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Cryptocurrency Brokers South Africa

Cryptocurrency is effectively digital money, as you can’t see it or touch it like you do with traditional money comprising of government issued coins and bank notes. We do our best to explain clearly to our South African readers, how to buy and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and where to find reputable exchanges with reliable trading platforms. Even if you don’t have experience in trading currencies over the internet, it needn’t stop you from making a potential profit in the typically volatile cryptocurrency markets.

Main Topics Covered in This Article

  1. What are Cryptocurrency Exchanges
  2. Trading Cryptocurrencies with Regulated Brokers
  3. How to trade cryptocurrencies with Forex and CFD brokers.
  4. Types of Cryptocurrencies and how to trade them.
  5. Using cryptocurrency exchanges-example for buying Bitcoin at Coinbase.
  6. Cryptocurrency industry scams and ways to avoid them.
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Why should people living in South Africa know about cryptocurrencies and exactly what are they? We think that whether you live in South Africa or anywhere else, it’s important to become familiar with cryptocurrencies, as they are fast becoming mainstream and not just a passing ‘fad’. A key feature of any cryptocurrency is that it’s electronic, which is why it’s referred to as a digital currency. Equally significant is the fact that government or banking authorities are not involved in authorising transactions made with cryptocurrencies as they are done on a peer to peer basis.

In the section below, we talk in straight, uncomplicated terms about cryptocurrencies generally, and how to potentially make a profit from cryptocurrency trading!

In January 2009, the first cryptocurrency, ‘Bitcoin’ was created and to this day remains the best known and most popular cryptocurrency around. The launch of Bitcoin opened a new way in which financial transactions could be made and would eventually impact the lives of ordinary people everywhere. We think it is fair to say that the concept of a digital currency without any official, institutional oversight, started a revolution in the way people perceive financial trading and exchanging currencies. It’s important realise that cryptocurrencies are handled and exchanged like ‘traditional’ money, commonly called FIAT currencies. You can pay for a fast-growing range of goods and services with digital currencies over the internet, and even exchange your cryptocurrency for FIAT (government issued currencies like South African Rand).

In 2017/2018, cryptocurrencies generally experienced incredibly steep price rises followed by price falls and renewed rises. This price volatility is what makes cryptocurrency trading exciting and potentially profitable. Many of us have heard true accounts of people who invested a few USD in Bitcoin when it was launched, going on to became immensely wealthy a few years later. There’s an equally shocking story of a man in Florida who exchanged 10,000 Bitcoins for a pizza in 2009. He had received a huge number of Bitcoins for ‘mining’ the cryptocurrency and at the peak market price of Bitcoin in 2017, his pizza cost him around 60 million USD. As we would expect, with such extreme price volatility and astonishing cryptocurrency stories posted on the internet, millions of people have been rushing to get a ‘piece’ of the cryptocurrency ‘action’. The aim of our website is to give ‘regular’ people understandable information about this new financial industry. We explain how to go about buying and trading cryptocurrencies on reputable exchanges, avoiding the pitfalls and scams that have unfortunately appeared in this young industry.

Buy Cryptocurrency In South Africa

As the word exchange implies, a cryptocurrency exchange is a virtual market place on the internet where anybody can exchange one cryptocurrency for another (possibly thousands of them) or buy cryptocurrencies for FIAT (traditional currency) usually Euros or US Dollars.

The exchanges are websites on the internet and when they started appearing, some became prime targets for hackers (MtGox disaster with a 460 million loss) and ‘great’ places for criminals laundering ‘dirty’ money because of the anonymity of the cryptocurrency transactions. Some websites were found to be running Ponzi schemes or using customer’s deposits to make dodgy investments.

Unfortunately, many cryptocurrency exchanges were not implementing safety mechanisms used on traditional currency exchanges.  Some exchanges even covered their own losses by using their customers’ funds. As the industry matures, such issues are being addressed by responsible cryptocurrency exchange owners who are promoting security and reliability. Whilst some exchanges still refuse to apply ‘know your customer’ (KYC) and Anti-money laundering (AML) policies, many have adopted policies of transparency to help bring ‘respectability’ to the cryptocurrency industry and comply with financial industry ‘norms’ put in place by governments to protect their citizens.

The lack of cryptocurrency exchange transparency pushed the Chinese government to ban such websites, causing a fall in global market prices. On the other hand, the Japanese government took a more pragmatic approach, becoming one of the first to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. In the initial phase, 11 exchanges were endorsed so as to provide high security standards for users.

By scrolling down, you can see our reviews of cryptocurrency exchanges and how to buy cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.

