Don’t know where to start with cryptocurrency lending? In this post we outline all the key terms and concepts you need to know.
The Ultimate List of Cryptocurrency Lending Platforms
There are dozens of cryptocurrency lending platforms on the market. In this article, we outline the many different crypto lending platforms and what makes them unique.
Crypto lending is becoming increasingly more mainstream, and with that, an increasing number of crypto lending platforms available. With more choice comes more research for interested users, which can certainly be overwhelming.
Here we’ve compiled the ultimate list of cryptocurrency lending platforms, including our top five tips on what to look for when choosing a platform.
What to look for in a crypto lending platform
Before we dive into the many crypto lending platforms available, it’s important to understand what you should be looking for. Once you have an idea of what you want in a lending platform, it’s a lot easier to make a decision. Here are our top five tips on what you should look for:
1. Interest rates
The first thing you should look at is interest rates. If you’re looking to lend, you want a higher interest rate so that your crypto is working for you. If you’re looking to borrow, a lower interest rate is naturally better.
The next most important thing you should be looking at is security. How secure is the platform? Have they experienced a hack before and if so, what steps did they take to improve security? It’s important to know that your crypto is in safe hands, and any reputable lending platform should clearly outline what securities they have in place.
3. Supported cryptocurrencies
It’s also important to consider which cryptocurrencies the platform accepts, especially if you’re a lender. Most lending platforms accept Bitcoin and Ethereum, but if all of your funds are in altcoins and/or stablecoins, you might need to look for other options. Any decent crypto lending platform should have which cryptocurrencies they accept clearly listed on their homepage.
Flexibility when it comes to loan terms is something else that should be considered. How long do you want to lend or borrow for? Is there a penalty for failing to pay back the loan in the designated time frame? How frequent are the loan repayments? Some platforms have fixed terms which you can customize to suit your needs; others let you completely decide the terms for yourself.
Something you may not have realized is that some crypto lending platforms have geo-restrictions. This means that if you’re in a certain region, you may not be able to join a lending platform. As a result, you should always check to see if you’re able to register for your platform of choice.
Now that you know what to look for, you’ll have a better understanding of which crypto lending platforms are right for you.
The Ultimate List of Crypto Lending Platforms
The popularity of crypto lending has been steadily rising. As such, there are lots of options available for those interested in using their crypto for loans. Naturally, different loan platforms offer different benefits. Some have the lowest interest rates, others focus on supporting a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, others are focused on safety and security, and some do all of the above. Here’s our comprehensive list.
Based in Estonia, CoinLoan is a P2P lending platform for crypto-collateralized loans. Since launching in 2018, it has become one of the most popular European crypto lending platforms. With a simple lending process backed by bank-grade security, it’s easy to see why. The platform offers one of the largest choices of cryptocurrencies, fiat, and stablecoins on the market.
CoinLoan’s lending process is simple. Borrowers deposit a specific amount of cryptocurrency as their collateral for the loan. Additionally, the platform is incredibly transparent. CoinLoan offers borrowers the added benefit of being able to preserve their crypto assets with flexible lending conditions, no credit checks, and convenient withdrawal methods.
As for lenders, CoinLoan offers several guarantees. The platform is registered and licensed in the European Union and is, therefore, subject to EU financial law, which offers unparalleled protections for consumers. Repayments are guaranteed, and all transactions are SSL-encrypted. In fact, since opening in July 2018, every lender has received their repayments in full and on time.
With offices in Cyprus and Switzerland, YouHodler is a fintech platform focused on crypto-backed lending with fiat, crypto, and stablecoin loans. The platform offers a high and flexible Loan-to-Value (LTV) rate, which is available at 90%, 70%, and 50%. As a result, users can obtain a higher credit line for a lower deposit. However, it’s important to note that YouHodler does not serve U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of China and Korea.
Another major advantage is that YouHodler offers its users access to instant cash, which is provided by the platform’s fiat-based funds. Unlike P2P crypto lending platforms, there is no need to find a creditor. The platform takes a different approach from most crypto platforms; YouHodler works with the banks instead of avoiding them. This allows YouHodler to partner with trusted fiat payment providers and hold its fiat funds in the most reputable banks in Europe to ensure their safety.
One of the few platforms registered in the United States, SALT Lending was one of the first crypto lending platforms to hit the market back in 2016 and has continued to grow ever since. SALT Lending offers P2P crypto-backed loans. Similar to the other platforms we’ve listed, the platform allows users to use crypto as collateral for their loan.
The process for getting a loan is very straightforward. Users can be verified the same day, and don’t need to undergo a credit check. The terms of a loan are completely customizable. SALT Lending also operates in over thirty jurisdictions (including 46 US states), making it one of the most comprehensive when it comes to availability.
When it comes to security, SALT Lending is top level. All loans are backed by assets that have been insured and all crypto assets are held in cold wallets. Additionally, SALT Lending goes above and beyond by insuring all digital assets against theft or fraud. These protections should be the industry standard, and SALT Lending sets the bar high for competitors when it comes to security.
Based in India, Nuo Network is a decentralized crypto debt marketplace where users can instantly borrow or lend Ether and other ERC-20 tokens. Lenders can supply tokens to the reserve pool, and therefore, earn interest which can be paid out on a daily basis. As for borrowing, Nuo allows users to over-collateralize their loans (which can be withdrawn from the platform) or under-collateralize a loan (which can then be used for margin trading).
Additionally, Nuo leverages meta transactions, which allows users to easily access the network without ever having to pay transaction fees. Interest rates vary depending on the cryptocurrency.
Helio Lending is the first licensed and regulated cryptocurrency lender based in Australia. The platform provides cryptocurrency holders a secure way to access fiat funds without selling any of their cryptocurrency. Helio Lending prides itself on speed; most loans are approved on the same day as application, with terms clearly laid out for users.
The platform supports the four major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. Once the terms of the loan are agreed to, your crypto is transferred to a specially secured wallet as collateral for your loan. Then fiat currency is instantly transferred to your bank account. At the end of your loan, you can take your crypto back or use it to refinance another loan.
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Bank of Hodlers
Registered in Singapore, Bank of Hodlers lets users lend, borrow, buy, sell, and swap on their platform. For lenders, interest is calculated daily and paid out on a weekly basis. The best part is that you can withdraw your funds at any time; you aren’t beholden to any lending terms. The interest rate depends on the cryptocurrencies you have.
For borrowers, the terms are even better. Users can pay back a loan on their own time in any number of installments. The interest on the loan is only for the loan duration, and there are no additional charges or hidden fees. Popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are supported, along with stablecoins such as USDT, USDC and BUSD.
Based in the United Kingdom, Tokens.net is not only a cryptocurrency exchange but also a crypto loan platform. One of the biggest advantages of the Tokens.net platform is the fact that borrowers get to determine their own loan terms and the loan duration can be unlimited. Additionally, the process is instant, so there is almost no waiting to receive your funds.
To borrow on Tokens.net, you will need to use their native cryptocurrency DTR as collateral. Loans can be paid out in USDT or EURS depending on what you prefer. It is important to keep in mind that as of right now, Tokens.net only offers loans and currently does not support lenders.
After hitting the market in 2017, US-based BlockFi has gone from strength to strength. The crypto lending platform is one of the most popular on the market and New York trust company Gemini Trust Company LLC is their primary custodian.
Similar to the other loan platforms on this list, BlockFi lets you use your crypto as collateral for a loan. Borrowers can choose to be paid out in USD, GUSD, and USDC, and the loan process only takes a couple of minutes. For lenders, BlockFi allows you to earn interest on your crypto and you aren’t locked into a lending contract, meaning you can withdraw your funds at any time.
Based in Switzerland, Nexo was one of the earliest crypto loan platforms and was the first in the world to offer instant loans. Much like most other loan platforms on this list, Nexo lets users use their crypto as collateral for fiat loans. There are no minimum repayments, no hidden fees, and loans are instantly available with no credit checks.
For lenders, Nexo offers the opportunity to earn interest on both fiat currency and stablecoins, with other crypto options coming soon. With an interest rate of 8% and a 100% asset back guarantee, you can put your crypto to good use and know that it is in safe hands.
Celsius Network has become one of the most popular crypto lending platforms on the market, and for good reasons. Once again, the platform lets you use cryptocurrency as collateral for a fiat loan. Loan terms are highly customizable, and currently Celsius Network is offering 1% APR on USD and stablecoins to help those who have been affected financially by COVID-19.
The platform is making big waves in the corporate sector too. Celsius Network has helped introduce crypto lending to over one hundred institutions, and is taking big steps to ensure the long term success of crypto. The platform has recorded unprecedented growth, processing more than $5 billion worth of loans since its launch in 2017.
With headquarters in Estonia, Squilla is one of the newer players on the market but offers a wide range of benefits to users. Security is of the utmost importance to the crypto lending platform. All loans are protected by overcollateralization, 100% cold storage, and military grade encryption.
Terms for both borrowers and lenders are customizable and laid out clearly before committing to a contract. Squilla also focuses on low fees for its users. However, it is important to note that for now, the platform only allows lenders to earn interest on USDT and borrowers to use ETH and BTC as collateral. Hopefully, with time, Squilla will continue to expand its options.
BTCPOP is a P2P crypto lending platform that has a number of unique features that make it a standout in the industry. Whether or not you will be eligible for a loan is based on your online reputation rather than your credit score and/or background check. Part of your reputation is naturally based on your repayment history on the platform, so it may take slightly longer to get the best deal over other platforms.
