How to buy altcoins in Singapore? There has been an influx of retail into the crypto space and most bought bitcoin or ethereum as their first investment. But I realised that there is also a growing interest in the altcoin forest and it is a whole new world out there.
You want to have exposure to alts and DeFi coins as Altseason is already here. This where you have the potential to 5x, 10x your money. Hence I have written an extension guide from my previous “Beginner’s guide to crypto” blog post to help those move forward the next step in Crypto. And that is how to buy altcoins in Singapore.
1. How to Buy Altcoins in Singapore?
The easiest way to buy altcoins is directly using SGD, but usually there are only a few of them. This is when there is a direct pairing between that altcoin and SGD. So the first thing you should do is to check whether that altcoin is available on the regulated Singapore brokers. It is the most straightforward method to buy altcoins in Singapore.
The big ones are Coinhako, Binance Singapore, Gemini and Crypto.com. I am least familiar with Crypto.com as I have not bought from there. For Coinhako and Gemini, you can link your bank account directly and do a bank transfer. For Binance Singapore and Crypto.com, you would need an Xfers account to do deposits and withdrawals.
Coinhako, Gemini and Crypto.com offer a decent variety of altcoins to choose from. Gemini has a lot of DeFi coins. But Binance Singapore is pretty stale and stagnant. Since their launch date till now, I don’t remember hearing any announcements on any new token listing.
In terms of fees, Binance should be the cheapest (0.6%) then Coinhako (0.8%). Gemini is the most expensive one at around 3-4%. But Gemini has no withdrawal fees if you make < 10 withdrawals a month. Withdrawal fees are one of the key components to look at as we will see later.
In terms of vibrancy and developments, Gemini is fairly new in Singapore and they have the best UI/UX interface. It is clean, sleek and simple. Coinhako, Crypto.com and Gemini are pretty active in development but Binance Singapore is a little outdated. I don’t think they have an active team here in Singapore and it seems like they just want to sell BTC/ETH and BNB.
If your altcoins are listed on any one of the above exchange, just buy it directly with SGD. It is the fastest and cheapest option.
However, if you can’t find your altcoin in the regulated brokers, then go straight to big centralised exchanges. Binance is the number one recommended place to go. (*Note this is the global Binance and not Binance Singapore) They are the biggest exchange in the world with the highest volume and liquidity. This means lower slippage and cheaper fees for you.
2. Buying Altcoins using BTC/ETH
Almost all altcoins in crypto are paired either in BTC/ETH or USDT. This is the most liquid pairing that everyone trades on. This means you are buying altcoins directly using BTC/ETH or USDT. Not SGD anymore like in Coinhako or Binance Singapore.
The first method is to buy BTC/ETH, then transfer your BTC or ETH out from Coinhako and deposit them into Binance. But by doing so, you take on the price risk as BTC or ETH value could dip while you are still in the process of transferring.
A transaction is usually confirmed after a few block confirmations. Maybe you calculate 1 ETH can exchange for 3.2 AAVE but by the time your ETH reached Binance, ETH price drops and that 1 ETH is now worth only 2.8 AAVE. Usually, the price doesn’t fluctuate to a material extent in such a short time, but anything can happen in crypto.
Adding on to that, you also have to pay for withdrawal fees when you transfer tokens out. On Coinhako, BTC is 0.0006 and ETH is 0.06. On Binance Singapore, it is 0.0004 and ETH is 0.01. Make sure to check the withdrawal fees on the exchange as they do not come cheap.
Once you have transferred in your BTC/ETH to Binance exchange, then you can practically buy any altcoins you want on the market.
That is how we buy altcoins in the past before stablecoins were invented. It is a more costly method and I would not recommend it personally.
3. How to Buy USDT in Singapore?
A cheaper alternative would be to actually buy in USDT. This is the most liquid market as compared to USDC or DAI. USDT, USDC and DAI are all just stablecoins that is equivalent to US$1.
So we need to find a way to transfer USDT and deposit them into Binance so that we can buy altcoins.
Neither of the regulated brokers in Singapore sells USDT directly. The only one that has an SGD/USDT pairing is Tokenize Exchange. However, Tokenize Exchange’s branding & reputation is not as strong and they even have their own TKX token. I have not yet tried their platform but would update if my views are changed.
Nevertheless, Coinhako and Gemini both sell DAI. DAI is a stablecoin that equals 1 USD by MakerDAO.
You can buy DAI in SGD just like how you buy bitcoin, ethereum or any other altcoins that are paired in SGD. Essentially buying DAI with SGD is equivalent to converting SGD into USD.
You can either buy DAI from Coinhako or Gemini. Coinhako has some withdrawal fees for DAI depending on the size of your trade + that 0.8% transaction fees. Gemini has no withdrawal fees for DAI (If you make < 10 withdrawals per month) but charges around 3-5% for transaction fees.
Once you bought your DAI either from Coinhako or Gemini, the next step is to withdraw them out and deposit it into your Binance Exchange wallet. Remember to select DAI on Binance and make sure you deposit to the right address.
If your altcoin has a DAI pairing on Binance, you can straightaway buy DAI on Binance once you received it. Otherwise, we still need to convert DAI into USDT.
