At the time of writing there are two fully licenced bitcoin exchanges in South Africa, that are well established and have been around since 2013, namely ICE³X (AKA Ice Cubed) and Luno.

There are at least 5 other un-licenced bitcoin exchanges operating in South Africa, but they are not all registered financial services providers, and do not all do proper KYC or AML security checks, so we are not listing them. Some of these exchanges are not registered businesses, and even use personal bank accounts that members deposit funds into, so use at your own risk.

If you want to buy bitcoin, using an EFT bank transfer to a bitcoin exchange is one of the safest ways to do so. Rand (ZAR) transfers generally show up on the corresponding exchange within a few hours, and you can begin to trade as soon as it is reflecting in your account.

ICE³X bitcoin exchange

Ice Cubed exchange

ICE³X is a secure exchange platform where you can buy and sell Bitcoin and Litecoin in South African Rand as well as Nigerian Naira

ICE³X is registered as ‘Internet Currency Evolution Cubed (Pty) LTD’ in South Africa, and is a South African owned and operated company that is also part of the ‘Internet Currency Evolution Cubed. ICE3 Ltd.’ group, registered in England and Wales. ICE³X  also offers Ripple integration for its users, and is Africa’s first Ripple Gateway.

We provide digital currency solutions for real world problems and offer a unique approach to cryptocurrency use in enterprise. We want to solve really old problems with radically different solutions.

The ICE³X platform is based on cutting-edge industry technology, and uses the same architecture as other leading, high-volume transaction systems. The platform was developed with performance and stability in mind, and combined with a robust infrastructure and distributed system design, provides you with capacity and reliability. The exchange is capable of processing several hundred trades in a fraction of a second.

Bitcoin and Litecoin withdrawals from accounts are processed manually in batch runs at least 3 times per day as they run a 100% cold storage policy. All coins are stored offline, in special vaults, away from online security threats.

  • Website: www.ice3x.com
  • Deposit Cryptocurrency: Free
  • Deposit Rand: Free
  • Withdraw ZAR: R10
  • Withdraw bitcoin / litecoin: Network Fee
  • Trading fees: 0.5 to 1% trading fees – Dynamic based on 30 day trading volume
    • 0 – 4.99999999 BTC traded = 1% trading fees
    • 0.5 – 4.99999999 BTC traded = 0.85% trading fees
    • 5 – 49.99999999 BTC traded = 0.75% trading fees
    • 50 – 9999.99999999 BTC traded = 0.5% trading fees
  • Know Your Customer: FICA, Proof of ID / residence
  • Security: 2 Factor Authentication (Google Authenticator), Secure digital certificate
  • Developer API: Yes

Click here for a step-by-step tutorial for Ice Cubed Exchange!

Luno bitcoin exchange

luno bitcoin South Africa

Luno is headquartered in Singapore, with a development team in Cape Town and a satellite office in Palo Alto. Luno are currently also present in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Namibia, Kenya and Nigeria. Luno is the biggest of the local exchanges in terms of user base and average trading volume, and boasts a mobile bitcoin wallet app that not only is a wallet, but allows you to buy and sell bitcoin too.

Luno allows you to conveniently and securely send, receive and store your Bitcoins. The Luno Wallet is hosted on secure servers and Bitcoins are stored offline to ensure the safety of your Bitcoins. Luno provides low-latency trading protected by bank-grade security.

Bitcoin withdraws from accounts are automatic for most transactions (below a threshold limit).

Costs to deposit / withdraw / Trade on the exchange

  • Website: www.luno.com
  • Deposit Cryptocurrency: 0.0002 BTC
  • Deposit Rand: Free
  • Withdraw ZAR: R8.50
  • Withdraw bitcoin: Free
  • Instant Buy / Sell fee: Unknown, ranges from 1% up to 5% from what we have been able to find out
  • Trading fees: Either 1% or 0% will be charged depending on whether you are taking or providing liquidity. Limit orders that rest in the order book won’t incur any fees when matched while orders that match immediately will be charged at 1%
  • Know Your Customer: FICA, Proof of ID / residence
  • Security: 2 Factor Authentication (Google Authenticator), Secure digital certificate, email notification of trades
  • Developer API: Yes

Get R10 free bitcoin from Luno! Once you have signed up for an account on Luno, login and go to the “Promotions” page, enter this promotional code: BKFEF

Click here for a step-by-step tutorial for Luno Exchange!

