Crypto

What Is The Most Used Crypto In South Africa? 7 Popular

What Is The Most Used Crypto In South Africa? 7 Popular

Cryptocurrency adoption in South Africa has accelerated rapidly in recent years.

A tech-savvy population, crypto-friendly policies, and need for alternative financial solutions have driven usage.

South Africa now ranks as one of the top adopters of digital currencies globally.

This rise in adoption has led to a diversity of cryptocurrencies being used in South Africa for payments, trading, investing and moving money.

While Bitcoin occupies the top spot in South Africa, other coins like Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple’s XRP, Tether and Binance Coin have significant market shares.

Each currency serves specific use cases that appeal to South African crypto users.

To better understand the crypto landscape in South Africa, this article provides an overview of the most used cryptocurrencies in the country beyond Bitcoin.

It examines the key factors driving adoption for Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Tether and Binance Coin.

For each currency, the analysis covers metrics like trading volumes, merchant acceptance, use cases, accessibility and partnerships within South Africa.

By profiling the leading cryptocurrencies, we can gain insights into the preferences and behaviors of South African crypto adopters.

Their choices reflect a diverse mix of coins optimized for payments, investment, DeFi, stable value and lower trading fees.

What Is The Most Used Crypto In South Africa?

  1. Bitcoin (BTC)
  2. Ethereum (ETH)
  3. Litecoin (LTC)
  4. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  5. Ripple (XRP)
  6. Tether (USDT)
  7. Binance Coin (BNB)

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin (BTC) is arguably the most used cryptocurrency in South Africa. Here are some key points on Bitcoin adoption in the country:

  • Bitcoin has the highest market capitalization and trading volume among cryptos in South Africa.
  • Several major South African crypto exchanges like Luno, VALR, and AltCoinTrader provide direct BTC trading pairs against the South African Rand (ZAR).
  • Many merchants and businesses in SA accept Bitcoin as a mode of payment, especially in major cities.
  • South Africans can easily buy Bitcoin on peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges like LocalBitcoins and Paxful.
  • According to a 2021 study, 10.7% of South African internet users owned cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin accounted for a significant share.
  • The BTC network has over 100,000 on-chain transactions daily from South African IP addresses, one of the highest globally.
  • South Africa ranks in the top 10 countries for Bitcoin adoption according to Chainalysis.

In summary, Bitcoin’s first-mover advantage, liquidity, brand recognition and acceptance make it the most widely used cryptocurrency in South Africa at present.

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The crypto-friendly ecosystem and remittance use cases in SA also boost Bitcoin adoption.

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum (ETH) is the second most used cryptocurrency in South Africa after Bitcoin. Here are some key points:

  • Ethereum has the second highest market capitalization and trading volume next to Bitcoin on South African exchanges.
  • Many South Africans use ETH for payments, decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) transactions.
  • ETH can be purchased directly with ZAR from exchanges like Luno, VALR, AltCoinTrader.
  • South Africa is one of the top 10 countries globally for Ethereum adoption according to Chainalysis.
  • On-chain ETH transactions from South Africa IP addresses average over 40,000 per day.
  • ETH powers the operation of many decentralized apps and platforms used frequently in SA.
  • ETH is also widely used as “gas” to pay fees on Ethereum network transactions originating from South Africa.

As the second largest cryptocurrency overall, Ethereum enjoys significant usage in South Africa thanks to its utility for smart contracts, NFTs, DeFi and as a medium of exchange.

The deep liquidity for ETH trading against the South African Rand also promotes adoption.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin (LTC) is one of the most used cryptocurrencies in South Africa after Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Here are some key points about Litecoin adoption in South Africa:

  • Litecoin has the 4th highest market capitalization among cryptocurrencies in South Africa.
  • LTC trading volume against the South African Rand (ZAR) is significant on exchanges like Luno, AltCoinTrader, VALR, etc.
  • Litecoin transactions from South African IP addresses average around 7,000 per day.
  • LTC offers faster transaction times and lower fees than Bitcoin, making it popular for payments.
  • Merchants accepting Litecoin payments are growing in South Africa, especially in travel, luxury, and tech sectors.
  • South Africans can easily purchase LTC using ZAR due to good liquidity on exchanges and P2P platforms.
  • Litecoin is promoted by advocates as a good “silver to Bitcoin’s gold” – a fast, affordable payments coin with wide acceptance.
  • LTC’s longevity and security as a fork of the Bitcoin codebase also make it trusted by many South African crypto users.

Litecoin has found a niche as an everyday payments token in South Africa thanks to its speed, low fees, liquidity and growing merchant acceptance.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is used by a sizable number of cryptocurrency users in South Africa.

