After attending the Singapore Bitcoin meetup last Monday, I got myself convinced to join the Bitcoin bandwagon. Aside from knowing that the Mojito drink in the Bartini Kitchen and Bar costs more than $20.00, I learned that you can also pay your tab via bitcoin. During the event, a Bitcoin ATM inside the restaurant was launched. Unfortunately there were a few hiccups in the machine like faulty QR scanner and the manual review of my application that took more than 5 minutes (and when the SMS said more, it meant over an hour). But these didn’t dissuade me to try my first bitcoin experience.

My friend and I were lucky we met Anton in the meetup. He explained to us  how bitcoin works, how to start and where to start. For those who aren’t familiar with it, watch the short animated video below.

When I reached home, I started signing up to the local bitcoin exchanges. By Wednesday, I managed to get my first bitcoin virtual currency. I will try and write in this blog my Bitcoin learning progress. So for this article, I’ll be teaching you how to buy your first bitcoin  in Singapore.

  1. Download Google Authenticator app in your phone (iPhone and Android have this for free). You will use this for the 2FA authentication.
  2. Open your bitcoin trading account in FYB-SG. Make sure that you have a scanned copy of your IC (front and back). For those whose don’t have an IC, scan your passport and any recent bill that shows your name and home address. These documents are used to verify your account.
    1. scanned copy of IC (front) AND
    2. IC (back)
      OR
    3. scanned copy of passport AND
    4. scanned copy of a recent bill (Singtel, Starhub, M1, SPServices)
  3. Alternatively, you can sign up in ITBIT. Although based on experience, FYB-SG is faster in verifying your account. I had to wait for more than 2 days to wait for ITBIT’s verification while FYB-SG’s was done in only half a day.
  4. Deposit money to their account. I used UOB because FYB-SG is using UOB too so the money will reach their account on the same day. In fact, within 30 minutes, I already received an email from them that they have received my deposit and it was already reflected in their website.
  5. When you deposit your money to them, you won’t get any deductions nor charges yet. It is actually a funds transfer transaction. Charges will only incur when you do GIRO or when you start the trading.
  6. Once you have the money,  you can start buying or selling bitcoins thru the exchange.

Last Thursday, another Bitcoin meetup event was held. It was organized by the SLAP team. I felt it was more informative probably because more time was allocated for talks. The Bitcoin meetup on Monday seemed to be more focused on networking and interpersonal discussions. Nevertheless, in both events you can see the eagerness of the crowd  to know what this “anarchist” and disruptive currency is all about.

Bitcoins are starting to get the attentions of commercial establishments and non-tech people in Singapore. There are a few restaurants and pubs which allow Bitcoin payment. Tomas, the Coin of Sale founder, mentioned a few diners in Singapore that accepts bitcoins. These are:

  1. Bartini Kitchen and Bar – 29 Boon Tat Street, where a bitcoin ATM was installed by David from Coin Republic.
  2. Sarnie’s Cafe – 136 Telok Ayer, they served the food and drinks in the Bitcoin SLAP event.
  3. Artistry – 17 Jalan Pinang
  4. CAD Cafe – 23 Haji Lane

Thomas Moir also wrote in his Timeout Singapore article the other shops that accept bitcoins. Go and check it out at A bit for a bite: cafés & bars to spend your bitcoins.