What is Bitcoin?

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, and created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like Rand, dollars or euros – they’re produced by lots of people running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems. These people and their computers are called ‘bitcoin miners’. It’s the first example of a growing category of money known as cryptocurrency. You can buy bitcoin in South Africa.

How to buy Bitcoin in South Africa

Sign up for a Luno wallet

You’ll get a free Bitcoin wallet, where you can store, send and receive your Bitcoin.

  1. Go to https://www.luno.com click the “Signup” button on the home page. Or download the Luno app from your app store.

  2. Enter your email address or use the option to sign up with Google / Facebook

  3. Pick a strong, secure password (seriously, a strong one – you won’t regret it)

  4. Click “Sign up”

Verify your identity

After signup, you have to verify your identity to buy or sell digital currency. The process is similar to opening a bank account. The Luno website and mobile applications assist with this process.

When you sign in for the first time, you’ll see the HOME page with the welcome card indicating your progress in the middle of the display.

What is Bitcoin?

Click on VERIFY NOW to begin the setup process OR click on SETTINGS in the side menu on the left.

What is Bitcoin?

Confirm your mobile number

Enter your mobile number (don’t forget the country code) and click SEND CONFIRMATION SMS.

You will receive an SMS text message containing a code to confirm your mobile number. If you do not receive the SMS text message, click CALL ME INSTEAD and you will receive an automated voice call with the code.

What is Bitcoin?

Enter your personal details

Enter your name exactly as it appears on your identity document. In some countries, we may ask you to enter your identity number and allow you to start buying Bitcoin immediately.

What is Bitcoin?

Verify your identity

If you are not automatically verified after providing us with your phone number and personal details in the steps above, you can verify your identity by submitting your identity documents. This feature is only available in certain countries.

To submit your documents:

From the side menu, click SETTINGS and next to verification click on UPGRADE.

Submit a high quality photo or scan of your national identity book, identity card or passport. The document should clearly show your personal identity number, names, date of birth and a clear photo.

Later, we may ask you to verify your address. To verify your address, please submit a high quality photo or scan of a proof of residence document where your name, address of residency and date of issue are clearly visible.

The document must not be older than 3 months from the day of its issue.

Accepted documents:

  • Utility bill

  • Bank statement with physical address

  • Municipal rates and taxes invoice

  • Lease or rental agreement

  • Mortgage statement

  • Telephone or cellular account

  • Recent insurance policy document

Once you have created an account use the promotional code: “5WAAS” to receive R10 worth of bitcoins when you purchase R500 or more worth of bitcoins.

How do I deposit money?

Before making a deposit, you must verify your identity.

Important announcement: BitX rebranded to Luno in January 2017. We have not yet changed all our bank account names to Luno so don’t be alarmed if you’re still depositing to a BitX bank account. Simply follow the steps as indicated on your device and your deposit will reach us as normal.

Follow these steps:

1. Log into Luno and, in the menu, click WALLETS

What is Bitcoin?

2. For your local currency wallet, click on DEPOSIT

What is Bitcoin?

3. Follow the instructions on screen

Different payment methods are available in each country. Follow the steps displayed and Luno will show you the bank details which will result in the fastest allocation of your money.

Please read and follow the instructions carefully. This will help prevent unnecessary delays.

What is Bitcoin?

Make an online bank transfer from your bank account to the Luno bank account. Once we’ve received your money, you will get an email notification saying you can buy Bitcoin.

IMPORTANT: To ensure your deposit is allocated quickly, please make sure to use the correct REFERENCE NUMBER or, in some countries, the UNIQUE DEPOSIT AMOUNT.

What is Bitcoin?

In some countries, we may ask you to use a UNIQUE REFERENCE to help us track your deposit. Enter this reference at your bank when making the deposit to ensure it reflects on our bank statement.

In some countries, we may ask you to send a UNIQUE DEPOSIT AMOUNT to help us identify your deposit. This amount will be slightly more than the deposit amount you entered.

How do I buy or sell Bitcoin South Africa?

To buy digital currency with Luno you need to have done two things:

Luno provides two ways to buy digital currency:

  1. Instant buy or sell (easy to understand, simple to use)

  2. Exchange order (more complex, more control)

1. Instant buy or sell

What is Bitcoin?


  1. Select BUY from the top navigation on the home screen

  2. Choose which digital currency you want to buy

  3. Choose which currency you want to spend

  4. Enter the amount (in this example, we are buying Bitcoin worth 100 EUR)

  5. Review the transaction (which shows the exchange rate and the amount of Bitcoin you’ll receive)

  6. Click BUY or NEXT depending on your device, review the details and confirm

After your buy order has completed, you can go to TRANSACTIONS from the MENU for details information.

2. Exchange order

The exchange feature is only available for Bitcoin and customers in South Africa, Malaysia, Nigeria and Indonesia. This feature is for more advanced users.

A limit buy order allows you to select a price at which you want to buy your Bitcoin. This order stays pending until the market (a Bitcoin seller in this case) reaches your price. Limit orders are done on the Luno Exchange.

To learn more about the Luno Exchange and how such a system works, click here.


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