Crypto wallet, MyEtherWallet (MEW) users can now exchange up to USD 5,000 worth of crypto with fiat currencies, without the need to go through annoying KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures, the developers announced.
The new feature, which comes with the latest version of MEW, V5, has been developed and pushed in partnership with Bity, a Swiss crypto finance service provider.
Calling it the ‘exit-to-fiat gateway’, the new feature allows users to exchange Bitcoin or Ether with Euros or Swiss Francs.
According to the press release, this feature was made possible due to the fact that Bity is compliant with Swiss Anti Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLA), as well as the fact that it is a regulated and audited financial intermediary in Switzerland.
“This Exit-to-Fiat gateway is a game changer for cryptocurrency users around the world, because it allows people to exchange crypto to fiat without needing to be KYC verified,” said Kosala Hemachandra, CEO and Founder of MEW.
A screenshot of the MEW website.
KYC is a process which many cryptocurrency exchanges and similar companies need to impose on their users for legal, regulatory and security reasons. For the user, it means submitting a bunch of documents, proving their identity, like ID cards, passports, as well as (sometimes ridiculous) selfies holding various objects, or papers with specific writing on it.
It is a practice that was taken from traditional banks, and which is generally perceived as less than ideal.
John Turesson, who manages the Norwegian operations of Swedish financial group SEB AB, recently told Bloomberg that the KYC procedure is “extremely time-consuming and even annoying for our clients.”
But it’s not just the banks – other fintech startups and businesses enforce KYC without thinking much of onboarding and user experience. Edmund Lowell, co-founder and CEO of KYC-Chain, which manages the SelfKey Foundation, also believes the KYC process is annoying.
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Also, as reported last September, ShapeShift, one of the best known platforms offering peer-to-peer trading of digital assets, faced negative reactions after it announced that they will introduce the KYC procedure.
The KYC-less approach to exchanging crypto is just one of new features coming with MEW V5. Other changes include a revamp of the wallet, with a new interface. There’s also a new exchange feature where MEW users can shop for the best rates when purchasing cryptocurrencies. Called the ‘swap page’, it was designed jointly with Changelly, a crypto exchange, and operates alongside Bity and Kyber Network swap functions.