Trading Cryptocurrencies with Regulated Forex and CFD Brokers

By using regulated forex and CFD brokers, customers benefit from the enhanced levels of protection that must be put in place for clients, by law. Nevertheless, keeping cryptocurrencies in a trading account or in an exchange wallet could lead to your investment earnings being wiped out just through the price volatility of cryptocurrencies. By reading our forex trading guide you can learn about trading in forex and CFDs. Bloomberg describes how to ‘short’ Bitcoin using CFDs which is a way of betting against the cryptocurrency is you are of the opinion, that the price will go down.

It’s common practice to deposit Euros or US Dollars to trade in cryptocurrency price movements and potentially make profits from the volatile cryptocurrency markets. With this kind of trading, you avoid the possible risks involved with actually owning cryptocurrencies. Especially, the possibility that by the time you come to exchanging your cryptocurrency for a FIAT (traditional currency) it may be worth less than when you bought it. From available statistics, we saw that swings of between 3% and 6% typically happen daily in Bitcoin and Ethereum prices. However, swings between EUR and USD rarely exceed 1% and even that’s considered big in forex markets. Jaime Dimon, CEO and president of the US bank, JPMorgan Chase caused an 8% fall in the market price of Bitcoin when he called the cryptocurrency a fraud. However, he went on to soften his stance on the 9th January 2018, telling the ‘Fox Business Network’ that ‘the Blockchain is real’. The point we are making is that Fiat currency market prices don’t usually react in such a volatile manner, making them suitable in our opinion, for trading in cryptocurrency CFDs.

A very important point to bear in mind is that forex and CFD brokers usually allow traders to implement ‘stop-loss’ settings on trading platforms. This is something that can’t be done when you own the cryptocurrency asset in a cryptocurrency exchange account. With the stop-loss feature, it’s up to the traders to decide in advance of opening trading positions, how much they are prepared to lose if cryptocurrency prices move against them.  Obviously, it means that traders can limit potential losses and go on to trade without experiencing personal financial disasters.

Advantages of Trading Cryptocurrencies Using Regulated CFDs Brokers

The most important advantage of using regulated brokers in our experience is that you can trade with leverage offered by the broker, to increase your potential wins. Moreover, the fact that the brokers are regulated, gives clients automatic protection. Another key point, is that regulated brokers must implement multiple security measures which usually means they don’t get hacked. Importantly, deposits kept with forex and CFDs brokers are made in traditional currency like USD and EUR which are not affected by possible daily swings in cryptocurrency prices. Readers may want to ‘check out’ our choice of leading forex and CFDs brokers listed above.

If you don’t feel confident about your current abilities to trade with forex and CFDs brokers, it’s not a reason to give up on the opportunities to make big potential profits. Lots of people use auto trading software which is straightforward and easy to understand. Bitcoin and ethereum and other cryptocurrency auto trading robots sound a bit weird, but they are simply a kind of software that uses complicated algorithms to carry out your cryptocurrency trading for you. The obvious advantage is that you could be making plenty of wins with your automated crypto currency trading while you get on with your daily activities, but remember, all trading is risky, even automatic one.

How to Trade Cryptocurrencies with Forex and CFDs Brokers

You’ll need to register an account with a forex/CFDs broker that offers cryptocurrency trading. We use the IQ Option South Africa to describe how to trade in cryptocurrencies. We like it because it has a clear interface, a very low minimum initial deposit of $10 and a risk-free demo account for practicing trading with virtual money allocated to you by the broker.

First Step – Begin by selecting a cryptocurrency

For our cryptocurrency trading demonstration, we chose Bitcoin. IQ Option has a wide choice of cryptocurrencies on its trading platform including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. We have an extensive list of popular cryptocurrencies further down in this review.

how to trade cryptocurrency CFDs

Second Step – Enter the amount you are investing in Bitcoin CFDs.

Put in the amount you have decided to invest initially, in the account currency section. We chose USD as our currency and bought $100 of Bitcoin CFDs. The next step is important, choosing a ‘stop-loss’ level where the trade position closes automatically if your loss reaches that level. We selected -5% which means that if we lose $5 (5% of $100) our position closes so we can’t lose any more than that. Additionally, we chose a setting where out position closes as soon as we make a 5% gain on our investment, locking in the profit.

how to trade cryptocurrency CFDs

Third Step – Trade by Buying or Selling Bitcoin CFDs

To make a trade, click on ‘Buy’ if you predict that the Bitcoin price will go up. Alternatively, if you think it will fall, click on ‘Sell’. In the screenshot included here, we selected BUY for CFD contract of 0.0179 fraction of a Bitcoin for 5577.48 USD/Bitcoin, as we predicted that the price would go up before we closed our trading position.

how to trade cryptocurrency CFDs

Trading Cryptocurrencies on the MetaTrader4 Platform at Forex and CFDs Brokers

Choose a broker that supports the popular MT4 trading platform and open an account. We saw AvaTrade and SimpleFX are reputable brokers that support the MetaTrader4. Once you have your account set up, download the MT4 software and login to start trading by selecting a cryptocurrency asset.

Types of Cryptocurrencies and How to Trade Them

Traders can choose from a long list of cryptocurrencies shown below. Notably, this is a ‘short’ list showing the most popular cryptocurrencies currently available. Bear in mind that new digital currencies are coming online regularly, with developers hoping to be the next ‘bitcoin’ style sensation.

List of Popular Cryptocurrencies for Trading

Bitcoin

As most people know, Bitcoin made history when it was launched in 2009 as the first decentralised digital currency. That means there isn’t a central authority or administrator of the currency, unlike traditional national currencies. Satoshi Nakamoto is said to have invented Bitcoin, but nobody can be really sure about the creators of this phenomenon. Nevertheless, it remains the most popular and most talked about digital currency around. Importantly, Bitcoin has a broad range of functions such as payment for goods and services as well as a reward for people who mine the cryptocurrency. With the extreme price volatility of bitcoin, came opportunities for speculating in the cryptocurrency by buying the real asset or by trading in Bitcoin CFDs.  Currently, Bitcoin exists as Classic Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and as Bitcoin Gold (BTG).

Bitcoin Cash

The original ‘hard fork’ of the Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash is digital money used to buy things on the internet and as with Bitcoin, it’s decentralised. Bitcoin Cash uses a separate blockchain than the first bitcoin currency and functions independently of it.

Ethereum

Represented by the token called Ether, Ethereum is an open source digital currency and currently the second most popular of all the cryptocurrencies. Indeed, some people hold the opinion that it could topple Bitcoin and become the top coin in the future (possibly pushing up its value). As with Bitcoin, Ethereum can be used to pay for products and for exchanging against other cryptocurrencies and FIAT currencies.

Ethereum Classic
This is a cryptocurrency providing a token called ‘classic ether’. It works in the same way as Ethereum, paying for transactions and can be used for trading on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Dash
Dash is the first autonomous cryptocurrency organisation that runs like a decentralised business. People can use the open source currency Dash to privately fund transactions and it also incorporates a governance system that pays for the development and marketing of the digital currency.

Litecoin
Launched in 2011, the digital currency Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin. It’s an open source currency with a blockchain, that can be transferred between peers without an intermediary authority processing the transactions.

Dogecoin
The developer of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin created it as a joke, basing the name on the Shiba Inu ‘Doge’ meme. As it did the rounds of the internet, it was seen by hundreds of thousands of people and quickly became one of the top cryptocurrencies. Dogecoin’s market capitalisation was said to be at 340 million USD in 2017.

Ripple
Ripple is different to Bitcoin in its structure and philosophy. Ripple is an XRP cryptocurrency, owned by a company that collaborates with many big banks and financial institutions, with the aim of enhancing the global financial system and reducing operating costs. By using blockchain technology and the concept of digital tokens, Ripple XRP simplifies and speeds up financial transactions, regardless of size, within the global banking system.

Other Types of Cryptocurrency

Auroracoin
Interestingly, Auroracoin was developed on the Litecoin model, as a way around the restrictions imposed in 2008 by the Icelandic government on the export of the country’s official currency, the Icelandic Krona. Auroracoin developers stated that they planned to gift half of the Auroracoins created to the officially registered Icelandic residents. The coins amounting initially to 31.8 coins per person began to be distributed in March 2014, through a process dubbed the ‘airdrop’ with the aim of a bringing a cryptocurrency network to a national population in a single action. The airdrop was made over three phases over one year, with each distribution followed by a drop in the value of the Auroracoin. From the peak value of approximately 0.1 BTC, the value of Auroracoin fell sharply in 2017 to a tiny fraction of that amount. However, following the ‘burning’ of unclaimed, pre-mined coins in April 2015, the cryptocurrency appears to be regaining some value and credibility in the world of cryptocurrency trading.

BlackCoin
BlackCoins are based on the Bitcoin model of an open source, peer-to-peer digital currency. However, BlackCoins are generated through ‘minting’ and based on a ‘proof of stake’ concept.

BurstCoin
Mined by using computer storage and an algorithm called ‘proof of capacity’ instead of conventional sources of energy, Burstcoin is an Nxt-based currency that is especially energy efficient. Nevertheless, Burstcoin is blockchain based technology and can be used as a payment system and as a digital currency.

DigitalNote
Launched in May 2014, the full name of this cryptocurrency is DigitalNote XDN. It’s very similar to Bitcoin in that it is a decentralised digital currency based on blockchain technology. However, DigitalNote uses an anonymous technology called CryptoNote making financial transactions totally private and allows people to send totally untraceable encrypted messages all over the world.

