If you’re looking for an exchange to trade a variety of different cryptocurrencies Binance Exchange is one of the most popular platforms. Since early 2018, Binance is considered one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, in terms of trading volume. Supporting more than 100+ coins with 240+ trading pairs.
However, Binance is no longer just an exchange and in this Binance review, I take a look into what Binance has to offer on its platform. Including the likes of Binance Lending, Binance Academy, their own stable coins BUSD and location-specific platforms they are becoming a one-stop-shop for all things crypto.
Binance.com is an online exchange platform where you buy and sell cryptocurrencies using digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The platform was founded in 2017, in China by Changpeng Zhao. However, Binance moved their servers and headquarters out of China (to Japan) in advance of the Chinese government ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. Binance has since opened offices in Malta after stricter regulations in Japan and China.
Back in July 2017, Binance raised $15 million dollars in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for its ERC20 BNB token. As of January 2018, it was the largest cryptocurrency exchange with a Binance coin (BNB) market capitalization of $1.3 billion.
However, Binance also announced recently that they are formally expanding to the U.S. via a dedicated platform Binance.us.
Binance BNB Token
Binance Coin (BNB) is an Ethereum-based token that allows you to receive discounts on the services of the Binance platform. Users of Binance can receive a 25% discount on trading fees, by paying with Binance’s BNB token.
When trading with cryptocurrencies there is sometimes a small fraction of that cryptocurrency left over. This is known as “dust”. Within Binance you can convert this dust into their BNB coin.
BUSD Binance Stable Coin
Working in partnership with Paxo, Binance are launching a dollar-backed stable coin. The upcoming stable coin, which is dubbed as Binance USD (or BUSD) will be pegged 1:1 to the US dollar. They have also received the blessing of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
When its launched, verified Paxos customers will be able to purchase BUSD tokens directly through the company’s wallet using either US dollar or PAX (which is their own stable coin). Binance users will also be able to trade BUSD for Bitcoin Binance Coin or XRP.
Binance Supported Cryptocurrencies
Binance is predominately a crypto to crypto exchange, meaning that you’ll first need to buy some crypto before you can start to exchange. This means there are no FIAT markets, however there are links to purchase crypto on the Binance.com website using a credit or debit card or even bank transfer (although these will be at higher fees/rates).
With Binance, you can trade in markets including Bitcoin, Alts, Stablecoins and their own BNB token.
Binance has one of the lowest trading fees of any cryptocurrency exchange at just 0.1% across all trades. However, using the BNB token for transaction fees will give you a discount to your trading fee. By default, if you hold BNB in your account, your trading fees will be automatically subtracted from your BNB balance.
There are no fees for depositing your crypto into Binance, other than the miner fees for your transactions.
How to Reduce Binance Trading Fees
By signing up to Binance Exchange using this link or referral ID GPZ64I32, you will save 20% when trading. However, you can save up to 45% when using the Binance BNB token. To find out more on how to save 45% trading on Binance Exchange click here.
Binance Withdrawal Fees
An important factor when withdrawing from the Binance exchange is to check out the Binance withdrawal fees. Binance withdrawal fees do vary and depend on the type of cryptocurrency that you are withdrawing.
You may also find that there are minimum withdrawal amounts that meet and these will be displayed when withdrawing from the platform. You can find the Binance Withdrawal fees and minimum withdrawal amounts over on their fee page.
How to Withdraw from Binance?
When trading on an exchange, it is important to withdraw your crypto and to keep it stored on an exchange long term. With Binance or any other centralized exchange, you won´t have access or control over your private keys. Also, an exchange that holds a lot of assets is far more likely to be a target for hackers.
Therefore, it’s important to withdraw from Binance and store your crypto safely in a secure wallet. I personally recommend a hardware wallet such as the likes of a Ledger or Trezor where your funds are stored offline and away from any potential harm.
The Binance Smart Chain is a new blockchain with an environment for developing high-performance decentralized applications. Meaning that you can use DEFI apps such as the likes of PancakeSwap or BakerySwap to exchange your tokens, provide liquidity or yield farm. However, compared to transactions on the likes of the Ethereum network, the Binance Smart chain is fast and with low fees.
How to Connect Binance Smart Chain to MetaMask
MetaMask has always been the go-to wallet for accessing the Ethereum network. However, you now connect to the likes of the Binance Smart Chain for accessing decentralised apps (or DeFi) with low transaction fees.
Binance Mobile App
With the Binance mobile app, you can trade Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from the palm of your hand. The app is available for download for Andriod or iOS. With the app, there’s a host of features available including spot, margin and futures trading. Plus users can use the Binance Savings, Staking and Loans products from inside the app too.
Trust Wallet Binance Official Wallet
Trust Wallet is the official digital wallet of Binance. Binance acquired the secure and intuitive mobile wallet in 2018. For more information on the Trust Wallet check out our video tutorial.
