THE TOOLS

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - News -

YOU NEED a ser­vice that ex­changes your Rands for cryp­tocur­ren­cies. Think of th­ese com­pa­nies as stock bro­kers, but in app form, han­dling all the lo­gis­tics based on your in­struc­tions. Once you’ve bought your cur­ren­cies, you’ll use that app to watch the mar­ket ac­tiv­ity, and buy, sell, or trade with a few taps. Most of them are free, but charge you per trade. That’s good. It means mo­ti­va­tion to buy and hold, rather than trade around con­stantly. In ad­di­tion, most of th­ese apps also let you pro­duce a scannable QR code or iden­ti­fi­ca­tion key to buy stuff in per­son or on­line it works like a rudi­men­tary ver­sion of Ap­ple Pay or a credit card saved to your Ama­zon ac­count. There are dozens of com­pa­nies that pro­vide this ex­change and trad­ing ser­vice, and many in­vestors use more than one. Here are sev­eral en­dorsed by the en­trepreneurs, ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists, and other ex­pe­ri­enced in­vestors we asked.

Luno

The most well-known name in cryp­tocur­rency wal­lets in South Africa is Luno. The com­pany has en­sured that the Luno wal­let has high lev­els of se­cu­rity and a great user ex­pe­ri­ence. Luno has an easy-to-use Zar/crypto ex­change and makes buy­ing Bit­coin and Ethereum a breeze.

Coin­base

The most pop­u­lar ex­change ser­vice, with around 12 mil­lion users. Type in your bank’s rout­ing and ac­count num­bers, and Coin­base will with­draw dol­lars to pur­chase bit­coin, ethereum, lite­coin, or bit­coin cash, an off­shoot al­ter­na­tive to bit­coin. The mo­bile ver­sions are as clean as any bank­ing app, down to fea­tures like Face ID ver­i­fi­ca­tion on the iphone You can also set it to no­tify you if a cur­rency goes above or be­low a cer­tain value and you want to cash out.

Bi­nance

If you want to work with a broad base of cur­ren­cies, in­clud­ing more ob­scure op­tions such as IOTA, this is the best op­tion. To sign up, you’ll go through some un­usual se­cu­rity mea­sures like tak­ing a photo of your­self hold­ing up your driver’s li­cense and a piece of pa­per with the date and the word Bi­nance.

Bitfinex

A trad­ing site for pro­fes­sion­als, pre­sent­ing users with an ar­ray of X-Y graphs and trad­ing op­tions. Mem­ber­ship to Bitfinex used to be in­vi­ta­tion- only. Its new bar­rier to en­try: Ac­counts cre­ated after 1 Jan­uary 2018, must have a min­i­mum bal­ance of $10 000 be­fore they are al­lowed to trade.

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