7 Best Crypto Exchanges In South Africa (Dec 2022) + $50 Bonus

November 18, 2022
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Best Crypto Exchanges Canada

Choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa isn’t easy, given all the options out there and the different features each of them offers. As an avid crypto investor myself, I diligently keep up with the movements of the top exchanges in South Africa, and have made my selections below based on years of research and personal experience.

CoinSmart is the favourite among knowledgeable South African crypto investors, both for its high level of security and for its ease of use. It also has extremely low trading fees, so if you're looking for a secure, cost-effective way to buy and sell crypto in South Africa with a $50 signup bonus (available until December 9, 2022), I can't recommend CoinSmart highly enough.

Here’s something you may not realize: the cryptocurrency exchange you choose matters. Your choice will impact how profitable your trades are, how easily you can buy and sell coins, and whether you can use it in South Africa at all.

Fortunately, I've been investing in crypto for more than 9 years, and I frequently update my list of the top platforms below. So if you’re looking for a safe and secure crypto exchange that’s easy to use, supports the South African rand, and is compatible with the biggest financial institutions in South Africa, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are my top picks for the best crypto exchanges South Africa has to offer.

1. CoinSmart – Best Overall + $50 Signup Bonus

Good All-Around

Trading fees: 0.2% (Medium)
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Average fees, good platform.

★★★★

Rated 4.4/5

CoinSmart offers very low trading fees: just 0.2%. It supports 16 cryptocurrencies, verifies accounts instantly, prides itself on its helpful customer service reps, and has a beautiful, well-rated app.

As a Canadian exchange, CoinSmart is regulated by several Canadian financial authorities, which keeps your money safe and secure. CoinSmart is also a publicly-traded company on Toronto’s NEO stock exchange, which means they’re subject to third-party financial and security audits at least once per year.

I've personally used CoinSmart for over a year, and I’ve had nothing but excellent experiences with them. I've tried out many of the other cryptocurrency exchanges on this list, so I'm confident that CoinSmart is a solid, reputable platform for most crypto investors.

From now until December 9, 2022, CoinSmart is offering a $50 signup bonus to Yore Oyster readers who fund their account with $200 or more. If you’re looking for a highly-respected exchange that offers the lowest fees, excellent customer service, and a slick mobile app, open a CoinSmart account today.

Features

  • Extremely low trading fees (just 0.20% per trade)
  • 24/7 customer support available via phone, live chat or email
  • Instant account verification
  • Supports 16 cryptocurrencies
  • Immediate deposits and withdrawals
  • User-friendly for both beginners and advanced traders
  • 95% cold storage policy keeps your crypto extra secure

Cost

  • Account Opening: Free
  • Trading Fees: 0.20%

Signup Bonus

$50 bonus when you sign up using this link

Best For

Investors looking to trade stablecoins or altcoins with some of the industry’s lowest fees.

2. Plus500

Plus500 is a leveraged trading platform headquartered in Israel. It's one of the largest investing platforms in terms of volume, with millions of active traders worldwide. Plus500 supports 20+ crypto assets, including a mix of the largest cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum and promising altcoins like Polygon, Solana, and Cardano.

Plus500 Markets aggregates crypto prices from tens of data sources to offer very competitive prices. They also offer up to 2x leverage on all crypto investments. Investors can also set up price alerts and two types of stop orders: Stop Loss and Trailing Stop, to mitigate the risk of losing assets.

Plus500 doesn't charge trading fees – in fact, the only fees they charge are Overnight Funding, which applies when holding a position after a certain time, and Currency Conversion fees, if you trade in a different currency denomination than that of your account.

Plus500 users can also access most financial instruments, including shares, stocks and ETFs, CFDs, and even FX. Their mobile app is available on Android (rating 4.3) and iOS (4.3/5 rating), and they have excellent reviews on Trustpilot, averaging a rating of 4.2/5.

Features

  • Supports 20+ cryptocurrency pairs
  • Access to global markets for shares, ETFs, stocks, CFDs, FX, and crypto
  • Demo account
  • Supports 2x leverage for crypto assets

Cost

  • Trading Fees: Free 
  • Overnight Funding: Depends on the asset (from 0.02% – 0.05% for BTC)
  • Spread: Depends on the asset (0.3% for BTC)

3. Luno

Best Overall

Spreads: Very low
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $30

Low fees + best platform.