In late August 2019, Binance launched their lending platform on a subscription-based service which was on a first come, first service. Its a value added service to Binance users who hold idle digital assets.
What is allows, is for Binance users to grow their funds by earning interest income for lending out their holdings over a specific period of time.
They’ve split this across phases. Phase 1 of the lending launch included a 14-day fixed term for BNB, USDT, and ETC. And Phase 2 (released 4th September 2019) included 14 and 28 days fixed terms and included Cardano, BTC as well as the above.
Binance Earn is a crypto savings account, offering users an interest-earning solution for crypto assets held on the exchange. You can find out more information on Binance Earn by click here.
Binance Liquid Swap (BSwap)
Binance has recently created its own centralized version of an automated market maker (AMM) pool which is set to rival the likes of UniSwap. BSwap/Binance Liquid Swap (which is the name of their new decentralized exchange) allows users to token swap and provide liquidity in return for an annual percentage yield whilst also getting a share of the protocol’s trading fees.
UniSwap is a Decentralised Exchange (or DEX) allowing users to trade any ERC20 Ethereum-based token directly through a web3 wallet such as the likes of Metamask or Coinbase Wallet. Without any deposits or withdrawals required, by using liquidity pools instead of order books.
In this UniSwap review, I explain how to quickly swap between Ethereum (ETH) and/or any ERC20 tokens. Plus how to add liquidity, to become a liquidity provider by simply depositing tokens into a smart contract and receive a percentage of transactions fees in the pool.
UniSwap Review & Tutorial
What is UniSwap?
Uniswap was launched onto the Ethereum main net in November 2018 and is a decentralized exchange (DEX). Made up of 2 main elements “Swap” for exchanging and “Pool” for providing liquidity. Swap provides a one-stop-shop for exchanging any ERC20 token in a few clicks without having to worry about KYC, deposits, or withdrawals.
By leveraging smart contracts, Uniswap is able to offer autonomous on-chain transactions at marginal costs with no listing fees, no native tokens required and they claim to have some of the cheapest gas cost of any DEX.
Pools, enables users to earn the 0.3% trading fees, (paid by those swapping) by providing liquidity to the Uniswap Pools.
After only one year of the release of V2, UniSwap upgraded to UniSwap version V3 in May 2021. The update was hoped that it would reduce Ethereum GAS fees, however this will have to wait until later in the year. The UniSwap team said that “UniSwap v3 would be deployed at later date on Optimistic Rollup, a layer-two protocol intended to drive down transaction costs”.
UniSwap continues to be the dominate DEX with approximately $51 billion in volume during April 2021.
UniSwap Supported Tokens
UniSwap supports any ERC-20 token in the Ethereum ecosystem. Meaning that you can swap popular tokens such as the likes of ETH, BAT, COMP, LINK, WBTC, and stable-coins such as DAI and USDT. Click here to see Uniswap’s supported tokens
Another advantage of Uniswap is their low trading fees which are currently at 0.30% per trade. In fact, Uniswap claim to have some of the cheapest gas cost of any DEX. However, due to the current congestion on the Ethereum network transaction fees can be very high.
However, by using a smart wallet, such as Dharma with zero gas fees you could potentially save yourself some money.
Slippage (when trading) refers to the difference between the expected price of a trade and the price at which the trade is executed. Slippage can occur at any time but due to high volatility in the crypto markets, this can accrue more frequently than traditional markets.
How to Adjust Slippage
To adjust slippage on Uniswap, click the cog icon on the top right-hand side of the screen. In the transaction settings, you can adjust the slippage tolerance. If your slippage tolerance to too tight you may run the risk of the transaction failing and costing you transaction fees. This can be very frustrating and costly. However, if the tolerance is too wide, you may end up receiving less crypto from the trade.
Tip: Check out Uniswap Analytics, where you can do some research on your trading pairs and adjust your slippage tolerance accordingly.
UniSwap Failed Transactions
This was one of the most frustrating things I found when using Uniswap and cost me a lot of ETH in the process. With so many trading pairs to choose from you, I tried to pick up some ¨Up and coming tokens¨ with small market caps. However, due to the small caps, there was little liquidity, and having my slippage tolerance too tight caused the transactions to fail.
When the transactions fails, your funds are safe and will be returned back to you, however the Gas fee will be deducted. These failed transactions can really add up, so increase the Gas fee you´re paying to speed up the transaction and/or adjust the slippage tolerance.
UniSwap Fake Tokens
There seems to be a scam around every corner in the world of crypto and the Uniswap DEX is no different. Uniswap allows any ERC20 token to be added to its DEX, so you may find a token with the correct name, ticker, or logo but its actually a fugazi, fake, or scam token. Unfortunately, if you trade for a fake token you may lose your crypto as there are no refunds or authority you can go to.
UniSwap Token Lists
Uniswap has introduced a feature called Token Lists, a new standard for creating lists of reputable ERC20 tokens. This is a community-led initiative aimed at creating a system that distinguishes between the most trusted DEFI tokens to separate fake and scam tokens.
These token lists come from projects on Ethereum that maintain lists of ERC20 tokens that are hosted publicly on ENS, IPFS, or HTTPs following a standard JSON schema. These projects attach their reputation to the lists by hosting them on a domain that they control. For example, the likes of CoinGecko have a list on CoinGecko.com that they control, and CoinMarketCap has an ENS domain that they control.
As part of the initial list, Uniswap have now introduced lists from the likes of CoinMarketCap, CoinGecho, Dharma, Compound, Aave, and 1Inch exchange. They’ve also launched a homepage and list browser at tokenlist.org, as well as a community forum at commiunity.tokenlists.org.
How to use UniSwap DEX
Getting started on Uniswap is very easy, especially if you already have a web3 wallet setup. Uniswap allows users to retain custody of their funds and there is no need for KYC (Know Your Customer).
Unlike popular centralized exchanges such as Coinbase Pro or Binance Exchange, there is no lengthy sign-up process, disclosing your name, passport, address, etc.
All you need to get started is a web3 wallet such a MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Fortmatic, Portis, and WalletConnect. Connecting a wallet to Uniswap is very simple, just click ´Connect to a wallet´ in the top right and you will have the option to pick your wallet.
If you´re new and don´t yet have a web3 wallet setup, you can check out the tutorial I have created on two of the most popular web3 wallets MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet.
UniSwap UNI Tokens
Uniswap has now released their UNI token. A token used for governance actions in the Uniswap protocol. A total of 1 billion UNI have been minted at genesis and will become accessible over the course of 4 years. The initial four-year allocation is as follows:
60.00% to Uniswap community members
21.51% to team members and future employees with 4-year vesting
17.80% to investors with 4-year vesting
.069% to advisors with 4-year vesting
They’ve also said that because they owe their success to the thousands of community members that joined their journey over the past two years 15% of UNI can immediately be claimed by historical liquidity providers, users, and SOCKS redeemers/holders based on a snapshot ending September 1, 2020, at 12:00 am UTC.
These UNI tokens are already available for trading on Binance and Coinbase Pro have also announced that they’ll be listing the coin soon and you can transfer your coins immediately ahead of trading. Trading will begin on Thursday 17th September 2020, if liquidity conditions are met.
If you’re interested in pooling UNI you’ll be able to do so from 18th September and will run until November 17th and target the following pools on Uniswap v2; ETH/USD, ETH/USDC, ETH/DAI and ETH/WBTC.
Uniswap governance will be live from day one. So that UNI tokens can be delegated and used to vote through the governance portal. Although control over the treasury will be delayed until 17th October 2020.
How to Claim your UniSwap UNI tokens
How to Claim UniSwap UNI Tokens with DigiFox & Argent
If you’re a Digifox or Argent wallet user, you may not be aware that these apps use Uniswap in the background. Therefore, you may be able to claim 400 UNI tokens as a result of the Uniswap airdrop. At a current price of $4.21, receiving 400 tokens would be worth $1,684 it’s definitely worth checking.
Digifox users that used their swap functionality before 1st September 2020 may be eligible to claim over 400 tokens. And Argent wallets that added liquidity to Uniswap through Argent, or exchanged on Uniswap using WalletConnect will be eligible for UNI tokens too. However, just be aware that you won’t be eligible if you only used their integrated exchange (Kyber) according to Uniswap rules.
There will also be a lot of other wallets and apps that use Uniswap in the background too and you may be entitled to further UNI tokens. For example, users of PoolTogether can also claim if they swapped Ethereum to Dai on their platform. Therefore its always worth checking or asking to see if you have any available.
How Earn UniSwap UNI Tokens
During Uniswap’s announcement of their UNI token, they also stated that 4 liquidity mining pools will also open for UNI rewards. These include ETH/USDT, ETH/DAI, ETH/USDC, and ETH/WBTC pools, each earning an allocation of 5 million UNI over the course of the next two months. This breaks down to 83,333.33 UNI per pool per day or 13.5 UNI per pool per block.
To start earning you’ll need to provide liquidity to one of the UNI pools mentioned above. Once provided, you’ll then have the Liquidity Provider (LP) tokens required to deposit into the participating pools. Then finally, when your deposit is complete, you’ll can then start earning your UNI tokens.
Unstake & Remove Liquidity UniSwap
Is UniSwap Safe?
UniSwap is non-custodial and does not use order books, therefore does not store or hold any funds. Meaning UniSwap is very secure, especially compared to centralized exchanges. UniSwap will only be as secure as the Ethereum blockchain or how safely you protect your assets.
One of the biggest risks is being duped for scam projects and tokens, imitating real projects. However, with the user of their token lists, this should help to reduce this risk. Plus users can also search for a token´s contract address and paste this into UniSwap to ensure they are using the correct token.
