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Best Crypto Exchange 2021: Which Centralised Crypto Exchange Should You Use?

profileJoel Koh

Although the price of Bitcoin has fallen from its all-time high of US$64,804 (according to CoinGecko) in April 2021 to about US$42,426 (at time of writing), it is still one of the best performing asset classes in the last decade.

Source: Charlie Bilello | Twitter

Bitcoin’s annualised return of about 230% and a cumulative return that exceeds 20,000,000% simply crushes all the other asset classes.

And we have not even begun to mention the other cryptocurrencies that have delivered better returns albeit over a shorter time frame.

Of course, you need to remember that past performance is not indicative of future returns. There is no telling if Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can continue their bull run.

Not to mention that cryptocurrencies are still infamous for their high volatility, with the price of the biggest cryptocurrency Bitcoin falling 50% from its all-time high regularly.

Regardless, I think it’s hard to ignore cryptocurrencies as an asset class.

There has been growing institutional and retail adoption of cryptocurrencies as well as the decentralised finance (DeFi) movement: an ecosystem of decentralised financial services offered on the blockchain that cuts out intermediaries.

If you are looking to get your toes wet and invest in some cryptocurrencies, you are in the right place.

Here are some of the best centralised cryptocurrency exchanges for you to consider.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. Seedly does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you.​ Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any investment product and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


TL;DR: Best Crypto Exchange 2021

Cryptocurrency ExchangeTrading Fees (Per Trade)Pro Account Trading FeesSupported CryptocurrenicesSupported Fiat Currencies
Deposit Fees (Fiat)Withdrawal Fees (Fiat)
FTX0.02% | 0.07%
(basic tier)
-65+ (BTC, ETH, USDT, FTT, BNB, BCH, Link, AAVE, SOL)10 (USD, SGD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, ZAR, CAD, CHF, BRL)Overseas bank transfer:
Free

Credit/Debit Card: Free (but your bank may charge foreign transaction and cash advance fees of ~3%)
US$75 fee on USD withdrawals below US$10,000
Huobi Global0.2%
(basic tier)
-372+ (BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, LTC, DOT, DASH, ETC, EOS, QTUM & more)6 (RUB, EUR, GBP, UAH, KZT, BRL)

EUR & GBP withdrawal not available
Overseas bank transfer:
Free

P2P Exchange:
Free
(spread may be poorer)
Crypto.com0.4%
(basic tier)
-100+ (BTC, LTC, ETH, CRO, ENJ, BAT, PAX, USDC, OMG, KNC & more)19+ (USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR)Xfers SGD deposit: Free

Overseas bank transfer (e.g. USD):
Free
(min. US$500 per deposit)

Credit/Debit Card:
3.50% + $0.10
Xfers SGD withdrawal:
0.4%
Independent Reserve0.5%
(basic tier)
-10 (BTC, ETH, ADA, USDC, XRP, DOT, BCH, LINK, LTC, ETC)4 (AUD, USD, NZD & SGD)Xfers SGD deposit direct charge:
0.55%

Bank transfer (SWIFT): $15 or free for deposits over S$5,000
Bank transfer:
$1.50 for AUD
$20 for other currencies

Xfers:
0.55%
Binance Singapore (Binance.sg)0.6%
(flat)
-8 (BTC, ETH, BNB, LTC, BCH, XRP, NEO, LINK)SGDXfers SGD deposit: FreeXfers SGD withdrawal:
Free
Coinhako1%
(flat)
-24 (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, ADA, XLM, NEO, XMR, DOT & more)
full support (buy, sell, swap, send & receive

20 (BNB, NEO, FIL, XMR, ADA, THETA, SOL)
partial support (buy, sell, swap)

2 (USDT & USDC)
special support for Coinhako USD wallet
4 (SGD, IDR, VND, USD)
SGD FAST transfer:
Free

Xfers SGD deposit direct charge:
0.55%

USD deposits in form of USDT/USDT:
Free
SGD FAST transfer:
S$2

USD Withdrawals in form of USDT/USDT:
US$15
Gemini1.49%+
(flat with minimum fee up to S$4 for trades less than S$250)
+
Additional convenience fee of 0.5%
Active Trader:
0.35% (base tier)
48+ (BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, ZEC, ZRX, MKR, BAT, AAVE, FIL & more)7 (USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD)SGD FAST transfer:
Free

