How To Buy Bitcoin At South African Retail Stores

Buy BTC at South African retail stores

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South Africa has started to embrace bitcoin in the last five years, with the growth of local companies being phenomenal. The public’s appetite for bitcoin has increased demand as access to bitcoin expands. It has primarily been a retail-driven revolution locally, and we’ve yet to see any South African investment firms or companies announce that they’ve taken a position in bitcoin. We’ve also seen little to no innovation in the financial product front. There has been no mention of products such as a South African Bitcoin ETF, be that a spot or futures settled EFT.

South African’s want the real McCoy; they want bitcoin, with ten local exchanges servicing the country. Along with bitcoin ATM’s popping up in regional shopping malls, you can imagine how interest and chatter start to gain traction.

Despite these advances, we’ve yet to reach a broader public arena; many of the exchanges require bank accounts and KYC information, while the ATM’s use on-chain bitcoin and take a hefty fee, putting some people off regular purchases. In addition, the average South African prefers to conduct business in cash and money transfers via popular retail chain stores.

This is why it would make so much sense for local retailers to sell bitcoin directly to the public. An idea that has recently become a reality in the good old Republic of South Africa. So how does one go about purchasing bitcoin at a local retail store?

Let’s dive in and see, shall we?

Which South African retailers sell bitcoin?

You can approach a range of banks, retail stores and even petrol stations, and purchase bitcoin with your cash. Currently, the following retailers should provide support for bitcoin purchases.

Retail stores

  • Flash
  • DealZ!
  • Usave
  • Ok
  • House & Home
  • Pep, Pep Home and Pep Cell
  • Ackermans
  • Shoprite
  • Checkers
  • Dunns
  • Russels
  • Rocherster
  • Bradlows
  • Incredible connection
  • Everyshop
  • Takkie Town
  • John Craig
  • HiFiCorp
  • Shocity


  • Tyme Bank
  • Nedbank
  • Avo

Filling stations

  • Total


  • 1ForYou Website or Mobile App
  • MTN Momo App

Informal Traders

Flash Payment Point, Kiosk or App

South African retailers supporting 1ForYou Vouchers

How to buy bitcoin at a South African retailer

Before you even think of getting started, you need to download a lightning network compatible wallet from the app store and install it on your smartphone. The method uses a bitcoin second layer called the lightning network to give you near free and instant transaction times for bitcoin, so you don’t sit and sweat waiting for confirmation transfers.

Once you’ve found a participating outlet from the list below, you can make your purchase with any payment options avialable in the store, such as cash, credit or debit card. However, ideally, you want to operate in cash instead of a card to maintain your anonymity, so get your cash ready and head to the store.

Step 1

Kindly approach the cashier and politely make conversation, tell them how’s the weather or why Bafana sucks this time. Once they’re good and chatty, ask them for a “1foryou” voucher in exchange for your Randtjies.

They’ll happily oblige, and you can purchase up to R2500 per voucher at a time.

Step 2

Once you receive the voucher, it should contain a 16 digit pin code. Your next step is to head over to your phone and open your web browser. 

Step 3

Type in the URL bar and type the pin in the boxes on the homepage.

Step 4

The Azte website will generate a lightning network receipt that you can scan with your favourite Lightning Network wallet. Once you scan the QR code, click receive on your wallet, and the funds should deposit into your bitcoin wallet immediately.

That’s it, as simple as a steak and kidney pie, you turned your Rands into Bitcoin in less than 5 minutes.

Pros of purchasing bitcoin using this method

You can buy bitcoin for cash without having to go through any KYC, keeping it off the books and the prying eyes of the government. Exchange have to sell out their data to SARS, so keeping your bitcoin footprint smaller on these tattletale exchanges can be to your advantage.

Friends and family can also purchase and send you bitcoin instantly.

Since you’re using the lightning network, you can avoid on-chain fees, which is way cheaper and will remain much cheaper for a long time.

You can always convert your bitcoin balance back to cash using a bitcoin ATM if one is avialable in your area.

Cons of purchasing bitcoin using this method

It’s a bit of a shlep if you don’t have a participating retailer close by, and as a South African, you should be aware that systems are not always online, so always expect the unexpected. 

Since you’re purchasing a voucher, you’re also paying VAT on that bitcoin and a percentage fee for the retailer’s commission.

As your balance grows, you’ll have to learn how to convert your bitcoin back to the base chain either by closing the channel or using a submarine swap. This can be pretty technical, and it will cost you on chain mining fees.

Happy stacking South Africa

There you have it, yet another way to stack sats in South Africa, but this shouldn’t be the end-all of your journey into Bitcoin. As you stack more sats into your lightning wallet and as bitcoin prices increase, you could find yourself with a considerable amount of money sitting on your phone. 

The rule of thumb is if your bitcoin balance is worth more than your phone, you may want to consider moving that bitcoin into something more secure like a hardware wallet and only keep a small balance on your phone for any day to day transactions.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only. As of the time posting, the writers may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency, as all investments contain risk. All opinions expressed in these articles are my own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of The Bitcoin Manual

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