Monday, January 30, 2023
  • Bitcoin ATMs have sprung up worldwide and are helping people make blockchain-based transactions
  • Bitcoin ATMs are similar to traditional ATMs in that they are automated machines facilitating bitcoin transactions without human interaction
  • South Africa hosts several Bitcoin ATMs. They are found in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Stellenbosch

Bitcoin ATMs have sprung up worldwide and are helping people make blockchain-based transactions. South Africa hosts several Bitcoin ATMs. They are found in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Stellenbosch. There is a little bit of confusion about the functions of Bitcoin ATMs and what you can do with them, and perhaps we should go through that first.

Functions of bitcoin ATMs

  • Bitcoin ATMs facilitate blockchain transactions for cash
  • There are 18 Bitcoin ATMs in South Africa
  • Bitcoin ATMs can be located in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg and Stellenbosch

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM isn’t quite what it sounds like. Many think ATM and immediately see Automated Teller Machines, which have been with us since the late 1960s. Bitcoin ATMs are similar to traditional ATMs in that they are automated machines facilitating bitcoin transactions without human interaction. Where a regular ATM allows you to connect to bank accounts, a Bitcoin ATM allows you to perform blockchain transactions.

Read: South Africa sets the tone for proper crypto regulation in Africa

This means that people can walk up to a Bitcoin ATM and purchase bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies such as Ether. Where Bitcoin ATMs differ largely from traditional ATMs is that they mostly facilitate the purchase of cryptocurrency (cash deposit) and, in very rare cases, the sale of it (cash withdrawal). Traditional ATMs are skewed the other way, more often offering withdrawals than deposits.

How does a bitcoin ATM work?

We’ll mainly look at the buying of cryptocurrency on a Bitcoin ATM.  To buy cryptocurrency, one simply needs to choose the currency and indicate how much they wish to purchase. The ATM will factor in fees, which can go as high as 6% per transaction in South Africa.

After depositing the correct amount, the ATM will provide the choice of transferring the currency directly to a wallet or processing it as a paper transaction. To load the cryptocurrency purchased to a wallet, you will receive a QR code which you scan with your wallet app. If you select a paper purchase, you will receive a printout with details for retrieving the cryptocurrency purchased.

Limits apply

In addition to the fees levied on users, there are limits that apply to using the Bitcoin ATMs. Most machines have a limit of ZAR24500 (US$1430) per transaction. This is just ZAR500 under the exchange limit in South Africa, allowing individuals to transact up to ZAR25000.

Any transaction above ZAR25000 would need to be reported to the Financial Intelligence Centre. Some machines will allow more than ZAR25000, the highest being ZAR 50500 but these are firmly the exception rather than the rule. Be prepared to go through an identity check when using a Bitcoin ATM.

Where to find bitcoin ATMs in South Africa

Bitcoin ATMs in Pretoria

Pretoria hosts two Bitcoin ATMs. They are not very far from each other. One is located at Saverite Florauna, while the other is at Euro Mini Liquors, both located on Brits Road.

Bitcoin ATMs in Johannesburg

Johannesburg plays host to three Bitcoin ATMs. Two are located in the Sandton area. One is at Sandton City Mall, while Lonehill shopping Centre hosts the other Sandton Bitcoin ATM. The third Johannesburg Bitcoin ATM is located at the Cube, Bryanston, not too far removed from Sandton.

Bitcoin ATMs in Cape Town

Cape Town has four Bitcoin ATMs at the time of writing. Two of these are located at 38 Whale Street. You will find the other two Cape Town Bitcoin ATMs at AnkerPay near the Waterfront and Willow Bridge in Bellville.

Bitcoin ATMs in Durban

Durban hosts six Bitcoin ATMs. They are pretty well spread out. You will find them in Hillcrest Corner Mall, WaterCrest Mall, Westville Mall, Umlazi Mega City and the Musgrave Centre.

Bitcoin ATM in Pietermaritzburg

There is one Bitcoin ATM in Pietermaritzburg. You will find it at the Liberty Midlands Mall in the Woodlands suburb.

Bitcoin ATM in Port Elizabeth

There is one Bitcoin ATM located in Port Elizabeth. The Bitcoin ATM can be accessed at Summerstrand Village Centre located in Summerstrand.

Bitcoin ATM in Stellenbosch

Finally, Stellenbosch has a single Bitcoin ATM. The Eikstad Mall in central Stellenbosch hosts the Bitcoin ATM.

Not all Bitcoin ATMs are created equal

Cryptocurrency is a wide world with a multiplicity of coins and tokens in existence. Bitcoin ATMs are owned and run by private organisations, and they reserve the right to offer certain services at their ATMs. The same goes for tokens and coins that can be purchased at specific ATMs. You may not find all Tokens at all ATMs, so bear this in mind. The table at the bottom of the page gives you an idea of which cryptocurrencies are accessible through which Bitcoin ATMs.

City

Location

BTC

ETH

DASH

LTC

USDT

XRP

Pretoria

Saverite, Florauna

P

P

Pretoria

Euro Mini Liquors

P

Johannesburg

Sandton City Mall

P

P

Johannesburg

The Cube Bryanston

P

P

Johannesburg

Lonehill Shopping Centre

P

P

P

P

P

Durban

Hillcrest Corner Mall

P

P

Durban

WaterCrest Mall

P

P

Durban

Westville Mall

P

P

Durban

Umlazi Mega City

P

P

Durban

Musgrave Centre

P

P

Durban

La Lucia Mall

P

P

Cape Town

Gold ‘n Stones Trading

P

Cape Town

Cape Town Bitcoin

P

Cape Town

Willow Bridge

P

P

Cape Town

AnkerPay

P

P

P

Pitermaritzburg

Liberty Midlands Mall

P

P

Port Elizabeth

Summerstrand Village Centre

P

P

P

P

P

Stellenbosch

Eikestad Mall

P

P

Read: Cryptocurrency offers hope for Africa’s economic resurgence

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