March 15, 2018

Coindirect vs. Luno, Ice3X and AltCoinTrader

6 things to consider when deciding which South African cryptocurrency exchange to use

The South African Cryptocurrency community have some good options when it comes to buying bitcoin or altcoins, and each of the leading platforms available come with their different strengths. It’s important to consider the factors that matter most to you as you’ll be using the platform on an ongoing basis. We’ve created a simplified breakdown of some of the key differences between 4 leading platforms so you have a clear overview to base your decision on.

We’ll be looking to compare Coindirect with Luno, Ice3X (Ice Cubed) and AltCoinTrader in 6 key areas including cryptocurrencies available, payment methods, conversion capabilities, fees, KYC requirements and security. Obviously, as this is the Coindirect blog, you’ll know which way we’re leaning, so be sure to do as much independent research as possible by looking into more nuanced factors like customer service and user experience.

  1. Number of cryptocurrencies available

Blockchain technology has proven to be incredibly versatile, leading to an explosion of innovative cryptocurrencies coming to the market. Being able to access new altcoins before they become major global competitors can be a big advantage for investors. Coindirect adds new digital currencies to their marketplace on a regular basis, allowing their users to diversify their Cryptocurrency portfolios.

No. of Cryptocurrencies on the platform:


Luno Ice3X AltCointrader
40+ 2 8



  1. Payment methods

Having the ability to easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies using local bank methods can be a big advantage. Coindirect is the only platform of the 4 that works as a peer-to-peer marketplace, allowing you to transact directly with local buyers. This means transactions can be approved in a matter of minutes. Platforms like Luno, Ice3X and AltCoinTrader require funds to be transferred into your trading account, where they need to be approved by the platform before you’re able to start trading.

Payment methods in SA:


Luno Ice3X AltCointrader
Direct Bank
PayPal &
ZAR Wallet
Deposit to
Luno account
Deposit to
Ice3X account

Deposits to
ACT account

  1. Fees

The business model of every exchange relies on the fees charged on transactions. Traders need to consider the bottom line and fees have the potential to eat into your profits if you’re not strategic about how you transact and who you transact with. The fact that there are now multiple choices for where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies plays into the user’s advantage as each exchange keeps competitive rates so they don’t run the risk of losing users to their competition. Beyond transaction fees, there can be additional fees for depositing and withdrawing ZAR from trading accounts.

Transaction fees:


Luno Ice3X AltCointrader
0.25 and 1%
0 or 1%
0.25 and 1%

0.5 or 0.8%

  1. Cryptocurrency conversion

With the value of different cryptocurrencies starting to fluctuate independently from the value of Bitcoin, you’ll want the ability to easily transfer across digital currencies to take advantage of any upward swings in value. Coindirect makes this process as painless as possible with their Exchange page, charging a 0.25% fee per completed transaction.  

Conversions between bitcoin and altcoins:


Luno Ice3X AltCointrader
Yes no no


5. Know Your Customer

In order for exchanges to protect themselves and their users, most platforms ask for basic Know Your Customer documents. This should not be seen as a downside as it allows platforms to minimise attempts at fraud and keep international best practices.

FICA, Proof of ID & residence:

Coindirect Luno Ice3X AltCointrader
Yes, for
above R15,000
Yes Yes


  1. Security

It’s important to be assured that the platform you choose has put all the necessary security measures in place to protect their platform as well as their individual users. The good news for all 4 platforms is that they all practice responsible security measures. These include secure digital certificates,  Two-Factor Authentication for user logins and Escrow protected transactions. We highly recommend activating Two-Factor Authentication for your account on any exchange platform you use.

Making your choice will come down to what you find important for an exchange, whether it’s user experience, flexibility or simply reputation. If you are struggling to make a choice, don’t. Open multiple accounts and you’ll soon gravitate back to the one you enjoy using the most.