All cryptocurrency enthusiasts face the necessity of cashing out their coins once in a while for a variety of reasons. The process is usually not as simple as making a wire transfer through to another bank account or exchanging fiat currency online or offline.
The general consensus here is that out of the three options, cheap, fast and reliable, you can only choose two. However, this may not be the case for some of the newer ways to convert your crypto to fiat. But first, let’s take a look at the most common options.
1. Finding a cash-for-crypto buyer or seller is quite simple and there are plenty of resources online for that. This option allows you to circumvent the bank system as well and pay no conversion fees. The exchange rate in such transactions, however, may be slightly less profitable, because the fiat seller has to earn something, but that’s not the biggest threat.
The number of frauds in such exchanges is intimidating, and if you want to cash out a big amount, being ripped off might not be the worst thing that can happen to you. So, cheap? Yes. Fast? Most certainly. Reliable? No.
2. Peer-to-peer crypto-to-fiat exchanges are a step up from the good old offline sales. With apps like LocalCryptos, you can easily find someone to accommodate your sale or purchase.
The apps are reliable enough, and often buyers and sellers remain anonymous like in any peer-to-peer application. A reputation system is implemented to encourage honesty, and an escrow system prevents the majority of frauds. However, there are fees, both if you make a listing and if you respond to one. Not a rip-off, usually, but it could become up to a hefty amount if your transaction is big.
3. Probably the most popular way to cash out your coin is to sell it via a cryptocurrency exchange. It’s easiest to do with a trusted exchange where you might already have an account such as Bitfinex, Binance, or Kraken. The process is reliable and relatively quick. The fiat money for your cryptos will usually show up in your bank account within 3-5 days after you make your transaction. Yet there are certain cons. First, reliable exchanges adhere to anti-money-laundering regulations, so you would normally need to withdraw to the same bank account you use to deposit with.
There are also fees. Also, geographical limitations may make the money transfer process even longer. You may also have to explain to your local regulators where the money is coming from, as cryptocurrency trading is prohibited in certain countries. You may, of course, choose PayPal or similar systems as an interim, but they also have fees, so you’ll lose even more money. The process is reliable, but not fast and most certainly not cheap.
4. OTC trading projects are also a viable option. Many exchanges offer over-the-counter desks you can use. OTC trading usually involves a pretty general onboarding and verification process, then you can start chatting with the customer service desk. They will be offering the best available deals for the moment, so you might want to wait for a better deal. The outcome might come a little cheaper than a regular deal made on a cryptocurrency exchange, but also slower.
5. Cryptocurrency ATMs are an almost instant option, a pretty safe and convenient one. That is if you live in the close vicinity of one. In some places, they are pretty few and far between, so this might only be an option for those who live in big cities in the countries ATMs are available in.
A large portion of the world’s population has no access to them. For instance, there are none in countries like Japan or China. Besides, you’d have to physically get to one to make your transaction.
6. There’s also a more advanced option for those who want to save both money and time but not to lose a bit of the security side. It’s acquiring a prepaid cryptocurrency card. Some cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets offer this option. For example, BitPay prepaid debit card, Wirex crypto debit card, or prepaid Visa card.
Such a card has all the benefits and conveniences of a regular debit card. You can use it at points of sale, even in your local grocery store, or anywhere else regular credit cards are accepted. The ways of topping up the card and options available differ. For example, in OWNR, you convert the crypto on your wallet balance to fiat on the card balance.
The conversion is instant and such a card supports the majority of the most popular coins, including BTC, ETH, LTC, and others. The fees and limits are quite similar to those you would pay for a regular card, so this option might be the one that is closest to getting the ‘cheap, secure, fast’ bingo.