Answers to the most common Uniswap issues can be found within their FAQ section of the Uniswap site. However, if this doesn’t answer your questions you can also join the community Discord to get support. They also have Twitter, Discourse and Reddit Communities you can access.
Want to know how to earn up to 12% on your crypto assets, instead of just sitting idle in a wallet or exchange? Or would you prefer to borrow cash or stable coins, using your crypto as collateral? Well, Nexo.io could be a solution for you! Plus by holding their own NEXO token you could earn dividends of 30%.
Nexo was launched in 2018 by Credissimo, the leading European fintech group. They state they provide the world’s first instant crypto credit lines and have processed more than $12 billion for 1,500,000+ clients in 200+ jurisdictions.
The platform is centralized and users can deposit cryptocurrencies to earn interest. Or they can use crypto as collateral to borrow cash or stable-coins instantly.
The Nexo oracle has its own NEXO token which they deem is the world’s first dividend-paying asset-backed token. It’s an Ethereum based ERC20 token that can be used as a utility token for the Nexo platform.
The NEXO token did incredibly well in 2020, increasing by a massive 3241%, it hasn´t slowed down in 2021 either and continues to do well.
With NEXO, users can:
Earn 12% APY for stablecoins, and EUR, GBP and USD deposits
Pay 5.9%* APR for Nexo’s Instant Crypto Credit Lines (*6.9% APR after 26th May 2021).
Receive a portion of Nexo’s net profit which is shared with NEXO Token Holders in the form of dividends
Where can I buy NEXO tokens?
Although the platform does not contain an exchange, you can purchase NEXO with Changelly through their platform. Or they are listed and available for purchase on over 15 exchanges including the likes of UniSwap.
How to Receive NEXO Dividends
NEXO token holders can receive a portion of Nexo’s net profit in the form of dividends. Since 2018, Nexo has paid out a total of $9.5 million in these dividends. Available to all token holders regardless of how many they hold.
It also isn’t important which wallet the tokens are stored within. However, token holders will need to be verified to “Advanced Level”, which includes extra KYC such as uploading photo ID, etc. Also, the NEXO tokens must be held or staked in your account at the ex-dividend date which will be communicated to token holders in advance.
Nexo Loyalty Program
With the launch of Nexo’s Loyalty program, you need to stake a certain percent in $NEXO Tokens in order to receive lower interest rates for loan and increased yields on deposits. The program comprises of 4 tiers which are as follows;
Base: No NEXO Tokens are needed
Silver: At least 1% of the Portfolio Balance in your account must comprise NEXO Tokens
Gold: At least 5% of the Portfolio Balance in your account must comprise NEXO Tokens
Platinum: At least 10% of the Portfolio Balance in your account must comprise NEXO Tokens
With Nexo, you can earn daily compounding interest on your crypto or your FIAT currency likes Euros, GBP and USD, with rates up to 12%. Unlike a lot of other platforms or savings accounts, your funds are not locked up and you can withdraw at any time with zero fees.
To get the highest rates shown you will need to earn your interest in their NEXO token as well as hold 10% of your wallet balance in the token.
How Long Do Deposits Take?
For security purposes, Nexo will require a crypto deposit to receive a number of confirmations on the blockchain before the funds can be credited into your account.
These confirmations will all depend on if the network is congested and on the blockchain. For example, Bitcoin deposits require 6 confirmations, Ehtereum based deposits are 50 confirmations and XRP are nearly instant.
In a traditional bank systems, if you want to borrow money for a car, a house or your next vacation, loan approvals can be slow. Plus you have to go through some credit scrutiny with credit checks based on your credit score.
However Nexo, approves loans in seconds and money is sent straight to you account. Previously these rates started at 5.9% however increased to 6.9% APR from May 26th 2021.
This is all done by collateralising your crypto. Previously, if you wanted to free up some funds you’d need to sell your crypto. However, with Nexo you can simply use it as collateral to borrow funds.
You can borrow cash or stablecoins from as little as $10 all the way up to $2M. However, this will obviously depend on the amount of collateral you deposit.
You can take a Nexo loan equal to (or up to) 50% of the crypto collateral you deposit. In other words, if your collateral is $1,000, you can get a loan of up to $500. This is done in order to protect the system.
Just in case there was a crash in the value of the crypto which is obviously very volatile.
What Tokens are Accepted as Collateral?
You can deposit the following crypto assets: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, XLM, BCH, EOS, LINK, TRX, stablecoins, PAXG, NEXO and BNB as collateral. Nexo doesn’t support wrapped token such as wBTC OR wETH.
If you would like a token added you can contact Nexo and fill out an application form.
What is Loan to Value?
Just be aware though that the Loan-to-Value ratio is very important. As this can change especially if the value of the collateral goes down. As the Loan-to-Value will then go up.
