If you’ve been around in the crypto space lately, chances are you’d have heard of Crypto.com. In the first of this series, we will explain what Crypto.com is, and why we think it is probably going to be the most important crypto platform to emerge in 2020.
Stick around, and we will show you why you shouldn’t miss out on this.
What is Crypto.com?
In a nutshell, Crypto.com is an ecosystem comprising of a crypto asset brokerage platform (Crypto.com Exchange on the browser), a user-custodial wallet (Crypto.com Wallet on the smartphone), and a central app (Crypto.com App on the smartphone).
Each serves a specific purpose:
- Crypto.com App
- Smartphone app that plays a central role which links to the user’s non-custodial wallet and exchange platform.
- Staking of various crypto assets for returns paid to wallet weekly.
- Manages conversion of funds and fund transfers between fiat, crypto and card wallets for use with Crypto.com’s CRO VISA card and Pay merchant solution.
- Crypto.com Wallet
- A user-custodial wallet where you the user are in control of the private keys.
- Ability to link to a hardware wallet or use own mnemonic passphrase.
- Crypto.com Exchange
A crypto asset brokerage platform or exchange for the trading of cryptocurrencies.
The Crypto.com App is a well-designed smartphone app with a beautiful user interface. It runs on both iOS and Android smartphones and is a breeze to set up which we will explain a little later.
The app makes it a pleasure to view the price movements of over 200 cryptocurrencies. It is like having a little coinmarketcap.com on your phone with a tap.
The app allows the user to buy a variety of cryptocurrencies from Ark to Zilliqa via wire transfer, credit card or with crypto such as BTC or ETH.
At the time when we installed the app, we found buying cryptocurrencies on the app to be closer to true value (i.e. cheaper than buying from local fiat-to-crypto exchanges) due to negligible spreads and no fee. We are not yet sure how this will change over time, but this is still the case at time of writing.
The Crypto.com App allows the user to manage his or her funds between three different wallets – the fiat wallet, crypto wallet and card wallet. To break this down into simple terms:
- Funds you send into the wallet in USD or EUR via bank wire transfer is deposited into the fiat wallet.
- Any crypto that is transferred from another exchange or wallet, or purchased with funds from the fiat wallet, will be deposited into the crypto wallet.
- Finally, any crypto that is converted to spendable funds can be transferred to the card wallet, which can then be spent to purchase goods and services in the real world using their debit card powered by VISA.
As such, Crypto.com makes crypto spending very convenient for the crypto user.
In the app menu, you will also find options for DeFi lending (which we will not go into in this article) as well as an option to lock cryptocurrencies to earn passive interest called Earn (which we will cover in Part 4. Crypto.com – Stake and Earn).
This is a summary of what the Crypto.com App does, and it does it well. And we are told that funds are stored in a secured cold vault.
We’ll now move on to the Wallet.
Most people are confused at this point, and wonder why there is a need for another wallet app when the Crypto.com App above already incorporates a crypto wallet. There is a good explanation for that.
The crypto wallet in the App is a centralised custodial wallet managed by Crypto.com. They hold and control the private keys to that wallet, which also mean transfers between the App and the Exchange platform (explained next below) take place internally and hence no transfer fee is charged.
The Crypto.com Wallet is a separate app and is a user-custodial wallet. What this means is the user (you) holds and controls the private key to that wallet. It is not held by Crypto.com. Should anything happen to Crypto.com’s vault, your funds would remain safe in that wallet.
Having said that, since it is an external wallet, all transfers into and out of this wallet will take place on-chain. This means that any crypto sent out from this wallet will incur a transfer fee. Likewise, if you were to send crypto from the App to the Wallet, a transfer fee would apply as well, just like for any transfers between any crypto wallets elsewhere.
One of the mention-worthy features of the Crypto.com Wallet is that you can use a Ledger hardware wallet with it. This makes the wallet a little more secure, although with the private keys being accessible within the Wallet, we are not sure if that presents too much of a security risk.
The Crypto.com Wallet stores many types of cryptocurrencies. If you need a private wallet that stores altcoins that are not available on your existing wallet, then the Crypto.com Wallet offers a solution. At time of writing, the cryptocurrencies that can be stored are:
If you like a private wallet that stores these cryptocurrencies, then the Crypto.com Wallet may be for you. See Part 2. Crypto.com – Setup and Installation for download and installation details.
The third part of the Crypto.com ecosystem is its exchange platform. Like most other exchanges like Binance and Bittrex, this is where cryptocurrencies are traded on a live and active international market.
At the moment, the number of cryptocurrencies available for trading is limited, but is growing in number as we speak.
Users are also able to stake their CRO on this exchange for a return of 20% p.a.
Why We Think Crypto.com is Legit
These are some of the things we have learned about Crypto.com so far.
They spent $12 million acquiring the domain name Crypto.com. This is a strong indication that they are serious about their business. A fly-by-night company wouldn’t spill this sort of dough on a domain name. Remember when Apple bought iCloud.com for $4.5 million back in 2011?
They pay a bounty to hackers to hack their platform. And from what we have seen, these bounty payments are not small. This is another good indication that they take their platform security very seriously. While most companies are often only concerned with marketing and advertising budgets, Crypto.com know where their priorities lie.
They have so far delivered on all offers and promises. On and off, Crypto.com have been running what is known as Syndicate events where crypto assets are newly listed on their exchange. As part of their marketing endeavour, these crypto assets are often offered to members to purchase at 50% off the market price. We recently saw the offer to buy bitcoin at 50% off once during the halving in May, and another time during the end of June. There are terms and conditions to these sale, and Crypto.com have been ingenious to use such events to drive value into their native Crypto.com Coin or CRO. Whether it is a marketing ploy or clever use of their advertising budget, end of the day, members are rewarded with buying bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) at half their market price. It is a win-win for both parties.
They have a working VISA card programme. Crypto.com partnered with a third-party provider to offer their CRO VISA Card which makes it convenient for an account holder to convert their crypto holdings into spendable funds on the card. The card is available in many countries around the world, with positive reviews from users who have had first-hand experience with using the card. There are also many other offers, benefits, cashback and rebates with using the debit card, which is summarised below:
Personally, we are particularly thrilled with the 100% rebates for NetFlix and Spotify with their Jade Green/Royal Indigo cards. Rebates are paid in CRO, which is as good as money as long as it remains a denomination in their card programme and that it doesn’t fluctuate too much (especially in the down direction).
Why We Think Crypto.com will be Big
As discussed above, Crypto.com have made it highly convenient for users to spend their crypto holdings by managing funds in the in-App wallets and the debit card programme.
For the first time, we think this has been quite a successful implementation of crypto spending in the real world. A few companies have tried in the past with little to no success.
Making crypto spendable and easy to use is an expectation of things to come in this space.
At present, Crypto.com have managed to achieve a worldwide userbase of 3 million account holders (Update: 5 million users as of November 2020). While this is not a huge number in terms of world population, it is no less significant when taking into consideration the number of crypto users around the world.
We believe, if this trajectory path is maintained, Crypto.com may just have what it takes to bring cryptocurrency use to the masses by end of 2021.
At the moment, they do have some issues with handling queries. We found that the online chat responses are often slow, and we are quite certain it is because they may not have anticipated this level of growth within a short span of time. This reminds us of the time when some established exchanges had to close new registrations back in 2017 when the bitcoin hype was bringing in more new registrations than the exchanges could handle.
In time, we are sure Crypto.com will adjust to cope with the demands and scale themselves accordingly.
Begin Your Journey on Crypto.com
To begin your journey on Crypto.com, see Part 2. Crypto.com – Setup and Installation of this series.