Researching crypto exchanges in South Africa? We’ve rounded up some of the best crypto exchanges in South Africa to research in 2023. 🇿🇦
For informational purposes only. Not financial or tax advice. Learn more → Editorial Policy.
Which are the best crypto exchanges in South Africa?
Luno crypto exchange, serving over 10 million customers across 43 countries, stands out as an easily accessible platform for newcomers to crypto. The exchange offers an effortless initiation into crypto with investments starting from as low as $1 and the convenience of scheduling recurring purchases. Luno’s user-friendly design combined with its array of educational resources makes the exchange an ideal pick for those looking to dive into the crypto world without being overwhelmed.
Is Luno safe?
Luno is generally considered a safe exchange, that follows best security practices including deep freeze multi-sig storage, managed by BitGo custody and Fireblocks. As well as this, the exchange offers a variety of security features for accounts including 2FA. However, you should always follow best security practices for your crypto by storing any crypto you’re not actively trading in a secure, hardware wallet.
- Has Luno been hacked? No, Luno has not been hacked at a large scale although individual accounts may have been compromised in phishing scams.
- Will Luno refund me if I'm hacked? As Luno has not been breached due to a security flaw, it’s unknown whether the platform would refund users in the event of a hack.
- Do you own your keys on Luno? No, Luno is a centralized crypto exchange and you do not own your private keys.
- Can Luno freeze accounts? Yes, Luno can freeze accounts, but the exchange is unlikely to do so unless they believe the account has been compromised or if a user fails to adhere to their terms and conditions.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on Luno? There are 12 popular cryptocurrencies available to trade on Luno.
- Does Luno have a mobile app? Yes. Luno has a mobile app available on iOS and Android.
- What are Luno fees? Luno charges up to 2% depending on the transaction.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Luno? Luno has daily, and monthly withdrawal limits for South African investors, between RA12,000 to RA600,000 a month depending on your account level.
- Does Luno have KYC? Yes. Luno has mandatory KYC processes in order to verify users’ identities.
Crypto giant Binance operates globally - including in South Africa, making it a popular choice for both advanced and new crypto investors. The exchange boasts a daily trading volume of more than three billion and handles more than 1 million transactions per second for millions of users. Established in 2017, Binance now serves users in over 180 countries. Additionally, Binance powers its Binance Chain (home to the BNB native coin) catering to DeFi enthusiasts, and also runs Trust Wallet.
Is Binance safe?
Binance, like other market-leading crypto exchanges, provides 2-factor authentication, employs reliable offline cold storage for most assets, offers real-time monitoring, and integrates features such as secure sign-in and enhanced access controls. As usual, you should always store your private keys securely in a hardware wallet whenever you’re not actively trading your crypto.
- Has Binance been hacked? Yes, Binance encountered a hack in 2019, resulting in a loss of over £33 million
- Will Binance refund me if I'm hacked? It’s likely that if you suffer losses due to a security breach on Binance, you will be refunded. In the hack mentioned above, users were compensated. Binance has also stepped in to help refund users for hacks unrelated to its platform.
- Do you own your keys on Binance? No, Binance retains the private keys to users' wallets. However, with Trust Wallet, you have control over your keys.
- Can Binance freeze accounts? Binance can freeze accounts, but it’s rare for this to happen. Your account would only be frozen if you failed to adhere to the terms and conditions or if the exchange was mandated by law to freeze your account.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on Binance? Binance provides a platform for trading more than 500 different cryptocurrencies, encompassing all major coins.
- Does Binance have a mobile app? Yes, Binance is accessible via mobile apps for both iOS and Android. There’s also the Trust Wallet browser extension and mobile app.
- What are Binance fees? Binance operates on a maker/taker fee model, which adjusts based on your monthly trading activity. As trading volumes rise, fees diminish, with some trading pair fees as low as 0%.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Binance? Yes, limits exist, but they vary based on your chosen payment channel. Some withdrawal modes, like wire transfers, may also incur fees.
- Does Binance have KYC? Yes. Binance requires a photo ID and personal details to authenticate your account before you’ll be able to make any transactions.
Initiated in 2018, VALR has rapidly ascended as one of South Africa's top exchanges by trading volume, catering to both newbies and seasoned traders with its user-friendly interface and a convenient mobile app for trading anytime, anywhere. The platform supports a variety of payment methods such as credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets, predominantly free of charge, as well as a decent range of cryptocurrencies.