So, monitoring your account is very important during market drops. If the price of the crypto asset falls too low, the Loan-to-Value will continue to increase and Nexo will automatically request (via SMS and email), that you repay your loan or add extra collateral in your Credit Line Wallet.
LTV is calculated as the loan amount in USD divided by the value of the collateral in USD, expressed as a percentage.
Loan amount: $5.000 Value of collateral: $10.000 Loan-to-Value = ($5.000/$10.000)*100% = 50.0%
If you don’t repay, there is a threshold where assets from your Savings Wallet will be automatically moved to your Credit Line Wallet.
If they are insufficient to cover the required Loan-to-Value, the collateralized asset will start being sold by Nexo to pay back part of the loan, in order to rebalance the Loan-to-Value. This threshold at Nexo is set at 83.3%. But before all that happens you will be notified via SMS and email.
However, on the flip side, if the value of the collateral increases, your credit line will be automatically increased as well. This could allow you to take another loan for example.
Loan to Ratio Rate Changes
As of 5th May 2021, the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratios for 10 cryptocurrencies on Nexo platform will be lowered, for clients withdrawing new credit lines on or after this date.
Below is a list of the new LTV rates;
Nexo has its own Nexo card. Letting you spend the value of your crypto without selling it. Cardholders can use the Nexo Card is like using any other card. Simply swipe your card and the payment amount is deducted from the available balance of your Instant Crypto Credit Line.
The card is accepted worldwide by 40M+ merchants and you can get 2% instant cashback on all purchases. Plus get flexible repayment options again with zero fees.
Nexo boasts zero fees on its platform, for deposits, withdrawals, and .repayments. You will find some minimum amounts for crypto and cash withdrawals, however, these are at no cost to Nexo users.
What is the Minimum Amount of Crypto I can Withdraw?
The minimum amount of crypto you can withdraw from Nexo are shown below;
Nexo Customer Support can be contacted by filling in an online form or sending an email to [email protected] Plus they have a 24/7 Live Chat facility available in the bottom right of the screen when you’re logged in.
When I contacted support via chat, they were very helpful and responded within 5 mins.
Is Nexo Safe?
In terms of security, Nexo partners with the world-renowned custodian BitGo to secure all crypto assets. BitGo is backed by Goldman Sachs and is Cryptocurrency Security Standard Level 3 as well as SOC 2 compliant.
PlusBitGo Custody carries $100,000,000.00 in insurance protections. This is through a syndicate of underwriters through Lloyd’s, the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market.
Is Nexo FDIC Insured?
Nexo is currently working on acquiring an FDIC insured US chartered bank. With the aim to give them access to cost-efficient financing, plus a strong foothold in the US market.
Whilst this is underway it’s worth mentioning that they do secure all their crypto assets with the custodian BitGo, for maximum security.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
As you can see from this Nexo review, it is an easy to use platform for lending with some fast results and good rates.
Although Nexo isn’t alone in this space you also have the likes of BlockFi and Celsius Network who also have their own token like Nexo. However, both BlockFi and Celsius offer sign-up bonuses to attract new users to their platforms which Nexo currently does not.
I’m very new to Nexo and haven´t experienced any problems thus far. When I contacted Nexo support, they were very quick to respond. One thing worth mentioning is their impressive Trust Pilot score of Excellent with 2,414 reviews.
I would like to see the Nexo card, which will see users earn a 2% cash back on purchases, this is something that Celsius and BlockFi don’t offer.
In this Celsius Network review, I take a look at the peer-to-peer lending platform, where you can borrow and earn interest on your crypto assets up to 17.78%. We’ll take a look around the Celsius App, the loan and borrowing rates, and their safety/security. Plus I explain why I choose to use lend my crypto on Celsius Network to earn interest.
If you currently have crypto sitting idle in a wallet or maybe you want to borrow some cash, and don’t want to cash out of your crypto investments then Celsius Network may be a solution.
Use Celsius Network Promo Code 135806d934 to earn a free $40 BTC Sign-up Bonus
What is Celsius Network?
Celsius Network is a peer to peer lending company that allows users to purchase crypto, earn interest, and instantly borrow dollars with no deposit, withdrawal, or transaction fees. For lenders, Celsius offer profits on interest rates for the crypto that’s been deposited. Allowing you to lend your assets to others whilst gaining interest on the loan.
With Celsius, not only can you lend your tokens to earn interest. You can also borrow dollars against your crypto, without the need to sell your tokens if you wanted to free up some cash. Because your loan is secured with your tokens which are being used as collateral, Celsius can offer really competitive interest rates to its lenders. Plus your crypto tokens are then yours to keep after you’ve repaid the loan.
Who Are Celsius Network?
The Celsius Network was founded in 2017 by Alex Mashinsky (CEO) and Daniel Leon (Founding President and COO). Alex Mashinsky is known for bringing cell phone service and free WiFi to the New York City subways, enabling WiFI on U.S. flights, and creating Voice over IP (VoIP). Daniel Leon is a business and social entrepreneur, serving as a leader at several organizations, including Atlis Labs, Beyon3D, and GroundLink.
