After all, that’s what Bitcoin, the godfather cryptocurrency, has set out to achieve – and become a peer-to-peer digital cash.
As the popularity of cryptocurrencies rose, a number of business ventures emerged searching for ways to make the lives of crypto enthusiasts – our lives – easier in this department. Crypto.com was started with this goal in mind.
What Does Crypto.com Offer Exactly?
Crypto.com is a Hong Kong-based online platform launched in 2016. It offers payment, trading, and financial services aimed at facilitating the use of cryptocurrency for in-store and online payments. Starting with providing payment gateways for businesses, the company has eventually expanded its reach into the cryptocurrency exchange and investment areas.
The platform uses a public, permissionless blockchain creatively christened Crypto.com Chain that went live in late 2018. Its native cryptocurrency token, Crypto.com Coin (CRO), powers the ecosystem and serves as payment for platform services. All CRO tokens were created when the blockchain went live, with 30 billion CRO currently in circulation.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts looking for ways to meaningfully weave crypto into their lives may be interested in a prepaid card issued by Crypto.com. Prepaid cards are similar to debit cards. The difference is that a prepaid card needs to be topped up while a debit card is linked directly to your bank account – you top up the account and the card gets loaded too.
The platform offers a Visa card that can be recharged via wire transfers, card-to-card payments or cryptocurrency. Then it can be used for shopping like a regular payment card. The card is accepted across the world by all merchants that take Visa as payment. Actually, it is not just one card but a bunch of cards, all with different perks and benefits.
Crypto.com doesn’t charge an annual fee on its card, but to apply for it, you need to stake the CRO token for a period of 6 months. The exact amount to stake depends on the card tier. The first-tier card, Midnight Blue, comes with no staking requirement, but this card will earn you only 1% in spending rewards (against 8% on the premium Obsidian card, made of metal).
For investors, Crypto.com offers the options of cryptocurrency exchange, lending coins and staking the CRO token. The platform supports over 90 cryptocurrencies in the US (depending on the state) which you can trade against each other and major fiat currencies (again, depending on your jurisdiction) or lend them to earn interest up to 14.5% per year.
Steep Trading Fees and Financial Barriers to Entry Hold Crypto.com Back
It should be noted, however, that the trading fees on Crypto.com are rather steep. The platform implements the taker-maker fee structure, starting with 0.4% per trade for both takers and makers. And while the fees decrease with trading volume and the amount of CRO staked, you may be better off in terms of fees with exchanges like Binance.
Staking allows investors to earn on their CRO tokens 10% APR interest paid daily. Other benefits of staking CRO include rebates on trading fees when you choose to pay the fees with the token instead of base currency, and higher rewards for spending with your Crypto.com payment card in case you have one (up to 8% in CRO).
For merchants, Crypto.com offers payment gateways with its Crypto.com Pay Checkout plugin that enables stores to seamlessly accept major cryptocurrencies receiving payments into their business accounts either in crypto or fiat currencies – without exposing themselves to price fluctuations in crypto.
What the Future Looks Like for Crypto.com
The question here is how bright this future is going to be. Although that largely depends on the success of cryptocurrencies as a whole, Crypto.com does its share of work toward this success. And the market seems to have been valuing the effort pretty high recently, at least as far as the price of the platform’s token is concerned:
In March, Crypto.com introduced a curated, off-chain NFT marketplace where buyers and sellers can trade digital collectibles with popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and even recently added Dogecoin – as a meme coin, the latter fits in perfectly here.
It could be stated that the company behind Crypto.com tries its best to become a one-stop-shop for both cryptocurrency enthusiasts, all stripes, and institutional investors, Coinbase-style.
So far so good.