Onchain Fiat

Onchain fiat is a first-of-its-kind, fully authorized and regulated subset of stablecoins that allows for seamless transitions between traditional bank accounts and web3.


What Is Onchain Fiat?

Onchain fiat is a first-of-its-kind, fully authorized and regulated subset of stablecoins that allows for seamless transitions between traditional bank accounts and web3. In legal terms, onchain fiat is tokenized “e-money” that can be used on blockchains. These tokens are issued by an authorized and regulated Electronic Money Institution (EMI), which denotes that the firms involved can operate across the European Economic Area, including in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. 

Onchain fiat prioritizes self-custody, is authorized, regulated, overcollateralized at 102%, and secured in segregated accounts with priority claims in case of insolvency. Regular audits are also required to ensure the safety of customer deposits at all times. This provides legal clarity and the safest way to store user funds, allowing customers to choose how and where they store their money. Unlike a bank deposit, where the customer’s money is merely a claim against the bank, the funds are held on behalf of customers and verifiably belong to them, not the company that issued the onchain fiat.  

Onchain Fiat vs Fiat-Backed Stablecoins 

There is a clear need for Web3 services that allow consumers to use cash in everyday transactions, regardless of whether they are on or off-chain. Many companies attempt to provide such services, resulting in “similar” products, like fiat-backed stablecoins, which are often designed first and then seek regulatory approval. In contrast, onchain fiat is based on an existing set of rules – the legal concept of electronic money – while also respecting the original ethos of the decentralized web, which enables true ownership through self-custody. On a practical level, no such system would be possible without web3 IBANs or a similar system.

Web3 IBANs complement onchain fiat by linking web3 wallets to traditional payments infrastructure and allowing users to transfer cash directly between onchain wallets or smart contracts and offchain bank accounts. This is done all without using on or off-ramp solutions and with a user experience that focuses on abstracting away the typical complexity of both web3-centered and legacy payment systems. 

Onchain Fiat in Action

A good example of onchain fiat is the EURe issued by Monerium. The EURe is an authorized and regulated euro token for web3 which is available on Ethereum, Gnosis and Polygon. It follows classic DeFi standards for fungible tokens, such as the ERC20 token standard, making it simple to manage and exchange using a web3 wallet. 

With Eure, as soon as a user deposits euros into their web3 IBAN account linked to their web3 wallet address, the equivalent amount is minted as e-money tokens on a blockchain. The user has custody of their funds onchain and can transfer them back to a European bank with a simple signature, which confirms destroying or “burning” the e-money tokens. Once the tokens are burned, the user is credited with the equivalent amount of the original deposit once again, whether in Euros or in another currency. 

Today’s Alternative Solutions

Products such as Circle’s USDC or Euro Coin are close to fitting into the onchain fiat category, but while both products are fiat on a blockchain, they are not actually onchain fiat. When customers deposit USD or Euros into their Circle-run accounts, they receive USDC or Euros in return. In Circle’s case, however, these solutions do not allow for self-custody. To transfer or withdraw funds, customers must first receive authorization from Circle. 
CBDCs are another example of fiat currencies going on-chain without quite representing the ideal definition of onchain fiat. Their centralization as well as their lack of self-custody rules this out. Since the network is entirely under their control, it is entirely possible for the government behind a CBDC to cut off an individual’s access to their account. 
Tokenized fiat held on a centralized exchange or with a payment service provider is similar to the aforementioned examples. Take Paypal’s PYUSD stablecoin. Like the EURe, PYUSD is always 100% backed and redeemable for the original fiat currency it is tied to. In PYUSD’s case, however, funds are held by Paypal, in the user’s Paypal account, and therefore, are not permissionless. At no time does the user “fully own” their funds, while withdrawals as well as transfers are at Paypal’s discretion.

Author

Monerium issues onchain fiat, a fully authorized and regulated subset of stablecoins that allow for seamless transitions between traditional bank accounts and web3. Monerium provides users with web3 IBANs to connect their web3 wallets to any bank account and mint all incoming fiat payments to a designated wallet or smart contract. Conversely, Monerium also allows users to redeem onchain fiat back into (offchain) bank accounts. 

Monerium has introduced an onchain fiat currency, starting with the Euro and the EURe token which use the ERC20 token standard. EURe is currently available on Ethereum, Polygon and Gnosis chains. 

Founded in 2016, Monerium is authorized and regulated as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI), it’s onchain fiat is overcollateralized, safeguarded in segregated accounts, and is a priority claim in case of insolvency.