Hodlnaut Review: Is Hodlnaut Legit and Worth Your Time?

 Hodlnaut is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency interest account platform that offers compound interest of 10% for stablecoin assets and 6% for Bitcoin. 

If you are just entering your crypto interest account search, welcome to a world where cryptocurrency holders can automatically and passively accrue interest on their digital assets. 

Hodlnaut is a relative newcomer to the cryptocurrency interest account block, but it offers some of the industry’s more competitive rates. 

So, you may be wondering, is Hodlnaut legit? It’s a newer platform with a smaller team with less funding than industry pioneers BlockFi and Celsius. Yet, it’s in the conversation as a top cryptocurrency interest account platform

The following Hodlnaut review examines its interest account product, security practices, usability, team community trust, as well as an exclusive interview with a representative from the Hodlnaut team.

Let’s dig in.

Hodlnaut Review: Quick Summary

Hodlnaut is a Singapore-based company founded in 2019. It is available worldwide, excluding locations prohibited by Hodlnaut Policy or Sanction Laws.

Holdnaut derives its name from the crypto slang HODL (Hold On for Dear Life), which is an enthusiastic expression that refers to keeping your digital assets rather than selling them, regardless of the volatility of the market. The latter part of the company name is in the motif of “astronaut.” 

The platform has accumulated about $250M in assets under its management from over 5,000 users, according to its site. 

Hodlnaut has raised about $100,000 in funding from one pre-seed funding round with Antler, a Singaporean startup accelerator and venture capitalist firm.

Hodlnaut's company information as of 30/7/2021, courtesy of Coinbase

Hodlnaut’s fundraising as of July, 2021.

This is distinctly different from platforms like BlockFi, which has raised north of $500M. That being said, Hodlnaut seems to have narrowed down on a similar business model, just with drastically less funding necessary. 

There is no minimum balance to qualify for crypto interest. Hodlnaut offers: 

  • 6.2% APY on BTC
  • 6.7% APY on ETH
  • 10.5% APY on stablecoins.
  1. Hodlnaut’s Token Swap lets users exchange tokens directly in the app e.g, BTC to ETH
  2. Deposits are free and users can withdraw anytime. However, there are withdrawal fees and a daily withdrawal limit of 100 BTC.

Signing up for Hodlnaut is a fairly straightforward process, with the typical KYC requirements. 

CoinCentral readers can get a $20 sign-up bonus when they deposit a minimum of $1,000 on Hodlnaut. 

 

The Hodlnaut Team

Hodlnaut's Founders (Source: Hodlnaut)

Holdnaut Founders

Hodlnaut was founded by CEO Juntao Zhu and CTO Simon Lee. The duo previously founded Cypher Forge, a cryptocurrency trade execution platform. 

Zhu spent over three years as an analyst and developer with the Swiss wealth management firm Credit Suisse.

Lee spent over three years in engineering management roles. The two founders hold a combined nine years of experience in software development, finance, and engineering. 

Hodlnaut Review and Interest Rates: How Does Hodlnaut Compare?

Hodlnaut supports six cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, DAI, USDC, USDT, and WBTC, offering between 6.2% and 10.5% APY.

Hodlnaut's interest rates as of 30/7/2021. (Source: Hodlnaut)

Hodlnaut’s Interest rates (Source: Hodlnaut)

Although the number of assets it supports is much less than other crypto interest accounts (Gemini or Celsius support over 30+ tokens, Hodlnaut still offers very competitive rates with no minimum balances or rate caps. 

“We just added support for WBTC recently, where users can also wrap and unwrap their Bitcoin using our token swap feature,” says CEO Juntao Zhu. “We’ve played with the idea of adding BNB and also DOGE as well but nothing is planned yet as we’re focusing on other feature launches such as peer-to-peer fiat on-ramp, and getting our mobile apps out.”

Hodnaut’s rate beat both Celsius and BlockFi for stablecoins by about 2% APY. 

Users may also enjoy the fact that Hodlnaut doesn’t cap rates. For example, competitor BlockFi reduces its rates on BTC from 4% to 1.5% after 0.25 BTC, whereas Hodlnaut offers 6.2% regardless of the amount.

So, it’s a newer platform, but it offers better rates than its more established competitors– with a smaller team and less funding. How does it pull this off? 

How Does Hodlnaut Make Money?

Like most other crypto interest accounts, Hodlnaut uses your assets as collateral to offer loans to corporate creditors, earning off the difference between the interest it pays users and what it charges to offer loans to its institutional borrowers. 

“We have incredibly stringent capital requirements in place of our counterparties,” comments Zhu. “In any case, we’re very selective with whom we lend to. We only lend to corporate entities with good credit scores and we will verify this with them during the onboarding process, and the Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio of our loans is usually 70% or lower.”

The platform also makes money by earning interest from lending its assets to decentralized protocols.

Are Your Funds Safe With Hodlnaut?

Hodlnaut is based in Singapore, a fact that tends to introduce some unfamiliarity to a U.S. audience. 

For one, no digital assets in any cryptocurrency interest account are FDIC insured, so one of the main protections for U.S. depositors is completely absent from this industry at large. Singapore also does not offer FDIC-equivalent federal protection for cryptocurrency accounts. 

Your funds on Hodlnaut, or any cryptocurrency platform, are never entirely risk-free. 

However, Hodlnaut takes some steps to mitigate this risk.

Hodlnaut Review: Security 

The platform requires that you set up 2FA before you can make a withdrawal, which helps keep accounts secure and prevent unauthorized withdrawals. Hodlnaut uses industry-standard encryption and other safety regulations to ensure that assets and information on its platform are protected. 

As of this writing, Hodlnaut has never been hacked.

Hodlnaut’s primary custodian is Fireblocks, a leading digital asset custody solution that employs various methods to ensure the safety of assets. Fireblocks holds assets in a mix of offline cold storage and insured hot wallets; all user deposits are never in the same place at once. 

Hodlnaut gives you the option of purchasing insurance on your crypto via a partnership with European company Nexus Mutual

That’s big, especially in the crypto interest space were deployed or loaned assets are often uninsured if they’re kept in hot wallets. Since these platforms are constantly lending and receiving deposits, the funds are in motion, which makes them very difficult to insure. The Hodlnaut insurance with Nexus currently stands at $22 million and is anticipated to grow as both companies gain traction. 

Hodlnaut outlines its procedures in the case of a borrower default.

Procedures in case of a default

 

Hodlnaut is certified by the Singapore Fintech Association, which is recognized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. However, at the time of this writing Hodlnaut is undergoing a license application, and aims to become the first regulated entity in Singapore’s crypto borrowing and lending space. 

With over $250M in AUM, Hodlnaut will inevitably need to demonstrate explicit certification in its ability to be responsible with user funds. As the platform continues to grow, it’s likely we will see more developments in this area. 

Hodlnaut Review: Ease of Use & Customer service

The platform is currently accessible only on web and intends to release an IOS application in mid-2021. 

Reddit reviews of Hodlnaut tend to skew positive for customer support, citing the promptness of the team as a distinct advantage. Hodlnaut support can be reached via a support ticket or at support@hodlnaut.com. 

Hodlnaut maintains an FAQ section on its website for the lower-hanging fruit.  

Hodlnaut Review Final Thoughts: Is Hodlnaut Legit?

Overall, Hodlnaut offers a pretty competitive product in an increasingly competitive industry. 

On one hand, Hodlnaut is a fairly new company with a single bootstrapped fundraise based in Singapore. This is a drastically different proposition than U.S.-based companies like Celsius and BlockFi, which have established themselves as the blue-chip of CeFi. That being said, Hodlnaut’s business model doesn’t seem inherently riskier than any other crypto interest account provider. 

However, some users may find value in the scrappiness and nimbleness of a newer more light-footed team. As the learning curve for DeFi becomes gradually less steep, platforms like Hodlnaut are positioned to take on challenges that their more regulated and established competitors may not be able to. This can be advantageous provided your funds are safe on Hodlnaut, which the limited time span we have available indicates they are. 

If your research simply comes down to APY, Hodlnaut offers industry-leading rates (6.2% on BTC, 6.7% on ETH, and 10.2% on stablecoins). It offers above-average customer support and has been proactive towards insuring assets, even when they’re deployed. 

Hodlnaut also supports coin-to-coin trades and unlimited withdrawals at any time (at a fee).

At this writing, the platform only supports six tokens and is only available via the web, but we’re interested to see how Hodlnaut evolves.

CoinCentral readers can get $20 dollar equivalent as a signup bonus on your first deposit of $1000 or more. 

The post Hodlnaut Review: Is Hodlnaut Legit and Worth Your Time? appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Celsius vs. Voyager: Crypto Interest Account Apps Review

Celsius vs. Voyager is a comparison often made by people who have recently discovered the existence of cryptocurrency interest accounts. Both Celsius and Voyager allow you to earn interest on your idle cryptocurrency assets but have some meaningful differences.

Founded in 2017, Celsius Network is considered one of the “blue chip” cryptocurrency borrowing and lending platforms. Founder and CEO Alex Mashinsky designed Celsius as a means to democratize the lending landscape, and the app allows users to earn interest on their deposited cryptocurrency, or borrow money by placing their crypto as collateral. 

Voyager Invest started as a cryptocurrency exchange, and Voyager Invest Ltd. is actually a publicly traded company, which is a rarity among cryptocurrency interest accounts. The platform also allows users to earn interest on their digital assets. It stands out among exchanges for its use of a hidden-spread trading model instead of charging users flat-rate fees for transactions, which usually makes it cheaper to buy crypto.

The following Celsius vs. Voyager review goes through the nitty-gritty of each unique business model, the pros and cons of each option, and how Celsius and Voyager compare to one another.

By the end of this guide, you should be able to make a more educated decision on getting started with either platform or just dipping your toes into the cryptocurrency interest account space

Celsius vs Voyager: Key Information

 

 

Celsius

Voyager

Reviews

Celsius Network Review

Voyager Invest Review 

Site Type

Crypto lending app with borrowing and lending

Crypto exchange + crypto interest account

Beginner Friendly

Yes

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

Buy/Deposit Methods

Crypto deposits, debit card, bank transfer

Debit card, credit card, bank wire, external crypto transfer

Sell/Withdrawal Methods

External crypto wallet transfer

External crypto wallet transfer

Available Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Link, and several others

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and around 60 others

Company Launch

2017

2017

Location

London, England

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

Community Trust

Great

Great

Security

Good

Unclear

Customer Support

Great

Okay

Verification Required (KYC)

Yes

Yes

Fees

Excellent (there are none)

Okay (uses a hidden spread instead of flat fees)

Site + Promo

$40 BTC sign-up bonus after transferring $400+ for 30 days on Celsius.

