If you’re based in South Africa and looking to get your hands on a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or EOS – the process can now be completed from the comfort of your home.
All you need is a top-rated crypto broker that offers competitive fees and your preferred South African payment.
In this guide, we explain the ins and outs of How to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa in 2021. On top of explaining the potential risks and rewards, we also walk you through the process of buying your first crypto-asset online!
- 1 How to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa – Step by Step Guide 2021
- 2 What is Cryptocurrency?
- 3 How Does Cryptocurrency Investment Work in South Africa?
- 4 Why Buy Cryptocurrency?
- 5 What is the Best Cryptocurrency to Buy Now in South Africa?
- 6 Is it Legal to Buy Cryptocurrency in South Africa?
- 7 Buying Cryptocurrency Safely
- 8 What Payment Methods Can You Use to Buy Cryptocurrency?
- 9 Best Cryptocurrency Brokers – Where to Buy Cryptocurrency
- 10 How to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa – Conclusion
- 11 eToro – Best Broker to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa – Commission-Free & Regulated
- 12 FAQs
How to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa – Step by Step Guide 2021
If you already know which cryptocurrency you wish to buy and want to complete the investment process right now – follow the steps outlined below. In doing so, you’ll be able to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa in minutes!
1. Open an Account with eToro – Pay 0% Commission on Crypto
Your first port of call will be to open an account with a safe and low-cost crypto broker. We found that eToro is by far the best option, as you can instantly buy 18 different cryptocurrencies with a debit/credit card or e-wallet without paying a single rand in commission.
Here, you’ll need to provide some personal information and contact details.
- First and Last Name
- Home Address
- Date of Birth
- Tax Identification Number
- Email Address
- Mobile Number
To complete the first stage of the eToro registration process, you’ll need to confirm your email address and mobile number.
2. Upload ID
As heavily regulated cryptocurrency and stock brokers – eToro will also need to collect a couple of verification documents from you. The good news is that the platform will verify them instantly.
The two documents that you need to upload are:
- Valid passport or driver’s license
- Recently-issued bank account statement or utility bill
Once you upload the above two documents, you can freely deposit and withdraw funds into and out of your eToro account.
If you’re wondering how to buy crypto South Africa with a convenient payment method – eToro has you covered. This is because the platform supports debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, and even e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller.
As you are depositing funds with rands, eToro will charge you a small FX fee of 0.5% on all payment options. However, this is significantly lower than other popular cryptocurrency brokers in this space – with the likes of Coinbase and Coinmama charging 3.99% and 5%, respectively.
4. Buy Cryptocurrency
As long as you opted for an instantly-processed deposit method (debit/credit cards and e-wallets), the funds will now be situated in your eToro account. As such, you can proceed to buy cryptocurrency.
First, click on the ‘Trade Markets’ button, which you will find on the left-hand side of the page. Then, click on ‘Crypto’ to view the full range of supported digital currencies that you can buy.
In our example, we are looking to buy Bitcoin, so click on the ‘Buy’ button. In doing so, an order box will appear like the one below.
All you need to do is enter the amount of cryptocurrency that you wish to buy (in USD). The minimum is just $25 – or about 375 rands.
Finally, click on the ‘Open Trade’ button to complete your commission-free cryptocurrency investment!
What is Cryptocurrency?
One thing is for sure – although most people in South Africa have at the very least heard of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, very few understand what this digital asset class is or how it works. If this sounds like you – it’s absolutely crucial that you do a bit of research before you make a financial commitment.
After all, by buying cryptocurrency in South Africa, you are investing in a highly speculative and volatile asset.
Before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s start with the basics:
- Cryptocurrencies are digital assets – meaning that they only exist in a non-tangible form
- In most cases, cryptocurrencies are decentralized. This means that no central bank or government owns or controls the technology.
- Instead, cryptocurrencies are stored on the blockchain – which is like a public account ledger that keeps track of each and every transaction
- Cryptocurrencies go up and down in value – in a similar nature to stocks
Now, Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. It is also the most widely used and holds a status as the de-facto crypto-asset of choice.
However, Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency that people in South Africa are looking to buy. On the contrary, CoinMarketCap tells us that as of early 2021 – there are more than 8,600 cryptocurrencies that can be bought, sold, and traded online.
However, you are probably best to focus on cryptocurrencies that fall within the top-20 in terms of market capitalization. In doing so, you’ll be able to reduce your exposure somewhat, as these digital currency projects are established.
How Does Cryptocurrency Investment Work in South Africa?
Each and every cryptocurrency in the market has a specific purpose. For example, while Bitcoin was built to challenge the global banking industry, Ethereum is focused on smart contracts. You then have Ripple, which allows financial institutions to send and receive funds in a fast and low-cost environment.
However, it is important to recognize that very people in South Africa buy cryptocurrency to engage with the respective project or network. Instead, purchases are made with the view of making money. This means that when you buy cryptocurrency, you are doing so on a speculative basis.
Nevertheless, if you’re wondering how to buy cryptocurrency South Africa to make financial returns, the process works as follows:
- Let’s supposed that you invest 3,000 rands in Bitcoin
- When you make the purchase, Bitcoin is worth $40,000
- A couple of years later, Bitcoin is worth $70,000
- In percentage terms, this means that your 3,000 rands cryptocurrency investment is now worth 75% more
- You sell your cryptocurrency back to rands at your chosen exchange
As per the above, you invested 3,000 rands and made gains of 75%. As such, you sold your investment at a nominal value of 5,250 rands – representing a profit of 2,250 rands.
Crucially, the cryptocurrency market in South Africa is best viewed in the same light as penny shares. Not only is this because crypto asset prices change on a second-by-second basis – but they often do so in a volatile manner.
- For example, in the 24 hours prior to writing this guide, the likes of Binance Coin and Vechain have increased in value by 16% and 11%, respectively.
- However, zooming out to the 7-day charts, the same cryptocurrencies have actually dropped in value by 3% and 9%.
As such, you should only buy cryptocurrency in South Africa if you are comfortable with the associated volatility levels.
Why Buy Cryptocurrency?
As noted in the section above, the overarching reason for buying cryptocurrency in South Africa is to make financial gains. This is no different from buying JSE-listed stocks or investing in a mutual fund.
However, to be more specific, South Africans are now considering digital currencies as an investment vehicle for one clear reason – the upside potential. That is to say, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been the best-performing asset classes in recent years.
Cryptocurrencies vs the JSE 40
When people in South Africa have a bit of spare cash to invest in the financial markets – they often turn to the JSE 40. For those unaware, this is the primary stock market index in South Africa – and it tracks the value of the 40th largest companies that are domestically listed.
This is viewed as a risk-averse way to invest money – as you are diversifying across 40 different stocks from varying sectors and industries. On the one hand, the JSE 40 index has increased by 31% over the past five years. But, in comparison to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – these returns are minute.
- For example, five years prior to writing this article, Bitcoin was priced at just $438. Fast forward to its recent highs of $58,000 – this means that Bitcoin has increased in value by over 13,000% – compared to just 31% with the JSE 40 index.
- Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency that has experienced rapid growth in recent years.
- Another example of many would be Binance Coin – which was worth just $0.10 back when it was first launched in 2017. At the time of writing in early 2021, the same cryptocurrency is worth over $250 – translating into gains of more than 250,000%.
Ultimately, this is the main driving force behind so many South Africans considering a cryptocurrency investment.
Cryptocurrencies Could be the Next Internet Boom
Taking a brief trip down memory lane to the mid 1990s, nobody could have imagined just how vital the internet would eventually become. With that said, if you got into internet stocks early – you’d now be a millionaire.
- Think along the lines of Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft – all of which could have been invested in at just a small fraction of today’s prices.
- The key point here is that many believe that cryptocurrency could be the next internet boom.
- That is to say, in two or three decades’ time, cryptocurrencies could have just as much as a say in our lives as the internet does now.
If this is the case, then this will all-but-certainly be reflected in the value of digital currencies over the course of time. Sure, there are over 8,600 such projects in the market right now – and most will likely fade away. However, the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum are arguably worth just a fraction of their true potential – especially when you consider their global and borderless reach.
You Don’t Need to go Crazy With Stakes
Although cryptocurrencies could be the next big thing, equally, digital assets are highly volatile and speculative. Don’t forget, Bitcoin went from $20,000 to just $4,000 in the space of 12 months after peaking in late 2017. Although the digital currency has since surpassed this prior high, it remained in a bearish trend for several years.
As such, you are best advised to keep your stakes modest. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of money to buy cryptocurrency these days. In a similar nature to fractional shares, you can buy a ‘fraction’ of one digital currency.
This is especially beneficial when investing in top-rated crypto assets like Bitcoin – which now cost tens of thousands of dollars. This is one of the primary reasons why so many South Africans are using eToro to buy cryptocurrency – as the minimum investment is just $25. As such, you can gain exposure to this innovative asset class with really small stakes.
You can now Earn Interest on Cryptocurrency in South Africa
Many newbies are under the impression that the only way you make money from a cryptocurrency investment is when the respective coin increases in value. Although this is somewhat true – as digital assets do not pay dividends, there is an additional revenue stream that you might consider – crypto savings accounts.
There are several trusted providers active in this space – and the process works as follows:
- You open an account with a crypto savings provider like YouHodler or Binance
- You deposit your cryptocurrency holdings into the platform
- The platform will use this to fund crypto loans – which are secured by collateral
- In turn, you will be paid a rate of interest for as long as your funds are kept in the crypto savings account
As such, this allows you to keep your cryptocurrency investment stored safely for as long as you wish, while at the same time, generate an annual yield on your holdings. In turn, you’ll still benefit if and when the value of your cryptocurrency increases in the open marketplace.
Hedge Against a Depreciating Rand
You may or may not be aware that the South African rand has continued to depreciate in recent years. When you factor in the wider economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there is every chance that this will continue to be the case. This is yet another reason why so many South Africans are turning to cryptocurrency.
That is to say, should you wish to hedge against a depreciating rand, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are worth considering. Although this is yet to be proven beyond doubt, there is growing evidence that large-scale financial institutions are taking the same route to hedge against falling bond yields. If this is the case, this can only boost the value of Bitcoin further.
What is the Best Cryptocurrency to Buy Now in South Africa?
Not only do you need to learn how to buy cryptocurrency South Africa, but you also need to think about which digital assets you wish to add to your portfolio. After all, there are thousands of digital currencies in the market – most of which you can buy with ease in South Africa.
Although you are best advised to perform your own research – below we discuss the best cryptocurrency to buy now.
It likely won’t surprise you to see that Bitcoin is overwhelming the best cryptocurrency to buy in South Africa. Not only is Bitcoin the first and original cryptocurrency to grace its presence – but it is still the largest. In fact, at the time of writing, Bitcoin carries a market capitalization of just under $1 trillion.
- This makes it more valuable than any company listed in South Africa, and most stocks listed in the US.
- Additionally, when you consider that there are over 8,600 cryptocurrencies, it’s super-impressive that Bitcoin still holds a market share of more than 60%.
- Bitcoin is also the most recognized cryptocurrency globally – meaning that it is often the go-to digital coin for first-time investors.
- The de-facto cryptocurrency has since made its way to Wall Street, too.
- This is because institutional investors can now buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin futures. A Bitcoin ETF is also expected to get the green light in the coming years.
Ultimately, not only is Bitcoin a great medium of exchange – but it’s also viewed as a store of value. Regarding the former, the Bitcoin network facilitates borderless transactions in just 10 minutes, at a cost that is often less than $1. And the latter – Bitcoin carries similar characteristics to gold – insofar that it is a finite asset class.