Secure your bitcoin with a ledger wallet

  • joy

    If the bitcoin is $403,68 = R?

    • If you try do a straight conversion $ -> Rand, you will always come out cheaper than the local rate because it does not factor in the bank charges, restrictions, time, expertise and effort that is needed to buy bitcoin outside of SA and sell here. Traders sell for a profit otherwise they would not trade, so usually a google search for the price in Rand is much cheaper than locally. EG Right now the USD price is $372.50 and locally the price is R6700. If you did a conversion of the price on Google, $372.50 would be R5971 right now. If you are able to buy bitcoin outside of SA and sell it here, you can make a good profit.

      • Oluwaseun

        I’ve been looking for a way to sell botcoin in SA but it’s not so easy as I have never been to the country. Incase you have an Idea about some ways I don’t know I’ll be happy if you can share it with me. I’ll also like to know if there is any crypto currency exchange that pays to paypal or to a bank account outside SA, thanks.

  • Mamonaheng Raliile

    How do I buy bitcoins, I live in Lesotho, I am also a citizen

  • Thandeka

    Hi I am being reviewed by BitX and I have misplaced my ID Book I have been searching all over for it and I haven’t found it as yet however I have my licence with me. Please advise if that’s not sufficient?

  • Jacques Kloppers

    Hi, do the three exchanges above accept payment / deposit from paypal. I don’t want to buy using my SA bank cards. Thanks

  • Ibeh Samuel

    Can I sell my cryptocurrency here, I’m from Nigeria

    • Do you have an SA Bank account? You should be able to if you have an SA bank account as far as I know.

  • Nick Hill

    Hi, is the an exchange for Dash in SA?

  • Andrew

    How does one contact LUNO…. My withdrawals are not reflecting into my bank account!!! !!!!!

  • Muriel Watson

    I want to buy bitcoins with an investment of R300 per month. Can I do that? and I do not want to trade but leave my bitcoin for 5 years and hopefully make a profit. How do I do this?

    • Yes you can but bitcoin to the value of what you are prepared to spend. If that is R150 or R5000, it does not matter. You can purchase bitcoin and withdraw it from the exchange into your own secure wallet. Leave it there until you want to sell it in a few years. When you are ready, you transfer the bitcoin to the exchange you want to sell it on.

  • disqus_ogdYpECf5d

    hello, i want to know some place where i can cash out my bitcoin in south africa, johansburgh and cap town. thanks you

  • The Luno wallet is sufficiently safe for most people. Just make sure you have the 2-Factor authentication option enabled, and also enabled on your email if you use gmail or similar. Also have a password enabled on your phone if you use their app, especially if your phone is linked to your email address.
    It is considered best practice by almost everyone involved in bitcoin, to use exchanges for exchanging / trading, and then to withdraw your bitcoin to your own secure wallet that you have the private keys for. When you put bitcoin on an exchange you dont have the private keys for that bitcoin. Its essentially not your bitcoin anymore, the exchange owes it to you.
    You should maybe read this post: https://www.bitcoinzar.co.za/why-its-a-bad-idea-to-store-your-bitcoin-on-an-exchange/

  • Faye Peralta Winter

    I want to start in investing with bitcoin and I’m new to this. where is the safest place to buy and what’s the minimum price?

    • Both luno and Ice cubed are safe. The price is set by the buyers and sellers and changes all the time

  • We are not an exchange, most people buy bitcoin, then send it to bittrex or another exchange with huge volume to buy ripple at the best price

  • No, you just buy bitcoins, they have nothing to do with any company

  • Elmar

    Hi, I’m waiting for my Ledger Nano hardware wallet, only available from 2nd week October (out of stock); In the meantime, where can I buy and “store” bitcoin? Or what do you recommend ?

    • You can install a desktop wallet for your computer, check out https://exodus.io, or you can use a web based wallet such as http://www.bitgo.com. Both will give you your own private keys and you can securely store your bitcoin.

  • Sab

    Your Pricing for the 2 exhanges need to change, deposits and withdrawals are not free on Luno

  • I am not sure if Luno is using segwit enabled wallets yet, and therefore lower bitcoin transaction fees. Depending on the transaction fees they are paying, and the amount you are sending, the % might be big or small.

