Crypto Lending Options [Crypto Interest Earning Accounts]

This is a list of various ways to lend out and earn interest on your crypto currency holdings.

Crypto currency lending is a developing area and this an experimental page (far from complete).  We welcome any knowledge that you have on the topic.

Background – My Motivation

I Have a Few Coins

Through various crypto giveaways I’ve accumulated a small collection of crypto currencies.

And the bonus crypto has just been sitting in various wallets and exchanges, sort of like gold in a vault (junk in a trunk?).

Why not earn interest?

But recently I learned that instead of letting the coins sit like gold in a vault, a number of companies/platforms will pay interest on crypto deposits (my crypto deposits would earn interest similar to traditional financial assets).

It’s not exactly a free lunch (figurative), [not to be confused with the (literal) many free lunch deals covered by DoC 🙂 ] as greater returns are generally accompanied with greater risk.  And the risk premiums for these crypto lending options are quite large.

But I figured it was worth a look.

[Free lunches and free money, I’m very grateful Will and Chuck have been serving me and the rest of the free money people since 2013.  What’s better than daily notifications of the $20 bill (sometimes $200 bill) lying on the street?]

Should I just sell instead?

Probably … sell and buy a broadly diversified, low cost index fund [then close up the laptop and head over to MMM Headquarters for some squats].  At least that’s the traditional wisdom [certainly the squat part … the king of exercises?].

But I’ll HODL.  Maybe I could rationalize the investment as a portfolio diversifier, or an asset class with a large potential upside.  But I figure it’s sort of a fun gamble, a small investment where even if it’s a total loss I’ll survive to invest another day.




  • Name: BlockFi Interest Account (BIA)
  • Minimum Investment: None
  • Maximum Investment: Rate is Reduced when BTC > 5 or ETH > 500
  • Fees:
  • Withdrawal Limits:
    • Minimums: 0.003 BTC, 0.056 ETH (smaller withdrawals then these may take 30 days to process)
    • Maximums: 100 BTC, 5K ETH, 1M GUSD per 30 day period
  • Supported Currencies: BTC, ETH, GUSD, LTC, USDC
  • Interface: Web/Browser


  • Interest Rates: (@ 2020-03-30)
    • BTC – 6.0% APY,
    • ETH – 4.5% APY,
    • GUSD – 8.6% APY
    • LTC – 3.8% APY
    • PAX – 8.6% APY
    • USDC – 8.6% APY
  • Interest Payment Schedule: Monthly
  • Interest Type: Compounded Monthly
  • Interest Paid Currency: Your Choice


  • Lockup Period: None
  • Custodian: Gemini
    • Gemini is licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services
  • Sense of Legitimacy


  • My Experience:
    • Inital Setup: 10-15 Mins (easy setup)
      • Requires KYC: DoB, SSN (no hard pull), and Government ID upload
      • Web/Browser Interface is clean/simple to use
  • Others Experience (from the Comments):


BlockFi Referral [Referral Code: 536e28ad enter on signup] | Direct Link

  • For each friend you refer, your friend will earn $50 in BTC, and you will earn $25 in BTC
  • Your friend must deposit $350 or more worth of crypto
  • Deposit by 12/31/20 and maintain balance until 01/31/21
  • Full Details Full Details



  • Name: Celsius Network Wallet
  • Minimum Investment: None
  • Maximum Investment: None
  • Fees:
    • No Account Fee
    • No Withdrawal Fees
  • Withdrawal Limits:
  • Interface: App (available Apple and Android versions)


  • Interest Rates: (@2020-03-24)
    • BTC – 3.92%
    • ETH – 2.33%
    • GUSD – 7.25%
    • USDC – 7.25%
  • Interest Payment Schedule: Weekly
  • Interest Type: Simple Interest (Interest does not earn interest) Update: Feb 2020 Now Compounding
  • Interest Paid Currency:  in-kind (the same currency deposited)
    • [Not Available in US] Celsius has their own CEL tokens which can be earned as interest payments but are not available in the US (more on CEL Token per comment)


  • Lockup Period: None
  • Custodian: Fireblocks [Previous: BitGo]
  • Sense of Legitimacy
    • Investors: ICO Proceeds
    • Assets: 300M+
    • Offices: UK (London), US (NY, NJ), IL (Tel Aviv)
    • Background Article: Link


  • My Experience:
    • Initial Setup: 15-20 mins (fairly quick)
      • Requires App Installation
        • Available for Apple and Android Devices
        • App is good with a few quirks
      • Requires KYC: DoB, SSN (no hard pull), Government ID (pictures taken within app)
  • Others Experience (from the Comments):


Celsius Referral [*Referral Code: 1039135092 enter on signup] | Direct Link

*Celsius Referral Program – $400 deposit required within 5 days for both parties to receive $40 in BTC [enter code during registration].  Wallet balance value is based on time of deposit (all coins qualify).  Deposit must be maintained for 30 days to unlock BTC reward

At times Celsius releases bonus deposit codes


  • Name: Earn
  • Minimum Investment: $250 (but varies by coin, see FAQ)
  • Maximum Investment: $500K (but varies by stake [larger at larger stake], see FAQ)
  • Fees/Limits:
    • No Account Fee
    • Withdrawal Fees apply (vary by coin)
  • Supported Currencies:
    • EOS, XLM, XTZ
    • Various geographic restrictions apply
  • Interface: App (Android & Apple versions)


  • Rate: FAQ
  • Interest Payment Schedule: Daily Interest, Paid Weekly
  • Interest Type: Simple Interest (Interest does not earn interest)
  • Interest Paid Currency: in-kind (the same currency deposited)



  • My Experience:
    • Initial Setup: 10-15 mins
    • Downloaded the App to my phone
    • KYC process required my name, email, phone, driver license, and a selfie picture
    • Able to add funds with crypto transfer and bank ACH easily (debit and credit card loads while supported are often blocked by the issuer and more challenging to get working)


My Referral [Enter Code: d8ujefff94 on App Start] if you are interested in staking MCO (thank you).

Sign up through a referral link and complete KYC to earn $50 USD equivalent of MCO tokens when you stake 50 MCO tokens for 6 months.

We looked at the value of the referral bonus and other products in the post Review – App, Card, Earn, and Referrals



  • Minimum Investment: $1 (in stable coins per chat)
  • Maximum Investment: $2M
  • Fees:
    • No Account Fees
    • No Withdrawal Fees
  • Withdrawal Limits:
    • $20,000/day cryptocurrency with no verification
    • $100,000/day cryptocurrency with basic verification
    • Bank withdrawals require advanced verification (KYC)
      • $200,000/month (up to $2M on request)
  • Supported Currencies:
    • Many Stable Coins: DAI, PAX, TUSD, USDC, USDT, …
    • Many Other Coins: BTC, ETH, XRP, XLM, LTC, BCH, EOS, …
  • Interface: Web/Browser


  • Interest Rate: (@ 2020-06-30)
    • 8% APY all stable coins
    • 4% APY non-stable coins
      • *Having a 10% allocation to NEXO tokens increases rates from 8% to 10%, and 4% to 5% respectively
  • Interest Payment Schedule: Daily
  • Interest Type: Compound
  • Interest Paid Currency: In-kind



  • My Experience
    • Initial Setup 10-15 mins
      • I was able to quickly create an account online
      • Needed to enable two factor authentication before deposit (I’ve used Google Authenticator app with all the services listed on this page)
    • Does not appear to require KYC for interest earning on stable coins
    • Minor Confusion – all stable coins are listed under the one Stablecoins entry in the accounts management screen
  • Others Experience (from the Comments):


Nexo Direct Link

Not Currently Listed

Proof of Stake Coins

  • Examples: Algorand, Dash, Decred, Tezos

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Platforms

  • Examples: Compound, dYdX, MakerDAO, Nuo

Lending Bots

  • Examples: Coinlend, Cryptolend

Additional Companies

  • Examples Binance,, …

Peer-to-Peer Crypto Lending




On the trust spectrum, I feel most comfortable with BlockFi and least comfortable with Nexo.  Nexo raises enough red flags with a lack of transparency (regulator, location, …) that I’m hesitant to invest much with the platform.  But in fairness Nexo does appear to be one of the most popular options available and has a relatively long track record in the space.


Nexo is the quickest interest payer (daily) and BlockFi is the slowest (monthly).  Celsius is in the middle (weekly), but while Nexo and BlockFi offer compound interest (which I view as the normal way of paying/earning interest – where you earn interest on your interest) Celsius does not pay interest on earned interest which is a confusing negative [Celsius will pay compounding interest starting Feb 2020].

Complexity (Startup)

It was quick to get started on all the platforms (all under 15-20 mins).  Nexo was probably the quickest with no KYC, while Celsius took the most time with the app only interface.


Perhaps a couple scenarios might be helpful, the following were two of my goals:

Goal: Earn the highest rate lending bitcoin (BTC)

With the goal of earning the highest rate on my BTC, I went to LoanScan clicked on the Crypto tab and then sorted by the BTC column.   On 2019-10-12, I saw that BlockFi was offering the best rate so I moved my BTC there.

Goal: Earn the highest rate lending USDC stable coins

From an investment perspective, I believe that Will was right on in stating that it is better to stick with a high yield savings account and earn a higher rate with less risk, than to convert your dollars into USDC stored at Coinbase and earn 1.25% 0.15% (updated 2020-07-01).

But what if we could get a significantly higher rate?  Using LoanScan, on the U.S. Dollars tab, I sorted by the USDC column.  On 2019-10-12, I saw that Celsius was offering the best rate at 8.20%.  So I decided to trade a number of altcoins into USDCs within my Coinbase account and then transfer the USDCs to Celsius.

Note: 8.20% was not the best stable coin rate overall, per LoanScan BlockFi was offering 8.60% on GUSD.



How does my crypto earn interest?

These platforms lend out your crypto to borrowers in the form of collateralized loans.  [Celsius FAQ], [BlockFi Who Borrows]

Generally the loans are over-collateralized in that borrowers can only borrow a portion of the assets put up as collateral (but this may vary by the credit worthiness of the borrower/institution).


I believe interest earned is taxable. [For the 2019 tax year, BlockFi generated a 1099-MISC form if you lived in the US and earned over $600 in interest]

Available in my State?

The platforms are available to residents of most states.  Exclusions:

  • BlockFi: CT, NY, WA, and WY
  • Celsius: NY (Now Available), TX (Stable Coins), WA
  • NY


In addition to all the standard warnings, this is not financial or legal advice.  Please do your own research and thinking before taking any actions.  The following is a list of potential risks, but there are more risks than those listed below.

  • “No Insurance” Risk
    • Deposits in crypto lending platforms are generally NOT insured.  They are NOT insured by the FDIC, NCUA, or SIPC.
    • Some platforms have insurance provided by third party insurers/custodians (like BitGo) but this is not government backed insurance, and it may only insure a portion of a loss (at the company vs. the individual account level).
  • Price Risk
    • Many crypto currencies are highly volatility and may drop significantly in price over very short periods of time
    • Some stable coins (which are pegged to less volatile currencies like the USD) should be less volatile
      • But stable coins have their own risk factors and may not perform as expected in all market conditions
  • Technology Risk
    • The technology underlying the crypto currencies and the lending platforms and protocols may break or fail
    • It’s possible that the cryptography used to protect cryptocurrencies may in the future be broken by more advanced (quantum) computers
  • Counterparty/Bankruptcy Risk
    • The lending companies may fail
      • Insurance may offer some protection
      • Decentralized (DeFi) protocols may offer some protection by removing the middle man (but may have their own risk factors)
  • Legal Risk
    • Regulatory structures and legal precedent may not be well defined around these technologies
    • While increased regulatory scrutiny to protect financial incumbents may pose risks as well
  • Economic Model Risk
    • The models (asset securitization, incentive structure, …) may not always work as intended, or may be exploitable
    • In addition the governance of the coin or protocol may fail
    • Example: MakerDAO and the ETH price drop
  • User Error Risk
    • You may mess up when entering an address and transfer funds to the wrong location, or lose your key and the ability to access your funds.
    • In general, there is no undo button or reversal process
  • Market Risk
    • There is a large spread between the risk free savings rate and the interest rates offered by these crypto lending platforms (a large risk premium).  The wisdom of the market views these lending options as riskier than traditional savings products.
    • Thinly traded crypto markets may be susceptible to market manipulation
    • Thin markets may offer limited liquidity and the ability to make a trade at a good price
  • Rate Risk
    • Rates earned on crypto currencies will fluctuate with market conditions and are not guaranteed for any period of time.

