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Crypto.com slashes staking rewards as user numbers top 5 million

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Prominent crypto exchange and debit-card provider, Crypto.com, has surpassed five million users for the first time. The milestone comes only three months after the platform first exceeded three million users. 

Crypto.com has seen accelerated growth since the platform hit one million users in Sep 2019 and tripled its user base over the following nine months.

Crypto.com co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said the company plans to continue “aggressively” increasing its user base, noting that the platform is targeting 15 million users “by the end of 2021,” adding: 

“Our longer term strategic goal is to reach 100m users in the Crypto.com ecosystem within 5 years.”

Not every one of those five million users are celebrating the milestone, with the news coming hot on the heels of a 70% reduction in staking rewards for its CRO token announced 24 hours earlier.

Users with 5,000 or more CRO (approx. $690) staked for 180 days can now only earn 6% per annum. Prior to the change, users could earn 20% on staked CRO under the same conditions. Disgruntled users have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions, with Twitter user “LtcFanboy” stating:

“I’ve been noticing every time @cryptocom reaches an achievement they cut the limits earning by a massive %. That seems to be their model.”

The company’s large marketing budget is likely a major contributor to Crypto.com’s rapid growth, with the company recently burning seven-figures in a single marketing campaign. The campaign titled “The Syndicate Anniversary Special” offered $2 million in Bitcoin to 25,000 users at 50% off, with an additional $120,000 given away in a Twitter event.

Marszalek explained in a tweet that the high rewards to date were essentially a loss leader to attract users, and needed to be curbed:

“We are working on balancing high growth with becoming profitable, hence recent reductions in incentives to make it sustainable.”

The Crypto.com exchange, launched in Nov 2019, has a current trading volume of only $33 million, according to CoinGecko. It is unclear how many of the five million users use the exchange as opposed to only using the popular debit card feature.





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Tiger King star and convicted animal abuser to launch NFT from prison

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The nonfungible token industry isn’t over yet as “The Tiger King” star Joe Exotic is set to launch his own NFT drop from prison with some external assistance.

New York-founded cryptocurrency club More announced Tuesday its foray into the celebrity NFT space with an auction on behalf of former zoo operator and TV star Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, known professionally as Joe Exotic.

With support of Rozenfeld Meyer & Susman’ entertainment attorney Brad Small, the convicted animal abuser plans to sell some of his belongings alongside digital items and tokens from a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. The physical items include Maldonado-Passage’s favorite pistol and holster, jackets commonly worn on the “Tiger King” series, and authentic audio recordings from prison.

Starting this Friday, the public can bid on “The Tiger King” NFT auction hosted on major NFT marketplace Mintable. The auction winners will acquire physical items with authentication papers as well as 3D digital models of each tangible collectible.

The Tiger King was convicted on multiple felony counts, among them murder-for-hire and violating laws protecting endangered species. Maldonado-Passage killed five tigers to make room for other cats at his petting zoo in Oklahoma. He was also convicted for soliciting two hitmen to kill his sworn enemy and animal sanctuary owner Carole Baskin. 

According to National Geographic, Maldonado-Passage even attempted to broker the illegal sale of lion cubs on the telephone as he was awaiting trial in Grady County Jail. 

Maldonado-Passage views the NFT drop as a chance to give back to his loyal fan base. “It’s great to have a voice via blockchain technology and I’m honored to be the first to kickoff MORE’s celebrity NFTs,” he said, adding, “Whether you love me or hate me for what you think I’ve done, there’s no doubt that everyone wants a piece of The Tiger King!”

More CEO and founder Peter Klamka said that the initiative will help the firm to drive the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology, noting that the NFT industry provides people with access to authentic unique goods that they would otherwise not be able to access. “There’s no better way to engage the mainstream in blockchain technology than to tie in familiar faces and names,” Klamka noted.

 More did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.