update 19 August 2021

Crypto On-ramps and Off-ramps; What You Need to Know

Since the first light of personal computers, analogies play a crucial role in mapping the physical world onto the digital one. Your private computer stores data in files, which are then unionized in folders; if you open a file, a window shows up, and when you close the windows, you will see your desktop.

Similar analogies are in use on cryptocurrencies whereby money is in store in wallets, which is not technically a wallet. It is a pair of keys but not literal keys but hexadecimal numbers. As for the process of securing and expending cryptocurrency, the analogy of a highway is in use where on-ramps assist you in getting onto the crypto highway, and off-ramps assist you in getting off the crypto highway again.

Upon receiving cryptocurrency in exchange for something that is not a digital asset, an on-ramp is used. Still, when you expend cryptocurrency in exchange for something that is not a digital asset, an off-ramp is what is in use.

Cryptocurrency On-Ramp

This term refers to a service whereby one can offer up cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat money. Fiat money is different from cryptocurrency in that fiat has no intrinsic value but has value simply because the government declares it legal tender. Fiat money equates to debt because a government makes most of its cash through taken out loans.

Banks, too, create money when people borrow money; therefore, when a central bank issues banknotes to consumers, it also gives them some percentage of the government’s debt. Fiat money gets its value majorly from debt, and this is not the case with bitcoin. Bitcoin has intrinsic value but instead gets its value depending on its effectiveness as a medium of exchange.

Trading fiat money is required for digital assets to buy a cryptocurrency for anyone who wants to get involved in the cryptocurrency as a first step. Verification with a cryptocurrency on-ramp in most countries is governed by some laws, which is a good thing because it makes money laundering impossible.

A far less common type of on-ramp service is bitcoins ATMs. Bitcoin ATMs look like traditional ATMs, function similarly but does not connect to a bank account; instead, it joins a customer directly to a Bitcoin exchange for a convenient way to acquire bitcoin in person. You can locate Bitcoin cash ATMs near you using Coin ATM radar

The major downside to this cryptocurrency ATM is that they offer limited assets and the services are unavailable in some cities, so going this way may or may not be a hassle. In some cities, to stay legit, one needs a money transmission license. Getting a permit may, however, be expensive to acquire and time-consuming.

Cryptocurrency Off-Ramps

Cryptocurrency off-ramps work in direct opposition to cryptocurrency on-ramps. It enables the exchange of bitcoin into fiat and is eligible for purchasing goods and services with bitcoin. Some people prefer using bitcoin as a currency on its own to buy goods and services online as a safe and straightforward method. Using this method does not require exchange into another currency, but instead, payment is made directly in bitcoin.

Available options to do currency exchange includes;

Bitcoin debit card

Users deposit crypto via online websites whereby automatic change into fiat currency takes place.

Selling Bitcoin

Without involving a third party such as a bank, you can directly sell your bitcoin to someone else. When you find the buyer, you can now transfer bitcoin into their wallet and get paid. However, there are some security risks and could be a source of great inconvenience if your buyer fails to pay you for your bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATM

Also known as bitcoin teller machines, they work similarly to regular ATMs because they allow you to buy bitcoin with cash the same way people deposit money in their standard accounts. This method is relatively fast and convenient in withdrawing funds in your local currency.

The retailers will act as the off-ramp when it comes to goods and services since many investors use bitcoin to increase fiat capital, and they will change their coins for fiat sometime, which is profitable in their local currency. 

Final Word

Cryptocurrency on-ramps and off-ramps play a crucial role in bringing new money and new users into the cryptocurrency market. To become a verified user, you must submit correct information to avoid disqualification. KYC requires a new user to provide identity documents that the government issues, such as a driver’s license and a passport. In some cases, they will require you to provide proof of residency.

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Underproof of residency documentation such as a utility bill may be a requirement, and failure to provide error-free information may cause an individual to fail the verification process. This process might be very rigorous, and first-timers must take care and ensure they enter correct information to avoid disqualification. It is also important to note that once you submit KYC, information cannot be updated; therefore, you risk disqualification.

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