Best Crypto Lending Platforms of July 2023
Crypto lending platforms are a great way to earn interest on your cryptocurrencies by lending them to others or to borrow cryptocurrencies like USDC and Bitcoin without having to sell them. In this article, we'll tell you about the crypto lending platforms that we think are the best. This will help you make a better decision about whether or not to lend your hard-earned crypto.
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Best Crypto Lending Platforms Summary
Here are a handful of the most popular cryptocurrency lending platforms on the market today:
Nexo: The best crypto lending platform that provides interest daily
Binance: A well-known brand with very competitive rates
YouHodler: The most flexible crypto lending platform
OKX: Best for least risk
Ledn: The safest and most responsible crypto lender
Best all-round platform with competitive lending rates
Nexo is considered the gold standard of crypto lending platforms. They offer an easy-to-use platform, a wide range of cryptocurrencies to lend or borrow, a low-fee exchange, a credit card and much more. They are regulated, they have industry-leading wallet insurance and have never suffered from liquidity issues.
In order to get the best borrow and yield rates, you need to stake NEXO tokens. Please consider this when checking their interest rates and comparing it with other platforms that don't have this requirement.
Frequently asked questions
Pros & Cons
Regulated and licensed to operate across the world
There are many different cryptocurrencies to lend or borrow
High interest rates. Up to 36% APY
Nexo offers a suite of features and cryptocurrencies to choose from. With industry-leading insurance, regulation and no history of liquidity issues, it's a great option for borrowing and lending crypto assets.
This is the best choice if you want an all-in-one platform
Binance is arguably the best known brand in the crypto industry, and for good reason. They offer an incredibly robust platform with a every feature you could want, including crypto lending, a sophisticated exchange. a crypto debit card, margin trading and much more.
Frequently asked questions
Pros & Cons
Trading fees are relatively low. If you use BNB, you get a further 25% discount.
Their customer support is not always responsive
Binance is a well-known brand with a large selection of coins to lend or borrow. Their interest rates are very competitive. However, there have been many allegations lately that Binance isn't as liquid as they make out. We're yet to see any hard evidence of these allegations.
They offer up to 50 collateral options with the highest LTV
YouHodler offers a very compelling loan product with up to 90% Loan-to-Value (LTV), 50 cryptocurrency collateral options, and withdrawal options in stablecoins, fiat, or crypto via SEPA and SWIFT.
In case you want to pay off your loan sooner than expected, that's not a problem. You only pay for days the loan was active. Additionally, they offer innovative features such as setting a take profit price, increasingly loan-to-value and extending price down limit.
Should you want to lend your crypto to earn yield, YouHolder are also very competitive in this space. Their interest rates are consistently some of the best in the industry and they offer interest on a large variety of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and fiat currencies.
It also helps that YouHodler is insured, regulated, and has never suffered any liquidity or security issues, even in the very turbulent times of 2022.
Pros & Cons
Registered and licensed to operate by Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM) in Italy
It doesn't require staking a native token to get full benefits
It has a wide range of supported crypto assets
It is intuitive, making it easy for first-time users to get started
Some of the fees for using the platform can be much higher than competitors
It is not available to U.S. residents
Frequently asked questions
Never had liquidity issues
Unlike many of YouHodler's competitors, they have never suffered liquidity issues.
When you need options and flexibility
YouHodler is the ideal crypto loan platform for those who want flexibility with borrowing or lending. During the loan period, you can quickly and easily change the terms to meet your needs. Furthermore, it helps that they offer so many collateral and LTV options. They also offer high interest rates on a large range of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and fiat. For these reasons, we believe YouHodler is a strong choice for your lending needs.
This is the best choice if you want a less risky option
OKX is a big, well-established brand that is well-funded and have shown they're over capitalized in their latest proof-of-reserves audit. They've never had hacking, or liquidity issues. In addition to this, they offer an enormous range of cryptocurrencies to lend and borrow.