$25 in BTC sign up bonus when transferring and trading $100 on Voyager 

Company Bios: Celsius vs. Voyager

Alex Mashinsky and Daniel Leon created Celsius in 2017. The company raised approximately $100 million through private funding rounds. 

Today, Celsius manages about $16 billion in community assets and has around 850,000 users.

Voyager was also launched in 2017. It was founded by Gaspard de Dreuzy, Oscar Salazar, Philip Eytan, Serge Kreiker, and Stephen Ehrlich. 

The company has raised just over $100 million in private funding.

Voyager is actively traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange. It IPOd under the ticker symbol VYGR on February 11th, 2019. The stock debuted at $0.95 and usually trade just above $3.00.

Feature #1: Interest Rates: Who Has Higher APY, Celsius or Voyager?

Users that store cryptocurrency assets on Celsius and Voyager can earn interest for doing so, but the platforms differ in a few notable ways. 

Rate changes: Celsius changes its interest rates every week and Voyager changes its rates every month. The figures covered in this article may differ from what you see on the app, but just know both platforms tend to change their rates as a reaction to market conditions and the lending landscape. 

Bitcoin:

  • Celsius currently offers 6.2% APY for a user’s first BTC and 3.51% for any additional BTC.
  • Voyager offers 5.75% APY on all of a customer’s BTC but requires users to maintain a minimum balance of 0.01 BTC to earn any interest.

Ethereum:

  • Celsius offers 5.35% APY for a customer’s first 100 ETH and 5.05% for any additional ETH.
  • Voyager offers 4.6% APY on ETH and requires a user to maintain a minimum balance of 0.5 ETH to earn interest.

Altcoins

Coin Name

Celsius Network

Voyager

Aave

5.92%

3.00%

Chainlink

3.00%

4.50%

Bitcoin Cash

4.51%

2.00%

Compound

4.60%

4.00%

Dash

4.60%

3.00%

Cosmos

N/A

3.00%

Cardano

N/A

5.25%

Dogecoin

N/A

2.00%

Litecoin

3.51%

5.50%

Polkadot

8.86%

12.00%

Stablecoins

Coin

Celsius Network

Voyager

Tether

8.88%

N/A

GUSD

8.88%

N/A

USDC

8.88%

N/A

The winner: Celsius Network. 

Celsius offers better APY for digital assets than Voyager by about 1% to 2%, although Voyager does win with Polkadot, offering a whopping 12% APY on the token.

You can snag a $40 BTC bonus when depositing $400 or more on Celsius for 30 days, and a $25 bonus when trading $100+ on Voyager.

How Do Celsius and Voyager Make Money?

Celsius makes money by lending out the assets that it holds for a greater interest rate than what it pays out to users. For example, it might lend out Bitcoin at a rate of 9%, but it pays users a rate of 6.2%.

There are some risks inherent to this revenue-generating activity. But Celsius claims to over-collateralized its loans, which makes defaults relatively unlikely.

Voyager generates profit with a hidden spread that it employs when users trade crypto on the platform. The company’s CEO claims Voyager can use its hidden-spread system without impacting its customers’ profitability.

However, real-world results indicate this isn’t exactly true. A wide range of Redditors and reviewers report that Voyager’s hidden-spread system does cost them money.

For example, it might quote someone a price of $32,000 for 1 BTC. If the user makes the purchase, Voyager may actually only end up paying $31,975 for the BTC. The company would make $25 on the transaction.

The downside with this approach is that users who buy cryptocurrency through Voyager lose money instantly on any investment they make if it uses a hidden spread.

For example, if Voyager’s hidden spread is 0.5%, that means they’re essentially charging you 0.5% more than the market value for your purchase. If you tried to instantly sell the coin, you would be down 0.5% on the investment.

Feature #2: Payouts and Withdrawals

Celsius pays users the interest they earn every Monday. The company also lets users withdraw their funds whenever they want without extra fees. Users who want to withdraw more than $50,000 in a 24-hour period will just need to wait 24-48 hours for their transaction to process.

Voyager only pays out interest monthly. However, the company doesn’t have any lockups or limits. However, it’s worth noting that Voyager currently does not allow for users to withdraw cryptocurrency assets– they must sell them for USD. This can incur a potential tax liability, so be aware. 

So, if you want to transfer crypto from Voyager to Celsius, hypothetically, you would need to sell it for USD, move that USD to an exchange that allows for the external withdrawal of crypto assets, buy the BTC, and then send it– which is a lot of work. 

The winner: Celsius. Weekly interest beats monthly interest, and it allows you to send and receive cryptocurrency assets.  

Feature #3: Celsus vs. Voyager Security

Celsius uses a system called multiparty computation (MPC) to secure its users’ funds. This is average for the cryptocurrency interest account industry.

The Celsius Network also includes a host of user-facing security features, including:

  • 2-factor authentication
  • PINs
  • Photo and video security
  • Biometric security options
  • Email and manual verifications for withdrawals

Voyager isn’t as clear about its security practices. The company has FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 of its users’ USD funds. But, like every other cryptocurrency interest account provider, it doesn’t offer insurance for cryptocurrency assets. The company offers 2-factor authentication but it doesn’t advertise any additional security features for its users.

The winner: Celsius. It has a broader suite of security options for cryptocurrency assets than Voyager. 

Feature #4: Ease of Use

One distinct point of a Celsius vs. Voyager comparison is that both are incredibly intuitive mobile apps. Both started as apps and honed in on simplifying the user experience. Both companies emphasize the power of mobile investing heavily, and have built their platforms accordingly. 

Celsius also has a web app for users who prefer to use a computer to access their accounts while Voyager does not.

Beginners will find both Celsius and Voyager easy enough to use. 

Both companies allow debit, credit, and bank transfer deposits, which makes it easy for a new cryptocurrency investor to start buying assets immediately.

The winner: tie. Although their mutual UI/UX teams may grit their teeth at this, both Celsius and Voyager offer comparable mobile experiences. 

Celsius vs. Voyager: Standout Features

Celsius’ standout feature is the company’s native cryptocurrency asset, CEL. Users who choose to borrow and make payments with CEL can receive up to a 25% discount on interest. 

International users also have the option of accepting interest payments in CEL instead of the assets they deposit, often enabling them to earn a higher interest rate.

Voyager also has a native token, VGX. The company offers “interest boosts”, which provide an additional 1% APR on certain coins, which change throughout the year. Users must hold at least 2,500 VGX to qualify.

Additionally, Voyager’s promise of no-fee trading is often viewed as a standout feature. But the company’s hidden spread system typically negates any savings that a user might receive from not having to pay flat-rate fees for trades.

The Court of Public Opinion: Celsius Network vs. Voyager Reddit

Reddit doesn’t appear to have any favorites when it comes to Celsius and Voyager. Most users view the two platforms as fairly equal from a competitive standpoint.

Many Redditors suggest keeping up with the changing rates offered by Celsius and Voyager and moving assets to whichever platform offers the most interest in a given time frame.

That being said, Voyager is primarily designed to be a cryptocurrency exchange while Celsius was designed as an interest account. 

Celsius Network vs. Voyager Customer Support

Customers can get in touch with Celsius by either filling out an online contact form or calling 201-824-2888. The company claims to offer 24/7 customer support but doesn’t say which contact method to use for it.

Voyager’s customer support is a bit bare-bones. The cryptocurrency platform has an online contact form for its customers to fill out but doesn’t offer any additional contact methods.

Can You Trust Celsius Network and Voyager?

Celsius is regarded as a very trustworthy cryptocurrency interest account platform. It has more than 850,000 users and manages nearly $16 billion in crypto assets. A third-party marketing server that Celsius uses was breached in 2021. But users’ funds were never at risk as long as they didn’t fall victim to phishing emails.

Voyager suffered a DNS attack in 2021 as well, but its users’ funds weren’t threatened. The company has been around since 2017 and is publicly traded. 

Celsius Network vs. Voyager: Which is the Better Crypto Interest Account?

Voyager offers a sleek mobile app for buying and selling cryptocurrency assets, but it doesn’t allow for the withdrawal of said assets. Its cryptocurrency interest account feature is above-average for the industry. 

Our Celsius vs Voyager analysis has determined that Celsius Network is the better cryptocurrency interest account for a few reasons: 

  1. It offers higher APY on virtually every asset, besides Polkadot. 
  2. Celsius is a born, bred, and bona fide cryptocurrency interest account and has a reputation as such as good as or better than any of its competitors. 
  3. Celsius offers an exchange feature. 

However, both platforms aren’t mutually exclusive to one another. 

Some users prefer to buy and sell cryptocurrency on Voyager because it has a simpler fiat-to-crypto on-ramp. Voyager is better compared to a Robinhood of sorts, in this manner. 

Other users prefer to store their cryptocurrency on Celsius as a longer-term means to earn interest. 

CoinCentral readers can get a $40 BTC bonus when depositing $400 or more on Celsius for 30 days, and a $25 bonus trading $100+ on Voyager.

The post Celsius vs. Voyager: Crypto Interest Account Apps Review appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

The Stock-to-Flow Model: What Cryptocurrency Investors Should Know

Getting started in cryptocurrency investing can be an intimidating step. Cryptocurrencies are infamously unpredictable, making it challenging to make informed investment decisions, especially for new investors. In light of these challenges, you could benefit from using the stock-to-flow model to make a more structured decision.

Like in traditional stock markets, wise crypto investments rely on predicting where different assets’ values could be heading. You can find many crypto price prediction models, but stock-to-flow has become one of the most popular, as it has lined up with Bitcoin’s actual price changes for years. Here’s a closer look at this model, how it works, and why you should understand how to use stock-to-flow in crypto.

Why Other Models Are Unideal

Many popular cryptocurrency investment models today come from traditional, often less volatile, markets. Although they may have a history of reliability with more traditional investment types, cryptocurrency is an entirely different beast, largely due to its novelty among other reasons. Since crypto reacts to developing factors like investor behavior more heavily, traditional models may not be as reliable long-term.

Some models, like the Elliott Wave Theory, attempt to predict changes in investor sentiment and psychology. These often fall short because they rely on so many unknowns and influencing factors. Investor decisions aren’t always uniform and can come from more than just price changes, so predicting them isn’t as easy as these models make it seem.

Other models, like the rainbow chart, rely on historical data, but the future doesn’t always line up with the past. For example, when Bitcoin hit a then-all-time-high of $1,000 in 2013, many investors thought it was too expensive to buy. After Bitcoin’s continued growth, that price seems cheap in hindsight, so the rainbow chart would’ve led you astray in this instance.

What Is the Stock-to-Flow Model?

