DISCLAIMER: This article is NOT financial advice. The information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only, and does not constitute a recommendation or an endorsement for LUNA or any cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency trading is a high-risk activity and you may lose all your investments, so please conduct your own research before making any decisions.
The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the different approaches that people can undertake to purchase the native token of Terra, LUNA, using SGD.
Purchasing LUNA via Singapore Crypto Exchanges
Recent Changes to Crypto Landscape in Singapore
Of late, the AuraStake team has noticed more questions about the best approach to purchasing LUNA tokens in Singapore where our team is based and so we decided to put together this post.
The spike in interests is likely due to recent changes in regulatory rules governing crypto exchanges supporting Singapore-based clients. Binance, one of the most popular exchanges in Singapore at one point in time, announced in September 2021 that it will no longer be able to support Singapore investors on its main trading platform.
While those investors are encouraged to redirect their activities to binance.sg, the local version of Binance, it is also a much more watered-down version of the global Binance platform (binance.com) with many features, and tokens, not available for investors. LUNA token, for instance, is one of many tokens that are not supported on binance.sg.
As a result, this article is aimed to help local LUNAtics seek alternative routes to gain access to LUNA via SGD funding. We can hopefully provide some ideas of what those different alternatives may be, and the various pros/cons of these different options.
Overview of Key Exchanges
This being the cryptoverse, there are different approaches to getting your hands on LUNA tokens. For the rest of this article, we will focus on crypto exchanges only. To start with, in order to buy LUNA from a crypto exchange, you would first need to open a crypto account with them.
We review four popular, Singapore-based exchanges that provide LUNA spot trading and custody support, with a high-level comparison table so you can have a quick overview to understand which exchange might work better based on your personal requirements.
These four exchanges are chosen based on the various lists put together by some of the more popular finance and/or crypto websites in Singapore with the only criteria being that LUNA is supported on the exchange for spot trading.
In comparison, some exchanges such as FTX and Coinbase only provide support for derivatives of LUNA in the form of LUNA perpetual futures or wrapped LUNA, a synthetic token of the underlying LUNA designed to be compatible on Ethereum blockchain. These derivatives exist outside of the Terra blockchain. This means that they cannot be used to participate in other Terra-based Defi apps such as Anchor.
We will be focusing mainly on two areas, namely the funding and also the trading aspects. The funding will give you an idea how you may convert your SGD fiat into funds with the exchange to buy your LUNA tokens with. The trading will help you get a sense of the actual steps required to convert your crypto funds into LUNA.
We will not be covering the account opening process in this article as the requirements from these local exchanges are largely similar — they all require your email address on top of standard KYC documentation such as proof of identity and home address. Therefore, we do not expect major issues with this step.
We should point out that, from our experience, Gemini took the longest time to complete the KYC process (at the point of publishing, our crypto account remains unapproved one month after our request) whereas it was fairly straightforward for OKEx, Crypto.com and Coinhako so this may be a factor to consider if you do not currently have an account and plan to open it quickly.
To start the trading experience, go to coinhako.com and select Choose Trade
Search for LUNA
Select BUY (or SELL) depending on your direction. You may also choose the funding currency in SGD or USD.
If you already hold some LUNA, one thing to note is that Coinhako offers the option to swap LUNA with another cryptocurrency e.g. BTC. If you were to use this option, do note that the bid/ask spread tends to be slightly higher. However, if the intention is to end up with one of the other cryptocurrencies anyway, then it might make sense to use this feature rather than to use the BUY/SELL feature twice over.
Deposit & Withdrawal via SGD
The crypto on/off ramp support for SGD fiat is rather straightforward for Coinhako. You may access the menu via Wallet and then select either Deposit or Withdraw under SGD.
For withdrawals, you pay a flat fee of SG$2 for each withdrawal subject to daily/monthly limits that should be sufficient for most retail traders.
For deposits, you can use standard bank transfers by following the payment instructions available on Coinhako at no extra costs. Note also that debit/credit card and GrabPay options are available for users who plan to fund their purchases without going through the default bank-transfer routes; however, the fees are quite expensive at the time of this article, ranging from 2.5% — 3%.
In case you are able to enjoy discounts or other benefits by using the services from the alternative payment service providers, it may be a good option to explore. However, this would be down to the individual circumstances and as with other aspects of this article, please Do Your Own Research #DYOR before proceeding.
Trading is fairly straightforward on OKEx. Users of Binance will notice the similarities in the platform features, especially the funding and trading interface.
Assuming you have funded your OKEx account, when you choose Trade and Basic Trading, the trading interface below should show up with your USDT balance being reflected under Available.
You can now buy your LUNA with your original SGD fiat by clicking Buy (or Sell)
NB: Quick Trade & P2P Trades are not options that may be used to buy LUNA. Only selected tokens are available for purchase under those options.
