As the iExec platform onboarding experience improves with each new release, you should be able to skip this guide entirely and instead, just head to https://market.iex.ec, click LOGIN and follow the instructions. Now, if you want to purchase more than $10K of RLC, or if you are curious about what DEXs and new crypto/fiat on-ramp solutions bring to the table, or, if you just love staring at flowcharts (arrows and boxes), then read on!
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!
When starting from scratch, buying iExec RLC tokens can be summarized in these 3 steps:
1- Every Blockchain journey starts with an Ethereum wallet
As the iExec platform is based on the Ethereum Blockchain, you need an Ethereum wallet to interact with the Blockchain and to store your RLC tokens. If you are a power user, you will probably opt for Metamask wallet. It allows you to create a new wallet OR import an existing one OR connect to your hardware wallet (Ledger/Trezor). If you are new to Blockchain or just prefer the more regular login + password approach, then you should go for a Portis wallet.
When registering a Portis account, you create a wallet, which is immediately encrypted client-side with a secret that was generated from your password. This password never leaves your device. The Portis servers safeguard only user-encrypted wallets, so you can rest assured that nobody but you can access your wallet or sign any transactions without your consent.
2- Crypto / Fiat on-ramp: Get some ETH
If you already own ETH coins, you can skip this section. But most people don’t. So you first will need to buy ETH coins using fiat currency (you know, the currencies printed by central banks like $ USD, € Euro, ¥ Yen, etc). Thanks to the integration of Moonpay on https://market.iex.ec, you are now able to directly purchase ETH with your bank card within a few minutes only. Here is a recap of the purchase limits:
- 150$ per month. In that case, no need to go through the KYC process (no ID verification).
- OR 2k$ per day / 20k$ per month if you go through the KYC (it takes about 5 minutes).
Note: In case you want to buy more, then we recommend you to create an account on Coinbase. It will cost you more time, and result in a more complicated overall workflow, but you will be able to purchase up to 25k$ of ETH per day.
3- The wonderland of Decentralized Exchanges: Swap ETH for iExec RLC tokens in one click
In case you previously purchased your ETH on Coinbase, you will have to withdraw that amount by sending it to your own Ethereum wallet public address. Only then will you be able to use the magic of DEXs to swap your ETH coins for RLC tokens.
Finally, your last step is to swap the ETH coins stored on your Ethereum wallet for RLC tokens. That’s where the beauty of decentralized exchanges (called “DEXs”) kicks in: Without letting anyone else taking control over your assets, and thanks to a single blockchain transaction directed to one (or multiple) DEX, you are able to change your ETH against the equivalent value in RLC. In literally one click.
And that’s it, you are now a happy owner of iExec RLC tokens!
I’m curious, tell me more about DEXs and liquidity!
Under the hood, the iExec Wallet manager taps into a DEX called Uniswap that is 100% decentralized and autonomous. In case you need to swap more than 1k$ of ETH against RLC, we recommend you to head over the Paraswap.io DEX aggregator: it will spread your order over multiple DEXs to ensure you get the best price!
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.
That was an overview of the easiest and most appropriate way to purchase iExec RLC tokens. As you may have noticed, 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: