How to Earn Interest on Cryptocurrency

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: July 5, 2022

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If you're a long-term oriented cryptocurrency investor, then you should certainly consider earning interest on your digital assets. Using cryptocurrency to earn interest will provide you with passive income, and it will compound your profits if the cryptocurrency markets continue to appreciate.

Many platforms offer interest bearing accounts that pay you in the cryptocurrency you fund your account with, and these interest rates differ based on which type of cryptocurrency you choose. There are also decentralized applications built on Ethereum that let you earn interest on your crypto without even needing to make an account. Learn how you can start earning interest on cryptocurrency today with our guide.

How to Earn Interest on Cryptocurrency

  1. Open a crypto account.

    To get started, you’ll need to make an account with a platform that allows you to earn interest on your crypto holdings. 

    If you already have a Coinbase account, you can join the waitlist to stake Ethereum for the Eth 2.0 upgrade coming later this year. Validators earn interest by staking Ethereum on its new proof of stake network in a similar way miners earn crypto for power proof of work blockchains. 

    Coinbase takes a 25% cut of the rewards generated by your Ethereum, but allows you to stake any amount of Ethereum on the network (as opposed to the required 32 Eth tokens to stake independently).

    BlockFi is a great option if you’re new to crypto and want to earn interest on your cryptocurrency. You can connect your BlockFi account with your bank account, so you can purchase crypto with cash. The platform currently offers up to 8.6% annual interest rate compounded monthly, depending on which cryptocurrency you use.

  2. Compare interest rates.

    You can see the interest rate you’ll earn on different cryptocurrencies directly on the platform’s website. Depending on if the company takes a cut of the interest, the interest rate you earn may vary, even if you invest with the same cryptocurrency.

    The interest rates for these savings accounts are typically floating interest rates. This means that the interest rate changes continuously based on supply and demand for crypto loans. Cryptocurrency loans are often demanded by leveraged investors and exchanges that offer leverage on their platform.

    A good interest rate to earn on stablecoins is typically between 6% to 9%. Hodlnaut offers exceptionally high interest for stablecoins, at 12% annual interest. Some interest rates in crypto are much higher –– sometimes over 100%. 

    However, these high interest rates should be an indication of high crypto inflation rates and highly leveraged positions. If you’re new to earning interest on cryptocurrency, you should be skeptical about any crypto interest rates above 25%.

    Another solid option for earning interest on your crypto is Nexo. Nexo is a platform that offers high yields on stablecoins, and you can also earn interest on Bitcoin and altcoins through the platform. Nexo is currently giving free crypto to new users, starting at a $10 bonus for users that deposit $100, scaling up to a $100 bonus for users that deposit $1,000 or more.

  3. Add cryptocurrencies to your portfolio.

    Many platforms that let you earn interest make it easy to fund your account. Some websites, like BlockFi and Coinbase, let you buy crypto directly with your bank account. This makes it easy to earn interest on cryptocurrencies if you don’t already own some.

    If you make an account with a platform that only accepts deposits in cryptocurrency, you’ll need to make an account with a crypto exchange if you don’t already have one. Popular choices for cryptocurrency exchanges are Coinbase, eToro and Gemini. Once you purchase crypto through one of these exchanges, you can send your funds to your crypto wallet address on the platform you seek to earn interest on.

  4. Earn interest.

    Once you’ve added funds to your interest bearing account, you’ll start earning interest. Just sit back, relax and watch your crypto holdings grow. Earning interest in cryptocurrency is particularly attractive to cryptocurrency investors who believe the price of Bitcoin and other cryptos in the long term. 

    This is because of the exponential growth potential on a crypto interest account. For example, if you were to invest a bitcoin worth $30,000 at the beginning of the year,  the interest you earned at that price would be worth double at a $60,000 bitcoin. Not only this, but the 7% interest you earn on a $60,000 bitcoin is double that of the interest earned on your initial investment.

    Popular cryptocurrencies that investors can earn interest on are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Uniswap. The interest paid on these accounts are in the form of the cryptocurrency in your interest bearing account, so you keep your exposure to the market in whichever crypto you’re investing in.
    Risk averse investors may find certain interest bearing cryptocurrency investments intriguing. Some platforms offer stablecoin savings accounts –– stablecoins are cryptocurrencies pegged to another asset, commonly the U.S. dollar. 

    Some popular stablecoins that investors use to earn interest are DAI, Tether and USDC. Depending on which stablecoin you choose, the interest rates will vary based on supply and demand for crypto loans.

    Most interest earned through crypto is a floating interest rate based on supply and demand. Although the rate fluctuates, most larger coins have a relatively stable APR. For example, Bitcoin interest rates typically range between 4% to 8%. 

Centralized vs. Decentralized Cryptocurrency Interest Options

While there are plenty of options to earn interest on your digital assets, there are 2 main ways in which you can do so. First, you can use a centralized platform that lets you earn interest through an interest-bearing cryptocurrency account. Centralized interest-bearing accounts are the easiest way for beginners to start earning passive income from their cryptocurrency, and you'll be able to earn between 4% to 12% annually depending on the cryptocurrency you choose. Some of the best centralized options to earn interest on your crypto are BlockFi, Crypto.com and Vauld.

