20 Platforms Where You Can Earn Interest By Lending Your Crypto

Just as with fiat or stocks or bonds or any other types of assets, today you do not actually have to trade crypto continually in order to earn interest on it or let's just say the best way to earn in crypto is to employ diverse methods of doing it so go ahead and combine trading with the opportunity we are exploring today. Right?

Thanks to new blockchain-based lending services, you do not have to languish with low interest rates any more. You can convert that fiat to crypto and explore better earning opportunities with the services we are going to evaluate shortly.. Or let's say your crypto is lying somewhere earning nothing. Of course with many PoS-based systems, you can stake and run masternodes which is a great opportunity there. But hear it.

Now you can hold crypto and lend it out to others in order to earn some passive income from it in return. That's because there are many people looking to borrow for various purposes: they could be wanting to trade on margins, they may not be wanting to sell their crypto right now and yet need some money to cover their expenses, or just another great reason -- to support startups and innovations.

Before we look at specific startups and experienced companies (some of them have actually been doing this for over 5 years), if planning to lend to earn some income, you can choose either custodial or fully decentralized services, with the earlier type letting you give away control of your funds to a centralized operator and to trust that the lending service will actually lend it out and pay you part of the interest after deducting their fee. These services are operated by some centralized exchanges and platforms that are known to offer very genuine services and therefore in those cases, are genuine.

We must say centralized exchanges have some advantages like good liquidity. So it does not mean that if it is custodial then it is not suitable because in some cases you might choose the amount of interest offered over other aspects such as decentralization. However, in the mood of decentralization, there are fully decentralized lending services that are very commendable and recommendable at the same time, and they are most preferred because they allow you to fully control your cryptocurrencies by retaining possession or custody of your private keys.

Nevertheless, in both cases, those taking out a loan have to put up collateral of up to 150% of the amount that they choose to borrow. 

So here are different services offering these servicesand as you would expect, different services have different feature and aspects as well as advantages and challenges. What experience you get with one may be entirely different from what you get with another service.  

Bank of Hodlers

Bank of Hodlers is a new entrant in the field of crypto hodling and lending, using the blockchain to provide its users with customer-centric banking services.

Users can earn interest by just holding cryptocurrencies and others to borrow crypto to earn more profits from trading crypto and avoid selling their cryptocurrency especially when prices are low. Currently, users can access lending and borrowing services for BTC, ETH, DAI and TUSD, with more crypto to be supported in future.

Their asset backed lending and borrowing platform is already alive. Currently, the services are offered at zero fees although the underlying MakerDAO protocol that they employ has a varying stability fee that's lately been proposed as 12.5% per year. Bank of Hodlers allow customers to deposit their crypto and earn 5% interest per year.

Some of the difficulties which this crypto lending and hodling service intends to solve in the world of banking include the very high borrowing fee charged by legacy banking, lack of consumer-centricity in legacy banking where "a few" control the system, and to satisfy a need in crypto where people do need to access more funds to trade and earn from their crypto hodling.

While banks charge up to 30% interest rate on credit per year, BOH will charge only 8% per year for getting crypto loans after a 60-day free access to credit services. The other product will be their crypto bank cards through which users can get instant payments and spend their cryptos locally via Visa outlets including physical stores and websites.

BankofHodlers is based out of Singapore. They are currently holding a private sale and bounty.

Bitbond

Bitbond is Germany's first security token to make global business lending accessible and possible for many people. It was founded in 2013 and uses a peer-to-peer model that allows users to lend their crypto to support institutional and individual or group entrepreneurs, and in return, they earn some interest.

The platform features automated lending that allows users to lend based on their desired criteria. Therefore, it is a good alternative for those looking for hassle-free lending. The investment is automated so to speak. Lenders can also lend BTC to users beyond Germany, hence avoiding to be locked in a single country and being exposed to as many customers as would be possible.

