I don’t usually consider myself a procrastinator but I finally acted on something that I had wanted to do back in 2018. In every new year resolution for the past 3 years, investing in cryptocurrency featured prominently but I just never got down to doing it. If I am being honest with myself, I think there is simply no excuses for this especially since the Circuit Breaker presented plenty of down-time for me to get going. Maybe it wasn’t really procrastination but this fear of stepping out of my comfort zone. As an investor ensconced in traditional assets, it was hard for me to take that plunge into a vastly different alternative asset class. Today, I am pleased to share that I have finally taken a small first step by setting up an account on a cryptocurrency exchange and purchasing my first cryptocurrency. This is a review of Gemini, my first cryptocurrency exchange experience trading in Singapore dollars. Besides showing how to open and trade in Singapore dollars on the Gemini platform, I also reveal why I finally decided to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Know Nuts About Cryptocurrency But Still Investing
Before I proceed further, it is important to state that I know NUTS about cryptocurrency. For readers who click on the link thinking that I am going to share my epiphany on cryptocurrency, this is unfortunately not the objective of the article. Despite my profound lack of knowledge on cryptos, I am prepared to set aside 5% of my investment portfolio to this asset class.
Is this a case of Fear Of Missing Out (‘FOMO’)? Definitely not, I have thought through this for long enough and my decision was not sparked by a rush of blood. Afterall, this was 3 years in the making.
Will this be a case of too little, too late? Probably yes, as I could probably have bought at the peak of the cycle? I once had a JC teacher whose only comment to a student who turned up 10 mins before the end of the lecture was, “Well, better late than never.” I am hoping that this will be the case for my experience with cryptocurrency as well.
Why Buy/Sell Cryptos via Gemini?
Similarly, owing to my severe lack of knowledge in cryptocurrency, this is also not a comparison article on which is the best cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore. I am not shy to say that I leverage on the good work put in by other investing blogs before I eventually decided on Gemini.
I also take comfort from the knowledge that Gemini has never been hacked yet, so it should be safer and more secure. Whether it’s the Gemini mobile app or its desktop version, I find that the user interface is sleek and intuitively easy to use. This is important because entering a new asset class can be quite an intimidating experience. In addition, it is a real plus that it accepts deposits, withdrawals and transactions in Singapore dollars (SGD). This can be done via FAST transfer or debit card.
Finally, I find that Gemini’s FAQ is comprehensive and very helpful in addressing my queries such that I have no need to approach its customer service yet.
Opening My Gemini Account
Even though Gemini is headquartered in New York City, opening my account from Singapore was an extremely convenient and fuss-free process. I leveraged on MyInfo to expedite the application process and after uploading my photo ID, my account was approved almost instantly. After logging in, I quickly proceeded to test the deposit and withdrawal of funds on my Gemini account.
Transfer of Funds on Gemini
I am always super careful when transferring monies on new platforms for the first time. I always use $1 for a test run as shown in Diagram 1.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to transfer Singapore dollars in and out of your Gemini account.
1. Manually Link Your Bank account under Payment Methods
2. Select your funding source currency
3. Enter bank account details held in your name, and you will receive a SMS notification from XFERS thereafter
4. Do a deposit to confirm the bank account details.
5. Login to your bank account, indicate the reference code (should be your mobile number) to execute the transfer. If you are transferring for the first time, you would need to add Xfers Pte Ltd as the new account payee.
Some users miss the final step of logging to their own bank account to complete the transfer, so don’t miss out on Step 5! From my personal experience, the deposit of $1 on a business day was instantaneous. The subsequent withdrawal took 1 business day though but that’s fine with me. Satisfied with the experience of moving funds in and out of Gemini (do note the daily limits), I proceeded to analyze the transaction fee to ensure that I would always invest at a level that is most cost-efficient.
Fees and Charges on Gemini
I am not sure if Gemini is the cheapest cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore at the time of writing this article. What I do know is that I find the transaction fees charged to be reasonable enough.
As shown in Diagram 2, it is not meaningful to invest in an amount less than US$10 – US$50 given that the transaction fee is equivalent to 4%- 10% of the transaction value. I believe that the fee band applicable to most investors would be the last row – 1.49% of order value. (Switching to active trader will reduce the trading fees to 0.35%, thanks to my readers for sharing this tip)
By buying and storing my cryptocurrency on a cryptocurrency exchange like Gemini, I am also aware that my cryptocurrencies will be stored on a hot wallet. Since the exposure is still very small, I am mentally prepared of the risks of a hot storage. (Correction: My readers have informed me that majority of Gemini’s cryptos are in cold storage and only a small portion are on hot storage, which are covered by insurance)
Why Invest In Cryptocurrencies?
Growing up, I kept wondering how my family, especially my dad, failed to take advantage of Singapore’s economic boom? They did not own any stock and even their HDB flat failed to keep up with inflation! Well, I now admit that I lamented at those inexplicable decisions because I had the benefit of hindsight. However, I do not want the tables to be turned when my daughter asks the same question, “Daddy, why you never invest in cryptocurrency?” That would inevitably hurt.
That is why I plan to have a 5% exposure to cryptocurrency. 5% is a small amount I am prepared to write off anytime but significant enough to move the needle in the long run given the volatility of this asset class. It was this belief that provided the motivation to make my first investment in bitcoin, probably the reserve currency of the crypto world. Anyway, I am very cognisant that there are plenty of things that I do not know about Gemini and the crypto world yet. I am happy to continue to learn along this journey from the community as I gradually build up this knowledge.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links which goes towards ensuring the sustainability of this blog. This article is only for information and not financial advice and has no regards to any person’s investment and financial needs. Past performance of a product is not indicative of its future performance. This is not an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any products.
Pls note that trading in cryptocurrencies is highly volatile. I personally use Gemini to purchase/sell coins and store all my coins on a cold wallet.
This article is published on 25 April 2021.