Quick Look Binance: Best for cryptocurrency selection Coinbase: Best for beginners VALR: Best South African-based exchange Kraken: Best for customer support AltCoinTrader: Best South African-based exchange for interest rewards Luno: Best for quick verification ByBit: Best for margin and derivative trades Yellow Card: Best for ease of use Uniswap: Best decentralized exchange Binance Best for cryptocurrency selection Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume in the world! The platform gives South African traders the opportunity to buy, sell, and trade hundreds of cryptocurrencies for low fees. Pros Cryptocurrency selection: Binance has more than 500 cryptocurrencies available to buy, sell, and trade! Low fees: Binance has low fees for users — ranging from 0 to 0.1%! Advanced trading: Binance has margin and derivative trading available, which makes the platform a great choice for experienced traders! ZAR support: Unlike other foreign exchanges, Binance allows South African users to deposit, withdraw, and buy cryptocurrency with ZAR. Cons Regulatory issues: In recent years, Binance has pulled out of countries like the United States and Canada due to regulatory issues. In addition, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was arrested in 2023 for violating money laundering laws. Coinbase Best for Beginners Coinbase is one of the largest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. If you’re looking for an exchange with a reputation for security, Coinbase is a fantastic option. Pros Cryptocurrency selection: Coinbase offers more than 150 cryptocurrencies, with more coins constantly being added! Beginner friendly: Coinbase is a great choice for beginner investors, with a user-friendly interface and Learn modules — which allow you to earn crypto after watching educational videos about cryptocurrency! Security: Coinbase has never suffered a hack in the company’s history. Coinbase uses state-of-the-art encryption and risk management to keep customer funds safe. Cons Fees: Coinbase has relatively high fees compared to other exchanges. Lack of customer support: Coinbase has faced criticism for slow and unresponsive customer support. Learn more about Coinbase here. VALR Best South African-based exchange VALR is the largest cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in South Africa. VALR is known for offering some of the lowest trading fees on the market! Pros Low fees on VALR Pro: VALR Pro Trading offers very low fees ranging from -0.01% to 0.05% (negative fees mean that you get paid to make trades!) Buy and sell crypto with ZAR: As an exchange based in South Africa, VALR allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency in ZAR. Hourly staking rewards: VALR offers hourly rewards for cryptocurrency staking! Secure: VALR uses security measures like two-factor authentication and cold storage to keep your crypto safe! Cons Limited crypto selection: VALR offers 60+ cryptocurrencies — fewer than other exchanges on this list! Kraken Best for customer support
Originally founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the oldest operating cryptocurrency exchanges.
Kraken has a reputation for security and is a fantastic choice for beginner and experienced investors alike! Pros Cryptocurrency selection: Kraken has more than 200 cryptocurrencies available for users! Low fees: Kraken offers low fees — ranging from 0-0.26%! Advanced trading: Kraken offers margin and derivative trading for experienced investors! Quality customer support: Kraken has been praised for offering quality customer support! Cons No ZAR support: Kraken does not support ZAR. The supported fiat currency for South African traders is USD. AltCoinTrader Best South African exchange for interest rewards AltCoinTrader is one of the most trusted exchanges based in South Africa! The exchange offers low fees and high security for investors. Pros Easy Save: AltCoinTrader allows you to earn interest rewards on cryptocurrencies like xZAR, DOT, and SOL. At the time of writing, interest rewards for xZAR are more than 12%! Fees: AltCoinTrader offers low fees ranging from 0.75-1%. ZAR support: As a South African exchange, AltCoinTrader allows users to deposit, withdraw, and make purchases in ZAR. Cons Low cryptocurrency selection: AltCoinTrader has 25+ cryptocurrencies available — significantly less than other exchanges! Luno Best for quick verification Luno is a UK-based exchange founded in 2013. Luno is considered a beginner-friendly exchange and serves customers across Europe, Australia, and Africa. Pros User friendly: In third-party reviews, Luno is praised for its user-friendly interface. Highly secure: Luno is known for offering a high level of security for users. The company stores all cryptocurrency offline and uses measures like two-factor authentication to keep customer funds safe. Fast verification: Luno allows users to get started buying and selling cryptocurrency in minutes! Cons Limited crypto selection: At the time of writing, Luno only