AuthorBy Jeffrey Cammack
Updated: December 2, 2020

We have checked out all the cryptocurrency brokers in South Africa using our rigorous review process. While traders may be tempted by brokers who offer a wide range of cryptocurrency pairs, the traditional metrics of trust, platform choice and trading conditions should be applied when judging cryptocurrency brokers.

These are the best regulated cryptocurrency brokers in South Africa for 2021.

English

Here are the best cryptocurrency & bitcoin brokers

Last updated on 2 Dec 2020
Updated 2 Dec 2020
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
Blackstone Futures
Min. Deposit
ZAR 1000
4.484.48
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Crypto Pairs
10
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.48/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.6 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 and CloudTrade platforms supported. Blackstone Futures is regulated by the FSCA - FSP:49846
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Founded in 2009, BlackStone Futures is an established FSCA-regulated broker based in Johannesburg. It offers both ZAR and USD accounts on MT4 and the proprietary CloudTrade platforms, and STP execution ensures no conflict of interest. Beginner traders are well-catered for with excellent educational support, really emphasising the duty of care BlackStone Futures feels for their clients. Spreads are tight and leverage is kept sensibly low until traders can prove their ability, thereby limiting the chance of account wipe out for beginners.

Pros
  • ZAR accounts
  • Tight spreads
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
  • Local regulation only
Read More About Blackstone Futures
2
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.174.17
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Crypto Pairs
3
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.17/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.
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FXTM is a multi-regulated FSCA registered CFD broker offering clients trading on Forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, metals and stocks. With a complete education and market analysis section, and the unique FXTM Invest copy trading platform, FXTM is plagued by unfavourable trading conditions and platform choice limits on their entry-level accounts and charging withdrawal fees.

Beginners at FXTM will find a good overview of how Forex trading works and the basics of a beginners course in their guides and tutorials, webinars, ebooks, trading glossary and videos that cover beginner and intermediate topics. Daily market analysis will help beginners understand the real-world implications of news events on the Forex market and where the opportunities lie. However, Serious beginners should consider the ECN Account (minimum deposit 500 USD) or the ECN Zero Account (minimum deposit 200 USD) as trading conditions dramatically improve to fall in line with industry averages.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
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3
BDSwiss
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.324.32
Min. Spread
1 pips
Crypto Pairs
5
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.32/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. BDSwiss is regulated by CySEC, FSC, and the FSA-Seychelles.
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BDSwiss is a European CFD broker regulated by CySEC, the FSC (Mauritius) and the FSA (Seychelles). BDSwiss offers trading on Forex, commodities, shares, indices, and cryptocurrencies. While trading costs on the entry-level Classic account are slightly above the industry average, the trading platform choice and the industry-leading education and market analysis material make up for it. A professional 5000 USD Raw account is also available with industry-competitive trading costs of 8 USD per EURUSD lot traded.

BDSwiss offers MT4, MT5 and a bespoke BDSwiss Web Trader application – the star attraction for new traders – with an intuitive and modern interface, an extended set of technical analysis tools, and advanced charting. The BDSwiss trading academy and market analysis are some of the best in the industry, with structured courses for all levels, frequent strategy webinars, and insightful market analysis headlined by a detailed daily market preview.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About BDSwiss
4
Plus500
Min. Deposit
ZAR 1500
3.693.69
Min. Spread
0 pips
Crypto Pairs
9
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
1110.503.69/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Plus500 does not publish their spreads, and thus a cost of trading can not be established. Max leverage 300:1. Islamic account available. Only Plus500 proprietary trading platform supported. Plus500 is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and MAS.All information presented is verified as of the date of the review.Most retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Plus500 is a leading CFD provider with CFDs on Forex, equities, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities and options. Clients of Plus500 have access to an easy to use trading platform with a ZAR account, but membership lacks trading courses for beginners and market analysis. Plus500 is supervised by some of the best global regulators but is not currently licenced by the FSCA.

The Plus500 trading platform offers South African traders a single account option, however, a lack of platform support for copy trading, hedging and scalping, could limit traders looking for new ways to trade. Plus500 falls behind in market analysis, advanced trading tools, and an absence of trading courses, making it less suitable for beginners or inexperienced traders.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Limited account options
Read More About Plus500
5
eToro
Min. Deposit
USD 200
3.693.69
Min. Spread
1 pips
Crypto Pairs
99
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
1110.503.69/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.0 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. eToro proprietary trading platform support. eToro is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and ASIC. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
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eToro is a world-famous multi-regulated CFD broker offering clients a unique experience trading Forex, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and indices. While eToro’s main attraction is a bespoke crowd trading platform built to encourage clients to follow expert traders or select market strategies, their trader community is continually let down by inadequate disinterested customer support and tortuously long response times.

