Best Crypto Savings Accounts of 2022
Holders of popular crypto interest savings accounts can earn up to 19% annually on their virtual assets. We will help you choose the best platform and instrument for your needs. Our reviews of offers from major players like Nexo would not be complete without an in-depth analysis of crypto savings accounts. Read on to learn about the best opportunities for passive income.
State of Crypto Market in 2022
As of April 2022, there are over 10,000 virtual assets in circulation. The total capitalization of the crypto market is roughly $1.87 trillion. Over 19 million bitcoins have been mined so far. The pioneering cryptocurrency is still the leader of the pack, and for good reason.
As of this writing, Bitcoin is trading over $40,200. A few years before, this sum was inconceivable. Some financial experts project much higher highs. On November 11, 2021, Bitcoin had its most spectacular jump so far — to $69,045.
Some experts go so far as to say that Bitcoin could be worth $100,000. For example, this view is supported by the founder of SkyBridge Capital Anthony Scaramucci. He regards the surging demand for altcoins and the dwindling supplies of crypto as the key drivers of growth.
The current blend of market factors could become the perfect storm for Bitcoin. Ethereum, the second crypto by market cap, is following suit. At the same time, this market is still highly volatile, and investors must exercise caution. A crypto savings account is an optimal solution for someone who wants to profit from uptrends with little effort. Read our ultimate saving account guide to learn how to do it!
How Can You Benefit From Crypto Savings Accounts?
The capriciousness of the crypto market leaves many investors perplexed. Daily interest rates on crypto exchanges are fluctuating, and the industry still lacks a regulatory framework. This translates into multiple risks for the average investor.
At the same time, it is tempting to capitalize on the growth of Bitcoin. In financial markets, higher rewards always come with higher risks. It is natural to want to get in on the action.
The solution is simple — pursuing a prudent, efficient strategy and accepting enough risk to make the rewards worth it. This is exactly how a cryptocurrency savings account works. It is a great way to start making a profit. On the one hand, you gain access to the market. On the other hand, you earn interest similarly to a conventional savings account in a bank.
This way, you can get the best of both worlds. If you are considering long-term strategies in the digital currency market, you can keep your assets safe and earn profit without trading. Naturally, this requires developing a clear understanding of such instruments and choosing a reliable crypto company. This is exactly what our guide is for.
Defining a Crypto Savings Account
In essence, a crypto savings account works like a conventional bank savings account. A holder deposits their assets, and a third party lends them to other clients on their behalf. The main difference is that instead of fiat like the US dollar, the funds are stored in a cryptoasset chosen by the holder.
Getting started is easy. Once you open an account, you can make your funds work for you. Crypto savings users partake in the market without jumping in at the deep end.
How Crypto Savings Accounts Work
The way of depositing assets differs from the conventional schemes. Here’s how this works in the CeFi space (more on this below).
First, you need to transfer funds into a crypto wallet. Thereby, you will authorize the savings account provider to control this wallet so you can earn interest. The latter will accumulate whenever another user borrows your crypto on the same platform at a predetermined interest rate.
How much you earn depends on multiple parameters, including the market prices. When the demand is high while the supply is lagging behind, interest rates jump. In the opposite scenario, when the supply exceeds the demand, the rates decrease.
Another crucial factor is the platform. Conditions vary, and your total financial result will largely depend on the provider. Read on to learn how to open a crypto savings account with optimal conditions.
Crypto Savings Account vs. Conventional (Bank) Savings Account
Now you know that crypto savings accounts and their counterparts have similarities. In terms of differences, assets and the use of crypto wallets are not the only factors to consider. Here are four other aspects to bear in mind:
- FDIC Insurance
- Fund access
All of these factors are critical and merit closer examination. Before you pick a platform and open an account, make sure you have a solid understanding of the specifics.
Collateral in Crypto Lending
Many crypto loans are collateralized, which means that borrowers provide their own cryptoassets as a guarantee of repayment. Collateral reduces the risks for the lender — that is, the holder of a savings account.
