South Africa Blockchain Ecosystem Mapped For 2020 - BlockNewsAfrica
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South Africa Blockchain Ecosystem Mapped

In this research piece, we take a look at the general forecast of the South Africa blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem entering into 2020.

South Africa is one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in Africa and the world at large. We at BlockNewsAfrica looked at 14 different categories to map out the South African blockchain space to give our readers a fair idea of developments ahead of 2020.

Currently, the most popular blockchain use cases are around cryptocurrency and its related services or products. The most extensive section of the ecosystem is blockchain education and consulting.

What’s more, cryptocurrency exchanges and financial services are seeing enormous growth in South Africa too. Let’s look at some of the startups in the education, cryptocurrency exchange, and financial services categories:

Education and Consulting 

Education is massively influential in developing markets. Most developing markets flood with scam projects and wrong information meant to take advantage of new users. South Africa has one of the most robust lists of blockchain education startups in Africa.

Bitcoin Events

Bitcoin Events is the most prominent blockchain events organizer in South Africa. Its flagship conference series in Johannesburg and Cape Town has been running since 2015. These events have been attended by Over 1450 people from over 40 countries attend these events. In 2020, Bitcoin Events will be expanding its flagship event from just blockchain to AI at the Blockchain and AI Africa Conference 2020.


CoinEd offers blockchain, cryptocurrency, and blockchain courses to schools, businesses, and individuals in South Africa. The Johannesburg based startup organizes courses every month, which is available for the general public to enroll in.  


The United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA) is a non-profit organization that exists to promote the comprehensive adoption of blockchain technology across public and private sectors in Africa. UABA launched in 2019 and has been organizing frequent education events in South Africa. 


Tari Labs, a South African blockchain startup, launched a free blockchain online university to help facilitate the education of blockchain developers, both locally and globally called, TariLabsU

Blockchain Entrepreneurs Club South Africa (BECSA)

BECSA is part of Blink, blockchain events, an education startup. Blockchain Entrepreneurs Club South Africa is a hub for individuals interested in learning about new technologies like distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. BECSA holds regular events discussing various blockchain trends. 


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Cryptocurrency exchanges have seen the most growth this year despite setbacks due to undefined regulation. Nevertheless, SA’s biggest trading platform, Luno, registered over 1 million new users, while VALR, a Bittrex backed exchange launched in March 2019.

Further, Paxful recorded over 2000 percent growth in volume from South Africa in October 2019 compared to the same time the year before. South Africa also gave birth to the first African ripple exchange, Xago.


Luno is a South African founded cryptocurrency exchange with headquarters in London, UK. Currently, the exchange has offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, with over 300 employees. In 2019, Luno added over a million users and Bitcoin Cash trading. Luno has its sight set on expanding across the African continent in 2020.


ZAR X is a local stock exchange platform that incorporated blockchain technology for unit trusts in 2019. The platform partnered with Ahara to launch its first distributed settlement system for unit trusts in South Africa.


Xago is the first Ripple exchange in Africa. The new startup launched in October 2019. Xago was built to create liquidity of XRP in South Africa, acting as the market-making platform for cryptocurrency enthusiasts and businesses that wish to trade with and utilize XRP. 


VALR is a newcomer to the cryptocurrency space. The project started in March 2019 with colossal backing from Bittrex and Montegray Capital. The project is led by Farzam Ehsani, who worked with Rand Merchant Bank and the FirstRand Group before starting VALR.


ChainEx is another significant South African cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange is based in Jeffreys Bay and supports 33 cryptocurrencies. Out of the 33, only 5 have direct rand (ZAR) trading pairs.


Chankura is a US and South African based exchange. The exchange has a native utility called CHK used for trading fees, masternodes, and staking on their platform. Chankura exchange currently supports over 40 cryptocurrency trading pairs.

Full List of Blockchain StartUps In South Africa

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  • Argumentors


  • SA Crypto
  • Custos
  • Ujo


  • Protea


  • Blockmesh

Vc and Funding

  • Newton Partners
  • SADA

Land And Real Estate

  • Dream Block
  • Seso

Financial service

  • Revix
  • Ubu
  • Bitsure
  • Octobase
  • Banky moon
  • Centbee
  • Rehive
  • Anker

Education and Consultation

  • Blockchain Academy
  • Bitcoin Events
  • Blink
  • Tarilabs
  • Aifmrm
  • Future new tech
  • Coin ED
  • United Africa Blockchain Association

Incubator and Acceleration

  • Startupbootcamp
  • Block starters

Social Good

  • Amply
  • Ixo
  • Zlto


  • Sun exchange


  • Iosiro

Cryptocurrency Exchange

  • AltcoinTrader
  • ICE3X
  • OVEX
  • Chankura
  • Xago
  • ZarX
  • Artis Turba
  • Luno
  • Chain
  • VALR

Production Studio

  • Linumlabs
  • Nona
  • Sovtech
  • Trustlab

What sector of the blockchain ecosystem in South Africa makes you most excited about 2020? Join the conversation on a Twitter thread (Don’t forget to follow us for more content like this)

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Elisha (GHCryptoGuy)

Elisha has been spreading cryptocurrency since 2016 and is working to bring in more adoption and people from Africa. He is with us at BlockNewsAfrica as our Chief Editor. Elisha has contributed to other cryptocurrency and financial sites including bitcoingarden.org, bitcoinafrica.io, financemagnets.com and many more.

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