Featured image for How to Accept Fiat Currency and Money (USD) in ICO

// Cryptocurrency

How to Accept Fiat Currency and Money (USD) in ICO

Are there any questions?
Mark Koropko
Write to the expert
Featured image for How to Accept Fiat Currency and Money (USD) in ICO

It's not a secret that the ICO made an incredible breakthrough and a boom in the financial area and became the No. 1 method for raising funds, both in terms of speed and volume. An experienced investor would probably notice that many launched ICO projects accept only cryptocurrencies, and mostly bitcoins and Ethereum.

Even though the project is promising, the team is strong and Vitaly Buterin himself is in the advisers - anyway it's hard to find support for the fiat of money from them. Why and how to solve this? And is it possible at all?

Fiat money, or money, regulated by the state deprived of binding to valuable metals, in particular to gold, for a long time. They are convenient, and thanks to credit and debit cards payments can be made instantly. Sweden switched to an exclusively non-cash regime a few years ago, India has long been looking towards this direction.

You can find out in details which jurisdictions to choose for the ICO project. Payment by payment cards over the Internet has gained a peak in popularity thanks to international online shopping. If you pay close attention, how many types of cards are there? Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, UnionPay in China. It's an incredible advantage for the founders of ICO platforms and companies. However, why is fiat money for the ICO still so rare?

Let's find out how many types of fiat money reception there are. First of all, it's well-known plastic (or obsidian) cards, and the second is a bank transfer.

Bank transfer

Affordable, easy both in implementing, and in processing - it is an international bank transfer. SWIFT payment is received on the account within several working days, and on the account of the European Union within a few hours (SEPA transfer). Looking at these benefits, one can’t help wondering why bank payments are not so popular yet. The fact is that they are simply unprofitable and complex for small transfers, but they are ideal for launching a crypto exchange software.

A major transaction (meaning more than $ 1000) is rarely made on ordinary ICO. They are more likely to be included in projects that want to collect hundreds of millions of dollars and have a clear fixed minimum amount of donations. By the way, the word investment isn't correctly enough from a legal point of view.

Visa and MasterCard payment cards

Payment systems refuse to work with cryptocurrencies. Integration directly with Visa is fraught with pitfalls in a sudden refusal on their part, or interruptions in work. After all, you are not a merchant.

However, some projects still have the opportunity to receive Fiat money through cards. In 90% this is realized through the use of an intermediary. Having done market research and developed crypto-exchange, these players cooperate only on harsh conditions, charging from 5% for input of money.

Of course, you can integrate them, but who will pay the commission? You or your investor (or the client, to be more correct)? Users do not want to pay more than commission, this is one of the reasons why cryptocurrencies have become world famous and popular. It just goes against their ideology and perception. There is a spare option - the separation of the commission of the user and the platform.

There is also a third option for introducing fiat money into the ICO platform. The first step here is the registration of a legal entity, and then the choice of a bank that will cooperate with you. I want to warn you that in the CIS countries it will be very difficult. And in the US it's almost impossible. Under the notion of “impossible” I want to note that we mean an inadequate ratio of funds for development and integration to profit.

Advantage of cards

At the time, players like PayPal or Stripe and many other merchants provided the next opportunity for users. Namely, the return of funds, cashback. In the world of digital technology, online payments, reviews (remember the black mirror?), we need the opportunity to return funds and challenge the product or service with support and, as a consequence, abandon it.

Even if you implement the functionality of accepting money through PayPal or Stripe, this is fraught with the risk that your investors will require a refund. But the tokens are already on their account. We have the following situation: ICO is not a deceit, the investors themselves deceive the founders. Well, it's no good. By the way, if you need or you are just interested in creating an ERC20 token on Ethereum, this also can be fixed.

It needs to be mentioned the DAO story with which happened in the US several years ago. The SEC took rigorous measures to regulate cryptocurrency, and if they count your tokens as securities, close attention of the commission will be riveted to you, perhaps they will even limit the activities of your platform. When the functionality is tied to  Ethereum smart contracts, we are talking about a complete collapse of the system, which we can’t afford.

An excellent substitute for cards or indirect use of it are merchants working in the field of online casinos and gambling. Whoever says anything, but from the point of view of the ICO fiat, the cryptocurrencies and exchanges are compared (and indeed they are in many ways similar) with gambling. Fortunately, they have trampled this way for a long time. There are merchants like Skrill who will happily work with you. By the way, they offer plastic cards, and with the delivery of DHL, you will get them anywhere.

Payeer, AdvCash are very famous and popular in the CIS market, in particular, the Russian Federation. What is noteworthy, they take an affordable interest, and most of the banks work with them. They are also used as an interim account tied to your virtual card for withdrawal by cashing in bitcoins or other cryptocurrency.

Non-profit organization

Being closely connected with jurisprudence, we conducted an analysis of some 118 top-ICOs to sort out. Where, how and why they registered the company. Legal documents are still the weakness of many projects.

By the way, this item with due regard of marketers may not be a disadvantage, but an advantage. Read more in the ICO marketing plan. Imagine our surprise that almost all projects mentioned that their token and the money received are just donations and can’t be returned under any circumstances.

The exception is only the same registered smart contract Ethereum which acts as an escrow-guarantor of the platform. If the required goal is not achieved, then all the money will be returned to users. But here we are talking about Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

By the way, pay attention to our article about how to create your own ERC20 token. I want to note, in the above-mentioned study only projects that collected more than 1 million US dollars took part.


Despite the fact that 2016 and 2017 were the peak for fundraising campaigns and made a real sensation, fiat money is still a good opportunity when  launching the ICO. Integration of fiat is almost impossible without intermediaries, and with their help, it is extremely unprofitable because of the high commission.

Perhaps the situation will change radically for the better when most countries and governments will be loyal to them. Australia and Japan showed the first significant steps. To date, there is a rare shortage of strong and young players to receive fiat money. Perhaps this is an opportunity for you.

How to Accept Fiat Currency and Money (USD) in ICO key takeaways:
  1. Bank transfer
  2. Visa and MasterCard payment cards
  3. Advantage of cards
  4. Non-profit organization
  5. Conclusion
Merehead does professional development of ICO. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.

How can we help you?

Full name *
Email *
Your budget
Tell us about your project
Merehead review. Vleppo is a startup, digital asset exchange platform based on the Komodo blockchain protocol.

  Category: Cryptocurrency 04/17/2020
What are Blockchain Smart Contracts (Ethereum) and their Benefits
What are blockchain smart contracts? Let's look at the main benefits of smart contracts and how they can be used. Can they really change our lives for several years?
  Category: Cryptocurrency 10/30/2021
ICO/STO Marketing: Plan, Checklist, Strategy, Budget and Consulting
ICO or Initial coin offering era continues and marketing should be qualitatively prepared. Now STO (Security Token Offering) is also quite famous in this space. ICO, as well as STO, is an analog of IPO only in cryptocurrencies and tokens world. Another, perhaps more successful comparison is a fundraising campaign like Kickstarter, where users act as investors. By the way, there are rumors that Kickstarter is launching its platform to launch the ICO, but this is a topic for another article.