CryptocurrencyBlog is the top guide to the cryptocurrency news, prices and brokers in South Africa. We review and compare the best South African Cryptocurrency brokers and exchanges available, as well as the most popular crypto assets. Our top list of Cypto brokers allows you to buy or trade popular crypto coins like bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Tether (USDT), and more.
Ever since cryptocurrency took the world by storm in the form of Bitcoin, the global financial landscape has been disrupted and we are seeing the same evidence with cryptocurrency South Africa. Today, South Africans from all walks of life and across every social strata either own cryptocurrencies or buy or sell using them.
According to recent estimates as much as 7.1% of the total population of South Africa, which stands at 4.2 million people own crypto assets. So you can see that cryptocurrency in South Africa is here to stay. Furthermore, if you check worldwide online searches for the word “Bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency”, South Africa is one of the top 10 countries in the world for these searches. But how do people view digital assets? In this article we discuss about how to buy cryptocurrency as well as the best cryptocurrency trading platform South Africa in 2022.
Best cryptocurrency Trading Platforms South Africa
How South Africans perceive cryptocurrency
Many South Africans are favorably disposed to digital assets and this is evident in the fact that close to 20% of locals have used or owned one form of crypto asset at some point over the last 5 years. Furthermore, as much as 10% or more of the population that are active internet users own crypto assets.
So as you can see, the use of these assets as legal tender is fast gaining traction. The assets are beginning to gain momentum in the country. So much so that the South African government, in a budget speech for 2922 made it clear that it was taking it seriously.
In light of this, the 2022 budget review showed that the government was proposing a plan to use regulatory bodies to safeguard crypto owners, exchanges, and platforms active in the country. It also proposed an intergovernmental Fintech platform called the IFWG to do the following.
Register crypto service platforms as accountable institutions
One of the recommendations of IFWG was to register crypto service platforms as institutions that fall under the purview of the Financial Intelligence Center Act. The purpose of this move was to check the money laundering act and terrorism financing within the borders of South Africa. By making service providers submit themselves for audits, criminal enterprises using cryptocurrencies as funding vehicles will be prevented.
Another purpose for the plan is to protect users of digital assets by classifying such assets as a financial product under the national Financial Advisory Services Act. To this end, any platform offering avenues for the trading of crypto assets will be viewed as a service provider and must comply with the requirements of the act.
The IFWG will also increase its monitoring capacity of crypto transactions and other related cryptocurrencies in South African products to ensure that they comply with the 1961 Exchange Control Regulations.
Top traded cryptocurrencies in South Africa
Impact of new laws on Cryptocurrency South Africa
These new laws elicited mixed reactions when they were announced and enacted in the country. Overall, the laws are aimed at companies and people who trade bitcoins, other coins and tokens. The government’s position is that these measures will serve to protect the financial interests of users and most importantly, investors.
By demanding that companies and individuals register with the FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority), the authorities will be able to track activities in real-time. At this point, it is important to note two things.
- South African exchanges do not offer pair trading of digital assets as many other international exchanges offer.
- A significant number of traders in South Africa do arbitrage trading by buying assets from other countries where it is cheaper and selling them in local exchanges where it is more expensive.
These factors have influenced an upswing of trading in the country and caused a significant cash flow moving in the same direction and the government felt the need to regulate the flow. So the effect of the law remains to be seen as it is relatively a new law and it will take time for its impact to be measured.
But for now, South Africans had a maximum R1 million discretionary amount annually for transferring money through cryptocurrency abroad without the need for government approval. But we do know that the new law will raise the benchmark so users can send a higher amount abroad within the 1 year timeframe.
Factors limiting the widespread use of cryptocurrency South Africa
Despite its growing appeal among the populace, many sections of society still have a lot of aversion regarding crypto. These factors are not unique to South Africa but common in many other African and third world countries. Here are some of the factors limiting the spread of crypto in the country.
The growth of crypto means many more people are willing to use it but unfortunately, not many people understand the importance of keeping their wallets and other handles safe. This best explains why many platforms report a growing number of customers reporting one financial loss or the other. Although awareness campaigns are growing by the day, it will take some time for wider society to be made aware of these dangers.
Moreover, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a significant number of ransomware attacks by hackers were recorded by users. The shift of work from offices to remote activities further increased these risks.
Cryptocurrency has not been widely accepted by Corporate South Africa
Most corporates in South Africa have not accepted cryptocurrency unlike their counterparts in developed climes hit that is down to no fault of theirs. With government regulations designed to protect the South African Rand and existing financial structures, accepting it as a means of payment is inhibiting its wide use. Since big businesses are often more risk averse, they prefer known payment structures to revolutionary methods.
The fears and doubts of locals in the hinterlands
Many of the population in the hinterlands have either never heard of cryptocurrency or know very little about it. A significant percentage of people in this category either have poor or no education or are isolated from the wider world.
Fears of losing their money since they do not understand how Blockchain and other crypto exchanges operate discourages them from even holding or spending digital assets. There is hope that as the word spreads, many people in the hinterlands will come to understand how it works and become more open to its use.
Bad news travels fast
Tales of scandals and financial loss suffered by users travel far and wide so this makes it difficult for many to open themselves up to the idea of cryptocurrency in South Africa. And the more the news comes to light (even if they are not true) the opinion of some people has hardened even more. While cryptocurrency remains even safer than fiat money and paper money, these negative sentiments will take time to change.
