Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming more popular in the humble region of SouthEast Asia, and it appears as though its interest isn’t stopping anytime soon.
As Cryptocurrencies gain mainstream adoption within the ASEAN states of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar; there is concurrently a growing demand for Bitcoin related services. The newfound interest in the region comes amidst the increasing growth in incomes and consumer spending; in addition to the rapidly improving digital and physical landscape. Southeast Asia comprises of multiple countries that have their own individual technical and regulatory challenges; so the adoption of Bitcoin throughout the region varies in each nation. But the overall outlook in this region of the World has become more “Pro-Bitcoin” in the recent years.
According to a study conducted in 2016 by KPMG, 27% of the Southeast Asian population is estimated to have a bank account, meaning a majority of 438 million people don’t have access to depository institutions to save, send or receive money using today’s sophisticated remittance platforms. Providing financial services to these people who are ‘unbanked’ will boost economic growth and open up opportunities for the less fortunate, especially in Southeast Asia. A region that is poised to grow substantially in the coming years from growing interest and investment in Fintech which challenges the existing model and modus operandi of Banks.
There has been a surge in Bitcoin trading in this particular region of the world as more Exchanges are appearing and offering investors access to the Cryptocurrency Markets. Approximately over 1/4 of Southeast Asia’s 600 million population are registered with a formal bank. The region presents an untapped opportunity for Digital Currencies as this part of World would have more use cases for projects that are leveraging Blockchain technology to provide more efficient and reliable financial services. Many of the developing South East Asian nations may not have the necessary capital to build a banking system as sophisticated as the American or European Financial institutions; or the neighboring countries such as the Chinese, Japanese and Korean institutions.
Nonetheless, sophistication and scale evidently doesn’t promise participation and liberty over personal assets.
Now this is where Blockchain Disrupts.
South East Asia top Bitcoin Exchanges
If you’re a Singaporean or Malaysian resident, consider using this Bitcoin Exchange. Deemed to be one of the most user-friendly platforms available when it comes to buying and selling Bitcoin in Asia.
Based in Singapore & founded in 2014, Coinhako allows Singaporeans to buy Bitcoin with Singapore Dollars and has expanded their Fiat to Crypto service for Malaysian clients, accepting Ringgit (MYR) to be traded against BTC.
CoinHako also offers it’s customers the option to directly exchange domestic Fiat currency to Ethereum, which most Crypto Exchanges do not offer despite the surge in ETHTrading volume & popularity. This makes it one of the few exchanges where Malaysian/Singaporeans can purchase trade Ether directly; bypassing the need to purchase BTC.
The team behind Coinhako also received a “six-figure” investment from venture capitalists from “Tribe 4” of Boost VC’s accelerator program; making them one of the more reputable Crypto Exchanges in South East Asia.
CoinHako is a trusted and established Exchange; known to be the first insured Bitcoin Exchange in Southeast Asia since 2015. While only two countries seem to be entitled to their services at this moment, CoinHako team plans of expanding to up to five countries in Southeast Asia by 2018.
Market: Malaysia Ringgit, Singapore Dollar | Based: Singapore
Go to Coinhako.com
Formerly known as BitX, Luno is a Singaporean Bitcoin Exchange with operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom. With a headquarter in Singapore and offices in Jakarta and Cape Town, this Bitcoin startup is gaining popularity as trading volume surges throughout this region, particularly in Malaysia as it’s providing the highest Liquidity to MYR/BTC pair allowing users to exchange between Fiat money and Bitcoin.
Founded in 2013, the company has since expanded and even launched operations in Nigeria in July 2015 to exploit Bitcoin’s potential in Africa’s biggest economy.
The short-term growth of the platform also allowed the company to secure nearly US$10 million in funding from notable private investors and venture capital firms, including Tim Draper and Ceyuan Ventures.
Luno’s Bitcoin wallet has been reviewed to become South Asia’s most user-friendly mobile Bitcoin Wallet. Featuring an Exchange that facilitates transactions such as buying, selling and paying through their Bitcoin wallet services.
