Crypto.com Review: Is the Crypto Earn Interest Account Legit, Safe, and Worth It?
Crypto.com is often viewed as a pioneer for its cryptocurrency interest account and overarching ecosystem.
Since its launch in 2016, Crypto.com has grown to offer a wide variety of services, such as:
- Crypto Earn: A cryptocurrency interest account product.
- Crypto Credit: An instant cryptocurrency loan product.
- MCO Visa Card: a Visa debit card that allows users to convert cryptocurrency to fiat and spend.
- Crypto.com App: an app designed to facilitate the buying, exchange, sending, and storage of cryptocurrency.
- Crypto.com Exchange: a native exchange that utilizes CRO to offer users liquidity and low fees on a wide variety of popular cryptocurrencies.
- NFTs: Sale and auction platform for NFTs.
Basically, everything but the kitchen sink.
This Crypto.com review will focus on the Crypto Earn feature, sometimes referred to as Crypto Invest, in line with our series on cryptocurrency interest accounts.
Crypto.com Crypto Interest Account Quick Summary
To get the most out of Crypto.com’s “Crypto Earn” product, you’ll find yourself having to jump through a few hoops, which we’ll get into below.
Here’s the skinny.
- One of the highest cryptocurrency interest rates.
- Access to a much wider array of “international” digital assets not available on U.S.-based platforms like BlockFi and Celsius.
- Visa debit card with cashback rewards.
- Low exchange fees
- Fiat on-ramp. Deposit USD, get crypto.
- Can be tricky to navigate. The UI/UX has seen marginal improvements since launch, and the sheer complexity of the Crypto.com ecosystem can be daunting for new users.
- Requirement of locking up CRO to get the highest rates.
- Requirement of locking up other digital assets to get the highest rates.
- Iffy customer support.
- The interest earned on Crypto.com is simple daily interest and will not be compounded.
Crypto.com’s homepage boasts interest rates up to 14%, but it conveniently doesn’t mention that these rates are only available for power users holding large amounts of its token CRO.
Let’s explore if Crypto.com is worth using for any tier of users.
Crypto.com originally launched under the brand Monaco Technologies in June 2016 but made the branding shift in July 2018 to the domain crypto.com. Its legal name is MCO Malta DAX Limited.
The company experienced significant momentum in its early days. It was accepted into Asia’s leading FinTech accelerator, SuperCharger, the HK-government-backed Cyberport Incubation Program, and would go on to raise $26.7M in a June 2017 token sale for its token MCO.
Crypto.com is currently headquartered in Hong Kong and lists Kris Marszalek as CEO, Rafael Melo as CFO, Gary Or as CTO, Bobby Bao as Head of Corporate Development. The Crypto.com team boasts cumulative decades of experience and consists of alumni from Binance, Alliance Payment Solutions, Western Union, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and PayPal.
Is Crypto.com Legit?
If this is your first exposure to Crypto.com’s Crypto Earn product, you may get a little confused by the onboarding process– we sure as heck were.
But that’s all right, we waddled around the dark and can help untangle the complications.
At an elementary level, Crypto Earn enables users to deposit supported coins (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) and stablecoins (like USDC and Tether) and earn around 1.5% to 6%, respectively. Given the fact that US-based competitors BlockFi and Celsius offer around 5x more on Bitcoin and nearly double on stablecoins, just dipping your toes into Crypto.com isn’t anything to write home about.
However, things change with Crypto.com’s native token, CRO. Users who buy, stake, and “lock up” their CRO benefit from dramatically increased rates. This can be confusing, but these basic definitions may help:
- Locking up: Users agree to have their cryptocurrency “locked” on the platform for a specified duration, which is either a 3-month duration and a 1-month duration on Crypto.com. Users receive higher rates of return during this period, but cannot withdraw their cryptocurrency.
- Staking: If users purchase Crypto.com’s native token CRO and “stake” it, they’ll receive an even higher percentage. This staking can be done automatically on the Crypto.com app, so in theory, all you’d have to do is purchase the CRO on the app and elect to stake it, which would increase the rates you earn on your other Crypto Earn deposits, as well as your CRO.
Crypto.com requires you to both stake and lock up your tokens, with lockup periods ranging from 1-month, 3-month, to even 6-month for the Visa cards.
Is Crypto.com Crypto Earn Worth Your Time? Crypto.com Interest Rates
Let’s explore the various Crypto.com interest rate tiers, keeping in mind this isn’t investment advice.
