DeFi
Bybit Learn
Bybit Learn
Intermediate
Jul 18, 2022

22 Best Crypto Lending Platforms to Use

Crypto lending is becoming a successful alternative to traditional loans. Celebrities like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have endorsed the new decentralized finance (DeFi) revolution. This article explores the concept of crypto lending, and offers a list of the 22 best crypto lending platforms.

What Is Crypto Lending?

Crypto lending is a type of financing which allows a cryptocurrency holder to lend their crypto to others in return for interest payments.

The concept is quite similar to traditional banking. In a traditional setup, you lend money to your bank by opening a savings account. The bank uses your money. In return, it pays regular interest on your savings and guarantees the safety of your funds. (In decades past, banks used to pay interest rates of 2–3% on savings accounts, and even significantly higher. In 2022, savings account interest rates are negligible, in some cases 0.01%.)

Similarly, in a DeFi environment, the holder of the cryptocurrency lends the cryptocurrency to a borrower in exchange for a guaranteed annualized percentage yield (APY) that can range from 5% to 12% in most cases.

In this setup, there are three stakeholders: The lender, the borrower and the DeFi platform. The lender benefits by earning interest, while the borrower benefits by accessing a crypto asset instantly without going through traditional financing sources. Likewise, the crypto lending platform profits by charging a small service fee to the borrower.

The following section offers additional information on how crypto lending works, as well as the mechanics involved in the process.

How Does Crypto Lending Work?

Anyone who holds a cryptocurrency can earn passive income by lending the crypto asset to others. The interest rate paid to the lender differs based on the coin and the terms of the deposit. It’s usually between 3% and 15%. The APY is determined by supply and demand. If the demand is high and supply is low, the APY is higher, and vice versa.

The duration of the deposit may also determine the APY. Usually, the longer the duration of lending, the higher the APY. Sometimes, the APY is variable, and keeps on changing with supply and demand. However, this isn’t the norm.

As opposed to conventional banking, a crypto lender isn’t concerned about who gets the loan. Based on the rules set by individual crypto lending platforms, the loan amount is disbursed automatically to a borrower once that borrower fulfills the requirements for the loan.

When borrowing a cryptocurrency, you’ll need to go to a crypto lending platform to request a loan. The platform requires crypto collateral from you to secure the loan it offers.

Traditionally, the LTV (loan-to-value ratio) is 50%. As a borrower, you can get a loan of 50% on the total amount of collateral. For example, if you deposit $10,000 in crypto as collateral, the loan would be $5,000. As soon as the loan is paid in full, you’ll get back the $10,000 you left as collateral.

Before making any decision, both the lender and the borrower need to conduct comprehensive market research. Since the DeFi space is constantly changing, the APY for cryptocurrency can differ from one platform to another. Similarly, the terms of the loan, withdrawal fees, and loan-to-value ratio can also vary. Nowadays, most crypto lending platforms offer an interactive interface for you to easily compare available loan options.

APY vs APR

Before reviewing your options, it's important to understand the difference between APY and APR (annualized percentage rate). You’ll likely see these two terms used simultaneously, which can often confuse both loan seekers and lenders.

APY refers to the amount of interest earned on your savings, and APR is the amount of interest you owe to a lender. APY includes the rate that you’ll earn in a year. Keep in mind that APY includes compound interest. In contrast, APR includes the interest rate in addition to any fee that you’ll pay to borrow the loan.

Benefits of Crypto Lending

Crypto lending is beneficial for both lender and borrower. From a borrower's perspective, the main advantages are:

  • Accessible: Borrowing a crypto loan is much easier than borrowing from traditional banks. If you own crypto, you can get a loan without strict requirements or paperwork. This is unlike borrowing in traditional banking, where banks have to go through multiple tedious steps of verifying your credit score, employment history, bank balance and personal documents.

  • Faster: Under normal circumstances, you can get a crypto loan within 24 hours. Some cryptocurrency platforms offer instant deposits to your account once you complete their requirements. Usually, collateral and a government-issued ID are all that are needed.

  • Flexible: You can set your APR according to your desired value. As discussed previously, many crypto lending platforms allow the borrower to adjust APR based on the term of the loan, loan-to-value ratio, type of cryptocurrency and the amount of collateral.

Of course, crypto lending has its advantages. You can earn a much higher rate of return as compared to traditional investment accounts. In most cases, you can stop funding anytime without any restrictions. Accordingly, you can also use multiple crypto assets in order to enhance your portfolio returns.