Ripple is still somewhat of a sleeping giant when you consider the marketplace that it is looking to dominate. For those unaware, Ripple is a digital currency project, that seeks to revolutionize the interbank transaction arena. Trillions of dollars currently go through the SWIFT network each and every day – so this is a big marketplace.
However, SWIFT transactions often take days to settle and are super expensive. This is especially the case when an emerging currency like the rand is involved. In the case of Ripple, the underlying technology allows banks and financial institutions to transfer funds overseas in seconds – and at a price of just a couple of cents.
Crucially, Ripple’s native cryptocurrency – XRP, forms the bridge between two competing currencies – providing all of the liquidity that senders and receivers need. In turn, there is every likelihood that as more and more banks use the Ripple technology – this will have a positive impact on the value of XRP.
This particular cryptocurrency may be a controversial selection for some, but Binance Coin (BNB) has held its own since launching in 2017. As we briefly covered earlier, the digital currency has since increased in value by over 250,000%. This means that a 100 rand investment back then would now be worth over 2.5 million rands.
At first glance, you might be underwhelmed when you learn that the primary purpose of the Binance Coin is to offer reduced trading commissions on the provider’s exchange. However, Binance attracts tens of billions of dollars in daily trading volume – meaning that large-scale investors will often hold a quantity of BNB Coins to benefit from lower fees.
And most importantly – management at Binance is now engaged in a ‘burning’ program. This operates in a similar nature to a traditional share buyback, insofar that Binance will use generated profits to purchase BNB Coins from the open marketplace, and then burn them from the circulating supply.
In turn, this reduces the overall supply and thus – has the desired impact to increase the coin’s value. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that in many ways, Binance makes money irrespective of how well the wider cryptocurrency market is performing. After all, its core revenue stream is driven by trading commissions.
Note: We cover the best cryptocurrency exchanges in South Africa further down in this guide. However, we should note that the above three cryptocurrencies can be bought on eToro commission-free at a minimum of just $25.
Is it Legal to Buy Cryptocurrency in South Africa?
If you’re wondering how to buy cryptocurrency South Africa in a safe and legal manner – you should have no concerns. This is because the process of buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies is perfectly legal.
In fact, there is still a lack of crypto-specific legislation in South Africa, albeit, this is something that the government plans to introduce in the near future. With that said – there is one area of the cryptocurrency scene that domestic law covers – and that’s taxation.
Crucially, any profits that you make by selling your cryptocurrency holdings are liable for tax – much in the same way that you pay capital gains on stock investments. For more information about your tax obligations when buying cryptocurrency – speak with a qualified professional.
Buying Cryptocurrency Safely
Make no mistake about it, although cryptocurrencies no longer have a murky reputation in South Africa, the industry is still prone to scam artists. After all, digital currencies largely operate in an anonymous arena, transactions are not tied to the identity of the sender or receiver. In turn, this means that crypto-assets like Bitcoin are often the currency of choice for scammers.
With this in mind, there are several safeguards that you can take to ensure you buy cryptocurrency safely in South Africa.
Only use a Regulated Broker
If you’re looking at how to buy cryptocurrency South Africa in the safest way possible – it’s imperative that only make a purchase through a regulated broker. The biggest and most trusted cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchanges are actually based overseas – as they are backed by reputable financial bodies that have a global presence.
For example, our top-rated crypto broker eToro is regulated by three tier-one bodies – namely the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), and CySEC (Cyprus). This means that you can buy cryptocurrency in South Africa in a safe and secure way. You will benefit from several investor protections – such as the broker keeping your money in bank accounts that are separate from its own.
Avoid Peer-to-Peer Transactions
Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions are getting more and more popular in South Africa. In its most basic form, this refers to the process of buying digital currency directly from the seller – subsequently cutting out the middle man.
You can do this online via a P2P website or in person. Either way, this is a very risky way of buying cryptocurrency in South Africa – as you won’t have the backing of a regulated provider. Instead, you need to trust the other person in the transaction is acting honestly.
Don’t Forget About Storage
Being able to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa safely isn’t just about the initial transaction process. On the contrary, you also need to think about storage. After all, cryptocurrencies are stored in private digital wallets.
- By choosing a trusted wallet provider and having a firm understanding of core security practices – you can ensure that your cryptocurrency is kept out of the wrong hands.
- But, if you’re a newbie – you might not understand the ins and outs of wallet security and thus – your funds are at risk of being exposed to a remote hacker.
With this in mind – and as long as your chosen broker is regulated by a reputable body, it could be worth leaving your cryptocurrency investment at the platform in question. In doing so, the broker will safeguard your digital coins until you are ready to cash out.
What Payment Methods Can You Use to Buy Cryptocurrency?
If you’re thinking about how to buy cryptocurrency South Africa with an everyday payment method – you’ll need to use a regulated broker. This is because unlicensed exchanges do not have the legal remit to accept or touch fiat currency. Instead, they facilitate deposits and withdrawals in crypto assets only.
With that said, if using our top-rated cryptocurrency trading platform eToro, you’ll be able to buy your chosen digital asset with the following payment methods:
- Debit Card
- Credit Card
- Bank Wire
As per the above, this allows you to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa with a convenient and fast payment method. In fact, other than a conventional bank wire, all of the above payment options are credited instantly.
Best Cryptocurrency Brokers – Where to Buy Cryptocurrency
Just like when it comes to stock trading, you need to choose a good broker before you can buy cryptocurrency, so if you’re wondering where to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa, there are many options on the table. As we briefly noted earlier, the safest option is to use a trusted online broker. There are dozens of such platforms that you might consider, so it’s important to do your homework.
To fast-track the process for you, below we discuss where to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa in a safe and low-cost manner.
1. eToro – Overall Best Platform to Buy Bitcoin South Africa
After reviewing dozens of online exchanges and forex brokers that accept South African investors, we found that eToro dominates the cryptocurrency space – and for good. With more than 17 million clients using eToro to buy, sell, and trade digital currencies – the proof is in the pudding. Firstly, eToro gives you access to 18 popular cryptocurrencies.
This includes major players like Bitcoin, Ripple, Binance Coin, EOS, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum Classic. As we covered earlier, the minimum cryptocurrency investment on eToro is just $25, so it’s great for low stakes.
Plus, irrespective of which crypto asset you decide to buy on eToro, you won’t pay a single rand in commission. In fact, the only trading fee that comes into play is the spread. If you were to buy Bitcoin, this averages about 0.75%, and slightly more with other cryptocurrencies. In terms of getting money into your account, eToro supports debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers.
You will pay a small fee of 0.5% to deposit funds in brands, but this is much cheaper than the likes of Coinbase and Binance – which we review shortly. When it comes to core features, eToro stands out for its passive investment tools. There are two different ways that you buy and trade digital currencies passively.
Firstly, you can invest in an eToro CryptoPortfolio – which consists of a basket of competing digital coins at various weights. This is automatically rebalanced by the team, at eToro as and when the time is needed. Secondly, you have the eToro Copy Trading tool, which allows you to mirror the buy and sell options of an experienced crypto investor.
In terms of safety, eToro has the legal remit not only to accept South African traders – but payment methods that are dominated in ZAR. Most importantly, eToro is heavily regulated. As noted earlier, this includes a full license with the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC. As such, you can invest in your chosen digital asset without fear of being scammed.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
2. Coinbase – User-Friendly Bitcoin Exchange With Over 35 Million Customers
This top-rated broker is not only behind 35 million clients – but it is rumored to be going public later in 2021. The main attraction of Coinbase is that it offers casual investors the chance to buy cryptocurrency in a simple and safe environment.
For example, it takes just minutes to open an account and get your ID verified. Then, you’ll have access to dozens of different crypto assets. Although this covers the likes of Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum – you can also choose from a good selection of ERC-20 tokens.
In terms of safety, Coinbase has an excellent reputation in the crypto asset arena. As a buyer, you’ll have access to safeguards like two-factor authentication, address whitelisting, email notifications, and the option of locking all withdrawal requests for 48-hour via the Coinbase Vault. The broker also has a great reputation with regulators in the US – such as the SEC.
