Holding crypto assets might be very stressful: you keep tabs on Bitcoin rate and don’t know when it will grow or fall. It feels like you are waiting in vain for the currency to spike in price again. Instead of wasting your time, you can enjoy some passive income. How to earn interest on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies you own? Consider crypto and Bitcoin lending.
Table of Contents
Is it profitable to lend crypto?
Imagine you have 1 BTC that costs $6,000 today. In a year, its price may rise, or stay the same – who knows? But if you make your digital money work for you, in the same one year, your savings might equal 1.25 BTC, which is $7,500 already.
Yes, it IS profitable to earn interest on Bitcoin because even if its price falls during certain time span, you can cover your losses fully or partially thanks to the interest earned. Actually, the concept is not new: traditional borrowers make money on lending fiat money, apartments, and other assets.
Before you make the decision on whether to earn interest on Bitcoin or not, let’s observe the pros and cons of cryptocurrency one more time:
Thus, if you decide to earn interest on Bitcoin, the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages. However, the choice of lending platform and loan strategy play a crucial role.
Loans with & without collateral
The vast majority of platforms allow borrowing Bitcoin and crypto without collateral – users only need to verify their personality. BTC and ETH are often used as collateral when one borrows fiat on certain platforms (Unchained Capital, BlockFi). This is not the most convenient option since the volume of collateral might be up to 2:1 (you pay $2 worth of Bitcoin for every $1 of your loan). Besides, if the cost of cryptocurrency falls, a borrower might be required to pay additional collateral.
However, as a lender you reap benefits from collateral: this is the warranty that your loss will be covered in case if the borrower doesn’t return the money. Even if you don’t earn interest on Bitcoin, the platform will compensate you for that.
P2P & Centralized Crypto Lending Platforms
Getting a loan in Bitcoins is not the same procedure as getting a loan from banks. You register on a certain online exchange and advertise that you want to borrow some Bitcoins and provide some certain obligations to return the cryptocurrency taken at interest, and other users decide whether to grant you a loan from their own virtual money funds or not.
The best way to get BTC is to use Bitcoin lending sites. Those are cryptocurrency exchanges that act as intermediaries between those who use digital money. To protect yourself from possible risks, choose only reliable lenders. Check their ratings, reviews, and the number of deals closed.
If you want to enjoy a larger choice of Bitcoin lending options, select P2P platforms: they allow getting a loan in Bitcoins from other individuals. A loan can be issued by a single lender or a group of investors. Please note that sometimes you should provide the explanation why you borrow Bitcoins: it will help you attract investors. To get a loan in Bitcoins, you need to register on a cryptocurrency exchange and submit your application, indicate the required loan amount, the rate at which you will return the funds and the payment period. Further, all interested cryptocurrency owners can respond to your offer to issue a crypto loan.
Without further ado, let’s observe the most reliable Bitcoin lending sites.
BlockFi entered the market quite late but offered significant advantages right from the start. Unlike other platforms, there was no ICO: everything was funded exclusively by institutional investors. BlockFi received the initial capital from billionaire Mike Novogratz and began spreading to all new markets quickly. The company recently entered California and Maryland, with a total of 45 US states where the service is available.
“Raising funds for this particular audience is associated with stringent requirements and thorough testing on our platform. This requires us to be the most reliable and trusted lender on the market.” – said BlockFi representatives.
Since there was no ICO, BlockFi does not have its own token. BlockFi claims that this saves users from the problem of owning another crypto asset, which makes sense. There is no need to use a token for the cryptocurrency business model. Its presence creates a conflict of interest and confuses users.
- The company offers a 6.2% interest rate on BTC and 3.3% on ETH for lenders, which is the highest rate you can find;
- No minimal deposit;
- Low rates for borrowers encourage users to get BTC loans.
- The company is fully centralized. Unlike other platforms, they do not connect lenders with borrowers: BlockFi is the only lender;
- Only BTC, ETH, and GUSD are available.
- Digressive interest rates apply to large deposits (2.2% for 10+ BTC and 0.2% for 100+ ETH).
Celsius platform appeared only in 2018: it was founded by Alex Mashinsky(one of the inventors of voice over IP technology). Forbes included Celsius in the list of Top-10 companies to watch for in 2018, and said it is set to disrupt the traditional banking system.
A lot of users praise Celsius network for weekly interest payments and optimal interest rates:
- Bitcoin – 4.60%
- Ethereum – 3.90%
- Litecoin – 4.50%
- Ripple – 2.50%
- OmiseGo – 4.25%
- Bitcoin cash – 3.75%
- Over 10 cryptocurrencies are supported;
- No fees apply to deposit, withdrawal, transaction, etc.;
- No minimum deposit;
- No lockups at all;
- Weekly payouts.
- Mobile app only is provided;
- Since CEL token was suspended, US customers have lower interest rates.
Piggybank by OKEx
If you are engaged in active crypto trading and want to earn interest with Bitcoin and other cryptos, Piggybank by OKEx is a great solution. The crypto exchange allows users to earn OKEx’s income for margin loans. The platform supports such cryptocurrencies as BTC, EOS, XRP, USDT, LTC, ETH, TRX, and a few other notable coins. Interesting to note, the interest rate is not fixed: instead, it is defined by the interest accrued from margin trading on OKEx.
- No locking period – feel free to withdraw your funds at any time;
- No minimum deposit;
- Instant withdrawals and deposits;
- Interest is paid on a daily basis and is compounded.
- The interest rate is not fixed, so it’s hard to predict the income
Probably, this is the most decentralized solution for cryptocurrency lending in the market. ETHLend, takes a few more steps towards fair P2P (Peer-to-Peer) lending. Now you can forget about signing contracts, the only contract that matters is the one that stores your tokens.
However, this simplicity is associated with some disadvantages. ETHLend allows for collateral loans only, but BTC cannot be used as collateral.
- You can take loans secured by a large number of ERC-20 tokens, including tokens secured by assets, such as Digix;
- A highly decentralized P2P exchange ;
- ETHLend also makes it easy to earn interest on crypto. Anyone can become a lender, and negotiate with borrowers on any terms.
- Collateral is required;
- The platform is aimed at ERC-20 token borrowing only.
One of the most popular Bitcoin lending sites, NEXO offers competitive interest rates and favorable conditions for both lenders and borrowers. NEXO tokens can be used to lower interest rates and repayment payments; they can also be used as collateral, and, according to the Nexo website, their platform will share part of the profit with token holders.
Loan approval is fully automated, which allows borrowers and lenders find each other pretty quickly. Officially, Nexo provides loans worldwide, including at least 36 US states. Additional plans for issuing loans for ERC-20 tokens and crypto-plastic cards show that the company is always evolving and will definitely stay on the pedestal in the nearest years.
Nexo allows to use Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and NEXO as collateral. Loan repayment can be made in US dollars, Euro and cryptocurrencies.
- Nexo has a non-commissioned, fixed interest model that has exhibited a higher chance of survival through difficult market conditions.
- Collateral is required;
- Lenders can only deposit fiat currencies or stablecoins.
CoinLoan, an Estonian P2P lending platform, started issuing loans secured by Monero cryptocurrency in April 2019. Now the users of the service are able to use XMR when receiving a loan in fiat currency (USD, EUR, GBP, RUB) or stablecoins (TUSD, GUSD, USDC).
Monero was chosen because XMR is the leading digital currency for anonymous and censorship-resistant financial transactions. Thanks to the use of cryptography, such information as the addresses of senders and recipients and transaction amounts stays private, and Monero ensures the safety of transactions.
- Automatic funds management. A user can set the conditions for issuing loans and the system will automatically create applications while evaluating the market situation. After closing loans, the system will continue to create applications;
- Flexible adjustment of credit conditions, e.g. the possibility to specify the optimal conditions for the issuance of loans;
- The complete absence of risks: guaranteed full repayment without delay on loans issued, including interest rate;
- Absence of limits. The minimum loan amount is $ 100, and the maximum amount and number of active loans is limited only by your budget. Any person can become a creditor without any licenses;
- A multitude of currencies available: a loan can be issued in one of the many available currencies;
- Reliability and safety. Full legality, as well as a secure infrastructure, will ensure the safety of financial resources. In addition, the company will soon be licensed in Europe as a payment institution.
- Low volume of borrowers and lenders;
- No buyback guarantee.
If you prefer long-term cryptocurrency storage, consider using Binance Lending service. It supports several cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, USDT) and serves to maximize user’s profit. You can simply store your crypto on Binance wallet and get interest on a daily basis. The annual interest rate varies from 0.20% to ~3%. Both fixed and flexible deposit systems apply.
Passive income with cryptocurrencies is not limited by trading only – Bitcoin lending is a pretty profitable idea, especially if you prefer long-term storage. Thus, if you trust a crypto platform, don’t hesitate to turn your cold storage into hot and enjoy stable profit of up to 8% annually. In the worst case, it will cover the loss when cryptocurrency price declines. In the best – your crypto riches can multiply.