The stock-to-flow model takes a simpler approach to predicting value changes. It measures the current stock of an asset against the flow of new production or how much is mined in a year. 

stock to flow model from 2012 to 2028

A higher ratio indicates more scarcity, which in turn indicates a higher value.

Investors originally applied stock-to-flow to gold and silver, but have since modified it to apply to crypto, primarily Bitcoin. Like these commodities, crypto is scarce and expensive to produce, so its supply and flow are perhaps the most significant factors behind its value. Unlike the original stock-to-flow model, though, the crypto stock-to-flow adaptation holds that all scarcity is relative.

Whereas you can turn gold and silver into products or components, you can’t consume cryptocurrency. Consequently, all crypto stock is a potential supply, since investors could sell all of their holdings at any moment. 

So, with crypto, a high stock-to-flow model indicates relative, not absolute, scarcity.

The Bitcoin price stock-to-flow model currently indicates strong growth, predicting BTC could reach $115,000 by August. However, recent events have made BTC’s price diverge from the model. Bitcoin fell to roughly $35,000 in late June when 2019 stock-to-flow predictions estimated it would be closer to $77,900. April’s price of $64,829 was closer, though.

What’s the Appeal of Stock-to-Flow?

While it initially applied to commodities like gold and silver, stock-to-flow tends to be more accurate with Bitcoin. Technological advances in the precious metal mining world lead to faster gold production, but halving events give Bitcoin a more even production schedule. This relative consistency in flow inherently makes Bitcoin’s stock-to-flow ratio much easier to predict, although, as recent data shows, it’s not always perfect.

Crypto stock-to-flow is also simpler than other models, which introduces less uncertainty into its predictions. This also makes it easier to understand, helping you make reliable investment decisions on your own instead sololey relying on an investment firm, which will gladly take 2% and 3% in fees for managing your money.

This article isn’t financial advice and is meant for educational purposes. 

Perhaps the most substantial argument in favor of the Bitcoin price stock-to-flow model is its history. Over the past couple of years, Bitcoin’s price has lined up with stock-to-flow predictions with almost no major departures.

For example, Bitcoin’s actual price only deviated from stock-to-flow by a couple of hundred dollars at most between January 2015 and January 2017. You’ll notice both Bitcoin’s price and the stock-to-flow line follow the same upward trend since 2010. Few, if any, other models have showcased that kind of accuracy over time.

Where Stock-to-Flow Falls Short

As accurate as the stock-to-flow model has been in the past, it’s still not perfect. In June 2021, Bitcoin’s price lingered around $40,000, which was $60,000 less than what stock-to-flow said it should be. While this is only the second deviation of this size in Bitcoin’s history, it highlights this model’s shortcomings.

The model’s simplicity is advantageous at times, but it can be its downfall, too, since it can’t account for all influencing factors. For example, while it can indicate demand, it doesn’t include it in its predictions. Changing cryptocurrency laws and other outside factors can change demand in ways stock-to-flow can’t predict, leading to deviations.

Crypto stock-to-flow also can’t account for factors like blockchain disruptions, cyberattacks, or general investor sentiment. Unexpected changes arise in crypto all the time, like the century-old Kodak company launching an ICO, and these can influence investors’ decisions. With such a small supply, these choices impact value more heavily, leading to significant, unpredictable changes.

How to Invest in Crypto Using the Stock-to-Flow Model

Despite these shortcomings, learning how to use stock-to-flow in crypto investments can yield positive results. As the model’s history has shown, as crypto stock-to-flow ratios rise, so will crypto prices, at least in theory. You can use this relationship to guide your investment decisions.

For example, a high stock-to-flow ratio, like 50 or higher, indicates high relative scarcity, suggesting values will also be high. You could see that ratio and decide to sell some of your crypto, capitalizing on its high price. Alternatively, you could buy more when the ratio is low but predicted to rise in the future.

Many traders incorporate a combination of models into their strategies because no model is perfect. For example, you could compare Bitcoin price stock-to-flow predictions with predictions about investor sentiment like the Elliott Wave Theory. This would help you get a better view of both supply and demand.

Hybrid approaches like this offer the most security. While stock-to-flow may be more historically accurate than other models, it’s not comprehensive enough to use on its own.

Final Thoughts: All Crypto Investors Should Understand Stock-to-Flow

Knowing how to use stock-to-flow in crypto can be a helpful investment tool, despite its limitations. As you invest in crypto, you should consider adding this model to the predictive tools you use.

Again, this article isn’t financial advice and is purely meant for educational purposes. Understanding stock-to-flow will help you understand where its figures come from, leading to smarter decisions. When you know why different models say what they do, you can use them more effectively.

The post The Stock-to-Flow Model: What Cryptocurrency Investors Should Know appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Jodie Gunzberg, MD of CoinDesk Indexes, on the Future of Crypto Indexes

A seasoned finance veteran with over two decades of financial product management and indexing experience, Jodie Gunzberg recently has joined CoinDesk to direct the product strategy of its industry-leading crypto indexes at TradeBlock.

Before joining CoinDesk, Jodie amassed an unparalleled resume that includes the recent roles of Chief Institutional Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley and served as Head of the Graystone Investment Office that supports Graystone Consulting in matters of investment and product needs.

Jodie Gunzberg

Jodie Gunzberg

Additionally, Jodie also bolsters seasoned index management experience by previously holding the roles of Head of U.S. Equities and Head of Commodities and Real Assets at the S&P Dow Jones Indices for eight years, where she was responsible for the product management of flagship indices including the S&P 500, DJIA and S&P GSCI. Her tasks included overarching index strategy, continued product development for growth opportunities, and educating market participants about benefits and risk.

Jodie advocates for cryptocurrency’s viability and role within the current financial system. 

“[Crypto has] all the pillars I have seen in other new successful asset classes in my history,” says Jodie. “[It has] increased institutional adoption, regulatory clarity, product availability, familiar volatility patterns, and increases in liquidity and volume.”

Jodie’s new role at TradeBlock involves developing benchmarks and indexes consisting of digital assets like bitcoin and Ethereum. 

“Indexing will be essential to the crypto ecosystem,” notes Jodie. “As the development of benchmarks and market indexes are going to shape the asset allocation, investable products, and the risk management of the industry.”

Today, Jodie joins John Sessa to discuss why she decided to leave one of the largest financial institutions in the world to join the crypto industry.

The following interview explores Jodi’s insights on cryptocurrency’s relationship with traditional assets, ramifications of expected inflation and near-zero interest rates, and the drivers of index performance and design.


When did you first start to have an interest in the cryptocurrency industry?

I first started to have a major interest in the cryptocurrency industry last year after the pandemic crash. When my clients at the time that were mostly institutional investors started asking about cryptocurrency and bitcoin, as they were seeking alternative assets to diversify their portfolios.

Did the interest in crypto of your institutional clients peak with the price boom of the last year?

Well, you can call it the boom or call it the pandemic crash of traditional assets. [When the market crashed from February to March] interest rates began moving towards zero and assets began to fall together. 

When I say institutions, I mean generally investors that are worth 25 million or more such as ultra-high net worth, family offices, foundations, endowments, and pensions. 

[These institutions] were looking for alternative assets mainly for diversification but of course also for income generation and inflation protection were on their minds given the state of the industry how the assets became correlated with each other, how inflation came to be a major concern, and how zero interest rates were impacting any potential ability to generate income. 

As a lot of assets became overvalued, I think more and more investors started turning to ask about cryptocurrency. Pegging an exact time [of increased interest] is difficult, but I would say certainly the pandemic accelerated it. 

As the result of the increased institutional interest from the pandemic, I began learning everything I could about cryptocurrency over the spring and summer of 2020. Morgan Stanley eventually approved our institutional clients to invest in crypto that fall. 

What factors lead you to leave Morgan Stanley to work for CoinDesk? 

As I started to learn more about cryptocurrency, I felt that I needed to be part of this industry’s growth. I was fascinated by the mission and the technology behind it.

I have a background in math, computer science, and statistics. And professionally, in indexing and alternatives. Indexing and alternatives have always been a major part of my career. 

CoinDesk, especially after it acquired TradeBlock, seemed like the perfect place for me as an industry-leading crypto indexer to join. 

TradeBlcok

TradeBlock- Blockchain Enterprise Tools

What is your biggest challenge since you began working in the cryptocurrency industry?

The biggest challenge is the steep learning curve. It’s a different way of thinking in terms of how some store of value is generated and what the blockchain is doing analogously to traditional finance. 

The speed of the learning curve and the relationship of crypto to the traditional financial system has been the most challenging part, but it is also the most fun part. I think that’s what makes it interesting. The similarities and differences, learning about it, and teaching other people about what I learn. 

It’s really a fun time. It’s fascinating. It’s something that I’m excited to wake up every day and learn something new about. 

Johnny: The cryptocurrency industry is truly fast-paced. It seems like each morning brings something new. In just a matter of weeks, the market can look completely different than it previously did. 

Jodie:  It does. That’s a major part of what’s even great about being in finance, right? Because the markets teach you something new pretty much every day. No matter what we lived through in the past, history often rhymes but’s never quite exactly the same. So even when you think you have seen a lot, there’s always some surprise [that keeps it interesting]. 

What are your main responsibilities of being the managing director of CoinDesk Indexes?

My main responsibilities will be to set the strategy of the business around product management and act as the guide and liaison to build out the different departments required to effectively run an index business. 

What we aim to do [at CoinDesk] is to be the leading index provider in the crypto space by providing indexes that are both benchmarks and market indexes that will serve as the underlying for index-linked products. 

What is the biggest difference between managing CoinDesk Indexes rather than traditional finance indexes such as the SP500? Are certain indexes structured specifically for institutional investors or retail investors?

An index itself is not necessarily for a retail or institutional investor. It has to do with the products that license the indexes and what kind of products they are. 

A lot of times we find that product differences come in something like ETFs or mutual funds, where that is very popular for retail investors. Meanwhile, for the institutional investor, you see more separate accounts or derivative products. 

So, it’s the product providers that are licensing the indexes that determine the appropriateness for whether it’s for an institution or a retail investor. The other part of that equation is whether the asset itself is generally more appropriate for institutions or retail.

Institutions typically have different goals than retail investors. Retail investors might have a goal such as saving for college education or retirement. On the other hand, institutional goals may have something to do with asset-liability matching or a spending rate in an endowment or foundation. Institutions can also have a higher risk tolerance because of their wealth base and time horizon. 

There are different (institutional) goals that often require alternatives like hedge funds, commodities, crypto, or global macro with unique features from various asset classes. These alternatives might be better suited for institutional investors just based on those goals, but there’s nothing about the indexes themselves that are different. The basis of the construction is the same. Also, the methodology or process is similar.  

Some of the key differences of crypto might come from the decentralized data and exchange structure. So, the reference price consolidation looks a little more similar to the processes in fixed income or commodities rather than equities, which is a much more fluid and agreed upon pricing source coming from the exchange. Whereas you can get several different pricing sources for a bond or in the spot market of commodities. 

Are there any specific challenges in building an index for cryptocurrencies such as low trade volume or liquidity for certain tokens? 

Crypto indexes are just as accurate and fast as any other asset. 

The larger, more liquid cryptos with higher volumes mirror what we see in all of the other assets. I mean think about equities in terms of size like large, mid, small, and micro caps. There are arguably more alpha opportunities in trading some of the less efficient markets.

Also like in bond trading, a lot of alpha can be generated just by the price differentials themselves in the bond indexes, especially the ones that are more market value outstanding weighted – that are the main ones – they are allocating more to higher debt issuers, which gives a lot of room for active management to outperform. 

There are different ways to weight these indexes. It doesn’t have to be by market cap, volume, or liquidity. It could be by risk weight. There’s a lot of different ways to construct [indexes]. I don’t see cryptocurrency as any different from the other assets in terms of how the possibilities remain in index construction. 

As Managing Director of CoinDesk Indexes, what is your future vision for the use of crypto indexes?

I am bullish in the long term as cryptocurrency accelerates the development of a better financial system. I think there are huge growth opportunities, so I am excited to be part of it.

I also think that this will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy as major energy companies are realizing the importance of their power for the miners as customers, so I think the future of crypto [indexes] is massive. 

Lastly, crypto indexes will be the foundation for the asset class in determining allocations, then will serve as market indexes for an index-linked product that will give access to investors looking to fill various portfolio roles.

Can the average consumer or Bitcoin investor benefit from your indexes or are you indexes only use by institutional companies at this time?

Yes, any average consumer benefits from an index by probably one of two or three ways.

One is that they can learn from the index in an educational context. Indexes or reference prices [whether published in an article, online, or on TV] can be used to see if the market is up or down or as tools to learn its history. Indexes can certainly serve the purpose of that benchmark. 

Consumers can also use indexes as benchmarks if they want to evaluate performance of their active managers or buy products linked to the underlying index that makes the index strategy accessible. 

So yes, I believe there is a lot of relevance of the CoinDesk indexes to the average investor in crypto today.  

CoinDesk has both single-asset and multi-asset asset indexes. What are major the differences between how the indexes are structured and used?

As the name indicates, the difference between the single-asset and multi-asset indexes is the number of assets included. So, you’ve got one asset for single asset indexes, and you got multi assets for indexes that have more than one asset.

The single-asset indexes are certainly used as market indicators and individual pieces in educational content in terms of how they mix with other assets. They are also used potentially in index-linked products where investors like to use those index-linked products for exposure to single assets very much like you might see somebody buy a gold or oil product. 

As far as multi-asset indexes go, they’re more for baskets that represent the ”asset class”. They can be market-cap weighted; for instance, we have the CoinDesk Large Cap Index (DLCX) that has five different cryptocurrencies that include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Chainlink. So, investors can use that for extra diversification if they want that. It can also serve as an asset class proxy in the asset allocation models. 

Do you see more investors flocking to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a hedge against anticipated inflation?

Yes, I do. I would say [this movement towards Bitcoin] is similar but different in how investors flock towards real assets as inflation hedges. If you break down the components of CPI, energy is the most volatile component, which makes a very small allocation to energy an efficient inflation hedge. However, cryptocurrencies are not included in inflation but do use energy, so the cost of production can rise with inflation and slow down supply.

A similarity between cryptos and commodities is that they are both priced in dollars. So as the dollar falls, crypto and commodity prices – all else equal – are both boosted. This makes a really effective inflation hedge. 

The other similarity is in scarcity. Replenishable commodities such as agricultural livestock are less potent than energy and metals as inflation hedges and given the fixed supply of Bitcoin, the characteristic is the same as the unreplenishables. 

Many cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have a fixed supply of tokens that prevents long-term dilution of the asset by capping the total final amount of their supply. Do you believe that scarcity is a major reason for cryptocurrency to be used as an inflation hedge?

Scarcity is huge, and that’s in any asset. Fixed supply is an equation for price increases as demand rises. So that’s important, but the other piece, even where the supply isn’t fixed like in agriculture and livestock, is that anything priced in dollars, which crypto is, when the dollar falls that is beneficial to anything priced in dollars, all else equal. 

Where do you think the future of the cryptocurrency industry is heading?

One of the big things about the future of cryptocurrency is how it will be incorporated into asset allocation because when you think about investments and adding assets, the question is always ”for what goal?”. 

One way that I might think about cryptocurrency in terms of asset allocation would be to think about what exactly asset allocation is. Although not well defined, I think are at least two frameworks that are well accepted.

One framework is of the super asset classes, where we divide all the assets of the world into three major asset classes. One would be capital assets which generate income. Those are things like stocks, bonds, real estate, and infrastructure in that framework. The second asset class is called transformable or consumable. Those are assets like commodities. Finally, the third is the store of value assets. That’s where assets such as currencies or fine arts sit. 

Sometimes assets can sit in more than one of these categories. Bitcoin is more like digital gold and can act as a store of value. Though, something like Ether might be considered to fill any one of these buckets. It depends on the application as to where the crypto will fit in a portfolio framework.

Alternatively, a more quantitative approach would be a framework of beta or market exposure that produces a return that’s not based on skill but may be defined by factors like financial markets, interest rates, volatility, or credit spreads. Cryptocurrency is clearly one of these uncorrelated pieces. I wouldn’t be surprised to see [portfolio] allocations somewhere between 1-5% for diversification under this quantitative framework using beta or market exposures. 

As far, as the future vision goes, I think it all depends on the asset allocation frameworks.

 It will be extremely interesting to see how traditional finance and wealth management companies decide to incorporate crypto into their investment strategies for different types of investors. As the industry becomes more mainstream, I’m excited to see the future development of the new crypto products.

 I think there’s a huge opportunity here. Even for the development of the entire derivatives market, futures, options, swaps, the structured products and funds such as ETFs or ETNs, and insurance products. There’s a world of product development that is generated from indexes as the basis.

CoinCentral thanks Jodie Gunzberg for this interview and her insight. 

The post Jodie Gunzberg, MD of CoinDesk Indexes, on the Future of Crypto Indexes appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC): Why GBTC Moves Markets

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is a publicly-traded trust that invests solely in bitcoin.

Grayscale, GBTC’s holding company, is the largest digital asset manager on the market, and the GBTC is one of its biggest products. 

BGTC is particularly appealing for Investors interested in crypto but not willing to hold coins themselves. In practice, the trust enables accredited investors to invest in the bitcoin market without directly holding coins.

The prices of GBTC shares roughly track bitcoin prices. These prices, however, tend to be higher or lower than current BTC prices with some regularity. As a result, investing in GBTC could be more expensive at times or more affordable at others than buying your own bitcoins.

Here’s a deeper look into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, how it works, and how it impacts the overall cryptocurrency landscape.

What Is the GBTC Bitcoin Investment Trust?

The GBTC bitcoin investment trust is a bitcoin investment product that’s open to accredited investors to buy and sell in their brokerage accounts. The trust also sells over-the-counter; it can be traded and sold much like other U.S. securities.

Grayscale initially launched the Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) in 2013, as a private placement for accredited investors, exempt from SEC registration.

However, after gaining clearance from FINRA in 2015, BIT became the first publicly traded digital currency fund, along with two other products from Grayscale, the Ethereum Trust and Ethereum Classic Trust, which are similar products that invest in Ethereum.

On January 21, 2020, the GBTC also became the first digital currency investment vehicle to gain the status of a reporting company from the SEC. This change provided an early liquidity opportunity for investors, reducing the mandatory holding period of shares purchased through private placement from 12 to 6 months.

The Bitcoin investment trust has an incredible amount of sway on the global supply of crypto. 

As of July 2021, the GBTC holds around 650,000 Bitcoin; this is around 3.1% of the globe’s total supply of 21 million, which is worth about $22 billion USD.

What Does GBTC Stock Offer Investors?

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust allows investors to invest in the Bitcoin market in the same way they can invest in traditional financial instruments.

Along with the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF, which holds the GBTC in its portfolio, and a number of other cryptocurrency vehicles from Grayscale, the GBTC is one of the few products that provides a link between traditional investors and the cryptocurrency market.

Shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust are over-the-counter products and are traded publicly on the OTCQX, one of the three marketplaces for over-the-counter trading of stocks, rather than major marketplaces like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq.

Only two of Grayscale’s other products, the Ethereum Classic Trust (symbol ETCG) and the Litecoin Trust (symbol LTCN) are traded publicly on the same marketplace.

Grayscale hopes to eventually convert the GBTC into an exchange-traded fund (or ETF), meaning investors would trade shares of the trust via an exchange, rather than the OTCQX marketplace.

Investors who hold shares in the Trust will generally see gains similar to investors who hold coins directly, but without the need to convert coins to fiat when they want to cash out. 

The Trust has generated considerable returns for  investors since its inception — including a tenfold increase in assets under management (AUM) in 2020.

Bridging Traditional Financial Services and the Crypto Market

The GBTC ticker has seen major buy-in from large financial institutions. Morgan Stanley bought over 28,000 shares of the trust in June 2020. Morgan Stanley will allow individual investors to access these funds if they have at least $2 million in Morgan Stanley-held assets. For investment firms, $5 million will be necessary.

The move is part of the growing institutional interest in crypto technology like the blockchain, as well as Morgan Stanley’s broader effort to offer investors access to Bitcoin funds. In March 2021, the company announced internally that it would offer three cryptocurrency funds, provided by Galaxy Digital, FS Investments, and NYDIG.

Like the GBTC offer, these funds are only open to individual investors with at least $2 million, or firms with $5 million.

Despite institutional buy-in, the GBTC is new and could face serious pressure as investors determine the real value of GBTC shares. As the Trust gains notoriety, shifts in overall investor sentiment could affect it more significantly.

The GBTC saw major investments in December 2020 and January 2021, with inflows to GBTC reaching a record $2.8 billion in Q4 2020. As such, the mandatory six-month holding period for these investments expired in June and July 2021, allowing owners of GBTC shares to sell. In total, shares representing around 40,000 Bitcoin will become available for trading.

The biggest single-day unlock occurred on July 17, and a total of 16,240 GBTC shares became available. 

Analysts from Morgan Stanley believe that, due to this “unlocking” of purchased shares, some of these investors will sell.