Emercoin
Launched in 2013, Emercoin is a secure, decentralised blockchain service platform for individuals and businesses as well as a digital currency. Emercoin stands out because of its ground-breaking data organisation system which allows users to utilise valuable data without needing huge amounts of storage space and complex coding language. We saw that the Emercoin cryptocurrency is comparable to Namecoin and Peercoin.

Gridcoin
Gridcoin is utilised for peer-to-peer transactions worldwide. This decentralised, open code cryptocurrency securely rewards people who contribute to the ‘volunteer computing grid’ on the BOINC platform. The combined processing power of all the users are utilised for the purposes of scientific research. We saw that these include projects to try and cure cancer, Ebola, AIDS and Malaria.

IOTA
IOTA is a cryptocurrency based on a block-less distributed ledger called ‘The Tangle’ forming a peer-to-peer network that is self-regulating. A feature that especially impressed us with the IOTA cryptocurrency, is that even the tiniest financial transactions are done without fees. Significantly, IOTA doesn’t have any miners and every participant making a financial transaction participates in the consensus of the network by approving 2 past transactions, making it more decentralised than a blockchain.

Monero
A secure, decentralised private cryptocurrency, Monero is based on the CryptoNote blockchain protocol rather than the protocol used by Bitcoin. Monera is an open source cryptocurrency that’s private by default, meaning all transaction amounts and people receiving/sending them cannot be identified.

Namecoin
Launched in April 2011, Namecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and the first fork of Bitcoin. It uses the same ‘proof-of-work algorithm and is based on the same Bitcoin code. What makes it different to Bitcoin is that it can store data within its own blockchain transaction database. We saw that Namecoins are typically traded on cryptocurrency exchanges for USD and other cryptocurrencies.

NEM Coin
Launched in March 2015, NEM Coin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that has introduced new features to blockchain technology. The NEM cryptocurrency was written in Java from scratch and features extremely rapid block times of just one minute. Importantly, NEM is a cryptocurrency hybrid made up of public and private blockchain technology aims to have a very wide distribution model.

Nxt Coin

Nxt is an open source, blockchain platform that incorporates many core features of Bitcoin. However, Nxt builds on the functionality of the ‘first wave’ of cryptocurrencies, taking it to an advanced level. Users can use the Nxt system for many objectives such as to create new digital currencies and as a data cloud. Also, the Nxt platform includes a decentralised asset exchange, an alias system and an encrypted messaging system. Importantly, the Nxt currency is user-friendly and the payment system can’t be restricted.

Omni Coin
Launched in July 2013, Omni coin (formerly Mastercoin) is a fork of Bitcoin and uses a similar blockchain technology. Like Bitcoin, Omni coin is a decentralised open-source digital currency, however it allegedly plans to use the Bitcoin blockchain foundation to offer more complex services than just financial transactions. These would include a decentralised currency exchange, smart contracts and the opportunity to trade digital assets kept in savings wallets.

Peercoin
Inspired by Bitcoin blockchain technology, Peercoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency incorporating a lot of the Bitcoin source code. Unlike Bitcoin, Peercoin does not have a pre-set limit on the number of coins that will be issued. Transactions are recorded in the Peercoin blockchain and new coins can be created through both mining and minting. We were impressed to see that Peercoin consumes 70% less energy than Bitcoin as it uses a ‘proof-of-stake-method to generate coins.

Potcoin
Potcoin is a very secure, open source, digital currency created to facilitate payments in the legalised cannabis industry. The website states that it is a community-based effort, not only providing a cryptocurrency but also offering a banking and payment solution

Primecoin
Primecoin is an open source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin technology. However, it is more innovative as the proof-of-work in the currency’s software, uses prime numbers, greatly enhancing security and a creating a ‘prosperous mining market’.

SixEleven Coin
The SixEleven cryptocurrency has one especially outstanding feature setting it apart from other digital currencies. It features an anonymous FREE domain name system based in the currency blockchain. The currency unit of the 611 (SixEleven) coin is SIL. With the 611 wallet, users can register a name that is permanently attached to them and id objects. Subsequently, users of the 611 wallet cannot be censored and other people cannot steal from them.

SwiftCoin
Very similar to Bitcoin, SwiftCoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology. However, unlike bitcoin, this currency cannot be mined and uses proprietary technology rather than open source.

Synereo AMP
Synereo uses blockchain technology to develop tools designed to monetize original work created by users anywhere on the internet. Synereo began issuing the AMP cryptocurrency token in 2015 with the aim of incentivising users to reward each other for creating value on the Synereo network.

Titcoin
The Titcoin cryptocurrency was developed exclusively for the adult entertainment industry, allowing users to pay for pornographic products and services without payment histories appearing on traditional credit cards. Titcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency based on a derivative of the Bitcoin source code. However, the software has been improved to increase the transaction speeds.

