A number of South African online stores accept payment in Bitcoin, but most brick-and-mortar retailers only accept cash or card.
Cryptocurrency holders looking to spend their digital tokens without converting them to fiat currency, however, can do so with a debit card linked to a virtual wallet.
There are services that act as cryptocurrency wallets and instant exchanges, allowing you to spend your virtual currency at compatible points of sale.
Companies which deliver these debit cards, and have partnered with VISA or Mastercard, can be accessed by South Africans – as detailed below.
Bitcoin – Cryptopay
Cryptopay is an online Bitcoin wallet which allows users to purchase and transfer Bitcoin.
The company also offers a VISA debit card, which can be loaded with Bitcoin and used to purchase items or draw fiat currency from ATMs.
The card can reflect either GBP, EUR, or USD amounts, and can be funded by Bitcoin transactions.
Users can order the Cryptopay Bitcoin debit card online through the official website for $15, and the company offers free delivery worldwide.
The physical card also has a monthly service fee of $1.00 and a 1% loading fee.
Additionally, drawing or spending money using the card in South Africa could subject users to the following fees:
- International ATM Transaction Fee – $3.50
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 3.00%
The card can be used without submitting any identity verification documents beyond your billing address, although you will need to verify your identity to remove the transaction and withdrawal limits.
The Cryptopay card can take up to six weeks to arrive in SA, and can be used at any VISA-compatible points of sale.
If you would like to shop online using a Bitcoin debit card, and don’t need a physical card, you can set up a virtual card using the Cryptopay web interface or iOS app.
Ethereum – TenX
An option for cryptocurrency holders looking to spend their tokens is the TenX platform, which aims to support a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
TenX provides an online wallet with support for multiple cryptocurrencies – including Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Dash.
The wallet can be created by downloading the Android app and setting up an account.
Users can order a TenX debit card through the smartphone app, and the application can be set to display your remaining cryptocurrency balance in rand.
TenX cards come with lower fees than competing services, but you will have to pay €10 per year if you spend less than €1,000 a year using the card.
Transaction and issuing fees for the card are:
- Card Issuing Fee (includes shipping) – €15
- ATM Fee – €2.75
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 0%
Users can link the card to their online cryptocurrency wallet and use it to pay at any VISA-compatible points of sale.
Identity verification beyond a billing address is not required to use the wallet and card, although submitting identity documents will upgrade your withdrawal and spending limits.
TenX also rewards its card users with PAY tokens, which can be traded on the open market for other cryptocurrencies.
The TenX app beta is available in the Google Play Store.