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Monolith Visa Card Review
The Monolith Visa card is a specialized crypto debit card with a focus on the Ethereum ecosystem. Much like other popular crypto debit cards, the Monolith Visa card comes with its own proprietary token, known as the Monolith Token (TKN). While other Bitcoin debit cards force their users to hold a proprietary token to access better benefits and rewards, this is not the case with the Monolith Visa card. Instead, the token is used to pay out some of the fees associated with the Monolith app. While this crypto prepaid card lacks the rewards and benefits of some of the other cards on the market, it may be a great option for someone who wants to remain within the Ethereum ecosystem.
Monolith Visa Overview
- Users retain custody of their cryptocurrency
- Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
- Not currently available in the United States
- Based entirely on Ethereum
Monolith Pros & Cons
Does not require users to give custody of their crypto assets to a third-party custodian
Proprietary token is used with the Monolith Visa card in a mostly non-intrusive manner
Transparent fee structure
Instant updates on card transactions within the Monolith app
Exchange tokens via a DEX aggregator with no added fees
Fees can be low with a workaround
Only works with Ethereum-based tokens
1.75% fee on all spending transactions for the British Pound (GBP) version of the card when making euro-denominated purchases
Card top-ups made in coins other than TKN or DAI come with a 2% fee
Currently only available in 31 countries
Not available in the United States
No benefits or rewards
Monolith Visa Card at a Glance
|Cryptocurrencies supported:||ETH, TKN, DAI, DGD, DGX, MKR, SAI, USDT|
|ATM Fees:||Free domestic cash withdrawals from ATMs twice per month, then fees from €0.85 to €2.00 after that|
|Issuing bank:||Contis Financial Services Ltd|
What is the Monolith Visa Card?
The Monolith Visa card is a key card of the Monolith mobile app. The crypto debt card is focused on the Ethereum network, and all of the crypto tokens supported by the card are part of the overall Ethereum ecosystem. This cryptocurrency debit card also has its own proprietary token called TKN. This token can be used to gain access to some of the fees users are charged when using the Monolith Visa card, namely the fees for topping up the card with a token other than TKN. The company behind Monolith is registered in England and Wales, and their crypto debit card offering is currently available in Europe and the United Kingdom.
What are the Benefits of the Monolith Visa Card?
There are no outright benefits of cashback rewards to consider when it comes to the Monolith Visa card. Having said that, this should not be viewed as a dealbreaker. After all, many of the crypto cards with the highest rewards, such as the Crypto.com Visa card, are powered by forcing their users into speculating on the price of a proprietary token associated with the card. While Monolith also has their own token in the form of TKN, it’s not required to use Monolith’s services.
Outside of traditional cashback rewards, there are still some benefits to using the Monolith Visa card. For example, there are no fees associated with transferring back and forth between different tokens. Users are able to gain access to the market rate available on a variety of decentralized exchange platforms. Perhaps most importantly, Monolith does not require that their users hand over custody of their crypto assets to a third-party custodian. Users are able to retain control over their own private keys while funds are held in the Monolith app.
Potential Monolith Visa Card Dealbreakers
There are four potential dealbreakers to worry about with the Monolith Visa card: lack of availability, lack of Bitcoin support, relatively high fees for top ups made via tokens other than TKN or DAI, and lack of cashback rewards.
Currently, the Monolith Visa card is only available in 31 countries around Europe and the United Kingdom. While this is still a large market, it leaves potential users in five continents out in the cold. Citizens of the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and many other countries with plenty of crypto users cannot use this cryptocurrency debit card at this time.
The lack of Bitcoin support will also be a dealbreaker for many potential users. Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, so anyone who is mostly interested in spending their Bitcoin for now should look elsewhere. It should be noted that Bitcoin-backed Ethereum tokens have started to gain a bit of popularity in 2020, so Monolith may eventually decide to support one of these tokens.
There is also the issue of some tokens being more equal than others on the Monolith platform. While there are no fees for card top-ups made via TKN and a 1% fee for top-ups made via DAI, the reality is the vast majority of cryptocurrency users don’t use these two specific tokens. Monolith Visa card top-ups made with any other token come with 2% fees, although users may be able to avoid most of these fees by simply converting their preferred tokens for TKN before depositing them into the Monolith app. That said, many users won’t be interested in going the extra mile to avoid these fees.
