Reading Time: 3 minutes

Arguably the biggest challenge to cryptocurrency is that its day to day utility never been simple. Since inception back in 2009, users have dreamed of a day when they could walk into their local grocery store and buy a carton of (almond) milk and some (cauli) bread and pay with their crypto. Such a day has never been truly realised.

However, one company who has recently launched in South Africa aims to bring such utility to this exciting ecosystem. Bitrefill allows you to purchase gift cards and airtime using your crypto and use them at both physical and online retailers (for example, Pick ‘n Pay, Cape Union Mart, Wimpy, Steers etc.) in South Africa. Most of the codes are issued as “WiCodes”. These WiCodes have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are generated as QR code in the Bitrefill app.

The Bitrefill team has partnered with Global Crypto to offer an affiliate link that allows us here at GC to earn $5 (and help us keep the lights on) when you sign up and spend $50 in the app. If you want to sign up using this link, please click here ->

We will be sharing more details from the Bitrefill team as they share it with us, and we’ll be using the app in the real world to to give more insight into their functionality and utility across the country. Keep an eye on our socials and community groups for updates.

Below is an official announcement from the Bitrefill team as received earlier this week:

South Africa has consistently been near or at the top of the list for countries in which the word ‘Bitcoin’ is googled. Now at last, Bitrefill is completing the local cycle, making it easier to live on Bitcoin.

Bitrefill’s ‘cryptonaut’ has now landed on the tip of Africa, bringing an exciting new range of products for local users to try out. South Africa already has a range of relatively advanced Bitcoin & Crypto services related to purchase and investment options, such as well known exchanges Luno, VALR and Altcointrader through to investment options via companies such as Revix and the EC10 crypto index on Easy Equities. But what about the other end of the spectrum?

Rather than investing in Bitcoin, how does one then go on to use it? Does our Bitcoin have as much value if you cannot use or spend it? Surely this is not just a commodity for speculation, but rather carries more utility as per Satoshi’s original vision: “Bitcoin would be convenient for people who don’t have a credit card”.

Bitrefill is focused on this portion of the ecosystem, and now allows South Africans to spend hassle free, at a large array of well known brand-name stores.

Bitrefill’s South African product line:

The range of stores where Bitcoin can be spent is already extensive and growing every week! Examples of the large brand-names already live on the platform include:

Physical Retailers

Online Retail

Food & Restaurants




Gaming & Other

We allow users to purchase directly in-store with a variety of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and USDT. Using lightning on the Bitcoin network allows for instant payments, and we have found that many users are comfortable purchasing their vouchers through the Bitrefill App (iOS or Android) at the physical till once everything has been rung up, essentially the same as when you would pay with your credit card.

Many users also load funds on the internal wallet, which then eliminates the need for an on-chain transaction and makes the process much simpler, especially if you are in the queue and want to complete a payment quickly. Using the internal wallet means there’s no risk of on-chain delays, and payment is always immediate. In addition, the wallet allows for funds to be stored in Bitcoin as well as USD or EUR if you prefer to avoid volatility risk for your spending funds — you can still fund the wallet with crypto, but select USD or EUR and Bitrefill will automatically convert your funds to your chosen currency!

Another great feature is the ability to pay exact amounts down to the cent! Traditionally gift card users expect a small loss as they purchase slightly more than needed to ensure the bill is covered, but with Bitrefill’s gift cards you can settle the exact amount every time.

For the non-crypto users, there is also the option to purchase gift cards using a credit card, thus allowing even the no-coiners to purchase their favourite items with fiat currency. Bitrefill is the largest global gift card store, making it useful for travellers to spend internationally off a single platform and allowing many around the world to finally ‘live on crypto’.

The service is convenient, secure, user friendly and mostly adapted for small to medium purchases in the retail market. Products are being added all the time, so check the Bitrefill website and start living on Crypto today!