According to Statista, the South African crypto market is expected to grow by 7.86% by 2028. It seems like many investors are getting interested in crypto. If you’re also curious about jumping into this market, here’s a guide to help you find the best crypto exchanges in South Africa to buy some Bitcoin and cryptos to start your trading journey.

Key Takeaways:

  1. MEXC, Bybit, Binance, OKX, Coinbase, and Kraken are the best crypto exchanges in South Africa for buying and selling digital assets.
  2. You can buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in South Africa using centralized and decentralized exchanges, P2P exchanges, and Bitcoin ATMs.
  3. Digital assets are taxed in South Africa, with rates of up to 45% on income and 18% on capital gains.

List of the Best Crypto Exchanges in South Africa

We have reviewed more than 15 popular crypto trading platforms in South Africa based on various factors such as trading fees, security, supported cryptocurrencies, ZAR deposit methods, and more. After an in-depth analysis, we have selected the top 6 best apps to buy Bitcoin in South Africa for you. 

  1. MEXC: Best for low fees futures trading
  2. Bybit: Best for trading low-cap altcoins
  3. Binance: Best for high liquidity
  4. OKX: Best for the DeFi ecosystem
  5. Coinbase: Best for regulatory compliance
  6. Kraken: Best for futures and margin trading

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Africa: Reviewed



MEXC ranks number 1 on our list of the best crypto exchanges in South Africa. The exchange was founded in 2018 and has a user base of over 10 million.

What we like is the vast variety of coins MEXC offers. You can instantly buy and sell over 2,195 digital assets like BTC and ETH. And, it’s not just the high market cap cryptocurrencies, you’ll also find new altcoins, NFTs, DeFi tokens, even GameFi and Metaverse projects. This crypto exchange also offers all the standard trading features like spot, futures, copy trading, and P2P trading.

MEXC also has a Kickstarter program. It lets you invest in the launch of new tokens and potentially get free airdrops. Another thing we like is their low trading fees – 0.1% for spot (maker/taker). It gets even better for futures trading with 0% maker and 0.02% taker fees. You can read our full MEXC review here to understand this exchange fully.

Why Did We Pick It?

  • Wide Range of supported coins: You can trade or invest in over 2,195 coins, including many new projects you won’t find on other centralized exchanges.
  • Advanced Features: It offers features like margin trading and derivatives, which might appeal to experienced traders.
  • Zero fees trading: Sometimes, it offers zero fees for trading certain coins during specific events. Currently, it is offering 0% maker fees for futures trading.

2. Bybit

Bybit Homepage

Another best crypto exchange for South African traders is Bybit. This exchange is best for low-cap altcoin trading. Established in 2018, Bybit emphasizes security and boasts a highly responsive support team. 

There are over 1,133 cryptocurrencies available on Bybit, including popular coins like Bitcoin and other new projects with high future potential. South African traders can use spot trading, derivatives trading for leveraged positions, and a copy trading platform to follow experienced traders on Bybit.

Bybit’s “Earn” section also offers staking and yield farming, which allows one to generate passive income with their coins. The exchange uses the most advanced security measures like multi-factor authentication, address and account whitelisting, and an anti-phishing code.

Why Did We Pick It?

  • Ultra-fast trading engine: The platform can process 100,000 cryptocurrency transactions per second with minimum price impact.
  • Easy fiat deposits: You can deposit South African rand (ZAR) using bank transfer on the Bybit platform.
  • Copy trading: It has one of the best crypto copy trading platforms, with over 83,045 master traders and 730,073 copiers.

3. Binance

Binance Exchange Overview

Binance is another internationally renowned crypto exchange available in South Africa. The exchange ranks number 1 in trading volume and has over 160 million users worldwide.

The exchange supports around 379 coins and tokens. You will only find established digital assets on the platform. Binance does not support new or low market-cap altcoins. It also has a user-friendly interface for beginners. You will find many trading features, including spot and futures trading, margin trading, automated trading bots, and options trading.

The platform gives users a wide­ range of extra service­s and features to improve the­ experience­. With Binance Earn, users can­ generate passive income by staking and saving, while Binance­ Launchpad allows users to participate in token sales and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

At Binance­, providing a secure trading environment is super important. They use­ top-notch measures to kee­p user funds and personal info safe. Things like­ multi-layer encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), and cold storage­ solutions protect against security risks. Binance also has a Se­cure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) to provide extra protection by allocating insurance funds for pote­ntial losses in extreme­ cases.