Xfers SGD deposit direct charge:
0.55%

Overseas bank transfer (e.g. USD):
Free

Debit Card:
3.49%
Xfers SGD withdrawal:
Free

SGD FAST transfer:
Free

Overseas bank transfer (e.g. USD):
Free
Coinbase1.49%+
(flat with minimum fee up to US$2.99 for trades less than US$250)
+
Additional variable spread fee of 0.50% (base tier)
Coinbase Pro:
From 0.5% (base tier)
65+ (ATOM, BAT, BTC, BCH, XRP, DAI, DASH, EOS, ETH, ETC & more)20+ (USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP, BGN) Overseas bank transfer (US$10 + bank fees)

Credit/Debit Card:
3.99% + 7% of transaction fee (GST)
SWIFT transfer (US$25 + bank fees)

Do note that even though these cryptocurrency exchanges might not charge for fiat deposits or withdrawals, your bank or financial institution may impose fees on their end. So please do check with your banks or financial institution first.

Click to Teleport

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Regulation of Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Singapore

Cryptocurrencies or Digital Payment Tokens (DPT) as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would term it are not regulated by MAS as they are not considered legal tender or securities.

In other words, there is no legislative protection or recourse for you if you buy or sell cryptocurrencies and something goes wrong.

MAS has made it crystal clear that:

  • They (MAS) will not be able to help you in any way if you lose money from dealing with digital tokens that are not products regulated by MAS. This includes situations where the digital token service is provided by an entity regulated by MAS, but where the digital token is not regulated by MAS.
  • If you choose to deal with an unregulated person or entity or invest in unregulated products, you will not be protected under MAS regulations. If you suspect that an investment scheme involving digital tokens could be fraudulent or is being misused for any illicit activity, you should report it to the police immediately.
  • As for cryptocurrencies, persons that buy or sell cryptocurrencies, or facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies may be regulated under the Payment Services Act 2019. However, they are not required to protect your cryptocurrency and are not required to ensure that each cryptocurrency transaction is processed properly. MAS regulates cryptocurrency service providers under the Payment Services Act 2019 mainly for money-laundering and terrorism financing risk only.

This is made clear with this advisory that MAS requires DPT service providers to show to customers:

  • Your DPT service provider is licensed by MAS to provide DPT services. Please note that this does not mean you will be able to recover all the money or DPTs you paid to your DPT service provider if your DPT service provider’s business fails.
  • You should not transact in the DPT if you are not familiar with this DPT. Transacting in DPTs may not be suitable for you if you are not familiar with the technology that DPT services are provided.
  • You should be aware that the value of DPTs may fluctuate greatly. You should buy DPTs only if you are prepared to accept the risk of losing all of the money you put into such tokens.

In another parliamentary reply on 26 July 2021, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS has also stated that:

As part of the transitional arrangements, entities that were engaged in regulated activities before the commencement of the Act were exempted from holding a licence if they submitted licence applications before the end of a specified grace period.

The specified grace period for digital payment token (DPT) service providers ended in July 2020, six months after the commencement of the PS Act. The exemption remains in force until the applications are approved or rejected by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) or withdrawn by the applicant.

Mr Tharman added that there are currently about 90 such DPT service providers that operate under this exemption. In other words, they are currently not regulated by MAS.

The full list of these DPT service providers can be found here.

As of 26 July 2021, MAS has received over 170 applicants who have applied for a license to provide DPT services.

However, 30 DPT service provider applications have been withdrawn after consultation with MAS while an additional two applications have been rejected.

In an interview with The Business Times, a MAS spokesperson stated that ‘a number of DPT applicants have not met its standards in the area of money laundering and terrorism financing and technology risk controls.’

But recently, two entities, DBS Vickers (DBS’s brokerage arm) and Australian cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve announced that they have received in-principle approval from MAS to offer DPT services in Singapore.

Currently, the Independent Reserve exchange is up and running and you can trade cryptocurrencies there. But, DBS Vickers which is part of DBS’s (SGX: D05) Digital Exchange (DDEX) will not be able to provide DPT services until it receives the full operating license from MAS.

Also, one more risk you have to consider.

In the world of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, there is a popular saying:

Not your keys, not your coin.