Finally, another dealbreaker with the Monolith Visa card for some people will be the lack of cashback rewards and other benefits. Having said that, these sorts of rewards are hard to come by in the crypto debit card space without being forced to hold a proprietary token related to the card issuer’s platform.
Is the Monolith Visa Card Right for Me?
The Monolith Visa card could be the right option for someone who is based in Europe or the United Kingdom and is mostly interested in the Ethereum sector of the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The fees on the Monolith Visa card can actually be quite low if the user is smart about how they are using it. For example, a cardholder with a euro version of the card faces no fees when using the card to purchase something denominated in euros from a merchant. This user also gets two free cash withdrawals from domestic ATMs per month. While there is a 1% fee for adding non-TKN tokens to the Monolith platform, the user could get around this fee by converting their other Ethereum-based tokens to TKN before topping up their Monolith Visa card. Of course, there would still likely be a fee that the user would need to pay to be able to exchange their ETH, DAI, or other Ethereum-based token to TKN; however, this fee on an exchange is likely to be lower than the 1% fee in the Monolith app.
Monolith Frequently Asked Questions
No, the Monolith Visa card is not currently available in the United States. This crypto debit card is currently only available in Europe and the United Kingdom. However, it should be noted that DAI and USDT, which are both intended to track the value of the US dollar, can be used to top up a Monolith Visa card.
The fee structure associated with the use of the Monolith Visa card is one of its best attributes. That is, if the user knows how to take advantage of it. First of all, the fact that Monolith’s fee structure is transparent and easy to understand is a rarity in the crypto debit card space and should be applauded. Secondly, the total amount of fees that a user is absolutely required can be extremely low when compared to most of the other options on the market.
There is no fee for obtaining a Monolith Visa card, and there is no monthly or annual fee to worry about either.
There is only a 1.75% fee added to international purchases made with the crypto debit card, and there is no additional fee on domestic purchases. It should be noted that an international purchase is one that is made with a GBP-based card in EUR (or visa versa).
ATM fees associated with the Monolith Visa card are also rather reasonable. Cardholders get two cash withdrawals from domestic ATMs for free every month, and the fee is only £0.75 or €0.85 after that. For cash withdrawals made within Europe, the fees are £1.20 or €1.50. And for cash withdrawals throughout the rest of the world, the fees on ATM withdrawals are £1.75 or €2.00.
The one area of fees that is most important for the user to understand is the fee for topping up the Monolith Visa card with cryptocurrency. There are basically three different tiers of fees to worry about here. Topping up the crypto debit card with TKN comes with no fees. A top up denominated in DAI has 1% fees. All other tokens come with a 2% fee when they are used to top up a Monolith Visa card. Of course, an easy workaround of this fee structure is for the cardholder to simply hold whatever tokens they want to hold as savings and then convert those tokens to TKN right before they want to add funds to their crypto debit card. This allows the user to have full control over the tokens held in their savings while also being able to add funds to their crypto debit card without minimal fees. The user only has to worry about the exchange cost of trading their tokens helding in savings for TKN.
There are no cashback rewards available to Monolith Visa cardholders. However, if you decide to hold the TKN token, you can gain access to funds held in the TKN Community Chest, which come from the top-up fees charged to users on the Monolith platform.
The spending and ATM cash withdrawal limits associated with a Monolith Visa card depend on the specific version of the card that a user gets.
The daily spending limit on the crypto debit card is £7500 or €8000. In terms of just purchases made with the card, the limit is either £7150 or €7600. The daily ATM cash withdrawal limit is £350 or €350. Finally, the maximum amount of money that can be held on the Monolith Visa card is £7500 or €8000.
It’s not surprising the the Monolith platform has its own proprietary token, as this is a rather common theme in the crypto debit card space. However, the Monolith Token is not very intrusive in terms of how it is used on the Monolith app and card platform. There are basically two uses of the TKN token today: earn some of the fees charged to Monolith users for topping up their crypto debit cards or pay no fees when topping up your own Monolith Visa card.
Despite the fact that this token is much more practical than some of the other tokens associated with popular crypto debit cards that promise unbelievable cashback rewards, it’s important to remember that the price of small crypto assets like TKN can be extremely volatile. Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.