9th January 2009 marks the initial release of the first mined and traded Bitcoin (BTC) . Since then, the process was not entitled to only cypherpunks but to millions of people worldwide. It’s popularity has skyrocketed especially in late 2017/early-2018, which many has dubbed the ‘first bitcoin bubble’. Mainstream media and corporations alike have since got involved in other cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin. And a growing number of institutions are currently focusing on developing blockchain solutions to improve on their existing infrastructure. As we move into 2020, we can foresee even more retail investors hopping onto the bandwagon to get their hands on owning some millibitcoins (mBTC), and satoshis (sat) at the very least.
While many countries (at the time of writing) are still sitting on the fence when it comes to accepting cryptocurrencies, governments in these countries are now anticipating the steps taken from crypto-friendly nations like Singapore, Australia, Japan and Malta. One country in particular, Singapore is set to become the de-facto FinTech, Crypto and Blockchain Haven. Coupled with its well-known reputation as one of the most business-friendly nations in the world, it is little wonder that people living or based in Singapore are getting real interested in owning some cryptocurrencies.
“We don’t regulate the technology, we regulate the use cases.”Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS believes that blockchain technology can be used to improve efficiency and reduce cost for services that involve movement of funds across borders and the verification of trade finance invoicing. He also sees a role for these technologies in customer’s credit and profile verification.
So rejoice to all existing and to-be Crypto investors in Singapore! There are no lack of options for seasoned retail investors like yourself, or your Pop in Singapore to get their hands on owning their first cryptocurrencies. While there are a handful of Fiat-to-Crypto exchanges (like DigiFinex, Huobi, COSS, Liquid, GCOX etc…) operating in Singapore, we will be touching on 5 easy-to-use centralised crypto exchanges/wallets in this article, which you could buy cryptocurrencies directly from your local bank accounts (Singapore Dollars – SGD).
First in our recommendation is Binance Singapore (Binance.sg). Here are some notes to be taken when trading between Binance.sg and its global exchange – Binance.com. For example, their native exchange token (BNB) on Binance.sg is currently on ERC-20 (Minted on Ethereum Blockchain) while BNB tokens on Binance.com are minted on their own Binance Chain. What this means is that if you bought BNB tokens on Binance.sg, you cannot directly transfer them onto your Binance.com account. Apart from BNB, the other cryptos are safe from such inconvenience for everyday investors.
At the time of writing, the available cryptocurrencies which you can buy from your Singapore Dollars (SGD) are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) , Neo (NEO) , Chainlink (LINK), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and of course, Binance Coin (BNB – ERC-20 Version)
The Buy and Selling process between Cryptocurrencies and SGD is managed by a reputable local payment processor called Xfers, which allows users to deposit SGD into the account’s wallet prior to purchasing of cryptocurrencies. The process will usually take between 1 to 3 business days for your funds to be deposited into your Binance.sg account.
Binance.sg certainly do gain organic user tractions based on its reputable branding of its parent exchange – Binance.com. However, we do hope that Binance.sg could offer more liquid altcoins for the users in the near future.
Also, in the perspective of someone new into crypto space, the importance of setting up 2FA and KYC is definitely important and law-abiding. However, anyone looking into buying cryptos immediately after registration may run out of luck with the exchange. Thus, for starters, do be prepared to wait for 1 to 3 business days, and the one-time 2FA authentication signup and KYC verification (which can take up to several days) to buy your crypto.
(Hegion has verified the legitimate incorporation of this exchange: UEN201811768M)
Wowoo Exchange Singapore is one of the newest exchanges in the city-state, offering a on-ramp FIAT (Singapore Dollars – SGD) purchase through its digital assets trading platform. With an initial focus on the local market, Wowoo Exchange allows users to deposit and withdraw in Singapore dollars to trade cryptocurrency. As of time of writing, they offer the Top 2 cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum, for those interested in buying via SGD. Additional pairings will be added in the future. New users who register on the platform will also be eligible for sign-up bonuses. Unfortunately, a few features like Referral Invitation Code is absent on the user dashboard. Perhaps they could consider adding that feature to drive more incentives for users at more obvious places in the dashboard.
The Exchange, which opened its doors to the public in early September 2019, announced the launch following news of several partnerships with leading fintech solution providers, including Cynopsis Solutions and Xfers – all of whom share a presence in Singapore’s growing cryptocurrency scene.
