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How to Buy Bitcoin Singapore: A Beginner’s Guide

Read our user-friendly guide below to find out how to buy Bitcoin in Singapore today.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 09 April 2020

Based in Singapore and wish to buy Bitcoin today? If so, the easiest way to do this is to use a debit or credit card at a regulated online broker. In doing so, the process takes minutes. Alternatively, you might also consider a peer-to-peer exchange or a Bitcoin ATM.

Either way, in this beginner’s guide we show you how to buy Bitcoin in Singapore in the easiest, safest, and most convenient manner. We also give you some handy tips on how to choose a platform.

On this Page:

    Our recommended Singapore Platform

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    Bitcoin in Singapore

    Alongside the likes of Malta, Hong Kong, and Gibraltar – Singapore is often described as a global hub for all-things blockchain. Much of this is due to the crypto-friendly approach that the Singapore government has taken towards the digital currency industry, which has subsequently fed through to the private sector.

    This includes blue-chip firms that are already exploring blockchain-based systems, and a plethora of crypto-project startups. And then you have the likes of Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volumes, who has a base in Singapore.

    In terms of the government itself, authorities are also pushing a number of blockchain initiatives, such as a decentralized platform that can store and secure academic certificates. When it comes to buying and selling Bitcoin in Singapore, residents have heaps of localized methods to choose from. This includes online brokers, crypto-to-crypto exchanges, and Bitcoin ATMs.

    As of early 2020 – the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has since released new regulations for those facilitating Bitcoin purchases in the country. The rules ensure that online brokers verify the identity of all users that wish to trade cryptocurrencies, subsequently falling in-line with the country’s wider regulations on anti-money laundering. To date, there have been no major instances of wide-spread cryptocurrency-related fraud in Singapore, which is extremely positive.

    What is the Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in Singapore?

    As we briefly touched upon above, Singapore residents are afforded a good number of methods when it comes to buying Bitcoin in the country. For those of you that wish to purchase Bitcoin with Singaporean dollars, you might want to consider a Bitcoin ATM. There are currently 8 ATMs active in the nation, so you shouldn’t be located too far away from your nearest terminal.

    For those unaware, this allows you to insert physical notes into the machine, and in return, you’ll receive Bitcoin. The key issue with this method is that Bitcoin ATMs a typically charge high fees.  Alternatively, you might want to consider a peer-to-peer platform. This allows you to connect with a seller in Singapore directly. Once you agree on an exchange rate – alongside the mode of payment (for example a local bank transfer), the coins are deposited into an escrow wallet.

    Once your payment is confirmed, they will then be transferred to your own wallet.  With that being said, peer-to-peer transactions do not benefit from the regulatory protections of MAS, or any other licensing body for that matter.  Instead, the easiest, safest, and most convenient way of buying Bitcoin in Singapore is to use a regulated online broker. For example, platforms like eToro hold regulatory licenses on three fronts, and the account opening process takes minutes.

    Most importantly, the online broker supports heaps of everyday payment methods. This includes bank transfer – or for instant deposits, a debit/credit card or e-wallet. The online broker option will also result in the most cost-effective way of buying Bitcoin  because platforms like eToro allow you to trade on a commission-free basis.

    How to Buy Bitcoin in Singapore: Step-by-Step Tutorial

    As noted above, the easiest way to get your hands on Bitcoin is to use an online broker. Although the process is seamless, it might be the case that you need a bit of guidance if you’ve never bought Bitcoin before. If this is the case, below you will find our beginner-friendly guide on buying Bitcoin in just 5 steps.

    Take note, the below step-by-step instructions are with our top-rated online broker eToro, albeit, the process remains largely the same regardless of which platform you choose.

    Step 1: Open an Account

    You will first need to head over to the eToro website and elect to open a Bitcoin account. The process takes minutes, and simply requires some basic information from you.

    As such, enter the following information:

    • First and Last Name
    • Home Address
    • Date of Birth
    • Australian Tax Number
    • Contact Details

    Regulated platforms are also required to assess your prior trading experience. This is to ensure that as a retail client, you know the risks of investing real-world money.

