Review: Crypto.com cryptocurrency app and exchange
|Product Name||Crypto.com App|
|Fiat Currencies||USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR & 9+ more|
|Cryptocurrencies||BTC, ETH, USDT, XRP, ATOM, XTZ, XLM, LINK, CRO, BCH & 130+ more|
|Withdrawal Fees||Cryptocurrency: Fees vary|
What is Crypto.com?
Crypto.com is intended to be a complete cryptocurrency platform, made up of many connected products and services. The three main parts are:
- The Crypto.com app. The heart of Crypto.com is a mobile app, available for iOS and Android. Downloading the app allows you to access the full Crypto.com ecosystem. When you hold cryptocurrency in your account, you can access the full range of Crypto.com services, but it also means that you’re entrusting your funds to Crypto.com.
- The non-custodial Crypto.com wallet. This is a separate wallet, which can be downloaded as a completely separate app. This wallet lets you take personal control of your private keys, but you won’t be able to access all the Crypto.com services through it. However, you can link this wallet to your main Crypto.com account to easily transfer funds between them.
- The Crypto.com exchange. This is a crypto-to-crypto exchange. You can sign up for the exchange separately, or log into it with your Crypto.com app account. You will need to have a Crypto.com app account to access all the benefits of the exchange, such as special promotions.
You only need to download the main Crypto.com app to get started and to get access to the exchange and additional services which may include:
- Crypto.com loans. Get loans in stablecoins such as USDT, of up to 50% of your deposited amount, but be aware that interest rates are a hefty 8-12% p.a. These loans are not available in the United States.
- The Crypto.com CRO Visa card. Use the app to seamlessly convert crypto to USD, and load it onto your Crypto.com Visa card for easy spending. Earn rewards by spending with your Crypto.com card.
- Crypto.com Earn. Earn up to 8% p.a. on cryptocurrency holdings, such as BTC, or up to 12% p.a. on stablecoins such as USDT.
- Crypto.com Invest. Set up your account to practice automated trading strategies and (hopefully) grow your portfolio. A minimum of 5,000 CRO is required to access this service and the fee is 9% of your profits.
Across all of these services, you can get substantial benefits (such as higher returns, better interest rates on loans and more rewards from your card) by staking the CRO cryptocurrency. The Crypto.com exchange, on the other hand, uses CRO staking for its rewards instead.
Where are these features available?
You may not be able to access all features. As of 14 July 2020:
- Crypto.com loans are not available to residents of Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Malta or the United States.
- Crypto.com CRO Visa Cards are only being shipped in the United States, European Union and countries in the Asia Pacific including Singapore.
What is CRO staking and how does it work?
To use the features of Crypto.com to their fullest extent, you can “stake” some of the Crypto.com CRO cryptocurrency. While a sufficient number of CRO tokens are staked, you get lots of additional benefits in the app.
Staking means locking it up for a six-month period, during which you will be unable to move, sell or use the tokens. After this period is up, you’re able to withdraw the tokens as usual, but you might lose your extra benefits if those withdrawals put you below the required threshold for those benefits.
On the plus side, your tokens earn 6-8% interest while staked.
The most common thresholds are all multiples of 50. So you may start getting benefits with 50 CRO staked, more benefits at 500 CRO staked and even more at 5,000, 50,000 and so on. These may be subject to change as the value of CRO tokens changes.
When using the Crypto.com exchange (rather than the app), you can get benefits from staking CRO.
Staking on Crypto.com
What are the benefits of staking CRO?
Staking can offer benefits across the spectrum of Crypto.com services.
- In the Crypto.com app: Receive airdrops from new token listings based on the amount of CRO staked and earn interest on staked tokens. Get 6% p.a. starting at 500 CRO staked and 8% p.a. at 5,000 CRO staked.
- In Crypto.com Earn: Earn additional interest.