If enough investors sell, the movement of shares could potentially exert pressure on other holders, encouraging them to sell. This could drive down the value of the GBTC and Bitcoin itself, simply due to how large the GBTC is.

The Bitcoin investment trust price traded at a peak of $56.70 in February 2021, and has traded between $20 and $28 since.  

Why Should Investors Care About Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)

As an over-the-counter investment vehicle, investing in GBTC shares is much like investing in any other U.S security.

Much like more standard stocks, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is eligible for some tax-advantaged accounts. If you hold an IRA or Roth IRA, for example, you may be able to invest in GBTC shares with these accounts.

For accredited investors who want to buy shares in the fund as a private placement, the trust requires a $50,000 minimum investment and charges an annual 2% fee that accrues daily. Because shares of the Trust are also available OTC, they can be bought and sold in the same way as any other U.S. security. Investors can buy as little as one share in the GBTC.

Final Thoughts: The Future of the GBTC and Similar Crypto Products

Investors wanting to invest in crypto without directly holding coins have a number of options — with the GBTC being one of the largest and most prominent.

Along with the other Grayscale digital asset products, the Trust also provides one of the most straightforward ways for mainstream institutions to invest in the crypto market.

While there is a growing number of digital asset products available to investors, the size and value of the GBTC mean it will likely remain relevant well into the future.

The post Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC): Why GBTC Moves Markets appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Ethereum Cofounder And Early Bitcoin Adopter Reveals Surprise Crypto Exit And Issues A Stark Warning Despite Huge Price Rally

Anthony Di Iorio, a co-founder of the ethereum blockchain, is wrapping up his time in the cryptocurrency world due to personal safety concerns, and because he no longer wants to be known as the “crypto guy.”

He recently told Bloomberg he wasn’t too encouraged by the risk profile attached to the industry.

“I don’t feel necessarily safe in this space,” he said. “If I was focused on larger problems, I think I’d be safer.”

The 48-year-old Canadian has had a security team since 2017, and mostly been accompanied on his travels, Bloomberg said. He soon plans to sell his current blockchain venture Decentral to focus on philanthropy and other projects unrelated to crypto.

Decentral, founded in 2014, is a Toronto-based wallet and crypto services provider whose flagship product, Jaxx Liberty, counted about 1 million customers this year.

Di Iorio, who estimates his startup is worth “hundreds of millions,” expects to strike a deal in fiat money, or in equity, rather than in crypto. Forbes lists his own net worth as high as $1 billion.

He further told Bloomberg he wants to transition to being someone who takes on complex problems. He’s currently involved with an initiative called Project Arrow which is involved with a zero-emission concept vehicle run by a high-school friend.

Di Iorio co-founded ethereum in 2014 along with seven others in Switzerland in a rented house they called the “spaceship.” Among them, Vitalik Buterin is the only one still working on the blockchain. Ether, the network’s native token and the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, held a market value of…

Continue reading at MARKETS INSIDER

 

Celsius Network vs Coinbase: Which Crypto Interest Account is Best

Celsius Network vs. Coinbase is a comparison often made on the basis of passively earning interest on cryptocurrency deposits, but the two platforms are distinctly different.

Celsius Network is a cryptocurrency lending platform that provides crypto-backed loans and pays out interest on popular cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and stablecoins like USDC.  

Coinbase, on the other hand, is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the United States; its cryptocurrency interest account feature merely exists as an auxiliary service. 

In short, Celsius is a newer company, but is better established in the cryptocurrency interest account niche and offers higher rates, whereas Coinbase is better established in the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem and is starting to offer interest features. 

The following Celsius Network vs. Coinbase will explore each platform’s advantages and how they stack up against each other. 

Celsius Network vs Coinbase: Key Information

 

Celsius Network

Coinbase

Reviews

Our Review

Our Review

Site Type

Crypto lending app with borrowing and lending

Cryptocurrency Exchange + Basic Crypto Interest Account

Beginner Friendly

Yes

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

Buy/Deposit Methods

Crypto deposits, debit card, bank transfer

Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer, Crypto Deposits

Sell/Withdrawal Methods

External crypto wallet transfer

PayPal, Bank Transfer, Withdrawal to External Crypto Account

Available Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Link, and several others

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and 58 more

Company Launch

2017

2012

Location

London, England

San Francisco, CA, USA

Community Trust

Great

Great

Security

Good

Great

Customer Support

Great

Good

Verification Required (KYC)

Yes

Yes

Fees

Excellent (there are none)

Medium

Site + Promo

$40 sign-up bonus after transferring $400 or more and holding for 30 days. 

$10 bonus when buying or selling $100 or more in cryptocurrency.  

Company Bios: Celsius vs. Coinbase?

Celsius was founded in 2017 by Alex Mashinsky and Daniel Leon. The company has raised approximately $100 million in private funding rounds. It manages more than $15 billion in community assets, boasting more than 850,000 users.

A screenshot of Celsius Network homepage.

A screenshot of Celsius Network homepage.

Coinbase was launched by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in 2012. The company is based out of San Francisco, CA, and has about 56 million users, as of July 2021. Coinbase has more than $220 billion in assets under management.

A screenshot of Coinbase's homepage.

A screenshot of Coinbase’s homepage.

Coinbase recently IPOd on the New York Stock Exchange and stock in the company can now be purchased under the ticker symbol $COIN. As of the time of writing, the company has a market capitalization of nearly $48 billion.

Feature #1: Interest Rates: Who Has Higher APY, Celsius or Coinbase?

Coinbase only offers interest rates on a select few cryptocurrencies, and they’re modest at best. If your primary goal is to earn the highest APY possible, Celsius Network is a better option.  

Coinbase offers staking rewards on Cosmos, Tezos, and, Ethereum, and USDC (its stable coin). Here are the current rates:

  • Cosmos: up to 7.5%
  • Tezos: up to 7.5%
  • Ethereum: up to 5%
  • USDC: 0.15%

One important thing to note is that consumers who use Coinbase’s Ethereum staking must lock their ETH into a smart contract. This smart contract won’t unlock the ETH until Ethereum moves to a Proof of Stake model. Coinbase may eventually give its users a way to still trade the ETH they’ve locked in this smart contract, but there’s no option to do this at the present moment. 

Celsius offers a hearty APY on a large number of crypto assets. The company updates its rates each week. 

As a reference point, here’s a recent snapshot of Celsius’ rates as of July 2021:

  • BTC – 6.2% for the first two BTC, then 3.51% after
  • ETH – 5.05%
  • CEL – 4.86%
  • SNX – 13.99%
  • MATIC – 10.51%
  • USDC – 8.88%
  • AAVE – 5.92%
  • DASH – 4.6%
  • COMP – 4.6%
  • BCH – 4.51%
  • UMA – 4.51%
  • EOS – 4.45%
  • LTC – 4.08%
  • ZRX – 3.51%
  • BAT – 3.51%
  • XLM – 3.10%
  • ETC – 3.0%
  • LINK – 3.0%
  • KNC – 2.53%
  • UNI – 2.50%
  • BSV – 2.02%
  • ZEC – 2.02%
  • OMG – 2.02%
  • MANA – 2.02%

If your decision to choose a winner from Celsius vs. Coinbase is strictly APY, Celsius is the clear winner. 

How Do Celsius and Coinbase Make Money?

Celsius makes its money by lending out the assets that it manages at a higher rate than what it pays out to the users who deposit those assets. 

For example, the company might offer loans with a 9% interest rate but only pay out the people who deposited the funds that will be used for the loan at a rate of 6%.

The loans that Celsius gives out are over-collateralized, which makes the risk of default relatively low.

Coinbase makes its money through transaction fees. Whenever a user makes a trade on the Coinbase exchange, they must pay a percentage of that trade to Coinbase.

If you’d like to get a more in-depth insight into the specifics of how Coinbase’s business model works, we recommend checking out its SEC Form S-1 filing– it shows a nitty-gritty breakdown directly filed by Coinbase. 

The Coinbase S-1 Filing

The Coinbase S-1 Filing

Feature #2: Payouts and Withdrawals

Celsius’ payouts and withdrawal policies are fairly favorable for users who prefer to get paid on a weekly basis; Celsius depositors receive their interest every Monday.

Celsius also lets users withdraw their funds whenever they want without incurring any fees. There is a soft cap on withdrawals of $50,000+ in a 24-hour period, and these may take 24 to 48 hours to process.

Assets that are staked through Coinbase accrue interest daily. But customers may not be able to withdraw that interest (or their assets) for up to 35 to 40 days from the time of depositing. 

Coinbase doesn’t charge any fees for withdrawals.

Feature #3: Celsius vs. Coinbase Security

Celsius secures its users’ funds through a system called multiparty computation (MPC). This is in line with industry standards.

Celsius Network also enables users to take charge of their own security, with features like:

  • 2-factor authentication
  • PINs
  • Email and manual verifications for withdraws
  • Biometric security options
  • Photo and video security

Coinbase offers industry-leading security features; it keeps about 98% of the assets that it holds in cold storage. It’s also one of the only crypto companies to offer FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 on USD funds– note this does not apply for digital assets like BTC or USDC. 

Coinbase offers PINs, 2-factor authentication, and a feature called Vaults, where users can store assets that can’t be removed from Coinbase for 72 hours after a withdrawal’s initiation. 

Feature #4: Ease of Use

Both Celsius and Coinbase are beginner-friendly; complete crypto beginners should be able to use either platform without much difficulty.

Celsius has a robust mobile platform, which makes it a great fit for people who want to manage their crypto investments on the go. It also lets users make deposits and withdrawals with standard financial instruments like bank accounts and debit cards.

Coinbase, however, takes the cake when it comes to ease of use; it’s perhaps the most user-friendly cryptocurrency platform, and has been designed as such to usher mostly complete newcomers into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. 

Pro tip: Coinbase’s user-friendliness comes at a cost– higher than usual fees. If you want to save on transaction fees with Coinbase, start by creating an account on Coinbase. Then transfer fiat to Coinbase Pro and trade on that platform for lower fees, or check out a Coinbase alternative

Celsius Network vs. Coinbase: Standout Features

Celsius’ standout feature is its native cryptocurrency, CEL. Users who hold CEL can qualify for up to 25% discounts on loan interest payments; and international users can also elect to “Earn in Cel” to earn higher rates than “Earning in Kind.”

Coinbase’s standout feature is Coinbase Pro. Like the standard Coinbase exchange, Coinbase Pro lets users buy, sell, and trade various cryptocurrency assets, but at significantly lower fees. It also includes more cryptocurrency tokens than the company’s standard site.

Coinbase also offers users the opportunity to earn cryptocurrency by learning about various projects. 

