15 min read (MCO) Review: The Crypto Powered Visa Card

By Steve Walters

The domain was registered all the way back in 1993 by Matt Blaze, a well known cryptographer.

As you might imagine, he has been fielding quite a few offers for that domain since cryptocurrencies took off, but had repeatedly said the domain wasn’t for sale.

That is until Monaco approached him and he decided to sell them the domain!

They took this purchase and used it to rebrand themselves to, with a new stated goal of accelerating “the world’s transition to cryptocurrency”.

Along with the rebrand the cryptocurrency products have been put under the MCO umbrella to align with the name of the cryptocurrency. So far that includes the MCO token, the MCO wallet app, the MCO Visa Card, the MCO Crypto Invest service, Crypto Earn and most recently an exchange powered by the coin (CRO).

This article will go over the features now available from and highlight some of the upcoming features that are yet to be released. For extensive details you can read the MCO Whitepaper 2.0 MCO Platform Overview is building the services on the MCO platform to solve the accessibility and usability challenges faced by the broader blockchain industry. One of the most anticipated of these products is the MCO Visa Card.

The MCO Visa Card is the return of’s plan to link a Visa card with cryptocurrency accounts, allowing users to easily spend their cryptocurrency on everyday purchases, wherever Visa is accepted.

Monaco Card and Application
The MCO visa cards and mobile app. Source:

In addition to the MCO Visa card, the rebrand has become the home for a number of MCO products and services. Already included is the MCO wallet app and the MCO token. And the most recent addition is Crypto Invest, which will allow for easy crypto investments.

Planned products include Crypto Credit, which will give users a credit line based on MCO tokens held as collateral, and MCO Private which will offer specialized products and services for high net-worth individuals.

The MCO Visa Card

The portfolio of MCO Visa Cards offered by range from the top of the line Obsidian Black, which requires a 50,000 MCO stake, to the baseline Midnight Blue, which has no staking requirement. Each level comes with additional perks, which can be seen in detail here.

By pairing the MCO Visa Card with the MCO wallet users can spend their cryptocurrency seamlessly at the over 40 million retailers globally who accept Visa.

And the list of benefits for card holders rivals that of any of the best Visa rewards cards. Users can enjoy use of a Visa card with no annual fees, get free shipping, receive up to 5% cashback on purchases, and select cards get unlimited airport lounge access. Also included are memberships for Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, as well as a 10% discount on Expedia and AirBnB purchases.

Users also have the ability to spend overseas and receive interbank exchange rates. And with the Platinum Referral Reward Program it’s possible for users to receive up to $10,000 sign-on bonus!

Since the MCO Visa card was one of the cornerstone’s of since its inception, the MCO Visa card program is already well known. Over two years in the making, has had time to refine and perfect its offering, giving its users the best possible Visa debit card. And soon they will offer a low-rate credit service on the card as well.

Cards have been shipping to customers in Singapore since the fourth quarter of 2018. In July 2019 the first cards also began shipping to customers in the U.S., and most recently as of March 2020 cards are beginning to ship to customers in the United Kingdom, with the rest of Europe expected to soon begin receiving cards as well.

With the initial tier card coming free of charge anyone living in areas where the card is already shipping can get started with an MCO Visa card. Benefits are improved with each higher tier, but since the MCO token is now valued over $5 (as of April 2020) it can be a bit pricey to get to the Rose Gold and Icy White tiers (5,000 MCO), not to mention the top Obsidian Black tier (50,000 MCO).

This means the Obsidian Black requires over $250k in MCO tokens, the next level Icy White/Rose Gold MCO Visa Card requires $25,000, while a Ruby Steel card with 2% cashback requires a stake of just 50 MCO, valued at $250. In between these tiers are the Jade Green and Royal Indigo cards, which require 500 MCO staked and come with 3% cashback as well as some other benefits like Spotify and Netflix subscriptions.

MCO Private

The MCO Private feature was highly anticipated and was finally launched in March 2020, It is a service that is tailored to the needs of the MCO Visa Obsidian Black and Icy White/Rose Gold cardholders. The specialized services and accesses are meant to meet the needs of high net-worth cryptocurrency holders. Members
Benefits for Private Members

There is an MCO concierge service available to MCO Private clients, as well as invitations and access to exclusive blockchain industry events. Customers will also receive advice on digital asset custody services, competitive investment opportunities, assistance with over-the-counter transactions, and dedicated customer support.

In addition to those benefits all members in the MCO Private receive an added 2% bonus interest for coins held in the Crypto Earn program. Holders of these cards also receive free Amazon Prime memberships, and enhanced credit limits (up to $2 million for Obsidian Black card holders). Obsidian Black card holders can also take advantage of the Private Jet Service. All MCO Private members will receive a special welcome pack of branded merchandise.

