Background

Over the last 1.5 years, I personally experimented with different lending services in the crypto space. Here’s a spreadsheet I update once a month with my latest holdings.

Earning a yield enables you to stack more sats (what I’m doing), or reduce the temptation to sell your coin through earning an income.

Risk 

I cover risk in the beginning because I want everyone to focus on what can go wrong before evaluating this decision.

As I mentioned in my last newsletter, lending/borrowing is one of the oldest and fundamental forms of finance. When you lend out your Bitcoin, the return you earn is compensation for the risk you are taking with your capital. 

Taking risk isn’t a bad or good thing. It’s inherent for any investment. An investor hopes they have appropriately sized the risk relative to the return.

When you lend your coins you have to trust that the service evaluated counter party risk properly, which includes: financials of borrower, collateral requirements, custody, etc.

Contrary to traditional best practices, there may be no benefits to diversification as you do not know the counterparty overlap between lenders (Ledn, BlockFi, Genesis). 

Many people ask me if they should use a lending service that has a token (Celsius/Nexo). I think that adding a token increases regulatory and structural risk. Note that these token lending services will often tout that they are “regulatory complaint” but in reality they’ve only filed a form D with the SEC which means it should only be available to accredited investors. And they often claim to have “insurance” but this is actually Bitgo’s $100M insurance which covers all Bitgo custody customers. 

Case in point: Cred blew up earlier this year.

In the below sections I will be covering traditional finance and decentralized finance yield solutions. You’ll notice that I will only expand on a few of the potential solutions in each category. You can review my notes on the other solutions in my yield spreadsheet as you go along. 

Note that there are referral links included with the recommendations. I receive compensation for referring customers to these services. In my yield spreadsheet I note which ones I personally use.

Traditional Finance





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