Frequently asked questions
Pros & Cons
It's very easy to get up-and-running
OKX has a very large selection of coins to lend and they're adding more by the week
OKX is the second largest exchange in volume and brand equity
Has a complex multi-tier fee system for options, futures, and spot trading
Not available in the US or China
OKX is a top two exchange, with a great brand, and a great reputation. They have provided proof-of-reserves, they have a tonne of features to choose from. There's really not much not to like. We highly recommend this exchange for lending.
Risk-averse and transparent
Ledn differentiates itself by offering risk-averse lending practices and focusing on USDC and Bitcoin only. They provide something called Proof-of-Reserves which is an industry-leading standard of transparency and accountability to their clients.
Similar to other lending platforms listed, they offer both yield products as well as the ability to borrow crypto. In addition to this, they also offer the ability to get a crypto-backed mortgage.
They raise the bar for transparency
Ledn is the first company in the digital asset lending industry to pioneer a third-party proof-of-reserves standard by a public accounting company. This is an ongoing process that covers all client assets and lending operations.
Ledn Pros & Cons
Doesn’t impose minimum balance requirements
No minimum deposit time on its Saving Accounts
No trading fees
No support for cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin or USDC
Only accepts Bitcoin as collateral for crypto-backed loans
Bitcoin Mortgage is only available for Ontario residents
Frequently asked questions
Ledn is the best platform if you're looking to lend or borrow USDC or Bitcoin and you value safety and transparency from a lending platform. Of the platforms listed, it's the only one that also offers a crypto-backed mortgage product. Ledn has proven itself as a responsible crypto lending platform and we highly recommend it.
What is a crypto lending platform?
Before we delve more deeply into how crypto lending platforms work, you must understand precisely what they are. Essentially, a crypto lending platform functions as a traditional lending platform.
You use a crypto lending platform to lend a crypto asset to earn passive income with an annual percentage yield, which gets lent on your behalf by a third party. Instead of dealing with funds in fiat, your funds get held in a cryptocurrency of your choice.
To begin earning money on your cryptos, it's as simple as opening an account. This step lets your crypto assets start working for you. As you can see, this approach represents an excellent way to break into the crypto investing world without diving immediately into the deep end of the pool.
How does a crypto lending platform work?
There are some big differences between a traditional lending platform and a crypto lending platform, but these differences are not insignificant. You don't just put money into your account. Instead, you move it to a crypto asset wallet. This wallet gets controlled by the lending platform provider you choose.
Once you've put money into your wallet, you'll start earning interest every time another platform user borrows your crypto assets at a pre-arranged interest rate. This interest rate will vary based on a variety of factors, including market prices.
After all, when demand proves high and the supply side of things struggles to keep up, expect to see interest rates skyrocket. Obviously, the lending platform you choose has a big effect on how much you'll get back when you lend crypto.
For this reason, the platform you choose remains among the most vital components of a successful cryptocurrency lending strategy.
A crypto lending platform versus a traditional lending platform
So far, we've focused on the similarities between traditional and crypto lending platforms. But you must also be aware of some critical differences before you start to earn interest in cryptos. These differences relate to:
What do you need to know about each of these critical areas of difference? Let's take a closer look.
That way, you'll know what to expect before picking a platform and funding your first crypto wallet. We'll start by tackling the topic of collateralization.
Many crypto lending platforms require what's known as the collateralization of crypto assets. Why? Because collateralization significantly reduces the risks associated with dealing with cryptos,
For example, BlockFi requires a 50 percent loan-to-value (LTV) collateralization. This LTV rate compares the amount of a loan a consumer wants to take out against a potential purchase value.
As for collateralization? It refers to the fair market value of the assets used to secure a loan.
How do companies determine collateral value? by looking at the recent sale prices of similar assets. In some cases, this process may involve an appraisal by a qualified expert, too.
Collateralization permits cryptocurrency companies to maintain a large buffer. This buffer protects the exchange or platform if the borrower doesn't pay the loan's interest.
The buffer also provides safeguards should the market correct. This approach to lending shields companies against the capriciousness of the crypto market.
The collateralization approach does something else. It eliminates the need to perform traditional credit checks.
Why? because the collateral provided guarantees the assets in question.