Coinbase Learn

Coinbase Learn

The Court of Public Opinion: Reddit Likes Both Celsius and Coinbase

Most people on Reddit and in the broader review platforms tend to see Celsius vs. Coinbase as complimentary platforms rather than competitors. 

Celsius focuses primarily on excelling as a great cryptocurrency interest platform, whereas Coinbase is concerned with being the easiest cryptocurrency exchange to use.

Some Reddit users have (correctly) pointed out that there are risks to using a cryptocurrency asset platform like Celsius, but rarely is Celsius accused of being riskier than any of its direct competitors. Celsius is often one of the first recommendations for people asking about cryptocurrency interest accounts.

People tend to complain about Coinbase’s high fees, but the solution to this problem is simple: use Coinbase Pro and your trading fees will be much lower.

Celsius Network vs. Coinbase Customer Support

Celsius claims to offer 24/7 customer support, but it doesn’t say which of its support options is available 24/7. U.S. customers can fill out a contact form on the company’s website or call 201-824-2888.

Coinbase has an online FAQ page that customers can visit to get answers to common questions. Users also have the option of submitting an email request to Coinbase. However, the company doesn’t offer live phone support.

Customer support is gridlock for Celsius vs. Coinbase.

Can You Trust Celsius Network and Coinbase?

Celsius and Coinbase are two of the most trusted cryptocurrency platforms. 

Celsius is trusted by more than 850,000 users, and has implemented plenty of user-facing security features to help users keep their assets secure. We do need to mention that Celsius’ third-party marketing server was breached in 2021. This led to some Celsius customers getting phishing emails from hackers. Users who followed solid internet security practices were never put at risk of losing their funds.

Coinbase offers great user-facing security options,  it holds 98% of user funds in cold storage and offers FDIC insurance for USD assets. The company is also publicly traded, and a hack would likely be terrible for shareholder value.

Incentives for both platforms are directly aligned to user safety and security. 

Celsius Network vs Coinbase: Which is the Better Crypto Interest Account?

Celsius and Coinbase  aren’t heated direct competitors in the cryptocurrency interest account niche, yet. We believe this may change as the crypto interest account industry grows and Coinbase continues to expand its offerings.

For the time being, Celsius beats Coinbase as a feature users seek out most from trusted crypto interest sites– higher APY on a wider variety of assets. It has offered between 8.88% to 12% on stablecoins, including Coinbase’s own USDC, and it consistently beats Coinbase on other digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum across the board. 

However, both platforms can be used in tandem with one another. Coinbase and Coinbase Pro can be used to purchase many of the assets Celsius offers higher APYs on, directly with fiat– a feature that Celsius itself lacks. Once those assets are purchased, they can be sent to Celsius to start accruing interest for cheap. 

CoinCentral readers can get a $40 sign-up bonus (paid in BTC) when signing up for Celsius and making a transfer of $400 or more. 

You can also get $10 on Coinbase when buying or selling $100 or more in cryptocurrency.  

The post Celsius Network vs Coinbase: Which Crypto Interest Account is Best appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Voyager Invest: Features, Perks, Cons, and Alternatives

Voyager Invest is a cryptocurrency interest account and broker, perhaps most notable its commission-free trading and its ability for users to earn interest on their holdings. The app excels in its simplicity and has the typical cryptocurrency exchange features: a wallet accessible by mobile app, a basic exchange interface, and a newsroom. The following Voyager Invest review will explore the Voyager Invest product, company, and in-depth information on its mechanics. 

Cool Perk #1 Commission-Free Trading: So, how does Voyager offer commission-free trading? It routes its customers’ crypto transactions to various exchanges, helping to find the best rates.

Cool Perk #2 Cryptocurrency Interest Account: Funds you hold in Voyager automatically earn interest unless you opt-out in the app settings. Its rates are competitive with most cryptocurrency interest account options.

Voyager Invest Quick Summary

Voyager Digital Ltd. traces its origins to 2017, and the Voyager app went live in 2019.  Today, it is regarded as a good entry point for users of all experience levels, allowing them to manage their portfolios without operating different accounts with various exchanges. 

  1. Voyager helps users buy cryptocurrencies from over a dozen exchanges within its app. 
  2. It allows users to earn up to 10% APY on 50+ cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, USDC, LTC, DAI, DODGE, and BCH. Users must maintain a minimum balance to qualify for crypto interest.
  3. Voyager is available in all states in the US, besides New York. It is not yet available internationally.
  4. Voyager is “100% commission-free” and only accepts fees when it saves you money while brokering.
  5. It has a remarkably straightforward signup process and allows users to begin trading as soon as their transfers clear.

Current Sign-Up Bonus: Get $25 when trading $100 on Voyager Invest.

The Voyager Team

Voyager Team

Voyager Invest is a US-regulated public company based in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Voyager’s founding team has decades of experience in brokerage, investment, and market structure.

Its Founder and CEO is Stephen Ehlrich, who also founded broker-dealer Lightspeed Financial.

The rest of the C-suite includes Phillip Eytan, Gaspard de Dreuzy, and Oscar Salazar, the trio who co-founded Pager: a digital healthcare solution. 

CEO Stephen Ehlrich has worked in executive roles in the finance industry for decades. He spent seven years as the CEO of E*TRADE Professional Trading, a brokerage platform, Morgan Stanley subsidiary, and over six years as the CEO of Lightspeed Financial, an electronic trading company. 

Chairman Phillip Eytan worked with Morgan Stanly as a Telecom M&A Analyst. He also served as a director and founding investor with Socure, digital identity and fraud verifying service, and Pager.

President Gaspard de Dreuzy is a co-founder and the president of Pager and was the co-founder and CEO of Kapitall, an online stockbroker with video game-like trading tools, and free practice accounts for beginner investors. 

More popularly known as the Founding CTO and co-founder of Uber, Oscar Salazar brings his experience building consumer-driven experiences to advise the Voyager team. He is also a co-founder and the CTO of Pager.

Voyager Invest Funding: How much Has it Raised?

Voyager has raised over $100.1M in four funding rounds, comprising $110.5K during its Series C in October 2020 and 100M in a Series D in February 2021.

Voyager is a publicly-traded company registered under the ticket CNSX: VYGR. Their stock opened with $0.95 in its Feb 11, 2019, IPO, and its early investors include Streamlined Capital and Stifel Financial Corp.

Voyager Invest Review company bio on Crunchbase

Voyager Invest review company bio on Crunchbase

Voyager Invest Review and Interest Rates

One distinct advantage Voyager has over other broker options is that it charges no commission. Whether users are looking to buy or sell their cryptocurrency, they’ll only pay the price quoted for that transaction. 

However, if Voyager manages to broker a deal better than the quoted price, they’ll keep a small percentage of the saved amount and send the rest to you. 

Voyager uses a technique coined “Smart Order Routing” to take advantage of pricing disparities between its 12+ partnered exchanges, getting you the best rate for your trade. 

Get $25 when signing up and trading $100 on Voyager Invest.

The Voyager broker supports over 50 cryptocurrencies.

commision free

When you transfer funds into your Voyager wallet, you automatically begin earning interest on those funds. Voyager offers up to 10% APY on 20+ tokens, slightly less than popular interest offerings like Celsius and slightly more than BlockFi.

To encourage the use of its in-house token VGX, Voyager offers higher APY rates to users who opt to receive their interest in VGX. This feature is not available in the US.

Unlike many crypto interest account providers, Voyager requires users to have a minimum monthly balance of each token held in their wallets to earn interest. These rates vary and are changed frequently. 

Generally, you can earn up to 9% APY on stablecoins, up to 6.25% on BTC with a minimum balance of 0.01BTC, and up to 5.25% APY on ETH with a minimum of 0.05%.

Rtes as of 7/15/2021. We will do our best to keep this Voyager Invest Review updated as rates change.

Rtes as of 7/15/2021. We will do our best to keep this Voyager Invest Review updated as rates change.

rates 2

rates 3

How to Sign Up for Voyager Invest + Promotions

Voyager simplified its account creation and verification considerably compared to most other cryptocurrency brokers, who require a complex signup and verification process before connecting users to the market. 

The entire process can take only a couple of minutes.  Once you sign up and submit some basic information, you can link a payment method, fund your account, and begin trading as soon as your transfer goes through. 

The sign-up process (Source: Voyager Invest)

The sign-up process (Source: Voyager Invest)

Voyager’s app has an in-built, constantly refreshing crypto news feed, and a profit-and-loss calculator. Users have access to up-to-date information on the cryptocurrency market movements and portfolio balances, profits, and losses over time. This feature is beneficial if you have many assets, as the profit and loss tool can help you figure out which tokens are doing well and which aren’t. 

Overall, Voyager’s mobile app is a well-thought-out product. However, if you prefer managing your investments from your laptop, you’re out of luck– Voyager has yet to release a desktop version. Its service is available only on mobile at the time of this writing, which is still pretty useful for trading on the go. However, Voyager is only available in the US and operates in all US states but in New York.

Another thing to note is that Voyager doesn’t support trading between cryptocurrencies at this time. You can only purchase crypto with fiat, and you can only convert your crypto to fiat, not a different coin.

So, if you’d like to sell some of your LTC for ETH, you’d have to convert the LTC to USD, then send in a buy request for ETH. However, Voyager does allow you to transfer your crypto to external wallets.

How Does Voyager Invest Make Money?

Like most crypto interest account services, Voyager makes money by taking loans at a particular rate (the interest it offers you) and then using it as capital to provide loans at higher rates to corporate borrowers. 

Secondly, Voyager makes money on trades initiated by its users. If Voyager can get a better exchange rate for a given transaction that it has shown its user in the original price quote, it makes a percentage of the savings on that order. The remainder of the funds is sent to the user. 

Are Your Funds Safe With Voyager Invest?

You’re probably quite interested in making sure any assets you may hold in Voyager are safe. It’s worth noting that as crypto can not be FDIC insured, your funds are never entirely risk-free. However, here are some steps Voyager takes to help mitigate that risk.

Platform Safety

Voyager uses 2FA and industry-standard encryption and other safety regulations to ensure that users of its platform are protected. However, Voyager’s domain name system server was hacked in December 2020. When it noticed the breach, the company forcefully took the system offline to secure its customers. According to Voyager, no funds or client data were compromised during the attack.

How are your assets protected?

No Voyager Invest Review would be complete without noting that only USD is insured by FDIC, not your crypto - plan accordingly!

No Voyager Invest Review would be complete without noting that only USD is insured by FDIC, not your crypto – plan accordingly!

Voyager’s partner bank insures all USD in its custody up to $250,000. Despite this, your crypto is not FDIC or SDIC insured. Voyager is a licensed and regulated public company in the US and undergoes regular audits. 

