There are various processes and options for sending crypto abroad and getting cash.
You can use a peer-to-peer exchange that lets you trade crypto for fiat with anyone around the world. You can also take advantage of the low fees on a centralized exchange and trade in your crypto for a stablecoin, then use that stablecoin to send money abroad in a near-instant transaction. There are also OTC desks that let you transact large sums of crypto for fiat money across several borders.
Sending cryptocurrency abroad and converting it into cash is easy, but it involves several steps. The specific process can vary depending on the cryptocurrency, the exchange or the wallet you use. Plus, there are also different types of regulations in both the sending and receiving countries that should be considered.
Here is a look at the various processes that exist depending on the method you choose.
If you send crypto from a centralized exchange such as Binance, or Coinbase, you can easily get the recipient to access the funds by opening an account on that exchange and converting their crypto to fiat money.
Most centralized exchanges will allow users to withdraw their funds from their exchange wallet either as a stablecoin like USDT or convert those stablecoins to their local fiat money.
If you prefer a more direct approach, you can use peer-to-peer exchanges. Platforms like Binance, Bybit, LocalCoinSwap, and Paxful allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency directly with each other. You can find a buyer in the recipient’s country, agree on the terms of the trade, and complete the transaction. This method may involve in-person meetings, online banking, or other agreed-upon methods.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Trading
OTC trading is known for enabling crypto traders to make large trades directly with another party, often facilitated by an OTC desk.
If you are a high-net-worth individual or perhaps trading on behalf of an institution, you can take advantage of crypto OTC desks such as Coinbase as it offers highly secure OTC desks. With an OTC desk such as Coinbase, you gain access to real-time historical and analytical data with every trade, not to mention access to derivative markets for swift conversion of crypto to fiat money.
Kraken also offers some of the lowest fees when it comes to crypto OTC desks. You can use their platform to send crypto across borders and have your recipient easily convert that crypto to multiple fiat currencies supported on Kraken.
In some countries such as the U.S, Canada, Australia, and Spain, cryptocurrency ATMs are installed, thus allowing users to buy or sell cryptocurrencies for cash. You could send crypto to anyone in one of these countries and they can easily receive the crypto on their wallet. Once the recipient has received the cryptocurrency, they can go to the Crypto ATM and exchange their crypto for cash. Most of these ATMs are used for Bitcoin transactions, so be sure to send extra crypto to cater to transaction fees.
Mobile Wallets and Payment Apps
There are also mobile wallets and payment apps that support crypto transactions while enabling users to withdraw their crypto into fiat money. With some apps, such as Robinhood and Cash App, a user can send and receive Bitcoin and other supported cryptocurrencies directly on the app. You can send your recipient some BTC or some DOGE coin and have them convert that crypto to fiat money.
In case your recipient is comfortable linking their bank account to a centralized crypto exchange, you can trade the crypto in your wallet for fiat money and choose to withdraw your funds directly to your recipient’s bank account. Be sure, however, to check whether the exchange’s terms and conditions support such a transaction.
Also, check to see that the banking regulations of your country, as well as your recipient’s location, support such a transaction. Due to money laundering laws and other regulatory measures, crypto exchanges have placed significant restrictions on direct bank-to-bank withdrawals, so some jurisdictions might not support this direct bank transfer on an exchange.
While sending the crypto funds to the recipient, be aware of the tax implications of converting cryptocurrency into fiat currency. In countries like the U.S., cryptocurrency transactions are subject to capital gains taxes, and regulations vary by jurisdiction. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with tax laws.
In addition to regulatory measures, be sure to also consider the tax implications of converting crypto to fiat money. In the U.S for instance, crypto transactions are subject to capital gains taxes. Therefore, if you were to send $1000 worth of BTC to a user and have that user convert their BTC to U.S dollars, the recipient would have to pay capital gains taxes on any profit made during the conversion process.
Given that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers cryptocurrencies as property, tax liability arises when there is a realized gain. Therefore, the recipient would have to report any gains based on the difference between the fair market value of the received BTC at the time of the transaction and the cost basis or the original purchase price.
You also have to keep an eye on the security measures in the process or method you choose to use to send crypto abroad. Be sure to encourage the recipient to use a secure wallet with two-factor authentication enabled. As long as you follow the established best practices for secure crypto transactions, you can be sure to have your recipient receive the funds in no time. Scams and frauds are rampant in the crypto space, so be sure to stay vigilant throughout the process.
The General Process
Once you’ve chosen how to send the funds and have considered some of the precautionary steps identified above, you can follow these steps.
1. Choose a Cryptocurrency Wallet
First, use a reputed crypto exchange or wallet to send your funds. You can also send the funds directly from a hardware wallet. Other options include connecting your hardware wallet to an exchange’s hot wallet to facilitate the transaction.
2. Verify the Receiving Address
Make sure that you are sending the cryptocurrencies to the correct wallet address of the recipient (a crypto address is a string of letters and numbers in the 26-45 character range). You can use some of the copy-paste tools that come with various platforms to ensure you don’t miss any character or letter in the address. Double check the digits to make sure the address is correct.
3. Initiate the Transfer
Once all is set and you’ve confirmed that you are sending the crypto to the right address, use the exchange platform to initiate the transfer to the recipient’s wallet address. Follow the provided instructions on the exchange for sending funds.
4. Wait for Confirmations
Depending on the cryptocurrency and the network’s status, you may need to wait for a certain number of confirmations on the blockchain before the transaction is considered complete. Confirmations help ensure the security and integrity of the transaction. This process can take several minutes to a few hours.
5. Convert to Local Currency
If the recipient wants to receive cash, they will need to convert the cryptocurrency into their local currency. Multiple platforms support this feature.
6. Withdraw to a Bank Account or ATM
Once the cryptocurrency is converted into local currency, the recipient can withdraw the cash by either transferring it to their bank account (if the exchange supports fiat withdrawals) or by using a cryptocurrency ATM if available.
Pay Close Attention While Transacting
When it’s all set and done, be sure to take into account transaction fees charged by the cryptocurrency exchange and any fees associated with converting the cryptocurrency into local currency.
Additionally, be aware of exchange rates, as they can fluctuate and affect the final amount received by the recipient.
Also, remember that the cryptocurrency landscape is dynamic, and new services and options may become available over time. Always stay informed about the latest developments, and consider seeking advice from professionals if you are unfamiliar with certain aspects of the process.