Why Did We Pick It?

  • Liquidity: It has high trading volume and liquidity across various markets, ensuring you can easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies without price slippage.
  • ZAR deposits: You can easily purchase cryptocurrency through a bank transfer method using ZAR fiat currency. However, there may be a fee of up to 1.4% per trade.
  • Competitive fees: The exchange has a 0.1% maker/taker fee structure with a 25% fee discount for BNB holders.

4. OKX


OKX is our fourth cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa, offering a wide range of financial services. It serves millions of users in over 100 countries and offers services such as spot, margin, options, and perpetual futures trading, as well as DeFi, lending, and mining services.

In addition to its core exchange services, OKX has expanded its offerings to include a decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. The OKX’s DeFi ecosystem works on the OKT Chain. The OKX exchange DeFi ecosystem is integrated with DeFi activities, which include yield farming, liquidity mining, DEXs, lending, borrowing, etc. It also has a liquid marketplace for OTC traders or high-volume institutional traders. Check out our full OKX review to explore this crypto exchange further.

Why Did We Pick It?

  • Trading features: You can access all trading features like leverage trading, instantly convert with zero fees, P2P market, buying crypto with a credit or debit card, and earning passive income on idle assets.
  • Strong security measures: With robust security measures such as cold storage, two-factor authentication (2FA), and regular security audits, you can trade on OKX with peace of mind.
  • User-Friendly Interface: It provides a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate. This makes it suitable for both novice and experienced South African traders.

5. Coinbase

Coinbase Homepage

Coinbase is a U.S.-based crypto exchange available in over 100 countries, including South Africa. You can easily buy, sell, trade, and store cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase Basic platform. Currently, they support over 240 popular digital assets.

The platform caters to different levels of crypto users, from beginners to experienced South African traders. Coinbase also offers a non-custodial crypto wallet called “Coinbase Wallet”. This trading platform also provides other products like Coinbase Advanced, Coinbase Commerce, Coinbase Vault, and Coinbase One to enhance the users’ experience.

The Coinbase Advanced platform offers many analysis tools like charting tools, order books, and limit orders. The exchange is also registered as a futures commission merchant (FCM). However, it does not hold licenses in South Africa.

Why Did We Pick It?

  • Regulatory compliance: Coinbase is a highly regulated exchange that can provide users with a sense of trust and security.
  • Easy to use: The user-friendly interface makes it easy for beginners to buy, sell, and manage cryptocurrency investments.
  • Extra Features: Apart from cryptocurrency trading, it offers an NFT marketplace, a non-custodial DeFi wallet, and a Coinbase Commerce portal for merchants.

6. Kraken


Kraken is another top choice for the crypto trading platform in South Africa. This is also one of the oldest crypto exchanges, founded in 2011. You can access over 200 cryptocurrencies for trading and investing.

Kraken offers a variety of services beyond basic trading. You can perform margin trading, where you can trade with extra borrowed money. The Kraken Pro platform offers trading tools like customizable charts, different ways to place orders, and detailed order books. If you’re into generating passive income, Kraken’s staking service lets you earn rewards by holding onto specific cryptocurrencies.

Besides its main features, Kraken Learn Center offers plenty of materials to help people understand cryptocurrencies. We have noticed that Kraken’s fees (0.25% maker and 0.4% taker) are slightly higher than those of competitors like Binance (0.1%).

Why Did We Pick It?

  • Reputation & Trustworthiness: Kraken has a long history in the crypto space, which contributes to its strong reputation.
  • Advanced Features: Margin and futures trading options are available for advanced traders.
  • Security: The exchange emphasizes security with measures like cold storage of assets and regular audits.
  • PoR: They offer Proof of Reserves (PoR) to increase transparency and user trust. The exchange conducts regular audits with the help of independent firms to verify their holdings.

Best Bitcoin Exchanges in South Africa Compared

PlatformSupported CoinsSpot FeesSupports ZAR Deposit
MEXC2,195+0.1% maker/takerOnly crypto-to-crypto trading
Bybit1,133+0.1% maker/takerYes [Bank transfer (EFT)]
Binance379+0.1% maker/takerYes [Bank Transfer (EFT)]
OKX323+0.08% maker and 0.1% takerYes (P2P trading)
Coinbase240+0.4% maker and 0.6% takerOnly crypto-to-crypto trading
Kraken200+0.25% maker and 0.4% takerYes (Visa and Mastercard)

Where to Buy Crypto and Bitcoin in South Africa

If you are in South Africa and thinking about buying crypto or Bitcoin, there are a few options you can explore:

1. Centralized Exchanges (CEXs)

Centralized exchanges are like online marketplaces where you can buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. These platforms are hosted by companies or organizations (centralized).

Some popular centralized exchanges in South Africa are MEXC, Bybit, Binance, OKX, Coinbase, and Kraken.

To buy crypto on these platforms, all you have to do is create an account, verify your identity, and then deposit ZAR funds using methods such as bank accounts or debit cards. Once you have set up your account, you can place buy orders.

2. Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)

(What is Decentralized Exchange? Source: Blockgeeks)

These are like CEXs but without a central authority. They connect buyers and sellers directly. This means you have more control over your funds and trades.

Examples of decentralized exchanges in South Africa include Uniswap, PancakeSwap, and SushiSwap. To use DEX, you generally connect your digital wallet to the platform and then trade directly from your wallet.

3. P2P Exchanges

P2P exchanges connect buyers and sellers directly without the need for an intermediary. LocalBitcoins and Paxful are popular P2P crypto platforms where you can trade BTC and other cryptocurrencies using various payment methods such as bank accounts, PayPal, or even real cash.

On these platforms, you can find sellers who are willing to accept your preferred method of payment. Once you agree on the terms, the transaction is made between you and the seller.

4. Bitcoin ATMs

These are physical machines where you can buy Bitcoin with cash. They are fast and private but generally cost more than online exchanges. You can find Bitcoin ATMs in many places in South Africa. They are a great option if you want to buy Bitcoin quickly and don’t mind paying more. You can use CoinATMradar to locate Bitcoin ATMs in your area.

How to Pick a Crypto Exchange in South Africa?

Here are the factors to consider when choosing the trusted cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa:

  1. Security: Go for platforms with security features like 2FA, cold storage, and, where possible, insurance funds. 
  2. Competitive Fees: From trade to deposit and withdrawal fees, you need to compare these transaction fees from different platforms. Ultimately, lower fee exchanges allow you to save most of your money. 
  3. Supported Cryptocurrencies: Ensure the exchange avails all the cryptocurrencies you wish to trade. Access to major coins, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, is essential, and niche ones are also important for your investment strategies. 
  4. Payment Options: Ensure the exchange accepts deposits and withdrawals in ZAR using suitable payment methods. Such methods include bank transfers, debit/credit cards, and third-party processors. If not, check out the P2P feature on your selected exchange, which is essential for converting cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies.
  5. Customer Support: Good customer support is essential for troubleshooting. Check for contact methods (email, phone, live chat) and responsiveness. You can also check customer review sites like Trustpilot.


To sum up, South Africa has many crypto exchanges, each with different features. MEXC is a top choice because it has low fees and provides many supported coins. This is great for those who want to save money and get access to many different cryptos. Bybit, Binance, OKX, Coinbase, and Kraken are also good options for crypto trading in South Africa. Ultimately, choosing the best crypto exchange depends on your own needs, such as safety, fees, and available trading pairs.


Is Binance Legal in South Africa?

Yes, Binance is available in South Africa but does not hold a crypto license to operate. You can also deposit South African Rand (ZAR) on the platform.

Is Coinbase Available in South Africa?

Yes, Coinbase is available in South Africa for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. While the platform does not have a financial sector conduct authority (FSCA) license in South Africa, mainly due to the country’s lack of licenses on the cryptocurrency market, it still finds interest among South African traders.

What is the Most Popular Crypto in South Africa?

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in South Africa. Many crypto owners in the country hold Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum and Ripple. This popularity is due to Bitcoin’s widespread acceptance and the fact that it was the first cryptocurrency to launch.

Is South Africa a Crypto Friendly Country?

Yes, South Africa is considered a crypto-friendly country. It has a supportive regulatory environment, and the South African Reserve Bank has indicated that it does not plan to ban or limit the use of digital assets (Source).

Do I Have to Pay Tax on Crypto Trades in South Africa?

Yes, crypto transactions are taxable in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has clarified that regular income tax rules apply to the crypto sector. You may have to pay capital gains or income taxes, depending on the nature of the business. The effective tax rate on capital gains can be as high as 18%, while income from crypto trading can be taxed up to 45%.