Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How to buy bitcoins or ether in Singapore

Many people are interested in buying bitcoins (BTC), ethereum (ETH), or other altcoins in Singapore. Fortunately buying bitcoins, ethereum and other altcoins can be very simple with USD (US dollars) or SGD (Singapore dollars).

(NOTE: Screenshots and graphic will be posted in the next week, give me some time to take proper screenshots)

There are many exchanges in the world where you can use your currency to buy bitcoins. Some established exchanges are

1) Bittrex
2) Binance
3) Kucoin
4) CoinHako
5) CoinBase
6) Gemini

The list is not exhaustive, there are many exchanges out there. You can choose which exchanges you may be more familiar and feel safe with.

Buy bitcoins and ether on Gemini

I use my Singapore bank to change my SGD to send USD to Gemini Exchange, buy bitcoins and ether. Instructions on how to do so is below, so that it is easy for you to follow and buy your bitcoin.

Buy all other coins on Binance and Kucoins

For other alternative coins that are less mainstream, I will transfer bitcoins from my Gemini Exchange account to Binance and Kucoin to buy alt coins. I have a range of altcoins such as NEO, SYS, etc. Do your own due diligence.
Scroll on the way down to see the advantages and problems with Binance and Kucoins.

Singaporeans' preferred bitcoin exchange

For convenience, Singaporeans may look to CoinHako and CoinBase for ease of transfer for SGD to buy their bitcoin or ether. They are easy to use.
For savings, I prefer to use Gemini exchanges, it is easy and has one of the better exchange rates for bitcoins.

How to buy btc /eth on Gemini Exchange with SGD

First, visit https://gemini.com to open a "Personal Account".

Account opening and verification takes 1-2 working days. They would require you to send in a recent photo of your passport, and a photo of you holding your passport, with your face visible, and holding a piece of paper with the date on it.
It may sounds tedious but it takes me only 4 minutes or so with a camera phone.

Verification of your email, your passport and photo may seems overwhelming but it is fast and offers you much better security on your account. Bitcoins are on the internet, and all solid exchanges need to have high security against cyberfrauds and cyberhacking, as well as traditional crimes. Those photos, verification and passport copies go a long way to protect your bitcoin.

Add a bank account

Click "TRANSFER FUNDS" then "Deposit Into Exchange" then "USD (Wire Transfer)".

For first timers, they will ask you to enter your bank account.

Fill in your details as requested
1) Name
2) Checking or Savings Account (In Singapore terms, a checking account is a Current Account)
3) Bank Account number
4) Swift Number
5) Deposit number (in USD)

You will receive an email with instructions. Follow the instructions on depositing USD into Gemini exchange.

Each transaction, you need to click TRANSFER FUNDS -> DEPOSIT INTO EXCHANGES to get a personalised individual memo code for you to paste into the bank remit instructions so that Gemini will credit your account with it.

Depositing USD into Gemini to buy bitcoin

You can remit money to Gemini's bank account via many ways

1) Remittance Agencies
2) Banks

Remittance agencies to transfer USD

Remittance agencies charge a small fees, but it is worthwhile as their exchange rates are some of the best, so you get more value for larger sum transfer. However they are more worthwhile when it comes to regional currencies like China Reminibi, Peso, Rupiah etc and not as low fees for USD to US banks. Remittance foreign exchange rates are the best. Remittance agencies are common at places with lots of foreign workers, such as Chinatown, Aljunied, Golden Miles etc.
You have to physically visit these branches and pay cash or via NETS payment.

Banks Transfer / Wire Transfer

Banks offer an easier solution online for those with internet banking. All Singapore banks and many foreign banks (I have done DBS, UOB, OCBC, SCB and MAYBANK) allow you to remit USD to an USA bank, so no issue at all. You just login to personal internet banking at all major bank portal and look for options to remit or transfer.

Personally I have used DBS Remit - there are no fees and the foreign exchange rates are reasonable. The transfer is same day and quite fast.

To transfer to Gemini, you need to fill in this at the remittance forms or the bank online form
These details are correct as of 06 Feb 2018.
Please double check what is shown in Gemini Exchange before making your transfer.

Recipient Name:
Gemini Trust Company LLC

600 Third Avenue, 2nd Fl
New York, NY 10016
United States of America

Recipent bank- Choose "Other banks in United States"


Recipent Bank Account Number:

Clearing Code:
Please do write out your account information and unique letters assigned to your account in the "Remarks", "Memo" or "Instructions"

How long would it take to receive money in Gemini?

It will take roughly half a day to 2 working days. Do take into consideration any USA banking holidays. For example they may be celebrating Thanksgiving which is a normal working day in Singapore.

Other Coin Exchanges 


Binance is quite a relative new exchange and has the capacity to match buyers and sellers rapidly. They are based in Hong Kong, a financial and law abiding centre of Asia.

The fees is reasonable at 0.1% (if you use BNB to pay, you only fork 0.05%)
The customer service is prompt and helpful, use Telegram app to speak to them.
New alternate coins get listed on Binance fast, so you will can buy and sell the alt coins that caught your fancy.

The disadvantages is that they are relatively new, so their trading pairs of coins are limited. It will take a few months for them to have more trading pairs with different currencies and coins.
Open your Binance btc eth trading account here.


Kucoin is also based in Hong Kong (Looks like Singapore and Hongkong are vying to be the new financial center of cryptocurrencies in Asia), and is more new than Binance.

As the new player, they are more active in listing new coins and promoting them. Hence, there are 0% fee for listing of many new coins.
The fees to buy is only 0.1%
There is also a referral program where you can refer friends over and you get a little benefit.

The disadvantage is that being a new player, their trading pairs are small, and the servers are not sufficient, it tends to lag when traffic is high. Thankfully, they are increasing the servers and this problem will go away soon.
Open your Kucoin btc eth trading account here

Take bitcoin out of internet and put in your wallet

You can also add in security for your bitcoin by withdrawing bitcoin (or other digital coins) from the internet exchanges and keep it in a physical hardware wallet. This means that it is no longer available on the internet exchanges and the address is only available in a physical copy in your hardware wallet. This is the equivalent of withdrawing the cash from your bank account at the bank branch, and keeping it in your home safe.

For such physical hardware wallet for bitcoin, you can buy from Bitcoin hardware wallet Ledger Nano Shop

Passive income mining bitcoins

If you live in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos or the Philippines (basically, south east asia) you may want to enjoy passive income by starting your own small mining farm.
Get your own rigs, set it up in your home / office and start mining bitcoins. In return for processing transactions of bitcoins, you will get rewarded by the bitcoin ecosystems with bitcoins.
You can do the same for ether, litecoin, neo, and other alternate coins.
You can refer to Bitcoin Ether mining Rigs in Singapore

Passive income from Loan Program

You can also earn passive income via a loan crowdsourcing program.
Earn 3% per month, with insurance backing for 100% capital protection. This program is in Singapore and do let me know if you are able to visit the corporate office at The Sail, Marina Bay, Singapore for the explanation.
There are 2 drawbacks to this loan program - at any time you want to exit the program, you need to have 4 weeks notice so that the money can be transferred to your local bank account.
Secondly, as this is for accredited personals, the minimum sum is $20,000 SGD, not as low as mining rigs.
For any details, please email me at cedricsoh@gmail.com

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