All too often, someone has expressed an interest in buying cryptocurrency, only to fall at the very first hurdle when they realize how difficult it can be to buy digital assets.
Crypto onboarding can be a major headache, as it’s a slow and arduous process that involves many complicated steps. For anyone new to crypto, the very first step is to download and set up a digital wallet, write it down, and safeguard the private key. Once the wallet is ready to go, the user can then proceed to an exchange platform, where they must open an account and pass the KYC process. Only then are they ready to navigate what can often be a mind-boggling user interface that lists hundreds of obscure cryptocurrencies, making it tricky to find the actual coin they want to buy.
If the promise of Web3 and decentralized technologies is ever going to be realized, the industry needs a more efficient way to onboard new users. Unless value can flow efficiently and seamlessly between the two worlds of traditional and decentralized finance, most of it will likely remain where it is – stuck inside the existing financial system.
This is why the industry has been making a concerted effort to increase accessibility to crypto, building more seamless and user-friendly on- and off-ramps to facilitate entry.
The Need For Crypto On-Ramps
The term “on-ramp” refers to the process through which people can use fiat money to acquire digital assets such as crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Until recently, crypto on-ramps have left a lot to be desired, with most people beginning their journeys by creating an account at an exchange such as Binance or Coinbase. They’ll also need their own digital wallet to safeguard the tokens they buy. It’s a clunky process that involves providing various bits of documentation to prove your identity and address, and for many, it’s also a very roundabout way of doing things.
For instance, a video game player might need to obtain crypto for the very first time when they’re playing a blockchain-based play-to-earn game. To enjoy the game properly, they’ll likely be required to purchase an NFT, and they’ll soon discover they’ll need crypto to pay for it. So that means exiting the game and going through the steps described above. It’s extremely inefficient, and many gamers might just give up and move on to a different game.
Off-ramps are the same process done in reverse, and allow people to sell their crypto for fiat money.
Without these on- and off-ramps, the crypto industry wouldn’t even exist. There simply has to be a way for users to be able to buy and sell their digital assets for “real” money, because the traditional financial system is still by far the world’s most dominant. More than 99% of the world’s value remains trapped in the existing, fiat-based system.
If crypto is ever to surpass TradFi, it needs a simple way for anyone to transfer value between the two ecosystems, and it needs to be instantaneous, with zero hassles for the end user. In addition, these smoother on- and off-ramps must be accessible through any application that requires crypto.
Crypto On-Ramps, Streamlined
Onboarding is often described as one of the crypto industry’s biggest challenges, so it’s no surprise that it has been getting a lot of attention lately, as innovators strive to simplify the process.
One of the most promising players in this regard is Ramp Network, which has not only built an easily accessible gateway to the crypto world but has also made it available to any developer who wants to integrate it into their dApps with a simple plug-and-play offering.
Using Ramp’s API, developers can incorporate one of the most streamlined onboarding systems into any kind of application. By doing this, developers can offer their users an almost instantaneous way to purchase the crypto they need to interact with their dApps, eliminating what is perhaps their biggest onboarding challenge.
Ramp likes to keep things simple, with its slick UI allowing users to select their desired asset from a long, drop-down list, enter the amount they wish to buy, and see the latest price quote. If satisfied, they can then sign in with their email account, choose a payment method such as their bank card, credit card, bank transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay or Pix, and then just click to confirm the transaction. The tokens will then immediately be deposited into the user’s wallet.
Off-ramping is done more or less the same way, with the user specifying the token they wish to sell, the amount, and their chosen payout method. Users can buy small amounts of crypto using Ramp without undergoing KYC, while those who want to expand their transaction limits will only need to do so once.
Ramp’s on- and off-ramps are not only simple to use, but they’re also fully compliant with regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
Some of the main competitors to Ramp include Bolt Finance and MoonPay, which have created similar, streamlined onboarding processes for buying and selling crypto that combine every step of the transaction flow. Users simply specify the assets they want to swap and the payment/payout method, and they’re good to go. Under the hood, the on-ramp providers take care of the complexities around asset pairing, liquidity, reserves management, transaction processing, and compliance. The end result is that users can buy and sell crypto assets much faster, directly within the dApp they wish to use, without having to go to a third-party exchange.
By integrating these simpler on- and off-ramps into their dApps, businesses can make their Web3 services far more accessible and will likely see a significant uptick in user acquisition,
Easing Access To Web3
Many of the most enthusiastic proponents of crypto and Web3 maintain their belief that decentralized money will one day come to rival, and perhaps even surpass fiat money as the world’s premiere tool for exchanging economic value. But clearly, this is not going to happen while crypto remains inaccessible. For crypto to prevail, the industry needs an idiot-proof way for users to purchase digital assets with nothing more than a few simple clicks.
The efforts of Ramp, MoonPay, and others have gone some way to making this possible. But the real innovation is not so much simplifying the on-ramp process, but making it accessible to every developer. By utilizing their APIs, businesses can quickly integrate a gateway between the worlds of crypto and fiat within their Web3 dApps, overcoming one of the major barriers to adoption.
This new generation of crypto on- and off-ramps will have big implications in DeFi, GameFi, SocialFi, tokenization, and any other kind of decentralized protocol, making these services as easy to access as those in the more familiar world of Web2.