Compare 7 best crypto exchanges to buy Bitcoin in South Africa for 2024

In this guide, our team of experts break down and review the best cryptocurrency exchanges in South Africa for beginners.
By:  & 
Updated: May 9, 2024
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Our team of experts has thoroughly reviewed and ranked the best cryptocurrency exchanges available for beginners based in South Africa. This comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know to select the best crypto trading platform in South Africa that matches your needs. 

Whether you’re looking for the lowest fees, widest selection of coins, or simplest user interface, we’ve compared and analysed all the leading options to uncover the ideal exchanges for first-time crypto traders and investors in South Africa. 

Equipped with insider knowledge from our experienced analysts, you can confidently navigate the world of the best crypto exchanges in South Africa and find the perfect platform to buy, sell and trade digital currencies.

What is the best crypto exchange South Africa in 2024?

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Our expert rankings reveal that Bybit is the best cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa.

The list below shows the three best South Africa crypto exchanges that excelled in our tests, by combining low transaction fees, high security, and ease of use.

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1
Min. Deposit
-
Best offer
User Score
9.6
Wide range of derivative products, including futures, options, and perpetual contracts, catering to traders looking for diverse trading strategies.
Robust security protocols, including Proof of Reserves, two-factor authentication, crypto insurance, and regular security audits, ensuring the safety of user assets.
Provides up to 10x leverage for almost every asset, appealing to traders seeking amplified returns.
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard
Full Regulations:
Bybit’s trading involves significant risk and is not suitable for all investors; please ensure you understand the risks involved, as you could lose all your invested capital.
2
Min. Deposit
100 €
Best offer
User Score
9.9
CFDs on BTC, ETH, LTC, NEO, XRP, IOTA, EOS, BAB, ADA, TRX, XMR
No need to open a crypto exchange account or use a special wallet
Regulated Broker - FCA, ASIC, CySEC (license number 250/14)
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Debit Card, PayPal, Credit Card, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Trustly, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Discover, Bank Transfer: SEPA, Bank Transfer: FPS, skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FSA, MAS, CySEC #250/14

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

3
Min. Deposit
85 €
Best offer
User Score
9.7
Trade the world’s largest Crypto derivatives offering. Choose from 250+ Crypto CFDs
Multiple funding and swift withdrawal options. Choose from PayPal and more
Ultra-low spreads across all Crypto derivatives
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
PayPal, neteller, Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Cryptocurrencies, skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, CySEC, FCA
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

7 best South Africa crypto exchanges

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Here is a selection of the best crypto trading exchanges in South Africa. These trading platforms accept South African users and are headquartered in the country. 

  • AltCoinTrader
  • Luno
  • OVX
  • Paybis
  • SatoshiPay
  • SouthXchange
  • VALR
  • Yellow Card

Top 7 best crypto trading platforms South Africa, reviewed

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1. Bybit: Best crypto exchange for derivatives & margin trading

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bybit_logo

...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

20

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Overview

We love Bybit because it offers a range of advanced trading tools and competitive rates on crypto derivatives. It’s a rapidly growing crypto exchange, perfect for experienced traders looking for leveraged trading opportunities.

Boasting a wide range of crypto products, from buying and selling to staking and borrowing, Bybit is at the forefront of the next generation of crypto services, shaking up the traditional financial system and offering different ways to put your crypto to good use.

Bybit is primarily designed for more advanced traders, with integrated charts from TradingView that allow for extensive technical analysis across 100+ indicators. It’s highly secure, too, with regulatory approval in Europe and the Middle East, and it offers a comprehensive service to users around the world (except the US).

The fees: Fees are charged through a maker and taker system, so that there are cheaper fees to those who provide liquidity. ByBit’s fees start from 0.020% for makers and 0.055% for takers, which are highly competitive and match them up to any of the big players in the exchange game.

Highlights

Visit Bybit Bybit Review

2. Plus500. Best for international CFD trading*

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From 2%

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

3,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Free demo account for every user Secure broker, licensed by top-tier regulators Wide variety of CFDs to trade Several good risk management tools
No support on trading information and education Website isn’t brilliantly designed to help users find answers to their questions No MetaTrader trading platform compatibility

Overview

We love Plus500 because it is one of the industry’s most transparent and reliable brokers. Its fees are clear and you’ll know exactly what you will be paying before you make a trade. Its technology driven platform gives access to over 2800 instruments, including CFDs on stocks, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies among several others.