The LTV (loan-to-value) ratio determines the collateral amount. For example, a 50% LTV means that a borrower has to pledge assets worth half of the loan amount. The market value of collateral must always exceed the size of the loan to protect against market volatility.
To determine the size of this buffer, providers use the latest stats on the sale prices of similar assets. Appraisals may involve qualified third-party experts. By means of collateralization, providers achieve three goals.
- If the borrower fails to repay their debt, their collateral will be liquidated. This system protects the interests of both the lender and the platform.
- Collateral protects against market corrections. Considering the erratic behavior of crypto, it is only natural that companies offer lower interest rates for lower LTV.
- Collateralized loans eliminate the need for credit checks. If a borrower defaults on their loan, the lender will still get paid. The level of collateralization in the crypto industry is higher than in the banking sector. This makes these loans less vulnerable to defaults, and providers do not have to check creditworthiness to give approval.
In the conventional sector, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance takes the form of $250,000 policies. Crypto savings accounts do not always come with similar safeguards. What’s more, many of them have no Federal insurance at all.
To solve this problem, providers have to be creative. Typically, they resort to private insurers — for example, AON or Lloyd’s of London. Insurance is indispensable as crypto companies are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Crypto hacks are on the rise, so consumers want to have full confidence in the safety of their savings accounts.
Interest on conventional bank accounts is modest. On average, consumers in the US may expect between 0.52% and 0.65% per annum at most. As yield rates on crypto accounts are much higher, their appeal to savvy investors is undeniable.
Not only are the interest rates more impressive, but they also vary dramatically — from around 1% to 20% and over. This range is wide because crypto firms use high yields to attract investors. They can’t produce money supply on their own.
When you open a crypto savings account, you essentially become a lender and can expect to make more than in the banking sector. Interest rates for crypto rely on supply and demand, and the latter is much higher across a broad spectrum of assets.
Access to Funds
A conventional savings account, despite its lower yield, has an important advantage — the opportunity to withdraw funds at any time without penalties or major restrictions. In crypto, the conditions are the opposite: yield is high, but fund access is limited.
Typically, crypto platforms may restrict access to deposits for a specific time period. Withdrawals are not always free, either. If your assets are liquidated before the end of the period, you are almost bound to be charged. This comes as a nasty surprise for those who open accounts without sufficient understanding.
Every platform can set its own rules for withdrawals, as there are no universal standards. This makes it difficult to summarize what is normal, so pay close attention to the fine print before depositing your funds on any platform or exchange. Read through the FAQ section and check out customer feedback on independent sites.
Find out as much as possible about all applicable fees and customer service. After finding a company that looks suitable and legit, send a query to its customer service. Ask about access to your funds, withdrawal limits, etc. Double-check all information to be sure that you will not be charged more than you should.
What to Look for in a Crypto Savings Account
Now, let’s dissect the specifics of earning interest on your crypto. To start exploring popular platforms, you need to know what to look for and how to compare the sites. Here is our list of the crucial characteristics of a savings account provider.
- Range of cryptoassets supported by the platform
- Policy on access to crypto keys
- Withdrawal conditions
- Availability of crypto for purchase
- Range of LTV rates
- Provision of compound interest
- Platform security
These seven parameters provide a wealth of information about the user experience overall. The next logical step is to define reasonable expectations. What can you expect from a crypto savings platform with regard to meeting your financial needs?
Range of Supported Coins
A conventional bank savings account works with the national fiat currency. Holders do not have any choice. In the crypto world, the situation is dramatically different — many platforms except a few dozen assets from lenders, both crypto and fiat. Therefore, compare your options thoroughly to make the most of them.
For beginners, choosing an asset to deposit is not easy. Crypto platforms, like any business, are focused on profit. They won’t let you make money on any crypto you like. The choice is relatively limited. However, cryptocurrencies are also hard to compare.