With Bi0tbond, the return on the lent amount is 8% which results from a fixed 4% p.a. interest coupon and a high 60% profit participation.

Bitfinex 

Bitfinex, which also provide margin lending for a long term to traders, allows users to provide liquidity for these margin traders by lending fiat or cryptocurrency and to earn interest on the provided funds. The interest on lent funds can vary based on the market situation and sometimes reaching very high levels of up to over 50%. However, these high-interest rates are short-lived and tend to return to single-digit percentages.

The exchange allows lenders to lend funds for 2-30 days and the funds cannot be taken out of the loan during this period. Lenders can earn more by locking in a high-interest rate with a 30-days loan.

Lending is done on a third party peer-to-peer basis. The interest rate on loans varies from one cryptocurrency or token to another. Those willing to obtain financing may place bids for financing on the Financing Order Book or may elect to be automatically matched through the site's order matching engine with one or more Financing Providers on the Financing Order Book at the best prevailing price on the Financing Order Book. Bitfinex is not a party to the financing contracts but will enforce the contracts established between Financing Providers and Financing Recipients on the Financing Order Book. Financing Providers and Financing Recipients negotiate the terms of the financing through the Financing Order Book.

The exchange can enforce liquidation of the cryptocurrency if the value falls below a certain percentage.

BlockFi

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency lending platform that lets users borrow USD against their crypto holdings, but they also have another service where clients can deposit and hold crypto such as BTC, ETH, Gemini Dollar (GUSD) stablecoin; users hold them in their wallets and earn interest with interests varying from one cryptocurrency to another. For instance, one can earn an interest rate of between 6.2% and 3.25% on BTC and ETH deposits. Interest payments are done once a month.

BlockFI, which is funded by Galaxy Digital, ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi, and Kenetic Capital, pays interest on the crypto that it then lends to institutions which use it as capital or for other expenses. Of course, although it started by paying depositors 6% monthly for their deposits and an interest of 6.2% in compound, the plan later changed earlier this year by them stating that any accounts with more than 25 bitcoin or 500 ether would get 6 percent monthly only on the part of their holdings below that threshold and 2% on the rest.

The plan changed because of influx of deposits sometimes to the tune of over $1 million amidst a crypto winter and due to decreased demand for ETH loans. Nevertheless, those rates are considerable given that many banks offer only a dismal 1–2% interest per year. In fact, by April, they were paying interests on deposits worth over $53 Million.

The custodian in this case is Gemini Trust Company, which is the issuer of GUSD.

B0x.network

BZX lets users trade cryptocurrency with margin trading and these users can borrow funds from margin lenders to pay interest on the funds loaned out. Their protocol can be integrated into new and existing exchanges or accessed through the native bZx portal.

Lenders are able to lend without having to move assets onto centralized exchanges while traders can margin trade without having to move their assets into a centralized exchange. The protocol can be used by or in dApps that are offering these services such as DEXes or decentralized exchanges. DEXes, for instance, can increase trading volume and liquidity and market makers can hedge risk while providing order book liquidity.

BTCPOP

BTCPOP also utilizes peer-to-peer lending model that allows users to make profit by lending others while those getting a loan can fund their own projects. Lenders are able to set the terms and amount they want to give out and this is an opportunity for them to even invest in startups.

BTCTop also has a swapping feature that allows users to swap Bitcoin with other coins or other coins into Bitcoins. They also have staking where they allow users to join and deposit cryptocurrency into their Btcpop’s Staking pool and expect some returns. They charge a small administration fee for Btcpop hosting the staking pool.

Celsius

This Android and iOS app features wallets that integrates with several crypto exchanges. With Celsius, you can deposit BTC, ETH, DASH, Stellar, ZCash, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, 0x, OmiseGo, Litecoin and Ripple. Celcius pays interest on a weekly basis but it is not compounded. Users can also add and withdraw coins at any time. Interest rates also change weekly. Users can also earn additional interest rates by choosing CEL as the token for receiving interest.

