Crypto.com is the cryptocurrency and payment platform encompassing a range of products aimed at promoting the adoption of cryptocurrencies on a wider scale. At the moment, the platform offers MCO Visa cards, wallet and portfolio building services.
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What is Crypto.com Platform?
Starting out under the “Monaco” brand name, the Crypto.com platform claims to have been established with the goal of promoting “the world’s transition to cryptocurrency”. Based on this ambition, the platform was built as an ecosystem of varied blockchain-powered products, all developed and marketed under the MCO brand. In February 2019, this range of products included:
- MCO Visa card
- Mobile wallet app
- Crypto.com (MCO) Token
- MCO Crypto Invest services
What is Crypto.com Trying to Achieve?
Crypto.com bills itself as a platform focused on resolving several challenges faced by the blockchain industry, particularly in the field of the usability and accessibility of financial services it can provide:
- MCO Visa pre-paid card provided by the Crypto.com should help the customers buy and spend cryptocurrencies more easily. According to the Crypto.com team, today’s crypto enthusiasts often find themselves faced with challenges whenever they want to use digital currencies for everyday payments. These processes are described as either taking too long or the number of locations allowing this type of payments is relatively low. At the same time, buying stuff abroad with the use of credit or debit cards often entails high fees (going up to eight percent of the purchase amounts) charged by the financial organizations which offer no real benefits for the users. Instead of this, the MCO card has no annual fees and international purchases can be made with more favorable interbank fees. Finally, the users can spend and withdraw the fiat currency equivalent of their crypto with the Visa approved merchants, both online and offline.
- MCO wallet and card app should allow the users to manage and buy cryptocurrencies on their mobile devices in a more streamlined manner. The Crypto.com’s whitepaper describes the processes involving buying and management of cryptos on mobile devices as “challenging”, particularly when it comes to security and convenience. To counter this, Crypto.com offers a wallet which allows the users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, send and receive them and track their prices. The wallet app is also supposed to be used as the management tool for the MCO visa card. The options also include withdrawal, freezing and unfreezing of the card, with the added support for the conversion of cryptocurrencies into their fiat equivalents.
- Crypto Invest scheme should help the users set up their cryptocurrency portfolios without facing the obstacles they have to contend with today. Although much time has passed since the introduction of the cryptocurrency technology, some customers still find it hard to decide which cryptocurrencies are best for buying or selling at any given moment. The Crypto Invest scheme offered by the Crypto.com offers access to a free service which will give customers insight into trading strategies suitable for the creation of individual trading portfolios. The amount of initial contribution is reduced to $20USD while the option to leave the scheme can be used at any time at no penalty.
Visa Cards from Crypto.com
MCO Visa prepaid cards are the flagship products offered by Crypto.com which are designed to combine the features of credit and debit cards with those of cryptocurrencies. The cards began shipping to customers in Singapore in October 2018 as metal cards with the following features:
- The basic function of these cards is providing the users with the ability to buy, sell, trade with and spend cryptos in parallel with fiat currencies. For example, in the first series of cards issued in Singapore, the Singapore dollar (SGD) serves as the card’s “basic” currency together with the Bitcoin balance which can be used to top up the SGD via a bank transfer, debit or credit card, or crypto.
- Free ATM withdrawals
- Tap-and-pay feature
- No annual fees and minimum balance requirements for accounts.
- Up to 5% back on all local or overseas spending without required minimum or maximum spending
- Free shipping
- 100% purchase rebate for standard Spotify and Netflix subscription plans
- 10% back on Airbnb and Expedia
- The developers also offer access to LoungeKey airport lounges for select cards. The card owners can use them to get access to special shopping, dining and spa features, including partnerships with restaurants or bars. Finally, these cards should allow the owner to enjoy discounts on the bills for the use of these amenities.
- The cards should also be supported at any payment point claiming to accept Visa cards, including the estimated 40 million retailers.
- The customer referral scheme allows the cardholders to earn between 10 and 25 percent of transactions made by the person one manages to include in the scheme. The amount of accompanying bonuses is dependent on the balance tier of a particular card (see below).
MCO Visa Card Wallet
MCO Visa cards are divided into tiers, based on the staking thresholds one needs to meet if they are to gain access to various cards. This is the point in which the MCO tokens come into play as the native cryptocurrency of the Crypto.com platform.
MCO tokens cannot be mined. Instead of this, they are issued based on the deposited amounts in the Crypto.com wallet and the card linked with it. Since MCO tokens are ERC-20 compatible, they can be stored in any ERC20-compatible wallet in addition to the dedicated multi-currency wallet offered by the Crypto.com. As of February 2019, this wallet supports 7 fiat and 7 cryptocurrencies, including ETH, BTC, and USD. Based on this, cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Binance Coin and MCO tokens can be spent directly from the wallet by virtue of being linked with the credit or debit card.
The accompanying app allows one to buy, sell, and exchange cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, send payments to internal and external addresses and apply for a physical debit card.
Cryptocurrencies can be bought with fiat wallet or with a credit card. When exchanging fiat currencies, the process is carried out based on the interbank exchange rates which should offer 5-8% savings compared to what is offered by the regular banks. With this wallet, the crypto to crypto exchange is performed with no additional fees. Sending both cryptocurrencies and fiat to Crypto.com wallet app is also done without fees. Yet, the users should bear in mind that withdrawing cryptos to external wallet addresses comes with a fixed marginal fee.
