Complete guide to buying Bitcoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies in Singapore

31 Aug, 2020
Welcome to decentralized finance

Buying bitcoin, ethereum or other cryptocurrencies has gotten easier since the first time I bought them. Many exchanges have popped up and consumers are now spoilt for choice. One thing that didn't change much was the extensive know-your-customer (KYC) processes before you can even buy your first crypto. In this guide, I'll compare some of the exchanges accepting SGD and help you select one based on your profile.

CoinHako - Perfect for the everyday Singaporean

Pros

  • Made in Singapore
  • Near instant verification with MyInfo
  • Deposit limit of $20,000 SGD/day
  • Decent spread
  • Mobile app wallet
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • No API access
  • No credit card payment
  • Small selection of cryptocurrencies
  • 0.8% fees

Supported currencies on CoinHako

CoinHako's user experience has improved tremendously since I've used it in 2017. My favorite part of this exchange is it's KYC process. If you are a Singaporean, you can setup an account within minutes by using their MyInfo verification. Once the account is setup, you can simply deposit your funds into their local bank account with a unique description, using FAST transfer. Your fund transfer will be automatically picked up and the balance will be credited to your CoinHako dashboard which you could use to quickly buy cryptocurrencies.

Trading fees on CoinHako

Looking at the current prices, you can see that CoinHako has really decent spread. At time of writing it's around 0.34% for BTC and 0.35% for ETH. However, the kicker comes in at the trading fee - CoinHako imposes a trading fee of 0.8% on all trades. One way to lower the trading fee is through their rewards program where you can claim up to 25% off trading fees using reward points obtained through previous trades or daily login rewards. In fact, the reward is so easily obtainable that I never had to pay the full 0.8% trading fees.

Use this if

  • You have MyInfo
  • You are buying in the range of $100 - $100,000 SGD
  • You are buying & selling infrequently
  • You want to use bank transfer to deposit and withdraw SGD

Buy on CoinHako

Coinbase - For credit card purchase with known company

Pros

Cons

  • Very high credit card fees (3.99%)

Coinbase used to be one of the rare companies that takes credit card for purchase of cryptocurrencies. This convenience, however, comes at the cost of a whooping 3.99% transaction fee. If you are buying cryptocurrencies in small volume, such as buying Ethers for deploying and interacting with smart contracts, you may consider using Coinbase.

If the purchase is for your company use, the ability to use your company card directly or have a clear credit card statement entry will be a major benefits. At small volume, the high credit card fees is still justifiable for the convenience.

Use this if

  • You are using credit card
  • You want the statement to show Coinbase
  • You are buying in the range of $1 - $1,000 SGD
  • Your company is the one paying for the coins

Buy on Coinbase

Changelly - For credit card purchase & instant access to almost all cryptocurrencies

Pros

  • Simple UI
  • No ID verification
  • Credit card purchase
  • Compare across multiple credit card processor
  • Access to a very wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • Swap instantly to other currencies

Cons

  • Ever changing exchange rates

Buying Ethereum on Changelly with SGD

If you like to buy cryptocurrencies with credit card, I'll highly recommend Changelly. For credit card payments, it searches though several payment processors and gives you the best rate, like what Skyscanner does for flight ticket.

The main value proposition for Changelly is the simple UI where even the creation of an account is optional! Other than helping you get into the decentralized finance (Defi) space by getting you your first Bitcoin or Ethereum with credit card, Changelly can help you swap them for other more obscured tokens like ATOM, BAT, TRX, ETC...

One thing to take note is to compare the rates you have been quoted to other exchanges as well so that you do not get shortchanged. Unlike the other exchanges, the exchange rate for buying or swapping tokens are not fixed.

Use this if

  • You are using credit card
  • You are buying in the range of $1 - $10,000 SGD
  • You like to buy other coins
  • You need the coins now

Buy on Changelly

Liquid - For the whales & passive Hodler

Pros

  • Has office in Singapore
  • Deposit limit of $30,000 USD/day
  • Decent spread
  • Very low fees (< 0.3%)
  • Lending features
  • API Access
  • Sophisticated products
  • Access to high leverage

Cons

  • Foreign bank
  • High withdrawal fees

Advanced trading interface on Liquid

Liquid, formerly known as Quoine, is one of my favorite exchange since 2017. If you are looking at buying & trading huge volume of cryptocurrencies, this is the perfect exchange. You can easily deposit tens or hundreds of thousands dollars of funds to Liquid.

Lowest trading fee on Liquid

For an exchange that deals with SGD directly, it has the lowest trading fees at 0.3% (0.15% if you pay using their currency QASH).

On top of the regular exchange Liquid also provide a range of innovative products like perpetual swaps and leveraged trading. In theory you could have up to 100x leverage on your positions.

To fund for those leveraged positions, Liquid has a lending market which allows you to lend out your SGD or cryptocurrencies safely to other traders. In return you will earn interest rates when those trader borrows your funds!

One thing to take not is that while Liquid does not charge deposit fees, it has a steep fiat withdrawal fees of 30 USD + 0.1% of withdrawn amount. That said, there is nothing stopping you from buying at Liquid and cashing out your earnings via CoinHako (by transferring your coins there).

Use this if

  • You are buying > $50,000 SGD
  • You are trading between cryptocurrencies often
  • You want to lend out SGD or cryptocurrencies while sitting on them
  • You are seeking more exciting products

Buy on Liquid

Summary

Now that you have seen how different the exchanges are, you might have an idea of which will suit your needs. Below is a quick summary table of the few points I've discussed.

Exchange CoinHako Coinbase Changelly Liquid
Volume $100 - $100,000 $1 - $1,000 $1 - $10,000 > $50,000
Ease of Use Moderate Moderate Beginner Hard
Funding Bank Transfer Credit Card Credit Card Bank Transfer
Trading Fees Moderate (0.8%) Very High (3.99%) Varies Low (< 0.3%)
KYC Instant with MyInfo Multiple steps Not needed Multiple steps
Link Go to CoinHako Go to Coinbase Go to Changelly Go to Liquid

* If you signed up with some of the links provided, you will be entitled to different perks like discounted trading fees, or free crypto upon successful purchase, depending on the exchange.

Be notified!

Sign up for my personal newsletter to be updated on latest posts, tools & webinars.

© 2020 GEEK SG. All rights reserved.