A Safe Investment for Your Crypto?

A Safe Investment for Your Crypto?

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Nexo offers a way to earn interest on your crypto holdings, borrow cash or stablecoins, and spend your crypto in the real world. But is it safe?

Why sit on your crypto holdings just waiting for the price to go up?

With platforms like Nexo, you could earn up to 12%. Or even get a crypto-backed loan.

Before you move your cryptocurrency into Nexo, find out how it works and if it’s a safe choice. Plus, see how it compares to other crypto banking platforms like BlockFi and Celsius.

What Is Nexo?

Nexo is a cryptocurrency lending platform founded in 2017 by Antoni Trenchev and Kosta Kantchev. They are based in Zug, Switzerland.

They offer high-yield savings accounts that allow users to earn up to 12% interest, paid daily. You can earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings as well as on cash deposits of EUR, GBP, and USD.

Nexo also offers the ability to borrow against your cryptocurrency holdings without selling them. The loan APRs start as low as 5.9%. It’s a compelling solution for crypto investors who need cash in a hurry, but don’t want to sell off their holdings to get it.

Nexo’s other features, including their Exchange, Nexo Card, and NEXO Token, make it a holistic crypto platform with a lot of promise. Stick around to learn more about these features below.

Supported Cryptocurrencies and Stablecoins
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, XLM, BCH, USDT, USDC, TUSD, DAI, PAX, HUSD, LINK, TRX, PAX Gold, and BNB, with a promise of more to come.

Supported Countries
Nexo is available to all countries except the following:

Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Estonia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe

Is Nexo Legit?

The short answer is yes, Nexo is a legit crypto lending and borrowing platform. They are available in over 200 jurisdictions worldwide, have over $12 billion in assets under management, and clients’ funds are held with the qualified, audited, Goldman Sachs-backed custodian BitGo.

Nexo’s Features

Nexo offers an impressive suite of features, combining banking services and a standard trading exchange, among others. Review the features below to see if Nexo is worthy spot for your crypto.

High-Yield Savings

Nexo’s EARN feature will appeal to investors who normally take a more passive investment strategy with their crypto.

Instead of waiting to sell your coin at a higher price (which is never guaranteed), you can earn up to 12% interest on it.

Interest rates on Nexo range from 4-8% on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, and from 10-12% on stablecoins such as USDT, USDC, and DAI, and cash deposits of USD, GBP, and EUR.

Here’s how the rates are determined: [1]

  • Fixed Term or Flex: Users will receive a 1% bonus to crypto and fiat returns for opting into a fixed-term deposit (one month for crypto, three months for fiat currencies). Fixed terms are not yet available for stablecoins.
  • Payout Method: Lower interest rates will be offered to users who choose to earn “in kind”—in other words, in the currency they’ve invested, while a 2% bonus is given to those who choose to take their earnings in the NEXO token.
  • Loyalty Tier: Nexo employs loyalty tiers based on percentage of users’ holdings made up of the NEXO token:
    • Base: Up to 1% NEXO tokens in portfolio
      • 0.0% bonus on crypto
      • 0.0% bonus on stablecoins
      • 0.0% bonus on cash

    • Silver: 1 – 5% NEXO tokens in portfolio
      • 0.25% bonus
      • 0.25% bonus on stablecoins
      • 0.25% bonus on cash

    • Gold: 5 – 10% NEXO tokens in portfolio
      • 0.50% bonus
      • 1% bonus on stablecoins
      • 1% bonus on cash

    • Platinum: Over 10% NEXO tokens in portfolio
      • 1% bonus
      • 2% bonus on stablecoins
      • 2% bonus on cash

You can add or withdraw funds anytime, and interest is paid out daily. You’ll start earning compound interest 24 hours after your first transfer. Higher tiers also offer free monthly crypto withdrawals, with 1 per month for gold tier members and 3 for platinum.

While other crypto lending platforms require users to take on some degree of risk, Nexo custodial assets are insured for up to $375 million.

NEXO Token

NEXO Token is Nexo’s own dividend-paying asset-backed token. The NEXO Token can be used as a source of revenue and comes with discounts for those who hold it.