Decentralized applications on Ethereum also let you earn interest on cryptocurrency without needing a platform to hold custody of your digital assets. While using Ethereum's network takes a few more steps than using a centralized platform, there are clear benefits to doing so. Often, you can find higher interest rates on programs like Aave, or through providing liquidity on Uniswap.

How Does Compound Interest Work?

Interest on most cryptocurrency savings accounts accrues on a weekly basis or shorter. This is great for investors, as compounding interest grows your account much faster than simple interest. 

For example, if you invest $1,000 earning 10% interest compounded annually for 2 years, then the second year you’ll earn interest on your initial deposit plus the interest from the previous years.

Given the way compounding interest works, time is in your favor. The longer you keep your money invested, the faster it will grow. This isn’t the case with simple interest, as you won’t earn interest on previously earned interest. 

Pros and Cons of Earning Interest on Cryptocurrency 

A clear benefit to earning interest on crypto is its competitive interest rates. A savings account yielding 7% interest is unheard of in the traditional finance industry, but through cutting out overhead costs with a blockchain, companies are able to offer higher interest rates. 

Here’s a breakdown of the basic pros and cons of earning interest on cryptocurrency:

Pros of Earning Interest on Crypto

  • Low or no minimum lock up time on crypto funds
  • Interest grows with appreciation of your crypto asset
  • No minimum amount required to open an interest bearing account

Cons of Earning Interest on Crypto

  • Floating interest rates don’t guarantee rates stay high for the long-term
  • If the cryptocurrency you hold depreciates, so does your earned interest and capital
  • There is low regulatory oversight in the industry, making scams more common

Best Crypto Investment Platforms with Interest Offers

The best crypto investment platform that lets you earn interest depends on your needs as an investor. If you aren’t looking to hold crypto for the short term, then you’ll want to use a platform with no minimum lock up requirements on their savings accounts. 

You should also take into account which cryptocurrency you’ll be earning interest on, so you can compare the rates between different platforms.

The Hodlnaut interest account lets you put your digital assets to work. You can earn over 12% annual interest on stablecoins, and the platform offers options for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Wrapped Bitcoin as well. Hodlnaut offers higher rates than competitors, and you don’t need to stake another token to unlock the highest rates, which is a requirement on some other exchanges. Rewards from Hodlnaut are paid out weekly.

  • Hodlnaut
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    Crypto owners who don’t want to be active investors
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  • Gemini Crypto
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    New Investors
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  • BlockFi
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    No or Low Fees
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  • Vauld
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    Beginner Investors
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Top Pick for Low-Risk Investing: MyConstant

  • MyConstant
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While there are plenty of lending platforms to earn interest on digital assets, if you're looking to be risk-off during these uncertain times, look no further than MyConstant. MyConstant offers double-digit yields on stablecoins, and the platform comes with a suite of features that help grow a variety of assets in your cryptocurrency portfolio. Stablecoins are pegged to USD, so you don't take on traditional volatility risk. The lending platform is best for USDT and USDC, as it offers 12.5% annual interest on both of these assets. Investors can also earn 4% annual interest on their Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin, Polygon, and various other cryptocurrencies.

If you don't want to invest in stablecoins whatsoever, you can still use MyConstant to earn higher yields on USD. Instead of earning less than 0.5% on USD in a savings account, MyConstant offers 4% APY on USD. Another great feature for both crypto and fiat currency, MyConstant has no lockup times –– you can access your investments whenever you need.

Other Ways To Earn Free Cryptocurrency

Not sold one earning interest on your cryptocurrency? Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to get your hands on digital assets without paying for them. For one, you can begin using decentralized applications and wait for apps to airdrop you cryptocurrency. Uniswap, ENS Domains and dYdX are examples of apps that airdropped crypto to their users, and it's often a significant amount, too. These apps airdropped over $10,000 worth of cryptocurrency to each user, simply for using their decentralized applications.

Another easy way to get some free crypto is with Coinbase Learn. Sign up for a Coinbase account and you'll be able to earn free crypto for learning about blockchain technology. Simply watch a short video and answer 3 questions and Coinbase will credit crypto to your trading account. You can earn about $30 worth of crypto by doing so, and early users have seen these tokens appreciate to over $100 worth of digital assets.

Earn Interest on Crypto or Hold?

Earning interest on your cryptocurrency is a great way to grow your investment. Many platforms let you take out your balance at any time, so it’s relatively easy to get out of your cryptocurrency holdings if need be. 

Some companies have minimum times to keep your crypto in your savings account. This exposes you to more risk of price volatility in the crypto market. Although you’d be earning interest, the value of your investment would be worth less if the cryptocurrency were to fall in value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
Q. Can I get free bitcoin with a crypto interest account?
A

You can get free bitcoin by signing up for BlockFi. Depending on how much you deposit to your account, you can get up to $250 of free bitcoin to start earning interest with.

Q
Q. Should I put my savings into Bitcoin?
A

The United States just approved another stimulus package, adding another $1.9 trillion into the economy. But printing so much money in such a short span of time leads to inflation. 

Afraid of high inflation, investors are looking for alternative stores of value to the dollar. If you believe Bitcoin is an established store of value, it may not be a bad idea to diversify some of your holdings into crypto.

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