The lending platform pays 7.1% interest rate on cryptocurrency deposit. According to their explainer on Medium regarding how they manage to sustain a seemingly high interest rate payout on crypto deposits when banks on the other side seem to be paying the least of 1%, Celsius said banks are capable of paying as high as 7% because most of them accumulate as much as between 14–25% return on capital, but they do not want to pay that high interest: many customers are always already willing to give them their money without much interest.

Celsius earns interest by lending crypto to institutional traders and by issuing asset-backed loans at an average of 9% of interest. Every dollar borrower gives them more than 100% of the value of the loan they take in another asset.

The collateral is stored with SEC-approved BitGO and thus the custodian in this case is BitGO and the deposits are insured up to $100m.

Cred

Cred is accessed via an account on Uphold and offers interest for crypto deposits: BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, and also on fiat currencies such as USD, EUR and GBP and even Gold. It also offers a premium interest rate for those staking the platform token LBA (currently $0.04 * 10,000 = $400). The service offers 6% base and 10% premium rate on BTC. However, the minimum earn period is 6 months and users can always renew when the term ends.

Clients can earn up to 10% interest on $25,000 or more by depositing their BTC, XRP, ETH or their fiat. With this, there is no minimum investment size, no hidden fees. Clients holding 10k of LBA with Cred receive a lifetime of benefits. Customers can use LBA to buy and sell crypto at participating exchange.

BitGO is also the custodian. Cred also works with Lockton, a private-owned and independent insurance brokerage firms with some of the largest insurance underwriters in the world.

Cred lets users needing loans in USD, EURO, and other fiat currencies to deposit their crypto and use them as collateral. Like other similar services, users can thus avoid selling their crypto, especially when they deem not fit to sell, e.g. when expecting increases in prices or during the time they need to hodl instead of sell. Customers can access a loan of up to $USD 25,000.

CoinList

CoinList Lend is a marketplace where long-term holders of crypto meet those who need to borrow crypto tokens and lend them at a fee. CoinLend targets institutional lenders such as market-makers, hedge funds, and OTC desks.

Currently, it offers 16 assets for trading including some sourced from the network of issuers and investors listed on the platform. Currently, they allow clients looking to borrow to deposit collateral in any 9 of the accepted crypto assets plus fiat USD. The platform allows users to pay a fixed borrowing rate for every day that you borrow for a minimum of 1 day and a maximum of 30 days. Users do not have to expect change in interest rates when the loan is outstanding.

Compound

Compound is a decentralized peer-to-peer lending platform based on Ethereum blockchain and one advantage noted of it is that it does not take much custody in user funds. The platform let's users to invest in lending services such that any willing investors can deposit their crypto which is then lent out to other users. It charges a small margin on the loans.

The platform algorithmically sets interest rates based on supply and demand of the loan products. Due to the fact that it is p-2-p and algorithmic, it mainly targets small margin loans but with high efficiency. Plus it is most applicable in decentralized application situations. It also has APIs to interface with other services for instance these dapps.

Compound offers a compounded interest of 6-13% depending on the currency involved. Loans are collateralized at 1.5 times the loan value. Due to algorithmic strategies, the platform tends to offer high liquity to both lenders and borrowers. The latter are able to get loans instantaneously, which makes it even more suitable for dapps.

It is funded by the likes of Bain Capital Ventures, a16z, Coinbase and Polychain.

Crypto.com

Crypto credit card and wallet provider Crypto.com runs Earn program that lets users earn on BTC, PAX, TUSD, ETH, XRP, and LTC with lending rates differing depending on how long the funds are locked and whether the user has staked platform token MCO or not. For instance, a customer earns an interest of 4% to 6% if they lock coins for one month or three months respectively.

Not locking coins earns a lower interest of 2% for the coins sent for earning.

