VALR Exchange [2020 Review and Guide] - Origin, Fees and Features

VALR Exchange Review and Guide

VALR is a South African cryptocurrency exchange that has grown exponentially in the last year. The digital assets exchange allows you to buy cryptocurrencies directly with the South African Rand.

In this guide, we highlight the features, fee structure, pros, and cons of the VALR cryptocurrency exchange.

Quick VALR Review

  • Save

VALR is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies in South Africa, although it launched in 2019. Popular international exchange, Bittrex backs the platform, which gives it credibility in regards to security and dependability.

A slight downside with VALR is that it has strict KYC requirements. For instance, without identity verification, you cannot access your dashboard. For users who don’t want to use an exchange that requires KYC, VALR is not for you.

Aside from that, VALR is a robust cryptocurrency exchange for trading crypto assets in South Africa.

BNA Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 satoshis

Here is a more detailed review of the entire platform:

Origins of VALR

VALR is a new cryptocurrency exchange that started in 2019, backed by Bittrex and Montegray Capital. Bittrex, the popular global trading platform, led a $1.5 million seed round investment for the exchange. 

Co-founder and CEO, Farzam Ehsani leads the startup. Before starting VALR, Ehsani was the Blockchain Lead at Rand Merchant Bank and the FirstRand Group. Also, he was the inaugural Chairperson of the South African Financial Blockchain Consortium.

The platform had over 1,500 users who had signed up for closed beta testing. The exchange finally opened to the general public on March 1st, 2019.

VALR Platform Overview

Currently, VALR supports over 40 cryptocurrencies. Out of this number, only Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) have direct market pairs against the South African Rand. 

To buy the other digital assets on the exchange, you have to purchase either Bitcoin or ethereum with your rand and exchange it for the coin you want to buy. 

Further, VALR allows you to deposit funds via bank transfer. It may take up to 48 hours for your new balance to reflect due to the South African banking procedure.

Cryptocurrencies supported by VALR:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Aragon, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin Cash, Bancor, Bitcoin SV, Civic, Cardano, Dash, Decreed, Digibyte, DistrictOx, Ethereum Classic, GameCredits, OmiseGo, Monero, Zcash, PIVX, Qtum, Golem, etc. 

FAIT currencies supported by VALR:

  • South African Rand (ZAR)

Supported African countries: South Africa.

Accepted Deposit Methods:

  • Bank Transfer

How To Buy Cryptocurrency on VALR

The VALR cryptocurrency exchange has an intuitive user interface and experience, which makes it easy for new users to buy crypto assets. To purchase cryptocurrency on the exchange, follow these steps.

  1. Sign up at Valr.com.
  2. Verify your identity.
  3. Deposit funds.
  4. Buy cryptocurrency with a simple buy/ exchange platform.

Signing Up

Signing up on VALR is a quick process that requires you to enter basic details. First, you have to visit valr.com and click the “get started” button at the top right corner or the “start trading” button on the landing page.

After, you will have to enter your name, email, state, password, and referral code (you can enter VAJBUM8A).

  • Save

Verify Your Identity

Secondly, you have to identify your identity. You have to provide a valid ID card to complete your identity verification. Identity verification is necessary as part of KYC and AML guidelines, followed by financial service providers.

Without identity confirmation, you will not be able to use the platform and will be stack on this page.

  • Save

Deposit Your Funds

VALR allows you to deposit funds into your wallet via bank transfer. You can only make deposits from bank accounts in your name. That is to say, a bank account that doesn’t carry the name you provided when identifying your identity will not be accepted.

You have to navigate to your wallets page and click on “Deposit ZAR.” Select the bank you intend to make the deposit from and proceed. You will see the exchanges banking code along with a unique reference number that you must use as a reference.

At this point, you can send your funds from your bank account with the details you have received. It may take up to 48 hours for you to see your balance. Also, remember to use the reference code given to you as the beneficiary reference when sending your funds.

Buy Cryptocurrency (Simple Method)

Now that you have gone through all the above steps, you are ready to buy your cryptocurrency. There two different paths you can take. VALR offers a simple interface for new users who want to buy quickly and an exchange platform for experienced traders.

To use the simple method, click on explore markets, and click “buy” next to the cryptocurrency you want to purchase. You will then have to enter the amount you want to buy in rand and click confirm.

At this point, you have purchased your first cryptocurrency.

Exchange Method

With this feature, you can select a specific price you want to purchase a digital asset. You will have to navigate to the trading pair of the cryptocurrency you want to buy and place an order.

Depending on market activity, your order might be filled immediately or take some time to load. As soon as it fills, you will receive your cryptocurrency in your VALR wallet.

 VALR Exchange Fees

VALR has some fees associated with using its platform. When buying cryptocurrency, you will pay lesser fees if you use the exchange platform compared to the simple buy platform.

Trading Fees

  • Simple Buy: 0.75%
  • Exchange: 0.2% takers

Instead of taking fees from market markers, VALR pays market makers 0.1% to encourage more liquidity. 

Deposits and withdrawals also come with a fee. Cryptocurrency and fiat deposits are free. You will have to pay R8.50 for fiat withdrawals. Compared to other exchanges in the South African market, VALR’s trading fees are relatively moderate.

Other Features

The exchange has a fully Android and iOS integrated application that allows you to execute trades on your mobile phone. VALR also has a referral program that pays you 15% of trading fees when you refer a friend.


VALR is an excellent exchange for buying and selling cryptocurrency in South Africa. The experienced team has made it one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in a short period. What’s more, it is one of the best options for users who want to purchase alternative cryptocurrencies.



Exchange Fees




Ease of Use


Deposit Methods



  • Moderate trade fees
  • Mobile App
  • Beautiful UI and UX


  • Limited deposit options
  • Save

BlockNewsAfrica is a Ghanaian based media company that will provide information and data on the developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry on the African Continent.

Share via