Almost every week, we hear of another new crypto project being launched that will solve an existing problem or fill a gap in the crypto ecosystem. Even if it’s not geared towards the crypto space, entrepreneurial types may be interested in starting a crypto-related business.
The common practice to raise funds is through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). An ICO is a lot like an Initial Public Offering through which traditional companies raise funds. In an ICO, a project sells freshly minted tokens so as to raise capital to start the project. People can invest in the project by receiving the tokens and giving away other cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and so on.
Of course, after receiving the funds, the next step is to cash out and inject it into the project by paying for bills, talent, PR campaigns, legal processes, office equipment, and so on.
None of the above things would be an issue in a normal environment. However, in a world where cryptocurrency is still treated ambivalently, things have to be done differently. There is also the issue of cryptocurrencies not being accepted for everyday use.
Cashing out cryptocurrency for Fiat can be daunting, least of all, when doing so in large amounts. We’re going to take a look at why this is, as well as explore the best strategies to use when cashing out your ICO proceeds.
Why is the Process so Complicated?
As blockchain continues to occupy more space in finance, a lot of banks and financial institutions are exploring ways in which to incorporate the technology in their operations. While this may be so, the vast majority of banks are not exactly lining up to embrace cryptocurrencies. Not only are cryptocurrencies in direct competition with banks, but they were also created to replace them. As such, it’s only natural that banks will treat cryptocurrencies with suspicion.
Reports are rife that banks are reluctant to do business with crypto-related businesses. Influential figures in the traditional finance space have been on record calling cryptocurrency a fraud. And for the few banks that are willing to engage crypto projects, paperwork upon paperwork and jumping through countless legal hoops is to be expected.
The reason for this is banks have to comply with Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Banks will be trying to ascertain your source of the funds – and whether it’s legitimate or not. Also, every single transaction has to undergo rigorous verification.
After all these procedures, it is not guaranteed that you will have a smooth sailing relationship with the bank. Due to the regulatory uncertainty of cryptocurrencies, your account will always be at the risk of being shut down. Some words such as Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, ICO, Ether, BTC, and so on can get your transactions flagged and your account shut down.
Also, cashing out via a crypto exchange may have fewer obstacles, but it’s also complicated. Assuming you find a legitimate exchange that’s also legal in your jurisdiction, the first thing you should do is ensure you have a bank account that you will withdraw your money to. You also need to undergo layers of verification processes in both the exchange and bank. Then you’ll have to contend with long wait times and high transaction fees.
Storing your funds in a crypto exchange wallet is not an option, either. Crypto exchange wallets are custodial, meaning you’re not in full control of your funds. Also, exchange wallets constitute online wallets – which are prone to hacking and other types of fraud.
Withdrawing Small Amounts
Now, if you were to try cashing out the entire amount of funds, not only would it be a logistical nightmare, but it would also raise eyebrows with the bank and the authorities. The best approach would be to withdraw the amount of money that you actually need for various steps of the project, once in a while.
Here are a few ways to go about it:
- Exchange the right amount of crypto for Fiat in an exchange and withdraw the money to your bank account
- Make use of peer-to-peer exchanges (exchanges that don’t utilize a third party), e.g, LocalBitcoins and LocalEthereum. Such exchanges provide high security for your funds and protect you from transactions censorship.
- Skip the bank altogether by using payment processors such as CoinPayments, CoinGate, SpectroCoin, BitPay, SpicePay, and others. These processors allow you to take things through direct crypto to bank transactions.
- Get a prepaid Visa or MasterCard that will allow you to load crypto and directly and use it for payments online and offline payments. These can be obtained at com, Tenx, Bitwala, and other blockchain banking services.
- Pay your staff in crypto and instruct them on how to cash out in Fiat
Taking advantage of relaxed jurisdictions
Currently, there is no solution that directly allows you to withdraw large amounts of crypto. But some while cryptocurrency is frowned upon in many countries. Some countries have a rather open approach. In these jurisdictions, it’s possible to open a bank account and operate with crypto without being censored:
- Malta Islands
- Cayman Islands