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How To Buy Bitcoin In South Africa

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If you are based in South Africa and want to buy bitcoin but are not sure how or where to start, then this guide if for you. In this article, you will discover the five best bitcoin exchanges you can use to buy bitcoin in South Africa using rand.

ICE3X

ice3xICE3X is a digital currency exchange that offers users the ability to buy bitcoin, litecoin and ether using South African rand. Buying bitcoin on ICE3X involves the following simple steps:

  • Log on to https://ice3x.com/ and create a free account. A verification mail will be sent to your email address subsequently for the verification of your ICE3X account and to activate it.
  • Log into your ICE3X account and click on the ‘deposit tab’ in the ‘Account’ tab in the blue menu bar. ICE3X bank account details will be provided. You can then use your internet banking to make a bank transfer into your ICE3X trading account. It is important to include your ICE3X account number in the transaction description when making the transfer. Your account will be credited within one to three working days.
  • After your account has been credited, you can execute a bitcoin purchase by clicking on the Rand Balance in your wallet to confirm that you are trading in the ZAR market. Then click on the trading in the menu. You will be presented with an option to either buy bitcoin, litecoin or ether. Enter the volume of bitcoin you wish to purchase and how much rand you are willing to offer for it. It is advisable to place a realistic order based on existing market pricing. Your order slip will be generated afterwards with the transaction commission reflecting.
  • You then click on the buy tab to execute your order. Order execution might take a few moments since it will need a corresponding sell order to finalise.
  • Your bitcoin holdings will then appear in your wallet on your ICE3X account.

Luno

LunoLuno does not only serve as a bitcoin exchange, it also provides a mobile bitcoin wallet and offers digital learning materials for beginners. To buy bitcoin on Luno you have to do the following:

  • Log on to https://www.luno.com/ and create a free account. With this, you can get either a web wallet or mobile wallets (for Android and iOS) or both.
  • You can select a preferred way to transfer fiat currency after the Luno wallet has been created. You can do this using your local bank internet transfer or your bank cards (Credit, Debit or Pre-paid cards). Do remember to include your Luno account details in the transfer description!
  • Once your Luno account has been credited, you can execute a bitcoin purchase order and boom – you now hold bitcoin in your Luno wallet.

Remitano

RemitanoRemitano offers swift purchases of bitcoin as well as bitcoin remittances. This platform acts as a peer-to-peer (P2P) intermediary and provides an escrow service for the purpose of transaction security. To buy bitcoin using this platform the following easy steps can be taken:

  • Log on to https://remitano.com/ and register by entering your email address in the dialogue box provided and click on ‘continue’. Account login details will then be sent to your email, which you will then use to access your Remitano account.
  • You get to access your Remitano account after it has been verified and then you click on the Buy/Sell option in the menu bar. A list of bitcoin buyers and sellers within South Africa will then be made available to you.
  • You click on any of the sellers to place a buy bitcoin order instantly. The process is usually mediated by the Remitano platform by serving as an escrow that holds funds until the transaction has been confirmed by both parties.

LocalBitcoins

Convert Bitcoin Into Local CurrencyLocalBitcoins is the biggest peer-to-peer trading platform globally, which brings bitcoin buyers and seller together to create a flourishing bitcoin trading environment. The following steps are involved in purchasing bitcoin using Localbitcoins:

  • Register a free account by logging onto https://localbitcoins.com/
  • After your account has been created, go to the main page and fill in the bitcoin amount you want to buy in rand. Then, you then select the payment method you prefer in the purchase transaction.
  • Users of the platform are ranked based on transaction history, which makes it easier to select who to deal with from the list of advertisers. It is advisable to select sellers with relatively high reputation scores. You can also see the typical response time for each seller. These response times have been automatically calculated by the platform using special algorithms based on previous transactions.
  • After clicking on the ‘Buy’ button, you will be given details of the transaction including the seller’s terms and conditions. You can choose whether or not to proceed with the particular buyer depending on how comfortable you are with these terms.
  • To execute a trade, type in the blue box how much bitcoin you want in rand and also add a message to the seller after which you click on the ‘send trade request’ button. Be certain you are willing to execute the purchase before clicking on the button. The order will be automatically cancelled if payment is not made within the allowed one hour transaction window.
  • Once the payment has been made, click on the ‘I have paid’ button. Once the seller confirms receipt of your payment, the bitcoin will be released from the Localbitcoin escrow into your online bitcoin wallet on LocalBitcoins.

