Crypto.com offers a wallet and a suit of adjacent services letting you use your crypto to get a loan, lend it out and earn interest on it or spend it through one of their debit cards.
Crypto.com, the company behind one of the most highly-prized internet domains, provides a custodial wallet letting users buy, sell, hold and send 7 fiat and 53 cryptocurrencies. It is a mobile-only wallet, available in over 70 countries on both iOS and Android. While it’s not the ideal wallet for beginners its feature-richness makes it interesting for more advanced users.
Like all custodial wallets, Crypto.com subjects users to a know-your-customer (KYC) process, which includes submitting personal details, a government-issued ID and selfie. We found the ID upload procedure quite annoying. Supposedly, the phone’s camera should automatically capture the ID but this didn’t work for several minutes, with no work-around available to the user. If it wasn’t for the review we would probably have abandoned signing-up at this stage.
Arguably, the most advertised feature in the app are the crypto.com debit cards. Available for users in Singapore, Europe and the United States, crypto.com issues a free Metal Visa card that grants a 1% cash back on all purchases, with higher tiers giving up to 5% cash back. The higher tiers which have fancy names like “Ruby Steel”, “Icy white” or “Obsidian”, have no monthly fees but require you to “stake” crypto.com’s CRO token. Staking means that you have to purchase the token and lock it for a six months period inside the Crypto.com app. After the six months you’re free to transfer the token back to your wallet.
Depending on which tier, crypto.com will cover subscriptions to Spotify and Netflix and give you 10% back on purchases made through Airbnb and Expedia and unlimited lounge access at airports globally. However, the amount of CRO tokens you need to stake for these tiers range between 2500 ($176 at the time of writing) and 250.000CRO ($175,000). To be fair, locking up the token grants you a range of other discounts inside the crypto.com app and you receive the tokens back after six months, but especially the higher tiers seem prohibitively expensive for most users!
In case you're interested to get the Crypto.com card here's what you should take into account. Even though you receive the staked CRO tokens back (think of it as a loan to crypto.com) , you are exposed to a volatility risk, i.e should the price of the CRO tokens decrease during the six months, you will have incurred a net loss. We recommend starting with a lower tier card like the “Ruby Steel” which requires a lower up-front investment and still grants 2% cashback as well as a free Spotify subscription. The free Crypto.com Blue card is completely free and gives you a 1% cashback on every purchase.
To calculate which card is best for you simply estimate how many dollars you spend every month using a credit/debit card which you could potentially spend with the Crypto.com card. If you're a big card spender the upfront investment/lock-up in CRO could be worth it given that you receive cashback. One thing worth mentioning though is that the cashback rewards are paid out in CRO tokens. This again exposes you to price volatility if you hold the tokens. However, to minimize the risk you can covert your CRO tokens daily or weekly or after every purchase in dollars or the cryptocurrency of your choice (like bitcoin or ether).
Besides, the Crypto.com cards offer great features like free ATM withdrawals and free foreign currency conversions. So if you travel abroad and make purchases in a foreign currency your funds are converted at the best rate. Lastly, a feature that we really like is the free top-up option inside the app, which allows you to load fiat ($, €, £) in your Crypto.com app with one tap so you don't even need to sell your crypto to make purchases!
Besides the card, crypto.com offers a range of other features. Needless to say, you can purchase crypto (over 50 coins!) inside the app. Using a debit/credit card this will cost a 3.5% fee whereas doing it per bank deposit is free. Crypto-to-crypto trades inside the app are always free and if you purchase fiat currencies you’ll receive the “interbank rate” which is the best exchange rate a retail customer can get. What’s also pretty cool, are the features called “Crypto Earn” allowing you to lend your crypto assets out and earn interest on it, or “Crypto Credit” allowing you to receive an instant loan if you put your crypto as collateral. For the latter, the loan-to-value ratio is 50% meaning that you will be paid out half of the value of your collateral if you request a loan. If you’re ever in need of liquidity and don’t want to sell your crypto holdings it can make sense to request a loan this way, given it’s much faster than requesting a loan from a traditional bank!
Integrating Ledger’s custody solution, Crypto.com claims to keep 100% of its cryptos in cold storage and also has a cold-storage insurance up to $250 million. Its fiat currencies are kept in secured and regulated custodian bank accounts which means that even if crypto.com were to go bankrupt, users’ funds would be safe. Your account itself is secured by security measures such as Two-Factor-Authentication meaning that in addition to the password another factor like FaceID, or E-mail/Phone verification is needed to access accounts. Lastly, their support staff are highly responsive 24/7 on live chat or via email.
All in all, Crypto.com definitely is an interesting and feature-rich crypto wallet. They for sure score well on the security front. We think it’s not very beginner friendly though due to the cluttered interface and at times confusing requirement to “stake” MCO tokens to unlock certain features or discounts.
We are a multi-faceted team of crypto enthusiasts based in Berlin.
© 2021 cryptotesters UG
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