After finding a potential provider, make sure it supports your target currency. This is particularly important if it already sits in your wallet. Otherwise, you will just waste time going through all the verification procedures. Centralized crypto platforms require KYC, and some of them even ask for biometric verification.
For owners of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, finding a platform is a piece of cake. These assets have been embraced by the vast majority of mainstream companies. In comparison, someone aiming to deposit Dogecoin, DentaCoin, or KodakCoin, may have to do in-depth research, as much fewer platforms support them.
Check out our list of the most popular cryptocurrencies in 2022. Learn more about assets with the highest market cap to find the best options. Our analysis covers a wide spectrum, from Binance USD to Gemini Dollar to EOS.
Access to Wallet Keys and Ownership in Crypto
Holders of conventional savings accounts have full control over their assets. In the crypto industry, you don’t always have complete control. When it comes to decentralized finance, the waters of ownership get muddy. Here are the basics of how DeFi companies work. You can find more information further.
Every savings account on a DeFi platform comes with a special key for access and ownership. When another user borrows the assets you deposited, they gain the right to use this key temporarily. In return, you earn interest.
To put it simply, the other user can use your crypto for a limited time, and they promise to pay interest. Not everyone is happy with this approach. As key ownership swapping is not always reliable, ask your company about guarantees on how it works in their system. If the response does not dispel your doubts, take your funds elsewhere.
Some users concerned about their keys reject savings accounts on DeFi platforms altogether. Unsurprisingly, this issue is a sticking point. You, too, may conclude that you don’t feel comfortable depositing your assets in the DeFi ecosystem. After all, it is your money that will be at stake. Do your due diligence, and don’t make deposits on websites that look suspicious.
Asset Purchase Availability
If you don’t hold any crypto at the moment, you can open a savings account with a provider that gives market access. It will enable you to buy the assets you need and subsequently deposit them through the same platform. This is when purchase availability is relevant.
The first advantage is becoming a crypto investor more easily and managing your account in a streamlined fashion. Secondly, you can start generating yield sooner. This scheme eliminates additional paperwork, transactions, and other hurdles.
Overview of Loan-to-Value Rates on Various Platforms
The loan-to-value (LTV) rate is one of the key parameters of a crypto loan as it determines the size of your collateral. The lower it is, the more crypto capital the borrower must pledge. For instance, 20% LTV means one can borrow an amount equal to 20% of their collateral value. 70% means the loan amount equals 70% of the collateral value, etc.
High LTV rates push the risk of liquidation up. For example, given possible crypto volatility, the loan amount could jump from 75% to 90% of the collateral value in a day. If 90% is the liquidation threshold and the borrower fails to add more collateral fast enough, it will be liquidated.
LTV makes a big difference for lenders. Avoid high-LTV providers at all costs, as these platforms could take on more risk than they should. Such companies could play fast and loose with their clients’ money. Be cautious and look for a healthy range of LTV rates.
Why Compound Interest Matters And When It Applies
Accounts with compound interest let you maximize savings across the board. It is another detail to inquire about before opening an account. Without compound interest, you will still earn but less.
Compound interest means that you gain interest on interest. The monthly interest amount is factored in when calculating interest for the following month. In essence, this works similarly to capitalization on a conventional bank savings account.
Without compound interest, you will have to make your profit work by yourself. For example, you could spend or trade this amount to realize its potential. With a suitable crypto savings account, you can become a hands-off investor. Make sure any account you fund gives this advantage.
Security of the Platform
As hacking is rampant, crypto companies are potentially vulnerable to a broader spectrum of threats compared to banks. This makes security absolutely paramount, and all reliable providers continuously invest in cyber defense. We have already touched upon this issue, but let’s delve deeper.
The first measure to expect is insurance. Recently, crypto platforms have focused on seeking protection from companies like Lloyd’s of London. The second crucial measure is the use of two-factor authentication (2FA) for any sensitive actions with your account. It is absolutely vital for asset safety.