Here are some of the benefits of holding NEXO Token:

  • Higher yields on crypto and fiat in Nexo’s savings account
  • Lower rates on their crypto-backed loans
  • Higher cash back from the Nexo Card
  • Free crypto withdrawals
  • Dividends: Nexo shares 30% of its profits with NEXO Token holders

Borrowing

The biggest benefit of Nexo’s crypto-backed loans, is that you don’t have to sell your assets to leverage their value.

Here’s why that’s a big deal:

If you sell your cryptocurrency within a year of purchase, you’ll be forced to pay capital gains taxes on any earnings, not to mention the fees charged by most exchanges.

Plus, given the rate at which cryptocurrency prices change, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to reinvest at the price you sold at. All of this can be avoided if you use them as collateral for a loan instead.

There are no prepayment, origination, or installment fees; you only pay interest on the period you borrowed. Interest rates start at 5.90% APR.

The amount you can borrow depends on the loan-to-value ratio available for your given asset. For example, if you have $100 worth of Bitcoin, the LTV Nexo offers is 60%, so you’d be able to take a loan up to $60 in value. Based on historic volatility, the LTV ratios vary from asset to asset between 25% and 90%.

It’s important to keep track of the currency you’re using as collateral until your loans are paid off. If the price rises, you may become eligible for larger loans.

But if it suddenly drops by a lot, you’ll receive warnings that you need to pay off some (or all of) your loan to maintain the loan-to-value ratio you started with.

Supported Cryptocurrencies and Stablecoins
Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, BNB, EOS, Chainlink, Stellar, NEXO Token, Tron, PAXG Tether, USDC, PAX, TrueUSD, DAI, and HUSD.

Exchange

While the Exchange isn’t its main feature, it does help make Nexo a one-stop-shop for your crypto needs if you already use their other services.

You can trade between over 100 crypto and fiat trading pairs.

By connecting to a number of running exchanges, Nexo aims to offer the best prices for any trade, and locks in your price as soon as you confirm.

They offer unlimited swaps for as much as $50,000 per transaction. While the Nexo claims the exchange is fee-free, they appear to charge spreads as high as 2% for trades.[2]

Nexo Card

The Nexo Card is offered in partnership with Mastercard and accepted by over 40 million merchants worldwide.

With the Card, you can spend against the value of your credit line, based on your assets on Nexo’s platform. In effect, it allows you to borrow against your crypto holdings in real-time. Here are some of the Card’s features:

  • No monthly or annual fees
  • No foreign exchange fees (payment available in your local currency)
  • 2% cash back on all transactions, which you can swap between NEXO and BTC in real time
  • 256-bit encryption and 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card via your Nexo account
  • Instant notifications about any transactions, ensuring that your card isn’t being used without your knowledge

Are There Any Fees?

Nexo has a “#ZeroFees” policy, which is quite rare in the cryptocurrency space.

However, this does not appear to be an entirely accurate representation of their business model.

Spread Fees
While Nexo does not provide any information on their rates, multiple users have reported being charged a spread on their transactions.2

A spread is a fee, often invisible to the user, calculated as a percentage and included in the price of a buy/sell transaction by the exchange. It is common practice that exchanges disclose their rates, and hopefully Nexo will soon.

The spread has been estimated at around 2%.

Gas Fees
Nexo charges gas fees on crypto withdrawals after a user’s monthly limit has been reached. Basic users get 1 free withdrawal, Silver 2, Gold 3, and Platinum 5 per month.[3]

They offer unlimited fiat withdrawals, crypto and fiat deposits into the Nexo Wallet, and credit line withdrawals free of charge.

Gas fees are charged in order to facilitate network processing for your transactions and adding them to the blockchain. The price of these fees changes over time.

Loan Fees
For crypto-backed loans, interest rates start at 5.90%, and you only pay for the term you borrow.

There are no prepayment, origination, or installment fees.[4] You can pay your loan off over an extended period or in a lump sum with no penalties.

How to Open a Nexo Account

It is easy to sign up for an account with Nexo through their mobile app or desktop site:

  1. Visit their site or download their app and click “create account.”
  2. Add your email address and choose a password.
  3. Confirm your email address, and you’re ready to get started.