Ubiq
Apart from having a decentralised peer-to-peer cryptocurrency the UBQ, Ubiq is also a decentralised platform allowing users to create new applications (tokens) and smart contracts. The Ubiq blockchain is forked out of Ethereum and implements the Ethereum code as well as the Ethereum virtual machine.

Vertcoin
Introduced in January 2014, Vertcoin is not only a digital currency but a software project based on a ‘bitcoin-like’ blockchain. Several features make Vertcoin different to bitcoin with the most notable one being that it is very resistant to centralised mining. This is because the developers of Vertcoin don’t want to have miners grouping together, utilising powerful tools to monopolise the ‘mining market’.

Zcash
Zcash is an open source cryptocurrency using a public blockchain much like Bitcoin. However, it offers users the possibility of completely protected transactions with the use of ‘zero-knowledge cryptography’.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchange In South Africa

To buy and sell cryptocurrencies on a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase requires you to set up an account. It’s similar to opening a trading account with a Forex/CFDs broker and just as straightforward.

First Step: Create and Verify an Account

Choose a cryptocurrency exchange and follow the instructions given on the website for registering an account. Typically, you are asked to provide basic information such as an email address and will need to verify your account after receiving an email from the exchange.

Second Step: Choose a Payment Method

It’s up to you to decide which of the payment methods supported on the cryptocurrency exchange is the best for you. We urge users to look at withdrawal fees when making a choice, as they can vary substantially between the different payment methods.

how to buy bitcoin on coinbase

Third Step: Choose a Cryptocurrency

Typically, the cryptocurrency exchange will offer a choice of several cryptocurrencies and you will need to pick one and decide how much of it you want to buy.

how to buy bitcoin on coinbase

Fourth Step: Exchange Traditional Money for Cryptocurrency

Clicking on the ‘Buy’ button means you have acquired cryptocurrency and added it to your crypto wallet. You can always see the changes in value of your cryptocurrency against your FIAT (traditional) currency such as the Euro, on Coinbase.

how to buy bitcoin on coinbase

Reliable and Cryptocurrency Exchange Reviews

Our cryptocurrency exchange reviews, provide you with detailed information about the positive and negative aspects of each exchange. We believe in transparency and letting our readers know which exchanges are worth using. Below, we briefly describe some of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry.

eToro

Originally a crypto CFD’s provider, eToro launched in September 2017, a ‘full service’ cryptocurrency exchange, selling cryptocurrencies. eToro recently surprised the cryptocurrency community with the launch of a new financial instrument, the ‘CopyFund’. It is said to be a tool suited to anybody entering cryptocurrency markets as it doesn’t require previous experience in crypto trading.

Cex.io

We found Cex.io especially impressive as it offers an immense variety of cryptocurrency services. Notably, users can trade a broad range of FIAT currencies for cryptocurrencies or the other way around. Cex.io is a platform for all types of traders regardless of their experience in cryptocurrency markets.  Importantly, the intuitive trading platform is user-friendly and supported all over the world.

Coinbase

As a well-established broker on global currency markets, Coinbase provides a complete service to customers who want to invest in cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, Coinbase offers traders the possibility of buying Bitcoins, Ethereum and Litecoin through e-wallets that can be utilised with Android and iOS powered phones on the move.

Traders at Coinbase can buy and sell their cryptocurrencies as well as store them securely in one place. The company even offers insurance to users who store their crypto coins with them. Because of the user-friendly trading platform, especially suited to inexperienced users and the comprehensive services on offer, Coinbase is currently one of the favourite trading platforms in the cryptocurrency industry.

CoinHouse

Launched in 2014, CoinHouse is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange adhering to regulations set out by financial services authorities. CoinHouse offers a comprehensive service to its users and is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. Interestingly CoinHouse was developed by the same team of talented people who created the well-known ‘Ledger Nano S Hard Wallet’. Whilst CoinHouse charges relatively high trading fees, we saw that as users buy increasing amounts of Bitcoins, the fees come down rapidly.

How are Cryptocurrencies Stored?

Storing Fiat currency which is the commonly used name for all types of traditional money, is straightforward as you can touch and hold it. Everybody chooses a way to transport and keep their money safe. Typically, in wallets, purses and bank accounts. However, the fact that a digital currency is not a physical asset makes its transportation and storage more complicated.

