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How to invest

How to buy crypto in Singapore

18 Aug 2022

Curious on how to buy cryptocurrency in Singapore? We show you the steps.

Invest in cryptocurrency

What you'll learn

  • Choosing a centralised exchange
  • Opening an account with a centralised exchange
  • Funding your account
  • Buying and selling cryptocurrency
  • Choosing what cryptocurrency to buy

TL;DR

  • Buying cryptocurrencies in Singapore often starts with choosing an exchange and opening an account.
  • Thereafter, we would need to transfer funds into our account, either using banks or credit cards.
  • With many cryptocurrencies in the market, we need to choose which one we would like to buy. Most investors would generally start with the more popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Buying and selling of cryptocurrencies on the exchange should be straightforward, but be aware of various fees that may be incurred. 
  • It is important to do proper research and have proper risk management in place before buying cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, has been making headlines in the news regularly. 

However, it might not be the most straightforward to invest into it, given that it is not typically offered by your usual stock brokerage. 

As such, we hope to be able to provide a step-by-step guide on how to buy cryptocurrencies in Singapore.

There are 2 main ways of buying cryptocurrency currently in Singapore:

  • Buying cryptocurrency using SGD or USD (fiat-crypto trading pair) on an exchange
  • Buying cryptocurrency with another cryptocurrency (crypto-crypto trading pair) either on an exchange or on a DEX 

For a new investor, it might be easier to open an account with a Centralised Exchange (CEX), where you can deposit SGD / USD from your bank account, to start trading. 

For the purpose of this article, we will be using Gemini Singapore as an example.

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Step 1 - Choosing a Centralised Exchange

A Centralised Exchange is an organisation that operates similarly to traditional exchanges, where it facilitates the trading of cryptocurrency via an order book. 

Most of the transactions occur in Centralised Exchanges, due to the large liquidity available and ease of access. 

Some popular ones include Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, as well as Coinbase, Crypto.com etc. 

For a beginner, it is usually advisable to choose one that has relatively low trading fees, easy to fund and an intuitive platform.

If you are confused on which exchange to use, check out this article where Beansprout reviewed the best crypto exchanges in Singapore.

Step 2 - Opening an account with the Centralised Exchange

Personal identification documents will be required for account opening, as it forms part of the exchange’s KYC procedure.

You will also need to be of at least 18 years old, before you can open an account.

To make life easier, they have also enabled auto-filling of information via Myinfo from Singpass.

You will also be asked to link your bank account to the exchange as well, for easy funding using SGD.

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Source: Gemini

If you’re using Singpass, it will be almost an instant approval for the account to be opened and ready for funding.

For manual submission of the required documents, the Gemini team will take some time to verify and approve the account.

This verification can take up to days if there are huge volumes of account openings. In normal times, account verification should not take more than 1 to 2 working days.

There will also be a setup process for two-factor authentication, which will add another layer of security to the account.

For Gemini, they use ‘Authy’, which can be downloaded from App Store or Google Play Store respectively.

Pro Tip: Check with your friends for their referral code (USD 10 worth of BTC) and fill in under ‘Enter promotional code’.

Step 3 - Funding your account

Gemini allows for both FAST transfers from banks or from debit cards, You can also manually add more bank accounts subsequently, in the ‘Settings’ Page.

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Source:  Gemini

Gemini has partnered with Xfers as their transfer intermediary, hence you will see the ‘Beneficiary name’ as ‘Xfers Pte Ltd’ instead.

FAST transfers for deposits are typically received on the exchange within a few minutes, but for first-time transfers, Gemini has advised that it might take up to 48 hours due to extra security measures and verifications.

For withdrawal, it will take up to 1 working day.

Do note that there is also a transfer limit of SGD 20,000 per transaction (deposit & withdrawal).

This means that you will have to transact multiple times if you wish to deposit or withdraw more than SGD 20,000. There is no limit to the number of transactions per day.

Lastly, there are also no fees for deposit or withdrawal, making Gemini a very beginner-friendly and affordable exchange to use.

Pro Tip: For 1st-time transfer, test out with a small amount first (<$10) to make sure everything is set up properly.

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Source: Gemini

Step 4 - Buying and Selling cryptocurrencies

Gemini has 2 different types of interfaces - ‘Gemini’ and ‘ActiveTraderTM’.

‘Gemini’ UI is very user-friendly and straightforward, but lacks advanced order types. You can only enter the amount of SGD you wish to purchase with, and the platform will transact at market price.

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Source: Gemini

 

‘ActiveTraderTM’ UI is more sophisticated and offers more order types (limit / stop limit). Their charting is also more advanced as it allows for adding technical indicators and drawings.

To top it off, the trading fees are much cheaper in ‘ActiveTraderTM’, offering 0.40% for buying and 0.2% for selling, as compared to ‘Gemini’ 1.49% for orders >SGD 250.

If you trade more than a certain amount on ‘ActiveTraderTM’, you will be entitled to even lower fees!

In short, there is no reason why you should not use ‘ActiveTraderTM’ for your buying/selling.


Do note that there is a mobile app for Gemini too, but it does not offer the ‘ActiveTraderTM’ mode. The fees will be the same as ‘Gemini’ mode on the desktop.

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Source: Gemini

You can switch to  ‘ActiveTraderTM’ via the ‘Settings - Account’ page. The switch is instant and can be switched any number of times with no fees. 

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Source: Gemini

Pro Tip: If you use Tradingview, you can connect your Gemini account to it and trade from there instead.

Step 5 - Choosing what crypto to buy

Similar to stocks, there are many cryptocurrencies in the market and can be very confusing for most beginners.

Generally, most beginners start their cryptocurrency investing journey with either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).

They’re considered the OGs of crypto and are the top 2 in terms of market capitalization, standing at approximately 750b and 350b respectively, as of end April 2022.

Bitcoin has been called the ‘Digital Gold’ and has outperformed Gold over the past few years. Similarly, Ethereum has been called the ‘Digital Silver’.

There are many other ‘Blue-Chip’ cryptos worth considering as well. Of course, you have to factor in your risk appetite and % of portfolio to invest in crypto, as crypto is generally more risky and volatile.

It is not uncommon to see double-digit swings in a day, hence many people refer to crypto as a ‘roller coaster ride’.

You can refer to Coingecko for the list of crypto ranked by market cap. It also categorises the cryptocurrencies into different ‘sectors’, allowing you to diversify your portfolio.

You can explore the different types of categories (Metaverse / DeFi, etc)  and research on which crypto would fit your allocation strategy.

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Source: Coingecko

Step 6 - Transferring Crypto

If you are intending to withdraw your crypto from Gemini to another wallet or another account, there are some things you need to be aware of and/or do first:

  • Copy down the recipient address and type of blockchain network (incorrect address or network selected will result in possible total loss of the crypto being transferred)
  • Add the recipient address to a whitelist (this might not be mandatory for other exchanges apart from Gemini, but it is a good security measure to use)
  • Make sure you have your two-factor authentication app ready, to approve the transfer

Pro Tip: Note that there is a 7-day approval period for each new address, so plan in advance!

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Source: Gemini

Conclusion

It is not difficult to get started in crypto in Singapore, with the wide range of exchanges to trade on.

Converting SGD to a crypto on a Centralised Exchange is typically the first step into the crypto world, where one can subsequently venture into the many parts of crypto such as DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, etc.

Similar to traditional finance (stocks and commodities), it is important to do proper research, have proper risk management in place and invest in the right crypto.

Take the next step

Disclaimer - We are not sponsored by or affiliated to any of the companies mentioned in this article. Information is accurate as of 25th April 2022.