Crypto.com also provides other services such as letting users invest money into their smart trading program; it also lets merchants easily set up their shops and outlets for crypto payments.

CryptoLend

CryptoLend allows users to margin lend, meaning to lend money to borrowers who need it to margin or leverage trade, and the lenders are able to earn interest on the amount lent out. Users also do not need to transfer their assets to anyone because the assets will remain in the exchanges. CryptoLend allows users to only manage and optimize these services.

They use a crypto lending bot that runs on 24/7 basis and their lending rates vary from one crypto or fiat currency to another as shown in this page.

From their dashboard, a user can utilize different strategies with the lending bot: basic strategy, long loan strategy, automatic strategy, boost and auto boost strategy, reserve strategy, long maturity strategy, spread funds over time, and spread funds into book depth. These strategies are explained here in some further details.

DharmaLever

Dharma Lever fills the infrastructural gap for traders, hedge funds, OTC desks, and large institutions that want to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies and digital assets in large volumes on a global scale, hence solving the problem of low liquidity and sometimes unfriendly interest rates in centralized exchanges solutions. Besides, most of centralized cryptocurrencies exchanges not only take full custody of user funds and therefore highly susceptible to outside attacks and exposing investors to significant counterparty risks.

With Dharma Lever, users are capable of borrowing and lending cryptocurrency assets directly from their personal wallets, hardware, hosted or otherwise. Lenders are able to set risk profiles by specifying their desired loan terms, source best investment opportunities from Dharma credit market that meet their desired risk profile, custody their cryptocurrency assets in smart contracts, which means they do not trust third parties to have cryptocurrency stored, and manage their portfolio and watch their investments grow in real time.

Dharma Lever borrowers are able to customize terms for loans to be borrowed for instance by specifying the type of asset they want, collateral and the duration of the loan. They are also able to source most attractive offers from Dharma credit market, can trustlessly lock up collateral in smart contracts, and are able to receive principal instantly and to freely transfer it around the web.

When a loan is requested, Dharma Lever will scan Dharma relayers to find an interested counter-party and when the loan is matched on a relayer's order book, the Lever will fill the order. If there is matching offer that exists, Dharma Lever will send a request to one of their relayer's order books to ensure the request is filled. When an order is filled, Lever will administer the loan, monitor its collateral and ensure price fluctuation does not result in loss of lender funds. If the collateral will fall below a specified threshold, Lever automatically unwinds loans to re-posses the collateral, exchange the collateral to the denomination the loan was given, and return principal plus interest to the lender and return any remaining value to the borrower.

DyDx

DyDx is based on Ethereum Smart Contracts and is a crypto exchange that lets users trade a variety of cryptocurrency assets on leverage terms or the commonly known as margin trading. With margin trading on the exchange, a user can borrow any asset that is supported, directly in their wallet and use existing crypto holdings as collateral.

At the same time, any customer can earn a small variable interest (based on the market rate) by lending their funds to those who want to margin trade. Both users can use the platform to view, manage, and close margin positions and track performance of portfolio over time.

The exchange aggregates spot and lending liquidity across multiple exchanges.

ETHLend

EthLend is a popular DeFi (decentralized finance) lending marketplace where lenders can use their digital assets to make an average of 24% per yearly according to the information posted on their website. The decentralized platform allows users to either create a loan offer or fund an existing request that has been posted on the marketplace by a borrower who needs the cryptocurrency.

All the loans are collateralized with more assets than are being borrowed to protect against defaulting. Therefore, like many other lending platforms on this list, it is more suitable in cases where the borrowing client needs to retain their collateralized assets and not to sell them because of one or more reasons.

A common reason is when the markets are depressed and the borrower foresees hope in price recoveries. Again a borrower may need to fund emergencies, wants to leverage, wants to participate in an ICO, or may be doesn't want to close their positions. To fund an existing loan offer or create a new one, the borrower needs to register and send crypto (either ETH, LEND, DAI, TUSD or ETH pegged to USD, EUR, GBP, INR, KRW, JPY and CNY). These are the currently accepted coins and altcoins.

