Buying Bitcoins in South Africa
If you been following the trends online you will see Bitcoin is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s day and age. I can’t profess to know too much about Bitcoin or what it means for the future (there are some very clever people out there who do know) but I realised that it might be worth getting on the Bitcoin bandwagon sooner rather than later. The price of Bitcoin is currentley at it’s highest and is moving on up!
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created in 2010, and allows people to use it online to pay for things. In some places you can even use it as real world currency, so it is gaining traction.
I have been doing a bit of reading and digging to find out how to buy bitcoins in South Africa. Obviously, Bitcoins are quite pricy for 1 BTC (around R14,000 at the time of writing) so you can buy in smaller fractions, and I suppose eventually work your way up to full Bitcoins.
The first thing you need is a Bitcoin Wallet. There are a number of ways you can do this, like storing them on your PC, online or even in a community or buyers. I wanted something simple, so after a bit of digging I came across Coinbase. This is an online Bitcoin wallet which allows you to store you Bitcoins safely and securely. The only thing you can’t do is buy and sell Bitcoins through Coinbase. This is not too much of an issue though, as you can still send & receive bitcoins
Once you have your Bitcoin wallet setup, you will then need to start purchasing Bitcoins. Now this is not as simple as walking into a bank and buying foreign currency, as there are a number of bitcoin exchanges where you buy and sell bitcoin. One of the more popular exchanges in SA is called Luno, although I haven’t used it (yet)
After some digging around I eventually found a platform called localbitcoins which allows you to purchase Bitcoins either in your currency or using online payment platforms like PayPal. I found a trusted seller in South Africa where I could pay via EFT, and bought R150 worth of bitcoin. This only works out to a measly 0.0106 BTC, but hey it’s a start :)
I went through the motions and did an EFT and the Bitcoins were deposited into my localbitcoins account. I then was able to move them over to my Coinbase wallet where I can monitor them. The key to this site is to ensure you are buying from a trusted “seller” All sellers have ratings and the site is closely monitored for fraud etc.
There are also international sellers who allow you to pay via PayPal, but you have to ensure you have a verified account before you can proceed with these. The only con against using something like localbitcoins is that the price you are buying the bitcoins for is a lot higher than the going published bitcoin rate. As an example when I bought mine the “official” bitcoin price was around R14,000 but the going rate on localbitcoins was around R16,000, so you definitely get the shorter straw.
There is another way to buy Bitcoin using PayPal, using a site called VirWox, but it is quite a trick to get it right, and also a couple of fees and takes a while to get authorised. I will do another post on this way soon, and also test it out to see if it works.
Disclaimer: As I said above I am absolutely no professional on how Bitcoin works, and what the ins and outs are. These posts are merely my research into how it all works, and can’t gaurantee anything. I am testing the waters to see what all the “hype” is about. I’ll be updating the blog with some of my findings as I go along :) I will also be enabling comments on this post for disucssion if anyone has some info or tips about Bitcoin
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