After Bitcoin, Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency. Some have argued that it is actually more superior to Bitcoin in terms of its applications and ability to scale.
As South Africans jump on the crypto revolution, there are a lot more questions than answers regarding where to actually convert your real money to this and other crypto money.
There are not enough options for South Africans in this regard, and this is the same story across the continent. However, we have tried out a few methods and have a few that work.
One of the most convenient one we have seen yet is Paxful.
Buying cryptocurrency on Paxful
Paxful is a marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers. It is one of the oldest and most reliable. However, it is its convenience that makes it one of the best places to buy cryptocurrencies, not just in South Africa, but anywhere.
Other platforms like Luno or Coinbase have a very limited way of conducting transactions. For example, Luno only accepts bank transfers, which is not instantaneous, and can actually cause delays amounting to several days, in a world where a day can mean massive changes in crypto value.
Other options we have covered before like Spectrocoin has more options for South Africans, but they are still not enough to trigger mass adoption.
Enter Paxful. By virtue of being a marketplace, more like OLX, buyers and sellers can choose a wide range of payment options with the platform facilitating and providing escrow services to ensure that there is honesty in every trade.
One of the many options on Paxful, and certainly a popular one with South Africans is FNB eWallet.
On the list of sellers and buyers, you will find a long list of individuals willing to transact using the eWallet.
Select one that seems trustworthy, and you will be redirected to a page where you can chat with the other user. Hold all your conversations here as there is a moderator on standby incase of disputes.
When the transaction is complete, whowever holds the escrow then releases the funds. If there are disputes, a Paxful employee will examine all sides and decide who goes with the escrow money or cryptocurrency.
How to buy cryptocurrency safely on Paxful
Before settling on a seller or buyer on Paxful, there are several things you should be on the lookout for to ensure you don’t fall into a scammer’s trap.
1. As much as posible, deal with sellers/buyers who have been fully verified. They have a green shield and checkmark next to their name. Full verification means that on top of providing their mobile phone details, they have submitted photo and address verification.
2. Only trade with users with many positive reviews. It is a no-brainer that if you want to lose your money, do business with people with a history of stealing. You may find each user with a couple of negative reviews, but if the positives far outweigh the negatives, it’s quite safe to proceed.
3. Always hold onto the escrow. When the trade opens, you will see an option to ‘Release Funds’ or ‘Release Bitcoin’. Only click on that once you are certain the other user has kept the end of their bargain. Once you release your funds without getting anything in return, your leverage is gone.
4. Cancel the trade if anything smells fishy. Trust your instinct and if you don’t like the direction the trade is taking, cancel it.
5. Do not chat with the other user outside the Paxful platform. External conversations and disagreements cannot be adjudicated. All conversations on Paxful are monitored, and when it comes to settling disputes, only these conversations will be looked at.