“Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”
It’s always worth bearing this line from Shakepeare’s Hamlet in mind, (from the mouth of the pompous ‘wise fool’ character Polonius to his son). However, this was long before the days of crypto (!) and if you’ve got some to spare or mined then why not use it as collateral to deploy traditional fiat for other or unexpected requirements, even to get in on an ICO/IEO.
Trying to read volatile markets, especially in cryptocurrency, can become damaging in more ways than financial. Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and look for alternative methods to take the heat off, ‘go long’, and restore a battered psyche. After all, being on a roller-coaster and down a rabbit hole at the same time is twice as taxing on the brain. The good news is you can still be excited by cool projects without being involved in volatility. Welcome to the next phase of adventures in crypto-land…
[Ok, introductory ‘waffle’ now over].
Yes, interesting projects are up and running that now allow you to earn interest by simply hodling your crypto, and/or to take out loans that use them as collateral.
These websites could help to welcome more institutional interest in crypto and bitcoin, if that matters. They could also bring some steady hodling back to an infant market that’s now beginning to warm the insides again, having burned many mouths since December 2017 cooked up a hot soup of greed, and creativity.
If you’re looking for in-depth reviews and comparisons of the following sites, then you’ll have to do your own research, but using this post. Here at Ade’s Press this is just to highlight and introduce them, or provide quick overviews.
All platforms allow you to withdraw your assets at any time, which is always a nice feature (to those who remember having to write letters to banks informing them to close a savings account, and waiting days for confirmations). However, the length of time before you actually receive your crypto/returns vary (can be up to 7 days).
Looking to earn some interest on your crypto? These are all pretty good for chucking some in and forgetting about, until some rainy day comes along. Where do you chuck it into though? and… will you get it back? Well, the below sites are all large, well-backed and conceived projects. One offers a big pot, one offers a protocol, one offers peer-to-peer lending… understanding the nature of the platform is essential.
I’ve had a go myself with Finnish company Whalelend (based in Helsinki) and deposited a bit of Eth, and after a while I get a nice graph showing interest generated. I like the simplicity and design.
They support a growing list of digital assets, each with different rates. We’re talking margin lending here, so different exchanges will be used, mostly Bitfinex. Risk comes with something happening to these exchanges, including possible Tether-related events.
You can also view a free demo of how the dashboard looks on the inside. Check out their vid belo
This is a big one, since its been backed by some big names in cryptocurrency including Gemini and Galaxy Digital. Gemini is run by the Winklevoss twins, who are well known in cryptocurrency for always pushing for regulation, trust and protection. You can open a BIA Interest Account (link to FAQ) for compound interest, and also take out crypto-backed loan (the Loan Calculator is very neat). Check out the full Resource Center for all info.
At time of writing, the interest is paid monthly, and the minimum deposit for a BIA is quite high. You can still deposit small amounts, but they won’t earn anything. ‘Most withdrawals happen same-day, but BlockFi reserves the right to up-to 7 days to execute the transfer.’
Obviously the big attraction with crypto-backed loans, is for those who don’t want to sell their crypto but have obligations to meet in the short-term, and with low APR.
And if you’re keen to start earning interest on BTC (at time of writing 1 whole one) or ETH (25) then I can tell you it’s v. easy, and takes about 5 mins max. Just please use my referral link (appreciated).
Compound are based in San Francisco. There info is mostly on Medium, while the site is for the dapp.
Earn interest or borrow Ethereum-based tokens or assets. Since Compound is Ethereum-based, log-in and interaction is nice and easy with MetaMask browser extension.
Since your assets will pass to a protocol, you can withdraw assets earning interest at any time.
Since you can borrow directly from the protocol (and not from a peer) you have near-instant access to borrowing, making Compound ‘the fastest borrowing platform in the world’.
At time of writing, DAI has the best interest rate.
I’m a member of Nexo, [link to support center] and personally love the advanced dashboard, and feel happy that the assets+platform are backed and audited by BitGo. I went through the process of buying some Nexo tokens via the platform, because I feel the platform will grow, and may receive future dividends in more Nexo as a token holder.
You can also earn interest on cryptos that you hodl there. Again, the highest interest rate is for stablecoin, at time of writing TrueUSD or Tether, but I can see that interest on the major cryptos Bitcoin etc are coming soon.
Salt is a platform for taking loans backed by your crypto, no credit checks or questions asked.
They also have a SALT token, that can reside in an Ethereum-based wallet, which allow for membership.
Read the main FAQ page with all the sections in one place.
You can’t use MetaMask but must create a log-in.
Read the important info to become a lender on the platform.
Read the important updating info to become a borrower on the platform.
Here, the LEND token, allows for various interesting benefits on the platform. It’s worth noting how valuable this token can be.
There’s no doubt the crypto lending and token-rewarding revolution is also something of a brave new world. But it’s a world turning against banks and slow, traditional payment mechanisms. In all the above websites you control your own wallets, and blockchain acts as auditable proof.
It’s likely that 2019 will mark the year that many custodial or staking options (including Coinbase) arrived to bring more hodlers into crypto. We need them!
So that’s it for now, but stay tuned for more or bookmark this page for updates. Personally, I love projects like these. If you can afford to hodl, they can also reward for staking or increase in quantity of crypto (via token dividend) for passive income, so I’ll continue to cover these here at Ade’s Crypto Press.
Comments welcome here or on Telegram below. Last revised May 2019.