- For the CRO Visa card: Access higher card tiers by having CRO staked as you order your card. Higher card tiers have better benefits and features. These benefits are decreased if your staked amount drops below the threshold for that card tier, but even so, higher card tiers will still give better benefits than lower card tiers.
- When getting crypto loans: Better rates.
- VIP access: You can get a bundle of exclusive benefits starting at 5,000 CRO staked, including priority customer service, OTC trading and access to the Crypto.com Invest automated trading system.
How to stake CRO: A step-by-step guide
- Buy CRO. You can do this through Crypto.com or at one of the many other exchanges that sells CRO.
- Deposit the CRO into your Crypto.com app account if it’s not already there.
- Tap the Card icon in the bottom right corner.
- Select the CRO Visa card of your choice.
- Tap the “Stake CRO” button and follow the on-screen instructions.
You can start exploring the Crypto.com ecosystem by going to the site and downloading the app, or read on to learn more about Crypto.com, how it works and some of the risks to be aware of when using it.
What fiat and cryptocurrencies are supported?
- Supported fiat currencies: USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR & 9+ more
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 145 cryptocurrencies
Which payment methods are accepted?
- Credit card
What’s it like to use Crypto.com?
Fees and services at Crypto.com
The information below is accurate as of 17 June 2020. All prices in US dollars.
You can buy crypto directly through the app with a debit or credit card, but it will typically be more cost-effective to make a fiat deposit and then use that to buy crypto within the app.
|Buying with a debit or credit card||3.5% + $0.10|
|Exchanging fiat for crypto within your account||Free|
|Deposits and withdrawals (SEPA and ACH)||Typically free|
|Deposits and withdrawals (SWIFT)||Varying bank transfer fees may apply|
|TransferWise/PayPal||The usual TransferWise and PayPal fees|
|Cryptocurrency transfers to other app users||Free|
|Cryptocurrency transfers to external wallet addresses||Network fees apply|
|30-day trading volume (USD)||Maker/taker fee|
|$0 to $50,000||0.20%/0.20%|
|$50,001 to $250,000||0.16%/0.18%|
|$250,001 to $1,000,000||0.12%/0.16%|
|$1,000,001 to $2,500,000||0.10%/0.14%|
|$2,500,001 to $10,000,000||0.08%/0.12%|
Discounts for staking CRO tokens
You can receive trading fee discounts by staking CRO tokens.
|Staked amount||Trading fee discount|
What is Crypto.com’s The Syndicate promotion?
Periodically, the Crypto.com exchange holds a special promotion called “The Syndicate” where it exchanges other cryptocurrencies for CRO at half their current market price. This is typically done when a new cryptocurrency is listed on the exchange.
To participate, exchange users “pledge” (lock up) a certain amount of CRO for a chance of receiving twice as much of another cryptocurrency as that CRO is worth, up to varying maximum amounts. Any unused CRO pledge is returned at the end.
Crypto.com loans incur fees in the form of interest rates, charged daily.
|Interest rates||12% p.a. with <50 CRO staked, 12% p.a. with >500 CRO staked, charged daily|
|Limits (USD)||$100 minimum, $1 million maximum loan amount|
|Maximum loan term||12 months|
How Crypto.com loans work
Crypto.com loans are given to you in your choice of PAX, TUSD, USDC or USDT stablecoins. These can typically be inexpensively converted to fiat currency.
Your collateral can be in the form of BTC, ETH, XRP, CRO, LTC, EOS or XLM. You give this to Crypto.com for safekeeping, and in return, it gives you the loan.
You can take out loans with up to 50% loan to value (LTV) ratio. This means you can borrow half as much as you put up in collateral. For example, if you have $10,000 of crypto as collateral, you can borrow up to $5,000.
As the markets move and daily interest is charged, the LTV ratio will change. If your LTV ratio reaches 70%, Crypto.com will issue a margin call, asking you to either make a repayment or deposit more collateral.