Risks of Crypto Lending

Crypto lending exposes you to inherent risks, some of which are as follows:

  • Volatility: Price fluctuation can render lending ineffective. The falling price of a cryptocurrency can negatively impact your portfolio. In a case like this, the crypto you’ve lent could have perhaps been used elsewhere for better returns.

  • Loan Counterparty Risk: Even the best crypto lending platforms don't tell you where they invest your money or who gets the loan. This is one of the reasons why reputable platforms such as Celsius Network and BlockFi have made negative headlines. Celsius, which filed for bankruptcy, relied on crypto borrowed from its customers to make loans to institutional investors. BlockFi is another well-known lending platform facing financial difficulties because its business model relied heavily on a booming crypto economy. As soon as the crypto boom was over, BlockFi needed restructuring.

  • Solvency: DeFi always comes with a risk of platform solvency. While centralized platforms can file for bankruptcy to pay their clients, some of the best crypto lending platforms bear the risk themselves. Disputes can often end up in court.

Best Crypto Lending Platforms

Here is a list of the best crypto lending platforms, in no particular order. Simply go through the list to find a crypto lender that best suits you.

1. Nexo

Nexo is an EU-licensed and regulated institution. It currently manages assets of approximately 4 million users in nearly 200 jurisdictions.

Lenders can earn up to 16% interest, paid out daily. To start earning, you only need to buy or transfer crypto to your Nexo account.

Borrowers can get loans from just 0% APR. Irrespective of conditions, the APR never exceeds 13.9%. The funding is approved within seconds, and transferred to your Nexo account in less than 24 hours.

The only downside to the platform is the learning curve. There are few educational resources, which means that you may need to contact support to get answers.

Verdict: Nexo is among the best crypto lending platforms for low-interest loans.

2. Unchained Capital

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Unchained Capital offers Bitcoin loans to individuals and businesses in the United States.

To safeguard customers' interests, their business model uses rehypothecation. Unlike other lenders that loan Bitcoin to third-party custodians, Unchained Capital funds Bitcoin to dedicated multisig vaults. Not only are you in charge of the title, but you can also prove cryptographically that your Bitcoin is stored in a dedicated address at all times.

Their minimum APR is 12.58% with an estimated LTV ratio of 40%. The APR varies between 12.58% and 15.42%, but your Bitcoin isn’t put at risk.

At this time, Unchained Capital only serves in the United States.

Verdict: Unchained Capital is among the best crypto lending platforms to safeguard your assets.

3. CoinRabbit

Registered in London, CoinRabbit is quickly becoming a popular choice for crypto traders, due to their variety of crypto offerings. There is no KYC or credit check, and you can even get a loan of only $100.

Lenders can earn 10% interest on five popular coins: USDT, USDC, BSC, USD Coin and Binance USD. CoinRabbit doesn’t charge any platform fee, and funds are never locked.

There are certainly more choices for borrowers, who can use the top 70 coins listed on their website as collateral. The APR ranges between 12% and 16% for almost every coin.

Despite the ease of doing business and the number of choices, the APR rate on CoinRabbit is comparatively high for borrowers.

Verdict: CoinRabbit is one of the best crypto lending platforms, due to the variety of available crypto assets.

4. SpectroCoin

If you're just looking to get a loan, try SpectroCoin. The Belarus-based DeFi platform has been serving the crypto community since 2013, and receives consistent ratings from independent reviewers.

SpectroCoin distinguishes itself by offering a low APR to borrowers. Depending on the cryptocurrency you’ll use as collateral, the interest rate can be as low as 4.95% when utilizing the native BNK token to pay interest. At the time of this writing, the maximum APR is 17.95%.

The APR rate is mainly determined by the loan-to-value ratio. SpectroCoin offers LTVs from 25% to 75%. Overall, you can get a crypto loan as low as 25 EUR or as high as 1 million EUR.

SpectroCoin doesn’t offer much for lenders, as the company mainly deals in crypto loans.

Verdict: SpectroCoin’s flexible loan options make it one of the best crypto lending platforms.

5. AQRU

AQRU is a Bulgarian company which is also registered in the United Kingdom and Lithuania. It has a pretty good reputation among crypto traders.

AQRU mainly serves lenders. The lending process is simple and effective. All you need to do is deposit your cryptocurrency on the platform to start earning interest. The highest APY is 7% on USDC Maple. There are five stablecoins to choose from.