App download: Apple, Google Play

Does Nexo Report to the IRS? While Nexo does not appear to report taxes directly to the IRS (or offer common tax forms such as the 1099 form), it is important to report any crypto earnings to the IRS yourself.

Should you fail to report your own earnings, you may incur hefty penalties when the IRS finds out.

Is Nexo Safe?

Nexo employs a variety of security measures to protect users.

  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Helps to prevent unwanted access to your account, and is required to start using the platform.
  • Pin & Facial Recognition: When setting up a Nexo account, you’re required to set up a 4-digit pin, which you’ll need to enter on login or after timeout. It can be bypassed with facial recognition.
  • Insurance: Nexo, in partnership with companies like BitGo and Ledger Vault, has obtained $375 million in insurance for digital assets.
  • Bank-Grade Storage: Assets are stored in Class III vaults.
  • KYC and AML: With partner Jumio, Nexo complies with strict know-your-customer and anti-money laundering standards.
  • Collateral: Users’ funds are lent to institutional borrowers on an over-collateralized basis, meaning the collateral always exceeds the value of the loan.
  • Withdrawal Confirmations & Login Alerts: So that no transaction or login happens without your knowledge.

Has Nexo ever been hacked?
No. To date, Nexo has never been hacked.

How It Compares

Nexo is but one of many businesses offering crypto banking services. Let’s see how it stacks up to its competitors.

BlockFi

  BlockFi
  Learn More Visit Site
SPECIAL OFFER
Get Up to $250 Bonus – Learn More
 

Benefits and Features

Cryptocurrencies Supported BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, XLM, BCH, USDT, USDC, TUSD, DAI, PAX, HUSD, LINK, TRX, PAX Gold, BNB Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Chainlink, PAX Gold, USDC, Binance USD, PAX, GUSD
Countries Supported Worldwide, except: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Estonia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Zimbabwe Worldwide, except for countries that are sanctioned or watch-listed
Fiat Currencies Supported
Over 40
USD
Digital Wallet
Yes
Yes
Transaction Fee
No
No
Copy Trading
No
No
Limit Orders
No
No
Margin Trading
No
No
Spread
about 2%
0.7 – 1.5%
Interest Accounts
Up to 12%
Up to 8.6%
Crypto Loans
Yes
Yes
Bitcoin (BTC) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
0.5 – 5.0%
Ethereum (ETH) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
0.5 – 4.5%
Bank Account Purchase Fee
No
No
Litecoin (LTC) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
5.5%
Debit Card Purchase Fee
No
No
Tether (USDT) Interest Rates
8.0 – 12.0%
9.3%
USD Coin (USDC) Interest Rates
8.0 – 12.0%
8.6%
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
ACH Transfer Fee
No
No
Wire Transfer Fee
No
No
Crypto Conversion Fee
No
No
Other Fees 2% origination fee on crypto-backed loans
Gas fees on crypto-withdrawals change over time
2% Origination Fee on crypto-backed loans
Withdrawal Fee varying based on cryptocurrency: 0.00075 BTC, 0.02 ETH, 0.0025 LTC
Address Allowlisting
Coming
Yes
Anonymity
No
No
Biometric Login
Yes
Yes
Cold Storage
Yes
Yes
Insured $375 million in digital asset insurance FDIC insurance on cash holdings up to $250,000 and digital asset insurance on custodied cryptocurrencies
Maximum Trading Amount $100,000 USD per transaction with no transaction limit per day Single-trade limit of $1.2m USD or equivalent
Two-Factor Authentication
Yes
Yes
Withdrawal Limit Free withdrawals depend on loyalty tier:
Basic: 1 per month
Silver: 2 per month
Gold: 3 per month
Platinum: 5 per month
7-day Withdrawal Limit varies by cryptocurrency: 100 BTC, 5,000 ETH, 10,000 LTC.
Up to $5,000 USD via direct bank withdrawal
  Learn More Visit Site

Nexo: Pricing information from published website as of 05/07/2021.

BlockFi: Pricing information from published website as of 05/03/2021.

BlockFi is another well-known crypto banking platform offering lending and reward services.

While they offer roughly the same number of currencies for earning interest, the rates on Nexo tend to be better, especially those with their higher-tiered memberships and for stablecoins.