If your LTV ratio exceeds 85% or your loan has not been repaid after 12 months, Crypto.com will liquidate all your collateral.
You will automatically get your collateral deposited back to your Crypto.com wallet once your loan has been repaid.
- Crypto.com loans are not available to citizens and residents of Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Malta or the United States.
- You cannot have multiple loans at the same time, and you cannot vary the terms of a loan in any way. To change anything, you will have to pay off your current loan first.
- Loan repayments must be in the same currency as the loan was made. For example, if you take out a USDT loan, you will have to make repayments in USDT.
Crypto.com Earn and Invest
You can allot cryptocurrencies to the Earn section of the app to earn interest from them. To do this, select Earn from the main menu and decide which cryptocurrency you want to deposit.
The returns and limits vary depending on the cryptocurrency you’re depositing, whether you choose a fixed term or a flexible deposit and whether you are staking CRO.
The table below shows a partial selection of the cryptocurrencies you can deposit and the interest earned as of 17 June 2020, without and with staking CRO respectively.
|Coins deposited||Interest p.a. (flexible)||Interest p.a. (1-month term)||Interest p.a. (3-month term)|
|DAI, TUSD, TAUD, TCAD, TGBP, USDC, USDT||6% to 8%||8% to 10%||10 to 12%|
|BTC||1.5% to 2%||3% to 4.5%||4.5% to 6%|
|ETH, LTC||2% to 3%||3% to 4%||4% to 5%|
|XRP||1.5% to 2.5%||2.5% to 3.5%||3.5% to 4.5%|
|CRO||12% to 14%||14% to 16%||16% to 18%|
|Others (including LINK, BNB, ATOM, XTZ, VET, ADA)||1% to 2%||2% to 4%||4% to 6%|
While Crypto.com Earn pays fixed rates, Crypto.com Invest is another way of potentially growing your portfolio. 5,000 CRO staked is required to access it. With this, you can put funds into automated investment strategies, choosing between conservative, balanced and growth portfolios.
Eligibility and what else you should know about Crypto.com Earn
- Interest is paid daily, in the same type of cryptocurrency as you’ve deposited.
- The minimum deposits vary by cryptocurrency, but are roughly around US$200 equivalent in most cases.
- The maximum deposits vary by CRO staked, starting at US$500,000 and capping out at US$2 million.
- Depositing CRO into your Earn account does not count as CRO staking.
- You can have multiple deposits going at the same time as long as the total does not exceed the maximum limits.
- Crypto.com Earn is not available to citizens and residents of Hong Kong, Switzerland or Malta.
- PAX/TUSD/TAUD/TCAD/TGBP/USDC are not supported for Singapore users.
- USDT is not supported for US users.
- EOS, XLM and XTZ are not supported for the following US states: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
Crypto.com Visa card
The Crypto.com CRO Visa card is a metal prepaid card that can be periodically topped up, making it easier and more rewarding to spend cryptocurrency. When topping up, your crypto is converted to USD (at current exchange rates, with no fees) and loaded onto the card.
The card can be used anywhere a Visa prepaid card can be used. CRO rewards are earned on almost every type of transaction and even though the card is loaded with USD, you can get interbank exchange rates (meaning no extra cost) on all uses, up to the interbank exchange rate monthly limit for each card.
The card is free, but the type of card you receive and the perks you get depend on how much CRO you stake.
You can unstake your CRO after the six-month period, but your card rewards will be decreased. The table below shows some, but not all, of the benefits of each card tier while staking the required amount of CRO.
|CRO stake required||400,000||40,000||4,000||400||None|
|Card tier||Obsidian||Icy White & Frosted Rose Gold||Royal Indigo & Jade Green||Ruby Steel||Midnight Blue|
|CRO rewards on spending||8%||5%||3%||2%||1%|
|LoungeKey airport lounge access|
|No-fee monthly ATM withdrawal limit (2% thereafter, USD)||$1,000||$1,000||$800||$400||$200|
|Interbank exchange rate monthly limit (0.5% thereafter, USD)||Unlimited||$20,000||$10,000||$4,000||$2,000|
To get your CRO Visa card:
- Sign up for the Crypto.com app and complete verification.
