Token vs. Monaco: A tale of two ERC20 debit cards

There appears to be a recent phenomena of cryptocurrency cards, and not just one’s based off of bitcoin. It appears developers are now realizing the lucrative opportunities that Ethereum provides. Two of the more prominent ones Monaco and Token, have their ICO’s within months of each other (Monaco’s ICO just ended as I was typing this), so I thought it would be a good idea to compare the features of both cards. 

For starters, and many readers, one big question is accessibility. While Monaco is accessible to over 120 countries and US Vendors, the card is not available for those living in the US, India, Singapore or Hong Kong. Token, on the other hand, isn’t immediately available for the U.S. or India, but, unlike Monaco,Token has mentioned plans for expansion. I will note at this time, that the list I referred to earlier, has crypto cards that are already available in the US, but only for use with bitcion at a higher fee rate. When it comes to fees, Monaco boasts the lowest transaction fees as it’s competitive advantage, however, it does this at the expense of expanding to the the U.S. market which is what Token plans on capitalizing on. Both Token and Monaco allow you to use Ethereum tokens stored on a wallet, but only Token allows you to use any coins on the ERC20 network which includes those used with Bancor. Token has they recently announced this over medium.

The most important differentiation between existing cryptocurrency cards, and a key feature that is prominent in Monaco and Token, is a tradeable cryptocurrency token traded over exchanges. The concept of the token, is that one could trade the currency, or “burn” the currency to receive a profit for doing so. As more and more members “burn” the currency, the remaining members would hypothetically have a larger share of the existing pool as there are no plans to create a mining pool. If you wanted to also use the card for credit, Monaco gives the user the option to request credit; this feature is notably absent in Token. Both Token and Monaco offer rewards for higher contributors. Token, gives the top 1,000 owners of the currency a beta TKN card first, while Monaco offers a card with virtually no exchange rates (notably naming them black cards) to the top 50 contributors.

If you’re considering investing, it should be noted that each development team has their share of scandals. Token had touted the ERC20 debit cards had access to and incorporated VISA’s payment network. After it was discovered that VISA, in fact, was not directly associated with the Tokencard team, the Tokencard team removed all direct references to VISA, and even removed the logos from their card. If that wasn’t bad enough, the polarizing figure Peter Vessenes was loosely associated with the project. Monaco, on the other, while announcing the project before Token, ended up having it’s ICO right after Token. This, combined with the team blatantly ripping off of portions of Token’s whitepaper, led to calls of the project being a scam, and a rip-off of Token. Although both projects have had controversial issues here and there, I believe that there is a legitimate potential for each project to succeed, as there is a niche for the product, as evidenced by Token raising over $12 million in under an hour in their ICO. Whether it’s worth investing in, that’s up to you.

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