How to buy Ethereum in South Africa

Looking to buy Ethereum in South Africa? Here’s a quick walk through to get on board with one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrencies!

Ethereum recently overtook Bitcoin in terms of popularity in Google Search, and even the United Nations has leveraged the cryptocurrency to empower aid efforts in Syria. For local entrepreneurs and investors alike, Ethereum remains an enticing option – though many aren’t able to find an easy way to buy Ethereum in South Africa.
Ethereum, as a platform, enables people to buy, trade, sell, and store Ether in a similar process to how an investor might purchase Bitcoin on a Bitcoin platform.
Read: Is there an industry for the expensive process of Bitcoin mining?
Ethereum has seen stunning growth this year, which has seen the cryptocurrency grow over 4650% since January of 2017 prior to a flash crash that brought ETH prices down to the $250 USD range.
Ethereum remains a solid, well-performing contender, however, and the cryptocurrency’s resilience has lead many to seriously consider investing.

1) How to buy Ethereum in South Africa through Coindirect:

To buy Bitcoin and digital currencies online in South Africa, investors can make use of Coindirect – A South African exchange that offers easy access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, and many other popular cryptocurrencies.
Users can create their own Coindirect account by signing up with their email address and can then create a password – traders looking to transact in amounts in excess of R15,000 ZAR will need to unlock a trading limit, wherein users will need to fill in their personal details and can verify themselves by uploading a copy of their ID or Passport, a selfie holding both items, or a Proof of Address.
Users can then make use of secure instant EFT to purchase their coins – within a 90-minute payment window, users can dictate how much Ethereum in ETH or Rand value they wish to purchase, and can EFT the required funds directly to a trusted seller on Coindirect. Until the EFT is authenticated, the coins will be held in escrow.
Coindirect provides customers with both easy access to an online Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet, and offers two-factor authentication to secure one’s account. Users interested in selling their Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies can further setup payments to reflect directly into their banking account of choice once a trade is completed.

2) How to buy Ethereum in South Africa directly through AltCoinTrader:

South African traders can also look to purchase Ethereum directly through AltCoinTrader.
Users can register with AltCoinTrader by creating an account, and then depositing money from their bank account with a unique reference that auto-generates between each account. Should a user already have purchased Bitcoin through another exchange, they can similarly deposit Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency) into their AltCoinTrader account for trading.
Once a user has deposited funds into their account, they can then initiate a buy or sell order for ETH, bearing in mind that transaction fees will still apply.
Interested investors seeking to buy Ethereum in South Africa should note that the local price of cryptocurrencies in general usually deviate from international prices, in that local exchanges are more costly to invest in.
For example – at the time of writing – ETH is priced at $197.74 USD through CoinMarketCap, equating to R2579.43 ZAR when converted. AltCoinTrader prices ETH at R2665.00 ZAR – meaning that higher purchase orders will be incrementally more expensive than when purchased through an international exchange.

3) How to buy Ethereum in South Africa through Bitcoin:

To buy Ethereum in South Africa, users can make use of a Luno account to purchase Ether through Bitcoin. By signing up to Luno, users will be able to create an account and then fund their account with their local currency of preference.
To register on Luno, South Africans will need to verify their mobile number, and enter their personal information including their first, middle, and last names as well as their South African ID number.
South Africans banking with ABSA, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank will then have to deposit funds into their account by way of transferring cash with a deposit reference.
Once that’s taken care of, the next step is to purchase Bitcoin on the Luno exchange, which will enable users to purchase Ether through a Bitcoin-to-Ether exchange.
Once a user has acquired Bitcoin, they’re ready to purchase Ether through an ETH/BTC exchange; however, there is still the matter of selecting a relevant exchange through which to work.
CoinMarketCap offers a list of exchanges, and at the time of writing Poloniex, Bittrex, and Bitfinex remain the top three contenders when ranked by 24-hour volume. Through exchanges, South African users will be able to sell their Bitcoin in exchange for Ethereum.

What is Ethereum Classic, and can I buy it in South Africa?

Given that cryptocurrencies are software-based, developers from time to time find disagreement in the direction such technologies are heading. When this happens and there is a sizeable split in the community, cryptocurrencies can undergo what is called a ‘hard fork’.
Ethereum Classic is a hard fork of Ethereum. Ethereum Classic was created thanks to a decision by many proponents of the Ethereum community to refund members who suffered a loss of funds thanks to a large-scale hack on the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
Proponents of Ethereum Classic (at the time) argued that this should not take place due to the fact that the Ethereum blockchain should not be altered by ‘human’ whims. The Ethereum Blockchain ultimately forked to create two communities, and Ethereum Classic continues to be traded up until today.
Interested investors can still buy Ethereum Classic tokens, which are available on Coindirect.

Storing Ethereum

While purchasing Ethereum is an important first step in getting involved with investing in cryptocurrencies as a whole, a second – and possibly far more significant – dimension is securing one’s wealth.
A popular option amongst investors is to transfer their purchased cryptocurrency to an online wallet for safe-keeping; while this can be affordable, some online wallets require users to share intimate account details which can leave investors open to scams.
Some surety in this process can be gained by never sharing the private key to one’s Ether, and by using two-factor authentification (such as through Google Authentification) to better secure one’s account.

ledger nano 5
Ledger Wallet’s Ledger Nano 5 is one such hardware wallet.

A more secure method – although, naturally more expensive – is to purchase a hardware wallet to store one’s cryptocurrency. These typically take the form of a USB node that appears somewhat familiar next to a USB flash storage drive.
Read: How to buy Bitcoin in South Africa

Have your say!

What are your thoughts? What method have you used to purchase Ethereum, or do you plan to purchase Ether in the near future? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA