Crypto.com announced the launch of a new exchange Thursday, in an expansion of the Hong Kong-based firm’s list of crypto services.
The exchange opens up to beta testers Nov. 18 and to the wider public in December, according to a press release. The three-year-old company has also unveiled a fundraising platform for crypto startups.
Previously known for issuing custodial wallets and crypto-backed debit cards, the new exchange bolsters CEO and co-founder Kris Marszalek’s vision of creating full services experiences for his one million wallet holders. Marszalek said the launch is tactical – necessary for Crypto.com’s future.
“In the next bull run, the companies that will surely thrive are those that manage to build an entire ecosystem,” he said. “It’s very hard for a company that offers only one type of product to compete with companies with much broader distribution that cover each of the use cases.”
At launch, the exchange will offer three trading pairs, matching CRO – the Crypto.com token – tether (USDT) and bitcoin (BTC) against BTC, ether (ETH), stellar (XLM), XRP, EOS, litecoin (LTC), MCO, CRO and USDT. The company expects to add more assets over time.
It also plans to expand user access points. While the exchange is available via desktop exclusively at launch, Marszalek said mobile users – already accessing Crypto.com’s other services via a consolidated app – will get app access in early 2020.
Also launched Thursday is a blockchain fundraising platform called The Syndicate that gives project builders an avenue to raise capital while keeping equity, Marszalek said. Digital asset issuers provide a certain number of their tokens to Crypto.com for a discounted pre-sale open to holders of the exchange’s native coin, CRO.
“It’s a win win,” Marszalek said. “We pass on all the proceeds from such a token sale back to the project so they have a little bit of capital from this exercise.”
The exchange will add margin trading in 2020 too. Marszalek said other expansions may bring a crypto collateralized “credit card/debit card hybrid” to market as well.
Each works into Marszalek’s wider goal: build a Crypto.com ecosystem so comprehensive, so “sticky,” that new users sign up – and the old ones stay around.
“We think we’ve nailed the customer acquisition piece and the stickiness of the product before we actually launched the exchange,” Marszalek. “This is the absolute key element.”