6 Things to Know Before You Buy Cronos (CRO)

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  • Formally the Crypto.org Coin, Cronos is the utility token on the Crypto.com platform.
  • CRO grew significantly last year, but like many cryptos it has struggled in 2022.
  • Crypto.com is more than just an exchange, it is also an ecosystem with a number of applications and other projects.

Did you know Cypto.com is also a popular smart contract platform?

Cronos (CRO) is the utility token for the Crypto.com exchange. CRO can be used to pay fees on the platform and also staked to qualify for various benefits. It saw significant growth last year, partly reflecting Crypto.com's aggressive promotional activities. Like most of the crypto industry, CRO has struggled so far in 2022.

1. CRO rebranded to Cronos last year

CRO used to be known as the Crypto.org Coin, but rebranded to Cronos last February. According to a blog post, the new name was designed to reflect the growth of the whole ecosystem. CRO is more than a utility coin on a popular crypto platform. Crypto.com wants to position itself as a player in the expanding decentralized finance, Web 3, and other blockchain industries.

2. Cronos is a smart contract crypto

Smart contracts are tiny pieces of code that live on the blockchain and allow developers to build other cryptocurrencies and applications on the system. Crypto.com and Binance are both exchanges that have also developed their own smart contract networks and have thriving ecosystems of apps as a result.

Per DeFi Llama, Cronos is in the top 10 blockchains according to its total value locked (TVL) with a TVL of over $2 billion. TVL is the amount of money invested or deposited on applications in the ecosystem. That puts it above other popular blockchains such as NEAR Protocol (NEAR) and Harmony (ONE).

3. Crypto.com is making some big advertising and sponsorship moves

Crypto.com has invested heavily in advertising to establish its brand and attract new customers. This includes a global ad campaign starring Matt Damon, and buying the naming rights to the Staples Center, which is now called the Crypto.com arena. It was also one of several crypto exchanges to create a high-profile Super Bowl ad.

Most recently, Crypto.com became an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup Qatar in Qatar. It also has sponsorship deals in various sports, including basketball, soccer, and Formula 1 racing. It's worth noting that its aggressive promotion hasn't yet pushed it into the top 10 crypto exchanges by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap data.

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4. You can earn decent staking rewards… for now

There are various benefits to staking CRO. For starters, you earn higher interest rates on both CRO and other crypto deposits. You can also qualify for better crypto rewards if you have a Crypto.com prepaid debit card. However, be aware that these bonus rewards won't last forever.

CRO recently fell dramatically after the company announced it would get rid of certain staking rewards. It has now backtracked on the decision and instead reduced the rewards rates. The u-turn came in response to a "vocal" backlash from the community. Even so, the changes are a reminder that the platform can move the goalposts at any time.

5. It gained over 850% in 2021

Cronos wasn't one of the top performers of 2021, but it still saw significant growth. CRO grew by over 850% and finished the year as the 21st biggest crypto by market cap. As with many cryptocurrencies, 2022 has not been anywhere near as spectacular. CRO is down 60% so far this year, in part because of the changes to its reward structure mentioned above.

6. It's available from some, but not all top crypto exchanges

One challenge when buying crypto exchange utility tokens is that they're often not listed on competitors' platforms. CRO is available on Coinbase, FTX, and, of course, Crypto.com. But you won't find it on, say Gemini, Kraken, or Binance. In some ways, if you're going to buy CRO, you'll get more benefits by opening a Crypto.com account. However, that doesn't help investors who want to manage all their crypto assets in one place.

Bottom line

The Crypto.com platform grew enormously last year, and so did CRO. However, the decision to pull back on rewards for CRO holders is worrying on two fronts. First, there's nothing to stop the company from reducing rewards even further in the future. Second, it could be a sign that Crypto.com overextended itself on high-profile advertising and now can't sustain itself.

That said, Crypto.com is a major player in the crypto space. The growth of its wider ecosystem is worth watching as it shows it is one of several blockchains that's taking market share from Ethereum (ETH).

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