Given the absence of FDIC insurance, the financial stability of the provider is paramount. The most prominent companies offer cold storage, which means that your assets will be kept offline to add another layer of security.
Can You Make Money With Crypto Savings Accounts?
This is one of the most popular questions in the crypto space. Is it actually possible to make a sizable profit simply by keeping crypto in a savings account? In theory, yes. It all depends on the annual percentage yield. An account with a high-interest rate is a great choice for a passive investor.
At the same time, you must remember that the yield will be delivered in the currency of your choice. If you deposit crypto, you will get interest in crypto instead of profit in fiat currency, such as the Euro or the US dollar. The purpose of this instrument is to help you grow your virtual assets.
That said, some accounts let you deposit fiat and get returns in the same fiat currency. For example, Outlet Finance and Linus work this way.
In terms of yield rates, banks cannot compete with crypto platforms and exchanges. It is possible to find offers of up to 20% annually on the USDC. Such offers are irresistible even to skeptics.
USDC has one important advantage. It is a stablecoin, so its value is closely connected to the US dollar. This limits volatility, making USDC a great asset to lend in specific circumstances. It is not immune to abrupt fluctuations, though — if the demand for it drops, so does the value of your investment and returns.
On the downside, accounts funded by stablecoins have similar risk profiles to crypto savings. It is a mistake to perceive them as some variation of conventional bank accounts with a higher yield. You will still be affected by the trends on the cryptocurrency market, which is inherently volatile.
All in all, a crypto savings account has pros and cons. On the one hand, it exposes you to the general risks of the crypto space, where nothing is guaranteed. On the other hand, its value is genuine, as uptrends will ramp up the returns.
Whether you own digital assets or would like to purchase some, a savings account is a great instrument. If you know how to use it, you can reap substantial benefits. It will effectively turn you into a lender for collateralized loans.
Differences Between DeFi and CeFi
DeFi and CeFi crypto companies have important distinctions that every crypto user must know. These are two fundamental concepts in the realm of virtual finance. They define access to private keys and the main platform management principles. Here are the basics of centralized and decentralized finance.
Key Things to Know About Centralized Finance (CeFi)
Initially, all crypto platforms belonged to this type, setting the standard for all trading. Then, DeFi technology emerged and shook the industry. Decentralized finance is evolving at an amazing speed, but CeFi still plays an important role in the market. It would even be fair to say that it maintains a stronghold. Here is how CeFi environments work and process trade orders.
As the term suggests, all processing goes through a single exchange. All funds are managed by the platform. Users do not get private keys to access their wallets, as all of them are held by the company. For example, this is the case with Coinbase and BlockFi. Here are the main distinguishing features of this model.
- Users do not access private keys.
- The exchange decides which coins to list for trading.
- The exchange determines the fees traders pay.
- Users who buy or sell crypto through centralized exchanges do not own them.
- Such exchanges may impose additional rules and restrictions for all users.
Defining Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Unlike centralized systems, a DeFi exchange handles processing through automated apps developed on its blockchain platform. There is no single entity managing the assets or operations. This environment is literally decentralized.
Thanks to DeFi, you can make your crypto work in a transparent system that anyone can join. All users of these platforms follow the unified guidelines. The use of automated apps based on smart contracts eliminates the risk of biased treatment.
DeFi also levels the playing field as it welcomes unbanked population segments. They can use cutting-edge financial services based on blockchain. Thus, DeFi promotes equity. One of its fundamental goals is the creation of an open-source, transparent, trustless, and permissionless ecosystem.
The services currently offered by decentralized platforms are quite varied. Here are the most notable offerings:
- Yield farming
- Crypto lending
- Asset storage
One of the biggest benefits of DeFi in users’ eyes is full control over private keys and assets. Only the wallet owner holds the key pair for their crypto. Operations are conducted through decentralized applications (Dapps), which in turn are based on smart contracts — self-executing agreements.