MCO Wallet App

The MCO wallet has been well received, with a 3.8 rating on the Apple App Store and a 4.3 rating on the Google Play store. One of the great features is the ability to buy tokens right from the wallet, using a linked credit or debit card and even via bank transfer. The wallet now offers purchases of over 50 different cryptocurrencies at true cost, with no added fees, commissions, spreads, or mark-ups. Apple Store
Screenshots of the Mobile App. Image Source: Apple Store

It also has support for seven fiat currencies, including USD, JPY and EUR. You can even exchange between fiat currencies at real-time interbank rates, saving you up to 8% versus rates at high street banks. And wallet users can access the Crypto Earn program to earn interest of up to 8% per annum on a number of cryptocurrencies, and up to 12% per annum on a number of stablecoins.

If you’re looking to avoid transfer fees the MCO wallet can do that too. Send crypto and fiat directly to other wallet users instantly with no fees.

The MCO wallet also rewards you for sharing with your friends. You can get 10-25% referral commission on every purchase made by someone who downloads the wallet from you unique referral code. And you can get sign-up bonuses as large as $10,000.

Finally, traders and investors will be thrilled with the ability to track more than 200 different cryptocurrencies. Charts are available versus the USD or versus BTC and give data for price, volume, percent change and much more. This feature meshes well with the newly launched Crypto Invest service.

MCO Crypto Invest

Early in October launched a new service for MCO Private customers called Crypto Invest. It’s a cryptocurrency portfolio and trading tool that simplifies investing and trading in cryptocurrencies. Users can create their own customized portfolios and trade automatically based on market signals.

Crypto Invest App
User interface of the Crypto Invest function in Mobile App

Unlike other products, Crypto Invest isn’t only a basket of cryptocurrencies. Instead it is a set of trading strategies that will perform in any market. And it’s great for those just beginning their crypto investment portfolio, since users are spared the need to do detailed research into the huge universe of available cryptocurrencies. Instead they can make one investment into the Crypto Invest product and allow to handle the details.

According to Kris Marszalek, the co-founder and CEO of

We’ve worked on Crypto Invest for over a year, including three months in a closed beta. During that time, a plethora of crypto investment products launched in the marketplace, all of them designed as currency baskets or crypto indexes. These efforts are destined to fail in a bear market.

How does Crypto Invest Work?

It’s pretty well known that the prices of all of the altcoins in the market are highly correlated to Bitcoin, and this has made diversification strategies difficult to conceive and ineffective in practice. Something more is needed to reduce market risk in cryptocurrencies.

Crypto Invest tries to fix this by using advanced quant trading strategies that have been designed to perform well in any market. And there is no fee for using Crypto Invest unless profits are made. That means no entry fee, exit fee, rebalancing or fee for assets under management. takes just 9% of profits for those with MCO tokens staked, or 18% of profits otherwise.

Crypto Invest comes with the following features and functionality:

Crypto Invest Portfolios

These are basic portfolios that give users access to as many as 30 different cryptocurrencies. The portfolios are tailored to risk appetite as follows:

  • Growth: higher growth, higher risk
  • Balanced: moderate growth, moderate risk
  • Conservative: reduced growth, minimal risk

Crypto Invest Trading Strategies

The trading strategies included with Crypto Invest are not short term day trading or scalping strategies. Instead they were developed as mid-to-long term strategies for use on a scale of days to weeks. Currently there are three strategies in use to manage portfolios:

  • Automated Trading: Hands off set of strategies that capture market movements based on market sentiment.
  • Market Following: An equal representation of the top assets in the market.
  • Stable: Stablecoin positions used to decrease risk and provide risk management.

Additional Crypto Invest Features

  • Easy to Start: Low minimum USD$20 investment
  • Easy to Leave: No exit fees or penalties
  • Fair Fees: No fees are collected unless you make a profit. What could be more fair?
  • MCO Utility: Customers that stake MCO tokens can receive a 50% discount on all fees chared by Crypto Invest.

Note: Due to regulatory requirements, Crypto Invest is not currently available in the United States of America, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Exchange

After accumulating well over 1 million users in its four years of existence it isn’t surprising that took another step forward by launching an exchange. The exchange went live in November 2019 and is another way that will realize their vision of putting “cryptocurrency in every wallet.”

And with the huge user base at launch the exchange can already provide excellent liquidity, as well as world-class security. Finally, users get an easy to use interface and fees that can be as low as $0 when enough CRO tokens are staked. UI Exchange User Interface already provides its users with a host of useful features, such as the Crypto debit card and the Crypto Invest and Crypto Earn platforms. Plus they are a trusted brand, which will help in gaining and retaining new customers.

The exchange comes with basic fees of just 0.008% for makers and 0.02% for takers, and these fees can be reduced by staking CRO tokens. The platform offers users deep global liquidity through the proprietary Vortex Liquidity Engine.

