Crypto.com’s native token CRO has nearly quadrupled in value in November after a string of high-profile marketing initiatives propelled the exchange and debit card issuer into the mainstream.
The token hit an all-time-high of $0.947 on Wedsnesday, making it the 12th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
CRO was trading for just $0.2097 at the start of the month.
Its surging price comes amid a broader period of consolidation in most crypto markets, with bitcoin trading down more than 5% and Ethereum down nearly 2% month-to-date as of 16:20 GMT Monday.
CRO’s outperformance coincides with the announcement of a 20-year, $700-million naming rights agreement between Crypto.com and the Los Angeles’ Staples Center – home to the L.A. Lakers basketball team – which will now be rebranded as the Crypto.com Arena.
Crypto.com also last month recruited Hollywood star Matt Damon as the face of a $100 million television and billboard marketing campaign set to air in more than 20 countries.
Other well-known celebrities such as snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, rapper CL and astronaut Scott Kelly have signed up to the campaign, which is aimed at a new breed of retail crypto investors and features the slogan “Fortune Favours the Brave”.
Crypto.com already has active branding partnerships with Formula 1, basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers, French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain, Italian soccer league Lega Serie A, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
CRO is the native token of Crypto.com’s own blockchain, though it’s more commonly traded as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.
Styled as a utility token for the Crypto.com ecosystem – which revolves around a crypto trading app and a physical Visa debit card – CRO is staked by users to accrue benefits such as higher cashback on card payments, higher interest rates for loaned-out crypto funds and lower trading fees.
The coin attracted negative publicity in October 2020, when Crypto.com imposed a mandatory swap between CRO and the company’s original ICO token, MCO, which was subsequently delisted.
Customers complained that Crypto.com management broke prior commitments not to phase out MCO, as well as appearing to manipulate the exchange rate of the swap in order to minimize the value of early investors’ holdings.
At the time, CRO’s maximum supply of 100 billion tokens was several thousand times larger than MCO’s maximum supply of 31.6 million tokens – yet users were forced to accept an exchange rate of just 33:1.
However, the company appeared to learn from its mistake and in February of this year management announced that 70% of all CRO tokens would be burned, or permanently removed from circulation.
They also pledged to transition to a “fully decentralized, open-source, public chain” – easing concerns about future price manipulation.
In the end, the debacle had little impact on Crypto.com’s tearaway success.
Its 5-million strong userbase in October 2020 has now doubled in size, with chief executive Kris Marszalek eyeing 100 million users by 2023. The company currently employs 3,000 people around the world and has estimated revenues of at least $1.2 billion, according to The Financial Times.