    • guitar_shredda*

      Thanks for the response. I am completely new to Bitcoin, so there are fees involved in moving Bitcoin between various wallets? It seems ridiculous to charge 8% on a transaction, makes me weary as fees can really eat away at one’s investment

  • Log into your bittrex account and go to your wallet page. Click the ‘+’ symbol to add bitcoin, and it will display your bitcoin wallet address and a QR code. In Luno you go to your wallets, and click to withdraw bitcoin and paste the address you got from bittrex, then complete.

  • buy on a bitcoin exchange

  • Not sure what their problem is. Have you tried ice cubed exchange?

  • Fred

    I want to send bitcoins to my nephews for Christmas from my luno account. What bitcoin wallet app would you recommend for an under 18 South African

    • Maybe try samurai wallet or airbitz app, and make sure he follows the steps to backup his private key somewhere secure. Once that is done you can send them bitcoin to that wallet. If they lose their phone or it gets stolen the wallet can be recovered using the private key. Luno requires you to be over 18 to have an account, so using one of those wallet apps would be best.

  • Nobody will call or contact you….its probably a scammer, do not trust anyone with your money, educate yourself and do everything yourself. There is no bitcoin loophole, and no amount to ‘activate’ a bitcoin account. You can buy bitcoin with as little as R1 if you want. The exchanges in South Africa take deposits from R250 and upwards. Please do not trust random strangers on the internet, whatsapp, or who email / call you to ‘help’ you with bitcoin or money.

  • Exchanges around the world have been having issues, not just Luno. Read more here: https://www.bitcoinzar.co.za/cryptocurrency-exchanges-struggle-influx-new-users/

  • Cecile Van Der Merwe

    Hi! Does anyone know whether there is a withdrawal limit on Ice Cubed? I have seen that they say the maximum withdrawal is R75k when you go to withdrawals. But is that a per transaction limit? Or a monthly limit? I know on Luno you have unlimited withdrawals as long as you are verified to level 3, but can’t seem to find this info for Ice Cubed. Thanks in advance.

    • I think that might be per transaction, definitely not per month, I have done more than that in a month period. Not sure if there is different levels that can clear you for higher amounts, i’ll try find out…

      • Cecile Van Der Merwe

        Thanks! I have been Fica’d with my ID and address, don’t think there is anything else that they can use? But somehow I can’t get the info anywhere. Have sent a bunch of mails, with no replys so far 🙁

        • Dont send emails, use the help desk ticket support system to get help. They might be under heavy load right now, exchanges everywhere are having issues.

          • Cecile Van Der Merwe

            Have tried that as well. Assume they are under a bit of pressure at the moment. Just a bit scared that I won’t be able to get my money out of Ice Cubed if there is some limit on withdrawals.

          • I think the only limit on withdrawals on ice is if you dont have a verified account you cant withdraw. I spoke to someone today who does R75k withdrawals multiple times a day when they are doing lots of trading, and they dont have any hassles. Its possible then that R75k is the limit per single transaction.

  • Marc Eden

    Yes folks, the reality is the fees are insane. I use Luno. These were my transaction fees. I deposited R 15.000 into my Luno account I then bought Bitcoin for R 15.000 The amount of actual Bitcoin i received was R 14.300 That means the fees were R 700(5%). I then sent the Bitcoin to a program i am investing in USI Tech. I paid another R 700(5%) Total deducted R 1400.00

    • You used the instant buy/sell button to buy bitcoin didnt you? That option is at a premium. If you instead use the exchange and create a buy order, you will pay 1% fee at worst, and 0% fee at best, depending on if you take or make an order. The fees to transfer bitcoin are dynamic based on the size of the transaction in kb, and the congestion on the network. Right now, there is a lot of congestion, so higher fees. If you did another transaction from another wallet, they would be similar. The average bitcoin transaction fee is around R500 at this moment on a standard wallet to wallet transaction outside of Luno.

  • Luke Nel

    Hi.. can a Zimbabwean have an account on ice cube?

    • Yes you can, but to fund it with Rand you will need to be able to deposit Rand into their bank account…otherwise you will only be able to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrency

  • You can make withdrawals in Rand or cryptocurrency

  • Ice Cubed used to be a Ripple gateway for Ripple users, before XRP was a thing….since nobody was using the service, it was discontinued. Ice Cubed do not support the XRP token (https://ice3x.co.za/adding-ripple-token-xrp-to-icecubed-exchange/). If you would like to exchange other cryptocurrencies you should check out bittrex.com, or cryptopia.co.nz, you cant deposit Rand, but you can send BTC, LTC or ETH to them from SA, and then trade it for other cryptocurrencies.