Chill & Shill: NoRamp AMA Recap
Recently we hosted the NoRamp team on Chill & Shill. Thanks to everyone joining and congrats to the winner of the giveaway.
You can listen to the recording of the space here and read on for the most important points we covered. NoRamp provides projects with an easy option to integrate credit card and fiat on & off-ramp into their project.
Ben, the chief of staff and Lucy, the COO, of NoRamp joined us during the call.
Could you provide some background about yourself and how you got here?
Ben: Hi, I’m Ben, the chief of staff at NoRamp. That means I do a lot of non-technical work. Fortunately, we have a strong tech team. I’ve always known that I want to be in early-stage startups. I had a podcast and started a clothing brand with friends. I was working at Morgan Stanley but realized it wasn’t where I was meant to be. I came across a job posting for someone working on “the future of the human-curated web.” We started with a company called Campground, where users could curate content and turn it into NFTs and then sell. While building it, our head engineer came up with this fiat solution, enabling users to buy NFTs with credit cards, no KYC required. For sellers, there was KYC, but they could offramp to fiat for free. And that’s what we called NoRamp because there is no on-ramp required to buy NFTs.
Through conversations with others, we realized the potential this tool would have to onboard billions seamlessly.
How can you enable users to buy without having to pass KYC?
Ben: We are built on top of and partnering with Stripe. What we wanted to achieve with that is enhancing our credibility, and also, we didn’t want to handle payments as the new company in this space. We don’t bypass KYC on the buyer side; it’s actually on Stripe’s side.
So, at which point does fiat turn into crypto?
Ben: You’re actually not buying with fiat at all. When buying any digital asset, you’re not actually buying crypto, which is why you can bypass buyer-side KYC. We usually explain it similarly to venmo-ing for a basketball ticket.
The sellers get paid in fiat as well?
Ben: Yes. So if all companies rely on layer-1 tokens, we limit our potential for growth. It’s also about risk management and offering users and sellers to increase what they use.
So at no point, there is crypto involved?
Ben: Yes, there is no conversion to crypto at any point.
Since you partner with stripe, where does the user data go?
Ben: The best way to explain it is as a data transmission service. The data stays with stripe.
You are on NEAR at the moment, right?
Ben: Yes, the goal is definitely to be chain-agnostic at some point, but we started on NEAR.
Why did you decide to start on NEAR?
Ben: NEAR was a great partner to build on from the beginning because it had an easy web2 experience. This really aligns with what we do, and we also love the NEAR community, where everyone wants everyone to succeed.
What’s your profit model, and who are your customers?
Ben: We’re very web3-focused and pro-crypto and blockchain. We’re just offering the optionality to buy and sell NFTs. The main customer is sellers of NFTs, including marketplaces and launchpads.
So who has to integrate it in the end? Is it the marketplace or the artist?
Lucy: What separates us from other solutions is that we’re merchant service models versus other solutions like moonpay, where buyers have to purchase crypto first before buying an NFT. That’s inefficient. What we do is provide a tool that validates off-chain transactions to communicate events to the blockchain and then & trigger a transfer. Any seller can use it to be paid in fiat; we can interact directly with the smart contract.
How does it look like?
Lucy: We have a hosted checkout on our roadmap to provide a no-code solution soon.
How far is your development?
Lucy: Our testnet is live on NEAR and Ethereum blockchains. We’re also planning to go live on Solana, and we’re ready to go.
What are the plans for the near future?
Lucy: We’re excited to enhance our developer tool kits to create things similar to a zapier which allows automating purchase and sale decisions related to crypto, NFTs, and many other things. The public blockchain space has evolved with many amazing dapps, but they don’t often work with each other. So for us, it’s exciting to start providing tools to make it easier for web2 devs to interact with chains.
Are there other companies doing the same?
Lucy: In the sense of focusing on attracting web2 devs, there are many. But in terms of integrations to achieve blockchain results from off-chain events, I haven’t encountered them yet.
What’s the vision?
Lucy: So we do not want to replace the existing on-ramp solutions. Where we see our solution fit is more lightweight interactions for recreational blockchain usecases such as as gaming or NFTs. Where users just want to purchase or sell a digital asset quickly.
What are challenges you faced?
Lucy: The biggest one is that all of us face the reputational challenges in the wake of the market crash. That’s why it’s important to support each other, and collaborate. And fortunately, we’ve had a lot of fruitful talks with potential partners about who we hopefully can soon share more.