You know Bitcoin. Maybe heard about Ethereum. And if you’re not under a rock, Dogecoin and perhaps Shiba Inu too.
Cryptocurrency has exploded on the market in a big way, led mostly by stories of millionaires made in seconds, as well as spectacular losses. Arguably the godfather of crypto coins, Elon Musk certainly keeps crypto assets in the media’s eye with his whimsical announcements.
For me, I began seeing it more as a pure speculative sham, but one of the benefits that the pandemic restrictions accorded me was plenty of time at home to investigate. As a creative, I wanted to challenge myself by venturing into something foreign, and shockingly, I became a convert.
As a teenager, I’ve always wondered what makes money, money. What used to be shells and salt is now denoted with paper, and so what stops us us from creating a new currency – especially if it’s decentralised and can be a way out of the great wealth gap issue?
Crypto assets are really just new tech that can transform the way the world works. It’s just hard to see that now because we are in the beginnings of its era – and yes, it’s still early. Think of it as the early internet. People thought nothing of it – just a series of linked, slow intranets that served more as a phonebook than anything else. But the public nature of it allowed developers to build upon it, introducing innovation that allows the internet to be the internet today, free from any overarching jurisdiction.
Excited about this concept, and months of researching, I bought in.
I now know what staking and HODLing (Holding On for Dear Life) is all about, and am reading into the many methodology such as proof-of-stake, proof-of-work, proof-of-time etc, and yet there’s still so much to learn. But because now more than ever, people and institutions are seeing cryptocurrency as a viable future, the main question you’re really here for is:
HOW DO I BUY BITCOIN?
So I created this article especially for Singaporeans who are hoping to hop onboard this train. I realised there’s a lot of foreign resources, but not that much locally, and so I tried to whittle down the info to the basics and let you have a quick head start.
I’ve scoured close to a hundred apps, wallets, platforms and and you’ll notice there are tons of other products I will not mention here (such as Kraken, KuCoin etc.), mainly because I am focusing on the easiest options for beginners.
Not too much techno babble – just how to buy, hodl, swap, sell… and hopefully earn.
Disclaimer: The links below do earn me a personal referral, but also grants bonuses to you too – in no way are any of my opinions influenced by this. And as always, none of the content here is to be taken as financial advice, and always do your own research.
By far the easiest way to enter the market is to buy coins through an exchange or a wallet. I prefer exchanges because they can easily let you swap for other coins in the future if you feel like trading.
I would recommend these:
Initially not in the list because they took a long time (3 weeks) to approve my account, I have now made them the best entry point for a few reasons:
1: Great user-friendly design.
2: A good variety of coins.
3: Currently gives you 30 days of free transactions using credit cards, which is a major plus.
4: Responsive customer service in-app.
They are based in Hong Kong, and have multiple products after their steady presence since 2016. If you want to start buying coins quickly and with zero fees (minus the trading margins), it’s currently my top choice for starters. Bitcoin, Ethereum and all the altcoins (along with some memecoins) are all there.
The only thing I will say is, they have yet to approve of my Xfers account which allows for deposits and withdrawals in SGD, so that has yet to be tested. And the additional manual step to send the coins to the exchange is a little fussy. Please note that if you start with Crypto.com, it’s good to stay there as the withdrawal fees to an external wallet is known to be high.
Coinbase (App & desktop)
I loved this exchange for its ease of use, intuitive design, helpful statistics and easy way to earn free crypto through their occasional promo lessons. I also find that there are hardly any fees (discounting gas fees when swapping or sending) other than the major one when you buy coins – the highest of the lot here by far. But they keep it listed for you to see, so there’s no guesswork needed, and sometimes the convenience might be worth paying for, especially if you want a sturdy and simple platform from the US.
Coinhako (App & desktop)
These fellas are local, so it’s great to be able to support them. Their best bits are probably their range of coins (of which they do add new ones fairly quickly), their rewards system (just by logging in daily), as well as their allowance for bank deposits through Xfers.
That said, they do charge a relatively high 1% for buying and trading transactions, as well as a flat $2 when withdrawing from your account when cashing out. And I hope that when it comes to some of the coins, they can make them fully transactional, – some of my favourites like DOT can only be held in their system.
Gemini (App & desktop)
If you really, really, really want to keep it simple and are not after a lot of new coins, then Gemini is perfect. They boast a long list of benefits:
1: Easy to transact.
2: Able to deposit and withdraw easily through Xfers with no fees.
3: Simple to use interface.
4: Able to send coins up to 10 times per coin externally with no fees per month.
Hands down, the above makes it already a great platform to start with, and the trading fees are one of the lower ones in this bunch. However, if you use the Trader Pro platform, it goes down to 0.2%, which makes it one of the lowest in the market. So if you’re buying Bitcoin or Ethereum, it’s a good way to start. It’s just that you’ll then have to fiddle with the full trading screen which can confuse beginners. But again, really bummer that they have such few coins.
Note that I didn’t bring up these two even though they are fairly comment talked about by crypto traders.
First of all, yes – these are two separate sites even if they are under the same company. You’ll find that the SG version has a lot less coins to buy, while the “official” site has tons. After some time, you’ll definitely want to add these two to your list as they are easier to use when you’re looking to do staking at pancakeswap or the like, but I left them out for now because I find that they can be quite overwhelming for new users are looking to dabble.
Over time, you’ll find that there are hundred of products out there to use. Some act as wallet banks where you can earn interest passively, at much better rates than banks, and others allow you to stake (which is a way of investing like a fixed deposit) to let you earn interest as you hodl your crypto assets.
These are by far, the most straightforward and easiest to both understand and use.
The best part about BlockFi is how simple it is to use it. Just send the coins to the app and that’s it. They will start accruing and depositing the interest into your account. Watch it grow steadily but surely – no other action needed.
I can’t say enough good things about Cake Defi. Based in Singapore and thoughtfully designed, this platform is a breeze and joy to use. With helpful videos and write-ups in some of the clearest language around, their invitation to lend, stake or liquidity mine is an easy one to accept.
It’s straightforward to use and fully transparent, and I can’t to see what these guys will add-on in the future. As a beginner, I advice using the lending feature to earn interest in your main coins, and with the free dfi coins you get from the referral link, you can stake them all and earn massive returns.
Mining is often complex and energy-consuming (for now), but if you want to have a side way to farm without all the gear, then this gaming platform lets you earn while you play its games. It’s repetitive really, as you play the same basic games to level up your hash rate (speed of mining) to get some coins, but hey – it’s a way in.
I’m genuinely thrilled to be on this path – investing in tech products that envision a more inclusive and equitable future. Notice that I stress a lot in investing, because this is how you should best approach putting money in crypto with hopes of good returns. From what I’ve read, this technology revolution is inevitable even if value speculation is volatile. but if you can hodl long enough (say a year to five), you’ll likely see a return the form of which is incomparable to many options out there.
Good luck, and drop me a message if you ever need any clarification. You can also find me on Instagram anytime.
For those who really want to get into crypto and would love a simple overview, Josh Terry has a free introduction that I feel is really insightful.
I hope you liked these recommendations. Whether you’re after Bitcoin gold or love the techy Ethereum, you’re ready to go – and yes the rumours are true, you can start with just $100 – good luck!