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

Luno is, without a doubt, the best crypto platform in Australia in 2022.

Luno supports 10 of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies, charges zero fees on deposits and withdrawals above $50, and offers extremely narrow spreads, making it a cost-effective exchange for frequent and infrequent traders.

Luno has over 10 million users, making it one of the largest crypto platforms in the world. User funds are held in cold storage inside an off-site security vault, and Luno regularly undergoes voluntary third-party audits to ensure everything they do is compliant and above board. 

Luno’s trading platform and mobile app are intuitive and easy to use, even for beginners. It offers 24/7 customer support via live chat and email, plus an extensive FAQ section on its site. Some of Luno’s top features include a crypto staking platform called Luno Earn—which supports staking for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC—and its Repeat Buy option for automatically purchasing crypto.

As a new Luno user, you'll receive a $30 bonus upon buying $30 of crypto, which you can use to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any of the other assets Luno supports. Use the code YOREOYSTER when signing up to claim your bonus.

All in all, Luno is the crypto platform Australians love most, and the one that keeps the most money in your pocket. If maximizing your investment potential is important to you, Luno is an excellent choice.

Features

  • Our #1-rated crypto exchange in Australia
  • Supports 10 cryptocurrencies
  • User-friendly for both beginners and more advanced traders 
  • 95% cold storage policy keeps your crypto extra secure
  • Free fiat deposits and withdrawals above $50
  • Free cryptocurrency deposits
  • 24/7 support available via live chat and email

Cost

  • Account opening: Free
  • Fiat deposits/withdrawals: Free above $50
  • Crypto deposits: Free
  • Crypto withdrawals: Varies
  • Spreads: 0.1% – 0.3%

Signup Bonus

$30 bonus when you buy $30 or more using this link and our promo code YOREOYSTER.

Best For

Investors looking for the best overall exchange in Australia.

CLAIM MY $30 BONUS
Use code YOREOYSTER. Ends December 9, 2022.

4. VALR

VALR is one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Africa, by volume. It was launched in 2019 and has since amassed over 250,000 monthly users, and 500 institutional clients. VALR supports 60 cryptocurrencies, including XRP, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.

VALR has very competitive fees, starting at 0.1% for takers and -0.01% for makers; that means you get paid for increasing liquidity in the market. They also have an attractive Rewards & Rebates program that works with referrals; when you invite friends or family to join you increase your referral level, and can get up to 15% in rebates on all trades.

VALR’s signup process is one of the quickest; they use AI technology to match a user's face and comply with Anti Money Laundering (AML) laws. VALR uses a cold storage policy coupled with Multi-Signature protocols to keep all assets secured.

Features

  • Supports 60 cryptocurrencies
  • Instant account verification
  • 95% Cold storage policy
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • Multi-Signature security protocols
  • Rewards & Rebates program

Cost

  • Trading Fees: From 0.85% to 0.75%
  • Maker’s Fees: -0.01% (you get paid for increasing liquidity)
  • Taker’s Fees: 0.1%
  • Withdrawal Fees (ZAR): R8.5
  • Withdrawal Fees Instant (ZAR): R60.0
  • Withdrawal Fees (Crypto): Depends on the crypto (0.002BTC for Bitcoin
  • Deposit Fees (ZAR): Free
  • Deposit Fees (Crypto): Free
  • VALR Pay Transactions: Free

Best For

Investors looking for the most liquid exchange with the lowest fees and a strong referral program.

5. AltCoinTrader

Headquartered in Johannesburg, AltCoinTrader is one of the oldest and largest crypto exchanges in South Africa. It was launched in 2015 and it started as a crypto exchange for just 3 currencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Namecoin. Since then it has expanded and now supports over 25 of the largest cryptocurrencies.

AltCoinTrader has two main features: Easy Buy and Easy Save. Easy Save is a crypto staking platform – it doesn’t have lock-in periods or limits, just deposit your crypto and you can start earning rewards – you can withdraw at any time, and the APY of the supported crypto ranges from 2.40% to 8.44%.

Easy Buy is mostly geared towards experienced investors; it has an instant buy option that incurs a small fee. Investors can take advantage of this and make the most of every trade. In terms of security, AltCoinTrader uses SSL encryption and a cold storage policy to secure assets.