Smart contracts are based on the if-then logic, which ensures the transactions are conducted only when predetermined conditions are met. Thanks to smart contracts, exchanges of funds and data are trustworthy but trustless.
Should You Trust Technology or People?
The debate between CeFi and DeFi boils down to one question: should a user trust people or technology? In a centralized environment, you have to rely on the platform provider to manage your operations. In a decentralized system, whatever you do with your crypto happens through automated mechanisms.
For many users, it is not easy to choose between CeFi and DeFi. There are many factors to consider, but the above question is central. Here are other important things to remember.
- The DeFi model is based on automation of all actions with virtual assets. It eliminates the possibility of prejudice, bias, and human error.
- CeFi platforms are not only established by crypto companies, but also managed by them. Thus, you must trust the staff with managing your funds and executing any services you order. This system is most attractive to those who feel comfortable communicating with live customer service reps.
Both systems can help you reach your financial goals, but they follow different roadmaps and meet your needs differently. The top three criteria for making a choice are
- Comfortable risk level
- Desired yields
- Range of supported crypto and Fiat currencies
Now, let’s shift the focus on the functionalities and features of these systems. Here are the fundamentals at a glance.
Popular CeFi Companies in 2022
Well-esteemed crypto businesses place an emphasis on excellent customer service. They have a loyal audience which appreciates having its needs met by a strong structure and reliable authority. Here are some of the biggest names today.
Main CeFi Features to Know
The fact that centralized companies resemble banks gives confidence to a specific group of investors. These owners of virtual assets can use a variety of attractive features, such as
- Centralized exchange (CEX)
- Cross-chain services
- Flexible crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto conversion
Pros and Cons of a Centralized Exchange (CEX)
When you deposit your funds to an account on a CeFi site, they land in your internal exchange wallet. Subsequently, the platform manages these assets. This is one of the biggest advantages, according to CeFi proponents, but it comes with a caveat.
On the upside, your crypto and fiat are beyond other users’ custody. On the downside, this system exposes them to additional threats. If the security measures on the platform prove insufficient, your deposits will be in danger.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Many hackers and scammers target ceFi exchanges. Cybercriminals are interested not just in the funds but also in the customer data stored by the CEX providers.
CeFi platforms follow KYC requirements, so customers must disclose personal information to register. What’s more, all funds remain in the company’s custody running the platform. This makes its track record critical.
Reputable exchanges are big businesses with large customer care departments. Their staff provides assistance 24/7 to give users peace of mind. CeFi platforms are continuously investing in customer service to convince their audience that their assets are in good hands. This peculiarity also brings a threat specific to CeFi.
Ironically, comprehensive customer service also means that such platforms accumulate more sensitive data. Therefore, if a rogue employee gains access to personal information, the potential consequences are damaging and wide-reaching.
Popular centralized businesses solve this problem by investing in iron-clad security. For example, despite its size, the Kraken platform has a zero-incident track record. Big businesses are continuously enhancing their defenses. On CoinLoan, multiple layers of defense, including 2FA, withdrawal hold, and biometric verification, prevent unauthorized access.
Flexibility of Fiat Conversion
A less salient advantage of CeFi is that users can turn their crypto into fiat and back more flexibly. Decentralized exchanges, which do not have a centralized entity, cannot provide streamlined conversion.
Finally, the user experience overall is generally better. Thanks to smooth centralized processes, customer onboarding is also more convenient.
As different cryptocurrencies reside on different blockchains, conversion gets complicated. DeFi platforms do not support cross-chain swaps because of their inherent complexity. This means that users have difficulty converting assets between Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), and assets issued on independent blockchains.
CeFi exchanges have custody from multiple chains, which solves this problem. Considering the number of popular assets on independent blockchains, this is a major advantage. Few of these smaller projects prioritize interoperability or implement any standards for it.