Cryptocurrencies are all the rage. The value of Bitcoin, for example, has skyrocketed nearly 5,000% since 2017.
So do cryptocurrencies make good investments? We’ll tell you what they are, whether it’s a good idea to buy them, and which platform you should buy these coins from.
What are cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies you can buy goods and services with, or trade. The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created in 2009.
Most cryptocurrencies are created on the blockchain, which means that every transaction is recorded. They are built on a network that is decentralised — they can be sent from person to person without any intermediaries like a bank or credit card company.
Why buy cryptocurrencies
Here are a few reasons why you should buy cryptocurrencies:
Without having to trade through intermediaries, cryptocurrencies cannot be controlled and manipulated by governments and banks.
Every transaction is also entered on a public ledger, which can prevent fraud.
2. Diversified portfolio
As more people come to know about cryptocurrencies, investors are turning to it as a new asset class besides their usual stocks, bonds, and funds.
3. Low transaction fees
Unlike international payments, which may charge a 3.5% to over 10% fee and take several days to process, cryptocurrencies transaction fees could be as low as 0.5%.
Best platforms to buy cryptocurrencies in Singapore
Currently, to trade a specific type of cryptocurrency, you need to buy and sell it using other cryptocurrencies or fiat money on an exchange.
Here are some popular cryptocurrencies exchanges:
|Platform||Why use it||Pros||Cons||Cryptocurrencies offered||Trade fee|
|Coinbase||Nasdaq-listed Coinbase is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by spot volume. It supports more than 140 cryptocurrencies, and has invested significantly to keep its platform secure.||Reasonable fees — buyer and seller fees of up to 0.50% for each trade|
|Spread pricing creates increases trade costs||141||Buyer and seller fees of up to 0.50% for each trade|
|eToro||eToro is good for beginner traders. It offers practice accounts that let you ‘buy’ cryptocurrencies without using real money.||Easy-to-use copy-trading platform that lets users mimic trades from others on the platform||High spread fee of 0.75% for cryptocurrency purchases|
Only 17 currencies supported
|17||0.75% spread price|
|Gemini||Gemini has two types of trading platforms — a basic one for casual investors, and an advanced platform for professionals. There is also a portal for users to trade with one another.||Gemini provides digital asset insurance in case there are hacks||Higher fees than other exchanges — up to 1.49% depending on the trading platform; 3.49% for debit card purchases||77||Up to 1.49% depending on the trading platform; 3.49% for debit card purchases|
Other fees may apply
|CoinMama||Coinmama lets you use your credit or debit card to buy up to nine different cryptocurrencies.|
When you place an order, the funds are instantly verified and the cryptocurrency you buy is deposited into your crypto wallet.
|Instantly delivers your order|
Transfers cryptocurrency to any crypto wallet
Multiple funding options
|Complex fee structure — up to 3.90% commission fee|
Higher fees may apply for instant delivery
Does not support ACH bank transfers
|9||Up to 3.90%|
|BlockFi||BlockFi lets users borrow using cryptocurrencies as collateral, trade with no added fees, and lend to earn interest.||Earn up to 9.5% interest when you lend out your cryptocurrencies|
No added fees for cryptocurrency trades
|When you borrow using cryptocurrencies, the interest rate ranges from 4.5% to 9.75%, on top of a 2% fee||13||No traditional trading fees, but transfer and withdrawal fees may apply|
Fees to watch out for
You can start trading by putting money into a wallet linked to the cryptocurrency exchange. This can be done through bank transfers, credit or debit card deposits, or PayPal transfers.
While it’s often free to transfer money directly from your bank account, credit or debit card transactions may charge a 2% to 5% fee. PayPal deposits usually charge a fee of 2.5% or more.
Here are the most common trading fees:
- Flat fee: Some exchanges charge a fee for trades below a certain amount. Others charge a fee for large trades.
- Percentage fee: The fee is calculated as a percentage of the total trade. It can be reduced if the user trades using the platform’s utility token. The more the user trades, the lower the fee.
The best way to find out how much of a cryptocurrency you are getting for your dollar is to compare the price of that trade with other exchanges. Use sites like CoinGecko to help you compare the market rates.
After buying your cryptocurrencies, you can leave it and your leftover fiat money in the exchange’s wallet. However, it can be risky as exchanges have been hacked before, or they have suddenly frozen people’s accounts. Some users prefer to transfer their cryptocurrencies to a third-party wallet, although this incurs additional withdrawal fees.
Some platforms like Gemini offer a limited number of free withdrawals each month, but most charge a withdrawal fee.
Cryptocurrencies may not be used widely today and their prices are still relatively volatile compared to traditional cash, but the technology backing these digital currencies is improving, and more people are using them in areas such as finance and gaming today. The long-term growth of cryptocurrency is bright. It might be worth putting some money behind it today.