Interview with Crypto.com CEO, Kris Marszalek - MCO Cards, Roadmap & More
Crypto.com (MCO) is trying to make cryptocurrency purchases as easy as swiping a card.
This Fintech company, which is based in Hong Kong, is one of the first projects to fully roll out a cryptocurrency linked Visa card. This will allow holders to use their crypto for purchases just as easily as they do with their standard cards.
Previously called Monaco, the company completed a succesful ICO last year where they issued their MCO utility token. Earlier in the 2018, they made headlines again as they purchased the highly valuable crypto.com domain name.
The re-brand and the growth of the project intrigued us.
Interview with Kris Marszalek
Given that we had previously covered Monaco (MCO) and more recently the rebranded crypto.com, there were we number of questions that we had for the team.
We wanted to get a better sense of their roadmap, regulation, products and broader vision for the future of cryptocurrency. We were fortunate enough to have the crypto.com CEO, Kris Marszalek, answer our questions.
Here they are in full:
Let's start with most simple question... Why the name change? Was the community overall supportive of it?
Crypto.com gives us a powerful new identity in line with our original vision of cryptocurrency in every wallet. As the name is also representative of the entire space, it comes with a huge responsibility to carry the torch.
We’ll strive to deliver impact worthy of the name and build infrastructure that enables growth of the ecosystem, delivering on the promise of a decentralized future. Crypto.com is simple and clear, and we can now leverage on the powerful domain to accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.
You say that in October, 100k MCO cards were shipped in Asia. Given that we are now halfway through November, how many have been shipped?
We said that we had plans to ship over 100,000 MCO cards globally, and currently have cards shipping to customers in Singapore.
Let's talk about geographic expansion. You have recently announced a partnership with Metropolitan bank in USA, how long before we see USA residents can order their cards? How many orders could we expect to see?
We’ve recently announced that our MCO Visa Cards program has received the green light in USA, and we are now making preparations with our partner, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, to launch the cards. We want cards to roll out as soon as it can, and are getting ready to start processes such as shipping address verifications and such.
Are there any regulatory hurdles that you still have to overcome in order to launch this in the USA or have you properly ticked all of your boxes?
As a company with compliance as a core competence, we’ve certainly ticked all the boxes before launch, just the way we did with Singapore. We don’t need to secure any additional licenses before cards begin shipping to customers.
What about Europe? This appears to be on your timeline to occur before the USA. When could European MCO users eventually be able to order their cards.
European users can already reserve their cards on our Crypto.com Wallet & Card App. European launch remains a top priority for the team, but we can’t comment on exact launch dates.
You have recently added Ripple (XRP) as an option for the wallet users. What other tokens are in the pipeline?
Our focus will be on adding quality, compliant tokens. The Crypto.com team is constantly reviewing coin projects. We are also open to nominations for listings at crypto.com/en/listing.html
Keeping with Token listings, one of the features that you are about to add is that of users "voting" for the token that they would like to see. Can any token be voted on or do they first have to meet some minimum criteria?
We will likely list a number of highly liquid coins and then proceed to community voting for additional tokens. This is on our development roadmap and will be seen in 2019.
Crypto Invest looks like an interesting proposal indeed. You say that it will use Algorithmic trading strategies for the user's portfolio. Can you shed some more light on this? What strategies specifically could be considered? Can users adjust their own parameters for risk / return?
Crypto Invest utilizes a number of strategies, one of the basic ones is switching between stable coins or even hedging via short positions when the market signals downward momentum and switching back to long positions when the trend reverses.
We’re testing and adding new strategies, which should result in improved performance over time. Users who are interested in the product need to go through an onboarding process and pick their portfolio type (conservative, balanced or growth).
Sticking with Crypto invest, which countries will this be rolled out to? There are restrictions on those users who are based in Europe, the USA and Singapore. When will these jurisdictions also be able to benefit from this?
Our legal teams are continuously reviewing the regulation on jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis and when it’s possible, we will enable this feature for users. At this time, on advice of our counsel, these jurisdictions are excluded.
Let's talk about UDSM. It looks like your own alternative stablecoin that will keep the USD value of the users funds. Will these be fully backed by USD equivalent?
USDM gives our users ability to move to dollar-pegged safety when crypto markets move down. Our platform hedges these trades by buying a basket of stable coins that have solid reputation. Users can’t withdraw or send USDM, it’s only for trading purposes exclusively on Crypto.com platform.
While Crypto.com is providing a revolutionary service, there may be concerns around centralisation of services. Some users will even say that you look much like a normal bank or centralised exchange. What would you say to them?
Whenever it is technically possible to give the private keys back to our users, while maintaining the same speed, cost and security of our service, we will do so. It’s one of our ultimate goals.
You say that there could be some exciting airdrops for the MCO community. Can you give us a bit more info on this?
We’re going to start listing new digital assets soon and some of them will be rewarding MCO community with airdrops.
We’ve also announced recently a monthly airdrop of Crypto.com Chain token (CRO), which will be distributed to holders of MCO tokens within Crypto.com app, based on a snapshot of 1st day of the month.
The airdrop proved to resonate with the MCO community, with the 1st snapshot resulting in over 3M MCO tokens being moved to the Crypto.com App.
Is there anything that you guys are particularly excited about that is on your roadmap.
We have recently shipped cards in Singapore, next on the roadmap is US and EU, the team is also making progress on other key markets like Australia, Canada and Asia. More detailed info about launch dates will be provided when local card programs are ready to go live.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to cryptocurrencies in general? How is Crypto.com countering these risks?
In order for the cryptocurrency market to grow from current 50m users to 500m and more, we need to move from using crypto for speculation to actually using it as a means of payment. That’s what we’re 100% focused on.
Given that Crypto.com has already started shipping their cards, they reached an important milestone. Indeed, it looks as if 2019 could be quite an exciting year for the company as they roll out their cards in other jurisdictions.
While navigating the numerous regulatory hurdles will be challenging, Crypto.com appears to have the right legal strategy to tackle these issues and take crypto adoption to the masses.
If you wanted to keep updated with developments out of Crypto.com, they are very active on their official blog as well as on their twitter account. MCO can be bought on a number of exchanges such as Binance and Bittrex.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.