IMPORTANT: The CRO stake is based on the USD equivalent of CRO, not a quantity amount of CRO. For example, the highest tier requires you to stake $40,000 worth of CRO, not 40,000 CRO coins (about $3,200 at $0.09 per coin.) Whether or not this is intentionally deceptive, it can be very confusing.
💩$1,000 or less of CRO staked with no lock up (i.e. 0 CRO) gets 1.5% on BTC and 6% on stablecoins.
This is significantly under the industry average. Frankly, if you don’t plan on owning and locking up CRO, Crypto.com isn’t worth it.
✅$1,000 or less of CRO staked with a three-month lock-up gets 10% on stablecoins and 4.5% on BTC.
This is on par with the industry average.
If you’re ok with holding CRO, Crypto Earn may be worth it.
The real CRO holding perks start at 4,000 CRO– which is about $500 to $1000 depending on recent token prices.
✅ ⚠️ A minimum of $4,000 of CRO locked up for three months gets 6.5% on supported coins and 12% on stablecoins– interest rates that are a bit more competitive with BlockFi and Celsius.
This rate is better than both BlockFi and Celsius. Crypto.com also doesn’t have any quantity limits on the assets (yet), while BlockFi and Celsius reduce earnings after 2-3 BTC.
However, BlockFi or Celsius don’t require you to lock up your assets to earn comparable rates.
This may be a risk worth considering depending on the volume of tokens.
⚠️$40,000 or more of CRO locked up for 3-months bumps the rates up to 8.5% on supported coins like BTC and 14% on stablecoins.
Power users who hold significant amounts of CRO will have a drastically better perk experience than those who don’t, not considering the volatility of the token.
This rate beats BlockFi and Celsius, but locking up $40,000 in CRO is almost ludicrous– it may or may not be worth it considering the number of tokens you plan to earn interest on.
This CRO stake would also grant you access to the 3rd tier of Crypto.com Visa cards (3% in CRO rewards, 100% rebate on Spotify and Netflix paid in CRO.) The best Crypto.com card tier is the Obsidian, which requires $400,000 in CRO staked, which boosts CRO APY to 8%.
While your CRO is staked and locked up for 3 months, it also earns 6% on all tiers.
CRO Token Analysis
It’s tricky to create a crypto.com review that solely focuses on the Crypto Earn product because the feature is so intertwined with the Crypto.com ecosystem. It’s a cryptocurrency interest account, exchange, Visa card, and the CRO token strategically underpins the entire system.
CRO underpins everything.
CRO, like many other cryptocurrencies, is very volatile and risky.
The token will likely undergo rapid spikes and falls in price. We purchased 10,000 CRO for the sake of writing this Crypto.com review (August 2020) for about $0.15 and it fell about 60% in the following months– don’t say we ain’t never did nothin’ for you, dear readers! CRO’s price spiked to about $0.23 in the March 2021 bull run, and then fell back down to $0.10 in the May 2021 crash.
Cryptocurrency is a rollercoaster. If you’re interested in using cryptocurrency interest accounts for long-term wealth building, we’d advocate safety and the proper mitigation of risk above all.
This Crypto.com review specifically explores the Crypto Earn product, and as such, we view the CRO token as more of a liability than an asset to those seeking a (relatively) stable way to earn money on their cryptocurrency.
The lock-up periods add unnecessary risk. If you want to embody the “be your own bank” ethos of crypto, the thought of keeping your assets on the third-party platform, let alone locking them up, is unsettling.
While Crypto.com grants users higher interest rates when locking up their assets, its rates are only best-in-class at the highest CRO lockup tiers.
The value of CRO is incredibly volatile, and frankly, offers dubious value. Sure, it can be seen as an investment in the platform and company with plenty of ways to reap the rewards, but what does it actually do? Does it have any value outside of the Crypto.com ecosystem?
Crypto.com Fund Security
Crypto.com gets audited by Bureau Veritas and has obtained ISO/IEC 27001:3013, making it the first cryptocurrency company to earn that certification. Crypto.com has partnered with Ledger for cold storage.
It’s also worth noting that Crypto.com isn’t a U.S.-based company. Regulations in Hong Kong are different, and although Crypto.com takes precautions to protect your funds, holding your cryptocurrency with third parties in jurisdictions you aren’t familiar with poses a risk.
The Pros: Why Crypto.com is a Solid Crypto Interest Account Option
Crypto.com certainly belongs in the conversation for the top crypto interest account, and although we take issue with its CRO lock-up periods, it has a stark advantage.
