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Crypto loans are one of the emerging trends in the blockchain industry. For long-term investors, Bitcoin loans provide liquidity without the need to sell their assets. This article looks into the ins and outs of crypto backed loans and the platforms offering these services.

Best Crypto Loans 2021 List

  • eToro – Overall Best Crypto Loan Provider
  • SALT – Best Provider for Stablecoin Loans
  • BlockFi – Top Loan Provider with Low Interest Rates
  • Nexo – Best Provider for Instant Crypto Loans
  • Celsius – Best Loan Provider with Flexible Rates

Best Crypto Loans Reviewed

Here are the best crypto loan platforms in the market now:

1. eToro Money Account – Overall Best Crypto Loan Provider

etoro Crypto loans require collateral like Bitcoin or Ether and there’s no better service to buy cryptocurrency than through eToro Money Account.

The eToro Money Account allows you to connect to the eToro account to trade cryptocurrencies, swift withdrawal, and manage your crypto holdings. The Money account easily integrates with the eToro Investment platform, allowing investors to manage their crypto from one platform.

This app allows you to quickly purchase any cryptocurrency of choice. Furthermore, traders can easily store and manage your assets from the eToro Money Account. The app allows you to send any cryptocurrency purchased to any wallet.

etoro money

The eToro Money App offers a Visa Debit Card so you can spend your crypto loans with ease and withdraw them through ATMs. Furthermore, customers are also entitled to a sort code and personal bank account number for a virtual bank account. This bank account number can be used to send and receive funds from other banks. eToro’s Money Account also converts USD for free, and a savings reward of up to £5 for every £1,000 you deposit. In summary, eToro Money Account is a remarkable system to manage your crypto-backed loans.

Pros

  • Support for 25 cryptocurrencies
  • Flexible loan period
  • Comes with a VISA debit card

Cons

  • Subject to availability
  • Limited to only the UK

Your Capital is at risk

2. SALT – Best Provider for Stablecoin Loans

SALT is a crypto lending and borrowing service. Founded in 2016, the platform is based in Denver, Colorado.

The crypto lender supports 12 cryptocurrencies, including four stablecoins. The minimum loan deposit available on SALT is $5,000, which is pretty high.

The primary benefit of SALT is that it allows you to take different types of loans – primarily personal and business loans. Each comes with a set of benefits for the ideal borrower. Loan durations on SALT range between 3 to 12 months. You don’t have to pay any origination fees, and transactions are also free. However, the platform also segments LTV ratios and interest rates.

salt loans

Pros

  • No credit checks
  • Comprehensive insurance cover loans
  • Use different coins as collateral

Cons

  • Small repayment window
  • High minimum loan amount

3. BlockFi – Top Loan Provider with Low Interest Rates

BlockFi is one of the pioneers of crypto loans. Founded in 2017, this U.S.-based service incorporates an interesting technology that lets you take loans in USD against your cryptocurrencies. BlockFi allows you to take loans using three cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ether, PAX Gold, and Litecoin. The platform is easy to use and will pay you out fast too.

With BlockFi, you’re faced with a minimum loan amount of $10,000 and a loan-to-value ratio of 50 percent. Note that the service will notify you when your loan-to-value ratio crosses 70 percent to increase your collateral. Loan duration and interest rates have been set at 12 months and 4.5 percent. However, note that you might pay some additional fees in some situations.

blockfi loan

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • Competitive LTV ratio

Cons

  • High minimum loan amount
  • Only supports three assets

4. Nexo – Best Provider for Instant Crypto Loans

Nexo is a fast and rising crypto banking app that facilitates lending and borrowing. The platform is known for its interest-bearing accounts, where investors can earn up to 12% on their coins and fiat currencies. Nexo also offers crypto-backed loans that allow investors to retain control over your crypto holdings.

The platform is known for the simplicity of its processes. There are no origination fees or monthly payments on credit lines extended by Nexo. The loan approval is automatic with this provider.

nexo loans

There are no lengthy credit checks or credit reports required. Nexo offers different loan ratios and a starting interest rate of 6.9 percent. With over 40 currencies available for borrowing, you have quite a broad range to choose from. Nexo offers a minimum loan amount of $50, with the maximum being $2 million. Interestingly, the service allows you to continue borrowing until you hit your credit limit. While this is dangerous, it’s also quite convenient for traders. The LTV on Nexo varies from coin to coin. But, the standard is 50 percent.

