Looking Forward to 2019: The State of Cryptocurrency in Asia

Blockchain and crypto businesses are keeping their heads down to focus on building up infrastructure.

Posted by Jun & Jonathan on February 13, 2019

In a previous piece, we shared how the bear year of 2018 was one where the substantial dip in prices of cryptocurrencies allowed for blockchain and crypto businesses to keep their heads down and focus on building up infrastructure. With some examples shared in our previous piece 2 months ago, what better way to illustrate the continued growth and maturity of the state of cryptocurrency than to bring forward more examples in 2019, with this one zooming in on the progress within Southeast Asia.

Following Coinhako’s recent press release about its 100 fiat-crypto pairings, the growth within the island nation of Singapore isn’t stopping anytime soon. Here is a consolidated list of updates from a mix of online sources and face-to-face conversations with the businesses mentioned:

  • In late 2018, there was an announcement of Binance entering Singapore to develop a fiat-crypto solution. With this step, together with Coinhako’s plans to continue its work in Southeast Asia, it provides greater access to cryptocurrencies within the region, which signals a future increase in trading volume.

  • Counter Network, an Over-The-Counter (OTC) trading platform is in beta, and will be integrated with Coinhako, not unlike GDAX and Coinbase. You can expect it to launch in February/March 2019.

  • Order booking within CoinHako will arrive by Q3 2019. This feature will not only enhance the overall trading experience by allowing limit buys and sells, but also likely reduce trading fees as CoinHako no longer needs to charge fees for acting as an intermediary market maker.

  • CoinHako already provides a cool cryptocurrency swap function, and will continue to add more cryptocurrencies/ digital tokens to the feature. We hear that this will not be limited to ERC-20 tokens. You will notice that the order price is valid only for a short period - this is because the rate for the swap is based on market rates.

There continues to be robust regulatory activity in Singapore in the cryptocurrency space. In 2019, the new Payment Services Act will come into force. Why does it matter? Well, the Act regulates digital payment token (a.k.a cryptocurrencies) services through a licensing regime, and this could provide a runway for cryptocurrencies to go mainstream.

One of the biggest gripes of cryptocurrency actually being used for payments, after getting past its novelty factor, is the volatility of its value. The business developments provide services that will usher in larger volume due to easier access, which will naturally lead to greater stability in the market and value. We think it’s just a matter of time before trading volume grows to a level that brings a steady demand-supply equilibrium. But as history has shown, the crypto world is full of twists and turns.

We’re certainly looking forward to what the rest of 2019 brings!


If you want to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum with SGD and other currencies in Southeast Asia, do so in less than 5 minutes via CoinHako here.