    Step 2: KYC & Verification

    As eToro is regulated by three tier-one licensing bodies, it takes its anti-money laundering responsibilities very seriously. As a result, you will need to verify your identity by uploading a copy of your passport or driver’s license. In most cases, eToro will be able to validate the document on the spot.

     

    Step 3: Deposit Funds

    Once your ID has been verified, you can then head over to the deposit page. You will see a list of payment method options available to you, which includes:

    • Debit Card
    • Credit Card
    • Local Bank Transfer
    • Skrill
    • Paypal
    • Neteller
    • RapdiPay

    Although eToro supports deposits from Singapore customers, your account will be denominated in USD. As such, you’ll need to meet a $200 minimum deposit threshold, which amounts to around $285 SGD.

    Step 4: Go to Bitcoin Trading Page

    Unless you opted for a bank transfer, your deposit will be credited instantly and thus – you can proceed to buy Bitcoin.  As eToro offers heaps of financial instruments across dozens of asset classes, you are best advised to enter ‘Bitcoin’ into the search box at the top of the screen. Next, click on the ‘Trade’ box.

    Step 5: Buy Bitcoin

    The final stage of Bitcoin investment process is to place an order. This is where newbie traders start to feel intimidated, as you will need to fill out a range of pre-market metrics.

    With that in mind, below you will find a brief explainer of how the order box works. Read through each bullet point as you are before filling the order form out.

    • Buy/Sell: Unless you are planning to short-sell Bitcoin – meaning you think its price will go down, leave the order box set as a ‘buy’ order.
    • Market/Limit Order: If you want to buy Bitcoin at a specific entry price, select a ‘limit order’ and enter your desired price. If you’re happy to take the next available price, leave it as a ‘market order’.
    • Leverage: If you want to buy Bitcoin on leverage, eToro caps this at just 2x on cryptocurrencies.
    • Stop-Loss: You should install a stop-loss order, which allows you to exit your trade when a pre-defined price point is met.
    • Take-Profit: If you want to lock in your profits when a price target is triggered, set up a take-profit order.

    Finally, click on ‘Buy’ to complete your Bitcoin purchase.

    What to Look for in a Singapore Bitcoin Broker

    We always advise our readers to perform independent research when joining a new trading platform – and Bitcoin brokers are no different. As such, we would suggest reading through the following factors that we think you should consider prior to opening an account.

    • Licensing

    At an absolute minimum, you need to ensure that your chosen platform is regulated and can operate in Singapore. In some cases, this will be with the MAS itself. If it isn’t, make sure the broker holds at least one tier-one license. Notably, bodies in this respect include the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), and ASIC (Australia). If your chosen broker isn’t regulated, do not consider joining it.

    • Supported Cryptocurrencies

    Most, but not all, Singapore brokers will list a number of cryptocurrencies that you can buy, sell, and trade. On top of Bitcoin, this might include Ethereum, EOS, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash. With that said, if you’re looking to add other coins digital currency portfolio, be sure to check that the broker supports it prior to opening an account.

    • Payment Methods

    You also need to explore what deposit and withdrawal options you will be able to choose from. Platforms like eToro support a number of payment methods, subsequently making the investment process seamless. This includes debit and credit cards, Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, and a bank transfer. However, not all brokers offer these payment options, so you’ll need to check.

    • Trading Fees and Commissions

    You will want to choose an online broker that offers competitive fees. This should start at the very offset with free deposits. It’s also notable when brokers allow you to buy Bitcoin on a commission-free basis – just like eToro does. You should also explore the competitiveness of the spread, as this is a fee that you pay indirectly.

    • Leverage and Short-Selling

    This particular section won’t be relevant for you if you are simply looking to buy Bitcoin as a long-hold investment. However, for those of you that seek to trade on a shorter-term basis, you’ll want to have the option of short-selling Bitcoin. Similarly, if you want to buy or sell Bitcoin on leverage, you’ll need to ensure the broker offers CFDs.

    • Customer Support

    There might come a time where you need access to top-notch support, so be sure to check what channels the broker offers. This should include live chat and telephone support – preferably on a 24/7 basis. With that said, most brokers operate one  24/5 basis to mirror the traditional financial markets.

    Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin in Singapore

    If you’re too keen on using an online broker, or you simply want to consider other options – below you will find two alternative ways to buy Bitcoin in Singapore.

    Bitcoin ATMs

    Bitcoin Depot Claims to Add 500 Bitcoin ATMs on Its Network

    At the time of writing, there are 8 Bitcoin ATMs located in Singapore. As the name suggests, these are physical ATM machines that allow you to insert Singaporean dollars in, and receive Bitcoin out via a digital wallet.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Once you locate your nearest Bitcoin ATM, follow the on-screen instructions to begin the buying process. When you are prompted to, enter the amount of Bitcoin that wish to buy in whole Singapore dollars (the machine cannot give you change!)
    2. You will then be asked to insert the cash into the machine.
    3. Next, the Bitcoin ATM will simply print out a voucher that contains your unique wallet address. You can claim the wallet by following the instructions printed on the voucher.
    4. Alternatively, some machines will give you the option of having the coins transfer straight to your private Bitcoin wallet. If this is the case, scan the wallet QR Code from your mobile device.

    Take note, some Bitcoin ATMs charge extortionate fees. In fact, this is often as much as 10%. This means that a $500 SGD purchase would leave you with just $450 SGD worth of Bitcoin.

    Peer-to-Peer Websites

    The other option that you right want to consider is using LocalBitcoins. The online platform is a peer-to-peer website, meaning that you buyers and sellers deal directly with one another. You are both protected by the platform’s escrow wallet, which ensures that nobody can be scammed.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Head over to LocalBitcoins, enter the amount you want to buy in Singapoream dollars (the site will know your location form your domain) – and your preferred payment method.
    2. You select a bank transfer, so you’re shown a list of active sellers alongside the Bitcoin exchange rate they wish to sell at.
    3. Once you select a seller and confirm the amount, the seller will send you their bank account details. They will also deposit the Bitcoin into the LocalBitcoins escrow wallet.
    4. You will then need to transfer the funds into the seller’s bank account. Once you do, mark the transfer as complete.
    5. The seller will then receive a notification, and subsequently check their bank account for the transfer. If it has arrived, they will release the coins from the escrow.
    6. The Bitcoin will then show you in LocalBitcoins wallet, which you can withdraw.

    Conclusion

    In summary, with Singapore being a super blockchain-friendly nation, it will come as no surprise to learn that you have heaps of options when it comes to buying Bitcoin for the first time. This includes cryptocurrency exchanges, peer-to-peer platforms, and even Bitcoin ATMs. With that said – and as we have discussed thoroughly in our guide, the easiest way to buy Bitcoin in Singapore is to use a regulated online broker.

    This is because the buying process should not take more than 10 minutes, and you can even use a debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet to fund your purchase. Most importantly, online brokers offer the safest way to invest in cryptocurrencies, as you will have the regulatory protection of licensing bodies like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC.

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    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Crypto assets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.

    FAQs

    Is Bitcoin legal in Singapore?

    As one of the most crypto-friendly nations in the world, it will come as no surprise to learn that Bitcoin is completely legal in Singapore. This includes the process of buying, selling, trading, and even mining Bitcoin.

    What payment methods do Singapore Bitcoin brokers support?

    Singaporeans are usually given the option of depositing funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank transfer.

    Can I buy Bitcoin from Singaporean broker in Australia?

    If you are using a Singapore broker that holds a regulatory license, you will need to provide a copy of your government-issued ID. If anonymity is important to you, your best bet will be to use a Bitcoin ATM.

    What is the minimum amount I have to invest?

    If opting for a regulated broker, you'll likely need to deposit at least $150-$250 SGD to get started. This will, however, vary from broker-to-broker.

    Can I buy Bitcoin with leverage in Singapore?

    Singapore has imposed a maximum leverage limit of 50:1 for non-professional traders. However, it's unlikely that your chosen broker will give you this much when trading Bitcoin. In fact, regulated brokers like eToro limit cryptocurrency leverage to just 2:1.

    Remember, all trading carries risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
    Kane Pepi

    Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.