supports 11 cryptocurrencies. Limited features for advanced users: Luno offers limited features for experienced investors. ByBit Best for margin and derivative trades ByBit is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Dubai. While ByBit is a great option for experienced investors looking for derivative trading, ByBit also offers a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Pros Low fees: ByBit offers some of the lowest fees in the industry. Transaction fees are between 0.00 - 0.01% depending on your thirty-day trading volume. Easy to use: ByBit is considered an easy to use exchange for beginner and experienced investors alike! Derivative and margin trading: ByBit offers derivative and margin trading for experienced investors! Cons No fiat support: ByBit does not allow users to deposit and withdraw in fiat currencies like ZAR. You can only withdraw and deposit crypto from ByBit. Yellow Card Best for ease of use Yellow Card is a cryptocurrency exchange that serves investors across Africa. In 2023, the exchange was given the African financial industry’s ‘Disruptor of the Year’ award. Pros Easy to buy crypto: Yellow Card makes it easy for users to get started with crypto. According to the company’s founder, Yellow Card was designed for users to ‘come on and buy crypto within three minutes’. Send and receive crypto: Yellow Card makes it easy to send and receive cryptocurrency from friends and family with minimal fees! Low fees: Yellow Card has relatively low fees — including no withdrawal and deposit fees! Cons Limited offerings: Currently, Yellow Card only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether. Uniswap Best decentralized exchange
Uniswap is a
decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the Ethereum blockchain. Uniswap is one of the most popular DEXs in the world, and is a great option for investors looking for a decentralized option! Pros Decentralized: Unlike other exchanges on this list, Uniswap is fully decentralized. Liquidity comes from other Uniswap users rather than a centralized exchange. Self-custody: Unlike centralized exchanges, you do not need to give custody of your cryptocurrency to use Uniswap. You can use Uniswap while holding your cryptocurrency in a self-custody wallet like MetaMask. No registration required: Decentralized exchanges like Uniswap do not require a sign-up process and do not take Know Your Customer (KYC) information. Cons No fiat support: Decentralized exchanges like Uniswap do not support fiat currencies like ZAR. You’ll need to transfer your crypto to a centralized exchange to convert your crypto to fiat. Difficult user interface: Decentralized exchanges like Uniswap may be more difficult to use for beginner investors. No customer support: Unlike some centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges do not offer customer support. How to pick a crypto exchange in South Africa?
Not sure how to pick a cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa? Here are a few factors you should consider before getting started.
Ease of use: It’s important to choose a cryptocurrency exchange with an easy-to-use user interface — especially if you’re new to crypto! However, experienced investors may prefer exchanges with more features. Fees: Understand your cryptocurrency exchange’s fee structure before getting started. If you’re buying and selling crypto on a regular basis, fees can take a significant portion of your profits! Reputation: Unfortunately, scams are common in the cryptocurrency space. You should look at third-party reviews to make sure that you are using trusted cryptocurrency exchanges. Security: Take a look at the measures your exchange uses to keep your cryptocurrency safe — including two-factor authentication and cold storage! Cryptocurrency selection: Before you get started with a cryptocurrency exchange, look at which cryptocurrencies are available. While some investors may only be interested in investing in well-known coins like BTC and ETH, others may be looking for a diverse selection of cryptocurrencies! What happened to the Berry crypto trading platform?
Berry was an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange that was popular with cryptocurrency investors in South Africa. In 2023, Berry halted withdrawals for customers. It’s widely suspected that the cryptocurrency exchange was a Ponzi scheme.
How to buy crypto in South Africa
To buy cryptocurrency in South Africa, you can follow the following steps.
Visit a cryptocurrency exchange website. Sign up for an account and follow the verification procedures. Link a payment method and buy cryptocurrency. Do I have to pay tax on crypto trades in South Africa?
Cryptocurrency transactions are subject to tax in South Africa. When you sell or dispose of crypto, you may be required to pay capital gains tax or income tax depending on whether your transaction is characterized as a ‘trade’ or an ‘investment’.
For more information, check out our complete guide to
South Africa crypto taxes.