AQRU provides perhaps the easiest and most flexible way to start earning interest. It completely collateralizes money loaned to retail investors and institutions, which ensures the safety of your funds.

While the platform is simple and safe to use, the APY could be higher.

Verdict: AQRU is one of the best crypto lending platforms for new crypto traders interested in generating regular passive income.

6. Nebeus

Nebeus is an Irish company authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) for the issuing of electronic money. Its loan products are backed by a $100 million insurance fund.

You can earn up to 12.85% per year by renting out your crypto products. After opening an account, lenders can easily withdraw their earnings in euros and stablecoins every 24 hours.

There are two types of loans offered: Quick loans and flexible loans. Quick loans are for your daily needs. They often come with 0% interest for three months. The LTV ratio is 50%, and there’s also a free early repayment option. In contrast, flexible loans offer up to an 80% LTV ratio, but interest rates generally vary between 6% and 13.5%.

The only downside of the service is the shortage of crypto assets.

Verdict: The variety of loans makes Nebeus one of the best crypto lending platforms.

7. Mango Markets

Mango Markets is a decentralized exchange on the Solana blockchain. It's known among crypto traders for its blazing fast speed, cheap transactions and on-chain order book.

Users can automatically earn interest on deposits, or take fully collateralized loans against deposited assets. The interest rate fluctuates based on pool utilization. You can view existing deposits and the borrowing APR on their website. The platform offers lending services for 14 digital assets, including popular cryptos and stablecoins.

Before taking a loan, make sure you understand the rates, as they can fluctuate wildly based on the underlying asset. Interest rates for borrowing some of the most well-known cryptos such as BTC can be less than 1%.

Mango Market is a relatively new entrant in the market, and there isn't much publicly available information about the company.

Verdict: Mango Markets is one of the best crypto lending platforms for finding low-cost and transparent lending rates.

8. Midas.Investments

Midas.Investments is a Singapore-based crypto platform that focuses on building wealth through passive income. Managing assets of more than 200 million, it has been serving the crypto community since 2018.

You can consistently earn high yields by funding your account. Most assets yield APYs between 9% and 18%. There are no limits, no tiers and no lockups. If you're willing to stake your funds in the native MIDAS token, the APY is amplified by 2% to 3%.

Midas.Investments uses high-risk investment strategies, which may not suit everyone.

Verdict: The Midas.Investments crypto lending platform can help you generate high-yield passive income.

9. CoinLoan

CoinLoan is a well-reputed European company licensed under the Estonia Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority. Established in 2017, it mainly deals in crypto lending.

You can easily earn up to 12.3% APY in multiple crypto assets and stablecoins. Not only does CoinLoan offer one of the highest yields in the market, but your deposit doesn't incur a fee and you can withdraw your funds anytime.

Borrowers can also get a low APR of 4.95% if they’re willing to take a loan with a 20% LTV ratio. The APR varies between 4.95% and 11.95%, based on the LTV amount. Luckily, there are no lock-in periods, withdrawal fees or fines for early payments.

It's important to note that interest rates and earnings are lower if you do not use the CLT coin.

Verdict: CoinLoan has some of the highest saving-interest yields, which ranks it among the best crypto lending platforms in the market.

10. YouHodler

YouHodler is an EU- and Swiss-based brand that mainly focuses on crypto-backed loans. It also offers an attractive crypto savings account.

Instead of lending your crypto assets, you can earn up to 12% on them by opening a YouHodler savings account. The minimum amount required to earn passive income is only $100.

YouHodler also enables borrowers to take loans using any of the top 50 cryptos. When borrowing from this platform, you’ll also enjoy a high LTV ratio of up to 90%, which is among the highest in the industry.

The only downside to borrowing from YouHodler is a high APR that varies between 13.68% to almost double that for some assets.

Verdict: Consistent ratings and a great reputation make YouHodler one of the best crypto lending platforms.

11. Hodlnaut

Hodlnaut is a Singapore-based crypto platform that also operates out of Hong Kong. Its operations are overseen by the Singapore FinTech Association.

You can lend your crypto and earn up to 7.25% APY. There is no minimum amount to lend. Interest payments are deposited every Monday to your Hodlnaut account. High net-worth individuals who are willing to deposit more than 100 BTC can earn more.

Hodlnaut only offers loans to institutional investors. A loan starts from $50,000, and you can choose between open terms or fixed terms of three months or more. There are no withdrawal fees, and the LTV is either 25% or 50%.

There isn't much information available on Hodlnaut’s website, so you’ll need to create an account or get in touch with their customer support for more info.

Verdict: Hodlnaut is one of the best crypto lending platforms for institutional investors.

12. Ledn

Ledn is a Canadian crypto platform that lets you access dollar loans and special loans to buy more Bitcoin. It may have a somewhat quirky name, but its website interface is simple and the website is easy to navigate.

The crypto platform offers Bitcoin and USD savings accounts for its lending activities. You can earn up to 7.50% APY, paid in USDC, or 5.25%, paid in Bitcoin.

If you're seeking a loan, Bitcoin-backed loans are available at 9.90% APR. Also take a look at their benchmark product, B2X loans, used to double your Bitcoin balance.

Despite some great features, Ledn only deals in Bitcoin and USDC.

Verdict: Ledn is among the best crypto lending platforms for Bitcoin investors

13. Compound Finance

Compound Finance, initiated in California, is quite well-known in the industry due to its innovative DeFi model and community-governed decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

The platform’s rates for lending and borrowing continue to fluctuate, due to its yield farming model. However, lenders can expect to earn interest rates consummate with the market. You can also view existing rates on their website under the Markets tab.

Similarly, their lending terms are very flexible. Depending on the existing market, the APR for BTC can range between 0.04% and 6.5%. The USDC rate also varies, between 0.15% and 10%, based on market dynamics.

Compound.Finance is a reliable platform for obtaining loans, but watch out for the rate changes.

Verdict: Identity protection and the absence of KYC make Compound.Finance a highly desirable crypto lending platform to use.

14. Yield App

Yield App is a global Fintech company that operates under a European cryptocurrency license.

This Estonian company only deals in lending crypto. Using its platform, you can earn some of the highest interest rates on USDT. As of this writing, it's possible to earn as much as 13% on USDT if you're willing to stake Yield App’s native YLD token. If you don't want to stake in YLD, the rate drops to 6% for stablecoins, and 2.5% for ETH and BTC.

Before staking, keep in mind that the platform supports only six coins. In addition, crypto assets aren’t backed by insurance.

Verdict: Despite some drawbacks, Yield App holds promise as one of the best crypto lending platforms for earning yield on USDT.

15. Haru Invest

Haru Invest is a South Korean crypto platform which uses a variety of innovative strategies to deliver one of the highest interest payments in the industry.

It offers three ways to earn by lending your crypto. You can earn up to 7% APR by depositing your crypto in their wallet. There are no lock-up periods, and earnings are paid daily.

For more inquisitive crypto enthusiasts, the platform offers the opportunity to earn as much as 15% APY by locking up your crypto for a period ranging between 15 and 365 days. Note that there is an early withdrawal fee. If you want even higher rewards, then consider staking cryptos with Haru Earn for up to 25% in earnings per annum.

Before making your choice, remember that Haru doesn’t support fiat transactions.

Verdict: Haru Invest is one of the best crypto lending platforms for those willing to lock their cryptos for a relatively long period.

16. Aave

Aave, a Swiss-based technology company founded in 2017, is a liquidity protocol built around seven networks and 13 markets.

Lenders can take advantage of interest rates accrued and compounded in real time. Due to Aave’s incentivization protocol, it's difficult to obtain an exact APY. However, you can expect 0% to APY for the native token and up to 18% on USDT and BUSD.

If you're a borrower, you’re in good company, as the APR can be as low as 0.1% for MKR, 0.5% for AAVE, and 1.3% for BUSD. Unfortunately, interest rates on stablecoins are on the higher side.

The fluctuating interest rates on Aave can often make it difficult to plan for a major investment.

Verdict: Aave is an excellent crypto lending platform for those wishing to borrow crypto at an extremely low APR.

17. Crypto.com

Crypto.com is a popular crypto exchange based in Singapore. Founded in 2006, it claims to serve 50 million customers.

According to the company's website, you can earn up to 8.5% per annum on some of the most well-known crypto assets. There are more than 40 digital assets available for staking, and their respective interest rates are published on the website.

Borrowers can monetize their assets with loans of up to 50% on their collateral. The APR starts from 8%, and can go as high as 12%.

Despite Crypto.com’s notoriety, higher interest rates and the minimum loan amount may restrict some borrowers.

Verdict: If you need a reputable platform that offers tons of cryptos, Crypto.com is one of the best crypto lending platforms to consider.