Is VALR safe?
VALR is generally considered to be a safe exchange for investors. The exchange is partnered with Bittrex to keep assets safe and utilizes cold and hot multi-sig storage for users’ assets. As well as this, VALR offers account security features like 2FA. All this said, you should always keep your private keys stored in a hardware wallet to keep your crypto as safe as possible.
- Has VALR been hacked? To date, VALR has not been compromised or hacked, although individual accounts may have fallen foul of phishing emails or other scams.
- Will VALR refund me if I'm hacked? As VALR has not been hacked, it’s unknown whether the exchange would refund users should they lose crypto due to a security flaw relating to the platform.
- Do you own your keys on VALR? No. VALR is a centralized crypto exchange that manages private keys on behalf of users.
- Can VALR freeze accounts? Yes. VALR can freeze accounts, but will only do so when mandated by authorities or if a user does not adhere to the site terms and conditions.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on VALR? VALR has more than 60 cryptocurrencies available to buy, sell, and trade.
- Does VALR have a mobile app? Yes. VALR has a mobile app available on Android and iOS.
- What are VALR fees? VALR charges up to 0.8% per transaction depending on the specific transaction made.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on VALR? VALR has daily withdrawal limits depending on your account verification level. Fully verified accounts are subject to a 0.2BTC daily limit, while fully verified PLUS accounts are subject to a 100 BTC daily limit.
- Does VALR have KYC? Yes. VALR requires KYC including a photo ID in order to use the platform.
OKX, previously known as OKEx, is a popular global crypto exchange that made its debut in 2017. The exchange offers a huge variety of investment options and more than 300 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, trade, stake, and more. As well as this, OKX offers many opportunities to earn crypto to allow holders to earn passive income from their assets.
Is OKX safe?
OKX keeps 95% of its assets offline, backed up, and with critical data safeguarded within fortified banking vaults. The exchange offers a number of account security features including 2FA, mobile confirmation, anti-phishing measures, and a specific authentication application. While these features should make the exchange a relatively safe platform, you should always follow best security practices and store any crypto you’re not actively trading in a secure, offline wallet.
- Has OKX been hacked? Back in 2017, a number of users claimed their account was compromised due to a security flaw on OKX.
- Will OKX refund me if I'm hacked? OKX did not refund users relating to the accused breach above. It’s not clear whether OKX would refund users if the platform was hacked.
- Do you own your keys on OKX? No. As a centralized platform, OKX manages your keys.
- Can OKX freeze accounts? Yes. Back in October 2020, OKX temporarily suspended accounts due to an inquiry involving a private key holder collaborating with a public security bureau but resumed transactions soon after.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on OKX? OKX has more than 300 cryptocurrencies available to buy, sell, and trade.
- Does OKX have a mobile app? Yes. OKX app is available on iOS and Android.
- What are the fees for OKX? OKX has a tiered maker/taker fee model that varies with a user's 30-day trading activity, with average fees fluctuating between 0.060% and 0.1%.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on OKX? The baseline deposit for OKX stands at 10 USDT, as well as a daily withdrawal limit of 200 BTC for standard accounts.
- Does OKX have KYC? Yes, OKX requires KYC, with a variety of documents required depending on your verification level.
Easy Crypto stands out as a popular choice for one of the best crypto exchanges in South Africa. Not only does the exchange offer an impressive 150 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and trade, but Easy Crypto is also a non-custodial exchange, meaning you have complete control over your keys and your crypto.
Is Easy Crypto safe?
Easy Crypto is generally considered to be a safe exchange. They provide 2FA for user accounts, feature address book whitelisting, and, they're one of the few crypto exchanges offering a full transaction guarantee should there be any losses. As well as this, as the exchange is non-custodial, you always have control over your keys and crypto.
- Has Easy Crypto been hacked? No, Easy Crypto has not been hacked to date.
- Will Easy Crypto refund me if I'm hacked? Easy Crypto pledges a full guarantee, ensuring user refunds if any security oversight on their part results in a breach.
- Do you own your keys on Easy Crypto? As a non-custodial exchange, you have complete control of your keys on Easy Crypto.
