How to easily buy Bitcoin in South Africa

Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular, so much so that there are several apps for that. My boss mentioned an app for buying Bitcoin, Luno and I knew I had to test it out. So a few days ago I downloaded the app and bought R50 in Bitcoin and R50 in Ethereum (high roller, I know). Here’s how to buy Bitcoin in South Africa.

SEE ALSO: Why you are not making money from your blog

What is cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a digital decentralised currency that uses cryptography to secure transfers. These two features, decentralisation (no interference from central banks or governments) and the use of cryptography (secure, no steep transaction fees) arguably make cryptocurrencies so popular. An example would be Bitcoin.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin, currently one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, started in 2009.  One Bitcoin (BTC) is currently worth $8000 (R112377). My R50 is currently worth R68.92 or BTC 0.00056654 after one week. The current Rand to Bitcoin rate is BTC1 = R115376.

How to buy Bitcoin in South Africa (in 5 easy steps)

I used Luno to buy my Bitcoin, and they recently started offering Ethereum (another cryptocurrency) so I decided to go fifty, fifty.

how to buy bitcoin in south africa luno app

  1. Download the Luno app for Android or iPhone.
  2. Authenticate your number with the app.
  3. Send money to your ZAR wallet. I did it via EFT and it reflected in a few hours.
  4. Transfer money from your ZAR wallet to Bitcoin or Ethereum.
  5. Watch your money (hopefully) grow.

What else can you do on Luno?

  • You can set up price alerts so that you know when the cryptocurrency of your choice goes up or down.
  • You can invite friends and each earn R10 of Bitcoin when your friend spends R500 or more. (A bit of a high threshold, but if any of you are interested my code is ER45D)
  • You can also trade like you would with another forex. This seems really risky to me, so I haven’t done that yet.
  • What is really cool is that you can buy more Bitcoin with your Ethereum earnings and vice versa. At the moment I’ve only made R6 from Ethereum and R19 from Bitcoin. So I could use my Ethereum earnings to buy more Bitcoin.

READ MORE: Go cashless when out and about with Howler

Google Trends lets you see how the search volume changes and therefore the interest in something. As you can see Bitcoin has become extremely popular.

google bitcoin search how to buy bitcoin in south africa


But dudes be serious, it is a gamble and like my BF and a co-worker said it is like gambling. So only spend money you are willing to lose.

Disclosure: Jade used her own cash money to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum using the Luno app. 


  • Reply Lelanie February 8, 2018 at 01:06

    Hi 🙂 I’m quite curious, how much interest have you made on your R50 deposit for bitcoin? And do you have to do something specific to earn interest or does the amount increase effortlessly? Can you withdraw your deposit + interest? Sorry for all the questions. I hope to get a response from you at soonest.

    • Reply Sam Wright February 8, 2018 at 07:50

      Lelanie I’ll ask Jade to comment and get back to you. You don’t earn interest on Bitcoin though. It isn’t an investment and definitely not an investment account. You’re trading in currency. Buying bitcoin is the same as buying US Dollars or British pounds. Bitcoin value fluctuates so much though that people have mistaken it as an “investment” purchase. The amount can increase but also decrease (i.e. you lose everything).

    • Reply jade brennan February 8, 2018 at 08:27

      Hi Lelanie, Thanks for your question! Sam is spot on. You don’t earn interest. The amount that it increases by is a gamble, and the recent drop in Bitcoin hasn’t been kind. I still have my original investment, it went up a lot but has dropped. The next time it goes up (hopefully), I’m going to withdraw it and will let you know how much it costs. Again the disclaimer here is never invest more than you are willing to lose.

    Leave a Reply