Paxful

PaxfulPaxful is a peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplace for buyers and sellers anywhere in the world. The following steps will allow you to purchase bitcoin using rand:

  • The first step is to log onto the site – https://paxful.com/. Click on the ‘Buy bitcoin’ option in the top menu bar.
  • You then enter the rand amount of bitcoin you want to buy in the box that will be made available. You then select the payment method you intend to use for the transaction. After selecting a way to pay, you click on the ‘search’ button to get a list of sellers who are willing to sell you the amount of bitcoin you requested and are also inclined to your payment method.
  • Just like LocalBitcoins, the reputations of sellers are scored and it is advisable that you select buyers with high reputation to deal with. You then select a seller and begin your purchase order. It is important to read the ad to see the seller’s contact details and terms!
  • You click on the ‘buy now’ button when you are comfortable with the conditions. The trade details will then pop-up on the left-side of the screen and a chat box on the right side of the screen where you can chat with the seller so you can both track the stages of transaction execution.

Hopefully, you have found this guide useful and are on your way to purchasing your first bitcoins. And remember, once you have bought bitcoin on an exchange, transfer the coins to your personal bitcoin wallet to keep them safe and secure!

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Mauritius to Receive World’s First Digital Asset Custody Regulatory Framework

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Digital Asset Custody Regulatory Framework

Mauritius is set to receive the first digital asset custody regulatory framework in the world, according to an announcement by the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC). The framework will be effective from March 1, 2019.

The Digital Asset Custody Regulatory Framework

On September 17, 2018, digital assets were recognised as an asset class for Sophisticated and Expert Investors by theFinancial Services Commission, Mauritius (FSC). This was followed by the FSC issuing a consultation paper with the intention of getting public and stakeholder feedback on the proposed Custodian Services (Digital Asset) License regulation, as BitcoinAfrica.io reported in November 2018. The license enables its holder to offer custody services for digital assets.

“In revolutionising the global FinTech ecosystem through this regulatory framework for the custody of Digital Assets, my Government reiterates its commitment to accelerating the country’s move to an age of digitally-enabled economic growth. As an African country, we look forward to fostering further innovation and bringing more prosperity to the region,” said Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius.

The regulatory framework will make Mauritius the first jurisdiction to create a “regulated landscape for the custody of digital assets. Holders of the Custodian Services (Digital Asset) License will equally have to comply with the applicable framework for AML/CFT, in line with international best practices,” the announcement read.

Support for the Regulatory Framework

Digital Asset Custody Regulatory FrameworkAccording to the FSC, the regulatory framework was created after consultations with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the regulation and governance of digital financial assets.

The Chief Executive of the FSC, Harvesh Seegolam, asserted: “The FSC is committed to implementing enabling frameworks which facilitate the development of the Mauritius IFC. We continue to collaborate with our international counterparts and stakeholders in introducing the appropriate regulatory mechanisms.”

The Bank of Mauritius is also in support of the regulatory framework. The bank’s governor, Yandraduth Googoolye, said: “The Bank of Mauritius is supportive of innovation in the financial services sector. Banks, depending on their respective risk appetite, are encouraged to develop business relationships with players in the Digital Assets segment.”

In light of this announcement, the custody services license regulation could create a thriving cryptoasset industry in Mauritius, which could help position the country as the go-to digital asset investment hub on the continent.

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Ghana’s SEC Mulls Over Cryptocurrency Regulation Framework

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Ghana Cryptocurrency Regulation

Ghana may soon receive a cryptocurrency regulation framework that would enable local bitcoin startups and exchanges to operate legally and without the threat of a potential regulatory crackdown.

Cryptocurrency Regulations in Ghana

According to News Ghana, the country’s financial regulator, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), is contemplating regulating cryptocurrencies. The commission is also considering licensing exchanges dealing with digital assets.

The news comes at the backdrop of the increasing number of fraudulent “crypto” investment schemes in the West African nation. Last year, over 100,000 Ghanaian investors were reportedly victims of a crypto investment scam called Global Coin Community Help (GCCH), which saw the investors lose 135 million Ghanaian Cedi.

The SEC Deputy Director General, Paul Ababio, said: “[…] Desist from dealing with these crypto entities. […] When you choose to go there you are on your own. We have adopted a wide range of changes on it and we are still doing our research and gathering information. We welcome any input that people might have to help us formulate a view on how we should deal with it in Ghana.”

The State of Cryptocurrencies in Ghana

GhanaLike many central banks in Africa, the Bank of Ghana has warned citizens against investing or transacting in cryptocurrencies due to the risk involved.