Crypto.com differentiates itself in its ability to offer interest rates on coins like Binance Coin (BNB) and Polkadot (DOT). Better yet, users can buy BNB directly on the Crypto.com app– buying BNB can be a hassle if you’re in the U.S.
The rates at the highest tiers make Crypto.com a great option for power users, and holding large amounts of CRO offers some decent perks. Whether or not it’s worth holding CRO is entirely on you– this isn’t investment advice.
Crypto.com also doesn’t have limits (yet) on the quantity of a digital asset you can earn interest on without rates dropping.
If you’re looking to create a Crypto.com Crypto Earn Account, the following link will get you $25 USD in CRO locked in your CRO wallet, which can be unlocked by staking. The goal of this incentive is to get users to sign up for the Ruby Visa card, which requires holding and staking $400 of CRO.
Again, hoops galore, and another situation where Crypto.com’s Crypto Earn simply just doesn’t stack up against competitors.
BlockFi offers up to $250 (starting at $25) in USDC when you open a new BlockFi account with at least $500, with no token holding requirements.
Celsius offers $50 in BTC with your first transfer of $400.
The Cons: Why Crypto.com Falls to Its Competitors
Although Crypto.com’s best rates lead the cryptocurrency interest account space, users need to take on unnecessary steps to get involved and swallow much larger risks. Other platforms don’t.
Celsius recently offered users 11.55% on stablecoins with no lock-up when earning in-kind, or for international users, 17.26% when earning in CEL with no lock-up.
BlockFi offers 8.6% on stablecoins with no lock-up period.
Considering Crypto.com’s requirements to receive the best rates, the complex web of its ecosystem, and basically forcing its CRO token on everyone on the platform, it’s difficult not to rate the experience significantly worse than its competitors.
The Court of Social Opinion: Crypto.com Reviews on Reddit
While our experience with Crypto.com has been lukewarm, other users are vocal about vastly different experiences.
Discounting the fact that the most positive and negative reviews are generally due to people shilling the project (it is attached to a token, after all) or outlier negative experiences, there are a few common themes with Crypto.com reviews on Reddit.
The dedicated subreddit R/Crypto_com has nearly 70,000 members and a few dozen posts per day. It’s mostly stuff like people requesting coins being added or bragging about upgrading card tiers. Each post must be approved by a moderator to be posted, so it’s worth taking the fanfare with a grain of salt. There are Crypto.com moderators interacting with users and answering questions within minutes or hours of the initial post.
A Reddit thread by u/gdj11 does a fair job at capturing the general community sentiments of Crypto.com
Is crypto.com a scam? Probably not, the company has established itself as a legitimate provider of crypto interest account and other cryptocurrency-related services.
Final Thoughts: Is Crypto.com Worth It?
While Crypto.com appears to be something big in motion, the Crypto Earn experience leaves much to be desired, at least to those unwilling to hold large amounts of CRO.
The Crypto.com ecosystem does have some benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. The exchange is convenient and the Visa cards have some utility. The company has been around since 2016, and longevity in this nascent industry is increasingly a rarity.
The Crypto Earn feature may be worth it to power users, especially for the juiced-up APYs. However, holding $5,000 to $10,000 of CRO just to get an additional 2% to 4% APY may seem boneheaded in retrospect if the token price plummets, as it has in the past. To be fair, you likely won’t be complaining if the token price doubles, as it previously has as well.
Crypto.com can also be good for differentiating your cryptocurrency interest account platforms.
Regardless, you can snag $25 USD in CRO by signing up for Crypto.com.
If you’re just dipping your toes into cryptocurrency interest accounts, in our humble opinion, Crypto.com’s Crypto Earn is a pass– you’d be better off with BlockFi or Celsius.
Their rates blow Crypto.com’s introductory rates out of the water and compete with it at its highest tiers, without the complications and risk.
Did you enjoy this Crypto.com review?
If so, that means a lot– you may also like other reviews in our cryptocurrency interest account series.
If not, or if your experience with Crypto.com has been drastically different than ours, please let us know how we can improve at [email protected]
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Moskov is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex leans on his formal educational background (BSBA with a Major in Finance from the University of Florida) and his on-the-ground experiences with cryptocurrency starting in 2012. Alex works with cryptocurrency and blockchain-based companies on content strategy and business development. He privately consults entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on movements within the cryptocurrency industry.
His writing has been seen in The Hustle, VentureBeat, Yahoo Finance, Harvard Business Review, and Business Insider. His articles on CoinCentral have been cited on publications like Forbes, TechCrunch, Vice, The Guardian, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and more.
He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
You can connect with Alex on Twitter.