There are many reasons why you might seek to liquidate your digital assets into fiat currency, be it to pay a bill, buy a meal, or cover an emergency. When needs must, speed is of the essence; no one has time to wait three days for a bank wire to clear. For those occasions when rapid exchange is essential, here are four fast crypto-fiat options.
Cut and Run: Quick Cash Out Considerations
“Cashing out” can mean different things to different people. For some, cashing out means circumventing the banking system (and invasive KYC) by discreetly exchanging crypto for tender they can hold in their hands. Of course, the seller first has to handle the legwork of finding a cash-for-crypto buyer whom they can meet in person. And then there are security concerns: what measures do you have in place to ensure you don’t get ripped off?
Even if you’re content to accept digital transfer of funds, you’ll need to decide which currency you want to be paid in, how much you’re prepared to lose in fees, and whether to favor bank transfer, Paypal, or another online payment option. If you’re in the midst of a major cash crisis, you must also consider the time it takes for funds to clear: while domestic wire transfers are reasonably fast, international bank transfers can take 3-5 business days. Here are some of the quickest crypto cashout options currently available.
Founded in 2017, Metal Pay is a money transfer app that acts as a gentle onramp to the world of virtual currencies – while also letting crypto-holders cash out. The process is simple: users download the app, which links to their mobile number, then complete KYC before entering their bank account details. From here, they can buy, sell, send, receive and convert between 24 cryptocurrencies including BTC and ETH, directly from their device. This week, TRX was added to that list, enabling Tron’s native token to be purchased using fiat currency by debit card or a linked bank checking account.
Insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Metal Pay imposes withdrawal limits of $10,000 per day, $100,000 per month, and $1.2M a year, but converting crypto to cash is straightforward. Just know that transfers made before 7 pm ET on business days typically show up in your bank the following business day (although they can take up to three business days), and that withdrawals to debit cards are normally the same day (but can theoretically take a business day to complete). Modest withdrawal fees are denominated in crypto and detailed here.
The main attraction of Localcryptos (formerly Localethereum) is that it lets users cash out their crypto peer-to-peer, minus the headache of draconian KYC/AML processes. A reputation system keeps buyers and sellers in check, while the noncustodial escrow service means shysters can’t make off with your BTC or ETH without paying you.
Using Localcryptos couldn’t be easier. At the top of the homepage, click ‘Browse,’ then select which crypto you’re buying/selling along with your preferred payment method (bank transfer, cash in person, Paypal, Revolut, etc), location and currency. You’ll be shown a list of buyers/sellers along with their profile blurbs and prices. All that’s left to do is open dialogue with one of them (chats are encrypted), agree a trade, and – if you’re the one cashing out – fund the escrow account. When the stipulated amount hits your account, click “Release Escrow” to seal the deal. Incidentally, the platform charges a 0.25% fee to “makers” (the person who places the offer listing) and 0.75% for the taker (the person responding to the offer).
Like Metal Pay, Wirex is a mobile money app, only the firm’s based in London, not San Francisco. As for the setup process, it’s virtually identical to Metal Pay and there are 10 supported cryptocurrencies at the time of writing including an MTL-esque native token called WXT.
If you want to cash out crypto using the app, it’s easy to do so: just go into your crypto account and hit ‘Exchange’ to convert your balance into the fiat currency of your choice. You can convert up to $50,000 per day and spend the money using your Wirex card; alternatively, you can withdraw from an ATM. If you prefer to cash out directly to a bank account, Wirex automatically claims a 1% fee and there’s a $15 charge for SWIFT transfers. If you’re a Coinbase Card holder, meanwhile, you can now fund your Google Pay using the crypto card, enabling contactless payments at the swipe of a smartphone.
Revolut is a popular mobile banking platform in Europe, and a direct competitor to Wirex. One reason you might choose Revolut over Wirex when seeking to cash out is the number of supported fiat currencies: well over 100 compared to Wirex’s three. Revolut requires a one-off payment of $9.99 for prepaid (Premium) debit cards, whereas Wirex cards entail a monthly cost of $1.50. One drawback with Revolut is that it doesn’t allow you to deposit cryptocurrency from an external source; you can only cash out crypto you have already bought in-app or received from another Revolut user.
To cash out your crypto, you’ll have to exchange it to fiat in-app (there’s a 1% fee outside foreign exchange market hours; it’s free otherwise), then use the app to send funds to a bank account. GBP transfers to a British bank normally take seconds but can theoretically take up to three business days; EUR transfers to accounts domiciled in SEPA typically take up to two working days; and international transfers can take up to five days. As for the fee for this service, you are notified in-app at the point of transfer. In the UK, it’s 20p for a local transfer over and above your plan’s allowance, and £3 for international transfers.
Whether you use a crypto-fiat banking service like Wirex, Metal Pay or Revolut, a P2P marketplace such as Localcryptos, a wallet with integrated two-way fiat-crypto capacity like Trastra, or a crypto exchange such as Coinbase, there are many ways to turn your cryptocurrency into filthy fiat. You can even have your cake and eat it by obtaining a cash loan while using digital assets as collateral. Whatever option you choose, be aware of the withdrawal limits, fees and waiting times. When you need cash quick, concessions in the rate you receive are likely.
What options do you recommend for quickly swapping from crypto to fiat? Let us know in the comments section below.
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