A Simple Guide to Buying Cryptocurrency in Singapore

Own a crypto in 30 mins with this simple guide!

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I Got Crypto-ed.

Stepping into the world of cryptocurrency has been a refreshing experience. The more I use it, I went from being ‘slightly skeptical’ to having a better appreciation of why cryptocurrency makes sense.

Cryptocurrencies are simply:

  1. Currencies that are not defined by borders.
  2. Currencies that do not rely on centralized authorities for trust and value.

If you have been curious about this whole cryptocurrency thing, it is a good time to try out and understand more about how cryptocurrency works.

Buying My First Cryptocurrency

The first cryptocurrency I bought was Binance Coin (BNB) on Binance Singapore. Buying my first cryptocurrency was quite a straightforward process.

However, I feel that it can be better and clearer.

As easy as the process of buying cryptocurrency in Singapore seems to be, I still had to spend a few hours pouring through various resources and doing my own research.

This time spent could be avoided if there had been a clearer guide.

It would have been much easier if I had known the various platforms available (shown below) to buy cryptocurrency in Singapore.

Available platforms you can buy cryptocurrency from:

FeesCoin AvailabilityNotes
CoinhakoFree  (Bank) 0.55% (Xfers) 4% (Credit Cards)~30 types of cryptosAt the point of writing, some coins are not transferable, meaning you can only buy or sell the coins. You are not allowed to transfer the coins to other exchanges or wallets.
Coinbase3.84% (Credit cards)~51 types of cryptosPayment with credit cards only. You can do some trading here but limited to the available cryptos.
Gemini3.49% (Debit cards)~34 types of crpytosOnly support debit cards. Credit cards not supported.
Luno ExchangeFree (Xfers)~6 types of cryptosYou only can buy a limited range of cryptos.
Binance.com2% (Credit Cards)This is where you find everything Payment via Credit Cards has been disabled for now. There is no other way to purchase cryptos through this platform.
Binance.sg0.6% (Xfers)~8 types of cryptosThere is an annual limit of $30,000 SGD from Binance Singapore through Xfers.

A Simple 30 Minutes Guide to Help You to Buy Your First Cryptocurrency

diagram showing the process of buying crypto
This diagram shows the simplified process of buying cryptocurrency in Singapore

This guide aims to help crypto newbies (like me) take a baby step into the world of cryptocurrency, without being confused by the vast wealth of information out there on the Internet.

At the end of this guide, you should be able to buy your first cryptocurrency, and I’ll be using Dogecoin as an example.

What is Dogecoin?

dogecoin
Source: Finance Express

Officially, Dogecoin is a mem cryptocurrency invented by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to create a payment system that is instant, fun, and free from traditional banking fees.

Unofficially, Dogecoin started off as a joke. However, this ‘joke’ is now one of the most widely traded cryptocurrencies in crypto exchanges.

dogecoin 24 hour trading volume
At the point of writing, the 24hour trading volume for Dogecoin is 1 billion!

If You Had Bought $1,000 Worth of Dogecoin Back in 2020…

Everyone is talking about Bitcoin – but how about Dogecoin? If you had invested $1,000 SGD buying Dogecoin in 2020, it’s worth about $14,000 SGD now!

However, you have to be aware that Dogecoin is a highly speculative crypto – I do not advise investing in Dogecoin! The only reason why I am using Dogecoin as an example is because it is more accessible to people at approximately ~SGD$0.40 per coin (read: cheap).

You can refer to our upcoming article on recommended cryptos to invest in if you want to find out more about potential cryptos that you can put money in.

Do note that not all brokers and exchanges allow the trading of Dogecoin; there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies out there, so most brokers usually offer a limited range of crypto.

Disclaimer:

1. Do your own research to find out what the potential risks are before putting money into any cryptocurrency.

2. This is not financial advice.

3. Do not use money that you cannot afford to lose and even more important – do not borrow money to put money into cryptocurrency!

Getting Things Ready

Dealing with cryptocurrency is not as anonymous as some people think. To start buying cryptocurrency, especially in Singapore, you need to do a certain degree of identity verification.

This is known as KYC (Know Your Customer). Financial institutions apply this to verify a customer’s identity, essentially to make sure that they are not on any prohibited sanction lists or are known criminals using the organisation for money laundering.

To start, you need to prepare the following:

  1. Pictures of your NRIC (both sides)
  2. A piece of paper, marker, NRIC, and a mobile camera (for Xfers verification)
  3. Bank statement of the bank you plan to use for depositing and withdrawing cash
  4. An Authentication App (For this, I am using Authy, you can also choose to use Google Authenticator App)
  5. Singpass Application for MyInfo verification

Open an Xfers Account

You will need to know how you are going to pay money for the crypto investment. If you are buying cryptocurrency in Singapore, you can do it via Xfers, Credit Card / Debit Card payment, or direct Bank Deposit.

