks in the top 10 after major western countries and fellow African nation Nigeria. The fundamental use case of Bitcoin (as a hedge against hyperinflation and economic turmoil) has boosted the adoption of the cryptocurrency in South Africa as many locals have been seeking ways to gain exposure to asset class that is not their local currency.

Popular online trading platform eToro announced that they saw a significant spike of 671% in Bitcoin trading in 2017.

The Regulatory Landscape of Bitcoin

Like most countries, the regulatory treatment of Bitcoin has been favourable over the past few years, although the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has made it clear that they will not treat Bitcoin as a "currency" but rather as a "crypto asset" The SARB believes that is important that all cryptocurrency and Bitcoin related business register with the country's Financial Intelligence Centre for the scaleable, stable and safe growth of digital assets in South Africa. The SARB considers this key to being able to fight against money laundering and counter terrorism financing that may take place on the Bitcoin blockchain.

In review of the South African Reserve Bank's (SARB) consultation paper on "Policy Proposals for Crypto Assets" it is clear that they are positioning to take a cautious, yet progressive approach in regulating Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the country. For users in South Africa, you can start investing in crypto through any local institution such as Capitec Bank or Standard Bank.

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