Voyager uses a number of custodians to protect its user’s assets, including Fireblocks and Ledger Vault. These custodians combine safety best practices, insurance to store crypto in hardware and hot wallets. 

In April 2021, Voyager exceeded $3.3 billion worth of assets under its management.

Assets under management

VGX and the Voyager Loyalty Program

VGX is the native, proprietary token of the Voyager platform. Voyager uses it to reward its users. These rewards can include earning higher interest rates (on VGX and tokens), cashback rewards, and more.

  • VGX Interest: All VGX Tokens you hold on Voyager will automatically earn 7% APY for the first year. After that, holders gain the ability to vote on future yield rates.
  • Cashback Rewards: When Voyager’s smart order router can achieve a price improvement, users receive 2x or 3x the price improvement usually given to customers, depending on their loyalty tier. This reward is paid out in VGX.
  • Refer-a-Friend Rewards: Voyager has a sign-up and referral bonus of $25 for the referrer and the new user when the new user makes a trade of $100 or more. Depending on your loyalty tier, you can receive up to $40 for each person you refer to the Voyager app. The referrer will receive rewards in VGX, while the new user will receive their reward in BTC.
The Voyager Invest loyalty program varies by tier.

The Voyager Invest loyalty program varies by tier.

Voyager has many more perks for users of its VGX token:

Customer service

The well-maintained Voyager FAQ section is accessible via its app and website. The platform does not offer live phone support. To contact Voyager, create a support ticket in the “Help” section of the app.

Final Thoughts: Is Voyager Invest Legit?

Voyager offers an enticing mix of services. Its cryptocurrency interest account rates are competitive to Celsius and BlockFi, but the product has a few more hoops to jump through, such as the holding of a specific quantity of the VGX token. 

The smart order router helps get great deals for trades, which beats many exchanges at their own game.

Although its platform and custodian are relatively safe, Voyager offers loans using your assets, which is not risk-free.

In the future, Voyager intends to release a crypto debit card that will allow users to make purchases using their holdings. It also wants to release a desktop-accessible version of its platform.

The culmination of features and tokens is similar to the Crypto.com type platform, but with a simpler and more refined user experience.

From our analysis, Voyager doesn’t seem inherently riskier than any other crypto interest account provider. 

Its brokering feature is a valuable bit for users who prefer not to manage multiple accounts with exchanges. We love its in-built profit-and-loss and news features, and Voyager seems to be on an upward trend as its platform gains notability and its valuation grows.

Voyager is also working on getting a Bitlicense, which will allow it to operate within New York and internationally.

Voyager Invest Alternatives

BlockFi is an excellent choice for you if you’re outside the US. It’s available internationally and in all US states but New York. BlockFi offers a crypto exchange, interest account, and crypto-backed loans (meaning you can use your holdings as collateral for a loan). BlockGi’s platform supports over 15 tokens and uses industry-leading security practices. Read our BlockFi Review.

Robinhood is a good choice if you want to trade crypto alongside other stocks. Its portfolio platform is very beginner-friendly and lets you trade BTC, ETH, and five other cryptocurrencies alongside your stock, commission-free. 

Earn Up to 9% APY

Assets in your Voyager Invest account can earn interest on 30+ coins if you meet the minimum balance for each. Rates fluctuate, but Voyager says you can earn up to 9% APY on stablecoins, such as USDC, 5.75% on Bitcoin, 4.6% on ETH, 3% on AAVE, and 4.5% on LINK.

Interest accrues daily and compounds monthly. Your average monthly balance for an eligible coin must meet the minimum to earn interest for that month. You’ll earn interest on any qualified assets in your account, whether you purchased them on the Voyager platform or deposited them from an external wallet.

What Could be Improved

No coin-to-coin trades

You can only trade coins to U.S. dollars for now, though Voyager is working on adding coin-to-coin trading. To buy on the app, you fund your account with USD from an external bank account. You sell crypto in the app for USD, and the proceeds are deposited into your Voyager account until you make a withdrawal to an external account.

Longer than usual verification process

Voyager isn’t keeping up with growth right now, so new customers are put on a waitlist and granted access to the platform on a rolling basis. It doesn’t offer an exact timeline for account approval, so you may have to wait a while before you can trade on the app. 

Get $25 when signing up and trading $100 on Voyager Invest.

The post Voyager Invest: Features, Perks, Cons, and Alternatives appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Kraken vs Gemini: Which Cryptocurrency Exchange is Best For You?

Kraken vs Gemini

Kraken and Gemini are often recommended as good platforms to begin trading cryptocurrency for the intermediate investor. Each platform has unique features that are specifically targeted to different types of investors.

The following Kraken vs Gemini comparison goes over the positives and negatives of each exchange, so that you can decide which is better for your needs.

We’ll go over:

Kraken vs Gemini: Key Information

Reviews Kraken Review Gemini Review
Deposit Methods Bank Wires, Crypto Deposits Bank Transfer (ACH),

Bank Wires, Crypto Deposits

Available Cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH, LTC, +14 more coins BTC, ETH, +26 more
Company Launch 2011 2015
Location California, USA New York, USA
Community Trust Great Great
Security Good Great
Customer Support Average Good
Fees Very Low Very Low
Website Visit Kraken Visit Gemini

Funding Methods

Gemini allows you to fund your account via bank transfers (ACH), wire transfers, and/or cryptocurrency deposits. Once you put in your request to fund the account, you’re able to start trading right away – even before your transfer is approved. You can’t withdraw any funds until transfer approval, but you can make purchases on coins as the price fluctuates. This is advantageous in a bull market where the prices are expected to increase during the approval process.

Your verification tier determines how you can fund your Kraken account.

At Tier 1, you’re able to deposit and withdraw digital currency only but can trade digital as well as fiat currencies. Tier 1 requires you to submit your full name, date of birth, country, and phone number.

Bank deposit and withdrawals (via wire transfer) are available at Tier 2 or Tier 3 depending on your country of residence. Tier 2 additionally requires your address while you must upload a valid government ID and recent proof of residence to reach Tier 3.

If you’re itching to get started investing, Gemini is much easier than Kraken to get started easiest of the two.  Kraken is better suited for investors looking for more advanced trading options and a wider selection of cryptocurrencies.

Interface

Kraken offers a much more advanced trading experience than Gemini. You can place orders using Simple, Intermediate, and/or Advanced options. Basic market (best market price) and limit (fixed price) orders can be placed using the Simple tab. In the Intermediate and Advanced tabs, you can set stop limits, expirations, leverage options, and conditional closes.

 

Kraken Bitcoin Dashboard with Simple Tab Selected

 

Kraken Bitcoin Dashboard with Advanced Tab Selected

The Gemini platform has a clean design leading to a simpler experience for the average user. The charts sit side by side with the order form enabling you to do analysis as you buy and sell coins – something I value as an investor. One unique feature in Gemini is the ability to order coins in an auction format, although I’ve never tried this myself and wouldn’t recommend it for a new trader.

Gemini Buy Bitcoin Dashboard

For experienced investors, Kraken is a better platform to do advanced trading options. If you’re new to investing and your goal is to simply make a purchase and hold it for a while, Gemini is a better choice.

Trading Fees    

Gemini and Kraken both have variable trading fees that are determined by your 30-day trading volume and whether you are a maker (putting an order on the books) or taker (filling an order from the books).  

The fee for a maker on Gemini decreases from a high of 0.25% down to a rebate of 0.10% as your trading volume increases. With a rebate, your fee turns into a discount that you receive on the trade.  For takers, the fee is 0.25% unless trading at the highest volume level.

On Kraken, the maker fee usually ranges from 0.00% to 0.16% with a taker fee between 0.10% and 0.26%.

I recommend calculating what the Gemini trading fees and Kraken trading fees would be on a few trades you’re thinking of performing. Then, you can choose whether or not the difference in fees is enough to outweigh the other factors when choosing your platform.

Available Cryptocurrencies

Kraken supports a multitude of coins and pairings such as:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Dash
  • EOS
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Ethereum
  • Gnosis
  • Iconomi
  • Litecoin
  • Melon
  • Augur
  • Tether
  • Dogecoin
  • Stellar Lumens
  • Monero
  • Ripple
  • Zcash

Gemini only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum trading and has not stated any plans to add more coins.

Clearly, if you’re trying to dive deeper into alternative coin (any coin that isn’t Bitcoin) investing, Kraken should be your choice. Alternative coins, because of their smaller market caps, are inherently more risky investments but can produce larger returns for this same reason. The saying “high risk, high reward” really holds true for these investments.  

Transfer Limits

In Gemini, the maximum amount you can transfer via ACH is $500 per day. There’s no limit then depositing using wire transfers and cryptocurrency deposits, though. The Gemini withdrawal limit is $10,000 per day.

Gemini ACH deposits usually take 4-5 business days to be approved. But, as I mentioned earlier, you can use the funds to trade right away.

Kraken has a much higher deposit limit than Gemini with a daily maximum of $25,000 when you provide a proof of source of funds. The withdrawal limit is restricted to $25,000 per day.  Kraken deposits take 1-5 business days for approval.

For high volume investors, Kraken’s high daily limits are ideal whereas Gemini is more suited towards lower volume traders looking to quickly get started.  

Company Trust

Kraken, operated by Payward, Inc., is located in San Francisco and has received over $6 million in funding from several notable investors including Blockchain Capital. The trading volume on the platform has doubled about every 5 months since its launch in 2013. Growth numbers like this demonstrate the trust that community members share for the exchange.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss launched Gemini in 2015 as the first U.S. exchange licensed for bitcoin and ether trading. Even though they’re known for their history with Facebook, the two have been active in the Bitcoin community since early 2013. They’re rumored to own 1 percent of all Bitcoins in circulation and have funded several Bitcoin-related projects through Winklevoss Capital.

Fund Security

Both Kraken and Gemini follow industry best practices when securing your digital funds. However, Gemini takes better precautions in protecting U.S. dollar (USD) deposits with FDIC insurance.

Kraken stores all new coin deposits in cold (offline), encrypted wallets where hackers are unable to reach them. The only digital coins that are kept online are the coins needed to keep operational liquidity on the exchange. There is no mention of FDIC insurance on the Kraken website, but they state that they maintain full reserves to prevent any possibility of a bank run. With no clear FDIC protection, Kraken is a slightly riskier exchange to hold your USD funds.

Gemini doesn’t specify the percentages of assets kept online but ensures that the majority of digital assets are held in their own enhanced cold storage system. Their system guarantees that there’s no single point of failure through the use of secure hardware security modules (HSMs) with multi-signature technology. Gemini holds all U.S. dollar funds in banks that are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.   