Cryptocurrencies are stored in personal cryptocurrency wallets and the ownership is registered in the cryptocurrency distributed ledger which is a public blockchain. Importantly, every transaction in the cryptocurrency network is approved and recorded, so that ownership is undisputable. The owner of the cryptocurrency wallet has two addresses. One private address for accessing the digital funds and a public used for receiving funds from other people. Just like bank account details and pin numbers should be kept secret and private, it’s important to keep the personal cryptocurrency wallet address secret or the cryptocurrrency can be stolen.

e-wallets Types

Below we list several ways to store digital currencies safely. It’s important to create a separate wallet for each kind of currency as you can’t mix them up in a single wallet.

e-wallets on desktop–by downloading an e-wallet to your personal desktop computer, you can only access your personal cryptocurrency from there. Whilst it’s a very safe storage method, it’s not very practical for users who want to have flexibility and access on the go.

e-wallets online– an online wallet is a practical solution for cryptocurrency storage, as it’s accessible from a mobile or desktop. You need to bear in mind that this type of storage relies on a third party providing the service and is susceptible to hacking.

e-wallets in Your Mobile Device– you can only access your cryptocurrency wallet from a mobile device like a smart phone with this storage method.  Whilst it’s a secure and convenient method, the amount of storage space available can be limited.

Hardware e-wallets – This is quite similar to the e-wallet stored in your mobile device. However, the cryptocurrency wallet is stored in a portable external storage unit like a USB making it very secure from hacking.

Paper wallet – is paper print-out of your cryptocurrency wallet containing all the data needed to generate cryptocurrency private keys. It’s a secure way of storing your cryptocurrency and can be kept in a safe deposit box for security.

Reviews of Leading Cryptocurrency Wallets

A cryptocurrency wallet is a necessity for storing and monitoring digital currency as well as for making transactions easily. Everybody who uses cryptocurrency requires a reputable wallet provider who takes security very seriously. Below we give a brief review of three top cryptocurrency wallet providers.

Cryptopay

Launched in 2013, Cryptopay Ltd is a wallet and payment platform registered in England and Wales with number 08730592. In compliance with the 1998 data protection act, the company is registered with the ICO number ZA029520. Not only can you buy Bitcoins at CryptoPay but you can store your cryptocurrency securely in a multi-signature Bitcoin wallet. Users can have a physical prepaid card with a chip and pin or a virtual card. The physical CryptoPay card is used to pay for online goods and services as well as for items in high street shops. The prepaid card has a low commission and is delivered free of charge to users all over the world by courier service. We found the CryptoPay services, convenient and reliable as the company converts the cryptocurrencies into traditional currencies and they can be used to pay for things anywhere as with traditional prepaid card. You can even use your CryptoPay card to withdraw Fiat money from ATMs. US residents are not permitted to own a CryptoPay wallet as it is not regulated.

Ledger

Launched in 2014, Ledger is an international company based in Paris and San Francisco offering security and infrastructure solutions for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Ledger allows users to store a broad range of cryptocurrencies and not just Bitcoin in their ledger Nano S hard wallets with a USB format. Ledger is one of the top wallets in the industry permitting users to open multiple accounts to store the multiple currencies but with one back-up key, making it practical to manage. The accounts can be for the users themselves and for storing cryptocurrencies on behalf of the users’ families and friends. We saw that Ledger has a secure chip platform making it very ‘tamper-resistant’ to potential hackers. Notably, users don’t need to be online and logged in to their Ledger accounts to receive cryptocurrency in their Ledger Nano S hard wallets. Moreover, Ledger is compatible with Windows, Linux, MAC and Google Chrom

Luno Bitcoin Wallet

Established in 2013, Luno is a global company with offices in London, Singapore and Cape Town. It allows users to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum, providing free wallets to store, receive and send the cryptocurrency securely on web or Android/iOS mobile devices. Luno also provides an exchange service to those users who are resident in South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia only. Customers living in other countries (currently around 40 countries) can use the Luno cryptocurrency wallet only. Customers setting up a Luno account must provide some personal information as part of the ‘Know your customer’ verification policy enforced by Luno.

Bitcoin Casinos Online and Cryptocurrency Gambling

Unsurprisingly, gambling with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies referred to as ‘Altcoin’ is a fast-growing global phenomenon. In our review so far, we have discussed the opportunities for buying, selling and exchanging digital currencies. However, many people enjoy using their crypto coins for making potential profit in hundreds of crypto currency casinos and gambling websites. Registration to use cryptocurrency gambling websites is typically anonymous but some website ask for some personal info, in the same way that ‘regular’ gambling website require. We saw that some websites like ‘LuckyGames’ accept deposits in around 30 cryptocurrencies so customers can gamble in the cryptocurrency of their choice. The Crypto-Games online casino lets account holders wager multiple digital currencies on slots, lottery, Roulette and Blackjack amongst other games. Sports betting fans can use their crypto-coins to bet at sportsbooks like Sportsbet.io where betting can be done across multiple platforms including mobile devices.