The ability to track coins with the MCO wallet is an added bonus, with the ability to keep an eye on more than 200 supported coins, including their volume, market cap, prices and percentage changes over predefined time intervals.
MCO Token Availability
As of February 2019, the MCO tokens have had the market cap of more than USD 47 million. The peak cap was achieved in January 2018 when it reached the value of more than USD 243 million. The current circulating supply goes above 15 million units, out of planned 31 million MCO. MCO tokens are available for trading on several cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, Bittrex, with trading pairs including BTC, ETH, and USDT.
The ICO crowdsale for MCO tokens lasted from May 18 through June 18, 2017. The event managed to raise about USD 26,700,000 worth of ETH, with 9,476,400 MCO tokens being sold on the same occasion.
While 30 percent of tokens were sold as part of the ICO crowdsale, 25 percent was kept by the founders, 10 percent was retained by the company, 5 percent was given to advisors, and 30 percent was held as reserve tokens.
Card Tiers Offered by Crypto.com
To make its MCO Visa card line more flexible in meeting the demands of a wide range of customers, Crypto.com introduced several tiers of available cards:
- Midnight Blue card. This card does not obligate the customer to stake any specific amount of MCO tokens. As such, it aims to become an entry-level debit card product which still offers 1 percent card cashback. It allows the users to withdraw no more than USD 200 or exchange USD 2000 at no cost. There is also a 2 percent ATM withdrawal fee and 0.5 percent interbank fee.
- Ruby Steel card. This card tier requires the stake in the amount of 50 MCO tokens. It comes with the 2 percent cashback and limits going up to USD 400 and USD 4000. The wallet cashback rewards amount to 0.2 percent, while the referral bonus goes up to 10 percent, including USD 20 for referring up to five additional users. There is also a 50 percent discount on investment fees.
- Jade Green/Royal Indigo card. This tier becomes available once a user manages to stake 500 MCO tokens. The cashback rewards grow proportionally to 3 percent for the card and 0.4 percent for the wallet. At the same time, the limits are raised to USD 800 and USD 10,000. The same goes for the referral fees which rise up to 15 percent, with an added bonus of $40 each for 10 friends one manages to bring as participants. This ties also gives one the right to use the LoungeKey airport lounges.
- Icy White card. This tier starts with 5000 staked MCO tokens. The cashback rewards are increased to 4 percent for the card and 0.8 percent for the wallet. Accordingly, the referral bonuses jump to 20 percent and USD 80 each for bringing 50 friends.
- Obsidian Black card. The flagship tier starts with staking no less 50,000 MCO tokens. The cashback rewards are increased to 5 percent for the card and 1 percent for the wallet. When using the ATMs with this card, the free transaction limits go up to USD 1000, with referral bonuses going to 25 percent and USD 100 each for 100 friends.
MCO Crypto Invest Scheme
Another feature supported by the Crypto.com platform is the MCO Crypto Invest scheme, which was launched in late 2018. This tool is supposed to simplify investments and automatize trading with cryptocurrencies for regular users. The users will be assisted in developing their own custom portfolios and learning how to keep tabs on the market trends to make better-informed decisions. Since the limits set for engaging in trading are set at USD 20, the Crypto Invest scheme aims to gain traction among the beginners and professionals alike.
With the goal to ultimately reduce the risks associated with dealing with the novel technologies such as cryptocurrencies, the Crypto Invest presents the users with the support for 30 cryptocurrencies and several predefined portfolios based on the customers’ preferences:
- Growth portfolio is suitable for high growth but it also carries the highest risk
- Balanced portfolio promises moderate growth with similarly moderate risk
- Conservative portfolio offers minimal risk accompanied by the potential for slightly reduced growth
Portfolio management also entails the use of long term investment strategies with the following options:
- The automated trading option comes with several strategies based on monitoring market trends and market sentiment.
- Monitoring of stablecoins involves keeping an eye on stable positions, which is supposed to reduce risk and ease the risk management process
- Finally, the market following option involves monitoring the key assets in the market.
The fee plans for all three portfolios are similar: using Crypto Invest does not involve entry or exit fees, or fees associated with managed assets and rebalancing. No other fees will be collected by the Crypto.com unless the participant makes a profit. In this case, the company has the right to the 9% of the profits made by staking the MCO tokens or 18% of those made in some other manner.
Crypto Credit Services
Crypto credit is the final component in the Crypto.com’s line of products. While the full launch is still ahead, the product is supposed to allow the customers to borrow money from Crypto.com to make purchases and pay the amount off later. Access to the crypto credit line is given by depositing crypto i.e. by staking MCO tokens. For instance, staking 10,000 MCO tokens gives one access to USD 6,000 worth of credit. Bitcoin can also be used as the security for the access to a credit line.
Crypto credit should also offer the following features:
- There is no repayment deadline.
- The credit check is not required.
- The use of MCO tokens is supposed to offer lower fees.
- There will be no minimum payments.
History of Crypto.com
As the name of the internet domain, crypto.com was originally registered in 1993 by cryptographer Matt Blaze. Following the cryptocurrency boom which made the domain name a highly desirable asset, Blaze repeatedly refused offers to sell it, at least until the team from the Hong Kong-based Monaco approached him and eventually bought the name from him back in 2018.
The CEO of Crypto.com is Kris Marszalek, a business veteran who also served as the CEO of Ensogo, a social commerce company, and the founder of Beecrazy (an e-commerce company). Other members of the company’s C-suite are Rafael Melo (CFO) and Gary Or (CTO).