When venturing outside of my comfort zone into the world of Bitcoin at the end of 2015 two Exchanges were available (to my knowledge they are still the only options).
When considering cryptocurrency trading it is easier to have some coins on hand and ready to trade when the price is right. So I purchase my bitcoin at Luno and use Bittrex exchange for smaller cryptocurrencies.
Ice3X (ZAR and Naira) trade in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Offering BTC/ZAR, LTC/ZAR and ETH/ZAR or BTC/NGN and ETH/NGN.
In South Africa moving money takes time, here is a list of Banks to Ice3X and approximate timing.
Luno is a Bitcoin company with offices in London, Singapore and Cape Town South Africa. Operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Luno banking transfers with EFT approximate timing
Personally I have found Luno to be stable, reliable and extremely helpful with quick response time to support emails. Professional in approach, security together with a large team willing to assist.
Thinking Aloud – I use Luno to purchase bitcoin and move it to Bittrex Exchange enabling you to buy Litecoin, Ethereum or whichever cryptocurrency you are interested in. I have mentioned this twice since some forget that you will need two exchanges to get to cryptocurrency via Luno.
Leaving a balance of bitcoin on Bittrex ready to purchase when the price is right I have found to be secure and easy to use, a discussion for another day.
Both exchanges will require full verification, confirmation of your email address or social media profile, confirm your mobile number plus your banking details, identity and proof of residence, this can be done online and is reasonably quick if you have everything ready to load.
From forum posts I have read Ice3X may request a bit more information prior sign up and the technical aspect was not a pleasant experience.
Being a Luno fan from day one I have not looked back, both exchanges work Monday to Friday, keep this in mind when depositing funds or requesting support.
Reddit post by werneravr explains it perfectly.
“Depends on what your goals are or how you define “good”. Some useful things to include would be:
Team: size, background, verifiable information
Security: cold storage, internal principles, audits, second/multi factor, multisig, data encryption
Interface: user experience, mobile app vs web only, required features, supported/required currencies, API
Liquidity & volumes: how much can you buy/sell in a given time range without slippage
Pricing: What are the fees for BTC send & receive, ZAR deposits & withdrawals, maker & taker fees
Service levels: speed of allocating deposits and withdrawals, sends and receives, response times to emails etc.
Note that it doesn’t cost anything to sign up with either, so why not give both a go?”
To sum up, if you trade over borders bitcoin or cryptocurrency fees are still less than you would pay to transfer your South African fiat into digital currencies.
As always do research, check out forums and find answers before plunging into anything you are not sure about. I am giving my opinion, the decision is up to you, be sure to read up on tax laws before converting back to fiat currency.