Derivatives exchange Bybit has introduced a fiat onramp, enabling users on the platform to buy cryptocurrency using traditional payment methods. It is the latest upgrade to the Singapore-based exchange, which celebrated its two-year anniversary this past March.
A Major Milestone on the Roadmap
By adding fiat integration, Bybit brings itself level with competitors like OKEx who already allow members to purchase digital assets using both bank transfer and credit/debit card. Bybit’s gateway is facilitated by payment providers Banxa and Xanpool, the latter being the world’s first automated peer-to-peer crypto-fiat platform.
“Adding fiat-crypto support is another major milestone in our roadmap, and a major coup for Bybit traders who have been patiently waiting for this day to arrive,” said CEO Ben Zhou. “Thanks to our payment partners Banxa and Xanpool, Bybit users can now frictionlessly purchase crypto with credit or debit card at some of the most competitive rates on the market.”
To commemorate the new fiat-crypto gateway, Bybit is running a month-long promotion (June 22-July 22) whereby users will receive a $10 BTC bonus for every $100 of BTC or ETH they purchase.
The introduction of a fiat onramp promises to improve trading, with users now able to deposit funds directly into their account without having to use third party platforms. The lion’s share of Bybit’s volume derives from its BTC/USD and BTC/USDT pairs at present, with the latter having been added in March. Perpetual contracts are also available for ETH/USD, EOS/USD and XRP/USD.
Like its competitors OKEx, Binance, and BitMEX, Bybit has seen its ether futures grow in recent months, with an uptick in prices and growth in the options market.
Building Bridges Between Crypto and Fiat
Simplifying the process by which investors and traders can purchase cryptocurrency is seen as an important step in the long road towards mainstream adoption of digital assets. In recent years, many top exchanges have partnered with payment infrastructure providers such as Simplex, Mercuryo, PayMIR, Banxa and Xanpool, in a bid to lower the threshold for users to enter the crypto world.
By building a simple bridge between fiat and crypto, infrastructure providers provide valuable regulatory assurance to newcomers more accustomed to dealing with fiat currencies. Mobile banks such as Revolut and Wirex have also got in on the act, letting users buy crypto with fiat without having to open an account at an exchange. In these circumstances, the mobile banks transact via an exchange on the user’s behalf, before depositing the crypto in their wallet.
Although many such companies have made important contributions to the cryptosphere, controversy isn’t uncommon. This week, German fintech firm Wirecard conceded that it had lost €1.9bn or around a quarter of its balance sheet. The announcement saw Wirecard shares tumble by almost 60% and prompted the resignation of CEO Markus Braun. The embattled firm’s subsidiary, Wirecard Card Solutions, is the debit card issuer for Crypto.com, TenX, Wirex and CryptoPay. In early 2018, a couple of months before Bybit launched, debit card provider WaveCrest was also suspended by Visa for policy violations, with prepaid crypto cards rendered obsolete overnight.