Deposit via SGD only
To start off with, note that SGD withdrawal is not available at time of writing so blockchain transfers are recommended instead.
Assuming that you funded your OKEx account separately, the deposit process of SGD fiat for OKEx requires an additional setup with a separate payments service provider.
To see the different funding options for SGD, goto Buy/Sell, and select Quick Trade.
You will then see the Buy/Sell tab with a SGD option. Once selected, under Pay With, you can see 3 main options, namely PayNow, ApplePay and credit cards (VISA/MasterCard)
Now, with ApplePay and credit cards, the preferred service provider is Simplex. Unless you already have an account with them, we would strongly recommend PayNow due to the lower fees involved.
The first time setup is similar across the different services providers — you have to provide standard Know-Your-Customer (“KYC”) documents such as
- Verification of mobile number
- Proof of identity e.g., NRIC or driver’s license
- Proof of address e.g., utility bill or bank statement
- Short video of user
For most locals, PayNow would be a familiar payment method. It is supported by Xanpool, a service provider based in Hong Kong. We tried Xanpool and found it relatively easy to set up and once ready, we can fund my account with SGD directly.
Message of successful funding in SGD
Once funded, select Assets >> My Assets.
Choose Funding Account, and Transfer, and then click Transfer once more in the drop-down menu
You should see USDT as an option under Asset — choose the amount you wish to transfer for the trading purposes i.e., to buy LUNA
Gemini provides 2 types of trading experience. The first is via ActiveTrader which provides the customer with the typical experience of a professional trader.
There is also the simpler trading experience, Gemini Basic, for the customer who is just looking to swap between their fiat and crypto, or crypto to crypto.
Note that aside from the trading experience, the other key difference between the 2 trading options is that Gemini Basic actually applies a higher transaction fee
Deposit & Withdrawal via SGD
Here is a guide on how to transfer SGD in and out of your Gemini account.
1. Link Your Bank account under Settings > Payment Methods
Select SGD as the funding currency.
This is where it gets slightly interesting for Gemini. They actually have a unique bank account number for each SGD account holder, which means the receiving account for you will be different from everyone else’s.
In any case, navigate to the Deposit Page Here follow the steps below:
- Go to “Account” > “Deposit into Gemini”
- Select “SGD” and click “Continue”
- View your deposit instructions and include all bank information
- Send SGD via FAST from your bank account.
For withdrawal, the process is fairly straightforward also.
- Set currency to “SGD” and the source of funds where you would like to make the withdrawal to. Click “Continue”.
- Select the bank account that you would like to send your SGD. Click on “Continue”
- Enter the amount that you would like to withdraw. Click on “Continue”.
- Review your withdrawal instructions and click on “Request Withdrawal” to confirm.
- You will receive a prompt from your selected 2FA method (SMS or Authy) asking you to approve the request. Once this is approved, Gemini will begin processing your withdrawal request.
According to Gemini, “withdrawals via FAST transfer may take up to one business day to process”.
Users of crypto.com are directed to the mobile app for the trading experience. Once on it, the approach to purchase LUNA is fairly straightforward as the user is directed to use the credit card to pay for the LUNA token.
At the time of writing, the common locally-issued credit cards cannot be used with crypto.com — payments are refused by the banks. What worked for us was the use of the Revolut card which you can sign up from the Revolut site.
What is slightly unusual is that when it comes to selling LUNA, due to SGD restrictions on direct LUNA trades, you would be unable to convert LUNA to SGD direct. Instead, you are given the options to sell your LUNA into CRO (the native token for crypto.com), USDT, USDC or BTC.
Deposit & Withdrawal via SGD
Now, you would have noticed that the SGD Deposit function is effectively handled via the action to purchase LUNA described under the Trading feature. As a result, there is no separate need to fund your Crypto.com account.
When you are ready to withdraw your cryptocurrencies into SGD, Crypto.com has a tie-up with StraitsX (previously known as Xfers) to support crypto-to-fiat transactions. At the time of writing, all fiat trades will be based in XSGD, and they can only be converted from one of the following cryptocurrencies
As part of the StraitsX tie-up, you will need to perform a one-time account set up with StraitsX.
NB: While there is the option to top up your StraitsX account with SGD, Crypto.com does not provide the option to purchase LUNA directly with SGD from the fiat wallet.
Each XSGD sell trade will incur a 0.40% transaction fee, after which you will have your XSGD balance in the StraitsX account for withdrawal
We hope that you found the information above useful. While we tried our best to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of our writing, we also acknowledge that the pace of change in the cryptocurrency industry is very fast so much of this information may be stale by the time you read this.
In case you find any errors, do drop us a note so we can update the article for the benefit of the AuraStake community!