The fiat gateway – a quick guide
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The fiat gateway – a quick guide

Fiat gateways are crucial to the crypto ecosystem. But what is a fiat gateway exactly? What are the best fiat gateways and why? What should you look for when evaluating fiat gateways? And importantly: what fiat gateway is the best?

What is a fiat gateway?

Simply said, a fiat gateway allows users to buy cryptocurrencies using ‘fiat currencies’, such as Euros or Dollars. A good fiat gateway makes it very easy to convert fiat into crypto. Fiat gateways are often also called ‘fiat onramps’.

To make use of a crypto-app, you need to have cryptocurrency. Better said, you need to be able to buy crypto within the app. You need to be ‘onramped’ from the fiat world.

Who’s got the best fiat gateways?

(Looking to integrate a fiat gateway in your app? Then skip this section.)

One of the more popular platforms to buy crypto is Coinbase. While Coinbase is trustworthy, you actually pay about 4% fees on Coinbase when you buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

A better way to buy crypto is through Robinhood, which has zero-fee transactions, once you’ve deposited money. Robinhood does not let you transfer your crypto, so it’s only a good option for newbies who don’t mind trusting a central party to keep their crypto safe.

Perhaps a better way to buy crypto is through exchanges like Kraken or Bitfinex. You’ll be able to buy many different cryptocurrencies, and transaction fees are low. Make sure to first deposit fiat currency to the platform, and then buy crypto. Buying directly using a credit card is more expensive!

Why does your app or wallet need a fiat gateway?

If a wallet, exchange or dapp does not have a fiat gateway, users first need to go elsewhere to buy crypto. You never want to guide users away – they won’t come back. As such, every good wallet or exchange should have a fiat gateway.

Why you shouldn’t build your own fiat gateway

The problem with selling cryptocurrencies is that it is heavily regulated. If you convert fiat currency to cryptocurrency, you likely have to get licensed or register in multiple jurisdictions, while also having to implement KYC/AML processes.

Luckily, there are many companies that do all of this for you. These companies provide widgets or APIs that you can integrate in your app. This way, you (usually) don’t have to worry about legal stuff. Instead, you can focus on user growth!

What is the best fiat gateway?

We get this question a lot. The answer is: it depends.

Some fiat gateways are great for certain regions. Wyre is, for example, pretty great for the USA. Others, such as Moonpay, support many cryptocurrencies. Some are fast, some have low KYC-options when buying small amounts, and other support many payment methods. There are comparison websites that help you review and compare fiat gateways, but for the best fiat gateway, you’ll need to integrate multiple fiat gateways, as each has its pro’s and con’s!

But isn’t there a better way?!

There is. We started Onramper because we believe that integrating multiple fiat gateways is too much work. Onramper is a single easy-to-implement widget that aggregates all major fiat gateways in a single solution.

With Onramper, your users can buy virtually any crypto directly from your wallet or exchange. By integrating all major gateways, onramper supports the most countries, currencies, and payment methods of all fiat gateways.

About Onramper

We started building Onramper because we were looking to integrate a fiat onramp in our own wallet, which we were building for the Neo Foundation. We were looking for an onramp aggregator, so we didn’t have to build everything ourselves. To our surprise, what we were looking for didn’t exist! As such, we pivoted and decided to build it ourselves.

The result of our efforts, the Onramper widget, makes it incredibly easy for users to buy crypto. The user first specifies what crypto he/she wants to buy, the amount and which payment method should be used. Based on that, we show the cheapest and fastest gateway available for the user’s transaction.

The best thing about this all is that Onramper can literally be integrated within minutes. No need to talk to us first. No need to contract or go through a lengthy due diligence process. You can just copy-paste some code and you’re done.

More experienced developers are free to integrate Onramper by connecting to our API. We have also open-sourced our front-end to provide you with everything you need to build the UX flow you want.