How to cash in your cryptocurrency

June 07, 2019
OpenLedger DEX

You’ve spent the time, energy and money cultivating your crypto growth, or maybe you’re just getting started and are wondering what comes next. Either way, the following is the guide to how to exchange your crypto into cold, hard fiat money.

What is fiat, and why exchange your crypto for it?

Fiat currency is regulated, government-issued money. Basically, it’s a traditional currency such as dollars, pounds, pesos, etc.

Even though crypto is becoming more and more popular, there are still not that many merchants that accept it as a form of payment for goods and services. That is is why exchanging crypto for fiat is still a good option.

Cryptocurrency to fiat via… ATMs

Crypto ATMs are closer than you may think, depending on your geographical location. A good place to start is by visiting  Coin ATM Radar, a website dedicated to constantly updating the location of crypto ATMs. As of June 7, there are 4,932 crypto ATMs worldwide scattered across 77 of 195 countries.

After locating a crypto ATM closest to your geographical location, you can start exchanging your crypto to fiat. However, just like using a traditional ATM, a crypto ATM also comes with withdrawal fees, except they’re much higher. By exchanging your crypto into fiat, you are “selling” your crypto, which is something to be mindful of when selecting a crypto ATM because some ATMs have the option to “sell” disabled.

There are several things that you will need to do before receiving your cash. The ATM will first ask for verification, i.e. identifying who you are, but this step isn’t mandatory on all ATMs, just some. Next, you will have to transfer your crypto to the selected crypto ATM using the machine’s QR code. Lastly, you will either immediately receive your cash or be given a code, which you would have to redeem and then wait for the confirmation of the transaction. This last part is all dependent on the crypto ATM itself.

Coin ATM Radar tracks the ATMs that accept and exchange: Bitcoin (BTC); Bitcoin Cash (BCH); Ether (ETH); Dash (DASH); Litecoin (LTC); Zcash (ZEC); Monero (XMR); and Dogecoin (DOGE).

The following countries have the largest number of crypto ATMs that you can use: the United States (3,135); Canada (696), Austria (271); the United Kingdom (245); and Spain (88).

Cryptocurrency to fiat via… crypto trading platforms

A crypto trading platform is a website which allows people to purchase, sell and exchange crypto for other types of currency, such as other types of crypto and fiat currency. There are different types of crypto trading platforms throughout the world: for example, some trading platforms are solely online, and some are inside physical buildings.

Using a crypto trading platform is ultimately up to you and what you’re comfortable with. Generally speaking, the larger the trading volume on a trading platform, the better and more trustworthy it is.

Please note: some trading platforms don’t allow in people who are located or reside in Hong Kong; Cuba; Iran; North Korea; Crimea; Sudan; Malaysia; Syria, the United States, and its territories; Bangladesh; Bolivia; Ecuador; and Kyrgyzstan. This means if you are located in the aforementioned places, you’re not allowed to legally use it.

Cryptocurrency to fiat via… peer-to-peer (P2P) services

P2P is a network where the application in question is distributed equally between the users, or peers, which means each user of the application has the same amount of privileges within the application.

These P2P services eliminate the need for a third party when you cash in cryptocurrency. All of the P2P systems have transparent fees, though depending on which service you use, it may be much higher than what crypto exchanges charge.

If you would like to remain anonymous, using a P2P system might be the right move as they don’t require you to identify yourself, unlike crypto exchanges.

Cryptocurrency to fiat via… prepaid cards

Depending on your local compliance laws, you may be able to exchange your crypto for a gift card or debit card. This simple exchange of crypto to usable digital currency via a gift card has become more popular within the last few years.

Using these crypto-to-fiat gift cards allow you to make purchases at merchants that don’t accept crypto as a form of payment for goods and services. Depending on the type of card, withdrawing money from an ATM is also a possibility.

The downside is these cards take several weeks to receive and you’ll have to verify your identity beforehand. There are several cards that come with a limit to how much you can spend and withdraw.

Two of the more popular companies for crypto-to-fiat gift cards are Bitpay and Spectrocoin.

Do your research to find the best fit for you

These are just four of the many options you can go with to exchange your crypto to fiat. Whether you sell your crypto at an ATM or exchange it for a debit card is entirely up to you and your local compliance laws.  

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