This is the first post of our new tutorial series, in which we're going to show you useful tips & tricks to sail smoothly through the crypto world.
Today, we're going to show you how to buy Ether, Dai or USDC without having to go through a crypto exchange.
If you're familiar with crypto you probably know this annoying situation. You want to buy a new token or deposit stablecoins in a DeFi lending protocol to earn a high yield (because who wants to earn 0% from traditional banks) but your funds are stuck in the fiat world with no quick way to get it into the DeFi world.
The standard remedy to this problem would be to find one of the few crypto exchanges which support bank deposits, make a bank transfer to the exchange and wait two to three days until the transfer has arrived. You would then go on to make the trade on the exchange platform and withdraw your purchased crypto to your Ethereum wallet. Only then you'd finally be able to do what you set out to do three days ago. Oh, and if you didn't have an account on the exchange platform before, you would also have to verify your identity, which could take another day.
Enter Ramp. As the name already tells us, Ramp is an on-RAMP to the crypto world, allowing people to convert their fiat currency to crypto in the most seamless way. What does seamless mean? It means getting the crypto sent straight into your wallet without having to sign-up anywhere, without having to verify yourself (in most cases) and paying with whichever payment method you like.
In essence, Ramp is a platform that aggregates dozens of liquidity sources, such as crypto exchanges, brokers, OTC desks. Ramp also has its own P2P network of individual liquidity providers called Ramp Pools, which anyone wanting to sell crypto and earn additional income can join. Sitting above all these liquidity sources, Ramp is guaranteed to find the best conversion rate for you.
When you buy crypto on Ramp, behind the scenes Ramp goes to look for the best price across the range of exchanges and other liquidity sources it's connected to and disburses it straight into your crypto wallet.
This approach allows Ramp to focus entirely on the user experience, while most crypto exchanges have to focus more on the technicalities of their trading business.
Currently, Ramp only supports Ethereum based tokens, namely Ether as well as the stablecoins DAI and USDC. The two latter allow you to invest straight into DeFi protocols like Aave and Compound without having to be exposed to Ether price volatility.
In the near future however, Ramp plans to go multi-chain by supporting Bitcoin (BTC) and Tezos (TZS) and many more in the coming weeks.
To use Ramp head to their website and choose the token you want to buy. You can do this on desktop or on mobile as the website works great on mobile. Alternatively, Ramp is also available within Zerion, Aave, Multis, IdleFinance and a range of other decentralized applications (dApps).
After you have entered the amount you want to buy you'll see a transaction overview showing you how much the transaction will cost in fiat (€/$) terms.
Next, you'll have to confirm your email address. This is done by entering a code which you receive in your email inbox on the Ramp page. You're not creating an account here but Ramp needs an e-mail address to communicate with you, for example to let you know when the funds have been sent to your crypto wallet.
Once your email is confirmed you have to enter the ethereum wallet address where you want the funds to be sent to. This can be your own address but you could potentially also send it to a friend or a freelancer abroad who wants to be paid in crypto.
Choosing the right payment method matters. Since you might not be familiar with all of them we'll quickly go through the different options as they each have different settlement times and KYC requirements. The good thing is that Ramp is very transparent on its fees. There's no hidden costs whatsoever. Many providers hide their fees by giving bad conversion rates.
Instant bank transfer: Instant bank transfers arrive in Ramp's settlement accounts within seconds so it's the fastest purchase option available. These types of payments use a standard called 'open-banking' to access your bank account with your explicit consent and pull the sum of the payment out of your bank account. Having the confirmation that your funds are on their way, Ramp can directly disburse the crypto to you.
Instant bank transfers are supported by most of the major banks in the UK. Unfortunately, if you live in mainland Europe they only work if you have a Revolut account.
Another added benefit of instant bank transfers is that you can buy up to €5000 worth of crypto without having to go through a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process because Ramp can get your identity data from the bank account you connected.
Limits: can buy €5000 without doing any KYC, more with KYC
Fees: 1.99% or 1.49% for transactions greater than €2500
Manual bank transfer: Manual bank transfers are the type of bank transfers you do everyday, requiring you to enter Ramp's IBAN number and a reference code (screenshot below).
This type of payment might take up to two days but it's the cheapest option. Similar to instant bank transfers, you don't need to verify yourself for purchases up to €1000.
Once your bank transfer arrives, Ramp will notify you by e-mail and automatically send the purchased crypto to your wallet.
Limits: can buy €1000 without KYC, more with KYC
Fees: 0.99% or 0.49% for transactions greater than €2500
Debit card & Apple Pay Debit card purchases are always more costly because they’re more expensive for the merchant provider (Ramp in this case).
The advantage is that they only take a couple of minutes to settle so you’re guaranteed to receive your crypto disbursed quickly. The disadvantage is that you can only buy small amounts using this method without going through Ramp's KYC procedure. Rest assured, the KYC process is quite seamless just like the rest of Ramp's user experience.
Limits: can buy €50 without KYC, more with KYC
Ramp is an incredibly useful tool to buy crypto in a fast and seamless manner using your preferred payment method. Many users in the crypto space don't trust exchanges with their money. Ramp allows you to circumvent them altogether and get crypto sent straight into your wallet.
Try it out by heading to Ramp!
What is your experience with Ramp? Tag us @cryptotesters on Twitter and tell us about your experience!
I am passionate about Bitcoin and Ethereum and want to on-board new people to crypto.