- Can Easy Crypto freeze accounts? Yes, but it’s unlikely. The exchange would only freeze accounts if mandated to do so by authorities or if a user failed to adhere to site terms and conditions.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on Easy Crypto? Easy Crypto has more than 150 cryptocurrencies available to buy, sell, and trade on their platform.
- Does Easy Crypto have a mobile app? Yes, the Easy Crypto app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
- What are Easy Crypto fees? Easy Crypto transaction fees range between 0.7% to 0.9%.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Easy Crypto? Easy Crypto has minimum deposits depending on your payment method and the crypto you’re buying.
- Does Easy Crypto have KYC? Yes, Easy Crypto mandates the submission of a photo ID and some personal details to validate your account.
Bybit, headquartered in Singapore, stands out as one of the leading crypto and derivatives trading exchanges globally by volume, making it a popular choice for more experienced investors in South Africa, familiar with the intricacies of leveraged trading and its associated risks. Although Bybit stands out as an excellent option for derivatives trading, that’s far from the only investment opportunity available, as the exchange offers earn products. NFT trading, and more.
Is Bybit safe?
Bybit prides itself on market-leading security strategies and solutions with triple-layer asset protection, a combination of advanced multi-sig, Trusted Execution Environment, and Threshold Signature Schemes for storage. As well as this, the exchange conducts regular Proof of Reserve audits, available to view online.
- Has Bybit been hacked? No, Bybit has not been hacked or compromised to date.
- Will Bybit refund me if I'm hacked? As Bybit has not been hacked, it’s not known whether Bybit would refund users impacted due to a security breach relating to the platform.
- Do you own your keys on Bybit? No. Bybit is a custodial and centralized exchange that manages keys on your behalf.
- Can Bybit freeze accounts? Yes. Bybit can freeze accounts if users fail to adhere to the site terms and conditions, or if required to by authorities.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on Bybit? Bybit offers more than 100 cryptocurrencies available to buy, sell, and trade, including with leverage.
- Does Bybithave a mobile app? Yes. The Bybit app is available on iOS and Android.
- What are Bybit fees? Bybit charges between 0% to 0.1% depending on your 30-day trading volume.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Bybit? Bybit has minimum deposits and withdrawals depending on the cryptocurrency you’re withdrawing or depositing.
- Does Bybit have KYC? Yes. Bytbit has strict KYC procedures and you’ll need to verify your identity before you can trade.
Established in 2014, Gemini has grown to be one of the most popular crypto exchanges worldwide and serves users in South Africa. The exchange boasts millions of users globally and offers more than 120 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and trade instantly.
Is Gemini safe?
Gemini prioritizes security as a SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 certified exchange and custodian. As well as this, account security features include 2FA, compatibility with hardware devices, and address whitelisting. However, as always, you should always store your private keys in a secure hardware device whenever possible.
- Has Gemini been hacked? Yes, Gemini was hacked in 2022 and although the hack was confined to a handful of accounts, it resulted in losses surpassing £30 million. Following the incident, the IRA Financial Trust initiated a lawsuit, accusing Gemini of oversight. Gemini has rebuffed these claims, emphasizing the event as an isolated occurrence.
- Will Gemini refund me if I'm hacked? Owing to the active legal proceedings, Gemini has refrained from reimbursing the affected IRA Financial Trust accounts. However, it's assuring to note that all USD holdings are safeguarded by the FDIC, and digital assets in storage have insurance coverage under Gemini.
- Do you own your keys on Gemini? No. As a centralized platform, Gemini manages your keys.
- Can Gemini freeze accounts? Yes, Gemini has the authority to suspend accounts, predominantly for security reasons.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on Gemini? Currently, more than 120 cryptocurrencies.
- Does Gemini have a mobile app? Yes. The Gemini app is on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Galaxy Store.
- What are Gemini fees? Gemini charges a maximum transaction fee of 1.49%.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Gemini? Yes. There are deposit and withdrawal limits and fees on Gemini, depending on your payment method.
- Does Gemini have KYC? Yes. Gemini has mandatory KYC which you’ll need to complete before you can transact on the platform.
Since its inception in 2011, Kraken has carved out a reputation, largely attributable to its transparent leadership. The company's CEO frequently reiterates, “Not your keys, not your crypto,” championing the cause of self-custody. This ethos has propelled Kraken to onboard over 6 million users, trading a diverse array of more than 190 cryptocurrencies, positioning it among the leading crypto exchanges.
Is Kraken safe?
Kraken's dedicated security labs ensure user asset safety. They proactively assess third-party offerings, rectify security vulnerabilities, and run a comprehensive bug bounty initiative for ethical hackers. The exchange stores a whopping 95% of assets in isolated, air-gapped, cold storage, and other security measures include 2FA, a master key, PGP encryption, and a global setting lock.
- Has Kraken been hacked? While individual accounts might have been compromised due to scams, Kraken's platform remains unhacked.
- Will Kraken refund me if I'm hacked? Given Kraken's untouched track record concerning hacks, it's not clear what the exchange’s stance would be regarding refunds. This said, the exchange previously reimbursed traders affected by an ETH price dip on their platform, showing a strong commitment to prioritizing user well-being.
- Do you own your keys on Kraken? Being a centralized exchange, Kraken manages custody of your keys. However, Kraken's CEO is an advocate of non-custodial wallets, encouraging users to use them wherever possible.
- Can Kraken freeze accounts? It's possible but quite rare unless mandated by legal or governmental directives. The CEO has expressed concerns over incidents involving the Canadian government initiating account freezes, urging users to ensure personal crypto custody.
- How many cryptocurrencies are on Kraken? As of now, Kraken facilitates trading for more than 195 cryptocurrencies.
- Does Kraken have a mobile app? Yes. The Kraken app is available on iOS and Android.
- What are Kraken fees? Kraken operates on a tiered fee model, with maker fees ranging between 0% and 0.16% and taker fees between 0.10% and 0.26%, contingent on monthly trading volumes.
- Are there any deposit and withdrawal limits on Kraken? Kraken employs a tiered system for daily and monthly withdrawal and deposit limits.
- Does Kraken have KYC? Yes, Kraken has tiered account verification, each requiring a different amount of information about the user.
How to pick a crypto exchange
Picking a crypto exchange isn't easy - there are some important factors you need to consider. Here are the criteria we used to select our list of best crypto exchanges in South Africa:
- Security: The safety of your assets should be your top priority, so the security of your exchange needs to be your first consideration. We’ve only included exchanges with strong security protocols at a platform and account level.
- Reputation: Sadly, the crypto market is still rife with less-than-reputable exchanges, or even outright scams. That's why we've only included crypto exchanges with a strong reputation and track record in the crypto community.
- Cryptocurrencies available: Whether you want a market leader like BTC or a lesser-known altcoin, your exchange needs to actually sell the cryptocurrencies you want to invest in. All of the South African crypto exchanges in our list have a wide variety of cryptocurrencies to pick from.
- Liquidity: Given the collapse of many crypto platforms in recent years - liquidity matters when it comes to choosing a crypto exchange. Exchanges with high liquidity protect you from potential bank runs, and your transactions will process faster and with lower slippage.
- User Interface: While crypto exchanges used to have a reputation for being rather inaccessible to new investors, those days are long gone. We’ve included crypto exchanges in South Africa that suit all levels of experience.
- Fees: All crypto exchanges charge fees, but depending on your trading volume - these fees can add up. We've compared the fee structures for each exchange to help you find the best option for a crypto exchange in South Africa for you.
Read next: How much crypto tax will you pay to SARS this year?
How Koinly can help with your South Africa crypto taxes
Koinly is the best cryptocurrency tax calculator in South Africa and can help you track your holdings across all the crypto exchanges you use and calculate any tax liability come tax time. All you need to do is connect your exchanges using API automatically or upload a CSV file of your transaction history and Koinly will do the rest. Best of all, Koinly is completely free to try - you'll only ever pay if you want to upgrade to a paid plan to download a tax report.
More questions? We've got you covered.
What happened to Berry Crypto Trading Platform?
Berry Crypto Trading Platform was an unlicensed virtual assets provider according to the NBFIRA (Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority). In early May 2023, the exchange halted withdrawals. Some users also reported that they were prompted to reactivate their accounts by adding more funds. It’s widely believed the platform was a Ponzi scheme.
What’s the best crypto app in South Africa?
All of the exchanges mentioned in this article have apps including Luno, Binance, and VALR.
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