Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
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You can buy and sell Bitcoin in South Africa through a reputable Bitcoin exchange. Access the exchanges via your personal computer or Smartphone using the relevant mobile app.
Once you have signed up for an account and it is verified, you need to obtain a Bitcoin wallet that you use for your Bitcoin transactions.
It’s possible to transfer funds from any of the major financial institutions in South Africa to a Bitcoin exchange and you can start trading as soon as the funds are cleared.
You have the choice of keeping your bitcoins in the exchange or transferring them to your personal Bitcoin wallet.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARS) has issued warnings regarding the risks associated with trading in Bitcoin but there is no actual ban on any form of cryptocurrency trading. SARS makes it clear that any earnings from these trades are subject to taxation.
Cryptocurrency trading in South Africa is currently unregulated but the government is working on a new regulatory framework to more stringently control the cyber-banking industry.
WAYS TO BUY BITCOIN IN SOUTH AFRICA
- Buy Bitcoin using a Bitcoin exchange
Do your research and select a Bitcoin exchange that is regarded as reliable, secure and trustworthy. Bitcoin exchanges such as Luno allow you to deposit fiat funds from a bank account into a Bitcoin wallet to transact in the digital currency. Bitcoin exchanges are regarded as the safest and most secure way to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.
- Buy Bitcoin with a credit or debit card
It’s possible now to buy Bitcoin using a credit or debit card. You still need to go through a reputable Bitcoin exchange such as Luno where you add your card details in the system and transfer money electronically once the card details have been verified. Credit card fees apply which makes it a slightly more expensive way to buy Bitcoin.
- Use a BTM/VTM (Bitcoin ATM)
There are not many BTMs in South Africa currently but they are available in some of the major cities. This is a vending machine that works in much the same was as an ATM. You need to have a Bitcoin wallet loaded on your Smartphone which generates a QR code that the BTM reads. You can use a BTM to deposit funds to purchase Bitcoin but you can’t use a BTM to withdraw money earned from selling Bitcoin.
- Get paid in Bitcoin
Bitcoin is growing in popularity as a payment method for goods sold and services rendered. Money owed is paid into a Bitcoin wallet which you obtain through a reputable exchange such as Luno. The most popular payment gateway provider for Bitcoin transactions is PayFast. This facility allows people to pay in Bitcoin which is then converted to Rands.
- Join a Bitcoin trading community site
There are a few reputable cryptocurrency platforms that provide you with the opportunity to connect with people who are buying and selling Bitcoin privately. You can trade through a reputable website or meet in person and pay cash for the purchase. Be careful of falling victim to a Bitcoin scam.
- Mine Bitcoin
Many South Africans have got into the complex process of mining Bitcoin. This is largely done through Bitcoin syndicates as massive investment in the processing technology is required for Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining involves securing the network and verifying transactions and successful miners are paid in Bitcoin. It’s not hugely profitable but if you’re technologically inclined, you’ll find the process fascinating.