Final Notes

If this post is helpful to the community, I’ll fill it out with more options and links to valuable comments.

All the Best!


  • 2021-04-08:
    • Updated Celsius referral program, moved to $40 bonus on a $400 deposit, [from $20 bonus on a $200 deposit]
  •  2020-12-08:
  • 2020-07-07:
    • The BlockFi referral offer is now $20 in BTC to new signups with a $500 deposit (and $50 to the referrer) through 2020-08-14 [HT: Ed E.].  I don’t think this is a good offer for the new user.  The previous standard referral offer was $10 in BTC to new signups with a $100 deposit (and $10 to the referrer), for larger deposits BlockFi is running a new user trading bonus.  BlockFi has been trying out a lot of different promotions, so something better will probably come along soon [I think the best we’ve seen percentage-wise was a $100 bonus on a $200 deposit].
  •  2020-07-27:
    • The BlockFi referral offer is now $20 in BTC to new signups with a $500 deposit (and $50 to the referrer) [through 2020-08-14].
      • Previous offer was $10 in BTC on new signups with a $100 deposit (and $10 to the referrer).
  •  2020-07-21:
  •  2020-07-09:
  •  2020-06-30:
    • Updated the Celsius referral bonus from $10 for both parties, to $20 for both parties (HT: Benji)
    • Added the $2.6M fee error
    • Updated Coins supported by Nexo to include non-stable coins, and updated rates (8% stable, 4% non-stable)
    • Added
  •  2020-05-16:
    • Celsius is now available in NY
    • Removed Expired BlockFi $100 Signup Promotion
    • Added link to Celsius Deposit Promo Codes Page
    • Added Risks:
      • Quantum Computers, Exchange failing with heavy volume, liquidity risk
  • 2020-05-01: Updated Celsius’s custodian from BitGo to Fireblocks
  • 2020-04-30:
    • Added Genesis 39% BTC drop story
    • Update BlockFi promotion
  • 2020-04-20: Added risks (market manipulation, increased regulatory scrutiny)
  • 2020-04-10: Added Bisq hack example
  • 2020-03-30: BlockFi Updates: added PAX, updated rates
  • 2020-03-26: Added risk examples bZx attack and ETH price drop
  • 2020-03-24:
    • BlockFi: Adjusted Rates, updated currencies, updated referral/promotions, added additional fundraise
    • Celsius: Update currencies, rates
  • 2020-01-24: Adjusted BlockFi earning rates for BTC, ETH
  • 2020-01-24: Celsius is moving to compounding interest Feb 1st
  • 2020-01-08: Added USDC and LTC to BlockFi, updated rates
  • 2019-10-23: Original Post

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How much should I consider putting into one of these crypto options? I’m pretty risk averse. I have about 100k that’s currently just sitting in savings and need somewhere with higher rates to park it.


It is risky as hell — not even gonna lie. Treat it as you would any risky investment — I consider it similar to high yield debt, certain REITS, private placement deals. BlockFi is backed dollar for dollar at JP Morgan Chase — doesn’t mean much the whole thing could go tits up as someone said. I’m all in but I’m a loon. Maybe $25k?


yup I echo what Ted said…risky as hell…that being said I’ve parked over $55k myself in these defi ‘savings’ options, knowing well it could go tits up…but this is not my life savings


Celsius is about the safest and most insured (cold and hot coin coverage). I consider them much lower risk and no lockup period. Plus they just went back to 12.5% on a multitude of stable coins.

Natalia Vodianova
Natalia Vodianova

Tomtoo do you trust Celsius more than BlockFi with your savings? Right now I have some savings invested at BlockFi. I haven’t opened a Celsius account yet.


