The War On Shitcoins Episode 14: Crypto.com aka Monaco (MCO) & Crypto.com Chain (CRO). The war on shitcoins is a Crypto.IQ series that targets and shoots down cryptocurrencies that are not worth investing in either due to their being scams, having serious design flaws, being centralized, or in general just being worthless copies of other cryptocurrencies. There are thousands of shitcoins that are ruining the markets, and Crypto.IQ intends to expose all of them. The crypto space needs an exorcism, and we are happy to provide it.
Monaco (MCO) launched during the height of the ICO boom in May 2017 and raised 71,392 Ethereum (ETH) worth $26 million at the time. Monaco (MCO) promised to deliver cryptocurrency debit cards, which is essentially a debit card connected to a cryptocurrency wallet. The Founder of Monaco, Kris Marszalek, claimed that there were members on the Monaco (MCO) advisory board from Visa and Amazon Web Services.
If Monaco (MCO) delivered on its promises, it would have been a major step for global cryptocurrency adoption. Typically, cryptocurrency users have to exchange their cryptocurrency for fiat on an exchange and then wait several days for the fiat to be deposited into their bank account. Another option is using a Bitcoin (BTC) ATM which instantly converts cryptocurrency to cash, but there are high fees. Users would have to go to the bank and deposit the cash before using it on a debit card. A cryptocurrency debit card would have streamlined this process, saving users time and money. It would have also made cryptocurrency easy to use at any store. Monaco (MCO) even offered 1-5% cashback, meaning users would profit from converting their cryptocurrency into fiat versus the typical case of losing money from exchange fees.
However, the Monaco (MCO) cryptocurrency debit cards turned out to be too good to be true. Apparently the Monaco (MCO) Visa card is only available in Singapore beginning November 2017. Despite this, Monaco (MCO) has been offering the Visa card to United States residents, with the enticing details that the card gives users free Netflix and Spotify, as well as discounts on AirBNB and Expedia. Further, referral codes were given out, which give users $100 of free money if and when they receive the card.
Users who sign up to receive the Monaco (MCO) Visa card in the United States must submit their full identity and address information, including pictures of their passport or driver’s license, only to be told at the end of the process that the card is not yet available, that it will be shipped when available. The fact that Monaco (MCO) is doing everything it can to entice users to sign up in order to get their full identification information without delivering any product looks a like a shady business practice and leaves users at risk of identity theft.
Despite no time table for when the cards will become available, Monaco (MCO) continues to accept deposits of 50 MCO ($3.50) to 50,000 MCO ($3,500) to reserve premium cards that offer increasing cash back and benefits as more money is deposited.
With the Visa card project failing, Monaco (MCO) decided to buy the Crypto.com domain name for $12 million, the most expensive cryptocurrency-related domain name purchase in history. Monaco then changed the name of its cryptocurrency to Crypto.com under the same symbol MCO in July 2018, while assuring users the move would not delay the rollout of the Visa cards.
By November 2018, the team at Crypto.com launched a new cryptocurrency called Crypto.com Chain (CRO), which apparently is a blockchain that facilitates payments between users and merchants and accepts any cryptocurrency. This creates the confusing situation where there are two different cryptocurrencies with almost the same name, Crypto.com (MCO) and Crypto.com Chain (CRO).
However, the blockchain system for Crypto.com Chain (CRO) is scheduled to launch in phase 3, and phase 1 and phase 2 involve getting merchants to accept crypto payments and onboarding customers and different crypto apps. It is unknown what phase the project is in, and it is unknown if any blockchain has actually been developed since it is not live at this time. At this point, Crypto.com Chain (CRO) is a simple ERC-20 token. Further, Crypto.com says in the whitepaper that it will manage all funds and transactions, so users of this network must trust Crypto.com, which is perhaps not the best idea following the failure of the Monaco (MCO) Visa card.
In order to incentivize users to join the Crypto.com Chain (CRO) and to continue holding Crypto.com aka Monaco (MCO), an airdrop is being done where holders of Crypto.com (MCO) receive Crypto.com Chain (CRO). The major caveat is users must hold Crypto.com (MCO) from December 2018 through December 2019 in order to receive the airdrop, and the airdrop is quite slow with 60 payments over the course of 5 years. Since the Crypto.com aka Monaco (MCO) team holds about 50% of the total coin supply, the team clearly benefits from offering this incentive for users to buy and hold the coins.
Despite Crypto.com (MCO) failing to deliver the Visa cards and Crypto.com Chain (CRO) not launching the promised blockchain system yet, these cryptocurrencies have market caps of $68 million and $372 million respectively. This shows how the market cap of a cryptocurrency is not a good measure of a cryptocurrency’s reputation, utility, or value. In the case of Crypto.com Chain (CRO), 95 billion out of a total supply of 100 billion coins are held by the team, making it easy for the team to dump for profits at the expense of investors and traders.
In December 2018, the 459-page Bitcointalk thread for Crypto.com aka Monaco (MCO) — full of customer and investor complaints — was locked. A new, self-moderated thread was simultaneously launched, and in the past 5 months, there have only been three pages of discussion. Presumably, any negative posts are being deleted.
We’ve since learned that the Founder of Monaco, Kris Marszalek, was the CEO of Ensogo when it collapsed in June 2016. The shutdown of Ensogo was so abrupt that employees went to work and found their offices shuttered. Merchants were not paid for products they sold through Ensongo. Customers did not receive products. Investors who held Ensongo stock lost their entire investment, and Ensongo coupons instantly became worthless. Marszalek resigned from Enzongo the same day, and less than a year later, he founded Monaco (MCO).
To sum up this long tale, Monaco (MCO) raised tens of millions of dollars to launch a cryptocurrency Visa card that never materialized. Vast amounts of user identification information were collected in the process — is still being collected to this day despite no time table for the launch of the Visa cards. The company rebranded itself by buying the $12 million Crypto.com website and renamed Monaco (MCO) to Crypto.com, likely due to numerous users calling Monaco (MCO) a scam.
Despite not finishing the cryptocurrency Visa card project, the company launched a different cryptocurrency called Crypto.com Chain (CRO), promising to bring about global cryptocurrency adoption, but has not actually launched the promised blockchain technology behind it. The nail in the coffin is the founder of these projects, Kris Marszalek, was at the helm of Ensogo when the company collapsed and defrauded numerous users, investors, and merchants. Then Marszalek launched Monaco (MCO) less than a year later.