However, while Coinbase stands out for simplicity and security – it falls very short in the fee department. For example, if you were to buy cryptocurrency with a debit card, Coinbase would charge you an Instant Buy fee of 3.99%. This means that a 5,000 rand deposit would result in a charge of just under 200 rands.
The cheaper option is to deposit funds via bank wire. However, once the funds arrive, you will then be subjected to a 1.49% trading commission. You will need to pay this when you buy cryptocurrency and again when you sell. When you factor in that brokers like eToro allow you to trade commission-free, Coinbase is very expensive.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
3. Binance – Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange for Trading Volume and Liquidity
We briefly mentioned Binance earlier in the context of its over-growing BNB Coin – which at the time of writing, carries a market valuation of over $38 billion. However, Binance is better known for its core cryptocurrency exchange services.
After all, it facilitates billions of dollars of trading activity each and every day. In terms of the positives, Binance is home to hundreds of digital currencies. Naturally, this includes heaps of small-cap projects that are rarely listed on other Bitcoin trading platforms.
On top of crypto-asset diversity, Binance is also a great option as it charges just 0.1% in trading commissions. This is significantly cheaper than the 1.49% charged by Coinbase, but not quite as competitive as eToro – which is commission-free.
Nevertheless, Binance also offers a variety of ‘alternative’ cryptocurrencies that may interest you, for instance if you want to buy cardano, as you may wish to access this marketplace in a more supplicated manner. For example, Binance allows you to trade cryptocurrency futures and options – offering leverage of up to 125x on perpetual contracts.
Additionally, Binance even offers a Crypto Savings Account that allows you to earn interest on any digital assets that you store. However, in a similar nature to Coinbase, the major drawback with Binance is that you will be charged handsomely to deposit funds with a debit card. Costing 3% of the transaction amount, cheaper options are certainly available.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
How to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa – Conclusion
This guide has covered the nuts and bolts of how to buy cryptocurrency South Africa. This includes the process of choosing a suitable broker or exchange, which cryptocurrencies are hot at the moment, and what risks and potential rewards you need to consider.
If you are ready to take the cryptocurrency plunge and wish to get started right now – regulated broker eToro gives you access to 18 digital assets – all of which can be bought and sold commission-free.
Opening an account takes just minutes and you can instantly deposit funds with a South African debit/credit card, bank account, and even an e-wallet!
eToro – Best Broker to Buy Cryptocurrency South Africa – Commission-Free & Regulated
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
Can I buy cryptocurrency with South African rands?
You certainly can. In fact, regulated brokers like eToro allow you to deposit funds with South African rands via a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank wire. The deposit will instantly be converted into USD - which is the fiat currency of choice in the crypto-asset industry.
How much does it cost to buy 1 Bitcoin in South Africa?
The price of Bitcoin - like all cryptocurrencies, will rise and fall on a second-by-second basis. Nevertheless, Bitcoin recently hit all-time highs of $58,000 - which amounts to approximately 872,000 South African rands.
Where can I buy cryptocurrency online in South Africa?
There are many ways in which you can buy cryptocurrency in South Africa - but it's best to stick with a regulated broker. In doing so, you can safely buy your chosen cryptocurrency with an everyday payment method - like a debit/credit card.
Is it legal to buy crypto South Africa?
If you're looking to buy crypto South Africa, the process is completely legal. Crucially, there is no legislation in place that prohibits South Africans from freely buying and selling digital assets - which is why the industry is so popular!
Where to buy cryptocurrency South Africa with Paypal?
One of the few regulated brokers in the online crypto scene that supports Paypal is eToro. You will be charged a very small deposit fee of just 0.5% to use Paypal, and other e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller are also supported.
What is the best cryptocurrency to buy now?
There are now more than 8,600 digital currencies to choose from - so knowing what asset to invest in can be challenging. However, if you're looking for the best cryptocurrency to buy now, most first-time investors stick with Bitcoin.