- Deposit your CRO into your app wallet.
- Tap the card icon in the bottom right.
- Choose your card.
How fast will my funds be available?
Fiat deposits and withdrawals may take up to a week for certain transfer types, such as an international bank wire, but for all supported fiat currencies, there are considerably faster and cheaper methods available.
Cryptocurrency transfers to other Crypto.com app users are instant, while transfers to and from outside wallet addresses will typically take a few minutes, depending on the cryptocurrency.
Is Crypto.com safe to use?
- Regulation. Crypto.com takes steps to operate in compliance with regulations around the world, such as the anti-money laundering and KYC obligations common everywhere, as well as more specific concerns that may apply to certain products or in certain areas, like risk disclosures, disclaimers or restrictions on certain products. Fiat currency in your Crypto.com account is held by custodian bank accounts and US residents benefit from FDIC insurance for those funds. The cryptocurrency side of things is still largely unregulated though. Like other exchanges, you’re taking a leap of faith when depositing cryptocurrency on Crypto.com, and you may have no recourse if something happens to those funds.
- Verification process. Crypto.com is strict about verification for all users, and it is required as part of the signup process. Fortunately, it’s usually fast and easy as long as your phone has a camera and you have identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Security features. According to Crypto.com, all user cryptocurrency is held offline in cold storage where possible, through Crypto.com’s partnership with Ledger. These funds are covered with a US$100 million policy. Elsewhere, cryptocurrency deposits are protected with other insurance policies and multi-signature wallets and fiat currencies are held by bank custodians. The app has been audited by external security firms, two-factor authentication is required and external addresses need to be whitelisted from within the app before crypto can be sent there from your account.
Despite its prominence now, circumstance gave Crypto.com a mixed reputation in its early years, and from around 2017 to early 2019, many people accused it of being a scam. Since then it’s proven many of its detractors wrong.
Still, it’s good common sense to exercise caution whenever a platform offers such high returns without it necessarily being clear where all the money is coming from or how sustainable it is.
How do I create a Crypto.com account?
- Go to the Crypto.com website.
- Go to the app store links or scan the QR code on the home page.
- Download the app to your phone.
Once you’ve downloaded the app on your phone, start the app and follow the prompts to verify your identity.
What else do I need to know about Crypto.com?
Crypto.com began life in 2017 as a project called Monaco, under CEO Kris Marszalek who previously headed up online deals site Ensogo, which triggered fraud investigations and left some users out of pocket when it went bankrupt. Marszalek says he was only brought into Ensogo at the last minute in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to turn it around.
The Monaco ICO quickly raised US$25 million by selling the CRO coin under the promise of delivering Visa-branded cryptocurrency cards and creating a realistic crypto-based competitor to banks.
However, it missed several deadlines and disgruntled ICO speculators started accusing it of being a scam. Scam allegations grew louder when Monaco purchased the Crypto.com domain name in 2018, reportedly at the cost of US$12 million, when only a handful of cards had been delivered and only the bare bones of the app had been created. The creation of a new token at that time, CRO, caused further rifts.
Since then, however, it’s grown rapidly, solidly delivered on its original promises, grown to a user base of more than 2 million people and become one of the most comprehensive crypto platforms in the world.
Although Crypto.com appears to have proven its accusers wrong, it’s important to remember that cryptocurrencies are still volatile and largely unregulated.
In a nutshell
- Complete crypto platform
- High speed exchange with competitive fees
- Frequent promotions
- Lets you earn returns on deposits
- Crypto-powered rewards card
- Getting the most out of it requires CRO staking
- It has a convoluted two token system
- Lack of transparency in where its funding comes from