The borrower sends cryptocurrency assets (BTC, ETH, LEND, ERC20 tokens) amounting to 200% of the amount to borrow. For this case, funds are stored on a non-custodial smart contract and therefore the platform rids of centralized control of customers collateralized or deposited cryptocurrency. However, borrowers might be required to refill their collateral in case the market prices have moved in an unfavorable direction. Obviously, most would deposit or lock-in cryptocurrency assets such as BTC, ETH, LEND, and ERC20 tokens in order to get TUSD and ETH pegged to USD, EUR, GBP, INR, KRW, JPY and CNY for easier conversion to fiat sometimes.

For lenders, the platform charges a fee which is deducted from the interest of the installment payment. However, no fee is charged on any money lent out in platform token LEND. The fee for funding loan with a collateral also reduces from a 20% charged on interest of the installment payment to 10% of the interest of the installment payment.

Currently, the platform has a loan duration is 1-12 months. The platform is also interoperable with Bitcoin blockchain.

Margin Funding options are available for major coins like Bitcoin, Ether, Neo, IOTA, OMG, XRP and some others. Bitfinex, Bitmex, Poloniex, Quoine are the exchanges which offer margin funding. If you hold coins which are offered on these exchanges it might be worth your while to sign up and deposit your crypto there.

Ledn

Ledn is based in Canada and offers an annual lending rate of 5.1% with payouts being made on a monthly basis and funds able to be added and/withdrawn at any time. Ledn offers Bitcoin savings account that lets users earn interest on their Bitcoin savings and it pays monthly compounded interest to allow their investments to grow. They calculate and pay interest in Bitcoin. The service also provides a fiat lending service through which users can request and get Bitcoin-backed loans that do not only not create a taxable event but also its interest may be tax deductible.

This of their payout chart helps users discover their potential earnings from their savings account even before they can save with the service. The Ledn Bitcoin Savings Accounts is fully compliant with laws of Canada. For lenders, the loan is pre-determined and is not affected by the Bitcoin price.

However, for borrowers, if the price of Bitcoin drops significantly, the amount of collateral will fall and they will need to deposit more collateral into their segregated wallet or pay down some of the principal. Otherwise, the Bitcoin or part of it may be sold to meet the required LTV (loan-to-value ratio). The withdrawal fee for bitcoins on a Savings Account is 1% and there is a one-time administration fee of 2% with a $25 minimum. There also are no penalties or hidden fees.

Custody is insured by BitGo.

Nexo

Nexo web-based service offers 8% p.a. interest on stablecoins and Euro for lenders, and this interest is paid out daily and funds can be added or removed at any time by the lenders. NEXO has a platform token which is used to share profits via dividends to token holders; the custody of the funds is provided by BitGo.

Customers can deposit USDT, TUSD, USDC, PAX and DAI stablecoins and earn 8% interest on them. Unlike in other cases, the company pays out compounded interest rate daily. It currently allows users to earn interest on Bitcoin, Eth, LTC, XRP, Crypto.com, as well as TrueSD, Paxos and USDCoin stablecoins. More tokens are to be added later. The service has an iOS and Android app.

Like many other services on this list, Nexo allows people to instantly borrow fiat against their crypto holdings which is locked in as their collateral of the loan while, on the other hand, paying interest to those depositing crypto. Customers can also choose to earn 8% interest on their USD, Euro and GBP which they deposit for that purpose. So far, it has processed $700 million worth of lending transactions, out of the over $1 billion plus loan requests. Plus there is no credit check, no repayment deadlines and the loan is instant for those who deposit crypto.

