With a reputation for being one of the most pro-crypto nations in the world, it comes as no surprise that a vast majority of Singaporeans have invested in cryptocurrency. According to a recent survey from the 2021 Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index, 66% of those polled between the ages of 26 to 45 said they owned cryptocurrencies.
Coinhako, a Singapore-based crypto exchange, reported a 700% increase in the number of users trading on its platform during the first half of 2021. The platform reported seeing “a greater appetite for crypto from millennials” based on its active customer base, which mainly consists of white-collar professionals aged between 25 and 44, among others.
The exchange also recorded an over 1000% increase in trading volume during the first 3 quarters of 2021 compared to the whole of 2020.
Interestingly, Coinhako reported this record growth in users and trading volumes, despite the regional presence of leading global crypto exchanges.
The exchange, backed by high-profile investors like Boost VC and Tim Draper, expects its trading volume to exceed 10 billion SGD ($7 billion) by the end of the year.
Emerging crypto hub of Southeast Asia
"Worldwide adoption is necessary for Bitcoin to succeed. And I believe Singapore is the place for Bitcoin in Asia," said Boost VC CEO Adam Draper when he first invested in Coinhako.
Coinhako’s co-founder and CEO, Yusho Liu, weighed in on the rate of crypto adoption worldwide as well.
“Given how the crypto markets in the US and Europe have developed, we believe it is only a matter of time that the crypto industry in this part of the world will likewise take off,” he said.
The local government’s more positive stance towards cryptocurrency will undoubtedly play a part in transforming Singapore into the crypto-hub of Southeast Asia, more so now considering the regulatory crackdowns on crypto companies in other parts of the world.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has granted regulatory exemptions to several large crypto companies, allowing them to operate in Singapore until their license comes through. Last month, Bloomberg reported that more than 300 crypto companies have already applied for the permit and the first ‘in-principle’ license was issued in August.
Coinhako, like other global crypto exchanges, is fully operational while waiting to secure its license. The exchange plans to refocus its expansion plans to service its growing customer base in Singapore and Vietnam
Still, even with leading crypto companies setting up shop in the city-state, being a regional player has worked in Coinhako’s favor.
The homegrown competitive edge
Coinhako’s users can buy, sell, and swap cryptocurrencies on the platform’s Super Wallet, specifically designed to improve access to cryptocurrencies for the mass market in Asia.
In addition to bank transfers, users can also purchase crypto with Visa or Mastercard payments. The exchange also rewards users for logging in or trading, with an in-built crypto rewards system. For instance, if a user accumulates 10,000 points, they can redeem 20 DOGE tokens, while 2,000 points will earn them 1 ADA.
“Over the years, we have expanded on this to provide access to a wide variety of digital assets, as we work towards our vision of enabling access to the crypto-economy across Asia,” said the exchange.
Coinhako currently serves over 300,000 registered users in Singapore, plus thousands more in Vietnam. It was founded in 2014, making it one of the longest-standing platforms in the region.
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