Upon sign up, eToro’s clients become part of a massive community of traders all following expert traders or professional traders contributing to their social trading platform. Although traders can make trades independent of the community, the popular CopyTrader tool allows clients to copy individual trader’s strategies automatically. Similarly, the CopyPortfolios tool allows traders to invest in a single market strategy that includes multiple assets assembled into a single investment vehicle.

For the most part, the trading conditions at eToro align with other market makers with a unique platform offering, but in contrast, eToro has numerous non-trading fees on both deposits and withdrawals. All in all, a trader who is looking for a traditional trading environment eToro won’t find a fit. Still, for those looking for a strong copy trading platform, eToro wrote the book on copy trading and still stands out as the leader.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Good for beginners
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Wide spreads
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6
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.184.18
Min. Spread
0.90 pips
Crypto Pairs
18
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
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AvaTrade is an internationally and FSCA regulated CFD broker offering trading on Forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds and EFTs. AvaTrade has one of the best mobile trading applications in the industry and, unlike many global brokers, offers a local South African customer support team. 

AvaTrade has over 200,000 active traders on the MT4, MT5, and AvaGo platforms and provides free access to trading tools like Autochartist, Duplitrade and AvaProtect, its own innovative risk management system.

While AvaTrade is a dependable broker for beginners, professional traders looking for advanced educational material and industry-leading market research will be underwhelmed.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited education
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7
Admiral Markets
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.184.18
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Crypto Pairs
32
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.10 pips with 6 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & MT4 Supreme Edition platforms supported. Admiral Markets is regulated by ASIC, CySEC, and the FCA.
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Founded in 2001, Admiral Markets is renowned for its excellent education, industry leadership and wide range of tradeable instruments. Its industry leadership extends to platform support, where it has teamed up with MetaTrader to create Supreme Editions for MT4 and MT5, adding a range of practical tools to enhance the base platforms. 

All Admiral Markets accounts feature market execution, low minimum deposits and competitive spreads – and the company has one of the best cryptocurrency offerings on the market, with 30+ crypto pairs and cross pairs to trade; in addition, Admiral Markets have not just one, but two complete Forex courses for beginners.

A global presence, a progressive approach to knowledge sharing and competitive trading conditions have attracted both beginner and experienced traders to the Admiral Markets brand.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
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8
MarketsX
Min. Deposit
ZAR 2500
4.394.39
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Crypto Pairs
6
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.39/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 300:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. MarketsX is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSCA.
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Marketsx is a premium trading platform. It’s operated by Markets.com and offers traders fast, low-cost trading on over 2,200 financial instruments. Marketsx provides CFD trading on global stock, forex, commodity, indices, cryptocurrency, ETF and bond markets. Clients in the UK can also use spread bets on applicable instruments.

The proprietary Marketx trading platform is packed full of features and trading tools and is optimised for lightning execution. As well as in-depth charting and asset comparison tools, Marketsx also gives traders a wealth of decision-supporting data with sentiment tools, tutorials, and regular live-streamed, expert analysis.

Owned by Tradetech Markets (South Africa) Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Playtech PLC, Markets.com (South Africa) SA is one of the best-recognised Forex brands.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
Read More About MarketsX
9
IC Markets
Min. Deposit
USD 200
4.264.26
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Crypto Pairs
10
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.26/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.00 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. IC Markets is regulated by CySEC and ASIC.
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IC Markets is an Australian broker offering CFD trading on Forex, commodities, indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies, stocks, and futures. Compared to other ECN brokers, IC Markets has low trading costs, fast execution, and wide trading platform support – with MT4, MT5 and cTrader all available.

IC Markets caters to advanced traders with periodic strategy webinars, advanced analysis tools and a free VPS service for active traders. But – despite its focus on providing great trading conditions – IC Markets fails to deliver a structured course for beginners and Forex education in general is weaker than IC Market’s competitors.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Great platform choice
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About IC Markets
10
FxPrimus
Min. Deposit
USD 100
3.393.39
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Crypto Pairs
7
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
1110.503.39/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.30 pips with 10 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 platform support. FxPrimus is regulated by the CySEC, FSCA, and the VFSC.
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FXPRIMUS is an STP market maker founded in 2009 and fully regulated in South Africa since 2018. Globally acclaimed for offering one of the fastest and most secure online trading environments, the company has a strong focus on customer satisfaction with free deposits and withdrawals and negative balance protection for all clients.

