The adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to gain pace despite the bearish sentiment that has wiped out almost $1 trillion in the April-May period. The geopolitical tensions and the resulting economic uncertainty are prompting many people to get exposure to digital assets, and crypto on- and off-ramps play a key role. The expansion of decentralized finance (DeFi) has also contributed to crypto adoption, with the total value locked (TVL) in DeFi projects fluctuating near $60 billion as of May 2022.
There has been a massive wave of newcomers, especially with the emergence of new trends like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse, which is why the market needs an ongoing improvement of the fiat-to-crypto gateways. Centralized exchanges like Coinbase have been essential, especially in the US, but they don’t build on the promise of true decentralization, as users are forced to store their crypto funds in hot wallets.
Besides this, the ACH (Automated Clearing House) process is too complex, as it involves multiple intermediaries that take their commissions. Companies like Stripe or Plaid are speeding up the process, but the crypto industry needs even better on-ramps and preferably relying on decentralized infrastructures.
Thankfully, there are already great fiat-to-crypto gateways that leverage blockchain. For example, METL, a crypto on-ramp platform provided by Metl Technologies, enables US residents to connect their bank to Web3 wallets and transact securely.
What is METL and how does it accelerate crypto adoption?
METL, is a fiat-to-crypto gateway platform that relies on a native stable token. The platform is launching on Avalanche, one of the fastest-growing blockchains in DeFi, as it plans to enable easy transactions between ACH and ERC-20 ecosystems. Given that Avalanche is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), METL will be able to connect the fiat world with ERC-20 tokens conveniently and securely.
METL’s fiat-to-crypto solution acts as a bridge, and it’s the only such gateway for the ERC-20 ecosystem that is decentralized rather than being managed by a single entity.
The solution has a Patent provided by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It discusses a network that enables direct fiat to ERC-20 transactions.
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For METL, the fast and convenient conversion of fiat to crypto is essential to unlocking the potential of Web3.
Recently, METL partnered with Prime Trust, a financial infrastructure provider powering leading crypto and fintech innovators. Thanks to METL, users can issue tokens, sending ACH to Cross River Bank through Prime Trust’s API integration. METL then uses proprietary API to mint a stable token receipt on the Avalanche blockchain and sends it to any Web3 wallet, such as MetaMask. METL’s stable token is USDR (USD Receipt) - the first decentralized native token on Avalanche. Finally, users can trade USDR, which is backed by the US dollar based on a 1:1 ratio, against any token on decentralized exchanges (DEXes).
Any US resident with a bank account can onboard and bridge funds at no cost. The only fees they have to pay are from their bank or gas. METL is currently covering all minting/sending gas fees for USDR. METL does not take user funds on its balance sheet, and does not hold a wallet, and USD funds are not part of fractional reserves, which provides key differentiators from others because METL does not want the user to hold the tokens on METL network, METL encourages the user to bridge funds and let their money grow in DeFI ecosystem and be responsible for their keys and funds.
In mid-April, METL announced the launch of its beta version after getting the green light from 51 states in the US. Given that METL is dealing with the US banking system and is forced to implement KYC/AML verification procedures, it cannot partner with shady projects. Avalanche is the ideal choice because it is a well-established blockchain run by a team of professionals. Besides this, it is EVM compatible, employs an innovative consensus algorithm, and offers cost-effective transactions.
METL has already partnered with a platform on Avalanche and set up trading pools on Trader Joe for the beta. Initially, users will be able to exchange USDR against AVAX, JOE, and ETH, with more pools to be added soon.
After beta is ready, METL will be rolling out its Plaid integration, and this will be a pull ACH transaction that a customer will be able to trigger ACH with a push of a button without leaving the METL ecosystem.
METL is being built for the crypto community that is looking for fiat on/off-ramp rails. Another example, Wyre, a payment-oriented blockchain infrastructure that lets businesses transact fiat and digital assets globally at ease. Wyre’s payment rails offer frictionless transactions with any currency around the globe, including crypto. Its network of global payout rails allows enterprises to send payouts conveniently.
With the emergence of Web3, metaverse, and other blockchain-related trends, the overlap between the fiat and crypto worlds is expanding, enabling more and more people to go digital. We need technology that safely allows these worlds to interact.