Xfers / Direct Bank Deposit require less fees as compared to Credit Card / Debit Card payment, however, Xfers / Direct Bank Deposit require more steps to be undertaken for payment to go through.

xfers website

I personally prefer using Xfers due to the low transaction fees and speed of transaction, which is usually less than 10 minutes. Direct bank deposit will very much depend on the entity’s clearing schedules, which can be around 1-2 working days.

To sign up for an Xfers account, go to this link.

You will need to go through a series of identity verifications before you can get your account verified and ready.

Xfers has an interesting verification process that requires you to take a selfie with a piece of paper and your identity card. You will also be required to submit your bank statement.

This process of verification normally takes around one business day.

Open a Coinhako Account

There are a few avenues where you can purchase your first crypto, but here, I recommend you start by exploring Coinhako.

coinhako website

A proper exchange is more suitable to trade crypto. Coinhako is fundamentally a crypto brokerage – the platform does not allow you to set a bid or asking price. It only allows you to convert or swap cryptos at the fixed exchange rates they set.

Coinhako is one of the easiest places to buy cryptocurrency in Singapore, though it does have some limitations as a trading platform.

I recommend you to only use Coinhako as a place to purchase crypto with SGD funds; trading of other cryptos is better off at other exchange platforms such as Binance.com.

To sign up for a Coinhako account, go to this link.

Similarly, Coinhako requires you to go through identity verification before you are allowed to commence trading.

Once your Xfers and Coinhako accounts are verified, you are ready to buy your first cryptocurrency!

Funding your Coinhako Funds

To buy your first cryptocurrency, you need to fund your Coinhako account or you can buy directly with a credit card.

As a start, we can try out by funding our Coinhako account with SGD $100. It should be enough to buy some Dogecoins!

Funding via Xfers

On the main dashboard, simply click Deposit Cash (SGD) and Xfers Direct Charge.

Type in $100 SGD and you will be able to observe that Xfers charges 0.55% (55 cents for $100) as deposit fees. There are no other charges by Coinhako.

funding via xfers

Click Request Deposits and follow the instructions carefully to make a manual bank transfer.

Once the transfer has been committed, click the “I have transferred” button and await the confirmation by Coinhako.

From my experience, this process usually requires only around 10 minutes from point of transfer to point of confirmation.

Funding via Bank Deposit

You can choose to fund Coinhako directly without going through Xfers. At the Coinhako bank transfer tab, you will be given the bank details for you to commence the transfer. Although there is no fee for this mode, there is, however, no instant confirmation, so you will be required to wait around one business day for Coinhako to process the payment.

Personally, I do not like this method, as quick confirmation is important for me. If you do not mind waiting and prefer to not paying ‘possibly avoidable’ fees, you can choose this mode of funding your account.

And Now, You Can Buy Your First Cryptocurrency

Once your funds are in, click on the Trade menu and key in $50 SGD to buy Dogecoin!

The system will reflect the number of Dogecoins you can purchase, depending on the exchange rate / market price at the point of time.

Do note that you only have a few seconds to confirm your order; otherwise, the quote will expire and the exchange rate will change again. (crypto prices can, and do, change very quickly, moving in or against your favour).

Once you click on the confirmation, the transaction will take a few minutes to be reflected on your holdings.

Buying Direct via Credit Card

If you choose to purchase cryptocurrency at Coinhako with a credit card, there will be a fee of 1% for Coinhako and a 3% fee for usage of credit card.

In the example below, there’s a fee of $4 for $100 SGD worth of fund deposit.

buying cryptocurrency direct via credit card

Different Fund Deposit Modes at Coinhako

Here is a summary and comparison of the different modes.

MethodTransaction FeesSpeed
Xfers0.55%~10 mins
Credit / Debit Card4% / 1% Coinhako & 3% Credit Card~1 mins
Bank DepositNone1 day

Congrats! You Own Your First Cryptocurrency!

ownership of cryptocurrency

Now that you know how to buy cryptocurrency, you will need to know how to transfer it to your wallet or transfer it to an exchange for trading.

Looking for a trading platform to trade US stocks? Check out moomoo!

Disclosure: This post contains referral and affiliate links to 3rd party products and services. If you go through them to make a purchase, we will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Featured Image by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash

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    I run a boutique digital agency that specializes in helping clients with web development and search engine marketing work. I aspire to be a kickass blockchain developer one day.
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