Plus500 has something for all types of traders, no matter what level of experience. It’s zero commission and tight spreads make it a top choice for day traders and its trading academy is packed with educational content, perfect for beginners just starting. 

For accurate instrument availability, visit plus500.com.

The fees: There are no commission fees on any trades with Plus500 and it makes it money through the Bid/Ask spread. Spread starts from 0.01% or 0.9 pips and varies depending on the instrument. Additional fees include overnight funding which is dependant on trade size and guaranteed stop orders, which add a minimum of 10% to the spread. There is an inactivity charge of £10 per month for accounts not logged in for three months. 

*Based on a comparison of 60+ leading brokers and trading platforms.

Highlights

Visit Plus500 Plus500 Review

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

3. Eightcap. Best online broker for choice of trading platform

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Up to $3.5 RT

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

800

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Low trading fees for CFDs Trade directly from the TradingView platform Regulated by top-tier authorities Leverage up to 1:500 Partnered with multiple proprietary trading firms
Some markets are not available to all regions Customer support does not operate 24/7

Overview

We love Eightcap because you have several trading platforms to choose from. You can choose between MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and TradingView. All of these platforms are favourites among retail traders. With the MetaTrade suite of platforms, you can access lots of technical indicators, custom tools, and expert advisors. 

TradingView with Eightcap allows you to trade directly from your charts while accessing the hundreds of tools and features available. Eightcap a selection of over 200 crypto CFDs so there’s an excellent range to choose from. You can trade the biggest coins like BTC/USD and many altcoins like DOGE/USD.  

The fees: Eightcap is a CFD broker and charges spread, commissions, or a combination of both. There are two account types available, RAW, and Standard. The RAW account has ultra-low spreads starting from 0.0 pips but charges $3.5 RT per lot. The standard account is commission-free for most assets and spreads start from 1 pip.

Highlights

Visit Eightcap Eightcap Review
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

4. Bitstamp. Best for professionals & trading with APIs

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...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Low trading fees and no spreads Supports multiple fiat currencies Regulated platform
Limited number of coins available Major fees on deposits and withdrawals Liquidity has suffered due to the limited selection of coins and most liquidity is concentrated in top names like Bitcoin and Ether

Overview

We love Bitstamp because it has a proud reputation for top performance over more than decade. Bitstamp offers trading on 75+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, while staking is available on Ethereum and Algorand. 

Bitstamp was one of the first crypto platforms to set up shop in 2011 and has built up trust since. It’s designed with institutional traders in mind, so it prides itself on near 100% uptime. It stores 95% of assets in cold storage and offers a sliding scale of fees so that high volume traders get the best rates.

The fees: There are no trading fees if you trade less than $1,000 in a rolling 30-day period. Above that, fees start from 0.4% and decline the higher your trading volume is. There is a 15% charge for staking. Withdrawals are charged a flat €3 fee.

Highlights

Visit Bitstamp Bitstamp Review

5. KuCoin. Best social trading altcoin exchange

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...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Anonymous trading with up to 2 BTC withdrawals/24 hours Wide variety of cryptocurrencies No deposit fees
Low trading volumes not suitable for big traders Doesn’t support U.S. customers You might experience delays and lags during high-traffic times.

Overview

We love KuCoin because it;s a great place for beginners to trade more than 700 altcoins. KuCoin is a social trading platform with 20+ million investors worldwide in 200+ countries.

KuCoin’s beginner zone offers up rewards up to $500 for new users. The rest of the platform has plenty of features for the crypto enthusiast: a staking service to earn money on your stored crypto, an NFT marketplace, and margin trading features to buy leveraged tokens.

The fees: Trading fees are charged on a sliding scale. Fees are 0.1% on trading volumes below 50 BTC in a 30 day period. Discounts are available if you pay fees in KCS or store more than 1000 KCS in your account.

Highlights

Visit KuCoin KuCoin Review

6. AvaTrade. Best regulated broker for secure trading

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From 0.13%

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

1,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Trade 1000+ CFDs with competitive spreads Regulated by Tier 1 financial bodies across the world Consistently highly rated trading platform on web and mobile Offers social trading through its proprietary AvaSocial platform
Spreads are competitive without being industry-leading Some assets are only available to trade through the MetaTrader software

Overview

We love AvaTrade because it offers powerful trading software to anyone who wants to trade professionally. AvaTrade is a CFD broker where you can trade more than 800 markets, including forex, stocks, commodities, indices, ETFs, bonds, and cryptocurrency.  

