Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have at least heard about cryptocurrencies. You’ll hear about them from your friends, your colleagues and your families. Cryptocurrency is the latest hot topic.
Just like bonds and ETFs, cryptocurrency is another form of investment. In recent years, their hype has increased by multiple folds. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, you would have heard of at least one of them.
Cryptocurrency is so widely used today it is even a legal tender in El Salvador! In 2021, El Salvador has become the first country to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender. Basically, you can make payments for anything using Bitcoin.
So, if you’re feeling FOMO and want to join in on the entire cryptocurrency bandwagon, here are 3 cryptocurrency exchanges to use in Singapore.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency that is made by blockchain technology. The popular ones are Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a digital asset and can be used to purchase goods and services.
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency. This digital currency was created in January 2009 and was said to be made by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous person or even persons.
Today, many companies in the world have issued their own currencies which can also be referred to as tokens. You’ll need to exchange real currency (for example USD) for the tokens.
How Can I Start Trading Cryptocurreny In Singapore?
If you’re a working adult in Singapore, chances are that you have a CDP account or some form of investment. Whether it is a savings plan or stocks investment or a property investment, there’ll be a little add-on to your fixed income.
To trade cryptocurrency in Singapore, you will need to open an account with a cryptocurrency exchange. Even with a cold or hot wallet, you will still need to create an account with a cryptocurrency exchange.
On the cryptocurrency exchange, you will be able to trade any coin that the platform is able to support. It is rather similar to how you trade shares on online brokerage sites.
Also, if you’re wondering whether your stock brokerage account can be used to trade cryptocurrency, the answer is no.
For now, you will need specialised platforms to trade cryptocurrencies. You can fund your trades using credit or debit cards. The difference between the platforms would be the fees they charge.
Cryptocurrency Exchange 1: Gemini (Earning interest)
For some of us, the word Gemini reminds us of the two-faced personality from the 12 horoscopes. However, Gemini is also a popular cryptocurrency exchange that you can consider.
At the time of writing, Gemini supports over 40 cryptocurrencies and of course, big players like Bitcoin and Ethereum are included in the list. While the number of supported currencies is a lot smaller than that of Binance, Gemini does have its own perks as well.
Gemini is a platform that has made security their priority. One of their key values is to offer advanced security that can protect their users.
On Gemini, you will be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies against fiat monies. There is also no minimum investment amount.
Interestingly, Gemini has a wide trading fee schedule that is split between 5 schedules. 1) Mobile fee schedule, 2) Web fee schedule, 3) ActiveTrader fee schedule, 4) Custody fee schedule and 5) Transfer fee schedule.
All orders placed on Gemini’s mobile app are known as “mobile orders” and will cost between $0.99 to $2.99. For orders >$200,000, the transaction fee will be at 1.49%. For orders placed on Gemini’s website application, also known as “web orders”, transaction fees are also between $0.99 to $2.99. 1.49% will also be charged on orders >$200,000.
For orders placed on Gemini’s ActiveTrader interface, they have adopted a maker-taker fee model. If your order is filled immediately, you will be charged a taker’s fee. If your order rests on the market and adds liquidity to it, you will be charged a maker’s fee. A taker’s transaction fee ranges from 0.03% to 0.35%. A maker’s fee ranges from 0.00% to 0.25%.
There are no deposit and withdrawal fees on Gemini. However, withdrawal fees may be charged should there be >10 withdrawals in a calendar month. You can read more about their withdrawal fees here.
Cryptocurrency Exchange 2: Coinhako (Trade in SGD)
Coinhako is a local cryptocurrency exchange and it supports over 40 cryptocurrencies on their platform. Similar to Gemini, you can trade against fiat monies as well.
On Coinhako, you will be able to instantly purchase any crypto that has caught your eye. Coinhako allows you to deposit/withdraw directly to your bank account. Your bank transfer can show up within a day. If you want to speed up the process, you can also use Xfers to deposit cash into your Coinhako account within minutes.
There are no fees to deposit into your Coinhako account. For cash withdrawals via inter-bank transfers, there is a charge of $2 SGD. For USD withdrawals in the form of USDT, it is at $15 USD per transaction.
For trading fees, Coinhako charges a flat 1% across all. This includes buying, selling or exchanging cryptocurrencies. 1% might just be a small pinch for small-time investors or small orders, but it will pack a punch if it is a large order.
While Coinhako seems like a platform that feels closer to home (you can trade in SGD), there are cons as well. Coinhako has suffered a security breach before and there are several complaints about their customer service online.
Cryptocurrency Exchange 3: Binance (Greater variety and low fees)
Binance is one of the most versatile cryptocurrency exchanges. Currently, Binance supports more than 500 cryptocurrencies. The list includes the popular tokens such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also the newer ones such as Dogecoin.
On average, the daily trading amount on Binance is $35 billion. This is because Binance is a comprehensive platform that also allows you to trade cryptocurrency futures and options. For passive cryptocurrency investors, Binance will let you earn interest on your holdings.
One of the disadvantages of Binance is that making a deposit in SGD is not very easy. It is a multi-step process. This means that you will need to factor in extra time to deposit money or withdraw money. Lastly, Binance is not regulated or licensed by Singapore’s central bank. Yes, they do look professional and give off the vibe of being regulated but they are not.
Users will be charged a fee for using Binance. For their top VIP users, trading fees can be as low as 0.020% per transaction. For the common folks, it will be between 0.050% to 0.1% per trade. More information about Binance’s fee structure can be found here.
The latest announcement by MAS states that they’ve ordered Binance to stop providing payment services in Singapore and to stop facilitating transactions with Singapore residents. Regulators have reviewed Binance and shared that Binance has been giving off the wrong impression that they are regulated when they are not. Other countries such as Germany, Hong Kong and Japan (and more) have also taken action against Binance.
So if you have assets in Binance, you might want to transfer them asap.
Cryptocurrency Exchange 4: Binance.sg (For Singapore residents)
Right, so with Binance’s exit of the Singapore market, there is a new player in town. Binance.sg is one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency platform and it is made for Singapore residents.
Wait, is Binance and Binance.sg related?
The answer is no.
Binance.sg is a localized version that allows users to open accounts and trade cryptocurrency. Verifying your account, depositing and withdrawing money is easier. The transactions on Binance.sg are also by default in SGD.
Currently, Binance.sg supports BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BNB, LINK, NEO, and BCH. There is no fiat deposit and withdrawal fee, and trading fee is at 0.6%. More info on Binance.sg’s fees here.
Which Cryptocurrency Exchange Should I Venture Into?
Above are only three of the numerous exchange platforms in the world. There are many others to consider, such as Kraken, FTX, Huobi etc.. Well, we may or may not write reviews about them. We’ll see in the future.
To choose a cryptocurrency platform that is suitable for you, users have to determine their own needs. Which cryptocurrency are you looking to trade? How much time do you have to trade? How often will you be trading?
All these will play a part especially when it comes down to transaction fees. Nonetheless, users will always have a choice. If you’re unsatisfied with one platform, why not switch around and try another?