facebookCentralised Crypto Lending Platform Comparison: BlockFi vs Celsius vs Nexo
050621 Crypto lending

Centralised Crypto Lending Platform Comparison: BlockFi vs Celsius vs Nexo

profileJoel Koh

In the brave new world of cryptocurrencies, there are some companies that offer cryptocurrency lending services where you loan your cryptocurrency out to certain borrowers to earn interest on your cryptocurrency.

Source: Giphy

If you are already familiar with how peer-to-peer (P2P) lending works – you should be able to understand how you can earn interest on your cryptocurrency.

You can actually loan out your coins on third-party cryptocurrency P2P lending platforms like BlockFi, Celsius and Nexo.

In return for lending out your coins, you will be rewarded with a rate of interest that, in many cases, is significantly higher than what you can get through a traditional savings account.

Here are some of the best centralised cryptocurrency lending platforms to consider!

Disclaimer: The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. ​Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any investment product. The writer may have a vested interest in the investment products mentioned. 

TL;DR: Crypto Lending Platform Comparison

CryptocurrencyBlockFiCelsius NetworkHodlnautNexo
Withdrawal Fee1 free Crypto +
1 free Stablecoin withdrawal per month
(worth of Crypto)
1 free Crypto withdrawal per month (base tier)
Number of Available Coins1041517
Lock-in PeriodNo-lock in
Minimum Investment Amount--Varies
Max APY in kind
Up to 5.5%Up to 14%Up to 6.2%Up to 6%
Max APY in kind
Up to 9.3%Up to 8.88%Up to 10.5%Up to 10%
New User PromoUp to US$250 in BTCUS$50 - $2,500 in BTC + US$40 in BTC sign up bonusUS$20-

Also, here is an interest rate comparison of the major cryptocurrencies and stablecoins you can stake on these platforms.

CryptocurrencyBlockFi (APY)Celsius Network (APY)Nexo (APY)

Do note that the percentages for these tables refer to annual percentage yield (APY), and the interest is given out in kind. This means the interest is paid out in the same token you deposited.

Do note that the information is accurate as of 5 June 2021. Interest rates are subject to change at the discretion of the cryptocurrency lending platforms without prior notice.

Cryptocurrency Regulation Singapore

As mentioned in my comparison of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, here are some things you need to take note of if you want to put your money into these crypto lending platforms.

Do note that although some of these crypto lending platforms allow you to buy cryptocurrency, the fees charged are quite high. Instead, you should consider buying the cryptocurrency from the above-mentioned exchanges and transfer them to the platforms.

Unfortunately, cryptocurrencies or Digital Payment Tokens (DPT) as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are not regulated by MAS as they are not considered legal tender or securities.

In other words, there is no legislative protection or recourse for you if you buy, sell or loan out cryptocurrencies and something goes wrong.

MAS has made it crystal clear that:

  • They (MAS) will not be able to help you in any way if you lose money from dealing with digital tokens that are not products regulated by MAS. This includes situations where the digital token service is provided by an entity regulated by MAS, but where the digital token is not regulated by MAS.
  • If you choose to deal with an unregulated person or entity or invest in unregulated products, you will not be protected under MAS regulations. If you suspect that an investment scheme involving digital tokens could be fraudulent or is being misused for any illicit activity, you should report it to the police immediately.
  • As for cryptocurrencies, persons that buy or sell cryptocurrencies, or facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies may be regulated under the Payment Services Act 2019. However, they are not required to protect your cryptocurrency and are not required to ensure that each cryptocurrency transaction is processed properly. MAS regulates cryptocurrency service providers under the Payment Services Act 2019 mainly for money-laundering and terrorism financing risk only.

This is made clear with this advisory that MAS requires DPT service providers to show to customers:

  • Your DPT service provider is licensed by MAS to provide DPT services. Please note that this does not mean you will be able to recover all the money or DPTs you paid to your DPT service provider if your DPT service provider’s business fails.
  • You should not transact in the DPT if you are not familiar with this DPT. Transacting in DPTs may not be suitable for you if you are not familiar with the technology that DPT services are provided.
  • You should be aware that the value of DPTs may fluctuate greatly. You should buy DPTs only if you are prepared to accept the risk of losing all of the money you put into such tokens.

But things are changing.

On 4 Jan 2021, MAS announced amendments made to the Payment Services Act. Under the new enhancements, any entities that facilitate the transmission, exchange or storage of cryptocurrencies (DPTs) will now have to be licensed and will have to comply with wider rules and regulations set by MAS.

Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung stated that these enhancements will give MAS the authority to implement user protection ‘when necessary,’ adding that ‘this could include, for example, requiring a DPT service provider to segregate customer assets from its own assets.’

And according to a 4 Jun 2021 report from CoinDesk, MAS has received about 300 requests for payments and crypto exchange licences as well.