AvaTrade integrates with trading software like MetaTrader 4 and 5 and boasts its own bespoke and award-winning mobile app software, AvaTradeGo. AvaTrade has been around since 2006 and is extensively regulated in Europe, Australia, Japan, British Virgin Islands, UAE, and South Africa.

The fees: There is no commission on any trading. AvaTrade makes money from the Bid/Ask spread instead. Stock spreads start from 0.13 and forex spreads start at 0.7 pips. Positions left overnight are charged a swap fee that varies depending on size. An inactivity fee of £50 per month is applicable if you don’t log in to your account for three consecutive months. 

Highlights

Visit AvaTrade AvaTrade Review
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

7. Exness. Best for tight spreads and a pro-style trading experience.

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From $0.2 per lot

Fees

$10

Minimum deposit

300

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Trade all major asset classes with zero commission Competitive spreads starting from 0.3 pips on standard accounts Highly flexible trading terminal available on mobile app, desktop, and web browser Top-tier regulation and negative balance protection
Restricted access in the US and UK

Overview

We love Exness because it offers tight spread trading and a bespoke trading experience. Exness offers 35+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Exness offers a great range of pro-style trading tools and a variety of account types to suit all experience levels. Beginners can take advantage of a free demo account or micro-lots for low minimum trades, while more experienced traders can use the Exness terminal or plug it into the MetaTrader software and trade from there.

The fees: Standard accounts aren’t charged a commission but are charged through the spread. Spreads start from 7 pips on cryptocurrencies but may be considerably higher. Overnight fees apply on some assets (exc. swap-free accounts).

Highlights

Visit Exness Exness Review
Exness does not offer services to residents of certain jurisdictions including the USA, Iran, North Korea and others. The content of the website including translations should not be construed as means for solicitation. Investors make their own and independent decisions. Trading in CFDs and generally leveraged products involves substantial risk of loss and you may lose all of your invested capital.

How to choose the best South Africa crypto exchange

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With cryptocurrency adoption growing rapidly in South Africa, new traders are faced with the crucial decision of picking the right exchange for their needs. Our crypto experts have identified the key factors to consider when evaluating crypto trading platforms in South Africa.

Security protections

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As crypto asset theft can be irreversible, security should be your number one priority. Look for a trading platforms that:

  • Store the majority of funds in cold wallets (offline storage)
  • Offer two-factor authentication and API keys for account access
  • Have robust anti-phishing and encryption safeguards in place
  • Provide insurance coverage for deposits in case of hacks

Top trading platforms like Luno and VALR excel in security protections for South African traders.

Fees & costs

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Exchanges make money through a wide variety of fees, which can impact your profits. Below we’ll take a closer look at the types of charges and fees you may experience when trading crypto in South Africa

Trading fees. Trading fees are charged per trade and are typically a percentage of the total trade value. Cryptocurrency trading fees in South Africa range from 0.1% to 1% on most platforms. Here is some information you can use to compare the trading fees for the best crypto platforms in South Africa. 

Asset Bybit fees Plus500 fees Eightcap fees
View more > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >

Payment and other fees. May be charged when funding your account via bank transfer or withdrawing to an external wallet. Varies across payment types and deposit methods. In addition to payment fees, other charges such as swaps, rollover, and currency conversion charges may apply.

Fee Bybit fees Plus500 fees Eightcap fees
View more > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >

Spreads. One fee that is impossible to avoid is spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell price for any coin. All of the best crypto companies in South Africa charge spreads and the amount can vary between platforms. Use the table below to compare the average spread for the three biggest crypto exchanges in South Africa. 

Product Bybit spreads Plus500 spreads Eightcap spreads
View all tradable assets > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >

Ease of use and features

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The user experience can greatly vary across exchanges. Here are some of the things to consider before you pick a South African crypto trading platform.

