Getting Started with Crypto in South Africa

June 2, 2021

Besides virtual dinner parties, working from home, and a lack of travel, the pandemic has also brought a sharp rise in the popularity of cryptocurrency. Since early last year, popular digital currencies like Bitcoin have bloomed. Every family has a member raving about how much interest they’ve made because they invested “early”. We’ve also seen famous individuals, like Elon Musk, create more hype. Elon announced his company Tesla had purchased a significant share of cryptocurrencies. 

So how do you get started?

Fortunately, South Africa isn’t too far behind when it comes to supporting the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. There are many exchanges and platforms available locally that support financing through popular SA financial institutions. Once your funds have cleared, you can exchange that for a digital currency of your choice. A lot of the bigger exchanges have a wallet feature – a means of storing this value whilst you hold onto it.

Is it legal to purchase cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, in South Africa?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to transfer local currency for digital currency on these exchanges. However, you are eligible for taxation on the cryptocurrency you hold. 

How to buy cryptocurrency?

This was the fun part and also the scariest. Just like there is an infinite amount of cryptocurrencies you can buy, there’s also an infinite number of ways you can buy them.

Adeagbo from IT Web states that “Even though South Africans can now buy bitcoin easily with their local currency, it is impossible to shy away from the fact that South Africans still face the problem of many unsecured platforms. A lot of South Africans see bitcoin as a growing project with a lot of business opportunities.”

I learned there are a few key issues you need to be aware of. Since cryptocurrency is money minus a bank, if you make a mistake or lose your coins, there isn’t exactly a number you can call up to fix the issue. You need to be a bit more careful with handling cryptocurrency.

Buying cryptocurrency through Coinbase, Luno, or Safemoon was surprisingly easy. All I had to do was sign up for an account, confirm my identity, and transfer some money onto the site via one of their payment options.

SafeMoon is one of the newest and fastest-growing cryptocurrencies, even in a market that’s recently seen Bitcoin and Ethereum reach record-high values and even the tongue-in-cheek Dogecoin growing by over 11,000%. It was launched in March 2021 and has already racked up over 1 million users.

SafeMoon’s unique feature charges a 10% fee to anyone who sells their tokens; 5% of this fee is then redistributed to all other SafeMoon owners, essentially rewarding those who hang onto their tokens and disincentivizing selling.

Learn more about cryptocurrency here: 

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