Features

  • Supports 32 cryptocurrencies
  • 95% Cold Storage policy
  • Data encrypted with SSL protocol
  • Easy Buy, instant buy option
  • Easy Save, staking platform
  • Regular Airdrops & Giveaways

Cost

  • Spreads: 0.22%
  • Trading Fees: 0.1%
  • Easy Buy & Sell Fees: 0.75%
  • Deposit Fees (Crypto): Free
  • Withdrawal Fee (Crypto): Depends on the crypto (0.0000052 BTC for Bitcoin)
  • Deposit Fees (Fiat): 0.5%
  • Withdrawal Fee (Fiat): R16 + 0.5% (Max. R95.0)

Best For

Investors looking for low fees and a very secure staking platform for their crypto.

6. Quidax

Quidax is one of the largest crypto exchanges in Africa, and a trailblazer in the crypto industry on that continent. Headquartered in Malta, it is the first and only African crypto exchange to be listed in CoinMarketCap, the largest and most trusted source of cryptocurrency news, often cited by major players like CNBC and Bloomberg.

Quidax supports 20 cryptocurrencies and dozens of crypto pairs, and its highly-rated mobile app is available for Android (4.1/5 rating) and iOS (4.5/5 rating). It uses a maker/taker fee system and charges a flat 0.1% for makers and 0.3% for takers. Trades usually take less than 10 minutes to complete, and the signup process is instant for customers in Africa.

Since its launch in 2018, Quidax surpassed $4 billion in transactions, just in Africa, and in 2021 they launched their own native token, the QDX. The QDX token can be staked and exchanged for any other token listed on the exchange, and they have plans to add new features and functions as well as reduced fees for holders.

Some of the new features to be released include Quidax EARN (a DeFi market-aggregator), the Quidax NFT Marketplace, and a decentralized swapping platform, Quid SWAP

Features

  • Supports 20+ cryptocurrencies
  • Available on Android and iOS
  • Quick sign-up process for African users
  • Access to a flexible staking platform
  • Trades completed in less than 10 minutes

Cost

  • Maker’s Fees: 0.1%
  • Taker’s Fees: 0.3%
  • Instant Buy: 1%
  • Deposit Fees (Crypto): Free
  • Withdrawal Fees (Crypto): Depends on the crypto (0.0002 BTC for Bitcoin) 
  • Deposit Fees (Naira): From 100 NGN to 2,250 NGN (based on deposit size)
  • Withdrawal Fee (Naira): From 200 NGN to 5,000 NGN
Why you should trust me

  • Experienced
    I bought my first cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in 2013, bought Ethereum in 2017, and have held active accounts with at least 5 exchanges since 2018.
  • Unbiased
    All of my selections are supported by multiple data points, including crypto thought leaders, security experts, and TrustPilot reviews.
  • Deep Research
    My team and I spent more than 20 hours researching exchanges before choosing our top picks, and we update them almost daily as the industry continues to change.
My top pick →

What To Look For In A Great South African Crypto Exchange

I consider many different factors in my search for the best South African crypto exchange. Here are just a few of the more prominent ones:

  • Supported coins: The best South African crypto exchanges support a wide variety of coins—at least 20 or 30—including all the major coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Platforms that add new coins regularly tend to be more customer-focused overall, making this a strong indicator of a forward-thinking exchange.
  • User interface: Choosing a platform with an easy-to-use trading interface is important, especially for beginners. If you're a seasoned crypto investor, you'll also want to look out for exchanges that offer more advanced features like advanced order types and transaction exports for tax purposes.
  • Fees: All crypto exchanges charge fees (both in the form of trading commissions and bid-ask spreads), and they can vary by a wide margin. I've specifically chosen low-fee platforms here to help you maximize your profits.
  • Regulation: It's much safer to trade with a well-regulated exchange than an unregulated one, especially when markets aren't moving in your favor. Depositors' insurance is another safeguard offered by some exchanges, which keeps your assets safe even if the platform itself faces liquidity issues.
  • Deposit & withdrawal options: The exchange you choose should offer a variety of payment methods (bank transfers, debit/credit cards, PayPal, etc.) to ensure you can easily transfer funds in and out of your account. The more options you have, the better.
  • Security: Look for an exchange that strictly enforces multiple layers of security, such as two-factor authentication and at least 95% cold storage. Additional security measures like daily offsite backups, third-party security audits, and email confirmations on transactions make your account even more secure.
  • Customer support: The best crypto exchanges pride themselves on having well-trained, responsive support teams who can help users through any problems that come up. I pay particular attention to the channels each exchange offers support through, response times, the thoroughness and helpfulness of their responses, and user feedback on the customer support they've received.

