How to buy iExec RLC tokens [A Step-by-Step guide]

Victor Bonhomme
Published in
5 min readDec 23, 2019


Note: If you are not familiar with the iExec RLC token, we encourage you to read about its utility value in this article:

Already own RLC? Learn about some ways to make use of your tokens here:

Utility tokens bring significant benefits to decentralized platforms, including better-aligned incentives, improved security and new governance models to name just a few. But at the same time, they introduce what could be considered a pain point: in order for the user to consume the service offered by the decentralized platform, they need to first acquire that platform’s utility token.

Over the past years, tokens resulted in a poor and often complex crypto on-boarding user experience, discouraging many potential users. You probably watched that hilarious video of a guy in the desert, craving for refreshing drinks, that stumbles upon a lemonade shopkeeper. However, the only way is he can buy a drink, is to pay for it with lemon-coin…

Providing a smooth and easy way for everyone to get their hands on the RLC token contributes to boosting the platform’s overall adoption. There are dozens, if not hundreds of ways to end up with RLC tokens in your wallet. As RLC is listed on major exchanges, power crypto users may think it’s easy to get a hold of it - however, it is far from being a piece of cake for a complete newcomer. This article will address this exact problem: “how to get access to iExec RLC tokens”. We’ll present one opinionated approach that will fit 90% of iExec’s potential users. And so, without further ado… Ladies and Gentlemen, the flowchart!

You are welcome to email to suggest any improvements in the current workflow.

When using the Coinbase mobile application, buying iExec RLC tokens will look like this:

iExec RLC tokens can be directly purchased on the Coinbase mobile app (Android / iOS)

Going the decentralized way (DEX)!

In case you don’t want to bother with KYC (a required step when opening an account on Coinbase) and given you are already familiar with how Metamask wallet works, then you can swap your crypto (ex: ETH) against iExec RLC tokens through a DEX. We recommend you to head over the DEX aggregator: it will spread your order over multiple DEXs to ensure you get the best price!

Buy up to 100k$ of RLC tokens on DEXs with rather small slippage thanks to

Need to exchange more than $100k? Exchange iExec RLC tokens “Over The Counter” (OTC)

When someone wants to buy/sell more than 100k$ of RLC tokens, doing so through a DEX aggregator such as Paraswap is not really an option for now, due to a lack of liquidity on decentralized exchanges. Even going through a centralized exchange (such as Binance) will require at least the use of a trading bot to minimize ‘slippage’. Besides, going on a centralized exchange implies trusting a third party with the custody of your crypto assets.

So what’s the alternative? If we find someone wanting to make the opposite trade, then the Airswap OTC platform is definitely the way to go. The platform is decentralized, and all based on Ethereum smart contracts. You’ll just need to sign an order using your Ethereum wallet to benefit from the following features:

  • No trading fees: Pure peer-to-peer trading operation and the middlemen is a smart contract that doesn’t charge any fee. You just pay for the Ethereum transaction gas (<0.1$),
  • No counterparty risk: The tokens never leave your wallet while the OTC transaction is still pending.
  • Atomic swap: The send and receive operation happens in the exact same blockchain transaction. That completely removes the risk that the other person runaway with your tokens without having sent you their tokens.
Buying a large quantity of RLC tokens “Over The Counter” with the Airswap OTC platform

That was an overview of the easiest and most appropriate way to purchase iExec RLC tokens. If you have a good enough understanding of the blockchain, we encourage you to go the decentralized way as much as possible, for the following reasons: Not only does it fit the decentralized spirit of the iExec platform, but over the course of 2019, we’ve seen a surge in trading volumes on DEXs, coupled with UX improvements, that result in a huge win for the end-user. We expect to see more use cases where the decentralized version of a product becomes superior to its centralized version, so stay tuned for 2020 as it’s going to be an amazing year!

Note: If you are not familiar with the iExec RLC token, we warmly encourage you to read about its utility value in this article:

💡 Want to learn more about iExec? Check out iExec Academy!

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