The service, which is not only audited by Delloite but is also powered by a leading Fintech group serving Europe clients for over 10 years, also features credit cards that allow users or customers to spend money from their credit lines. All rates can be increased by 2% by staking the platform token MCO. For instance, locking the tokens for 3 months earns an interest of 8%. The service is not available for some countries. Crypto.com uses Ledger Vault custody solution.

NUO.Network

Nuo decentralized peer-to-peer debt marketplace where borrowers and lenders can work together to achieve their ends by lending and borrowing through non-custodial smart contracts and without any platform fees. Currently, it supports lending and borrowing of ETH, DAI, USDC, TUSD, MKR, BAT, LINK, KNC, REP, ZRX and WBTC (wrapped BTC which is a coin pegged to BTC to make BTC use-able on decentralized platforms).

With the platform, lenders can cancel their loan commitments at any time. Borrowers, on the other side,

Poloniex

Poloniex, like Bitfinex, offers margin lending and has been doing that for many years. Margin lending is purposely meant to provide borrowers some funds for trading where they can place orders of values more than the value they have in their accounts to, for instance, take advantage of a market rally.

The 30-day period is, however, not guaranteed because borrowers can close their positions at any time. This means a loan can be taken and then immediately released to the lending pool by the borrower when he/she closes a position, and this released loan becomes available to another borrower. Plus a given loan can be taken in full or partially while the other part is available to the rest of the borrowers. This situation applies, for instance when the borrower wants lesser amount than a given lender is offering.

The borrowers then pay interest to the lender in addition to the loan regardless of the market movements in respect to their predictions. For borrowers, the collateral will be liquidated in order to return the principle to the margin lending pool if the collateral will drop too close to the value of their loan.

The service only matches borrowers and lenders and takes a small fee out of it. The fee is 15% of the interest earned by lenders. A borrower can get involved with many lenders for instance if the borrower needs more money than one lender can satisfy: if the borrower creates or gets offers that are created by many other lenders, his position will be matched with the new loan offers when the initial loan expires. In this case, the web of borrowers will share risk.

Quoine

Quoine is a platform that, on one side, offers margin trading and through it, users can leverage loaned assets to earn more profits when market movement is favoring their bets. On the other side, lenders can lend their cryptocurrency assets to margin traders and earn daily interest of up to 0.070%.

QUOINE collects a total of 50% of interest earned and this acts as the platform's Interest Payment Fee. Loans can be created in Japanese Yen or in other currencies and cryptocurrency tokens supported by the exchange. Lenders are able to make offers for loans and these are taken up by traders in the order they appear, from lowest daily interest rate to highest.

That means a trader can borrow from many different lenders depending on the amount he or she needs to satisfy his/her needs. Of course, he or she will start by taking the best offers (according to the rate charged) in that order.
Lenders can also check the "reinvest" button in order to make their repaid loan immediately available for further lending. Lenders can also request to have their loans recalled at any time.

WhaleLend

WhaleLend allows users to earn interest on cryptocurrency. A user deposits cryptocurrency on which he or she earns interest with interest rates being able to fluctuate daily. The interest to lenders is paid in the currency of their investment.

WhaleLend service is also margin lending type, where it deploys capital to cryptocurrency lending markets and those needing to borrow the crypto to trade, will pay interest on the amount lent.

The platform uses AI-powered algorithms to help optimize returns in real-time.

David Kariuki

David Kariuki likes to regard himself as a freelance tech journalist who has written and writes widely about a variety of tech issues that affect our society daily, including cryptocurrencies (see cryptomorrow.com and coinpedia.org); climate change (cleanleap.com), OpenSim and virtual reality (see hypergridbusiness.com). He is currently pursuing a MSc in Environmental Management at Open University. He does write here not to offer any investment advise but with the intention of informing audience, and articles in here are of his own opinion. Anyone willing to use any opinion here as advise to invest in crypto should obviously take own responsibility and accountability of their losses (or benefits) thereof. You can reach me at eqariu@gmail.com or david@cryptomorrow.com

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