Alex Mashinsky is active on platforms such as Twitter with the Celsius community. He also hosts weekly AMA (ask Mashinsky anything) on YouTube. Plus if you’re a subscriber to Real Vision there’s a great interview available, where Alex talks about his background and in-depth about the Celsius network.
Celsius Referral Code May 2021: $40 BTC Sign-up Bonus
Celsius Network offers new users a $40 BTC Bonus when using this referral link or by entering promo code 126555d934 at sign-up.
You will also receive a $40 BTC Bonus for every person you refer to Celsius Network.
With Celsius, you can deposit and earn interest on any cryptocurrencies that earn a yield. This includes the likes of; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Synthetix, as well as a host of stable-coins. In March 2021 they added Polkadot’s DOT token, where you can earn up to 3.18%.
You can currently borrow 34 different cryptocurrencies too, with interest rates as low as 0.7%.
Tokens can also be purchased within the app too, although this wont be the cheapest option for buying your crypto.
Is Celsius Network Safe?
Celsius has recently moved away from BitGo and now works with several custodians including Fire Blocks and PrimeTrust. Celsius state that security is more than just custodian and insurance, it’s how they operate through the entire company. Protecting the user’s assets is always their number one priority.
If Celsius were to suddenly disappear, go bankrupt or get hacked, they state they will use their balance sheet to cover damages. If the losses exceed their balance sheet, they will use Eligible Digital Assets to absorb the remaining losses.
Celsius also offer 2FA authentication on their app and follow best practices when withdrawing from their wallet.
Celsius CEL Token
CEL is the official token from Celsius Network. CEL tokens gives Celsius members access to the best financial services for cryptocurrencies. Not only do you get better interest rates when choosing CEL as your receiving currency, but you also gain access to a different array of member-exclusive advantages.
Celsius Network token CEL give users access to higher rates on earnings and lower rates on loans. Earn up to 25% more rewards on all deposits when choosing to earn rewards in CEL tokens. Also if you choose to borrow instead and pay interest in CEL, you’ll receive up to a 25% discount on your interest payment.
Another massive benefit holding CEL is it’s value, in 2020 CEL was one of the best performing crypto assets and the price has risen to nearly 4000% within 12 months.
Celsius loyalty program is on a four-tiered system and to receive the bonus rates, you will need to stake CEL tokens. To receive the advertised rates as seen on the Celsius website and social media, you will have to reach the ‘Platinum’ loyalty level.
Bronze level is the starter level, which means you hold 5%-10% of your portfolio in CEL tokens. Celsius bronze members will receive discounts of 5% bonus interest and 5% loan interest.
Silver level means you hold 10-15% of your portfolio in CEL tokens. Celsius Silver members will receive 10% bonus interest and a 10% loan interest discount.
Gold level means you hold 15-25% of your portfolio in CEL tokens. Celsius Gold members will receive a 15% bonus interest and a 15% loan interest discount.
Platinum level means you hold more than 25% of your portfolio in CEL tokens. Celsius Platinum members will receive a 25% bonus interest and a 25% loan interest discount.
How to Earn Interest with Celsius
To earn interest with Celsius, simply transfer your cryptocurrency assets into the Celsius app. Currently you can earn up to 17.78% on your crypto and 13.2% on stable coins. However, this will depend on your loyalty level, payment method and the crypto that you have deposited.
The interest that you earn is issued weekly, every Monday. There’s no minimum balance required and you can deposit as little or as much as you like.
How to Borrow with Celsius
With Celsius, you can borrow a minimum of $500 in USD or stable-coins at some incredibly low rates of interest, especially compared to a bank. With rates as low as 0.7% (when you pay with their CEL token), you simply use your crypto as collateral for the loan, without having to sell off your assets to free up funds.
You can choose to borrow either USD (to be sent directly to your bank account) or a stablecoins which will arrive in your celsius account in 24hrs. Simply enter the amount that you’d like to borrow and choose the crypto that you’ve deposited and would like to use as collateral. Then select the term of the loan from 6 to 36 months.
A confirmation of the loan will then be presented showing the amount you’ll be borrowing. You’ll also be shown the estimated collateral which will be ultimately determined on approval. Just note that when borrowing, that these tokens will be locked and ineligible to earn interest.
Plus you’ll also be shown a margin call amount and a liquidation amount.
What are Celsius Margin Calls & Liquidations?
When borrowing from Celsius, you’re putting cryptocurrency down as collateral. Because of the high volatility of crypto, Celsius implements a margin call. Meaning that if your collateral value drops under a certain price, they will ask you to add more to meet the minimum coverage on your loan.
If the price drops another threshold, and the margin call wasn’t met, they will liquidate a portion of your assets to cover for the margin call.