Xfers (You lucky b***tard) is also the payment processor for Wowoo Exchange Singapore.
Wowoo Exchange Singapore is currently working to strengthen Wowoo Exchange’s platform security, commitment to regulatory compliance and protection of customer data. Since we are recommending good places to buy your first Bitcoins, we are not going to touch on the technical aspects of the exchange (future articles perhaps)
One thing that we like about Wowoo Exchange is its clean and minimal-looking dashboard which will not confuse beginners, making it one of the most preferred exchange for newcomers in the crypto space to transact their first cryptocurrencies.
Another worthy mention is that buying through Xfers is less complicated than Binance.sg. Simply sign up with Wowoo Exchange, verify your account through your email, and you can start the buying process. It’s that simple with Wowoo!
(Hegion has verified the legitimate incorporation of this exchange: UEN201828951E)
Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, has introduced SGD direct top-up for MCO Visa Cards in Singapore. They can be considered as the top contender in these list due to their ease of purchasing cryptocurrencies by funding their MCO Visa Card with credit/debit cards, in addition to topping up from their Crypto Wallet. While the KYC process exist as well in Crypto.com, they have an accompanied wallet app which allows users to buy/sell or topup SGD right from their mobile devices. Easy.
While Crypto.com has also assigned Xfers as the third-party payment processor, users can easily and instantly top up SGD using their Debit/Credit Cards right from the App! If you belong to those group of users who needs to purchase the crypto at a specific timing (buy low) and need your SGD for the purchases ASAP, Crypto.com’s debit card/credit card top-up feature will definitely save your day!
Users can also top up their MCO Visa Cards with no fees using debit cards and a 1% processing fee (based on the top up amount) will be applicable for top up using credit cards, which is considered pretty decent in the market.
While there have recently launched their Crypto.com exchange feature, it is still too early to tell if it will eventually be a good platform to trade your crypto. But given its straight-forward process in SGD topups, it is easily one of the best platforms to kickstart your crypto journey.
Coinhako is an all-in-one cryptocurrency service as a wallet and exchange. It aims to offer more convenience, better prices and stronger security than other services. It is one of the first service providers in Singapore which allows Singaporeans and Singapore-based individuals to buy cryptos using SGD. A first mover advantage.
In addition to competitive prices and low fees, the Coinhako wallet is also a highly secure and convenient way of storing your cryptocurrencies. This is because funds in a Coinhako wallet are professionally secured and held offline in cold storage, although you can still access them.
Similar to Binance.sg, it requires users to complete the KYC process before users are allowed to proceed with Xfers, and followed by the Crypto purchases.
Hegion has verified the legitimate incorporation of this exchange: UEN201332728R
Shortex is the first fully independent crypto ecosystem competing with fiat money and driving real crypto adoption worldwide. Within our ecosystem people can pay with crypto for products and services, can transfer digital assets to each other, trade and invest in promising crypto projects – all in one place!
Shortex offers one of the lowest rates out of the 5 exchanges as mentioned earlier. However, they have confirmed with Hegion about setting up in Singapore this year. So while we are unable to test out the features as yet, we will be looking forward to the new addition and see what they could offer to the Singapore users soon.
So that is about it for now! If you will like us to take a look at more fiat-to-crypto providers, do let us know via Hegion’s official Social Media channels. Also in our next article, we will be sharing with you recommended wallets for your cryptos, if you are particular about storing your cryptocurrencies in a safe environment, away from hackers and uncertainties in exchanges or wallet apps.
Simplex is a licensed financial institution that provides an online fraud-free payment processing solution. Simplex enables merchants worldwide to accept diverse payment methods, including credit card deposits and purchases, with zero exposure to chargeback risk. The company also operates a secure escrow service for large fiat-to-crypto transactions.
Founded in 2015, Xfers is Southeast Asia’s leading Fintech platform for digital businesses. It’s been our focus to provide the last-mile financial access to the rising digital economy in our region. Traditional banking and regulatory compliance processing are now streamlined to our suite of APIs. In 2019, Xfers’ wallet obtained the approval for Widely Accepted Stored Value Facility from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the first digital wallet to do so and one out of the only six in Singapore.