Finally, users can feel secure thanks to the institutional grade security and custody systems implemented at the exchange. This includes ISO Certification 27001:2013, level 1 PCI DSS and CCSS (Level 3) Ledger Vault enforcement and collaboration

The exchange already has 35 market pairs listed, and plans on continuing to add more in the coming months. One benefit to users who stake enough CRO at the exchange is access to The Syndicate, where new coins are debuted and sold at a discount to users with access.

The Syndicate

The Syndicate is where users who stake their CRO at the exchange are able to purchase other cryptocurrencies at a discount. A minimum of 10,000 CRO must be staked in order to participate in The Syndicate, which has been operating since January 2020. There have been sales in which Syndicate members could purchase BTC and ETH at a 25% discount, and others for LINK, BCH, and XTZ where the price was discounted by 50%. Syndicate
Example of the Recent Vechain syndicate at

Once coins have gone through a Syndicate event they are then listed on the exchange for trading. They may also be involved in trading battles in the Trading Arena, with various bonuses for traders who rack up the largest trading volumes. There are also lucky draw events, and those holding CRO can increase their chances of winning. Staking CRO in The Syndicate also provides returns of up to 20% per annum. Soft Staking is also making their exchange more attractive to traders by introducing “Soft Staking”, which provides rewards of up to 5% per annum on 14 different cryptocurrencies (BTC, BCH, ETH, USDT, USDC, XRP, LINK, LTC, EOS, XLM, ATOM, XTZ, MCO, and CRO) when held at the exchange. Staking
Soft Staking Benefits & Rates of Return. Source:

There is no lockup period and users are rewarded on a daily basis, without any extra steps on their own part. If these 11 coins are held in a wallet the users gets the staking reward. This even includes coins that might be part of a pending o

MCO Credit Services

Another feature that is in the works is the MCO Credit Services. This will be a revolutionary product that allows you to get the credit you need and deserve by staking MCO tokens. So, if you stake $10,000 worth of MCO tokens you can get a credit line of $6,000.

Benefit of Credit Services
Benefits of’s Credit Services

But unlike traditional credit cards there are no statements and no minimum payments. You pay the credit advances off as you like. If you can’t, or don’t wish to pay your MCO tokens can be used to pay off the debt.

MCO Token

The utility token that is powering the ecosystem is the ERC20 MCO token. This was issued in an ICO crowd-sale that the team held back in June of 2017. They raised $26 million in exchange for the first issue of the MCO tokens.

MCO will be used in the ecosystem in order to earn rewards on purchases and staking, and to pay for referrals. MCO has followed the rest of the market and peaked back in August of 2017. Since then they have followed the rest of the market as 2018 entered bear territory and by December 2018 the token hit a low of $1.66

Since that time the token has rebounded, reaching above $5 in 2019, retreating somewhat, but then trading back around the $5 level in 2020. MCO can be purchased and traded on a number of global exchanges currently including Binance, Bit-Z and the Bittrex Exchange.

CRO Token

The CRO token was created in 2018 as the native currency of the chain. That chain was created as a highly scalable blockchain capable of extremely fast payment processing.

The CRO token is an intermediary token that is meant to allow users to make cryptocurrency payments to as many global merchants as possible. The developers expect to accomplish this by using CRO to allow for the conversion of cryptocurrencies to fiat at reduced cost.

The token made headlines in March 2019 when its priced spiked higher by 360% in just over a week. It continued to exhibit volatility throughout the second and third quarter of 2019 before finally declining back below the $0.03 level.

CRO Price Performance CMC
CRO Price Performance. Image via CMC

The beginning of 2020 saw the coin rally again, rising nearly 100% from the start of the year to mid-February. That was followed by sharp losses in response to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, but by April 2020 the token was up roughly 65% off its March lows as it traded above $0.055.

One benefit to holding CRO tokens is the ability to stake them and earn rewards. Those who are able and willing to stake 500,000 CRO for a six month period can earn up to 18% per annum by running a Council Node on the chain. Those who can’t afford such a large stake can still earn up to 5% per annum through the new soft staking introduced on the Exchange in March 2020.


It seems as if the re-brand means a lot more than just a name change for Monaco. The company is actively delivering their MCO Visa Cards and has introduced a number of other initiatives such as the Crypto Invest and Crypto Earn products.

The upcoming MCO credit services sound very interesting as well, as does MCO Prime services for high net-worth cryptocurrency users.

With nearly four years in business, is making a huge splash in the cryptocurrency world. With cards now being delivered in Singapore, the U.S. and the U.K.. and soon landing in Europe as well, the brand could be poised to explode in 2020.

Featured Image via Fotolia

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.
Steve has been writing for the financial markets for the past 7 years and during that time has developed a growing passion for cryptocurrencies. View all posts by Steve Walters ->

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