  • Interface and tools. Platform should have a clean layout with charts, order books, and trading pairs easily accessible on desktop and mobile.
  • Account Setup and verification. Quick and simple identity verification process enables users to start trading faster.
  • Customer support. This means the availability of email, phone, ticket and live chat assistance. Look for quick response times and knowledgeable representatives operating customer support channels 
  • Site navigation. Easy site navigation and prompt customer assistance via email, phone or chat. Coindirect, AltCoinTrader and VALR offer excellent trading interfaces, tools and support.
Trading tool Bybit tools Plus500 tools Eightcap tools
View more > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >

Supported cryptocurrencies

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Ensure a platform in South Africa provides sufficient buying options for:

  • Major coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin
  • Emerging tokens like Cardano, Polkadot, Solana
  • Stablecoins like USDT for reducing volatility

Large exchanges support 100+ coins and tokens. Beginners may prefer more curated options offered by the likes of Luno which is an easy to use platform in South Africa.

Cryptocurrency Cryptocurrency Cryptocurrency
View more > Bybit >

What type of South African crypto exchanges are there?

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Here is an overview of the different types of crypto exchanges available for South African investors:

Centralised exchanges (CEX)

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This is the most common type of exchange. CEXs are online platforms and companies that act as middlemen between buyers and sellers. For example:

  • Luno
  • AltCoinTrader
  • VALR
  • Coindirect

Benefits include easy usability, high liquidity and a wide selection of coins. The downsides are reliance on a central authority and increased hacking risk.

Decentralized exchanges (DEX)

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DEXs allow peer-to-peer trading directly between users through automated smart contracts. No central authority controls orders and funds. For example:

  • Pangolin
  • UniSwap
  • PancakeSwap

The advantages are reduced counterparty risk and greater user control. Disadvantages include smaller liquidity and often a more complex process.

P2P exchanges

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Peer-to-peer platforms connect buyers and sellers directly. Users can trade with each other using different payment methods. For example:

  • Paxful

Benefits include flexibility in payments, often with less ID verification. Downsides are higher risks with dealing with anonymous individuals.

Brokers

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Brokers don’t have order books matching trades between users. Instead, they sell you crypto directly from their own inventory at a set price. For example:

  • Luno Broker
  • OVEX

Ease of use by avoiding trading yourself is the main advantage. Downsides include fees and rates set by the broker.

Can I buy traditional financial assets on a crypto exchange in South Africa?

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On some platforms you can, but a better option is to sign up for a dedicated service that offers the specific assets you want to trade. The best trading platforms in South Africa allow you to buy and sell stocks, while the best forex brokers in South Africa is best for currency trading. The best CFD brokers in South Africa offer a mixture of all these assets.

How to buy crypto on the best Bitcoin exchange in South Africa

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Follow these steps to create an account and make your first trade on a beginner-friendly crypto exchange in South Africa:

1. Sign up to Bybit and verify your account

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The registration process is simple with exchanges like Bybit and AltCoinTrader. Provide your name, email, mobile number and set a strong password. You must verify your identity by submitting scanned or photographed copies of your South African ID and proof of home address.

2. Deposit ZAR into your exchange account

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Once verified, navigate to the ZAR deposit section and select your preferred payment method. Most exchanges allow fast ZAR deposits directly from a South African bank account. Others also support credit card payments.

3. Place your first crypto order

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Head over to the exchange section to place a Buy order for your chosen cryptocurrency. For example, BTC, ETH, XRP etc. Compare exchange rates and fees before entering the amount of ZAR you wish to spend.

4. Secure your cryptocurrency assets

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Withdraw purchased coins to your private external crypto wallet for secure storage. Or leave them on the exchange for easy trading access. Enable two-factor authentication for enhanced account security.

5. Start trading cryptocurrency

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Once you are familiar with buying crypto, try trading between digital assets by providing liquidity on the exchange order books. Set market or limit orders to trade profitably.

Step 6. Transfer your cryptocurrency to a crypto wallet (optional)

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Your crypto assets will appear in your exchange wallet once the trade goes through. You can leave them there or move them to a dedicated crypto wallet. 

With a wallet, you have more control over your money, but it’s more inconvenient if you plan on trading regularly. You can learn more about how to find the best Bitcoin wallet in South Africa below.

What are some of the best South Africa crypto exchanges?

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Here is a selection of the best crypto trading exchanges in South Africa. These trading platforms accept South African users and are headquartered in the country. 

  • AltCoinTrader
  • Luno
  • OVX
  • Paybis
  • SatoshiPay
  • SouthXchange
  • VALR
  • Yellow Card

Quick answers to key questions

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Do I need a crypto wallet?

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A private wallet not tied to the exchange is recommended to securely store purchased coins long-term, such as from providers like Luno or Ledger. However, keeping smaller amounts on a reputable exchange in South Africa for trading is generally safe.