Market: Malaysia Ringgit, Indonesian Rupee | Based: United Kingdom
Go to Luno.com
Coins.ph is a Philippines-based Cryptocurrency Exchange that is considered to be one of the few well-rounded Blockchain platforms in South East Asia allowing users to trade their local currency directly with Bitcoin in the Philippines and in Thailand.
There are two independent exchanges, Coins.ph is Philippines largest Bitcoin Exchange featuring the PHP/BTC pair whereas Coins.th offers the TH/BTC pair, with plenty of liquidity between Thai Baht and Bitcoin pair. Besides offering Trading services, Coins also features peer-to-peer wallet transfers, bill payments, mobile top-ups, online shopping, and remittance services.
The company behind Coins.ph/th was founded in 2014 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Runar Petursson, and Ron Hose. Ron is also a founding partner at Innovation Endeavors, an early stage venture capital fund backed by Google Investor Eric Schmidt.
With a dedicated Team, Coins has plenty to offer as their core mission is to increase financial inclusion by delivering financial services directly to people through their mobile phones. Due to their partnership with local banks, business, remittance networks, and merchants, a customer gets to choose from up to 10 different method of Payment Options.
Coins Exchange has really become the people’s choice and the positive feedback proves that. With the mobile app being praised to be one of the best and well-rounded Bitcoin service currently available in the Philippines, Thailand & Malaysia
Market: Malaysia Ringgit, Thai Baht, Philippine Peso | Based: Philippines
Go to Coins.ph
Bitcoin.co.th is the easiest way to buy Bitcoin and many other Altcoins in Thailand since 2013, providing the highest liquidity for BTC/BAHT.
Thai users can fund their account via domestic bank transfer, allowing deposits from a variety of banks such as The Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Kasikornbank, TMB bank, Krungsi Bank and Bangkok Bank.
The company behind this Bitcoin Exchange is Bitcoin Co. Ltd, which also owns Thailand’s second most popular Bitcoin Exchange known as Bx.in.th
Besides Bitcoin-Thai Baht exchange services, it also allows its users to pay for their Mobile phone bills via BTC as a middlemen service. Overall, they provide a comprehensive platform for the local population.
Bitcoin.co.th also provides proof of funds held by the exchange by listing all the addresses that have unspent inputs. Users are ensured that the Exchange holds their Bitcoin by requesting an operator to sign a message for each address as proof that personal funds are indeed within the exchange’s control.
Market: Thai Baht | Based: Thailand
Go to Bitcoin.co.th
Stepping onto the Asia Pacific frontier is a Singaporean Headquartered Person-to-Person Bitcoin & Ethereum Trading Platform. A spearhead competitor against Remitano & LocalBitcoins, Singbit is challenging the status quo by opening its platform to 16 Asia Pacific (APAC) countries.
Providing users easy access to a massive network of buyers and sellers for Cryptocurrencies.
Singbit was founded in January 2018 by a group of young technopreneurs and Crypto enthusiasts. With teams in Singapore and China, all their operations are managed in-house. With robust security measures, a solid Escrow system, and a stringent user ID verification process; Singbit allows beginners and veteran crypto traders alike to transact Bitcoin/Ethereum easily.
Their Mission: To make Cryptocurrency Trading simple and accessible to ordinary people in the Asia Pacific region. Their perks include:
- Multiple payment options available ( ie. Bank Transfer, PayPal, WeChat Pay, Alipay )
- Sleek and friendly user interface
- Offer SGD, USD, MYR, and CNY Pairs with BTC & ETH
- They currently offer a 0% transaction fee structure
- Currently users can earn up to USD 30,000 in Bitcoin by referring their friends to the platform
- Members of ACCESS Association of Crypto-currency Enterprises & Start-ups Singapore & SFA Singapore FinTech Association
- Highly secure platform, abide closely to the laws and regulations of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on KYC and AML matters
Market: Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, India, Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos Based: Singapore
Go to Singbit.sg