To convert Bitcon and other cryptocurrencies into US Dollars, Euros or other currencies, you need an exchange that will work with fiat money.
Most cryptocurrency exchanges don't, because fiat requires compliance with local and international regulations and in most cases the reserve requirements are out of reach for the typical unfunded crypto hackers who happen to be running the most popular exchanges.
Here we've collected a few ideas for you to exchange your hard earned Bitcoin into FED-issued currency.
LocalBitcoins.com is a great method for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. It works like Ebay for cryptocurrencies, putting you in touch with bids and asking prices from dealers in your geographic region. Once you decide to buy/sell, contact is made with the other party via the LocalBitcoins interface and the transaction is then executed.
There's added reassurance when you know the buyer/seller is located in your geographic region. Using bank transfers from local dealers is much more secure than buying or selling from remote exchanges via the Internet. In case anything goes wrong, you will possess physical information about buyers sellers including bank accounts and possibly their tax ID, therefore LocalBitcoins transactions offer an additional layer of protection.
This is one of our favorite exchanges. We've made several friends in the local Bitcoin community through LocalBitcoins.
Coinbase is the largest US-based cryptocurrency-to-fiat money exchange. For US-based customers they offer Bank Account (ACH), debit card and wire transfers. For European customers Coinbase offers SWIFT transfers. For all operations in fiat money Coinbase will require full identity verification and other paperwork. As mentioned before, fiat transactions require a lot more bureaucracy than crypto-only transactions.
Kraken is another well known US-based crypto exchange. They allow several methods of funding your account, including Euro, Yen, US Dollar and Canadian Dollar deposits. Kraken's ID verification procedure is known to be very strict. Every detail contained in provided documents will count towards getting verified with Kraken. But once verified cryptocurrency transactions become almost unlimited for all practical purposes and cash deposits/withdrawals are allowed.
When it is launched, the Monaco card will be an innovative way to convert between cryptocurrencies and fiat money. These Visa-issued cards can be funded in cryptocurrency and the three different models will allow you to spend U$ 4000 (Ruby Steel), U$ 10,000 (Precious Metal) and Unlimited (Obsidian Black). Monaco promises favorable exchange rates and 2% cryptocurrency cashback on all purchases.
Unfortunately, at this time Monaco is only available through the Apple store and Android users are not yet able to download the app.
TenX is a Monaco competitor also offering a cryptocurrency-funded debit card. TenX is unique in that it runs atop the COMIT (Cryptographically-secure Off-chain Multi-asset Instant Transaction). This network aims to integrate several blockchains in order to offer customers and developers a uniform API which allows them to spend their crypto anywhere, including real time conversion to fiat money.
COMIT is scheduled to launch during some time in 2018 and looks very promising.
Bitfinex is the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Bitfinex accounts can be funded in US Dollars and in Euros.
As with other fiat-enabled exchanges, there is a strict and mandatory verification procedure that needs to be completed before you can fund the account using fiat money. Bitfinex operates the Tether currencies, which are at the center of an ongoing US-led investigation.
One advantage of Bitfinex is the sheer trading volume, which guarantees decent liquidity throughout most the year. Bitfinex is fairly lax about crypto deposits and withdrawals, even for new and unverified accounts.
CEX.IO offers crypto to crypto and cryptp to fiat exchange services. This service has received many negative reviews in the past and was hacked in 2013. We do not have experience with this exchange. As always recommend that users do their own research when choosing a crypto exchange.
bisq (bitsquare) is a very interesting cryptocurrency trading app and exchange. It is 100% open source and allows users to trade almost any national currency for cryptos and vice-versa. Their fees are very low and overall users seem to be happy with this app. Very promising and innovative service.
LakeBTC is one of the most traditional crypto exchanges in the market. Many fiat currencies are supported. Fees are relatively low (in the 1% region) and so far it has shown a good security track record. According to LakeBTC's official website:
As a Big Four exchange in CoinDesk BPI (Bitcoin Price Index) and Gateway Member of IRBA (International Ripple Gateway Association), LakeBTC is part of a number of important bitcoin indexes, including that of TeraExchange (CFTC approved bitcoin swap), WinkDex (pending), among others.
HitBTC is better known as one of the most accepting exchanges in the crypto world. New tokens just releated to the markets tend to show up on HitBTC before they do on most other exchanges. As expected, the verification procedure in order to enable fiat deposits and withdrawals is fairly strict and may take weeks to months to complete.
LiveCoin.net allows deposits and withdrawals in US Dollars, Euros, Russian Rubles and tens of cryptocurrencies. Although we do not have experience with this exchange, user reviews that we've researched seem to be rather positive.
As the name suggests, BuySomeBitcoins is a no-frills, to-the-point Bitcoin sales service. You may use your credit or debit card and there are few, if any, restrictions about which countries are allowed to use this service. Conversion happens relatively quickly. As you may expect, such convenience has a hefty price. There is usually a spread between the BTC quote practice by BSB and the rest of the market. Other than that it's a very nice service that can come as a convenience when you need to purchase BTC quickly using a card. Verified credit cards get a bonus.
XCOINS is a Bitcoin exchange operating out of Santa Monica, California. Its verification procedure is considered relatively easy, despite being a US-based exchange. Unfortunately they've faced some security issues in the past, although it's been a while and the exchange is still functioning normally at the time of this writing. As always, please do your own research before investing.
We hope this compilation has helped you get familiar with the most popular cryptocurrency to fiat exchanges available. Although we recommend LocalBitcoins.com (no affiliation at all) due to our own experience with it, millions of users perform currency exchange daily using several of the services listed here. Most of the time everything goes smoothly and there's absolutely no problems. There are risks in crypto investing, like there are risks in any other equity market. As always we ask you to do your own research, perform due diligence, ask around, use social media to your favor and, in the end, follow your instincts based on the data you've collected. It is our obligation to warn our readers about the risks involved, but as you get used to trading cryptos you will notice that if you are careful and perform a simple check of social media and reviews about services, you'll be fine 99% of the time.
Note: Crypto.BI does not make any recommendations about any of the aforementioned exchanges. We've done our best to inform our readers as to the available options for fiat/crypto currency exchanges, but please do perform due diligence and decide upon the best exchange based on your own conclusions. We are not affiliated with any of the companies and products mentioned in this article.
Photo Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran, photographer - New York Stock Exchange, 1960's