I am in both, I have a much greater amount in Celsius because I trust them more, they pay a much better rate on stablecoins, I consider funds to be safer there – especially because they are in the process of adding a third layer of insurance, and the founder, Alan Mashinsky, knows what he is doing. I have also had a better withdrawal experience there, though I have hardly done any withdrawals at either place.

Alan hosts a live AMA on YouTube every Friday at 1PM eastern, which can be watched anytime. Good place to get information plus there are many other short videos explaining things on their channel. Another good thing, they are adding a desktop version soon, which BlockFi already has. They both have phone apps.

Eric C.
Eric C.

Tomtoo Its Alex Mashinsky not Alan Mashinsky. I was confused when you kept saying Alan.


You are correct, sorry. That’s what I get for typing at 2am, and won’t try to type anymore right now at 3:30am!


I think it’s time to update this article with the new players/lending options. Most widespread/established now I would say are BlockFi, Voyager, and Celsius. USDC interest rates at 8.6%, 9.5%, and 10.51% respectively. Different rates for individual coins. All quality players with good interfaces and apps.

Natalia Vodianova
Natalia Vodianova

Ted out of those three.. which one is most reliable / safe? I have a BlockFi, but not the other two.


i’d go with Celsius at 12.5% for stablecoins

Natalia Vodianova
Natalia Vodianova

that’s cool.. but it’s true the money could disappear.. Celsius could go out business, etc. and it’s not FDIC insured? basically if something happens then money is gone and nothing you can do? is that right?

just trying to make sure i understand the real risks before jumping in


yup that’s absolutely correct, treat this all as investments not a FDIC insured bank, could go tits up anytime


Celsius is 12.5% now…also Voyager is 8.5% (you have to hold 5000 voyager tokens to even see 9.5%)


You are correct, Voyager is now 8.5% and Celsius is 12.5%. I like BlockFi I have had nothing but good experiences with withdrawals, deposits, payments of interest, and bonuses. Their trading markup is 0.78% so not terrible if you are a sometimes trader. So I would go with them over Voyager as the interest rate is the same. That said, Celsius at 12.5% is definitely compelling and worth a look at that rate!!


Has Celsius already been available in New York? When verifying my profile, I got a prompt like this: “Yikes, due to local laws and regulations, we are not allowed to support operations in New York.”.


I plan on transferring my USD to Blockfi, they automatically convert to GUSD.

I see that they have a monthly statement i can generate from the dashboard. Anyone know if money deposited on Blockfi can be used as proof of funds when applying for a mortgage? 1 GUSD = 1 USD, but im afraid some banks will have a problem with that. Looking to buy a house for a few years now, i would prefer putting my down payment in one of these interest account vs 0.5% on Ally/Marcus.

Thanks so much!


Honestly, it’s gonna depend on your lender. A savvy lender who understands crypto will treat it as an asset. Unfortunately, their aren’t that many these days in the retail lending world…

Brian C 🐕

Don L what do you think about airdrops?

Seems like perfect for our “game” as it’s free money, but searching on it finds so much overwhelming info it’s hard to tell what’s legit and what’s a scam.

Would love to see you post a dedicated section on recommended airdrops 🙂


I’ve tried a lot of these crypto yield accounts and the overall best one I’ve found so far is from Vauld.

They offer 11.57% APY on USD (stable coins), and insurance on your deposits (unlike Celsius). Interest paid weekly or monthly (for higher rate). Also they’re supported by reputable industry giants (Coinbase) and security firms (BitGo) etc, and secured government approvals.

Check it out:


there’s a 3 USDC transaction fee listed under; so that sucks


Yeah but it’s pretty small and most people probably wouldn’t want to withdraw that often..

It only applies to withdrawal.


This is better than Block Fi because it allows you to take a 50% LTV loan against Stablecoin where as Block Fi is limited to Bitcoin and Ether or Litecoin. Also don’t forget the origination fee on loans, as high as 2%.