Also, one more risk you have to consider.

There is a saying in the world of cryptocurrencies: ‘Not your keys, not your coin.’

Source: Lynx Art Collection

In other words, when you are loaning your cryptocurrencies to these exchanges, you are handing over the private keys for your cryptocurrencies and entrusting them to a third party.

Ultimately, the one who is holding the private keys to the cryptocurrencies decides how it’s spent.

This is why we would recommend you to store the private keys to your large cryptocurrency holdings onto your own cold wallet as it grants you complete control over your cryptocurrencies and provides better security as well.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the crypto lending platforms I’ll be comparing.

1. BlockFi Review

First up we have BlockFi: an American cryptocurrency lending platform founded in 2017.

The company is privately held and has its headquarters in the state of New Jersey.

As of March 31, 2021, BlockFi claims that it has US$14.7 billion assets under management.

BlockFi Supported Cryptocurrencies

Currently, BlockFi customers can deposit their cryptocurrencies and earn interest on the 10 cryptocurrencies listed below:

BTC (Tier 1)0 - 0.55%
BTC (Tier 2)> 0.5 to 20 BTC2%
BTC (Tier 3)> 20 BTC and above0.50%
LINK> 04.50%
ETH (Tier 1)0 to 15 ETH4.50%
ETH (Tier 2)> 15 to 1000 ETH2%
ETH (Tier 3)> 1,000 ETH and above0.50%
LTC> 05.50%
USDC> 08.60%
GUSD> 08.60%
PAX> 08.60%
PAXG> 04%
USDT> 09.30%
BUSD> 08.60%

The interest is paid out at the start of the month while the interest earned by account holders compounds, increasing the yield you get with BlockFi.

FYI: According to Investopedia, APY refers to the real rate of return earned on an investment product as it takes into account the effect of compound interest.

Also, BlockFi uses a tiered interest structure where you earn less interest the more cryptocurrency you hold with BlockFi.

*APYs reflect effective yield based on monthly compounding. Actual yield will vary based on account activity and compliance with BlockFi’s terms and conditions. Rates are largely dictated by market conditions, which are a key factor in a company’s ability to provide its clients yield on their crypto assets.

No Lock-In

One of the perks of Block-Fi is that you can withdraw your funds anytime.

BlockFi Withdrawal Fee

The company also offers one free crypto withdrawal and one free stablecoin withdrawal per calendar month.

But, do note that each free withdrawal can only be applied to one currency each month.

Also, any additional withdrawals are subject to a fee:

CurrencyWithdrawal LimitFees
BTC100 BTC per 7-day period0.00075 BTC
ETH5,000 ETH per 7-day period0.02 ETH
LINK65,000 LINK per 7-day period0.95 LINK
LTC10,000 LTC per 7-day period0.0025 LTC
Stablecoins1,000,000 per 7-day period$10.00 USD
PAXG500 PAXG per 7 day period0.015 PAXG

BlockFi Security and Regulation

BlockFi is one of the few cryptocurrency earning platforms that are registered and regulated in the U.S. Read more about their licenses and disclosures here.

Also, BlockFi’s assets are held with their primary licensed custodian Gemini Trust Company which is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services.

Gemini also keeps most of its assets in cold wallets that are insured by Aon.

Gemini has also been awarded the SOC2 Type 1 compliance audit from Deloitte for its custody solution. You can also read more about Gemini’s security here,

But do note that the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) is not a bank savings account nor a brokerage account, and ios not insured with the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protections.

Also, BlockFi claims that it only issues over collateralised loans mostly to hedge funds, institutional traders and exchanges, among other corporate partners.

BlockFi Promo

Currently, BlockFi is running a promo where new users get up to US$250 worth of Bitcoin the more they deposit.

  • Tier: 1 | Deposit: US$100 – US$249 | Payout: US$15 in BTC.
  • Tier: 2 | Deposit: US$250 – US$999 | Payout: US$20 in BTC.
  • Tier: 3 | Deposit: US$1,000 – US$4,999 | Payout: US$40 in BTC.
  • Tier: 4 | Deposit: US$5,000 – US$9,999 | Payout: US$75 in BTC.
  • Tier: 5 | Deposit: US$10,000 – US$19,999 | Payout: US$150 in BTC.
  • Tier: 6 | Deposit: US$20,000+ | Payout: US$250 in BTC.

2. Celsius Network Review

Next up we have Celsius Network: a Blockchain-based lending platform that was founded in London, England back in 2017.

The company is headquartered in London and has over 200 employees in countries like the U.S., UK, Isreal, Cyprus and Serbia.

The company has over 485,000 total members in 100 countries worldwide and manages over US$10.4 billion in cryptocurrency assets which was verified in an audit by blockchain analysis company Chainalysis back in March 2021.

