The 5 Best Crypto Passive Income Sites: Nexo, YouHodler, Celsius, BlockFi, Crypto.com

Whether you’re a long crypto investor or new to the cryptocurrency world, we all like passive income. Put your crypto to work earning returns. Some may prefer trading, liquidity provision, or utilizing DeFi protocols, but these five sites are easy, familiar and centralized. Most of them have insurance or some form of backing. DeFi is the future and provides a great deal of value, and at the same time, there’s value in a stable place to gain yields without having to have the same level of concern over exploits, impermanent loss, or rug pulls. Below I reviewed the top 5 centralized crypto lending and borrowing sites. Each one of the top 5 have their benefits and unique value over the others. The order reflects the overall best package, although I highly recommend researching each one for yourself to find which one best meets your needs. Let’s dive in…

* -Must have certain amount of proprietary token to qualify for higher percentage yield or lower loan APR. **-Time locked

1. Nexo

Nexo offers the best all around service if you want to use one service for all of your needs. They have transparent, no fee structure. It’s simple and easy to use. They do not have all of the highest APY rates in the industry, but they are fair even without using the Nexo token to reach higher tiers. They do offer some of the best returns for crypto other than stablecoins, including ETH and BTC. One unique feature about Nexo is that they allocate 30% of their profits to holders of the Nexo token. A difficult part about Nexo is for people who don’t want to have to buy the Nexo token to get better rewards. Unfortunately US users are not able to receive Nexo tokens as earnings to receive the highest returns. They also have a crypto credit card coming soon, although no official release date has been announced. Nexo is also starting a governance mechanism where Nexo Token holders have a say in the future of the company.

Pros – Simple easy to use, no fees, growing rapidly and continually adding features, user dividends

Cons – Require use of NEXO token to maximize earning and borrowing rates

2. Celsius

Celsius takes the runner up spot in overall benefits. There are a few areas where Celsius tops Nexo, including Celsius has higher maximums on their earning rates for stablecoins and lower lows on their borrowing rates. They also have a no fee structure. A unique feature to Celsius is the CelPay feature which allow you to pay friends and receive payment through the Celsius App. While, Celsius sounds great in many aspects, their proprietary token, the CEL token, is helpful to receive full benefit from the platform. The best returns and borrowing rates aren’t available without holding a substantial amount of CEL tokens. Their rates also change weekly based on market conditions. The tiers for holding CEL are not transparent and difficult to calculate. Celsius provides a solid service even without the CEL token, but the high rates are somewhat deceptive due to the high amount of tokens you have to hold to get those rates. Celsius also doesn’t have a debit or credit card option, nor do they offer a crypto exchange option. For US users, you are currently unable to receive earnings in CEL token for higher returns.

Pros – High APY on stablecoins and Low borrowing rates if you utilize the CEL token, CelPay, easy to use, no fees

Cons – Difficult to calculate benefit tier structure and high requirements of CEL tokens, no exchange or card

3. YouHodler

YouHodler provides a straight forward service with good benefits. They don’t provide the same level of options that the other four on the list provide, but if you are looking for a place to park your crypto with solid rates and not having to utilize a proprietary token, YouHodler is a good spot. The best part about YouHodler is their earn feature, which allows you to earn 12% on stablecoins and a comparable return on other crypto without holding any proprietary token. They also offer borrowing, but at a per 30 day rate that ends up being somewhat higher than many of the other options on the list. They do offer 90% TVL options, but I wouldn’t recommend this option unless desperate. A unique feature for YouHodler is the ability to leverage your crypto for higher risk, higher return yields. Sadly it’s not recommended for US citizens.

Pros – Good for straight forward earn option at high yield without proprietary token, leverage option

Cons – Not a full suite of services, high borrowing rates.

4. BlockFi

BlockFi is a solid service promoted by many influencers due to the referral rewards. They offer comparable BTC and ETH APY and Stablecoin returns without requiring a proprietary token. Their returns are comparable to Nexo and Celsius toward the bottom of their tier systems. If you don’t want to utilize a token and want more features than YouHodler, BlockFi is a solid option. They offer an exchange and an intriguing Crypto Credit Card with 1.5% cashback that is soon to be released, and could be accessible to US users. Be careful with BlockFi fees for withdrawing, borrowing (2% origination fee) and trading as they aren’t transparent or fee free like Nexo and Celcius.

Pros – Decent APYs, full set of features

Cons – Not many features stand out compared to others, unless you want to avoid a proprietary token

5. Crypto.com

Crypto.com has the biggest on the list and has the most features of all 5 sites reviewed here, but their benefits are not the best compared to the other 4 on the list. The highlight of Crypto.com is the full fledged exchange with many pairings not available on the above sites. They also have an extensive list of Crypto Debit Card options. However, Crypto.com is the most restrictive to use, requiring you to lock of your crypto for certain amounts of time to receive the highest rates. Additionally, they utilize a proprietary token that is also needed to receive the highest benefits. Even at their highest potential, requiring a high amount of CRO, crypto.com’s rates are on par or worse than the other contenders. They are also the least transparent on the list and have a lot of fees. If you need to have every feature available, then Crypto.com could be an option, but I would argue that choosing one of the others on the list would better serve most people.

Pros – Wide range of features, Crypto Debit cards, extensive exchange pairs

Cons – Lack of transparency, fees, lower rates, need proprietary token to take full advantage

Conclusion

For most people, Nexo or Celsius should be a good bet. If you are only interested in earning APY and don’t want to mess with anything else then, then YouHodler could be a good choice. The irony is that the most popular services on the list, BlockFi and Crypto.com, aren’t the best in my opinion. However they are both workable and could provide a decent service, especially BlockFi if you don’t want to deal with proprietary tokens. Not on the list but might be worth checking out as well is newcomer, Yield App. It also may be worthwhile to dip your toe into DeFi as the industry expands and becomes easier to navigate, and easier to get insurance, checking out services like Aave and Yearn Finance and the many others. With Defi you also get to keep your own keys. I do recommend a great deal of caution in DeFi if new to crypto. Feel free to leave comments below about your experience with any of these sites or others to add to the list.

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice, nor am I paid by any of these companies. Please do your own research as this information could change or become out of date. I do personally use Nexo for my idle crypto but have no other affiliation. I do not provide referral links as this may promote bias.