Cryptocurrency exchanges have become the building blocks of the digital asset ecosystem, providing individuals and institutions with the means to buy, sell, and trade a wide variety of cryptocurrencies.
As cryptocurrencies continue to soar in popularity and be adopted by more, the competition among exchanges has also intensified, giving rise to a host of platforms vying to be “the best.”
These top-tier exchanges boast robust security measures, user-friendly interfaces, extensive coin offerings, liquidity, competitive fees, and a track record of reliability.
Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a newcomer to the crypto world, exploring the best crypto exchanges can be a gateway to a dynamic and evolving financial landscape.
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 buying cryptocurrencies can be an attractive option:
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 also turning to it as a new asset class besides the 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:
|Why use it
|Nasdaq-listed Coinbase is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by spot volume. It supports more than 200 cryptocurrencies, and has invested significantly to keep its platform secure.
More than 68 million verified users
Uses Coinbase vaults, two-factor authentication, and stores user funds offline
|Spread pricing creates increases trade costs
|Buyer and seller fees of up to 1% for each trade
|eToro is a good option 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 1% for cryptocurrency purchases
Only 80 currencies supported
|0.75% spread price
|Coinhako is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange and it is the largest cryptocurrency wallet in Southeast Asia by market volume. Furthermore, it is the first Asian firm to be accepted into Boost VC, a Bitcoin accelerator based in Silicon Valley.
|Easy to use, especially if you don’t want the hassle of using a desktop to make trades.
Accepts SGD transfers and is exempt from having a payment license.
You can easily withdraw fiat to your bank account too.
|1% fee + network fees
|0.6% trading fees
|Coinmama lets you use your credit or debit card to buy up to 17 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
No fees for crypto deposits or withdrawals
Multiple funding options
|Complex fee structure: up to 3.99% commission fee
Higher fees may apply for instant delivery
No crypto wallet or mobile app
|Up to 3.99%
|As of January 15, 2023, Kraken is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange
Kraken offers a platform with top-notch security
|Sophisticated features like margin trading
Relatively low Bitcoin (BTC) withdrawal fees
|Staking no longer available to U.S.-based customers
Kraken only accepts a select few fiat currencies
|Up to 3.75%
Fees to watch out for
You can start trading by putting money into a wallet linked to a specific 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 come with 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 each 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. They have also frozen user’s accounts without warning. 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.
What’s ‘best’ for you
The best crypto exchange for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some factors to consider include the fees charged, the security measures in place, the liquidity of the exchange, and the features offered.
If you are a beginner, you may want to choose an exchange that is easy to use and has a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies. If you are an experienced trader, you may want to choose an exchange that offers a wide range of trading tools and features.
It is important to do your research before choosing a crypto exchange. Read reviews, compare fees, and consider the security measures in place. Once you have found an exchange that you are comfortable with, you can start buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency.