I was thinking about how to do this final AMA and, you know, for me personally, December is always a time of reflection. Looking back at what happened over the course of the year and what went okay, and what went not so okay and thinking about ideas on how to fix stuff next year.
Looking back and wow what a year it was. Thank you so much for joining us on this incredible journey as we basically 5X our user base and 3X staked tokens on the platform. As a company, we also grew substantially, we've moved from around 100 people to over 200 people now so it was such an incredible year. And I looked at the product and what happened with the product over the last 12 months.
So if you just roll back to January, the maximum card cash back on Crypto.com Visa card was like 2%, there were no additional perks and we just launched in Singapore. But in February, we announced a whole new pack, you’ve got up to 5% cashback, lounges, Spotify, all these stuff. We shipped the cards in the US to great success. And you know if you think about it, we didn't have Earn as a product on the App, it only launched in May. We didn't have Credit and we didn't have fiat in and out options. So there's just so many things that got built and just recently we launched an Exchange. So slowly but surely the ecosystem is being built, and we wouldn't be able to do it without you. So thank you for staying with us through this incredible 2019, what a year.
And if 2019 was good, 2020 shapes up to be the best year ever for Crypto.com. We are now positioned to capture this opportunity and I think we've never been in a better position to do so.
I'm just thinking, what's the best way to approach this AMA. There's almost 50 questions that the community asked I have here on the paper. So, I would like to dedicate majority of time to this. And as we go, answering the questions, it will touch upon different aspects of the company and how are we planning to attack, 2020. Alright, so why don't we just go jump into it first.
Crypto.com Visa Card
EU Release Status
We are still on track to release the Cards in EU in Q1. As of today, it's the end of January, but you know things can move. Few weeks here and there, but it's fully on track.
We've got an issuer assigned, and it's in progress.
Switzerland status: Is Switzerland a part of EU for greenlight?
Yes it is. So if you're a user in Switzerland, you will get your card in Q1.
The Middle East and Africa status: Will the Middle East and Africa get the cards.
So how do you usually go about building a global issuing is you start with a few markets first and you do individual deals with efficient banks like we did with Singapore, US, EU and a few other places. And then once you get to a certain scale with a number of cards issued you can secure a global deal with Visa, which then will allow us to more easily go into markets like Middle East and Africa. At that time we don't need an issuer to help us issue the cards, we simply need a settlement bank. But you know, we need to build it up in steps just like guys like Revolut and N26 did.
Australian Issued Card Status: Will we ever get a card issued by a local bank?
Of course, we actually have an issuing partner for Australia, and we're working on issuing it locally. That's actually going to happen at some point in 2020, we don't have a date yet but a lot of work has been done on the Australian front.
US Debit Card top-up
Not only US but also EU. We actually see the usage of this feature on the Singapore program is extremely high. So we're working on enabling this for US card holders, and make it a standard for EU cardholders too.
DAI & USDC Card Top Up
So I've seen Coinbase allow DAI top up recently. We are looking into it and we will enable it. I mean we want to make the product as convenient as possible. But understand that, you know, there's a few layers of approvals before we enable it including the issuing banks, Visa and our internal compliance as well.
Reduce Credit Card Fee: 3.5% surcharge for crypto purchases with credit card is pretty expensive. Do you consider fee-free purchases by credit card?
Actually it’s one of the reasons why we are launching Crypto.com Chain, don't tell anybody. We obviously are working to reduce those fees. You know, at the moment we were enabling credit card purchases, the standard was like 3.9% as of Coinbase, so we reduced it already. And as we get closer to…. How do I say this without revealing too much? As we remove certain middlemen from the food chain, we will be able to offer even more aggressive pricing on the credit card purchase. In the meantime, I encourage you to simply use bank transfer to purchase crypto. It's just cheaper and it’s free of charge, both ways.
US & EU Demand: How is card demand comparison between the US and EU? Stronger /weaker?
Actually if you look at the size of the entire European user base and the US user base, it’s quite similar. But I believe that our cards are going to be more popular in the EU, simply because there is an interchange cap for the schemes in the EU, which makes our card cashback much more attractive for European users. So we'll be able to scale the user base faster in Europe.
Increase benefit for 5K & 50K cards: Do you have any plans to make the 5000 and 50,000 lock up cards more appealing?
We are actually discussing this with filters. The sweet spot is we nailed it with the 500 Crypto.com card and we think we can do that on the 5K and 50K card so we're looking at it. If you guys have any great ideas of what would you like to see please show it over to Sean and Bonnie and we will share it internally with the product team.
Perk shop for Crypto.com Visa Card Holders: E.g. Amazon Prime subscription perk
I think once we get to, you know, certain scale, this is the way to do it. But I think for now we're just focusing on keeping it simple and attractive, so we may tweak the perks and make it more attractive but picking it individually is a little bit too complex for where we are today.
Alright, that covers the Crypto.com Visa Card questions. Now the Crypto.com exchange.
App/Mobile Website: When can we expect to see an App / mobile website for the exchange?
So, this is actually a bigger question, the way we launched the Exchange is a complete MVP. So desktop API, we focused on security, and we focused on getting into the market as fast as we can so you guys can start getting value out of it. But obviously there's a ton of things that we need to add and and rebuild before we can hundred percent confidently exit the beta stage. So we'll have a fully backed Q1 of releases and improvements of an infrastructure level, things like you know faster API's and whatnot. And, as well as a feature like new order types and such. And the way we view this is that, obviously you need to have an awesome mobile sites, we don't have to do it on the desktop, which is completely missing today, and we're going to work on it in Q1. And also you need to integrate the Exchange into the App.
So there is a bigger App redesign coming, that will allow you to have everything in a single place. That's a big task, we started with some initial work on this a few months ago and we think we can complete this in Q1. I believe the launch of the MVP allows us to move faster because we could try to make the Exchange perfect and continue building and building and building, but nobody will give us better feedback than you guys, right? So even in the closed beta we've got so many extremely valuable feedback and we quickly implemented it and now everybody can use it. We will continue with this rapid iteration approach. So you know it looks okay today, three months later, it's going to look awesome, six months later is going to be one of the top notch Exchanges in the market and a year from now will be a top competitor in space. So, it's a journey, basically.
Stop Limit Function: Do you have plans to add a stop-limit function to the exchange? If so, what is the timeline for this?
Of course I mean, it's a must. So just give us a little bit of time.
So this covers page one and page two.
U.S Citizens Availability: Any comments on Exchange availability to US residents?
We will make it available in Q1. As always, we do things compliantly so not all the States will have it available on day one, but eventually we're going to cover the entirety of the US. There's going to be a large number of States that will enable in Q1.
Voting for listings: Are listing airdrops and votings for new listings, as use case, still coming or is this now moved to the new exchange and for CRO stakers only?
So when we look at the listings on the Exchange, first of all, the Syndicate is a user acquisition machine of the Exchange. So you could see we just announced 50% off for EOS, half a million dollars worth of tokens. Throughout the next year, you will see those kind of events happening non stop. And if we look at what to list, of course we want to list all the major coins first. And over time, as we come across projects that are new, but extremely promising will bring it to you as well, through the Syndicate.
Actually I don't think there's too much space for this - voting for listing right now. I mean if if we have an issue like we have too many projects to pick, then yes, of course. But the reality is that if you look at what's out there. The number of projects that have strong teams, great momentum, good reputation, solid liquidity and great prospects, it's actually not that big. So I don't want to say that there is nothing to vote for. But we don't have this problem because we're very, very picky in terms of what we want to bring to our users.
CRO use case on the Exchange: Apart from The Syndicate, and uses to stake/reduce exchange fees, are there any additional planned use cases for CRO on the Exchange?
So, right now we've got the membership type of levels for different levels of CRO staked, which gives you a massive reduction in trading fees. If you stake CRO it’s by far the most competitive fee structure in the market. And secondly, you get access to the Syndicate, which is a continuous list of token sale events throughout the year at 50% off. So those are great benefits for CRO token holders to begin with. And, of course, we will continue looking at other ways to add utilities to the token. We don't have anything specific to share today, but again if you guys have any ideas, share with us and we will try to implement it.
And of course we looked at a lot of the stuff that people implement. Like for example, token burns and those types of things but we're very conservative from compliance point of view so anything that has even the slightest whiff of putting our coins in the category of security we just avoided it like the plague.
Coins listed on Syndicate: Syndicate will be used only for established crypto projects already listed on other exchanges?
In fact, no. We will use the Syndicate for established coins first. But if we come across a project that is not listed anywhere yet, and meets our quality criteria. We will bring it to you guys.
It's two different propositions basically from how we evaluate these projects, the standard for initial offerings has to be extremely high and we will bear this responsibility. So we will probably get on maybe 3,4,5 in a year tops, is going to be very exclusive. But when you see that we are listing something, do pay attention, because that means that the project is of extremely high quality
Crypto.com Ecosystem: Now that the exchange is launched, do you consider the Crypto.com ecosystem complete? If not, what's still missing.
There is still plenty missing, we need to launch our Chain, which is now in testnet. So we need to go to the mainnet stage, and it will enable us doing things in a more decentralized fashion, like giving people back their private keys. We could also unlock new opportunities like a decentralized Exchange or DEFI products. So, this is an area where we need to continue building our offering out.
Private keys Status: How is the progress on the non-custodial wallet for people to handle their private keys? Is the noncustodial wallet is going to be a different App to download? Will this wallet be able to interact with Earn for example?
First of all, the timing right we are looking at Q1 for noncustodial wallet. So, it's progressing nicely.
It's going to be a different App? Yes, in order to keep the user experience, simple, it needs to be a different app, and we are looking to recreate over time, all the features and functionality that you see within the custodial App on a noncustodial wallet. So that's coming very soon. And again, our approach is going to be the same we launched something relatively simple. And then we very quickly iterate and add features to it.
Deposits & Withdrawals Integration: When can we expect to have deposit & withdrawals for all coins listed in the App?
EOS is coming very soon because we will be listing it on the exchange and there's going to be the syndicated event. And we will be adding a few coins every month, moving forward. Again, we're looking at the top coins first and then gradually go down the list.
The focus is always on security and making sure that we don't compromise our infrastructure in any way so it takes a little more time. But we will be able to do it much more rapidly next year because we've already built a certain infrastructure, we can recycle.
Apple Pay and Samsung Pay status
We are still working on those two, specifically Apple Pay is one of the most frequently requested features. So we're working on it.
API integration for corporate clients: For credit, earn, exchange app, etc. planned?
So, on the exchange people can trade with the API's already. We will have a corporate lending offering next year, which you can also do it through API's.
For others, depending on the needs, I mean we were just building out the institutional sales team right now. And they're onboarding institutional clients and based on the needs of the clients we will build a product out.
Fiat Options: Since there is no popular Euro stablecoin out there (apart from Tether's EUR₮), why not offer loans and lending for fiat money?
2020 is a big year for Crypto.com is coming terms of licensing. So we already have filed for an EMI license in Europe. We are also working on a license in the US, which allows us to have customers in almost all States. We're also going to acquire a lot of lending licenses that allow us to do things like fiat lending. So this is definitely something that we will look at, but again as a company, we're dealing with things properly so compliance comes first and getting all these licenses is a major strategic objective for 2020.
Compound Interest: Compound interest for lending would make it redundant to unsubscribe and resubscribe for lending. Why is it not supported?
First of all, you need to run the numbers, right? You can compare our simple interest, it's higher than other people's compound interest. And we always go for simplicity and in the end what kind of value can get out of it. And the reason why we force users to go for shorter terms like you know one month or three months, is that we want to manage our own risk. So, if we're offering a certain level of rates that corresponds to demand today, we don't want to extend it for a year and lock ourselves in.
We may reduce it over time or we may increase in time, it gives us flexibility. So it's actually not much to do with the compound interest itself. I strongly suggest everyone to actually open an Excel file, or an online calculators to compare simple versus compound interest and figure out what exactly you are having. We are quite confident that the interest rates we offer are the most attractive among reputable players in this market.
EOS on Crypto Earn
So, EOS is listing on the Exchange and it's going to be a big event for us, so you can assume that EOS is going to have much more utility in the platform within this month.
Change of Risk Profile: The risk profile of Crypto Invest should be changeable. Fund performance has not been impressive this year. Is the team working on optimizing the algorithms?
We are looking at the product in it entirety to figure out what works, what doesn't and how to to rebuild it. So you can expect us to make big changes in Crypto Invest in the first of next year. I would say that if you index our performance versus the market, we're still beating the market and beating the guys that manage the funds for their clients. But we think this is a substantial space for improvement. So, we'll rebuild it.
Gift Cards: In France, we have only 3 merchants. Do you plan to add more soon?
There's going to be much more soon. I think you guys should be following us for the next two weeks to see what's happening on the gift cards because it’s quite insane.
Merchant Status: CRO Pay with +900 merchants was supposed to go live before CRO Testnet, when is the new launch date?
We actually continue adding merchants to CRO Pay. Our approach is to go for a large integrations like WooCommerce so the merchants can just click and deploy it on their website. And we continue down this path, adding more and more merchant integrations, and making it simply more attractive and easy for people to deploy it. We don't have a launch date per se for mainnet yet that we could share, but it's going to happen at some point, next year.
Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) possibility: Blockchains are pretty inefficient when it comes to scalability at load. You are targeting 50,000 TPS. Did you consider a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) to build your chain?
It’s a very good question, i’ll actually check with our team to see whether they looked at it. We look at everything that is basically out there. We try not to revinet but we will implement the best practice. I’ll check and let you guys know if we looked at it.
Crypto.com Node: When someone starts running a Crypto.com node today and decides to move to the non-custodial wallet later, can he move his coins over to run the node from there?
Sounds like the best way to do it.
CRO Freeze: Not long ago, Crypto.com froze 60% of the CRO supply, could you clarify the rationale behind this decision?
It's actually very simple. We want to give everybody 100% of visibility on what the supply is today and when it is going to be over the next five years. And I think that right now we have it. There's literally like a daily release schedule, there's monthly schedule, and people know what is coming to the market. So we don't want to be lumped together with other projects that have large size supply and are not transparent about it. So this is the way for us to say, okay, this is how it's going to look like over the next few years. It shows our commitment, it shows that we're thinking long term, and is everybody for comfort, so why not do it. I mean, we wouldn't be selling anyway so it's the same. I mean there's just upside for us here.
DEFI: Are earn & credits going to become the (CRO based) DEFI borrowing & lending?
So we think there's a huge opportunity in decentralized finance. We think we are perfectly positioned to capture it with Crypto.com Chain, and there's always going to be always, you know, custodiol solution and non custodial solution, and it’s a difficult choice.
So I wouldn't consider this as a value driver thing, our custodial is a utility for users like for example, today we see some guys who are moving funds from our platform to DEFI solutions even if they offer lower interest rates. Some other customers prefer high interest rates in a custodial fashion. So we just need to offer everybody choice, and make sure that people stay within our ecosystem.
Re-marketing: With so many app downloads vs cards reserved do you intend on doing existing customer advertising? Seems like there is a lot of existing customers not fully exploring the app’s offerings.
Yeah, I think this is an ongoing process and we are improving our infrastructure. So it's like one on one messaging depending on your actions within our platform. We also use third parties for marketing to remind you about us. And, you know, obviously, the best scenario is where you actually see your friends using our products and they remind you about it. So we did a lot on this front.
And this is just an ongoing process of making small improvements. We want to make sure that we never cross the line of being creepy in our marketing, to make sure that there's a personal touch and to also make sense. Actually it’s a very complex topic at scale, if you have millions of customers, we need to market to each and every one of them individually is very complex but I think our team has done well on this front and we are improving.
2020 MKT Strategy: What is the marketing strategy going into 2020?
So, I think we are in a very good position compared to other places in the cryptocurrency space because we have the only cryptocurrency Debit Card program that makes sense, globally today. And we're about to start shipping to EU customers in early Q1, so it's a huge market. And we just continue to add more markets and ship more cards until we ship millions of those, that's already a working distribution and a marketing strategy. Because people receive the card and they use it, there's a very strong personal connection between us and the customers.
Then we've got the Syndicate on the Exchange front, which will run non stop events as a customer acquisition machine. So it's also a very attractive proposition for anybody who is in cryptocurrency space, and by listing different tokens will be able to tap into those communities.
There are other aspects of what we do. We already have the first six months booked for large scale cryptocurrency events that we're going to participate in next year. And next to each of these events you will see like super meetups happening locally. Kind of like the way we've done it in Singapore, just last month. But you know we're rolling this out, globally.
In terms of the growth of the community itself. Just thinking what's the best way to describe it. As a company you want to have global liquidity of local communities, and we will build the infrastructure to support it. So things like localized languages, you've got local top of options that work in a specific currency in specific country, local communities, local meetups. This is a very powerful way to go deep and penetrate the markets globally.
Obviously we've got this billboard campaign that started in San Francisco, and in Q1 it’s going to travel around the world. First in the US and then in Europe. So that's been great for us in terms of raising awareness of what Crypto.com is doing. And there's probably 200 other things that was going to happen on the marketing front.
But those are like the basic pillars. We're very happy with the growth rate of the company, we increased our user base like 5X in the last 12 months. So we have a very strong product, which means the churn on the platform is very low. So it's pretty good. We just need to continue doing what we're doing.
Third-Party Audits: Any plans for external third-party audits to verify the amount of crypto you have vs what customers balances show is accurate?
I mean a piece of papers is kind of a half assed way of doing this. The correct way to do it is first to give people the ability to start around crypto and keep their own key private keys. So we're launching this in Q1, and the other way of doing this is just go for a full big audit as a group.
So, we're working on doing both rather than just creating a single piece of paper, talking about a hundred percent coverage of the deposits, is just one aspect of the whole thing. So we will do it properly.
2020 RoadMap: Are there any exciting things happening in 2020 that didn't make it on to the roadmap?
Actually the roadmap is already quite comprehensive so you've got trading products, you've got payment products and finance. So the key product launches for us, would be on the payments front you've got moving our Debit Card into a separate credit, debit product, so you don't have to sell your crypto in order to fund your card to extend loans, right and then you never have to sell crypto, you have access to your money 24/7 if you need cash. That's one important for us.
The second important thing is the launch of Crypto.com Chain, which allows us to do a lot, both on the payments front, also in the decentralized exchange front and down the road in decentralized finance is very important. The second launch, there is going to be a lot happening on the trading front with the exchange. So we have MVP now but there's a lot more coming. Not only basic features like you know subaccounts faster API or different order types, but also the entire product category, like you know, corporate lending, or derivatives. So it's, it's going to be a huge part of what we do. Is there anything that didn't make it to the platform yet, to the roadmap - Yes, there is a few things.
And I don't think our roadmap is something that you fix in December and then you execute. These things change all the time because we launched products. We learn what people are using and then we design new products with the competitive environment changes. The market situation changes so this is not something that is fixed.
It will continue to evolve, there's a few things or whether we didn't even further because it just in early stages of research, but as it is. If you look at Crypto.com in the marketplace today, we've got the best Debit Card. We've got an Exchange, we've got customer acquisition machines for both we're going to get distribution in scale.
We've got our own Chain that would allow us to do a lot of decentralized stuff down the road. We've got a little over 200 people right now on a global infrastructure, where we are adding licenses. Next year, aggressively.
I think it's pretty competitive setup. And we also have a very engaged community, all around the world that supports us on this journey and gives us, you guys give us constant feedback. When we screw up we know about it when we do something well, we know about it too. So we actually have as a team, we have everything we need to make an impact in cryptocurrency space and build something that we can collectively be proud of. So it's looking pretty good.
Right. I think we've covered all the questions. So now we can start moving to the live part of the AMA.
Phase 2 live questions from the community.
Let me just grab my laptop here. I'm just going to click, and I'm going to go through the questions. Oh boy, there's only like a bunch of them. Okay. Give me a sec.
Paying Bills: Any chance to ask when we can expect to be able to pay bills through the app?
We don't have it on the roadmap even. So, we would have to do a deep dive on this. Which markets,how is it done today, and how we could implement it better. We didn't even look at it. Thanks for the idea.
Token Listings: When will we see TRX on the platform?
Oh boy. I would let the community to discuss this. Because there's just, every time there is something Tron-related its very controversial.
As a company, we're not particularly controversial. We like to keep our head down slowly iterate on stuff, release product that makes sense. Make sure that the security is always Top of Mind, that we’re compliant, right. So, this is not exactly something that matches how we work. but I want you guys to discuss this. And give us your view. I'm not going to give you a date. There's no date today.
Card Purchase Details: Will the card interface be redesigned with the app redesign to show more details about purchases? It is currently lacking when compared to other card issuer apps.
Yeah, we have to look at it. I think when we are looking at the redesign. The first thing we look at is, does it make sense as a whole is clean, simple, the current App was designed in 2016-2017. It shows, so we need to refresh it. And we've got so many products right now so we need to make sure that people don't get lost as they use it. This is a very good point. I'm sure that guys like Melissa and N26 and others.
They put a lot of juice into the card information pipe so we have to look at it and improve it. I don't think it's going to be a part of the MVP though.
Tax support: Can you share any details on the tax solution for US customers coming by April 2020?
We are looking at partnering with multiple vendors. Our team has done calls with a few. I'm not sure what the status is right now and who we've picked. But we definitely will have it ready for you guys before you need to file it, so don't worry about it.
APAC Expansion: Why was there no official announcement of APAC expansion?
It's actually very simple right, we follow Visa rules. If, in most of cross border arrangements, how it works is that you are not allowed to solicit customers in the target market. That's how it works. So you save some time and effort in terms of setup because you don't have to go to the market by market, but you're giving up something for it and that's the ability to market to those guys. And that's why there was no official announcement, we just follow Visa rules.
Are you confident in the future of crypto given allegations that multiple governments are trying to manipulate the markets to downplay bitcoin?
Crypto is unstoppable. And nobody can stop Bitcoin, it's, it's just a massive movement. And there is this huge brain drain from all kinds of industries of people coming into crypto trying to build the future. You got people from, you know, technology companies, finance businesses, the Goldman Sachs's of the world, everybody's jumping into crypto and trying to build off of this technology. You can't put the genie back into the bottle, it's too late. And, and it's got critical mass right now, absolutely impossible for governments to do anything, what you're going to see is government's racing each other to try to launch their own cryptocurrencies, and in projects that you know maybe technically won't be great or they won't stand the test of the real crypto ethos.
But it shows that they feel threatened by it and they're trying to do something about it. Crypto is just unstoppable. It's just too late and they’re beginning to realize it but I don't think they really understand the magnitude of the impact that it will have on how governments operate.
FX rates: Will you add checking current FX rate for any currency when you spend with your card, especially when buying it in a currency that you can hold a balance in, but with SGD instead?
Yeah. So, actually, we don't make any money on the FX. So, the wallets that you have you can move money between them with perfect Interbank FX. If you are say in Thailand and Thai baht is not supported in our wallet, you get the Visa wholesale rate without any markup. So you just can't get better rates physically anywhere else in the world. So, this should give you a peace of mind, and you don't have to check it every time.
Because you always get the best deal. That's how we work. This is a core of the value proposition. So, you can check it post transaction and compare it with a Google rates. but you should have peace of mind that it is absolutely zero markup on it. The best deal ever.
Profitability: Do you expect Crypto.com to be profitable in 2020?
Yes, we expect to be fully profitable in 2020.
When will be able to see the removal of minimum transfers, card top ups, etc?
Okay we are working on this, this is in QA stage. So I hope that by the time we have the next Q&A session. I'll be able to say, it's already done.
Travel Insurance: Will you be adding travel insurance as a perk to the cards?
No, we will not. We looked at insurance as a perk, and we decided this is not in line with, the kind of brand experience that we want our customers to have. For example, if we enable it then we have to outsource to an insurance company or a broker and then you finally claim, because something happened you lost some luggage when you were traveling.
And then it's just this endless process of fighting, what you thought is rightfully yours. But the insurance companies will go to you know paragraph 26 of the agreement which excluded that part this particular circumstance that was within form three that nobody ever read it, right. This is not how we operate. This is not the kind of experience and associations, we want to have between our customers and the Crypto.com brand, so we just, we will never do an insurance perk. Unless, suddenly there is a company that is just not like all the insurance companies in the world. This is today, I just I can't see anything that makes sense.
Supplementary cards: When will you support additional cardholders on one account? eg. Giving a family member a card linked to my account.
Yeah, this is one of the stuff that we should do, but as always postsponed because we have so many things on the roadmap. At some point in time we will. I don’t have a date yet.
Physical shops: Will there ever be physical Crypto.com locations for customer services?
Nope. We don't think that works for our type of product, it should be all virtual.
What's current user count & token locked?
Now, this becomes so the more sensitive as our profile increases so we'll probably be more selective in when and how we serve these information. Because we are being watched very closely by our competitors and what we do. So it continues to grow but we will probably provide less timely updates for competitive reasons.
And a good example would be you should expect us to make a big deal of it when we hit 2 million users, but probably nothing in between one and two million.
What is the staff count as of now?
We were at 211 people as of December 1. And we continue to hire selectively in a way that raises the bar of our talent in the company.
ACH Withdrawal: Any status on ACH withdrawal for US customers?
We’re working on it, and it's going to happen at some point next year, we don't have a date yet.
Will the noncustodial wallet launch globally or will it be geo blocked like the current app?
This is a very complex topic, I would prefer if we have this conversation in January. We are discussing right now, but you know noncustodial was, in principle, should not be geo-blocked.
Exchange liquidity: Where is the liquidity on the Crypto.com exchange currently coming from? Does it come from within the app?
We only send a small number of orders from the App to the Exchange today but we will progressively move 100% over. We also have on-boarded a number of institutional players already and we have a brand new team that works on on boarding more and more institutions, so there's going to be plenty of liquidity for anybody who wants to trade and receive and even today you can trade very easily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars on the exchange.
Annual card top-up limit: Can we increase the limit for direct top-pops of Crypto.com Visa card with debit cards?
We agree it's too little. And we are already in the discussion with the partner that does acquiring for us, for Singapore and this is going to be a part of the conversation for EU and US as well.
CRO strategy: What is the big-picture strategy to make CRO an essential part of a crypto newcomer's first portfolio of currencies, alongside the likes of BTC, ETH, LTC, etc?
I think that's - by the time we get to the point where we've got like 10 million users on the platform, everybody who is researching crypto is going to come across our products.
And we think that we have a very competitive offering today and will continue to build competitive products so I was actually quite surprised to find out that you know even people who are hard-core crypto OGs like with a hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred thousand followers , they use our products. And there's no reason why somebody comes in and tries to type in crypto or Bitcoin on the Appstore and they shouldn’t use our product.
So the big picture strategy is actually very simple build products that people will use, onboard more customers every day. For many years, and do a good job for them, and then that's it. I mean, there's nothing else to it.
You know, it's very hard to go from zero to a million customers, and now we have all this infrastructure that I spoke about earlier, it's relatively easy to go from one million to 2 million or 3 million, and from there finance 10 million and onwards, and we took a very long term view. 5, 10 years, we think about what crypto can do for people in this type of timeframe.
So this is the way we work, this is the way we operate. And then you don't have to have some magical strategy. That is designed by EY or KPMG, we're just going to do a good job for our customers.
How will Crypto.com eventually address the losses incurred through such competitive card rewards on the higher stakes?
This is a customer acquisition strategy actually is inexpensive compared to pretty much any other way to acquire customers. So, for the time being. The math works.
You know, if it gets too big, we'll figure out how to generate more revenue or have to cut the perks, I mean there's just two leavers here right. We run a very sustainable business in general. We're not like you know Wework or Uber that burnt billions of dollars. So I think we're fine on this front.
Xfers: Is Xfer for Singapore going to be released this month
I think it's on track to be released this month. Yes.
Is LoungeKey just an introductory offering? Will it last for more than 5 years or so?
I really don't know if it's going to last for five years but so far. The feedback has been great. People love this perk. So we we fully intend to keep it.
Crypto.com Shop: Any plans to add any new items to the official crypto.com store? Thanks Kris.
Yeah, we have some new swag coming next year it's going to be much more cool. So, if you're planning on buying some stuff there I would suggest, hold your horses.
Charity: Are there any plans to use Crypto.com's ecosystem to perform charity? Including perhaps a matching donations program? This could really raise the visibility of Crypto.com if the charitable cause goes viral
I don’t know if you guys know but you know, we already are doing this UNICEF thing with crypto #cryptoforgood. I think it's a great hashtag. We will do more.
As a company and also donated substantially to the program that Binance runs on this. So you will see more charity efforts as we get bigger and giving back is a big part of what we believe everybody should do, so we will do our part, and we'll make sure that we empower our community to do good as well.
Design: Will Crypto.com ever contract out app design and programming?
No. We will not do it. Here's the thing, we've built a great team, right. Our guys have a great sense of ownership. So they want to individually and as a team discover what the customers want from by talking to you guys both looking at the data points and how people use the product. Then design it, roll it out, and see if it works or not and it runs process. So, You need to do it pretty efficiently and outsourcing something hundred percent just doesn't really work very well, I mean this is the core competence.
There may be some projects where selectively, we can seek the help of an external party to help us tackle a certain problem, or a certain product or whatever but that will be integrated with our internal resources. So you could think about as an augmentation of what we have, rather than just outsourcing something a hundred percent. And that's kind of the way we worked with the Metalab in the past as well, a very famous design Agency of Canada design projects like Slack, for example. So we've done it in the past, we think we understand how to keep the balance between what you're doing internally and externally. But farming everything else just makes no sense. We've got very talented people here and we want to own the product and do a good job for you guys.
Exchange: Is the API the same as Binance? and what is CdC's policy towards bot trading?
So, the API is built for botstrading so feel free to play with it and train on the platform. It's not the same as the Binance API, but I mean all of those API's are pretty much the same. So some basic API and very good examples on the website you can very easily put a simple bot together so I encourage you to try it out.
The basic fact of the matter is that the majority of trading on the Crpto.com exchange will happen to bots. That's just how this industry operates.
Earn rates: Why did you lower the BTC interest rates to 2% / 4% / 6%? As you were asking for perk ideas for Icy and Obsidian > Would you consider going back to the old interest rates for the Icy and Obsidian card holders?
So, again, those fluctuate sometimes they'll go up sometimes they'll go down.
You know if we're only the most competitive player in the market, there's no point to overpay for us. So it's a way to balance the costs and revenues that the platform generates. I think it's, it's a great idea for a perk that people would care about. We'll have to look into it.
From your perspective as CEO, what's an important question about CRO that has not been asked in this AMA but you think the community should pay more attention to?
I think you just have to pay attention to The Syndicate, I mean, why is there no question about the Syndicate. This is like such a powerful platform for token holders right.
We will be extremely focused on launching super cool events through the Syndicate and this is going to be massive. So if there's one thing you should pay attention to is this what's happening there and what's going to happen in the next two weeks and then right after we finished with EOS there's going to be another announcement and then after we finished that one, there's going to be another one. So expect to see a constant flow of of some incredible events that will keep everybody engaged, so focus on this. This is awesome.
And at a big picture level, I think we're just very happy with 2019. We think we've ticked a majority of the boxes and are very well prepared to make massive progress in 2020. So thank you so much for supporting us. It's been a great year, from me and the entire team.
I'd like to wish you a very peaceful Christmas. Take some time to spend it with your closest and don't look at the screen too much. Try not to look at the screen too much, because there are other things that matter more in life, and thanks again for supporting us so much and all the best for the new year.
*Updated to reflect the new name of the card