In other words, when you are trading cryptocurrencies on any centralised cryptocurrency exchanges like Bianance.com and Binance.sg, you are handing over the private keys for your cryptocurrencies and entrusting them to a third party.

Ultimately, the one who is holding the private keys to the cryptocurrencies decides how it’s spent.

If you are really spooked by recent events, you should consider transferring your large cryptocurrency holdings onto your own cryptocurrency cold wallet where you are holding on to the private keys.

This will give you complete control over your cryptocurrencies.

Cold wallets keep your cryptocurrencies safe as well as they are not connected to the internet which makes them harder to hack.

Here are a few cold cryptocurrency hardware wallets to consider:

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the exchanges I’ll be comparing and why I chose them.

Criteria For Choosing Crypto Exchanges

Here are our criteria for picking the cryptocurrency exchanges for this comparison.

Firstly, we have included the largest and most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

At the time of writing (according to CoinMarketCap), Binance, Coinbase, FTX, KuCoin and Huobi Global are five of the biggest cryptocurrency spot exchanges in the world.

Source: CoinMarketCap

FYI: CoinMarketCap ranks and scores exchanges based on traffic, liquidity, trading volumes, and confidence in the legitimacy of trading volumes reported).

We are excluding KuCoin due to their legal troubles as an injunction was against the company was filed by the High Court of Singapore.

Also, Binance.com is excluded from this list as they will be suspending key services for its Singapore users from 26 October 2021, 12pm.

But, we will be including some of the more reputable exchanges like Binance.sg, Coinhako, Crypto.com and Gemini as they are allowed to operate in Singapore.

This is due to the fact that these exchanges have applied for an exemption under the Payment Services Act (PSA) with MAS. Thus, they are able to operate in Singapore without a license.

Also, we will be including the Australian cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve as they have been granted ‘in-principle approval’ for a major payment institution license by MAS to offer DPT services.

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Crypto Exchanges in Singapore Compared: FTX vs Huobi vs Crypto.com vs Independent Reserve vs Binance.sg vs Coinhako vs Gemini vs Coinbase

Cryptocurrency ExchangeTrading Fees (Per Trade)Pro Account Trading FeesSupported CryptocurrenicesSupported Fiat Currencies
Deposit Fees (Fiat)Withdrawal Fees (Fiat)
FTX0.02% | 0.07%
(basic tier)
-65+ (BTC, ETH, USDT, FTT, BNB, BCH, Link, AAVE, SOL)10 (USD, SGD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, ZAR, CAD, CHF, BRL)Overseas bank transfer:
Free

Credit/Debit Card: Free (but your bank may charge foreign transaction and cash advance fees of ~3%)
US$75 fee on USD withdrawals below US$10,000
Huobi Global0.2%
(basic tier)
-372+ (BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, LTC, DOT, DASH, ETC, EOS, QTUM & more)6 (RUB, EUR, GBP, UAH, KZT, BRL)

EUR & GBP withdrawal not available
Overseas bank transfer:
Free

P2P Exchange:
Free
(spread may be poorer)
Crypto.com0.4%
(basic tier)
-100+ (BTC, LTC, ETH, CRO, ENJ, BAT, PAX, USDC, OMG, KNC & more)19+ (USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR)Xfers SGD deposit: Free

Overseas bank transfer (e.g. USD):
Free
(min. US$500 per deposit)

Credit/Debit Card:
3.50% + $0.10
Xfers SGD withdrawal:
0.4%
Independent Reserve0.5%
(basic tier)
-10 (BTC, ETH, ADA, USDC, XRP, DOT, BCH, LINK, LTC, ETC)4 (AUD, USD, NZD & SGD)Xfers SGD deposit direct charge:
0.55%

Bank transfer (SWIFT): $15 or free for deposits over S$5,000
Bank transfer:
$1.50 for AUD
$20 for other currencies

Xfers:
0.55%
Binance Singapore (Binance.sg)0.6%
(flat)
-8 (BTC, ETH, BNB, LTC, BCH, XRP, NEO, LINK)SGDXfers SGD deposit: FreeXfers SGD withdrawal:
Free
Coinhako1%
(flat)
-24 (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, ADA, XLM, NEO, XMR, DOT & more)
full support (buy, sell, swap, send & receive

20 (BNB, NEO, FIL, XMR, ADA, THETA, SOL)
partial support (buy, sell, swap)