Try codes: 0CB1FtaJpM or BonusYield for higher rate


Don L What are you thoughts on AnchorUSD ? 8% APY Stablecoin. Commercial insurance. I’ve been using their app for a few months now, it’s paid out every day as expected, and I’ve had no issues withdrawing my funds. (I have no other affiliation with them, etc, and all the risks you mentioned above still apply.)


Customer deposits are held in a pooled account at
I haven’t been able to find much more info re: risks, though.


I prefer Voyager Digital. Interest rate on usdc is only slightly higher at 8.6%, but they are a public company and have a strong executive team with 200m aum. They also have a referral system where you get 25 btc if you deposit 100.


Voyager really does look great. I’m going to stick with BlockFi as the rates aren’t enough for me to switch, but it’s great to have quality competitors in this space.


I just signed up recently with Blockfi now that they support ach directly. I’m also using and Donut will have 13%+ interest coming soon by using I’ve also been really satisfied with MyConstant. I’m trying to spread my money around and not have everything on one service.

Prosper Jarl
Prosper Jarl

what is donut?

Prosper Jarl
Prosper Jarl

LOL fell for it

Chris is the site. It’s only iOS right now, so if you’re on android you have to wait. They also have a referral system where you get $10 if you deposit $10 when you use a referral link.


Was a fan. Now dumping them.

Attempted to transfer tether and it was removed from the account, no Tx ID and never arrived to the exchange.

They have not responded to 4 requests from support for a week.

Attempted to withdraw US dollars today and they are limiting my withdrawals ‘due to pending deposits’ – the number they post doesn’t make much sense (it’s higher than a deposit made over a week ago that was cleanly and fully withdrawn from my bank account)

I suspected AML limits – but their FAQ clearly states there are no limits.

Steps of scam:
1 – Stop transfers out, ignore support requests
2 – If internet gets loud claim technical issues, upgrade, or security concern
3 – If internet remains loud than claim hack and silence was required to cooperate with law enforcement
4 – Disappear

I’m giving them another few days and see if CFPB can do anything. They do have some FDIC accounts and have advertised stock trading.

Prosper Jarl
Prosper Jarl

which company are you referring to Slowbrake


Anchor USD, thought I was connecting my comment to


They resolved the issues over the weekend.
They sent the Tether 5 days after the request, with the following email:

“I apologize for the delay with your USDT withdrawal.
We had an internal issue processing the withdrawal. It has now been sent out:
Furthermore, I apologize for the extended time required for resolution of this issue. We are actively adding resources to handle the increased load due to peak usage during these times.” signed by Team AnchorUSD

They released the USD money from the deposit (despite holding more than the deposit, and I don’t have margin/loans) 8 days after it was transferred from my bank. Notified by an automated messaged.


I just joined, sent some money over, all is well so far

Şukriye Anaëlle
Şukriye Anaëlle

Don L this question is for Don or anyone else reading this…

If you were going to choose one of these companies to keep money with which would you choose? I was leaning toward BlockFi. I don’t know if Celsius would be better / safer?

I was walking through the steps of transferring funds into BlockFi, and I noticed on the last page it says ‘we can hold your money for 60 days and cannot be withdrawn’.. is this normal or new or risky? I don’t see any mention of that on this page.

I bought cryptos several years ago. I’ve been out of that for a long while. I’m very interested though in 8% interest on my savings, especially since interest at normal banks is tops 2% for the foreseeable future. I also have no income right now.. just some savings. So looking for a way to get a better interest rate, but don’t to do anything too risky that would risk losing our savings.

Thanks for any help or insight.


Check out Vauld.. highest interest rates I’ve seen and insurance on deposits. Really solid app too (both iphone and android)


Hi, celsius interests on ETH is more than 7% in kind and more than 9% in cel now.
On stable coins, it’s more than 11% in kind and almost 16% in cel.


PS! When I tried using the referral, it said invalid. I typo’d it- make sure you type THREE f’s!
Thanks for the comprehensive write up. Do you know about Swan Don L ? An interesting new app that just dropped. Referral code isn’t much, just $10 of btc. Its’ big thing is being able to dollar cost average and is one of lowest (or the lowest?) fee.