Of course, you won't find this level of collateralization with a traditional bank loan. For this reason, traditional banks prove far more vulnerable to loan defaults. That's why they perform credit checks to estimate whether a borrower proves creditworthy.
What's another key difference between a traditional lending platform through a bank and one through a crypto exchange or platform? FDIC insurance.
Most traditional bank lending platforms come with a $250,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) policy. For this reason, many people assume that crypto lending platforms have similar safeguards.
But don't make this faulty assumption. Such is not the case.
Many crypto lending platforms don’t have any associated federal insurance. That said, a growing number of them are making up for this with private insurance provided via companies like Lloyd's of London and AON.
Is this insurance essential? Absolutely.
Cryptocurrency companies have had to get creative about how they protect digital assets. As more money keeps coming into the cryptoasset market, hackers will find digital currency companies to be very tempting targets.
As losses from hacks continue to rise, we expect a growing number of companies to turn to outside-the-box security strategies. These strategies will protect the funds consumers entrust to crypto lending platforms.
We've been conditioned to expect very little from traditional bank lending platforms when it comes to yields. In a survey of the top high-yield online lending platforms, Bankrate's annual percentage yields hovered between 0.52 percent with CIBC Bank USA and 0.65 percent with Quontic Bank.
These rates are nothing to write home about. Still, they are some of the most profitable ways to borrow money in the traditional banking world today.
As for crypto lending platforms? Get ready for much larger yield numbers.
Yields on cryptocurrencies range from about one percent to twenty percent or more. Yes, you read that right.
As you can see, these yields prove to be significantly higher than what you'll get with traditional lending platforms, particularly with stablecoins.
Why such a substantial difference? Because cryptocurrency banks cannot create money, they entice investors with high yields.
As a result, supply and demand for cryptos determine interest rates. Because demand remains far higher than supply across a broad range of cryptocurrencies, expect to make more when lending digital coins via a lending platform.
You also need to get used to the fact that you can't get to your money as easily with crypto lending platforms. You can withdraw money from traditional lending platforms up to six times a month without any limits or fees. But crypto lending platforms function differently.
They may limit your access to assets for a set amount of time from the date you make a deposit. They may also charge you fees for withdrawals, especially when you need to liquidate assets before the end of the pre-set period.
This reality can prove a nasty surprise for consumers who don't understand all aspects of dealing with cryptos. After all, there's currently no standardized guidance when it comes to withdrawal limits. For this reason, it can be tough to summarize what's standard across the industry.
Always read the fine print before funding a wallet through any platform or exchange. It doesn't hurt to read the company's frequently asked questions (FAQs), either. That way, you can learn more about potential fees.
Or, if you're lucky enough to work with a company that offers live customer service, ask a representative about how to gain access to funds. That way, you'll never get charged more than you should.
What to look for in a crypto lending platform
Are you ready to learn more about earning interest on your cryptos now that you've looked at the above yields? If so, you're far from alone. But you'll need to keep a few factors in mind as you begin to explore which platform is right for you.
Some things to research when selecting a crypto lending platform provider include:
The coins supported by the company
The withdrawal restrictions in place
The availability of crypto assets for purchase
The loan-to-value (LTV) rates offered by the brand
Whether compound interest is provided via the platform
The security of the platform
Each of these factors will tell you a lot about what working with a specific company will be like. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at what you should consider when searching out the right crypto savings platform for your financial needs.
Coins that crypto lending platforms offer
When dealing with a traditional bank account, you don't have to make decisions about currencies. Your nation's fiat currency chooses you.
But different crypto lending platforms offer different types of cryptocurrencies. You must be prepared to deal with this significant deviation from mainstream lending platforms.
Where do you start when it comes to selecting a cryptocurrency? Bear in mind that no account provider will permit you to earn interest on every coin on the market. After all, these platforms need to make a profit, too.
Because of this, you should carefully check with each company you're thinking about to see which digital currencies they accept. What's more, if you already own cryptocurrency, you may need to get even pickier.
What do we mean? There's no point in selecting a provider that can't support the coins you possess. If you're lucky enough to hold assets in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or even Litecoin (LTC), this likely won't prove an issue.