Customer Support

While customer support can be non-existent on other exchanges, Kraken and Gemini usually provide good support.

Both exchanges contain a library of FAQs covering common support issues as well as beginner investor questions. Kraken even takes this a step further by providing a comprehensive trading guide to help you get started.

Both companies handle support tickets through email, and Gemini has a typical response time of 2-3 business days. Although I haven’t personally experienced this, Kraken has recently been under fire in many forums for having slow response times and for seemingly ignoring customer support tickets.

Therefore, if you’re a new investor who may need help getting started, I would suggest using Gemini.

Conclusion: Gemini is More User Friendly Than Kraken, But Kraken Has More Functionality

Gemini and Kraken are two significantly different exchanges for significantly different investors.

Gemini, with its simplified interface, is best for new investors looking to do basic trading after a quick account set-up.

Kraken should be used by more experienced investors for high volume trading and/or alternative coin investing.

(See CoinCentral’s Full List of Crypto Exchange Reviews)

More Kraken Comparisons

More Gemini Comparisons

The post Kraken vs Gemini: Which Cryptocurrency Exchange is Best For You? appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Celsius vs. Linus: Earn Interest on Crypto or High-Yield USD Account?

Celsius vs. Linus makes for an interesting comparison between two unique cryptocurrency interest accounts. Both platforms let you earn passive but not-risk-free income, but they accomplish this through distinct approaches. 

Celsius accepts cryptocurrency deposits and allows for “in-kind” interest, and it also functions as a lending platform. On the other hand, Linus only accepts and pays out in USD, removing the complications of storing and moving cryptocurrency from the end-user. 

Celsius is an established crypto lending platform that offers interest on popular crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ether. It has built a strong reputation due to its robust security features and community engagement.  

Linus is a newcomer to the crypto interest space. It lets users deposit their USD to earn crypto-backed interest without having actually to hold any cryptocurrency. It’s a great fit for users who want a high-yield interest account without having to put up with the volatility of the crypto market.

The following review will highlight some of the key differences between two of the industry’s top cryptocurrency interest account options, Celsius vs. Linus, to help you decide which is right for you.

Celsius vs. Linus: Key Information

 

  Celsius

  Linus

  Reviews

  Our Review

  Linus Review (Added soon!)

  Site Type

  Crypto lending app with borrowing and lending

  Blockchain-based high yield interest account

  Beginner Friendly

  Yes

  Yes

  Mobile App

  Yes

  In development

  Buy/Deposit Methods

  Crypto deposits, debit card, bank transfer

  Bank account transfer or debit card

  Sell/Withdrawal Methods

  External crypto wallet transfer

  Bank account transfer

  Available Cryptocurrencies

  Bitcoin, Ethereum, Link, and several others

  None

  Company Launch

  2017

  2019

  Location

  London, England

  Brooklyn, NY, USA

  Community Trust

  Great

  Still developing

  Security

  Good

  Okay

  Customer Support

  Great

  Good

  Verification Required

  Yes

  Yes

  Fees

  Excellent (there are none)

  Great

  Site

  Visit site

  Visit site

Company Bios: How Do They Stack Up?

Linus was created in 2019 by Matt Nemer and Matt Hamilton. The two founders previously worked for companies like IBM and BTC, Inc. Linus doesn’t have any investors at the time of this writing as it’s still in the pre-seed phases of its growth trajectory.

On the other hand, Celsius has been around since 2017. It was created by Alex Mashinsky and Daniel Leon and has raised just under $100 million in funding in private rounds. 

Moreover, Celsius boasts more than $16 billion in community assets under management and has paid its users more than $300 million in yield over the past 12 months.

Feature #1: Interest Rates — Who Has Better APY, Celsius or Linus?

Linus pays users in USD and only accepts USD. Its target market is people who don’t want to hold any crypto but still want to benefit from the higher yield interest accounts available to blockchain users. 

That being said, here’s the APY that Linus can get you on your cash:

  • 4.0% APY for $1.00 to $2,499.99
  • 4.25% APY for $2,500 to $9,999.99
  • 4.50% APY for $10,000+

In contrast, Celsius offers flat-rate APYs based on the specific digital asset.  These rates can fluctuate as often as weekly, which means the amount you can make from Celsius can vary. 

As a point of comparison, here are Celsius’ rates as of the time of this writing:

APY offerings

APY rates

crypto interest rates

*BTC – 6.2% for the first two BTC, then 3.51%

Here’s Celsius’s complete rate chart, including stablecoins, offers for international users, and more.

How Do Celsius and Linus Make Money?

Most cryptocurrency interest accounts make their money by offering lower APYs than what they can get for lending their users’ funds on the open market. Both Celsius and Linus follow this model, albeit in slightly different ways.

Celsius earns money by lending the funds that its users deposit to institutional and retail borrowers. The company aims to return 80% of revenues made from this to its users. The loans that Celsius gives out are over-collateralized, which means that the risk of default is relatively low.

Linus does things a bit differently. The company only accepts deposits in USD. It then converts these funds into stablecoins, which it uses to provide liquidity in Ethereum smart contracts.

However, Linus doesn’t disclose what percentage of its revenues it gives back to its users. The company’s APY currently caps out around 4.5%. That’s a good deal lower than many of the cryptocurrencies that Celsius offers interest on.

Celsius and Linus earn their money in similar ways. Nevertheless, Celsius gives a great percentage of its revenues back to its users, so it wins this category.

Feature #2: Payouts and Withdrawals

Linus’ payouts and withdrawals are pretty great. The money you deposit into a Linus account accrues interest daily, and you can withdraw it whenever you want, as many times as you want, without any fees.

Celsius is very similar in this regard and lets its users withdraw their funds at any time without any fee. However, there’s a soft cap on withdrawals of $50,000+ in a 24-hour period, and these large withdrawals can take up to 48 hours to process. Celsius distributes interest to its users every Monday.

Both Celsius and Linus offer solid payout and withdrawal features. However, interest on Linus accrues faster, and there are no withdrawal limits, which makes it the winner in this category.

Feature #3: Celsius vs. Linus Security

Celsius’ security features are similar to what its competitors offer. The company uses something called multiparty computation (MPC) to secure its users’ funds.

Moreover, the Celsius app has a ton of user-facing security features, like:

  • 2-factor authentication
  • PIN
  • Changing wallet addresses requires email confirmation.
  • Withdrawing more than $150,000 requires manual verification
  • Photo and video certification
  • Biometric security

Another cool security feature that Celsius offers is HODL Mode. Essentially, it makes it impossible for users to withdraw funds without first completing a 24-hour waiting period. That gives you a ton of time to respond in the event of a hack.

Celsius HODL Mode

Linus’ security features are still a work-in-progress. The company claims to protect its users’ funds with digital asset collateral and third-party insurance coverage. So far, Linus hasn’t shared any details about these features, so it isn’t easy to gauge the quality of its security.

Celsius wins this round. Its substantial security features look even better when compared to Linus’ still-in-development ones.

Feature #4: Celsius vs. Linus Ease of Use

Both Linus and Celsius are built to make earning easier for users, but Linus’ no-crypto approach means that its users simply have to make a transfer or deposit to begin earning. Linus is a great fit for people who aren’t very familiar with cryptocurrency or aren’t interested in buying or holding it long-term. Its main benefit is letting these people access blockchain-based high yield interest accounts by just making a cash deposit.

Celsius’ mobile app is great for people who want to manage their accounts on the go, and it has a web app for people who prefer managing their money on a desktop or laptop. Both platforms let users make deposits with bank accounts, debit cards, and external crypto wallets. 

Standout Features

Linus’ most impressive feature is the service that it’s bringing to the market. It gives users access to high yield opportunities on the Ethereum blockchain without having to own any crypto. There are very few companies (if any) that are currently operating in the same space.

Celsius’ main standout feature is its native cryptocurrency CEL. Users who choose to earn interest with CEL can qualify for up to 25% discounts on loan interest payments. That’s a massive savings opportunity that could make Celsius one of the cheapest ways to borrow money with crypto collateral.

Promos and Bonuses

Celsius and Linus both offer frequent bonuses ad promotions, such as Celsius’ $40 sign-up bonus and $40 reward for each referral they make. Celsius’ loyalty program also offers users rewards for holding assets in CEL. 

Linus offers a $20 sign-up bonus and frequently creates new promotions, some of which have included a referral program and bonuses on transactions.

The Court of Public Opinion: Celsius vs. Linus Reddit

On Reddit, Celsius reviews are flooded with temperature jokes. 

However, some Redditors have left serious reviews of the platform. Most seem to view Celsius as a solid crypto interest account, especially valuing its yield-earning opportunities and no-fee approach. 

Others note that there are some risks to using any crypto interest account. Still, most of these Redditors note that Celsius isn’t inherently riskier than any of its competitors.

Linus hasn’t received very many Reddit reviews as it’s a relatively new company. Some Redditors have criticized its low APY rates for USD. While it’s true that Linus’ APY is below what users can get by accessing Ethereum smart contracts and DeFi platforms themselves, Linus is meant for people who don’t want to be on the lookout for yield opportunities themselves constantly. In that context, Linus makes much more sense.

Customer Support

Linus has an online FAQ page you can check out to get answers to common questions. You can also email a support agent directly at hello@getlinus.io.

You can get in touch with Celsius by filling out a contact form on the company’s website. You also have the option of calling their U.S. phone number at 201-824-2888.

Can You Trust Celsius and Linus?

One of the largest crypto interest account providers, Celsius is trusted by over 800,000 users. It’s gone to great lengths to ensure your assets’ safety and offers many security features to help you keep your coins safe.

That being said, Celsius’ third-party marketing server was compromised in 2021. Hackers gained access to a partial Celsius customer list and attempted to send out phishing emails. We should note that users who followed good security practices were never at risk of losing funds even when this happened.

Linus is relatively new to the crypto marketplace. As such, it hasn’t gotten the opportunity to build much of a reputation for itself yet.

However, it completed its public beta without being labeled a scam or losing users’ funds. 

Celsius vs. Linus: Which is the Better Crypto Interest Account?

Celsius and Linus address two separate markets. 

Celsius is one of the top crypto interest account platforms for users who want to hold crypto assets and earn interest on them while they do. If that describes you, then Celsius will be a better fit for you than Linus.

Linus doesn’t even offer interest on crypto assets. Instead, its main purpose is to give users who don’t want to hold crypto access to high-yield savings opportunities through Ethereum smart contracts.

The bottom line: 

  • Use Celsius if you want to earn interest on your crypto. It has some of the highest APYs on crypto. 
  • Use Linus if you want to earn crypto-backed interest on your USD without the difficulties of transporting or holding cryptocurrency. 

 

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Source: Coin Central