Frances Van-Hein Sackey, the Secretary to the Bank of Ghana, in response to the GCCH scam, wrote in a statement: “Anyone who does business with these entities does so at his or her own risk and the Bank of Ghana will not be liable for the refund of any deposit lost by a depositor.”

The current state of cryptocurrency in Ghana could, however, change if the SEC regulates the sector, according to a report by GhanaWeb. The SEC ‘Ababio said that Ghana’s Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is probing three cryptocurrency companies whose operators are currently missing in action.

“[…] It has been very preliminary and it is a new area of our work that we are going to be quite strong on as well. We will be coming out shortly with a lengthier statement and we will name some of these firms,” he stated.

Furthermore, Ababio revealed that some of these firms operate online and do not have a physical presence. These firms will be classified as illegally operating in the investment sector, he added.

What Could This Step by the SEC Mean for Ghana?

According to the CEO of Modulus, Richard Gardner, the move by Ghana’s SEC is commendable since regulation of the sector will provide standard rules for exchanges to operate by. He believes that this will make the industry viable while protecting consumers from exchanges that engage in market manipulation, abusive trading, and money laundering.

Gardner also noted that the public and private sectors should work together towards creating these regulations.

“The best way to regulate an industry, especially one which is so technical, is to bring together those involved in the private sector, along with those from the public policy side. Together, we can usually find a way to encourage industry growth while protecting consumers,” he said.

Regulations can have a substantial impact on the local bitcoin startup community. Hence, it will be interesting to follow these developments in the coming months as they could mean the difference between Ghana establishing itself as an African leader in the cryptocurrency space or not.

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Places in Africa Where You Can Find a Bitcoin ATM

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Places in Africa

There are currently over 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the globe. The majority of them are found in the United States. Africa, however, is also home to a handful of Bitcoin ATMs. In this article, you will discover the complete list of places in Africa where you can buy bitcoin with fiat currency using a Bitcoin ATM.

What Are Bitcoin ATMs?

Bitcoin ATMs function like traditional cash machines with the difference being that instead of cashing out money from your bank account, you can buy and, in some cases, sell bitcoin against local fiat currency.

Zimbabwe bitcoin atmIn 2013, Canada received the world’s first Bitcoin ATM in the Waves Coffee Shop in Vancouver. Then, the following year, the first machine in the United States was introduced at a cigar bar in New Mexico. Two months later, Coinme installed another one in Washington that came with a money transmitter license. Since then, the market for Bitcoin ATMs started to steadily grow.

Today, North America leads the pack with 71.9 percent of Bitcoin ATMs, followed by Europe with 23 percent and Asia with 2.3 percent while Australia and Africa have a meagre 1.3 and 0.1 percent respectively.

Bitcoin ATMs in Africa

In total, there are currently nine reported Bitcoin ATMs in Africa. 

South Africa

South Africa, as a leader in bitcoin adoption, is home to five cryptocurrency ATMs that are situated in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit and Cape TownOn Average, these ATMs can dispense between a minimum to a maximum of 100  to 1 Million South African rands (ZAR). Most ATMs require identity verification if you are buying more than 5,000 rands.

Nonetheless, none of these ATMs dispenses cash as they operate only fiat-to-crypto. One bottleneck that might discourage people from using the ATMs is high fees ranging from 8 to 14 percent.

Kenya

Kenya received its first Bitcoin ATM last year in the country’s capital, Nairobi. Operated by the BitClub Network, it is also a fiat-to-crypto only ATM and a minimum of 500 Kenyan Shillings worth of bitcoin and litecoin can be purchased using the machine. 

Uganda

The Kampala Post Office hosts Uganda’s only Bitcoin ATM, which is run by KIPYA Bit2Big, a local Blockchain company. Ugandans can use the ATM to buy bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether.

Zimbabwe

Golix, the first ever cryptocurrency exchange in Zimbabwe and one of the biggest in Africa, also runs a Bitcoin ATM.

Based in the Golix offices in Harare, this machine provides an essential service in a cash-strapped country since it allows buying and selling of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.

Djibouti

Somewhat surprisingly, there is also a Bitcoin ATM in Djibouti. The currently only Bitcoin ATM in the small East African country is located at Appart Hôtel Moulk.

Interestingly, the ATM’s operator, Group DOS, plans to introduce two more Bitcoin ATMs in Djibouti. Group DOS CEO, Eleyeh Issa, told BitcoinAfrica.io that two new Bitcoin ATMs will be set up in the coming weeks, one at the airport and one at a shopping mall. 

While Bitcoin ATMs tend to come with high fees, which makes them less appealing purchase option for larger investors, they do help to push adoption among smaller investors who want to get started with their first bitcoin investment.

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