These are cryptos that are widely accepted across almost the entire crypto lending space. But if you're the proud owner of a stash of Dogecoin, DentaCoin, or KodakCoin, you'll need to dig deep to find a company that supports your weird and wacky assets.
Are you ready to find out more about the most popular cryptocurrencies and altcoins on the market today? If so, take a look at our comprehensive list of the most commonly used cryptos, from Binance USD to Gemini Dollar and EOS.
Purchase availability of various crypto assets
Purchase availability issues may or may not apply to you. It all depends on whether you already hold crypto assets.
If not, you should select a crypto savings provider that offers accounts with market access. What does this mean? Market access means that you can use the platform to buy cryptocurrency and set up a lending platform with that company.
Going this route will streamline and simplify the entire crypto onboarding process. In turn, it means you can start earning yields on your crypto holdings sooner. And you nix unnecessary paperwork, transactions, etc.
Compound interest and whether it applies
Many consumers assume they'll earn compound interest on their crypto lending platform. But such is not always the case.
Because of this, you should find out if the lending platform you're interested in has a compound interest rate before you apply.
What if you don't have a compound interest rate on your lending platform, which would be a bad thing? Understand that you'll still earn interest on your initial deposit over time. But it won't be anywhere near what you'd see with a compounding interest account.
In other words, you'll have to trade or spend the interest to fully realize its potential. This situation proves incredibly frustrating for investors who prefer a hands-off approach. You owe it to yourself to make sure that any account you open has compound interest.
The security of the platform
We briefly talked about this issue when we talked about how traditional bank lending platforms are different from crypto lending platforms. As you know, companies have had to significantly up their game in response to threats from hackers.
So, there is now more attention on insurance companies like Lloyd's of London as security providers. But the safety of a given platform shouldn't stop at insurance alone. Look for companies that offer two-factor authentication (2FA). This is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your digital assets.
Because crypto companies don’t have FDIC insurance, the account provider's financial stability matters that much more. The best companies also offer cold storage solutions, providing additional layers of financial security.
Crypto lending regulation
Crypto lending is a new phenomenon, and regulators in the US and around the world are struggling to keep up with it. It's important to understand the regulatory environment in your country to make sure you're not breaking any laws. You can learn more about crypto lending regulations.
Is crypto lending legal in your country?
Most countries have chosen to either regulate crypto or not care about it at all. Others, however, have taken a more aggressive approach and made it illegal to own or use crypto at all. The list of countries is not large and doesn't appear to be growing; however, it's something you should be aware of and take precautions against in case something like that happens in the future. We recommend checking whether crypto lending is legal in your country before opening an account.
Can you make money with crypto lending platforms?
Now we come to the question that everyone's been waiting for. Can you turn a decent profit with a lending account? The short and simple answer is yes, especially if you deposit your funds into a high-yield crypto lending platform.
That said, you'll receive the yield in the cryptocurrency of your choice. In other words, if what you're most concerned about is generating revenue in a fiat currency such as the dollar, you may not reap the results you want with a crypto lending platform.
It's hard to beat the yields many cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms offer. Even people who aren't sure about cryptocurrencies are tempted by USDC's high yields (up to 20%).
Remember, there's a very close parity between the US dollar and the USDC coin, making USDC an excellent asset to hold under the right circumstances. But sudden changes in demand, especially drops in demand for the USDC, could wipe out your initial investment and any profits you've made since then.
Yes, you may see fantastic returns when investing in cryptocurrencies, but nothing is guaranteed.
That said, if you already own cryptocurrency or would like to purchase some, a crypto lending platform comes with genuine value. And, yes, a lending platform can generate money if you know what you're doing.
Crypto lending platforms: The takeaway
We've covered plenty of ground in this best crypto lending platform article. We started by exploring what crypto lending platforms are and how they work. Next, we looked at the pros and cons of these new lending platform options compared to the old ones.
Even though some of the best standard bank account yields were listed, it was clear right away how much more you could earn with a crypto lending platform.
After listing some of the most popular platforms in each category, we considered each system's features, providing you with a better understanding of which technology is right for you and your crypto assets when choosing the best crypto lending platform.