Now in the Bitcoin price drop in March 2020, the likes of Bitmex liquidated about a billion dollars. Whilst Nexo and BlockFi liquidated 100s of millions of dollars. However apparently Celsius didnt have to liquidate anyone.
Please ensure you never over borrow when borrowing on these type of platforms.
Celsius Network is fee-free, this includes withdrawal and termination fees, which is unlike many of its competitors. I have personally withdrawn a few times and the withdrawals have been more or less instant. Just make sure you have your 2FA turned on, otherwise, your crypto assets will be held for 24hrs. Safety First!
Celsius Network provides users with a dedicated Help Center with FAQs regarding deposits, withdrawals, etc. If you don’t have any luck with their Help Center, you can also submit a request via the Celsius website or by emailing [email protected]
Any time I’ve had to contact Celsius support they have replied quickly. Their Trustpilot score is currently Great at a 4.1.
There are lots of platforms fighting for this peer to peer lending market. Two of Celsius Network’s biggest competitors are BlockFi and Nexo. I personally have investments in all three and each have their positives and negatives. You can find video tutorials and reviews on both BlockFi and Nexo on this site and Every Bit Helps YouTube channel.
One of the more recent players to enter this market is the Yield App. This platform was released in February 2021 and is currently offering yields of up to a massive 20%. For more information on the Yield App, click here.
Celsius Network Rating 4.5/5
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I have been using Celsius Network for nearly 1 year. Every Monday it’s still exciting to receive my rewards and watch them compound on a weekly basis. However, I signed up thinking I would automatically receive the 30% bonus if I chose to receive payments in CEL. This wasn’t the case, I’m not sure if this is clever marketing or I just rushed in and didn’t read the fine print. Either way, I love receiving +16.16% on my SNX tokens!!
Celsius App is clear and easy to use, but it would be nice to have a web version available. The quick and free withdrawals are great, especially with the current high transaction fees, hopefully, they continue to offer this.
I’m currently a Platinum member and receive the benefits of higher interest rates. However, with the market being so volatile I have recently dropped into the Gold member bracket. So, I will need to purchase some more CEL tokens and the only way to do this, is to pay a 3.5% card fee or purchase on an exchange like UniSwap. But again with GAS fees so high this can again be expensive. I would love for a way to quickly swap my tokens within the App for more CEL. I believe this would be a great feature for the community.
Although I’m happy using Celsius, I’m cautious with the amount I leave in any App or wallet. An interest rate of 4.56% and 5.5% is fantastic, in the world of zero interest rates. However, I would find it hard to justify losing all my crypto, if something unfortunate did happen to Celsius for the sake of 5% per annum. Like anything, be cautious and don´t put all your eggs in one basket.
Fed up of earning negative interest from your bank? Why not leave the traditional financial system behind and start earning up to 8.6% on your crypto assets with BlockFi. Or simply borrow against your crypto with collateralised loans with rates as low at 4.5%.
In this BlockFi Review, we’ll take a look at the New York City-based lending platform and see how they compare to the likes of Nexo and Celsius Network.
What is BlockFi?
Founded in 2017, BlockFi is a New York City-based lending platform that offers competitive interest-bearing savings accounts for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and USD stable coins like GUSD, USDC, and PAX.
BlockFi generates interest on assets held by lending funds to institutional and corporate borrowers.
With Interest being accumulated from the day the platform receives your deposits. Plus they’re backed by some of the world’s top investors including Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, who co-founded Paypal and was the first investor in Facebook.
Unlike nearly all of BlockFi’s competitors, they don’t offer native tokens. Instead, they offer simple products, with simple terms designed to help cryptocurrency holders to do more with their digital assets.
The company currently services clients worldwide, including 49 U.S. states, with interest-earning accounts and low-cost USD loans backed by crypto.
With BlockFi interest you can earn on cryptocurrency such as the likes of Bitcoin, ETH, LTC and stablecoins with rates of up to 8.6%.
This is great for whose crypto has been sitting idle in a wallet or exchange with the ability to earn more crypto while holding their assets.
Interest in paid monthly and compounds. If you add additional crypto to your BlockFi Interest Account, your interest will compound on the new balance.
BlockFi has recently made updates to their rates as of May 1st 2021. Below are the new rates which apply with changes applied to BTC, ETH, LINK, LTC and PAXG. If you’ve deposited between 0.5 and 20 BTC the new rate will now be at 2% APY, which is a huge drop from the former 6% for those staking 0 to 2.5 BTC.
Loans can be completed quickly with BlockFi and this is all done by collateralizing your crypto. Previously, if you wanted to free up some funds you’d need to sell your crypto. However, with BlockFi you can simply use your Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin as collateral to borrow funds.
BlockFi is not yet licensed to offer loans to residents in certain jurisdictions, which include the UK. However, they state that they are working hard to make this available for their clients.
