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How I Hope Crypto.com’s October 2020 AMA Could Have Went

ICYMI, Crypto.com’s (CDC) Kris Marszalek ran an AMA to address the recent reduction of CRO interest rates suddenly. You can watch it here below.

Key Highlights from the AMA

  • Last week was more eventful than CDC wished for.
  • Heard the message clear that the incentives were cut too deep and too quickly. CDC community pointed out and rightfully so that we should give a longer notice period to the community. 
  • Price went down but CDC will not comment on the price, but will comment on the overall strategy. ICYMI – CRO is down more than 30% from the past 7 days.
  • Kris wanted to give a different perspective and the impact of the cuts will be some time down the road (2 – 5 months later).
  • Will have to increase card processing fees, and debating whether to increase card staking tiers. This is because looking at the USD equivalent, it is at an All-Time Low.
  • There may be a possibility of Crypto.com Credit Card based off on the cryptocurrencies you hold in your wallet. Details to be released in 2021.
  • May or may not consider the burning of tokens.
  • Canada release Q4 this year, so before the end of this year.
  • Recent exclusions are due to people abusing the cashback system, including Curve and payment to government services. 
  • Looking at Apple Pay and Google Pay soon.
  • Ran out of cards in some country and issuers cannot cope with backlog. Will be aiming for Virtual Cards in Q1 2021 so that users can start using the perks while waiting for physical cards.
  • Another AMA will be done “pretty soon”, with the rest of the big announcements.
  • Kris ended off with “buy some more BTC”

How I Hope the AMA Should Have Went

The AMA does bring some good news such as the release times for Canada and also updates such as the backlog from the Card demand. However, the AMA does not meet my expectations in addressing the recent rates reduction. Kris did mention that they will be looking to communicate better and another AMA will be “pretty soon”, with no further commitments about this. He also mentioned about the CDC team is looking to increase card staking tiers, and was looking for community feedback. 

Make Clearer Commitments

Apart from mentioning that Canada is on track for Q4 2020, there are always vague timelines about deliveries expected as of 2021. He was not sure when the card backlog can be cleared, Apply Pay and Google Pay will be “soon”, may or may not be considering the burning of tokens, and the next AMA will be “pretty soon”. 

None of the items mentioned above brought clarity to any of the users. So what could CDC have done better?

Manage Expectations and Over-communication is Key

This provides assurances to the users that CDC is actively working on the expected deliverables. Let the users know that it is going to take a few weeks or months (aimed at the running joke of 7-14 provided by CDC). However, CDC should tell their users early so people’s expectations can be managed. If the timeline is not available yet, provide an estimate when the next update is going to be (circling back to my original point in my previous post about running frequent AMAs). Provide updates for any changes (good or bad), and if something cannot be achieved, share why CDC is unable to do it and the specific risks involved. 

This is frequently done in other similar crypto projects and has definite good yield in results and alignment of the users commitment to the company.

Anticipate, Analyse, Answer

CDC should do better in anticipating user responses before answering. The same can be said about the Airdrop, the MCO Swap and now the interest rates reduction. In this same AMA, Kris brought up the possibility of increase card staking due the the All-Time Low of the USD equivalent of CRO. 

Looking at the team behind CDC, you would expect them to know that this is a bad time to raise Card Staking requirements. Especially considering most people lost more than 30-50% of their paper value on their portfolio, and CDC still expects users to pour in money to fulfil the card stakes? This is also considering that this 30-50% drop in CRO value was directly proportionate to CDC’s action – putting it once again that the customers are paying for CDC’s mistakes. This is entirely bad PR. 

I will strongly suggest CDC to table each suggestion from the team, analyse it well, before conducting any execution. The better way will be to include public forums where CDC users can provide their feedback and work together to deliver a better product. 

Make a Sincere Apology

Where I hope Kris could have addressed, was the broken down of Trust. Whether Kris admits it or not, CDC is currently facing a PR Crisis. Many users are upset with the changes, and an apology or ownership of the mistake would have been better in calming down the angry mob (myself included). CDC should potentially look at these articles from Business Insider and Forbes.

Looking at Netflix, who famously decided to split their streaming service and their DVD-by-mail service, which meant that customers will have to pay for two different subscriptions instead. It caused a huge uproar and Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings received thousands of emails from disappointed and angry fans. The Netflix stock had plummeted at first, but recovered, after the release of a personal apology video and a blog whose first line is “I messed up”. You can catch the video of the apology below and the blog post transcript here.

 

I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.
It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. I’ll try to explain how this happened.

Reed Hastings went out to explain what they were doing, with regards to the split of the organisation, and why. 

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.

To be fair, CDC did take a couple of leaves out from the PR book. However, it is insufficient and people are feeling that CDC is insincere, and are screwing the people over. 

Summary

Looking back, it was not the worst AMA I have seen. Everything was politically-correct by Kris Marszalek. However, as an investor of CDC who have stakes currently stuck for another few months, I am motivated to provide feedback to the team and hopefully, yield a better outcome for both CDC and their users.

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