Monaco, a blockchain startup in Hong Kong made news after it purchased crypto.com for several million dollars. Since then, the company announced its new cryptocurrency-backed Visa card at the TechCrunch conference in Zurich, Switzerland.
Kris Marszalek, CEO of the company discussed how the new MCO Visa card gives people the option to spend their digital assets at over 40 million locations. In his interview with CNN, Marszalek stated that spending cryptocurrencies with a digital currency-enabled debit card is “the simple solution that could get people to leave banks.”
With the explosive growth of cryptocurrency investing since Bitcoin’s peak in December 2017, most people by now are familiar with it as an investment vehicle. However, most people find it challenging to spend their digital assets without first converting them to fiat. Crypto.com solves this problem.
With the MCO Visa card, people can now use their crypto for everyday situations. Rather than paying high interest rates on a credit card, users now have liquidity for funds that would otherwise sit in a digital wallet without a guarantee for growth. As more companies start to release Visa cards and Mastercards that are backed by crypto, the utility of this financial instrument may bring in more investors who might otherwise put their money into stocks, bonds and other instruments that lack the same utility and liquidity. In this way, the card may provide a bridge for people who are on the fence about getting involved.
In addition to the MCO card, the company is releasing a cryptocurrency-backed concierge service called MCO Private. This service will be available for high-net-worth clients who meet the program’s requirements. Perks include cryptocurrency-specific benefits such as exclusive access to blockchain events, and one-on-one customer service.
The company offers a few versions of the card, each backed by MCO tokens. In addition to the standard card, users who deposit 5,000 MCO will receive an ice-white card, while those who deposit 50,000 MCO will receive an obsidian black card. Rewards will be available at all levels, including cash back, referral bonuses and airport lounge access.
With its acquisition of crypto.com, MCO plans to become an authority in the space. According to Masrszeleck, “We will strive to deliver impact worthy of the name and build infrastructure that enables growth of the ecosystem, delivering on the promise of a decentralised future.”
Currently, the MCO Visa card is being tested in Asia, Europe and the US. It will officially launch within a few months. As competitors exist, the determining factors for the success of this card may be its rewards and other perks. BitPay is one such competitor. The company claims that its card is “one of the fastest, easiest ways to turn your bitcoin into dollars.” Users order the BitPay card and pay an activation fee. Once a user’s identity is verified, a card is shipped. The user then receives the card and activates it online. At that point, funds may be loaded onto the card using a bitcoin wallet, or through a direct deposit from an employer. At that point, the crypto becomes liquid, and people may spend its equivalent in fiat dollars wherever Visa cards are accepted.