Crypto Lending & Borrowing: Best Places to Earn Interest on Your Bitcoin
Earn as much as 8% interest on your Bitcoin, or borrow against your cryptocurrency for quick access to cash.
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Lend your crypto and earn as much as 12% interest, or borrow against your crypto for quick cash. Here are the top five crypto lending and borrowing services.
By borrowing money through a crypto loan service, you can get quick access to cash or additional crypto. You won’t need to sell off your long-term crypto holdings, either, helping avoid short-term capital gains taxes.
The opportunity goes both ways: by lending out your cryptocurrency to a loan service, you can earn competitive interest on your holdings. Some services offer as much as 8% interest on Bitcoin and 12% interest on stablecoins annually.
Each crypto loan service offers different interest rates, terms and conditions, and loan-to-value rates, meaning that you should examine the options carefully before making a decision on which service to use.
Crypto.com is a leading blockchain payment company, best known for its payment card and mobile app. The company originated in 2016 as Monaco and rebranded under its current name in 2018. You can borrow crypto through Crypto.com’s Credit feature or earn interest through its Earn feature.
|Interest rate**||8-12% p.a.||4-12% p.a.|
|Contract length||12 months||Flexible, 1-month, or 3-months|
|Currency accepted||BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, MCO/CRO||BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, and 20 others|
|Currency paid out||Stablecoins (PAX, TUSD, USDC, USDT)||Same as deposited crypto|
|Availability||Borrowing available in most of Europe. Lending available in the United States, Europe, and Singapore.|
|Special token||Yes, MCO token needed for the best rates|
|Interface||Mobile app, with payment features|
Celsius Network was founded in 2017 to provide “financial freedom, economic opportunity, and income equality.” It intends to serve as an alternative to big banks and financial institutions.
|LTV ratio*||25%; 33%, 50%||N/A|
|Interest rate**||3.46%-8.95% APR||1.5%-11% APY|
|Minimum amount||$1,000||No minimum|
|Contract length||6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years||None|
|Currency accepted||BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, LTC, DASH, EOS||BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, LTC, CEL +20 others|
|Currency paid out||Dollars (cash) or stablecoins||Same as deposit or CEL token|
|Other claims||No withdrawal fees, termination fees, or default fees; gives 80% of revenue back to community|
|Availability||Worldwide, excluding Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and some U.S. states|
|Special token||Yes, CEL token needed for the best rates|
|Interface||Mobile app, with payment features|
BlockFi aims to “redefine banking” by bridging traditional finance with the blockchain industry. In addition to serving as a lending service, BlockFi also offers special services to financial institutions.
|LTV ratio*||Up to 50%||N/A|
|Interest rate**||4.5%-9.75% APR||3.2%-8.6% APY|
|Minimum amount||$5,000||No minimum|
|Contract length||12 months||1 month (without withdrawal penalty)|
|Currency accepted||BTC, ETH, LTC||BTC, ETH, LTC, USDC, GUSD, PAX, and wired funds|
|Currency paid out||USD (cash)||Chosen currency (“Payment Flex”)|
|Other claims||Some fees; relies on Gemini as custodian; institutional backing from Coinbase, Galaxy Digital|
|Availability||Most countries and U.S. states, excluding New York, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria|
|Special token||No special token|
|Interface||Web interface, with general trading features|
Nexo is a crypto lending platform created by Credissimo, a long-standing consumer loan company. Though Nexo did not go live until 2018, Credissimo has existed since 2007.
|LTV ratio*||52% for BTC; 15%-90% for other assets||N/A|
|Interest rate**||5.9%-11.9% APR||8% interest per year|
|Minimum amount||$500||No minimum|
|Contract length||Unknown||No minimum|
|Currency accepted||BTC, ETH, XRP, 20 other coins||USD, EUR, GBP, stablecoins|
|Currency paid out||USD and other fiat currency||Same as deposit|
|Other claims||Instant credit and spending, no minimum repayments, no hidden fees, assets secured by BitGo|
|Availability||Most countries and U.S. states; 16 countries specifically excluded|
|Special token||NEXO token optional, pays out dividends|
|Interface||Web interface and mobile app|
Crypto lending services are thriving, and every company listed above offers competitive rates and terms of service.
However, there are a few risks to consider. Since cryptocurrency prices fluctuate, lenders may not actually earn the promised amount in terms of dollar value. On the other hand, borrowers may have their deposits liquidated if prices fluctuate too much. A smaller but still quite real risk is that one of these crypto companies fail, causing depositors to lose everything.
It can also be challenging to get the rates advertised. Generally, by making large, long-term deposits in common coins like Bitcoin, you will get above-average rates. Meanwhile, stablecoins, like USD Coin and TrueUSD, tend to offer the highest rates. That said, many of the services above require depositors to use their particular cryptocurrency to get the best deal.
Finally, crypto borrowing services typically promise interest rates that are better than what a bank might offer. Banks, however, can offer even lower rates to borrowers with good credit scores, especially when property like a house or car are used as collateral, meaning that crypto loans are not always the least expensive option.
Ultimately, crypto lending and borrowing is an excellent service for those who already have a substantial investment in cryptocurrency or want to earn even higher returns on their investments.
Disclosure: Crypto.com is a sponsor of Crypto Briefing.