“I love crypto. But how do I buy it?” Said (probably) no one ever in 2023.
dispel the anonymity myth
There are loads of new platforms that have emerged that help in easy and efficient onramping and off-ramping for crypto. Let’s start with the most basic ones. Exchanges.
Centralized exchanges are perhaps one of the biggest examples of letting people convert their fiat to crypto. But with these exchanges, you can forget about anonymity (as mentioned above). With most of these exchanges, you need to do KYC which means sharing your identity proof and other personal information.
Most centralized exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Bybit, OKX, Changelly, and KuCoin have the KYC process to register. When the KYC process is complete, you can deposit your assets via the most popular fiat payment methods. Depending on where you are located, these may differ. The goal of KYC is to reduce money laundering risks.
Alternatively, you can create DeFi wallets on these centralized exchanges. But, you will need to transfer assets from an existing web3 wallet. Regardless, once you load your exchange wallet with funds, you can easily start trading on various DeFi applications.
Several decentralized exchanges (such as Uniswap) have partnerships with fiat onramps (geography and regulation-specific) that act as plug-and-play systems to integrate with decentralized exchanges and offer users the ability to deposit their fiat and buy crypto assets. This is made possible with APIs such as that of Wyre and Moonpay.
Wyre currently supports the conversions between fiat and various cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, and a host of other ERC-20 tokens. Their Wyre Wallet supports the storage of both crypto and fiat funds. These wallets can be owned both by individuals or businesses. From the Wyre Wallet, users can then transact with both their cryptocurrencies and fiat money between accounts on Wyre or even send the money over to other crypto addresses.
Here are some core features of Wyre that aid the user experience when buying crypto from fiat and/or converting their crypto back into fiat.
Wyre offers integrations with Apple Pay, which means users can interact with Wyre’s Checkout Widget and Card Processing API - to allow for the conversion of fiat to crypto. This is possible with protocols that have already been integrated with Wyre.
With Wyre, users can utilize a host of onramping methods for payments. Remember, however, that these payment methods will vary according to their country.
Wyre also allows the offramping of users’ funds from a crypto protocol directly to their bank account. If the protocol permits the storage of balance on Wyre, then this will also save users additional payments made when redeeming their cryptoassets to fiat. Thanks to Wyre’s partnership with MoneyGram, users will be able to transact between crypto and fiat easily.
As an end-user, you will be charged with fees when converting your fiat to crypto.
Wyre also supports the direct conversion of fiat to crypto i.e., directly sending the money over to the protocol’s smart contracts. This is made possible with SmartRamps. Niftyswap is one such protocol that this happens with. For more details on how this works, check their website here.
To check the list of fiat and cryptocurrencies they support, visit their website here.
Moonpay also enables the ability to buy crypto from their fiat easily. They support major bank transfers (depending on users’ location), and wallet transfers such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. It is currently active in more than 160 countries and is very well integrated with several protocols and wallets across DeFi as well (such as integrations with Trust Wallet, MetaMask, and Ledger and even exchanges like Uniswap).
The fees that Moonpay charges vary depending on the type of transfer i.e., for card payments, it is 4.5% and for bank transfers, it's 1%. To learn more about their fees, check out their blog here.
One of the core benefits of using Moonpay is that it makes it super simple for users to transact between their crypto and fiat.
Some of the core features of Moonpay are:
Supporting a variety of cryptoassets across various networks and protocols.
Lowest KYC approval times (users claim they’ve had their KYC done in seconds with Moonpay!)
Another player that lets users easily transact between their crypto and fiat to make payments across a variety of merchants is Coinify. One of their core features is their ability to offer users the ability to make payments to Web2 merchants in cryptocurrencies.
Here are some of the core features that Coinify offers.
Coinify has plugins for Woocommerce, Magento, and PrestaShop enabling any merchant who is using either to easily offer the ability to take payments in crypto.
Coinify also offers users the ability for users to buy cryptocurrency on their platform itself.
To know more about Coinify’s features, check out their website here.
Supported Fiat Currencies
Coinify supports a host of fiat currencies for every user to transact in such as AUD, CAD, CHF, and more. To know the full list of supported fiat currencies, visit their website here.
Coinify also has minimum limits on assets that are withdrawn. For SEPA settlements, it is a minimum 25 EUR and international bank transfer settlements have a minimum limit of 100 EUR.
The SEPA settlements do not have any fee associated with them, but for every international bank transfer, there is a fee of 15 EUR per transfer.
The next category of fiat-to-crypto onramping solutions is wallets. These generally have partnerships with a payments provider that help transfer users’ funds from fiat to crypto. We already talked about the Moonpay integration with MetaMask earlier. Let’s look at some of the most popular wallets that offer these solutions.
It comes as no surprise that Trust Wallet has the biggest offering when it comes to the ability for users to buy crypto. It is a non-custodial wallet and offers seamless integration with the Binance exchange (since it is an offering by Binance itself).
Trust Wallet offers users the ability to access multiple blockchains and assets in the same wallet itself. This is what makes it stand apart from other wallets. Also, given that it's non-custodial, users have full ownership of the crypto assets stored on the wallet.
Here are some of the biggest features offered by Trust Wallet:
- Staking: Users can start staking their assets (such as BNB, ATOM, and more) with their Trust Wallet itself.