Another factor affecting the wide acceptance and use of cryptocurrency in South Africa is price volatility. Bitcoin is a base currency that influences the price of other assets like Litecoin, Ethereum, and the likes including tokens. People across the globe shy away from holding their wealth in assets that are unstable and susceptible to price swings. However, tokens like USDT are beginning to gain widespread appeal in the country so this is an evolving situation that holds promise for the future of cryptocurrency South Africa.
The original goal of Bitcoin was to offer people the freedom to hold their wealth in decentralized platforms away from the shadow of government. This remains the underlined vision of all digital assets.
But as the South African government and other world governments become more aggressive with their regulations, many are not so keen to hold or invest in massive sums even if they can. Government regulations remain the largest impediment to the widespread use of crypto in the country, like in all countries.
Despite these factors, cryptocurrency South Africa usage is growing by the day. In fact, it remains the biggest country in Africa with cryptocurrency penetration.
Most popular Cryptocurrencies in use in South Africa
Now let us review the most widely used crypto assets in South Africa. While there are dozens, if not hundreds of tokens traded and held by South Africans across different platforms, these are the most popular ones.
In 2009, Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency in the world. It uses Blockchain technology to execute the payment and introduce digital assets to the rest of the world. Many South Africans still regard Bitcoin as their preferred digital asset of choice for investment and for settling bills. It remains number one because it is outside the control of the government. Furthermore, it cannot be manipulated by third parties like banks and other intermediaries.
Today, many people use it for peer-to-peer transfers within and outside South Africa. It is much faster than swift and other banking platforms and remains the most valuable digital asset in the world.
Ethereum is another asset that can be used to facilitate payment on the Ethereum network. It also uses Blockchain technology to create smart contracts. It doesn’t require to develop and distributeof app exchanges which is why it is very popular among users. Just like Bitcoin, Ethereum in South Africa is not influenced by the government of South Africa and is also decentralized.
Tether is a stable coin tied to a fiat currency which is the US dollar. The design of this currency is to combine stability and fast payment facilitation. It is not as popular as Ethereum and Bitcoin but it is gradually gaining acceptance.
USDT is another stable coin tied to the US dollar. At every point in time, the value of the US dollar to the Rand in South Africa is the same as USDT. This coin is widely traded and exchanged in the county.
What can you buy with cryptocurrency in South Africa
Many big stores and businesses are now accepting Bitcoin and other assets as means of payment. Here are some popular ones.
Runway is South Africa’s largest online fashion store and their exclusive designer brands are offered to customers at attractive discounts. Today they accept payments in Bitcoin. This adoption has seen a sporadic increase in sales and the trends remain positive.
This is a national retailer in the country that sells clothes and apparel made from organic cotton. They are known to stock healthy attires that pose no risks to buyers and the rye environment. You can buy clothes from Earthchild using Bitcoin.
Another company accepting Bitcoin payment on a massive scale is IFIX. This is a device repair platform where repairers for different devices congregate to offer their services. They fix different types of Apple and Samsung products and their brand list continues to increase. You can order this service and pay with Bitcoin.
Takealot is the biggest e-commerce shopping retailer in the country with 23 different departments all selling different items. When you order any item from them, you can select the special EFT instant service and pay for it using Bitcoin.
Caffe Coffee Beans
This online store sells quality coffee beans to coffee drinkers in South Africa. They have a wide reach and an ever-growing customer base. You can pay with Bitcoin for every pack you buy from them.
Future of Cryptocurrency in South Africa
The future of cryptocurrency in South Africa has never been brighter. With the government raising the annual international transfer cap above the R 1 million mark, many more people are going to turn their attention to its use.
Acceptance by Big business
Another good sign is the fact that big South African businesses are beginning to accept Bitcoin and other digital assets as means of payment. As many more businesses follow this route the demand for cryptocurrencies will increase.
Faced with growing security threats, platforms and service providers are beginning to tighten their security architecture to protect not only their assets but those of their users and clients. Stronger security will only serve to inspire confidence among a wider population. As many more people begin to trust its security and safety, digital assets will increase in appeal and circulation.
Cryptocurrency South Africa is here to stay and the trends are only going to get stronger as the years go by. If you are planning to hold or trade cryptocurrency, now is the time to learn more about it heading into the future.
South African Cryptocurrency FAQs
Is cryptocurrency legal in South Africa?
Yes, it is legal to buy, sell and trade crypto in South Africa. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has warned people about the risks of trading Bitcoin, but there is no ban on any kind of cryptocurrency trading.
Is cryptocurrency known in SA?
Yes, it is. Most people have heard of it and about close to 10% of the population own or use cryptocurrencies regularly.
Where to buy cryptocurrency in South Africa?
There are digital exchanges where you can buy and sell digital assets in the county. You can also check out the top cyptocurrency exchanges SA here.
With the limitations placed on crypto by the government, how do people trade in cryptocurrency and receive physical cash?
They use peer-to-peer platforms like their counterparts in other parts of the world.
What crypto is most used in Africa?
The most popular Cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Other assets like Ethereum and Litecoin are also becoming popular.
Which stablecoin is massively used in SA?
USDT is the most popular stable coin in South Africa. The coin is pegged to the US dollar.
Can I use Bitcoin to make payments in South Africa?
Yes, you can. Some businesses accept Bitcoin payments but they are very few. However, the number is increasing by the day as many more businesses are beginning to accept it.
Is the rate of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies static?
No, it is not. Crypto assets fluctuate in price just like forex trading currencies.