With BlockFi, you can borrow from $5,000. However, the limit you can borrow up to, will depend on the amount of collateral you deposit.
You can take a BlockFi loan equal to (or up to) around 50% of the crypto collateral you deposit. In other words, if your collateral is $1,000, you can get a loan of up to $500. This is done in order to protect the system.
Just in case there was a crash in the value of the crypto which is obviously very volatile.
Once you’ve got enough collateral, you’ll also need to pay interest on that loan. This is for a minimum duration of approximately 12 months.
If you want to pay a loan back early, there are no penalties and you can do this at anytime.
What Tokens are Accepted as Collateral?
At time of writing this BlockFi review you can use the following assets as collateral; Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Pax Gold (PAXG).
With BlockFi trading you can exchange and manage your crypto assets with the likes of BTC, ETH, LTC, USDC, USDT, GUSD, PAX and PAXG. Trading is quick and easy and you can start as soon as funds are deposited into your account.
The price that you see is the trade price and there are no additional fees to pay. Plus, you’ll continue earning interest when your trade goes through.
Although this is a simple way to exchange between cryptocurrencies, this will not be the cheapest option. This is because you’ll be paying a premium for this convenience.
BlockFi Reward Card
BlockFi has a Bitcoin reward credit card coming soon, where you can get 1.5% cashback with every purchase. Although the card is not yet available at the time of writing this article BlockFi users can join the waiting list.
The card will initially be available to US residents in qualified states in 2021.
With BlockFi, there are no fees for deposits or trading. However, there are some withdrawal fees and limits associated with your assets.
To see a full list please check out their Fees page.
Withdrawal Fees and Limits
You can withdraw your funds at any time. BlockFi currently offer one free crypto withdrawal and one free stablecoin withdrawal per calendar month.
Any further withdrawals may be assessed a fee as listed below.
Is BlockFi Regulated?
BlockFi is not decentralised. However, is still one of the most popular companies offering cryptocurrency-backed loans. They’re registered with the U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“or FinCEN”) as a money services business.
BlockFi keep reserves stored with the crypto custodian Gemini, a New York trust company regulated by NYDFS.
As of December 2020, BlockFi has a Trust Pilot score of 3.1 with only 33 reviews. The majority of the negative reviews highlight issues with customer support. This could be a growth issue, with BlockFi unable to keep up with demand from more customers using their platform.
One issue I personally had, was not being unable to log-in to my account and this was very frustrating at the time. I contacted BlockFi via Twitter and after some time they did respond. I had to remove the App and download it again which resolved the issues.
When it comes to online review platforms it best to take them with a pinch of salt. It’s very easy to bash a company when things go wrong and unless you’re being paid or a company/business has gone out their way, what the incentive is there to leave a 5-star review?
For full transparency in this BlockFi review, according to their incident report, BlockFi had a security breach. This occurred on May 14, 2020. During this time, a BlockFi employee’s phone number was breached and utilized by an unauthorized third party. They did this to access a portion of BlockFi’s encrypted back-office system and this type of breach is commonly referred to as a SIM port.
The perpetrator attempted to make unauthorized withdrawals of client funds using the BlockFi platform. However, was unsuccessful in doing so. But they did manage to access BlockFi client information, used for marketing purposes throughout the duration of this incident.
BlockFi has confirmed that no funds, passwords, social security numbers, tax identification numbers, passports, licenses, bank account information, nor similar non-public identification information were exposed as a result of this incident.
BlockFi Referral Code
To entice new users to their platform, BlockFi offers a sign-up bonus of up to $250 in crypto, with a deposit of $25 or more. BlockFi referral offer is one of biggest compared to the likes of Celsius Network which is $40, however you will need to deposit $20,000+ to receive $250.
At the time of this BlockFi review, BlockFi currently have a help centre with a lot of valuable information and FAQs. This is handy for those wanting some immediate answers to their queries. You can also submit a ticket through their website. Or leave a message through their online chat facility in the bottom right of the screen.
Although the likes of BlockFi will never win over the hardcore crypto investors, BlockFi is potentially a bridge between the traditional financial system and crypto. Not everyone will be comfortable storing their own private keys themselves. Therefore, with platforms such as BlockFi, users can keep their crypto secure whilst also receiving a high yield.
I personally feel a sense of security with my assets earning interest on BlockFi. Mostly due to BlockFi being regulated in New York and being backed by some of the biggest names in the space.
I’ve been earning interest with BlockFi consistently for a few months now. Although their rates are not as competitive compared to the likes of Celsius Network and Nexo (although to get the best rates you’ll need to be paid in the native tokens of these platforms), I wouldn’t recommend storing 100% of your assets in a platform like BlockFi, I personally am happy to invest a percentage of my portfolio in the platform.
My biggest issue has been BlockFi´s App on iPhone, I’ve had a few issues where I haven’t been able to log-in as I mentioned perviously. Hopefully this is just teething problems and won’t be an re-occurring issue.