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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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A Blessing and a Curse: Cryptocurrency Opens Doors to Both Investments and Scams in SA

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Investments and Scams in SA

Over the past year or so, cryptocurrencies have certainly made their mark across the globe. From the spread of information to the introduction of various rules and regulations, country after country appear to be building up their own ideas on just how to handle the cryptocurrencies gracing the world today. South Africa is certainly no exception. More and more businesses within the region are starting to accept cryptocurrencies and as mass adoption seems to become more and more likely, crypto enthusiasts are starting to rejoice at the thought that SA could soon be a region ready to utilise these currencies to their fullest.

However, with all good things come the bad and for cryptocurrencies, that means scams. Here, we’re taking a look just what cryptocurrency adoption could mean for South Africa.

Cryptocurrency Capital

For those living in South Africa, the cryptocurrency revolution has certainly been leaving its mark. Most surprisingly, perhaps, is the simple fact that it isn’t just financial experts that are taking an interest in these coins here. In fact, everyday use of these digital assets has been rife.

South Africa has been following cryptocurrency adoption for quite some time now and as a result, more and more businesses are beginning to boom with improved access to funds that might otherwise not have been available in fiat form. A huge variety of businesses have been picking up on this trend. Online banking, trading, gambling, sports betting and even physical stores are capitalising on these trends. In fact, sportsbooks were some of the very first companies to start to accept bitcoin, some opting for even bitcoin-exclusive payment options, and even schools are now accepting crypto to help the fulfillment of education gaps. With tourism and South African trade also benefiting from the spread of crypto, South Africa has truly been capitalising on cryptocurrencies in a way that no other country in the world has dared try.

For this reason, it’s clear that the interest in cryptocurrency use goes far beyond the experts and instead, often emanates from the residents. As a result, the South African Treasury introduced taxation on cryptocurrency funds as a new, yet traditional form of bringing in capital for the country. From April 2018, it was made clear that any profits made by cryptocurrencies for companies and businesses operating in South Africa would have to come under taxable law and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) had even offered to provide support and advice to those who weren’t clear on what this would entail.

In July 2018, however, amendments were proposed via the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) that would change the definition that digital assets were taxable financial instruments. They would become a financial instrument by the Income Tax Act standards and a financial service by the VAT Act standards, meaning that all crypto trades would then be exempt from VAT. These proposals, should they be successful, could encourage more and more businesses to pick up cryptocurrencies as a form of payment and further integrate these digital coins into everyday life in SA.

South African Scams

south africaHowever, while things seem to be going well, for the most part, there are of course negatives to take into consideration and unfortunately, those negatives are manifesting themselves in scams. The introduction of SAFCOIN – a cryptocurrency designed entirely to bring more and more South African’s safely into the world of crypto – has led to a high volume of investors and spenders entering the markets which, for hackers and scammers, is a new found gold mine.

One of the most recent and perhaps more terrifying scams for a low of Africans is the Nigerian Bitcoin Scam in April 2018. This scam saw thousands of people lose their entire life savings in some cases after a bitcoin trading company disappeared with practically billions of Naira. With both offices in Kenya and Nigeria both seemingly disappearing overnight, people were left confused, poor and scammed. March also saw a cryptocurrency scam, with around 28,000 virtual currency investors falling victim to BTC Global’s theft of over $80 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

These scams have opened up SA’s eyes to the potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies, though the debate is still rife as to whether this will actually make a difference as to how quickly and how eagerly they are adopting virtual currencies within the region. With further education and awareness, this could potentially become much safer but only time will truly tell.

What Do The Experts Think?

While Africa isn’t often thought to be at the forefront of any technological innovations, cryptocurrencies could be the market to change that – at least according to Rakesh Sharma, a business and technology journalist. Claiming that Africa could be the next leading frontier for cryptocurrencies, he said that SA “may be set to steal a march over other markets” namely due to the fact that Africa is suffering from such high inflation of their usual fiat currency. With an unstable economy, more and more people are likely to reach for a decentralised alternative to ensure that their funds are kept safe from the potential of corruption or disaster from central banks.

CEO of Liquid Crypto-Money, an SA cryptocurrency consulting firm, also predicted that Africa is likely to have government-issued cryptocurrencies in the near future. As a potential solution for governments seeking an answer to catastrophic inflation rates, cryptocurrencies aren’t to be ignored but with debate still suggesting that cryptocurrencies in Africa are dependent on speculation and an uncontrollable volatility, it’s difficult to determine just where things could go in the future.