It should take < 5 minutes for you to receive DAI in Binance.
Then go to the USDT/DAI pair, drag slider to the max and click buy USDT. 1 USDT should be equal to 1 DAI since both are stablecoins that should be equal to 1 USD. Once you got your USDT, then you can buy any altcoin you want on Binance.
1. Buy DAI on Coinhako/Gemini
2. Send DAI to Binance
3. Convert DAI to USDT on Binance
4. Buy altcoins of your choice with USDT
4. How to Get USDT on Coinhako?
You can’t buy USDT on Coinhako, but Coinhako has a USD wallet that allows you to deposit and withdraw USDT or USDC.
If you have bought some BTC/ETH or any other altcoins on Coinhako, you could actually cash out some of your profits in USD. Just select wallet for payment to be in USD, then click on “withdraw” on the USD wallet and select USDT.
Similar to the steps above, copy your deposit address for USDT on Binance and past it on the recipient address at Coinhako withdrawal page. Except now you save the hassle of converting DAI into USDT.
Once your USDT deposit has arrived on Binance, you can buy any altcoins you want.
The withdrawal fees for USD on Coinhako is US$8.
5. Transferring other Altcoins into Binance
The last method, one which I most commonly used, is to buy an altcoin on Coinhako that has the lowest withdrawal fees. Then transfer the coin to Binance and sell it for USDT. Personally, I like to buy Zilliqa (ZIL) or Litecoin (LTC) as these coins have relatively low withdrawal fees and high transaction speed.
Once you have received the tokens on Binance, simply sell them for USDT then USDT to buy whatever altcoins you want to buy on Binance.
The downside to this method is similar to transferring btc or eth into binance. You take on the risk that the price of Zil or Ltc crashes in the midst of your transfer and you get back less usdt value than you originally had. The probability of this happening is unlikely and I have never had this issue before.
The spread for doing this is relatively low as the only costs you incurred are the fees from buying the altcoin and the withdrawal fees to transfer out.
6. Using Swaps (ChangeNOW)
Another method to get altcoin is to use a crypto exchange that swaps one coin for another directly. Coinhako already has this swap feature, but you can only swap for tokens that are available on their platform. If you want some altcoins that are not on Coinhako, then ChangeNOW is the one to use.
Personally, I use ChangeNOW a lot and it is by far my favourite go-to website for making swaps. I have used their platform many times and their rates are very competitive. It settles fast in less than 10 minutes and there are no fees to use their swapping service.
Using ChangeNOW swapping is a fast and efficient way to convert your token from one blockchain to another. For example, let’s say I want to swap Chainlink (LINK) for Terra (LUNA).
The above methods would be to sell LINK for USDT, transfer USDT into Binance, buy LUNA and transfer LUNA out to my own wallet on another blockchain for staking. It is quite a lengthy process and its troublesome to send tokens from one address to another.
This is where ChangeNOW comes in. You would just specify how many LINK you want to swap and it gives you the best rate of how many LUNA you will get. Then specify where you want them to deposit your LUNA. Finally, just send your LINK tokens to an address which they will generate for you. They will settle everything on the back-end and you will receive your swapped tokens in a few minutes time.
Now you can swap tokens around not just within the Ethereum ecosystem, but also across other blockchain networks like ICON, Polkdadot, Cardano, Cosmos, Terra and etc.
Once again, you need to specify what tokens you want to swap, what is the quantity and where do you want the tokens to be deposited to at which wallet address. It is that simple to use.
7. Summary of Buying Altcoins in Singapore
The above described methods are how I would buy altcoins in Singapore.
There are definitely other alternative methods you can get your hands on altcoins like Binance P2P or some other less-known websites. But I wouldn’t recommend going there as it is not worth the risks of skimping for cheaper fees in my opinion.
I would prioritise safety, security and assurance when it comes to transactions on crypto. So it is best to go with big brands and big names in the process of doing so.
It can be daunting if this is your first time transferring tokens from one address to another address. But that is how we all learn crypto starting out. Remember to check and double-check the wallet address matches exactly when you are sending out.
If unsure, it is best you try sending small amounts of maybe 10 USD and see if the transaction successfully goes through first before going all-in.
Personally, I do have Xfers account and I use a mix of Coinhako, Gemini and ChangeNOW depending on what altcoins I buy. If it is a pure purchase of altcoins from fiat, I would go the Gemini route. If it is cashing out profits, I would go the Coinhako route. And finally, if it is swapping tokens to ride on the expected gains of another, I would use ChangeNOW.
Altseason is already here and there are a lot of opportunities in the altcoin forest. Do take advantage of the rising tide and invest safely.
I would be appreciative and grateful if you wish to show your support on this page by using my referral links below. If you have any doubts, feel free to join our telegram and I would try my best to answer them and guide you through also.
*For an updated version on how to buy altcoins in Singapore (through USDT), do check this new video here.
For signing up of Coinhako account – here.
For signing up a Binance account – here.
For signing up a Gemini account – here. (Both of us earn 10 USD in bitcoins if you buy/sell more than 100 USD within 30 days of account opening)
For using ChangeNOW to swap tokens – here.