A multi-asset broker, FXPRIMUS offers multiple tradeable instruments including Forex, Commodities, Energies, Indices on the MT4 platform. Both Standard and ECN account types are available, with spreads starting at 1.5 pips on the standard account and 0.3 pips on the ECN account.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • High commission
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About FxPrimus
11
IG Markets
Min. Deposit
USD 250
4.694.69
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Crypto Pairs
8
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.69/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.6 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4, ProRealTime and L2 Dealer platforms supported. IG Markets Group is regulated by FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA.
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IG Markets is an extremely well-regulated CFD broker with world-class trading conditions and a massive variety of trading assets: Traders have access to Forex, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, digital 100s, interest rates and bonds. While IG Markets is well suited to professionals with its advanced custom trading platform and powerful charting tools, it also offers industry-leading educational support to beginners through the IG Academy.

IG Markets supports MT4 and its own superior L2Dealer platform, which offers direct market access, improved liquidity, faster trade execution and advanced order management. Experienced traders can activate L2Dealer’s ProRealTime extension for advanced charting, trading automation, and detailed technical analysis to enhance the trading experience.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
Read More About IG Markets
12
IQ Option
Min. Deposit
USD 10
3.393.39
Min. Spread
5 pips
Crypto Pairs
12
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
1110.503.39/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 5 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. IQ Option platform supported. IQ Option is regulated by CySEC
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IQ Option is a popular and well-regulated CFD broker offering trading on Forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies and options. IQ Options appears to make Forex trading more accessible to beginners through its easy-to-use trading platform, but with trading costs much higher than the industry average most traders will struggle to be profitable.

The best brokers for beginners offer educational material, courses and webinars; but IQ Option only provides a limited video education series and no market research to speak of. While the minimum deposit is lower than most reputable Forex brokers at 10 USD, a corresponding bank wire withdrawal fee of 31 USD is unreasonable and out of line with a majority of other brokers.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Unpublished spreads
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About IQ Option

How Does Cryptocurrency Trading Work?

Cryptocurrency trading works in much the same way as classic Forex trading with three significant differences. Due to the extreme volatility of the cryptocurrency market:

  • Leverage is much lower (the maximum is often 1:10 or similar) and
  • Spreads are much wider (often in the range of 25-35 pips).

This is to protect brokers and traders from the wild swings often prevalent in the crypto market.

Finally:

  • The cryptocurrency market operates 24/7, as it does not rely on large financial institutions for liquidity.

Traders and brokers both know there is money to be made on cryptocurrencies, so brokers have adapted their trading platforms and customer support hours to provide a genuine crypto CFD trading experience.

What is a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency with no asset or national backing. They can be used to make payments or make investments and are more commonly accepted all the time.

Cryptocurrencies are ‘mined’ using computers, once mined the new unit of currency is added to a blockchain – a public ledger of transactions. This is very different from traditional currencies, which are minted by a federal bank.

Cryptocurrencies have a theoretical limit on the number of coins that can be created. As long as there is a demand, this supply limit allows them to hold their value, and they can be viewed as an investment vehicle.

There are dozens of cryptocurrencies, but the most liquid and widespread are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and EOS.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a time-stamped digital record used to keep track of data. Much like a traditional notary, blockchain eliminates any possibility of backdating or altering digital data. With the introduction of digital tender, blockchain is used as a distributed ledger containing a register of transactions. Every block in a blockchain includes data, a unique hash (much like a fingerprint) and the hash of the previous block in the blockchain.

The data in a Bitcoin block stores details about transactions such as amount, sender and receiver. The hash identifies a block and its contents and is always unique.

Altering the information in a block will also alter the hash of the block, thus automatically making all the following blocks invalid as they no longer store a valid hash of the previous block.

Additionally, blockchain has a mechanism that slows down the creation of new blocks called “proof-of-work” to prevent tampering with data inside the blocks.

The ledger (transactions) are re-calculated every ten minutes by the machine with the greatest processing power. All the other computers on the network check and verify that the transactions entered are valid once the primary machine has completed the calculation.

If more than 50% of the computers agree on the outcome of the calculation, the new block of transactions gets included in the blockchain.

What is mining?

Mining is the process of adding new tender to the blockchain, in effect generating new tender. Mining uses high-powered computers, often powerful GPUs (graphic processing units), to find and verify the resulting coin, which is placed in a wallet associated with the computer.

What are Wallets?

A digital wallet allows a user to store coins and enables the movement of funds by the owner. An account is often referred to as an address or key, where the key is used to track the ownership of a cryptocurrency.

A wallet can also be a program or a physical device, some wallets are geared for a single digital currency or a few select digital currencies.

Trading Crypto CFDs

If your goal is to purchase these assets for an investment, you can buy them on digital currency exchanges, such as Coinbase. However, cryptocurrency pairs can be traded like any other Forex pair.

Like standard Forex CFDs, the value of a cryptocurrency CFD mirrors the currencies it follows. Each transaction is speculation on the value of the currency increasing or decreasing.

There are several benefits to trading these currencies:

  • You can use leverage
  • You can trade them at most Forex brokers
  • You don’t ever own the asset and only speculate on currency value changes

As mentioned previously, cryptocurrencies can experience extreme volatility. Bitcoin has seen a 250% increase in value against the USD over the last five months but has also experienced frequent crashes of over 20% in the same period. This is in stark contrast to the traditional fiat currencies where historical volatility is below 3%.

These currencies have similar traits to traditional ones. If you plan on trading these assets over the short-term, you should look for rapid changes in sentiment, as this will help predict future price movement. If you plan on trading over the long-term, watch for new information to affect value significantly.

Like traditional Forex trading, you can use your trading platform to execute trades, perform analysis and follow the news. Most brokers that offer cryptocurrency CFDs offer CFDs on other assets, which provides for a seamless transition if you are already accustomed to trading this asset class.

What Cryptocurrencies Should You Trade?

  • Bitcoin – The oldest and most liquid of them all is Bitcoin (BTC). It was established in 2009 by an unknown person using the name Satoshi NakamotoNakamoto to be used as a payment mechanism. In trading, BTC is commonly paired with fiat currencies such as the USD and EUR.
  • Ethereum – This is an open-source platform that uses blockchain technology. The critical function is smart contract programming. Ethereum is very liquid and experiences the same volatility expected from this market. The system went live on July 30, 2015, with 72-million coins.
  • Litecoin – This coin was built using the same open-source software that was used to create Bitcoin but uses a different license to make it more flexible. Litecoin was initially referred to as an alternative coin or altcoin and was created in October 2011.
  • Ripple – Founded as a payment system and currency exchange network by Ripple Labs Inc. The system was established in 2012, and Ripple can be traded versus several fiat currencies as well as other coins.
  • EOS– EOS operates as a smart contract platform and decentralised operating system. The system is fast and can execute millions of transactions in seconds. You can trade EOS against other coins and fiat currencies.

How are cryptocurrencies different from regular currencies?

Over the last decade the supply of money has grown exponentially; this has been the most significant growth in the supply of money in history. Central banks control our money system, and all currencies are government fiat currencies.

The issue with fiat currencies is that the more of money that is in a system, the more prices will rise. This increase in inflation will also cause the value of the currency to fall.

Both BTC and gold are similar in that there is a finite supply; this is in contrast to fiat currencies, where central banks can print more tender whenever they please. As such, there is a predictable rate at which Bitcoin is mined, like the predictable rate at which gold is added to the market.

How many Cryptocurrencies are there?

On July 3rd 2017, there were 34 – by June 5th 2019, there were 2216. The table below shows the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation (as of September 6, 2019).

Source: coinmarketcap.com

Why Trade Bitcoin & Digital Coins?

These assets are known for their high volatility, thus creating more trading opportunities. Forex volatility has fallen to near record lows in the past ten years, often to less than 1%, while Bitcoin has had extreme volatility readings of 30% with an average volatility reading of 10%.

More volatility means more trading opportunities and larger profits, but at the same time, it also increases the sizes of the losses. Because of this volatility, you will find that brokers offer much lower maximum leverage for these pairs.

Analysing these pairs is easier because you don’t have fundamental data like GDP, CPI Inflation, unemployment rate or the business cycle to consider. Digital currencies are not influenced by fundamental macro data which will make the price action much easier to be read.

What To Look for in a Broker?

Find a well-regulated broker that provides a robust trading platform, where you can perform technical analysis with ease, execute trades quickly, with a wide choice of currency pairs. 

You want to be able to buy and sell both fiat currencies, such as the dollar, yen, pound, and euro as well as versus other coins and commodities. In addition to a downloadable or web-based platform, you should also look for a broker with a mobile app.

Your broker should offer a margin account, allowing at least 10:1 leverage on most pairs, an education section to help you trade this fast-moving market, with trading conditions that won’t eat up too much of your profits.

Finally, find a brokerage with a demo account which will let you test drive the platform, and work out any kinks before you risk your capital.  For further reading on how to compare forex brokers, we have a more detailed article. 

References

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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