To build up your reputation on BTCPOP you can take out and repay a small loan, transfer your reputation from another platform, participate in the community, or have someone on the platform vouch for you. Currently, the platform only offers BTC loans and supports a wide range of altcoins. However, because the company is based in the Marshall Islands, where there is not a lot of regulation, there’s not much the government can do if something goes wrong.
Crypto.com is a pioneering cryptocurrency and financial services firm. Not only does the platform offer crypto loans, they also have an exchange, a wallet, and a VISA card. Crypto.com has a strong focus on security, with 100% of assets being held offline in cold storage, and it also has a partnership with security solutions experts Ledger.
When it comes to lending, Crypto.com is similar to many other platforms we’ve listed here. Users can deposit crypto as collateral for a loan and be instantly paid out in their choice of stablecoin. There is no deadline to pay back the loan, and no credit check is required. However, if you’re in the United States, crypto lending isn’t available to you just yet on Crypto.com.
While SmartCredit.io only launched their loan platform in April 2020, they are set to be one of the major players on the market and offer users a number of benefits. The decentralized platform focuses on peer-to-peer loans. Compared to other platforms on the market, SmartCredit.io offers low collateral and a wide range of collateral options for borrowers.
As the crypto lending platform is P2P, loans are not instant, and require cooperation between borrowers and lenders. Similar to BTCPOP, SmartCredit.io creates their own crypto “credit score” based on a user’s blockchain history, social media presence and more. Naturally a better score means a lower interest rate. It’s an interesting premise, and it will be exciting to see how it plays out.
One of the largest crypto exchanges in the world now offers crypto loans! As of March 2020, Binance users can now use their cryptocurrency as collateral for an instant loan. For now, users can only be paid out in two stablecoins: BUSD and USDT. Binance Loans supports a range of varying loan periods, with interest calculated on a daily basis, as well as the use of several coins as collateral, including BTC and ETH.
So far, Binance Loans seems to be focusing more on short term loans (the maximum lending period as of today is 90 days) but it is likely that they will expand this in the future. However, the platform is extremely strict about overdue loan payments; after three days your collateral will be sold off so make sure that you are able to pay it back in time.
Based in the United States, Unchained Capital offers cryptocurrency loans and claims to have one of the most secure platforms on the market. Unchained takes a unique approach to custody and securing your loan. By developing a multi-signature model of storage, they eliminate the single point of failure model of crypto custody.
Not only is your collateral secure, but the loan process itself is relatively quick; you can be approved the same business day as your application. Loans can range from anywhere from three months to three years, giving you plenty of options. Interest rates vary depending on loan length, loan amount, and which US state you live in.
xCoins is a peer-to-peer crypto lending platform that allows anyone with a credit card and a PayPal account to obtain Bitcoin. Rather than taking out a loan in fiat currency or stablecoins, on xCoins you can use fiat to take out a Bitcoin loan. It is one of the only platforms on the market that supports PayPal, which makes it a unique offering.
However, xCoins does have a couple of downfalls. First of all, it is only available in a few countries. And although the use of PayPal can be advantageous for many, PayPal can freeze users’ accounts for undefined deposits that are received from xCoins. As a result, the platform’s reputation has suffered. It’s an interesting premise, but the platform still has a long way to go.
While Bankera has been in the crypto space for a while, their loan platform is relatively new, launching in the fall of 2019. It has a number of standout qualities that make it a strong competitor in the space. The minimum loan amount is €25 (one of the lowest on the market), there is a customizable LTV ratio of up to 75%, and there are no fixed monthly installments for borrowers.
Loans can be withdrawn through a number of different fiat and cryptocurrencies, however the only fiat currency currently supported is EUR. Additionally, users can pay back the interest on their loan with Bankera’s native token BNK, which reduces the interest rate.
Conclusion – SelfKey’s upcoming Cryptocurrency Loans Marketplace
Obviously the crypto loans industry is constantly growing. This article only offers a small taste of the different platforms available, but keep an eye out as we continue to add to it.
Here at SelfKey, we’re always innovating. Cryptocurrency loans are an important part of the crypto ecosystem, and we’re here to make the process even easier for you. Our next release is the SelfKey Cryptocurrency Loans Marketplace where SelfKey Wallet users can get access to the world’s most exciting lending platforms and use cryptocurrencies as collateral to withdraw fiat loans.
This is an exciting prospect for the SelfKey community and adds impressive new functionality to the Wallet. We already have some great platforms on board, such as CoinLoan, and more will be joining.
If you want to start exploring the SelfKey Wallet now, download it here and keep an eye out for the launch of the SelfKey Cryptocurrency Loans Marketplace.