The MakerDAO community guides the Maker Vault cryptonative lending system, Ethereum’s breakout dApp to date, and the Dai stablecoin, which has become one of the decentralized finance arena’s most popular stablecoins over the past two years.
So far, though, the early growth around Maker and the Dai have largely been driven by rising forces within the cryptoeconomy itself. To fan further these early embers of adoption into an inferno, more inroads will need to be made toward the mainstream.
The good news for DeFi’s darling Dai, then, is that it just racked up a new fiat on-ramp through fiat gateway infrastructure firm Simplex.
Making It Easier to Buy Dai
Headquartered in Israel and licensed in the European Union, Simplex is best known in the ecosystem for serving among the fiat-to-crypto gateway partners of the exchange giant Binance.
The infrastructure firm, which currently supports more than a dozen cryptocurrencies and nearly 20 fiat currencies, announced on March 3rd that it was adding support for the Dai in collaboration with the stablecoin’s stewards, MakerDAO.
Notably, the Simplex on-ramp means users will now be able to purchase Dai via the company’s supported credit and debit card partners, a reality that will make it easier for more people to go from fiat to DeFi in low-friction fashion.
“Having Dai integrated into Simplex is a benefit to current and future users, it gives them a straightforward fiat-on and off-ramp with access to the industry’s biggest players,”
Gustav Arentoft, Maker’s European bizdev representative, said.
Simplex, which beyond Binance also supplies gateway services to exchanges OKEx and KuCoin, has made similar on-ramping collaborations in the past with projects like the Cosmos Network and its ATOM token. The Dai received its first major fiat gateway just last spring when Coinbase listed the dollar-pegged token.
The UX Perspective
Build a bridge, and more people can cross a river. In the same way, building a fiat on-ramp allows more people to cross into the cryptoeconomy.
From a user experience (UX) point of view, many regular people wouldn’t want to through the various time-consuming steps of signing up for a crypto exchange and then linking their bank accounts to their profile.
Credit and debit cards are ubiquitous in the mainstream because they’re convenient and quick. With that said, a lot of people who could or will become interested in crypto going forward would prefer to buy digital assets with cards, at least as things stand.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin referenced such a rational in a 2018 tweet, wherein he said more work should be done to make it “easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores.”
I think there's too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) July 29, 2018
Prepaid cards aren’t credit or debit cards, but it’s certainly in the same ballpark where UX is concerned.
Simplex Comes to Telegram
Telegram is one of the most popular messenger services in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, so it’s no surprise Simplex has also set its sights on the high-profile app.
Last December, the payments firm revealed it had teamed up with crypto wallet provider Broxus to enable bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) purchases within Telegram, with the meld working courtesy of the Telegram bot @broxusbot.
“To achieve our mission of enhancing crypto adoption and usability, we are working constantly to be present on any platform that users can engage and use crypto on,” Simplex chief executive officer Nimrod Lehavi told The Block at the time.
It’s not clear how popular the bot has proven to date, but the effort does indicate that Simplex has recently been trying to expand not only its offerings but also the places in which it provides its services.