O3 Fiat Gateway — Coinbase Connect

Nick Fujita
Jun 10, 2019 · 8 min read

About a month ago, O3 released phase 1 of its fiat gateway, which lets you directly purchase NEO with any major credit card. If you haven’t already checked it out, you can check it out here, or read more about it in our medium post.

Overall it’s been very well received by the community, and we’ve gathered a ton of great feedback from you all. For many, this appears to be the ideal purchasing option that was missing from the ecosystem. However, for others there are still some areas for improvements.

In order to provide a more direct line of purchase from your bank account to NEO and Ontology, we’ve integrated with Coinbase!

However, before we jump into the details, lets first take a step back and review what options we had prior to this point.

Skip to the end for the TL;DR

What purchasing option works best for you?

When considering purchasing options while buying into the smart economy, at its base level it comes down to a couple of factors, speed and price. In other words, how long does it take to exchange value from a traditional bank account to digital assets in a secure blockchain enabled wallet, and how you get the best deal.

As we all know, time is money, and in a volatile market, timing can mean the difference between getting in the deal, or completely missing out. Depending on your strategy, you can opt for the route with the seemingly least amount of fees, at the cost of time and effort, or you can opt in for prebuilt solutions with potentially higher fees, but instantly lock in a favorable rate.

The before time

Before the introduction of the O3 fiat gateway for credit cards, users were required to navigate a flow that goes something like this:

  • Find a provider to accept your bank transfer or credit card purchase or something like BTC or ETH.
  • Transfer assets from the provider account to an exchange, paying the miner fee and any fees imposed by the provider for withdraws
  • Wait for your deposit into the exchange to be accepted with the right number of confirmations.
  • Review the order book (and learn how to use it if your are new).
  • Place a buy order at the top of the order book, paying a premium over the median rate to have it be filled immediately, or fight with bots trying to post an order near the bottom of the order book hoping it gets filled in a few minutes (maybe even longer). Once your order is filled, you receive your new assets in your account, minus a fee from the exchange.
  • Withdraw your assets to your secure wallet off exchange. Where you will be charge yet another fee from the exchange on top of the fee you already paid for the exchange, just to withdraw your assets.
  • For assets like NEO where they are non-divisible, you will inevitably be left with a remainder in your account, which can be considered a loss until you buy more or exchange for another asset (paying another fee).
  • Wait for exchange to process your withdraw request, to finally receive your funds in your secure self custodial wallet.

Whew! That was a lot of work and a lot of fees paid!

O3 Fiat Gateway: Credit Cards

With the O3 fiat gateway for credit cards, a lot of this work is taken care of for you:

  • Go to https://buy.o3.network
  • Enter the amount you want to buy
  • Fill in the required ID info (on first purchase only)
  • Pay with your credit card
  • Receive your NEO in the account of your choice

The average transaction from start to finish usually takes about 15 minutes for first time purchases due to ID verification, and only 5 minutes for return customers.

When buying with credit card, there is only a single fee charged, and the app will handle the distribution of this fee all parties involved. While this single fee is most likely larger that any many individual fees paid in the previous process outlined above, it can actually be comparable when you total all those fees together. Let’s also not forget about all the time and effort saved in this single transaction rather than moving your funds manually through the various exchanges and apps. Depending on how you play the order book on the exchange, you will either pay a higher rate than what is listed as the medium, or have to continuously re-enter orders at the bottom of the book in the hopes that you get a buyer, which takes time.

In some cases where the market is going up at a accelerated rate, depending on the amount being purchased, the fee paid for the one time transaction is far eclipsed by the gains made by executing the transaction in a matter of a few minutes at at favorable rate, rather than an hour or two later when the market value is already far above what it was when your first decided to purchase.

So for many, the benefits are clear, and at the end of the day many just want to get their NEO with the least amount of steps possible, at the rate at which they decided to make their purchase. However for some, there appears to be some middle ground to the two approaches, or they want to purchase larger amounts that only a bank transfer can accommodate.

O3 Fiat Gateway: Coinbase Connect

For many users who are looking to purchase larger amounts, do not want to participate in another KYC, or are looking for a better rate but are not looking to deal with exchange order books, we would like to provide a 3rd option. Coinbase serves as the entry point into the crypto space for citizens around the world; especially in the United States. Many already have a Coinbase account, and have their identities and bank accounts all setup, ready to go. At O3, we have put together an integration which leverages the maturity of the Coinbase accounts system to provide a gateway to purchase NEO and Ontology assets quicker, easier, and cheaper than if you were to do so using the traditional route.

The O3 desktop wallet now allows you to connect your Coinbase account for use inside your O3 wallet, which will make your funds available you when using any dApp that supports the new O3 Pay interface on the dAPI. Once your Coinbase account is setup within your wallet, and a payment is requested from the dApp, you can make a payment just as you would send funds from your NEO/Ontology wallets. As the first dApp to implement O3 Pay, the O3 Swap dApp will allow you to directly purchase NEO/GAS/ONT/ONG from your Coinbase account.

For those in markets that support USDC on Coinbase, there are currently no fees for loading your Coinbase account with USDC via bank transfer, and no fee for withdrawing USDC from your account (aside from the Ethereum mining fee which is about $0.05 worth of USDC). So to go from your bank account to any NEO/Ontology assets, users in these markets can follow these steps.

  • Ensure you have your account loaded with USDC from your bank account
  • Connect your Coinbase account to your O3 wallet (being sure to set the desired daily spending limit)
  • Access the O3 Swap dApp at https://swap.o3.app.
  • Select the swap option from USDC to the desired asset
  • Select the address you want to receive your new assets and the amount for purchase
  • Confirm the payment amount in the O3 wallets dApp notification tray
  • Receive your new assets

For those in markets without access to USDC, the processes is just as easy, but you will instead load your Coinbase account via bank transfer with BTC, ETH, or any other asset supported by Coinbase and O3 Swap to make your purchase.

If you are planning on possibly making a purchase sometime in the future, it’s recommended to to keep your Coinbase account pre-loaded with the USDC from your bank account, there is no fee to do so, and it does not run the risk of losing it’s value. If the opportune time arises then you will be ready to make your purchase immediately. Also if you decide to not make a purchase and need your fiat back, you can simply convert back to USD, and transfer it back to your bank account.

For more info please checkout out our user guide:



Starting with O3 desktop version v2.4.0, you can now connect your Coinbase account to your O3 wallet and use it to make fee free purchases via O3 Pay enabled dApps. O3 Swap is the first O3 Pay enabled dApp, and now supports purchases from Coinbase via USDC.

Download v2.4.0 today: https://o3.network

Mobile availability coming soon 😁

We hope you enjoy using this new integration with Coinbase, and we’d love to hear your feedback. If you have any comments or suggestions to improve the integration, please feel free to reach out to us at the O3 community site.


But wait, there’s more!

The O3 desktop wallet has now been updated with to support in app notifications via the new O3 Inbox! So you can now subscribe to have native desktop notifications pop up as soon as your newly purchased assets arrive in your wallet!

We hope your enjoy this new feature, and would love to hear your feedback on our community site :)

If you have any urgent trouble you can also shoot us an e-mail at support@o3.network and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Oh and don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter. It has all the latest juicy gossip on what the team is up to and whats coming next for O3.

O3 wallet is available on iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows and Linux. Download it today from: https://o3.network

Need a NEO block explorer? Checkout

Nick Fujita

Written by

O3 Labs

O3 Labs

O3 Labs is the mobile gateway to the smart economy! https://o3.network

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