Celsius Supported Cryptocurrencies

Currently, Celsius Netowork customers can deposit their cryptocurrencies and earn interest on the 41 cryptocurrencies listed below:

Coin NameIn-kind Reward Rate (APY)in CEL
USDT ERC208.88
Gold Tokens

The interest is also paid out weekly.

No Lock-In

Also, a perk of using Celsius is that there is no lock-in period.

Celsius Withdrawal Fee

As for withdrawal fees, you will be glad to know that Celsius does not charge any withdrawal fees or deposit fees.

Celsius Network Security and Regulation

The company has partnered with its custodians Fireblocks and PrimeTrust to provide insurance on digital assets held by Celsius.

However, some of the assets stored on the Celsius Network are sent out into hot wallets to borrowers to earn a yield on the cryptocurrency for its users.

Speaking of borrowers, Celsius claims that it requires its borrowers to deposit up to 150% collateral with Celsius to secure the cryptocurrency assets that are loaned out.

The company also claims to do extensive due diligence audits of the borrower’s financials and repayment ability.

Unfortunately, Celsius does not directly offer insurance on your loans as stated in their terms and conditions:

These Terms and the holding of Digital Asset relationship does not create a fiduciary relationship between us and you; your Celsius Wallet is not a checking or savings account, and it is not covered by insurance against losses. We may lend, sell, pledge, hypothecate, assign, invest, use, commingle or otherwise dispose of assets and Eligible Digital Assets to counterparties or hold the Eligible Digital Assets with counterparties, and we will use our best commercial and operational efforts to prevent losses.

Celsius Promo Code

Currently, you can get up to US$2,500 worth of BTC if you deposit and hold up to $250,000 worth of supported cryptocurrency assets for six months with Celsius.

Source: Celsius Network

Here are the instructions:

Transfer US$400 – US$250,000 or more of any supported asset(s) to your Celsius wallet and receive $50 – $2,500 in BTC. But, do note that there is a lock-in period of six months for this promo.

In addition, Celsius has a referral programme where new users get another US$40 worth of BTC if they transfer US$400 in their Celsius account and hold it there for 30 days. Simply search for a referral code to enjoy this promo.

Here are some of the terms and conditions:

  • Funds must be transferred within 20 days of activating your promo code.
  • You must maintain a wallet balance equal to or greater than your balance after completing your transfer of $400 or more.
  • Withdrawing from your wallet within 30 days of completing your transfer may disqualify you from receiving your reward.
  • Rewards are distributed after 30 days of maintaining a qualifying wallet balance.

3. Nexo Review

Last but not least we have Nexo: a Blockchain-based lending platform that was founded in London, England back in 2017.

The company claims it has a little over 1.5 million users across 200 jurisdictions and has a little over US$4 billion assets under management.

Nexo Supported Cryptocurrencies

At the time of writing Nexo customers can deposit their cryptocurrencies and earn interest on the 17 cryptocurrencies listed below:

Source: Nexo

Unlike the other platforms, Nexo pays out interest on their coins daily.

No Lock-In

There is also no lock-in period if you deposit your cryptocurrencies with Nexo.

However, there is a minimum deposit amount if you want to start lending your cryptocurrencies on Nexo.

Source: Nexo

Nexo Withdrawal Fees

Nexo does not charge withdrawal fees depending on your loyalty tier which is calculated based on the percentage of NEXO utility tokens you have in your portfolio:

  • Base Tier (Up to 1% of your portfolio is in NEXO token): 1 free Crypto withdrawal per month.
  • Silver Tier (1% – 5% of your portfolio is in NEXO token): 2 free Crypto withdrawals per month.
  • Gold Tier (5% – 10% of your portfolio is in NEXO token): 3 free Crypto withdrawals per month.
  • Platinum Tier: (>10% of your portfolio is in NEXO token): 5 free Crypto withdrawals per month.

Once the free withdrawal limit is reached, blockchain network fees that are determined dynamically according to market conditions will automatically be charged to clients.

The counter will reset on the first day of each month, after which you can make another set of free withdrawals.

Nexo Security and Regulation

Like the other cryptocurrency lending platforms, Nexo claims that it loans out your cryptocurrency assets on an over collaterised basis to approved institutional investors.

This means that your loans are secured with cryptocurrency assets backing them.

In terms of security, the platform is protected with 256-bit encryption used in the military.

Users’ assets are also segmented and secured using multi-signature cold wallets provided by Goldman Sachs-backed, qualified and audited custodian BitGo.

Also, BitGo has achieved a Cryptocurrency Security Standard Level 3 and is also SOC 2 compliant.

Is Nexo Regulated?

Nexo is well regulated and licensed in the countries it is domiciled in. You can read more about that here.

About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. I hope to help people make better financial decisions and not let money control them.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

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