On ramp refers to the process of converting fiat (USD) to crypto and off ramp is the reverse process of converting crypto back to fiat. Unless you live in El Salvador you will eventually need to get some of your crypto proceeds back into fiat so you can pay your taxes and other bills. So the goal is to find the most cost effective way to do so. The process differs for every exchange. For example with Kraken you can deposit USD and buy crypto with USD, but your deposit is not automatically converted into crypto. With Celsius Network you can buy crypto with a credit card, but there is no way to link your bank account. Generally, you never want to buy with a credit card because of the added fees. BlockFi is nice in this regards because you can link your bank account and ACH or wire money into BlockFi and they automatically convert it to GUSD (Gemini USD stable coin). If you prefer some other stable coin, like USDC (Circle USD stable coin), you can trade from GUSD to USDC for free within the BlockFi app.
Another interesting option in this regard is Dharma Dharma advertises free on ramp and off ramp services using both the Ethereum network and the Polygon network. As you my know (if you have read any of my other posts), I am a big fan of Polygon because of the low transaction costs. What is key here is that Dharma supports the Polygon network, whereas most US-based exchanges do not. Even most of the overseas exchanges that do support the Polygon network, they do so only for stable coins–not for all digital assets.
In my case I was earnings interest on USDC on Crypto.com and I was trying to figure out the best way to convert the interest income to fiat so I can pay my bills. I also noticed that Cyrpto.com supports USDC withdrawals on the Polygon network, as well as Ethereum. I could send my USDC from Cyrypto.com to BlockFi on the Ethereum network and then use BlockFi to convert it to USD in my bank account, but the Crypto.com transfer fee for the Ethereum network is $20.00, so I was trying to figure out how to lower that cost. Crypto.com offers USDC withdrawals on the Polygon network for $0.08, but BlockFi does not support Polygon, so that is not an option. I could trade the USDC for fiat within Crypto.com, but they do not offer limit orders and the spreads are not very good, so I didn’t really want to go that route. That is why I was excited when I read about Dharma. Since Dharma supports the Polygon network, I could send USDC from Crypto.com to Dharma for only $0.08 and use Dharma to convert it to fiat and deposit it into my bank account. As a test case, I sent $42 USDC from Crypto.com to Dharma using Polygon and it showed up right away. In the Dharma app you have to select USDC and then choose sell and it will show a drop down box of options and you have to choose you bank account. The funds were converted from USDC to fiat and showed up in my bank account the very next day and there was no fee. I then deposited some money from my bank account into Dharma and Dharma converted it into USDC. The only restriction is that deposits have to be held for six days before you can move them. In that regard, BlockFi might be better for the on ramp because BlockFi will pay you interest on the funds immediately whereas Dharma does not offer interest on stable coins (to my knowledge).
In order to link a bank account, you will be required to KYC by submitting photos of your driver’s license and photos of yourself.
Dharma also offers wire transfers. I tried this out by linking my brokerage account checking account as well. I then sent a wire, but I sent the wire from the brokerage account instead of the checking account because for some reason the online wire form doesn’t work for checking, only brokerage. I didn’t anticipate any problem with this, but I got an email from Dharma the next day saying that the wire transferred failed because it was not from a linked bank account.
Dharma works as advertised as a zero-cost on ramp and off ramp. This is a very nice addition to the crypto ecosystem and its support of Polygon is a big plus.
As an on ramp it works fine, but I would still prefer BlockFi because you would earning interest on the deposit and you can send it somewhere else immediately, whereas on Dharma you have to wait six days before you can transfer it and you don’t earn any interest on the deposit.
Dharma really shine as an off ramp if you want to use the Polygon network and it works perfectly for this purpose. I had problems with the wire transfer feature, so I don’t think I will be using that feature of the app.
I am sure you can do a lot more with the Dharma app. In this post I have only covered two aspects of the app, on ramp and off ramp.
If you have read this far and are still interested in Dharma, HERE is the link to my referral code. If you use it we both get $100 of ETH when you sign up. No pressure! If the link doesn’t work, here is the referal code you use type into the app: FJXUZH
These posts are for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any tokens. In this series I am just outlining what I am doing to learn more about the crypto space. Just because I am comfortable doing this, that does not necessarily mean these activities are suitable for you. I have not received any compensation from any of the products or services mentioned herein. Please do your own research and stay skeptical. These markets are not normal.