Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new phenomenon, sparking significant global interest because of their current and potential disruptive nature. This excitement has also swept across the African continent as witnessed by the demand for cryptocurrencies and the startups that have emerged to meet some of the requirements of this space. Cryptocurrency exchanges are also part of this conversation.

They are some the most convenient ways for people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies while acting as a knowledge centre on several issues that are still being unpacked in this new and sometimes confusing industry.

This article gives a snapshot of the cryptocurrency exchanges that are operational on the African continent in 2018 with a specific focus on only those platforms that allow for the buying and selling cryptocurrencies and not services powered by cryptocurrencies like remittances.

International cryptocurrency exchanges open to Africa

Bittrex

Established in 2014, this is a United States based blockchain trading platform, that is focused on enabling fast trade execution and leading security practices. It has dependable digital wallets and a broad selection of altcoins (cryptocurrencies). The platform has a strong reputation for its security features.

Bleutrade

It provides users with a variety of altcoins to trade against including Bitcoin which can be traded against other cryptocurrencies. Established in 2014 it is an option for people holding coins they want to trade but which are not listed on other popular African exchanges.

Cryptopia

This is a dynamic platform that acts as a mining pool, a cryptocurrency trading exchange and a hub for buying or selling other assets in exchange for cryptocurrencies. It has its roots in New Zealand.

Nova Exchange

A Swedish based exchange that has a focus on  Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Aricoin – all of which are tradable against other altcoins. It supports over 100 tradeable cryptocurrency pairs.

Poloniex

The US-based exchange has a primary focus on Bitcoin (its base currency). It also has over 70 cryptocurrency pairs. It also provides lending and margin trading options.

Cryptocurrency exchanges of African origin

Golix

Founded in 2014 the Pan African company runs Zimbabwe’s leading digital currencies exchange with the same name. It initially traded just in Bitcoin before adopting a number of other currencies and changing its old name (Bitcoinfundi) to match this change. Users can trade in up to 6 currencies and the platform accepts local payment methods that include mobile money – a huge channel for moving value in Zimbabwe.

Ice3X

This is a South Africa-based cryptocurrency exchange, focused on Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum and Litecoin. launched in 2013 users of this exchange can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin for South African rand and Nigerian Naira.

Luno

Formerly known as BitX, it was founded in 2013 and was the first exchange on the continent. It facilitates services that include Bitcoin storage and transactions such as buying, selling and paying through Bitcoin wallet services and exchanges between fiat and cryptocurrency. It has 1.5 million customers and has established its presence in 40 countries.

NairaEx

This Nigeria-based exchange allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and altcoins using local fiat (Nigerian Naira) at market rates through bank transfer and fast withdrawal into any Nigerian bank. NairaEx began operations in 2015.

Payplux

This is a Ghanaian exchange with a lineup of five currencies that include Bitcoin and Ether. It provides the option to but cryptocurrencies using funds from mobile money services provided by operators like MTN and Tigo.

Styx24

A Zimbabwean exchange that provides trading for Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash. It is provisioned to handle transactions for fiat currency through Zimbabwean financial services that include popular mobile money services.

Peer to Peer cryptocurrency platforms

Bitkoin Africa

A person-to-person (P2P) cryptocurrency trading platform where users can sell and buy cryptocurrency from other users. We’re based in Lagos, Nigeria and cater to Nigerians in Nigeria who are interested in trading cryptocurrency.

Remitano

The global platform is also used to exchange cryptocurrencies across Africa. In addition to a strong visibility in countries like Nigeria and Ghana, it has a presence in major markets like Australia, the United States, Chin, and Vietnam.