2 (USDT & USDC)
special support for Coinhako USD wallet
4 (SGD, IDR, VND, USD)
SGD FAST transfer:
Free

Xfers SGD deposit direct charge:
0.55%

USD deposits in form of USDT/USDT:
Free
SGD FAST transfer:
S$2

USD Withdrawals in form of USDT/USDT:
US$15
Gemini1.49%+
(flat with minimum fee up to S$4 for trades less than S$250)
+
Additional convenience fee of 0.5%
Active Trader:
0.35% (base tier)
48+ (BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, ZEC, ZRX, MKR, BAT, AAVE, FIL & more)7 (USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD)SGD FAST transfer:
Free

Xfers SGD deposit direct charge:
0.55%

Overseas bank transfer (e.g. USD):
Free

Debit Card:
3.49%
Xfers SGD withdrawal:
Free

SGD FAST transfer:
Free

Overseas bank transfer (e.g. USD):
Free
Coinbase1.49%+
(flat with minimum fee up to US$2.99 for trades less than US$250)
+
Additional variable spread fee of 0.50% (base tier)
Coinbase Pro:
From 0.5% (base tier)
65+ (ATOM, BAT, BTC, BCH, XRP, DAI, DASH, EOS, ETH, ETC & more)20+ (USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP, BGN) Overseas bank transfer (US$10 + bank fees)

Credit/Debit Card:
3.99% + 7% of transaction fee (GST)
SWIFT transfer (US$25 + bank fees)

Crypto Exchange Cryptocurrency Withdrawal Fees

However, if you want to transfer your cryptocurrency to other cryptocurrency exchanges, stake your cryptocurrency on other platforms or withdraw your cryptocurrency to another cryptocurrency wallet, you will need to pay a withdrawal fee.

This withdrawal fee is often dynamic and depends on the demand and supply for the computational power required to process the transaction on the specific blockchain network.

For these transactions, the exchanges will charge you a fee based on their estimate of the network transaction fees that they anticipate paying for each transaction. 

In certain circumstances, the fee that the exchanges pay may differ from that estimate. But, all the fees that the exchanges charge will be disclosed at the time of your transaction. 

COINLOWESTAVERAGEMEDIANHIGHESTEXCHANGES COMPARED
BTC

Bitcoin
FREE$21.47$21.35$64.05
0.0015 BTC
43
ETH

Ethereum
FREE$20.94$14.84$59.34
0.02 ETH
41
ADA

Cardano
FREE$14.06$2.17$292.91
135.14 ADA
26
USDT

Tether
FREE$18.14$14.51$100.05
100 USDT
34
BNB

Binance Coin
FREE$4.56$2.04$34.08
0.1 BNB
17
XRP

XRP
$0.0004
0.0005 XRP
$0.83$0.23$4.69
5 XRP
25
SOL

Solana
FREE$1.65$1.39$5.00
0.036 SOL
11
USDC

USD Coin
FREE$15.07$12.00$64.75
64.72275 USDC
31
DOT

Polkadot
FREE$5.78$2.82$27.36
0.97 DOT
22

Source: Withdrawalfees.com

All exchanges charge this cryptocurrency withdrawal fee with the exception of Gemini who offers their customers 10 free cryptocurrency withdrawals every calendar month.

Also, here is more information about the exchanges.

Back to top

FTX Review

First up we have cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX.

Fun fact, the exchange was founded by 29-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried who is also the second richest cryptocurrency billionaire in the world.

Friedman graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2014 with a physics degree. After graduation, he started his career as a Wall Street exchange-traded fund (ETF) trader at Jane Street Capital.

Subsequently, he founded Alameda Research, a quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm in October 2017 and cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX in April 2019.

FTX is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that is more geared towards traders.

The exchange has a wide range of innovative products like industry-first derivatives, options, volatility products and leveraged tokens.

But do note that FTX users in Singapore cannot trade any stock tokens (and any related products or derivatives) and prediction contracts like Trading Trump 2020.

That being said, FTX may be a little intimidating for those who are new to cryptocurrency due to its huge suite of products.

But, the good thing is that the exchange supports SGD deposits and withdrawals. You can deposit SGD into FTX and convert it in your FTX account. Do note that this will incur the exchange’s trading fee.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

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