Pros

  • Varying loan durations
  • Multiple currency support
  • Low minimum loan amount

Cons

  • High interest rates
  • Different LTV ratios

5. Celsius – Best Loan Provider with Flexible Rates

Another rising player in the crypto loan industry is Celsius. The platform was founded in 2017 and is based in the United Kingdom. The service allows customers to borrow USD or crypto, promising the best rates in the market.

Celsius allows you to use over 40 coins as collateral. But, you should know that the company might lend out your collateral to other financial institutions. Loan approvals on Celsius are instant, and there are no credit checks.

celsius loans

Like Nexo, Celsius offers varying LTV ratios. On this network, you get 25%, 35%, and 50% respectively. There’s a $50 sign-up bonus in Bitcoin for customers who join the platform and transfer at least $400 in crypto to Celsius.

Pros

  • CEL available for discounts
  • Over 40 coins are available
  • No credit checks

Cons

  • Different LTV ratios

Best Bitcoin Loans Comparison

Platform Loan Type Coins Supported Loan Period Interest Any Other Fees?
eToro Money Centralized 25 Flexible Varying No
SALT Centralized 12 3-12 months At least 3.5% No
BlockFi Centralized 4 12 months 4.5% No
Nexo Centralized 40+ 1- 12 months Varying No
Celsius Centralized 40 1-20 years Varying No

Your Capital is at risk

What is a Crypto Loan?

A crypto loan is a financial facility that is backed by cryptocurrencies. Similar to a securities-based loan in traditional finance, a crypto loan uses cryptocurrencies as collateral in exchange for providing liquidity. Crypto loans became popular in 2020 when the bull market was in full swing.

crypto loans

Many investors who weren’t concerned about the short-term volatility of digital assets started using their crypto portfolios as collateral, getting cash from financial institutions to spend, while still keeping their cryptocurrencies. Crypto-backed loans are preferred by long-term investors as crypto prices tend to rise over time. So, if Bitcoin trades at $50,000 and you use 10 BTC to get a $500k loan to be repaid in a year, the price of Bitcoin could jump 25% before you liquidate your loan, leaving you with more money even after paying off your loan.

How do Bitcoin Loans Work?

A Bitcoin loan works like a securities-backed loan. A borrower deposits a certain amount of Bitcoin as collateral with the lender, who then loans them the fiat equivalent. Once the loan is paid off, the lender returns the collateral to the borrower. In most cases, the borrower retains ownership of the collateral during the tenor. While ownership remains, the borrower loses certain rights such as the ability to trade or use the Bitcoin for transactions.

bitcoin loan

Once the validity period eventually expires, you pay back the value of the loan. So, if you use 1 BTC to get a one-year $50,000 loan at a time when the asset trades for that price and Bitcoin rises by 50 percent in a year, you still have to pay back that $50,000. Of course, the caveat for this is that you will end up paying more money if the value of Bitcoin drops throughout the tenure of the Bitcoin loan.

Types of Cryptocurrency Loans

There are two types of cryptocurrency loans namely:

Custodial Crypto Loans

These are loans gotten from centralized finance (CeFi) platforms. Essentially, a custodial entity – such as a loan company or a crypto exchange – takes custody of your collateral. This means they control Bitcoins by holding on to the private keys. A vast majority of the crypto lenders in the market offer custodial crypto loans. These platforms loan out both crypto and fiat currencies.

Non-Custodial Crypto Loans

The alternative to a centralized crypto loan is the decentralized finance (DeFi) option. Instead of requiring approval from a centralized company, these crypto loans depend solely on smart contracts. If you take a non-custodial crypto loan, you’ll retain control of your private keys – unless you default on the loan, in which case you lose the keys

While many people prefer these loans to the custodian crypto loans, non-custodial ones are still not as prevalent in the market. They also tend to have higher interest rates than custodial crypto loans, and these platforms tend to have lower liquidity than the centralized options.

Crypto Loan Fees & Rates

Loan Platform APR Any Other Fees?
eToro Varying No
SALT At least 3.5% No
BlockFi 4.5% No
Nexo Varying No
Celsius Varying No

Advantages of Crypto Loans

Compared with traditional loans, crypto loans come with several prominent benefits. These include:

  • Low interest rates: Compared to personal loans and credit cards, crypto loans are much cheaper. It’s quite easy to get a crypto loan with interest rates of less than 10 percent.
  • Value-based loan amount: For many crypto loans, you can borrow as much as half of your entire portfolio.
  • Currency choice: Depending on the platform you use, it’s possible to get loans in different cryptocurrencies – including fiat assets. Weigh this against the traditional loans, which only support dollars.
  • No credit checks: Most lending platforms and exchanges won’t run credit checks when you apply for crypto loans. This is especially true when you’re taking a loan from a DeFi platform. So, even if you have a poor credit score, you’d still be able to get a loan.
  • Quick funding: Once your loan is approved, you can access your funds in minutes – or hours at the worst.

Risks of Bitcoin Loans

For all their benefits, crypto loans also have some risks. These include:

  • Volatility: Cryptocurrency prices are very volatile. So, the collateral could be worthless when the crypto loan tenure ends or you could ever face a margin call before the tenure’s end.
  • Security: Platform security is another rising issue, especially with DeFi lending platform.
  • Reduced access: For the tenure of your Bitcoin loan, you’ll be unable to do anything with your Bitcoin – even if you still have access to it.

How to Choose the Best Crypto Loan for You

Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best crypto loan platform include:

  • Interest rate: This will depend on the coin you’re looking to lend
  • Lending duration: You want a platform with a fixed lending duration
  • Deposit limit: Check to see if there’s a minimum deposit amount.
  • Collateral: Consider how much collateral the lender is asking for – especially concerning the amount of money you’re borrowing.
  • Security: Does the platform have a track record of hacks?

How to Qualify for a Bitcoin Loan

Collateral

The first step is to organize your collateral. This will determine how much you can borrow on most platforms, so you need to be careful with it. The rule of thumb is that you should never put up your entire portfolio up as collateral for a crypto loan. Set aside a little to act as your haven in case of a margin call.

Choose a Crypto Loan Platform

Once you’re ready with your portfolio, the next task will be to find the ideal lender for you. As explained, you can choose between centralized and decentralized lenders. Centralized platforms allow lenders and borrowers to agree on some of the loan’s terms, but they still handle the critical parts of the loans – including fund management and transfer. On the other hand, decentralized platforms eliminate the need for a third party to handle the loans.

Get Your Loan

Once you’ve selected a loan platform and agreed to the terms, you’re set. Get your cash and you’re free to go.

Conclusion

Crypto loans are an impressive financial innovation that further legitimizes cryptocurrencies. They take several cues from the traditional sector, but crypto loans are much of an improvement as they speed up the borrowing process and are much more convenient. While there are several crypto loan platforms, we recommend starting your journey with eToro.

The eToro Money Account is the best platform to buy, sell, and manage your crypto funds. You can also use your funds to trade in robots like Bitcoin Trader. Need a crypto debit card to spend your crypto funds? The eToro Money Account has everything set up and ready. It’s simple and free to use.

eToro – Manage Crypto Loans via eToro Money Visa Debit Card

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67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

FAQs

What Is a Crypto Loan?

A crypto loan is a loan facility whose value collaterised by a cryptocurrency. These services provide liquidity to the investor without the need to sell their crypto holdings.

Can You Get a Crypto Loan?

Yes, anyone can get a crypto loan. These loans are known to have fewer barriers of entry than their traditional options.

Is a Crypto Loan Safe?

Crypto loans are relatively safe. However, like every financial instrument, there are some risks associated with them.

How Much Can You Borrow From a Bitcoin Loan?

Borrowing limits for Bitcoin loans tend to vary. You need to check with your desired lender to know how much you’re allowed to borrow.

What Cryptocurrencies Can You Loan?

There are loan packages for many cryptocurrencies. However, Bitcoin and Ether are the most popular.

About Felipe Erazo
About Felipe Erazo

Felipe earned a degree in journalism at the University of Chile with the highest honor in the overall ranking, and he also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Communication. He has been working as a freelance writer and forex/crypto analyst, with experience gained at several forex broker firms and forex/crypto-related media outlets around the world. He has been involved in the world of online forex trading since 2010, and in the crypto sphere since 2015, providing analytical reports that help traders understand market dynamics with a technical and fundamental approach. Moreover, Felipe has worked as a journalist and editor for several media outlets across Latin America, collaborating with radio stations from his home country, Colombia, Chile, and the United States. His experience includes companies such as FXStreet, Cointelegraph, Bitcoin.com, TradingView, FBS, among others.

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