As with most cryptocurrency markets, it’s undeniably complicated to determine whether or not South Africa could really be the country to adopt cryptocurrencies on a mass and stable scale. The potential they could hold, however, is promising enough for most and with government support and treasury regulation, the potential risks could, in time, be reduced.

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Almost a Quarter of High-Tech Consumers in South Africa Now Own Cryptocurrency

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High-Tech Consumers in South Africa

A new study titled “Digital Lifestyle Measure report” conducted by MBIT found that 23 percent of high-tech consumers in South Africa own at least one cryptocurrency, with bitcoin being the most common holding. 

New Report Shows High-Tech Consumers Hold Crypto

In the”Digital Lifestyle Measure report” report, each level of tech consumer (high, medium, and low) was grouped according to DM segmentation. A high-tech consumer is identified and tagged as a “DLM5 consumer”, and for the low-tech consumers, a “DLM1 consumer” was used. 

To place each of the participants in the right groups, the survey made use of a question and answer (Q&A) method. Each person was categorised according to how well they were able to answer the provided questions. The questions mostly focused on their private digital lifestyle and technological gadgets they own and can operate well.

The result of this survey shows that only six percent of the low-tech consumers (DLM 1) own crypto, while 23 percent of high tech consumers own cryptocurrencies. The remaining percentage was then shared in the order: DLM 2: seven percent, DLM 3: twelve percent, and DLM 4: eight percent.

cryptoThe report also stated that of the DML5 population, about 42 perfect of them are of the notion that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Same goes for 30 percent of the DLM 4 consumers group.

Conversely, 41 percent of the low-tech consumers (DLM1 consumers) did not know what cryptocurrencies are all about, according to IOL

From the DLM 3 consumer group, about 34 percent of them cannot say what the future looks like for cryptocurrencies but 26 percent of them claimed cryptocurrencies to be the “future of financial transacting.”

The report has further shown that high tech consumers who are continually paying for something electronically, are more likely to buy crypto in the long run.

Based on the google trends data, South Africa currently has the highest levels of interest in bitcoin across the world. Hence, it should come as no surprise that tech-savvy South Africans are the ones investing in digital currencies and tokens. 

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Ecobank Report: Most African Regulators Are Taking a “Wait and See” Approach to Cryptocurrency Regulation

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African Regulators

While there has been a substantial increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa compared to three years ago, there has been minimal effort from African countries to try and regulate cryptocurrencies despite their increased use in various African nations according to a new report by Ecobank.

Ecobank tracked “the current state of cryptocurrency regulation in all markets in Sub-Saharan Africa” through the regulatory responses that have been issued by central banks or financial regulators. In the report, the pan-African bank found that most African regulators are taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation.

The report stated: “Many African governments and regulators recognise both the risks and the potential positive impacts of cryptocurrencies, and some also appreciate the difference between cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology. But they have been reticent in authorising cryptocurrency transactions, and mostly remain apprehensive about the potential risks. African countries appear to be looking to their neighbours to regulate and innovate first, and learn from their mistakes, rather than being the first mover.”

The reported noted that the main reason why African governments were being skeptical about licensing the use of cryptocurrencies was their citizens getting overexposed to cryptocurrency investments and there being a future crash that would cause a ripple effect in the broader economy.

African Regulators’ Stance

African RegulatorsOut of the 39 jurisdictions surveyed, more than 21 countries in the region are yet to make a public declaration on the use of cryptocurrencies.

So far, there have been three countries that have taken a stance on cryptocurrency. Namibia tops the list having banned the commercial use of digital currencies. However, South Africa and Swaziland are the only two countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have adopted “a generally favourable and permissive stance, but without full legality”.

The remaining countries fall somewhere in between and “refuse” to directly regulate cryptocurrencies claiming that bitcoin and other digital currencies “operate in the grey area between legality and illegality” and have issued warnings to their citizens and investors against using or investing in them. The bank also noted that conversations regarding the speculative nature and instability of cryptocurrency prices have overshadowed their benefits and the potential they bring.

The bank went ahead to note: “Unfortunately, the spectacular rise and fall in the traded value of cryptocurrencies has drowned out broader discussion on the potential benefits this new technology could bring. The transformational impact that could be delivered by tokenising products and services on the blockchain has been compared to that of the Internet. Crypto tokens and currencies could enable consumers to transact instantly, cross-border and for free, provide them with KYC-compliant digital IDs, and incentivise their behaviour and change the way they engage with governments & service providers.”

Ecobank will continue to track cryptocurrency regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa and provide regular updates that will reflect the regulation progress in the African nations.

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