18. Cake DeFi

Cake DeFi is registered in Singapore and is a member of the Singapore FinTech Association. The platform has an excellent reputation among the crypto community.

Lenders can aim for an APY of up to 7%. Despite its fluctuating rates, the platform guarantees a basic interest rate. Everything is clearly outlined in the lending section.

Borrowers can get funding in BUSD, Cake DeFi’s native token. APR ranges from 0.5% to 5% in most cases, and you can repay a loan anytime.

On the downside, you’ll need to post at least 50% of your loan collateral in DFI tokens.

Verdict: Cake DeFi is a leading lending platform for borrowing funds using the DFI token.

19. Alchemix

Alchemix is a European venture popular for its self-paying loans. Users can obtain loans that, theoretically, will pay for themselves in the long run.

The mechanics of Alchemix are simple to understand. Suppose a borrower deposits a certain amount of DAI stablecoin in order to get a loan of 50% of collateral. Over time, the 50% LTV loan is paid off using the net returns from staking the initial principal on the DAI deposit.

Ideally, you can use Alchemix without paying any interest on your loan. More importantly, there’s a wide range of tokens to choose from — with no lockups or withdrawal fees — and the chance of liquidation is almost nonexistent.

Before taking the plunge, make sure you understand how the Alchemix model works. For beginners, it can be a bit difficult to understand.

Verdict: Alchemix, a leading crypto lending platform, can lend crypto at 0% interest.

20. OKX

OKX is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Just like many of its other offerings, OKX loan products are extremely competitive.

There are over 20 loanable assets, which have both flexible and fixed rates. Fixed rates on stablecoins such as USDT are only 2%, with an LTV ratio of 70%. Similarly, loan terms for other major coins are extremely competitive.

If you like flexible terms, OKX posts 24-hour APYs for its assets. You can also get a fair idea of APRs by looking at the historical graphs. To be fair, OKX loans are some of the most underrated loans in the crypto lending market.

This product is not available in the United States and some other countries.

Verdict: OKX is among the best crypto lending platforms for short-term loans.

21. SALT Lending LLC

Founded in 2006, SALT Lending LLC is a U.S.-based company that specializes in crypto loans. It offers products for both individuals and businesses.

Unlike some other crypto platforms, it doesn't charge any fees for withdrawal, custody, origination, prepayment or bounced ACH transactions. The APR, which varies between 0.52% and 5.49% based on the LTV ratio of the collateral, is easy to understand.

Loan amounts start from just $1,000 and go beyond $1 million. You can also stabilize your deposits by adding stablecoins to your funds. Loans are funded within 24 to 48 hours.

One consideration is that the lengthy loan terms of 12 to 60 months can deter some loan seekers.

Verdict: SALT Lending LLC is one of the best crypto lending platforms for long-term investors who can sustain lengthy lockup periods.

22. Bybit

Bybit is your one-stop crypto destination, where you can not only trade, but also earn a reliable APY from the various Bybit Earn products that are available. Its latest Over-the-Counter (OTC) Lending product is perfect for institutional traders who want to use collateral from their Spot and Derivatives account to borrow more USDT.

You can borrow up to four times the combined equity in your Spot and Derivatives account with a loan term of up to 12 months. Perhaps the most attractive feature when lending with Bybit is that you can continue to trade your collateral in the Spot and Derivatives markets, as long as your LTV ratio is within range. There’s also no transaction fee involved.

Start borrowing with Bybit today and enjoy competitive rates.

Verdict: Bybit is one of the best crypto lending platforms, offering great flexibility to institutional investors.

Is Crypto Lending Worth Trying?

If you're in crypto for the long run, it's better to lend cryptos sitting idly in your wallet as it will help you earn interest.

Taking a crypto loan is also practical in the sense that you don't need to sell crypto to get a loan. Instead, you can hold on to your assets so that you can benefit from future bull markets and crypto booms.

First-time users and those who are relatively new to the crypto scene should select a platform based on how it markets its interest rates. If the terminology seems too complex, avoid the platform and look somewhere else. Remember, there are multiple crypto lending platforms to choose from — so take your time to understand the loan terms. In many instances, it's also better to go for a fixed rate so you can plan ahead of time.

The Bottom Line

If you've been hounded by banks, a crypto loan is your best bet for taming the beast. It's also practical for people who can't get over credit scores, bankruptcies and credit checks. If you like crypto — and you have the patience to learn about crypto lending — our advice is to go for it.