In Summary

Choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa isn’t easy, given all the options out there and the different features each of them offers. As an avid crypto investor myself, I diligently keep up with the movements of the top exchanges in South Africa, and have made my selections below based on years of research and personal experience.

CoinSmart is the favourite among knowledgeable South African crypto investors, both for its high level of security and for its ease of use. It also has extremely low trading fees, so if you're looking for a secure, cost-effective way to buy and sell crypto in South Africa with a $50 signup bonus (available until December 9, 2022), I can't recommend CoinSmart highly enough.

Best Crypto Exchange South Africa FAQs

Which South African crypto exchange has the lowest fees?

The South African crypto exchange with the lowest fees is generally CoinSmart, depending on the specific crypto assets you're trading. I especially recommend CoinSmart right now due to its current $50 signup bonus.

What’s the best crypto wallet in South Africa?

The best crypto wallet is the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. It is the best way to keep your private keys secure and, more importantly, offline. All Ledger wallets are certified by the French National Agency of Security and are among the safest and most cost-efficient wallets out there, and they support 1,200+ crypto assets, coins, and tokens.

What’s the best altcoin exchange in South Africa?

The best altcoin exchange in South Africa is one of CoinSmart or Plus500. Both of them support a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and regularly add more of the altcoins South African investors are looking for.

What is the safest crypto wallet in South Africa?

The Ledger Nano S is the safest wallet available today. All Ledger wallets far exceed industry standards for security: they use tamper-resistant Certified Secure Element (SE) with Common Criteria (CC) EAL5+ chips on their nanodevices, which means your private key stays on the secure chip. It also has a proprietary operating system called Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS) that's successfully undergone audits from the French National Agency of Security, many other government agencies, as well as regular audits from independent security organizations. 

What’s the safest crypto exchange in South Africa?

The safest cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa is CoinSmart. They strictly enforce bank-level security protocols, run on servers in secure locations around the world, and undergo frequent financial and security audits to ensure all of their users’ assets are completely safe. They also have some of the lowest fees of any platform in South Africa and are known for being a reputable, trustworthy exchange.

How Can I Sell Bitcoin In South Africa?

There are several different ways to sell Bitcoin in South Africa, though the easiest is to sell it directly from the crypto wallet or exchange that you’re holding it on. Remember to be cautious whenever you transfer coins between wallets, since blockchain transactions are irreversible.

What crypto exchange is best for beginners in South Africa?

The best crypto exchange for beginners in South Africa is CoinSmart, followed by Plus500. Both are ideal for beginners because they verify accounts instantly, have easy-to-use trading platforms, and provide great customer support in case you need any help along the way.

Is cryptocurrency legal in South Africa?

Yes, cryptocurrency is legal in South Africa, and you can buy, sell and use crypto without breaking the law. However, cryptocurrency is not currently considered legal tender in South Africa, which means the South African government and South African businesses are not legally obligated to accept it as payment for goods and services.

What’s the best crypto app in South Africa?

The best crypto app in South Africa is CoinSmart. Its mobile app is very easy to use, has a nice, modern interface, and has very good ratings and reviews on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. If you live in a country like South Korea or Somalia instead, you’ll have to double-check to ensure you can get the CoinSmart app in your local app store.

What is the best crypto exchange for day trading in South Africa?

The best crypto exchange for day trading in South Africa is CoinSmart, since it has low trading fees, tight spreads, and its prices update multiple times per second, giving day traders an upper hand over the rest of the market.

Can the South African government track cryptocurrency?

Yes, South African tax authorities can track cryptocurrency trades and transactions—and not only when your digital assets interact with real-world institutions like banks. Some exchanges in South Africa are required by law to provide the government with information about their users’ transactions, including purchase price, purchase date, sale value, and all associated KYC data. If your tax returns don’t match the data the government receives from these exchanges, you may receive a fine.

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