2019 Thought for Your Penny Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Report Crypto Analyst Brian Penny discusses the latest developments in this crypto project. is a cryptocurrency software wallet that also issues a cryptocurrency-backed metal card. These cards are genuine Visa cards with all the bells and whistles you see in traditional credit and debit cards. This includes cash back rewards, rebates, and airline lounge access, and it’s continuing to expand.

Alongside businesses like Binance, is one of the leading cryptocurrency projects in the race to replace banks. This is because Bitcoin isn’t a bank replacement at all, but a currency replacement. Currency is a tool for you, but to a bank, it’s the product. Profits are also how we measure success as companies, making currency important for everybody.

Business Use Case

According to Global Findex, there are 1.7 billion unbanked adults in the world, which doesn’t include the underbanked. Unbanked people utilize no banking services whatsoever, while the underbanked have a checking or savings account, but rarely both, and that’s about it. This population in the United States is approximately 67 million.

That’s not to say that there aren’t non-banking financial services available, cryptocurrencies being the most obvious example here. Paypal, Stripe, and countless other financial alternatives also exist, and some, like OmiseGo, integrate cryptocurrencies too. OmiseGo also has a mobile payment and plastic card in Asia, and blockchain platforms like Pundi X are also working to expand.

With global cryptocurrency regulations coming into place, projects in this niche should do well. We can even include hardware/software wallets in this category. The Ledger Nano S, for example, has Bluetooth capability and can pair with a phone wallet. Partnerships, mergers, etc. between companies in this sector is a possibility in the future.

Notable Partnerships and Investors 

Visa –’s relationship with Visa is a milestone that shouldn’t be forgotten. It stands in stark contrast to media headlines relating to Centra, whose former COO just plead guilty July 17, 2019 to a series of securities and wire fraud charges. That $25 million scheme regarding a fake credit card adds even more emphasis to the significance of a legitimate Visa partnership.


Live Cards on the Market – The MCO Visa Card started shipping in both Asia and North America in 2019. This is a major achievement even for a traditional financial institution. The United States alone is one of the toughest on cryptocurrencies, which is why the upcoming changes to Binance Pro have been on everybody’s minds.

Domain Name – Monaco (MCO) is the name of the cryptocurrency used by, and it was initially the name of the project. Co-Founder and CEO Kris Marszalek quickly realized interest in cryptocurrency directly correlated with traffic increases to the web domain, and, if you’ve yet to guess where this is headed, he changed the name to, which easily fits alongside the brand name Bitcoin. 


Competition – While U.S. customers are just now waking up (or maybe haven’t even yet) to legitimate crypto-backed spending cards, this is far from an overnight success. The team has been focusing on development, pushing through regulation, and other hurdles involved with startups for several years now. But now that there’s proof it can happen, the rest of the floodgates are open for bandwagoners.

Exchange Rates – Despite being ahead of the game in many aspects, still needs to link a Visa card to your crypto wallet. This means it uses the native currency in which it was issued. This means if you recently received your MCO Visa in the U.S., it’s using the US Dollar as currency, even though it’s accepted everywhere Visa is. So, you’re paying exchange rates to shift your crypto into MCO (which may take several trades, depending on the obscurity of the coin), then paying the USD exchange rate for MCO. If you use your U.S.-issued MCO Visa outside the U.S., you’re then paying that exchange rate. 

Upcoming Catalysts 

Canada and EU Launch – While the timeframes can be hard to predict, Canada and Europe are the next conquests of the project. These key markets add two more popular currencies in the mix. It also increases the amount of trading pairs for the MCO coin. This continued expansion shows that although deadlines are fluid, the team is following the roadmap.

Expanding Financial Features – The company is constantly expanding its lineup of financial features, and with the ball now rolling, it can choose from whatever existing features the above-mentioned financial institutions already have. Basically, if there’s a feature on your current Visa that’s not offered with an MCO Visa, it won’t be long before that’s remedied. Chain – Although the MCO Mainnet still resides on Ethereum, Chain (CRO) does have a functional Testnet in development. This utility token/blockchain was created to assist in inter-currency exchanges by acting as an intermediary public ledger.

Moon Stopovers – Each MCO and CRO blockchain has a “Moon Stopover” expected in 2019. This is a code name for major development upgrades that are still under wraps as of yet. Although the exact details aren’t publicly available, it’s meant to continue accelerating the company’s already fast-growing ecosystem.

Summary has prime real estate on an easy-to-associate domain to Bitcoin. That marketing alone gives it sustainable attention. That the project has now successfully achieved Visa-branded, crypto-backed debit cards in the U.S. is a sign of good things not just for, but for cryptocurrency in general.

As the industry continues to grow and mature, these seemingly simple, but key steps (such as squatting on the domain name before you had regulatory approval for your product) are positive signs for mass acceptance as a whole. 


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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