Cloudmining Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on a public distributed ledger called a blockchain so people using the currency ‘know’ about the currency activities. Owners of cryptocurrencies are allocated an ID number and the number is visible to everybody in the cryptocurrency network. Every potential transaction is made public on the system and subject to approval from multiple users before it can take place. It is then recorded as successful by the creation of a new block in the blockchain.

We would like to explain to our readers that the digital currencies traded by users, such as Bitcoin, are essentially pieces of code that are heavily encrypted with mathematical formulae. For new Bitcoins to be created and released onto the network, talented individuals need to resolve the complex maths using their computers. To crack the codes and get bitcoin rewards, individuals often get together with other people to work in groups using multiple, powerful computers and share the eventual Bitcoin rewards. Groups of miners have become very active in the cryptocurrency cloud mining industry especially with the steep price prises of cryptocurrencies seen in 2017. Importantly, resolving the maths encoding Bitcoin gets more difficult as the number of coins released onto the network increases and approaches the 21 million maximum set for the number of Bitcoin that can ever be created in the Bitcoin network.

Cryptocurrency Industry Scams and Ways to Avoid Them

It’s not surprising that cryptocurrencies are a prime target for dishonest people looking to steal digital assets from people online. Many people buy and sell cryptocurrencies using ‘middlemen’ without knowing much about them and often without implementing strong security measures. One of the fundamental reasons for creating Bitcoin was to provide users with an unregulated financial environment without government or banking oversight and with anonymity/privacy. However, many cryptocurrency sites on the internet now implement ‘Know Your Customer’ policies to comply with international money laundering regulations and gain approval from centralised authorities such as governments. Regular folk are protected by these verification processes and should consider carefully the possible consequences of not looking out for dishonest individuals with their often complex ‘trickery’. Some of the cryptocurrency scams that we have seen are described below. However, new ones do appear regularly so stay alert always.

  • Select trustworthy exchanges and brokers with good reviews and transparent company information. We are especially keen on exchanges that store most of the cryptocurrencies offline in ‘cold storage’ and implement 2-factor verification to protect customers’ accounts.
  • Beware of exchanges who don’t offer any form of customer support. We like sites where the support is offered readily and by helpful, polite agents.
  • Websites for cryptocurrency exchanges written in poor language with lots of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes should be treated suspiciously. Similarly, websites written in very complicated language that seems to be used for confusing customers and ‘impressing’ them with ‘fancy’ words. We think that pride, honesty and trust is typically reflected in a transparent and attractively presented website.
  • In our experience, the biggest cryptocurrency scammers in the industry are usually people who cold-call potential customers using ‘aggressive’ selling strategies. Often, they try to sell cryptocurrencies that nobody has ever heard of and may not even exist. Trustworthy brokers and exchanges don’t call up people to try and sell them crypto currencies or services.

Complaints in the Cryptocurrency Trading Industry

The huge growth in the popularity of cryptocurrency trading robots on automated cryptocurrency trading websites, has led to a surge in complaints on cryptocurrency trading forums. We like to point out that automated trading with reliable brokers is the leading way to trade cryptocurrencies and we think it will remain the preferred way of trading as it is easy and can make money for you while you carry on with your regular daily chores. Nevertheless, some robots are displaying unprofessional behaviour, often by implementing policies that cost the users a lot of money. To avoid unethical brokers on automated trading platforms, we urge our readers to check out our reviews below.

Cryptobo Review

We saw that the trading robot ‘Cryptobo’ is amongst the most frequently mentioned automated cryptocurrency trading robots in online forums. Notably, it promises a potentially lucrative trading experience, but only allows users to deposit and withdraw in Bitcoin. Due to the generally unregulated cryptocurrency trading environment, traders may be at risk of having their bitcoins stolen by unreliable automated trading robots/providers. We suggest that owners of cryptocurrencies select reliable automated trading platforms and if possible, regulated ones. Brokers who offer cryptocurrency trading with underlying assets can be an even better choice as you don’t need to own the real cryptocurrency asset to potentially make wins on trading.

CryptoSoft Review

We saw that the website CryptoSoft (CryptoSoftware) says it offers easy and simple trading in cryptocurrencies with promises of ‘instant’ results. We wish to point out that any website promising fast profits without making much effort should act as a warning sign. We were also alerted by the lack of basic trading product information or trading terms and conditions at CryptoSoft. We saw a lot of complaints about CryptoSoft referring to vague terms and conditions as well as promises that can’t be kept. We cannot emphasise enough that traders should choose reliable cryptocurrency brokers when opting to trade online.

TeslerApp Review

We noticed that TeslerApp is another name frequently warned about in online forums and chat groups. It is alleged to be a scam forex trading robot where users are promised up to $5,700 of wins in one day and positive results within 5 minutes of starting trading. Firstly, we would like to caution our readers against any website making promises of guaranteed profits. Secondly, we saw on the footer of the website that the TeslerApp is a binary options trading platform with very little to do with automated cryptocurrency trading.