What are the deposit fees and limits?

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Deposit fees are typically zero for South African bank transfers. Deposit limits range from R5,000 for smaller exchanges to over R1 million for larger players like Luno. The verification level also determines limits. Different payment methods may also impose deposit limits, so make sure you check before adding funds to your account.

Product Bybit minimum trade Plus500 minimum trade Eightcap minimum trade
View more > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >

How do I choose between spot trading and derivative trading?

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Beginners should start with basic buy/sell spot trading to gain experience. More advanced derivative products like margin or futures trading involve higher risk and are better suited to experienced traders. Most major exchanges offer both options to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptos.

Can I trade using leverage on a South African crypto exchange?

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Many of the best crypto exchanges in SA offer the ability to trade on margin and use leverage. The amount of leverage available to you can vary depending on your own circumstances and the rules set out by the exchange. Trading crypto using leverage is very risky and you should consider all options before using it.

Product Bybit maximum leverage Plus500 maximum leverage Eightcap maximum leverage
View more > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >
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Yes, crypto is legal in South Africa, with no domestic regulations against trading by individuals. Anti-money laundering laws still apply. SARS also taxes crypto gains. The South African regulatory environment is crypto-friendly.

Is crypto regulated in South Africa?

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The regulatory landscape surrounding crypto in South Africa is constantly evolving. Some aspects of the crypto market fall under existing regulations while a formal framework is under development. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has indicated it plans to bring Crypto Asset Service Providers (CASPs) under its regulatory laws in the future. 

In the first quarter of 2024, the South African FCA approved 59 new crypto licences.

Many of the best crypto businesses in South Africa also operate globally and fall under the jurisdiction of multiple regulators such as CySEC or the FCA. Below are the three best crypto exchanges in South Africa and what regulatory status they hold.

Region Bybit regulators Plus500 regulators Eightcap regulators
View more > Bybit > Plus500 > Eightcap >

Do I have to pay tax on crypto in SA?

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Yes, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) states that crypto assets are taxable in South Africa. Taxpayers need to declare crypto assets’ gains or losses as part of their taxable income. Normal tax rules apply to cryptocurrencies in South Africa. 

Digital assets can also be taxed as capital gains, but the rates depend on how the asset was acquired. For example, if you buy a crypto asset, the difference between the purchase price and the selling price is considered a capital gain. 

If you mine a crypto asset, the fair market value of the asset at the time you mined it is considered your purchase price. Any increase in the value of the crypto asset since then is considered a capital gain. 

In South Africa, the capital gains tax rate for individuals is 28% for taxable income above R450,000. 

Should I worry about exchange security?

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Reputable exchanges, such as cold storage, encryption, and insurance, implement robust security to protect your funds. Start using well-known exchanges like Luno and AltCoinTrader with proven security track records. You can also use a dedicated crypto wallet, accessible only via your private keys to store your digital assets.

What are cryptocurrency network fees?

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Sending crypto on-chain incurs minor blockchain network fees paid to miners. Exchanges add their own fees on top for withdrawals. For example, withdrawing Bitcoin from Luno costs 0.0005 BTC plus their fee.

Can I trade altcoins directly for ZAR?

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Many smaller altcoins and tokens can only be traded against Bitcoin or Ethereum. Larger exchanges like AltCoinTrader allow direct ZAR trading pairs with over 100 different cryptocurrencies.

What is the best crypto wallet in South Africa?

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The top options for the best crypto wallet in South Africa are hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor. Hardware wallets are physical devices that store your private keys offline, providing top-tier security against hacks and theft. 

Leading models like the Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T support many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. They typically cost around R1000-R1500 but are worthwhile investments for serious crypto investors who want robust security protections.

The best free crypto wallet option is Luno Software Wallet. As a prominent South African exchange, Luno offers an excellent mobile and desktop wallet that is simple and intuitive to use. It lets you securely store Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins bought on the Luno platform. The wallet utilises AES-256 encryption and private keys that only you control. 

Luno wallets also make transferring funds between your exchange account and wallet seamless. For cost-conscious investors or those just starting out, Luno Software Wallet is likely the best crypto wallet in South Africa.

Choose the best South African crypto exchange

FAQs

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Fact-checking & references
Risk disclaimer
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.
Prash Raval
Financial Writer
Prash is a financial writer for Invezz covering FX, the stock market and investing. For over a decade he has traded spot FX full time while... read more.