Here are some key points about its adoption:

  • Bitcoin Cash has the 5th highest market cap and trading volume against ZAR among cryptos in South Africa.
  • BCH offers faster transactions than Bitcoin while keeping costs very low, making it useful for payments.
  • Some merchants in SA accept BCH payments, especially those already accepting Bitcoin.
  • South Africans can buy BCH easily with Rand on exchanges like AltCoinTrader, Luno, etc.
  • On-chain BCH transactions originating from South Africa average around 3,000 per day.
  • There is decent liquidity for trading BCH pairs like BCH/ZAR and BCH/BTC.
  • The similar name to Bitcoin helps with brand recognition among less technical users.
  • BCH adoption is boosted by advocates who view it as aligned with Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision for fast, cheap digital cash.
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Bitcoin Cash enjoys a niche following in South Africa thanks to its payments utility proposition of speed and low fees.

The liquidity and accessibility for SA users also promotes adoption.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple (XRP) has seen growing usage in South Africa in recent years.

Here are some key points about its adoption:

  • XRP has the 3rd highest market cap among cryptocurrencies in South Africa.
  • Ripple promotes XRP for international remittances, which is a key use case in South Africa.
  • South Africa is one of Ripple’s target markets, and it has partnered with local remittance companies.
  • XRP can be purchased directly with ZAR from exchanges like AltCoinTrader, Luno and VALR.
  • Ripple is popular with larger South African banks and financial institutions.
  • XRP transaction volumes from South African IP addresses average around 20,000 per day.
  • Ripple touts XRP’s speed, low cost and stability as advantages for cross-border payments.
  • As a more centralized token focused on payments, XRP is seen as a “safe” crypto choice by some SA users.

Ripple’s partnerships and focus on remittances have increased XRP adoption for both retail and institutional users in South Africa.

The liquidity and perception as a payments token also support its growth.

Tether (USDT)

Tether (USDT) has emerged as one of the more widely used cryptocurrencies in South Africa primarily for the following reasons:

  • USDT is ranked highly by market capitalization and trading volume on South African exchanges.
  • As a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, it provides an easy way for South Africans to move in and out of crypto.
  • Trading large cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum against USDT is very common in South Africa.
  • USDT provides a relatively stable store of value compared to highly volatile cryptocurrencies.
  • Send and receive transactions in USDT are fast and inexpensive.
  • Many South African crypto users hold USDT to hedge against price swings in other coins.
  • USDT is widely accepted by merchants globally which makes it useful for SA crypto payments.
  • SA crypto exchanges and wallets broadly support USDT given its dominance in trading pairs.
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Tether’s stability, liquidity and broad acceptance has made it a widely used cryptocurrency in South Africa both for trading and payments.

Its utility as a dollar-pegged stablecoin drives significant adoption.

Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin (BNB) has picked up growing usage in the South African crypto market mainly for the following reasons:

  • BNB is one of the top cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and trading volume in South Africa.
  • The popular Binance exchange offers trading incentives and discounts for using BNB.
  • South Africans can use BNB to pay lower trading fees on Binance, the largest crypto exchange globally.
  • BNB can be purchased directly with ZAR from Binance and other South African exchanges.
  • Binance supports the innovative Binance Smart Chain, which uses BNB for gas fees.
  • Some merchants in South Africa have started accepting BNB payments.
  • BNB transaction volumes from South Africa have grown steadily over the past year.
  • Binance has actively marketed BNB in South Africa as part of its global expansion.
  • The overall strong brand recognition of Binance in SA drives adoption of BNB.

BNB adoption has risen in South Africa largely driven by Binance’s popularity and promotions making it a useful token for lower trading fees and payments.

Key Takeaways

What Is The Most Used Crypto In South Africa?

  • Bitcoin (BTC) is the most used cryptocurrency in South Africa thanks to its high liquidity, brand recognition and extensive acceptance.
  • Ethereum (ETH) enjoys significant usage as the second largest crypto for smart contracts, NFTs, DeFi and payments utility.
  • Litecoin (LTC) has carved a niche as a fast, affordable payments token with growing merchant acceptance in South Africa.
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is used by a sizeable user base for its speed and low fees for payments.
  • Ripple (XRP) adoption is driven by its focus on remittances and partnerships with South African financial institutions.
  • As a stablecoin, Tether (USDT) provides an easy way for South Africans to move in and out of crypto with its dollar peg.
  • Binance Coin (BNB) usage has risen thanks to Binance’s popularity in SA and its promotions of BNB.

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Kevin is a location independent freelancer, blogger, and side hustler located in South Africa. Originally from Kenya, he worked as a digital marketing developer for 5 years before making the leap to full-time freelancing.

Kevin has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur Magazine and The South African for his work promoting freelancing and side hustles in South Africa. When he's not working with clients or updating Freelancian, you can find him exploring new destinations as a digital nomad.

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