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Best Crypto Exchanges in South Africa

Best Crypto Exchanges in South Africa

Explore the best crypto exchanges in South Africa, and gain knowledge on legal frameworks, taxation, and secure cryptocurrency trading.

Summary: South Africa is a progressive country that supports cryptocurrencies, which are regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). This oversight ensures that digital asset exchanges operating in the country comply with regulatory and security standards. Local traders can easily deposit funds in ZAR through commonly used methods like EFT, bank transfers, PayFast, or credit and debit cards.

To assist beginners with their cryptocurrency investment journey, our team has reviewed the leading trading platforms available in South Africa and discovered the top 5 options:

  1. Bybit - Best Crypto Exchange in South Africa
  2. Binance - Largest Crypto Exchange Globally
  3. MEXC - Great for Derivatives with Leverage
  4. OKX - Web3 and DeFi Trading Platform
  5. Gate.io - Top Choice for Altcoins
Best Crypto Exchange in South Africa
5.0 out of 5.0 by Datawallet.
Bybit excels in South Africa with its vast selection of over 930 digital assets, strong security, and adherence to local regulations, offering a reliable and comprehensive trading experience.
Available Markets
930+ Cryptocurrencies via Spot, Options and Futures.
Fees
Free Deposits & 0.1% Trading Fees.
ZAR Deposit Methods
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayFast and more.

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Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Africa

We have analyzed more than 22 cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and identified the leading platforms for South African investors. We considered factors such as compliance with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) regulations, digital currency selection, user interface, South African Rand (ZAR) deposit options, and fees. Below is a detailed comparison table of the 5 best digital currency exchanges in South Africa.

Exchange
Cryptocurrencies
Trading Fees
Deposit Methods
Key Features
Bybit
1100+
Maker Fees 0.02% and Taker Fees 0.055%
Bank Transfer, PayFast, Debit Card & More
Staking, Options, Futures, Lending & More
Binance
350+
0.1% Spot Fee and 0.5% Spread
Bank Transfer, Debit Card & Credit Card
Derivatives, Earn, Staking, BNB Chain & More
MEXC
800+
Maker Fees 0.02% and Taker Fees 0.06%
Bank Transfer & Debit or Credit Card
200X Leverage, Staking, Options & More
OKX
300+
0.1% Trading Fees and 0.1% Spread
Bank Transfer & Debit or Credit Card
Options, Futures, OKX Wallet, DeFi Support & More
Gate.io
1,700+
0.08% Trading Fee and 0.1% Spread
Bank Transfer and Credit Card
Widest Altcoin Variety, Futures, Options & More

1. Bybit

Established in 2018, Bybit is a cryptocurrency exchange that specializes in futures trading and offers a diverse range of 1,100 digital currencies with up to 100x leverage. Serving over 28 million registered users from 160 countries, it maintains an impressive daily trading volume close to $16 billion. As a global platform, it supports deposits in 65 currencies, including ZAR. It offers a unified trading account that simplifies managing spot, derivatives, and options trades from a single dashboard. 

The platform also provides access to Web3 with on-chain staking options, DEX, a native crypto wallet and an NFT marketplace. Additional features include structured products, trading bots, earning feature, Launchpad, copy trading services, crypto loans, and the Bybit Visa card, which allows users to spend any of the supported tokens on real life purchases. It is also the only exchange that regularly audits its reserves to show all assets are backed 1:1.

  • Fees: Maker fee of 0.02% and taker fee of 0.055% for futures and 0.1% for spot trading.
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Over 1100 digital assets.
  • Regulation & Licensing: Adheres to international standards and regulatory compliances, with operations in key markets, including South Africa.
  • ZAR Deposit Methods: Bank transfers, SEPA, credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, EFT, and other local payment options.
Bybit

2. Binance

Binance was founded in 2017 and has grown to become the largest digital asset exchange by user base with over 180 million registered users in 100 countries, including South Africa. Due to its global accessibility, it can be used in 40 languages, which includes English and Afrikaans. Offering a diverse selection of trading options such as spot, margin, and futures across more than 350 cryptocurrencies with leverage up to 50x, it caters to traders of various levels. 

It supports efficient ZAR deposit methods through all local banking channels. Binance's status as an authorized financial services provider in South Africa (Authorised FSP 51619) demonstrates its commitment to regulatory compliance and security standards. The platform has a broad range of tools, such as staking, lending and borrowing services, and inclusive trading environment with live customer support.