Additionally, BlockFi interest rates decrease with volume on many of the more popular cryptocurrencies, while Nexo offers a flat rate. Nexo also offers the ability to earn on some fiat currencies, which BlockFi does not.

Regarding crypto-backed loans, BlockFi’s interest rates are slightly better than Nexo’s 5.90% for loans with an LTV of 20%. However, for users looking to use less collateral, their rates tend to be more expensive.

The takeaway is that Nexo will probably offer better rates for crypto and fiat currency high-yield savings accounts. BlockFi may be your choice for crypto-backed loans if you can afford an LTV of 20% or lower, but for higher values, Nexo is probably better.

Celsius

SPECIAL OFFER
Sign Up Bonus: $40 BTC – Learn More
 

Benefits and Features

Cryptocurrencies Supported BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, XLM, BCH, USDT, USDC, TUSD, DAI, PAX, HUSD, LINK, TRX, PAX Gold, BNB Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, Gemini Dollar, Paxos Standard, LINK, BAT, COMP, UMA, SNX, AAVE, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Mana, Uniswap, Polygon, Livepeer, Kyber Network, Binance USD, Ethereum Classic, EOS, TrueCAD, TrueHKD, TrueAUD, TrueGBP, TrueUSD, USDT, 0x, DAI, PAX Gold, OMG Network, Stellar, Ripple, Dash
Countries Supported Worldwide, except: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Estonia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Over 100
Fiat Currencies Supported
Over 40
USD, AUD, GPB, EUR, CAD, CHF, DKK, NZD, NOK, SEK, RUB, BRL, CZK, RON, HUF, HKD, BGN, TRY, INR, IDR, HRK, PHP, MYR, ZAR, JPY, PLN, VND, ISK, CLP, COP, ARS, PEN, KES, TWD
Digital Wallet
Yes
Yes
Transaction Fee
No
No
Copy Trading
No
No
Limit Orders
No
No
Margin Trading
No
No
Spread
about 2%
1%
Interest Accounts
Up to 12%
Up to 17.78%
Crypto Loans
Yes
Yes
Bitcoin (BTC) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
3.51 – 6.20%
Ethereum (ETH) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
5.05 – 6.35%
Bank Account Purchase Fee
No
No
Litecoin (LTC) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
4.08 – 5.33%
Debit Card Purchase Fee
No
No
Tether (USDT) Interest Rates
8.0 – 12.0%
13.19%
USD Coin (USDC) Interest Rates
8.0 – 12.0%
10 – 13.19%
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
ACH Transfer Fee
No
0.1%
Wire Transfer Fee
No
0.5%
Crypto Conversion Fee
No
No
Other Fees 2% origination fee on crypto-backed loans
Gas fees on crypto-withdrawals change over time
Credit Card Fee: 3.5% or $10 minimum fee; or 2.99 for EEA and UK residents
Address Allowlisting
Coming
Yes
Anonymity
No
No
Biometric Login
Yes
Yes
Cold Storage
Yes
Yes
Insured $375 million in digital asset insurance Un-lent coins are held by insured custodians Fireblocks and PrimeTrust
Maximum Trading Amount $100,000 USD per transaction with no transaction limit per day
No
Two-Factor Authentication
Yes
Yes
Withdrawal Limit Free withdrawals depend on loyalty tier:
Basic: 1 per month
Silver: 2 per month
Gold: 3 per month
Platinum: 5 per month
$1 USD minimum; $600,000 USD limit per 24 hours

Nexo: Pricing information from published website as of 05/07/2021.

Celsius Network: Pricing information from published website as of 05/04/2021.

Celsius is known for offering some of the highest returns on high-yield crypto savings accounts, and some of the lowest APRs on crypto-backed loans.

However, like with Nexo, the best rates are not available to all users. Both platforms use a tiered membership model based on holdings of their respective tokens, CEL and NEXO.

Unfortunately, CEL is only available in the U.S. to accredited investors, meaning that average users will probably be able to find better rewards on Nexo if they optimize for it.

Celsius offers much more lenient interest rates on their crypto-backed loans, as low as 1.0% for loans with an LTV of 25%, and comparable to Nexo’s at higher values.

