In our series of articles on how to buy bitcoin in Asia, we previously covered how to buy bitcoin in Malaysia. We will now look at how to buy bitcoin in Singapore. This tiny island-state is one of the most developed countries in Asia and has many Bitcoin exchanges despite its small population. With clear guidelines from regulators, Singapore has become a hub for Bitcoin startups to establish a presence. The Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore (ACCESS) plays a role in fostering the development of the Bitcoin ecosystem on this nation. If you would like to read more about the Bitcoin landscape in Singapore, TwoBitIdiot recently published "Bitcoin in Singapore".
Coinbase announced in September 2015 that it is launching services in Singapore. Coinbase makes it really simple to open a bitcoin wallet and buy your first bitcoin. It integrates directly with your bank account to make purchases seamless. Coinbase is founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Brian used to be a software engineer in AirBnB while Fred used to be a trader in Goldman Sachs before they both founded Coinbase. Coinbase has raised over US$106 million in venture capital funding from several notable investors such as New York Stock Exchange, BBVA Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. Use this link and purchase S$100 worth of bitcoin to get an additional free S$10 worth of bitcoin from Coinbase!
CoinHako is the first Bitcoin startup in Asia to be picked by Silicon Valley-based incubator Boost VC, an incubator focused on accelerating Bitcoin companies. Founded by Yusho Liu and Gerry Eng, Coin Hako has been called “the best company coming out of Singapore” by Adam Draper, CEO of Boost VC. After realizing how hard it is to buy bitcoin locally, Liu and Eng have made their objective clear - to bridge the gap between Bitcoin and the non tech-savvy users. Buying and selling Bitcoin via CoinHako is nearly instantaneous with a local Singapore bank account. CoinHako charges a 1.9% commission fee for each trade. Use the COINGECKO promo code to get discounted trading fees of 0.8%.
Luno (previously known as BitX) is one of the latest exchanges to offer bitcoin buying/selling services in Singapore. Founded in January 2013, Luno focuses on emerging markets across Africa & Asia. In July 2015, Luno raised a US$4 million Series A funding round from Naspers, a South African media conglomerate and Digital Currency Group. In December 2015, Luno raised a further funding round from Venturra Capital, a South East Asian focused VC firm based in Indonesia. Luno has slick iOS and Android apps for users and are currently charging 0% promotional buying/selling fees for BTC/SGD trades.
Coin Republic is Singapore’s premier bitcoin brokering service. Founder, David Moskowitz used to also run the first cash out capable bitcoin vending machine in Singapore. Coin Republic's pricing is transparent with no hidden spreads. A straight commission is charged on trades where the bitcoin buy/sell price is determined by the exchanges that Coin Republic uses to buy and sell with. David has written an article explaining how bitcoin brokers charge fees.
itBit brings Bitcoin exchange in Singapore to a whole new level by offering a global platform for trading bitcoin in USD, SGD and EUR to investors and traders. Mainly targeting the financial industry, itBit wants to provide a platform for investors to reach out and utilize Bitcoin innovatively. For enhanced security, there is a withdrawal holding period for all withdrawals in both bitcoin and Fiat currency. It is something to keep in mind, if withdrawal urgency is of concern when using itBit.
The co-founders of itBit, Richmond Teo and Jason Melo, bring to the table their vast experience in financial services. The company received USD3.25 million in funding from Canaan Partners, RRE Ventures, Liberty City Ventures and notable angel investors, Jay W. Jordan II and Ben Davenport. Antony Lewis, the director of business development at itBit and also current President of ACCESS has written extensively on cryptocurrencies such as this article comparing Ripple to the Hawala network.
Run by Dealworks Pte Ltd, FYB-SG is the first and oldest Bitcoin exchange in Singapore. FYB-SG boasts easy and transparent transactions, with their open Order Book feature giving customers full transparency. They also feature low trade fees of only 0.6%, along with instant bitcoin withdrawals and SGD Deposit/Withdrawals via local banks. Founder, Luv Khemani believes that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and sees the free market as the best way to determine the value of bitcoin.
CRXzone, incorporated in Singapore as Intellect Market Pte. Ltd. was founded in February 2014. Customers can trade bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin on the platform. CEO, Pawan Kumar has 25-year experience in the IT industry and has been involved in digital payment networks since the E-gold days. CRXzone separates itself from the other Singapore-based exchanges by providing several unique funding options such as OKPAY, Egopay and PerfectMoney on top of bank transfers. For additional security, withdrawals are processed manually by a member of the staff.
Bitcoin Exchange Pte. Ltd. provided Singapore with its first Bitcoin Vending Machine at Citylink Mall. Bitcoin Exchange, co-founded by Zann Kwan, has large plans for outfitting South East Asia with Bitcoin Vending Machines. The machine at Citylink Mall has been moved to Chinatown/Kreta Ayer at WorkLOR, 531 Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Complex, #03-11, Singapore 050531. Bitcoin ATMs is the fastest way for beginners to obtain small amounts of bitcoin as all one needs to do is insert cash into the machine and provide a QR code Bitcoin address. There is no registration or bank transfers required and the transaction can be completed instantly. Currently this Bitcoin ATM is a one-way buy-bitcoin only machine but Zann has plans to introduce two-way buy/sell-bitcoin ATMs in the future.
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Bobby is the co-founder of CoinGecko, a cryptocurrency ranking website that gives a 360 degree overview of cryptocurrencies. Follow the author on Twitter @bobbyong