CryptoWealth Review

Like the TeslerApp and CryptoSoft, we have seen a lot of online complaints about the CryptoWealth automated cryptocurrency trading robot. The website promises huge daily profits up to $6,000 which should immediately alert traders to a potential scam. We saw that the website doesn’t describe its product clearly so it’s not transparent.

MarketMiner Review

Quite new in the automated cryptocurrency trading industry, we saw many complaints online about MarketMiner so we did not try to trade with it. Notably, MarketMiner offers ‘safe trading’ with 8 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. However, we saw that the terms and conditions say that the robot software only reaches its highest efficiency three weeks after activation, so withdrawal requests won’t be processed for at least three weeks after making an initial investment. After reading this in the terms and conditions we decided that we cannot recommend the MarketMiner automated trading robot.

Leading Crypto Trading and Exchange Platforms

Hello Group Platform

Hello Group has launched a crypto currency trading platform/exchange, offering multiple cryptocurrency trading pairs with Bitcoin as the base currency. We saw that the Hello Group exchange offers: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dash (DASH), Bitshares (BTS), Stratis (STRAT), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), NEM (XEM), Potcoin (POT) and Monero (XMR).

Bitsquare

Bitsquare is a traditional style cryptocurrency exchange offering peer to peer buying and selling of digital currencies. Anybody can use the open-source Bitsquare exchange without in depth registration and verification. According to Bitsquare, the exchange is decentralised meaning that there is no central financial authority controlling the exchange. Only the buyers and sellers are in control of their transactions. Read our detailed Bitsquare review.

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most established brokers in the global cryptocurrency market place. According to the Coinbase website, traders can buy Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin using an e-wallet accessible from both iPhone and Android powered phones. Read our Coinbase review for detailed information.

Kraken

Since its launch, Kraken has grown into one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the industry. Users can use the Kraken exchange, to sell and buy cryptocurrencies. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Augur REP tokens, Monero, Ethereum Classic, Stellar/Lumens, Zcash, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple and ICONOMI. We have an in depth review of Kraken providing plenty of information about this exchange.

LocalBitcoins

The most outstanding features of the LocalBitcoins peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, include being able to use it in almost every country in the world without giving personal information about yourself. Notably, there are no buying and selling limits on the cryptocurrency transactions and it’s up to the users to set prices and eventual limits. Traders communicate directly with each other using the LocalBitcoins exchange, keeping the transactions totally private. Importantly, you can check the trading history of the sellers and their reputation on the exchange. A very important aspect of using the LocalBitcoins exchange is that you can choose from a huge range of payment methods including person-to-person cash payments. The Bitcoins are kept in escrow by LocalBitcoins until the financial transactions are completed and the exchange also provides a conflict resolution service for its users. The 1% fee charged to sellers only by the LocalBitcoins exchange is very reasonable. However, the Bitcoin prices tend to be higher when compared to many online cryptocurrency exchanges. This may be because vendors try to compensate for the fees and for the risk of buyers reversing the payment if using payment methods that allow reversals such as bank cards and some electronic payment methods.

SpotOption

Established in 2009, SpotOption is a well-established trading platform that has added cryptocurrencies to the innovative, newly launched Spot5 trading platform. The company has integrated more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Dash.

Regulation of Cryptocurrencies in South Africa and around the World

In South Africa, the national bank’s position paper on Bitcoin declared there is no legal status nor regulation for the cryptocurrency. Technically bitcoin and other cryptos are unregulated in the country. In order to ensure at least basic protections, make sure to trade with an South Africa regulated CFDs broker like CMTrading.

Because of the cryptic nature of digital currencies, there are many difficulties being encountered globally on creating legislation for regulating them. Governments are taking different approaches to the way crypto currencies should be regulated, or whether they should be regulated at all.

Within the European Union, the status of cryptocurrencies has not been established. A traditional framework of regulations can’t be applied, as existing regulations are designed to deal with conventional financial elements in the traditional financial system.

Nigeria banned cryptocurrencies at one point, but since the ban the Nigerian Central Bank clarified that it was not possible to ban digital currencies as no one authority or organisation owns them as they are decentralised. Across the African continent, governments are taking a similar position as they come to terms with the fact that digital currencies don’t have a central authority. Subsequently, there is no organisation upon which to impose bans or regulations.

In the USA, Canada and Mexico, the cryptocurrency market is regulated to a certain extent in that digital currencies are treated as a decentralised virtual currency. In the USA, Bitcoin is regulated as a commodity and in Canada it is regulated under the anti-money laundering legislation. In the rest of world, there are very few regulations in place and the debate goes on.