For U.S. users, Celsius makes more sense for loans, and Nexo is the better choice for earning rewards. For international and accredited investors, Celsius may be the more appealing choice.

Coinbase

SPECIAL OFFER
Learn Crypto, Earn Crypto – Learn More
 

Benefits and Features

Cryptocurrencies Supported BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, XLM, BCH, USDT, USDC, TUSD, DAI, PAX, HUSD, LINK, TRX, PAX Gold, BNB
50
Countries Supported Worldwide, except: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Estonia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Over 100
Fiat Currencies Supported
Over 40
USD, GBP, EUR
Digital Wallet
Yes
Yes
Transaction Fee
No
Greater of Minimum Flat Fees or Variable Fees (1.49%+) by Location and Payment Method:
Minimum Flat Fees

  • $10.01 – $25: $1.49
  • $25.01 – $50: $1.99
  • $50.01 – $200: $2.99

Copy Trading
No
No
Limit Orders
No
No
Margin Trading
No
No
Spread
about 2%
0.50%
Interest Accounts
Up to 12%
USDC only, 1.25% APY
Crypto Loans
Yes
Invitation only
Ethereum (ETH) Interest Rates
4.0 – 8.0%
6.0%
Bank Account Purchase Fee
No
1.49%
Debit Card Purchase Fee
No
3.99%
USD Coin (USDC) Interest Rates
8.0 – 12.0%
0.15%
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
ACH Transfer Fee
No
Free
Wire Transfer Fee
No
$10 ($25 outgoing)
Crypto Conversion Fee
No
up to 2%
Other Fees 2% origination fee on crypto-backed loans
Gas fees on crypto-withdrawals change over time
Instant Card Withdrawal: up to 1.5% + minimum fee of $0.55
Address Allowlisting
Coming
Yes
Anonymity
No
No
Biometric Login
Yes
Yes
Cold Storage
Yes
Yes
Insured $375 million in digital asset insurance USD balances FDIC insured up to $250k
Maximum Trading Amount $100,000 USD per transaction with no transaction limit per day
Unlimited
Two-Factor Authentication
Yes
SMS or Google Authenticator
Withdrawal Limit Free withdrawals depend on loyalty tier:
Basic: 1 per month
Silver: 2 per month
Gold: 3 per month
Platinum: 5 per month
$50,000 / day
Learn Crypto, Earn Crypto

Nexo: Pricing information from published website as of 05/07/2021.

Coinbase: Pricing information from published website as of 04/13/2021.

Coinbase is possibly the most popular cryptocurrency exchange. It’s available around the world and offers over 50 cryptocurrencies for trade.

For trading, Coinbase outperforms Nexo in every category except for fees. Coinbase fees are quite high relative to other exchanges, which they attempt to make up for by being easy to use.

When it comes to borrowing and lending crypto, Coinbase hasn’t got much to offer yet. Users can currently earn 0.15% by depositing USDC with Coinbase, compared to a maximum rate of 12% on Nexo.

Coinbase currently has a waitlist for Ethereum staking at 7.5%, but the feature hasn’t launched yet.

If you’re a crypto beginner looking to trade, Coinbase’s user-friendliness may make it an attractive option, but when it comes to crypto banking, Nexo is the obvious choice.

Bottom Line: Should You Use Nexo?

In crypto banking, there is rarely a platform that outperforms the others across the board. Instead, users must consider a variety of factors like fees, available currencies, and interest rates when determining which platform to use.

Nexo is a safe choice for users looking to earn interest on their crypto assets, especially if they’re willing to boost their returns by investing in NEXO Token.

For crypto-backed loans, they’re not always the cheapest option, but not too expensive either. And the Nexo Card makes it easy to access your credit line on the go. Consider using them if you’re able to pay back your loan quickly, as there are no fees or penalties for prepayment.

References

  1. ^ “Earn up to 12% interest on Crypto Assets – Explained”: Nexo Help Center, 2021.
  2. ^ “Nexo Exchange Fees”: Reddit, 2021.
  3. ^ “What are the withdrawal fees for crypto and fiat currencies?”: Nexo Help Center, 2021.
  4. ^ “Are there are prepayment, origination or loan installments fees?”: Nexo Help Center, 2021.

Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at [email protected] Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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