  • Fees: 0.1% for spot trading, plus a 0.06% maker, and 0.02% taker for derivatives.
  • Supported Assets: 350 cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulation & Licensing: Fully regulated and licensed in South Africa by the FSCA.
  • ZAR Deposit Methods: Bank transfers, credit and debit cards, and other local payment methods.
Binance

3. MEXC

Founded in 2018, MEXC is a high-performance cryptocurrency exchange boasting a substantial transaction matching technology capable of handling 1.4 million transactions per second. It services over 10 million users across 170 countries, rapidly gaining a large market share soon after its inception. The platform provides a range of services, including a variety of trading options like spot and futures trading, lending and borrowing services, a staking feature and more.

Security is a priority, with robust measures in place to protect user data and funds. Additionally, MEXC supports multiple languages like Afrikaans, enhancing accessibility for a global user base. Its capability to manage over $2 billion in daily volume reflects a strong commitment to market responsiveness and user security. MEXC's extensive trading options, competitive fee structure, and focus on user experience position it as a robust choice for traders navigating the market.

  • Fees: Maker fees ranging from 0.02% to 0.06% and taker fees between 0.06% and 0.08%, aligning with market standards.
  • Supported Assets: Over 800 cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulation & Licensing: MEXC is licensed in Estonia and headquartered in Seychelles.
  • ZAR Deposit Methods: Bank transfers, debit cards, credit cards and more.

4. OKX

OKX is a cryptocurrency exchange known for its extensive range of products and services in the Web3 space. A key feature is its dynamic DeFi ecosystem, anchored by the OKT Chain, which parallels the functionalities of Binance's BNB Chain. This innovative aspect of OKX facilitates high-yield DeFi investments, drawing in experienced traders seeking lucrative returns. It has a diverse range of over 350 digital assets, including major tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and Celestia.

This exchange is celebrated for offering revolutionary trading features such as spot and derivatives trading, including futures and options with up to 50x leverage. What makes OKX distinctive is its zero trading fees for specific transactions and support for over 100 payment methods, including Visa and Mastercard, offering considerable flexibility and ease for users wishing to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. 

  • Fees: 0.08% fee for spot trading.
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Supports more than 300 cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulation & Licensing: Adheres to international regulatory standards, ensuring a secure trading environment for South African users.
  • ZAR Deposit Methods: Bank transfers and credit cards.
OKX South Africa

5. Gate.io

Founded in 2013, Gate.io is a cryptocurrency investment platform that consistently ranks within the top 10 globally, reaching a diverse user base of over 14 million users worldwide. The platform has a robust daily trading volume of approximately $7.8 billion, showcasing its popularity and trust within the crypto community. Gate.io offers more than 1,700 tokens for trading, covering various categories like spot, futures, margin trading, and leveraged ETFs. 

It supports innovative features such as copy and bot trading, and provides multiple avenues for earning through loans and APR gains. Users can participate in the Gate.io ecosystem that includes comprehensive services like a secure payment system through Gate Pay, a Visa debit card, a thriving NFT marketplace, and cross-chain swaps via their Web3 services. This varied service offering caters well to both the casual traders and institutional clients.

  • Fees: Maker fees starting at 0.1% and taker fees at 0.2%.
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: More than 1,700 digital assets.
  • Regulation & Licensing: Based offshore in the Seychelles, Gate.io is accessible to South African users.
  • ZAR Deposit Methods: Local bank transfers and debit or credit cards.
Gate.io

Is Crypto Regulated in South Africa?

Cryptocurrency is legal in South Africa, operating within a supportive regulatory framework. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has no ban on digital currencies but they are not recognized as legal tender. This means that investors are allowed to own and trade the assets, but they cannot be used as a form of payment for real life purchases. 

Regulatory developments in 2022 led the FSCA to classify crypto assets as financial products under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS). This requires crypto service providers to adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) regulations. These measures aim to protect consumers, particularly in the wake of events like the collapse of FTX.

Is Crypto Taxed in South Africa?

Yes, cryptocurrency transactions are subject to taxation in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) classifies cryptocurrency as an intangible asset, and profits from buying and selling it are taxable. Tax rates vary based on the individual's income, with a maximum of 45%. Capital gains on crypto are also taxed, with an effective rate up to 18% after considering a 40,000 ZAR annual exclusion. Individuals must declare crypto-related gains or losses in their tax returns.

SARS has the authority to access financial data from both local and foreign crypto exchanges as part of its enforcement of the Income Tax Act. While certain crypto activities like purchasing with fiat, holding, or transferring between personal wallets are not taxed, others, such as cryptocurrency mining, generate taxable income.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, South Africa offers a regulated environment for cryptocurrency trading. Supported by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, investors have access to secure and reputable digital asset investment platforms like Bybit, Binance, MEXC, OKX, and Gate.io. These are the five best crypto exchanges for South African traders as they provide fast and free ZAR deposit methods, diverse asset selections, competitive fees and are compliant with the FSCA.

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