- Trading: Users can also rely on the wallet to trade between their assets held in the wallet.
- Non-custodial: Trust Wallet does not own any of the cryptocurrency that users store on it. In fact, it directly interacts with the blockchains for the assets users wish to trade.
- Governance: Since Trust Wallet is decentralized, it can be governed by its TWT token holders. These are BEP-20 tokens that live on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
Supported Fiat Currencies
The supported fiat currencies depend on users’ geographical location. This can easily be known by installing the Trust Wallet app and browsing through the list of supported tokens and currencies.
There is a 1% fee that applies to each crypto purchase. However, if the users hold the TWT token then that fee can be waived.
Trust Wallet is probably one of the biggest wallets in the market with support for over 4.5M cryptoassets!
There are a host of other onramp and offramp solutions as well that help users not only convert their fiat to crypto but also access their on-chain capital via cards. Let’s explore some of them.
Holyheld is a Mastercard debit card that enables direct conversion of crypto-fiat currencies, which can then be used to carry out various transactions in the real world. Since Holyheld interacts with the protocol’s smart contracts, it offers the entire ecosystem the ability to utilize their fiat for various crypto-specific purposes such as yield farming, lending, and more.
Users can also deposit fiat to the Holyheld account using SEPA transfers.
One of the biggest features that Holyheld offers is a seamless integration between crypto and fiat. This enables several real-world use cases for users such as getting an auto-repaying loan for a car with crypto assets. There are several other features that can be built (natively) at the protocol level to provide a seamless flow of assets between the real world (fiat) and crypto (blockchain/web3).
Currently, Holyheld can be used in 31 countries within Europe; the team behind Holyheld is working towards finding a solution to offer its services to American customers as well.
Holyheld currently has a 0.75% top-up fee. Their Classic Virtual card comes for 29 EUR.
For more details on fees at Holyheld, visit their page here.
Holyheld currently supports Ethereum, Fantom, Polygon, BSC, Avalanche, Optimism or Arbitrum. The Holyheld team intends to add a lot more networks soon.
With Holyheld, users can “Top up” their card with the assets of their choosing. Holyheld is available on iOS as well.
Our Choice - Unblock
Unblock are our go-to on and off-ramp provider.
Unblock was created to facilitate the fastest, most affordable, and most trustworthy way to get funds in and out of Web3. Based in Lithuania, this Unblock is a B2B company, however, we (blocmates), are currently working together with them (Unblock) towards making it available to potential users like yourself, directly.
Unblock offers a radically fresh perspective for off-rampers through a sleek and simplified user interface. Accessible via your Metamask or bank account, this innovative platform harnesses its own liquidity, exclusively accommodating stablecoins. The ingenious twist lies in the transaction experience, as funds appear as if you are effortlessly transferring money from your own pocket to yourself. Consequently, concerns about arousing suspicion from your bank due to receiving funds from cryptocurrency companies become obsolete. Moreover, the speed of transactions is a game-changer, with orders completed within a mere 45 seconds. In contrast, platforms like Transac, Moonpay, and their counterparts are forced to wait for order fulfilment, leading to prolonged processing times and potential fluctuations in estimated rates during this waiting period.
Nonetheless, if you can’t wait for us to do our thing in collaboration with the guys at Unblock, you can check out Unblock’s partner app, Alluo’s non-custodial app / available in the google play and Apple app stores).
If you want to get in touch with the team shoot 0x_Preacher a message and tell him blocmates sent you!
Unblock (Yes, another Unblock... They are both different).
Unblock is a brokerage platform that lets users purchase cryptocurrency via various methods such as credit cards and bank accounts. They aim to become the primary source with which users load their crypto wallets. They are a regulated company based in Switzerland.
Users can download the Unblock app and use it to purchase crypto assets using their bank cards or by doing bank transfers. With the app, they can also send assets to fellow Unblock users.
They currently have limited support of assets. The full list of supported assets can be found on their website here.
Users do need to complete KYC to access their Unblock accounts.
Bitpay is one of the oldest and also one of the biggest onramp and offramp solutions for crypto and fiat transactions. It is based in the United States, unlocking the ability for American users to convert their crypto to fiat and vice-versa. Moreover, Bitpay also offers the ability to get a Bitpay Mastercard, which can then be used to pay for transactions in the real world. Bitpay is available as an application.
Bitpay offers some cool features to its users.
BitPay Card: The BitPay card is a prepaid Mastercard that is issued by the Metropolitan Commercial Bank and can be used across all 50 states in the US. To apply for the card, users will need to complete the required KYC checks.
BitPay Wallet: BitPay also offers the ability to create a multisig wallet, which requires a pre-specified number of signatures to execute transactions. This increases the overall decentralization of an account, and it can be used by distrusting parties.
In addition to this, BitPay offers the standard features of a wallet such as the ability to send to fellow BitPay users, the ability to pay in crypto via their card and more.
There are several wallets available that help convert users’ assets from fiat to crypto, and users must check which of these have the best service offerings in their respective geographical locations. Some of the coolest features are the ability to use crypto to pay for real-world transactions!
But as always, be sure to do your research on the services that you are using. Not only from a regulatory standpoint, but past experiences should tell you that nothing is truly safe. So stay informed and stay safe.