Introduction The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Revolution is taking over traditional finance (TradFi) and centralized exchanges (CEX), with billions in...
The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Revolution is taking over traditional finance (TradFi) and centralized exchanges (CEX), with billions in investment still pouring into DeFi projects in 2022 despite the global economic downturn. DeFi applications, including decentralized exchanges (DEX), can provide Internet-connected users anywhere in the world access to a wide range of permissionless financial services, such as trading, staking, and lending/borrowing, with the key difference being decentralization. Without a doubt, blockchain-powered decentralization can bring better transparency, less custody risk, lower transaction cost, faster settlement, immutability, financial inclusion, and countless other benefits to modern finance.
“[DeFi] can be considered both a suite of financial technology with the potential to disrupt existing market structures, as well as a compelling use case of blockchains that is helping drive value for crypto assets” ~Goldman Sachs
Historically, access to DeFi has been driven through people using CEXs as fiat on/off-ramps (i.e. exchanging between stablecoins and fiat such as USD). However, the recent collapse of one of the most prominent unregulated exchanges, FTX, has shed light on the inherent custodial risk of CEXs. The FTX scandal has permanently diminished trust in CEXs at the mainstream level as well as increased the demand for better alternatives to on-ramp from fiat to stablecoins.
There already exists a popular solution, however: fiat on/off-ramps that can minimize the time in which fiat funds are at risk, convert them to fiat-backed stablecoins (or other crypto assets), and deposit them into a user’s self-custody wallet (e.g. MetaMask) within a single transaction. So why do many users still use a CeX?
Not only are CEXs riskier because users are not in true control of their funds (i.e. not your keys, not your coins), which means exchanges could misappropriate customer funds without their consent, CEXs also make it more challenging for users to withdraw funds to their own self-custody wallets, especially in times of liquidity crises. Thus, moving fiat funds between one’s bank account and DeFi through a CEX for fiat on/off-ramping could be slow, costly, and even risky.
Instead of using CEXs, a safer alternative is using a fiat on-ramp to buy stablecoins (or other crypto assets) and settle them into a self-custody wallet that the user actually controls. This minimizes the time in which user funds are at risk, and directs the funds to a non-custodial wallet where the user is in full control of their private keys. The user can then easily interact with DEXs, DeFi apps, and the rest of the Web3 ecosystem on their own using non-volatile stablecoins (or other crypto assets). Ultimately, the user remains in full control of their own funds throughout most of the process.
With that said, we are proud to officially introduce Stably Ramp: a seamless, low-cost, and regulatory-compliant fiat on/off-ramp for stablecoins with access to emerging blockchain networks. In light of the recent FTX collapse, using fiat gateways such as Stably Ramp + DEXs to trade digital assets is a much more secure and transparent method compared to using traditional CEXs.
Not only do Stably Ramp users have full custody of assets within their own wallets at the end of a transaction, fiat payments made through Stably Ramp are processed for the benefit of the user by Prime Trust, our regulated custodian partner based in Nevada. Prime Trust is required by law to maintain full reserve of customer funds and it also cannot lend/borrow against customer funds thanks to being a trust company, not a bank. Once a fiat payment has settled from the user’s bank to Prime Trust, the funds are quickly converted to stablecoins (or other crypto assets) and disbursed to the user‘s self-custody wallet. As a result, Stably Ramp users now have significantly less custody risk to their funds than CEX users.
And that’s not all! Other awesome benefits of Stably Ramp include:
- 💸 Low fees: Buy and sell stablecoins for as low as $1 fee per transaction
- 💳 Traditional payments: ACH (available now) plus Instant ACH, Fedwire, SWIFT, and credit/debit card for Visa and MasterCard in 40+ countries (coming soon)
- ⛓️ Multichain assets: USDS on 10+ blockchains (available now) plus BTC, ETH, USDC, USDT, and other assets on all major blockchains (coming soon)
- 🌍 Regulatory compliant: KYC onboarding support for individuals in 200+ countries/regions, including KYB for institutions via Stably Prime (Stably Ramp KYB support coming soon)
- ↔️ Buying + selling: Not just a fiat on-ramp but also an off-ramp
- 😌 Simplicity: Intuitive and easy-to-use UI/UX. Onboard within minutes
- 🔌 Plug & play: Simple iFrame integration for Web3 wallets/apps
What Makes Stably Ramp Better?
While using CEXs could involve substantial custody risk, other major fiat ramp providers like MoonPay and Transak are not necessarily the best venues to purchase stablecoins, either. In fact, buying USDC or USDT there with USD can cost anywhere between 5% and 20%. These fiat ramps focus more on accepting cards instead of cheaper bank transfer methods such as ACH, Fedwire, and SWIFT. This is because they require the instant funds settlement from their customer’s card payments in order to lower their price risk in sourcing crypto liquidity and brokering it back to the customer.
Stably Ramp, however, focuses on brokering fiat-backed stablecoins and as a result, we are able to support a wider range of payment methods beyond just credit/debit cards (because we don’t have to deal with the same price risk for stablecoins as other crypto assets). By using ACH as the payment method, for example, a Stably Ramp user can deposit USD for free and buy stablecoins for as little as $1 fee (once the USD deposit has settled after a couple of business days).
Additionally, through **Stably USD** (USDS), Stably Ramp has now become the only fiat-to-stablecoin gateway for many emerging DeFi ecosystems across 10+ blockchain networks, including XRP Ledger, VeChain, Polymesh, Harmony, ICON, and Chia. USDS is a regulatory-compliant stablecoin backed 1-to-1 by USD held by Prime Trust for the benefit of USDS token holders. All collateral holdings of USDS are held in deposits at FDIC-insured banks by Prime Trust (more information here). USDS can be issued/redeemed 1-to-1 for USD by verified token holders via Stably Ramp (for individuals) and Stably Prime (for institutions).
Stably also partners with Cohen & Co., a leading US-based stablecoin audit firm, to provide monthly attestations of the USDS collateral holdings (since 2018). Cohen & Co. also maintains the StableInsight dashboard to show live balances of the USDS collateral holdings (via Prime Trust’s API) vs. the total number of USDS tokens in circulation across all blockchain networks it lives on.
How to Get Started with Stably Ramp
What is Next for Stably Ramp?
We believe the launch of Stably Ramp will greatly accelerate Web3 adoption by reducing existing fiat on/off-ramp pain points for crypto users worldwide. As such, we have prioritized working on 3 core areas in the coming months in order to improve user experience and further drive Stably Ramp adoption:
- More payment methods: Rolling out support for Instant ACH, Fedwire (USA), SWIFT (global), credit/debit cards. Eventually, we will explore supporting more payment methods in other fiat currencies such as CAD, EUR, JPY, VND, etc.
- More assets + blockchain networks: We are exploring a near-future integration with an advanced DEX + bridge aggregator to give Stably Ramp users the ability to buy/sell any stablecoin or crypto assets on any major blockchain networks (e.g. Ethereum, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, Fantom, Optimism).
- Advanced wallet integration: We want to improve the Stably Ramp integration experience for Web3 wallets/apps. If you are a developer or potential integrator interested in improving your user’s fiat on/off-ramp experience, please contact us via this form.
We are fervent believers in a stablecoin-powered DeFi future, where millions of people can easily and affordably move funds between their bank accounts and Web3. If you’re interested in helping us make this a reality, please don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com or by using this form. ****
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