The Best of 2022: From Crypto Exchanges to Staking Options and NFT Marketplaces, These Are Our Top Picks

  • November 17, 2022
  • 9 Min Read

Wondering what the best options are for staking your tokens and earning big returns on your crypto? Or are you looking for the best NFT marketplace while on the hunt for a new piece of digital art? Well, we have good news: there are lots of options to choose from.

The crypto market has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. While there were once limited choices for crypto enthusiasts who wanted to expand their holdings, earn on their tokens, or invest in NFTs, that’s no longer the case.

At this point, one of the biggest obstacles crypto users face is finding the best option in a sea of choices. To help you out, we’ve narrowed down the choices to our top picks. You can find DeFiRate’s “Best of” picks below, whether you’re searching for a borrowing platform, a staking option, an exchange — or something in between.

Best borrowing platforms of 2022

Best CeFi borrowing platform: Nexo

Nexo is our pick for the top CeFi borrowing platform. What we like about this platform is that it offers a loyalty program that can benefit borrowers in big ways, like access to lower interest rates on loans that are directly tied to the borrower’s loyalty level. That makes it possible to borrow at rates as low as 0% to 1.9% — and, in many cases, even the normal interest rates are lower than average. Borrowers can access loans for both stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies, and they can also use their crypto as collateral for borrowing fiat, which is plain old American dollars. That means if your borrowing rate is at 1%, you can borrow cash for a rate that’s lower than any traditional bank can offer you.

Why Nexo is our top pick

  • Rates start at 0% for borrowing and never exceed 13.9%
  • For repayment, borrowers have the choice between fiat, crypto, or a combination of both
  • Offers more than 40 fiat currencies and instant borrowing using USDT or USDC
  • Instant approval for borrowers
  • Funds typically available within 24 hours

Best DeFi borrowing platform: Aave

As a decentralized borrowing platform, Aave offers the most diverse number of loan types. The platform offers borrowing for at least 20 of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including most major stablecoins and DeFi tokens, like SNX, MKR, and KNC. Aave is also a primary source for Flash loans, which is another excellent option. Borrowers can lock in either a fixed or a floating interest rate, which provides a degree of flexibility that other lending platforms currently do not offer.

Why Aave is our top pick

  • Platform offers fixed or floating interest rates
  • Also offers lash loans in addition to other types of crypto loans
  • Borrowers can trade with leverage using Swap Rate
  • Borrowing fees are incurred at inception
  • Loans can be insured using Nexus Mutual

Best lending platforms of 2022

Best CeFi lending platform: Nexo

Nexo is the top CeFi lending platform for numerous reasons. For starters, the same loyalty program that can be a big benefit to borrowers can also pay off for lenders in huge ways. The interest rates that are paid to lenders are directly related to the loyalty level, and all interest payments are made on a daily basis. Plus, lenders can earn on both stablecoins and other tokens supported by Nexo — so there are choices when it comes to lending your crypto tokens to borrowers. And, as an added bonus, borrowers can also earn on fiat when using this platform.

Why Nexo is our top pick

  • Lender interest rates as high as 12% on stablecoins
  • Lender interest rates on other coins are also higher than average
  • Option to lend fiat money, stablecoins, and other tokens
  • Can withdraw deposited assets at any time
  • Interest payments made on a daily basis
  • Interest rates tied to loyalty level

Best DeFi lending platform: MakerDAO (Oasis)

One of the best things about the MakerDAO Oasis platform is that it allows crypto users to lend out their tokens in order to generate DAI, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. This network can be a great way for certain crypto users to maximize the return on their tokens by lending out their crypto and earning a stable, trustless asset in return. As with other platforms, the rates paid to lenders can vary, but MakerDAO generally offers a flexible DeFi interest rate that can be as high as 8.75%.

Why Maker is our top pick

  • Potential for high interest payments
  • Interest paid in DAI
  • DAI stablecoin payments make it easy to know returns will be
  • Won’t have to worry about volatility related to DAI
  • Offers asset management tools like DeFi Saver

Best crypto exchange of 2022

Best crypto exchange: Coinbase

Not only is Coinbase our top pick, but it’s the most popular centralized exchange — and has been for quite some time. That’s because this platform is the largest in the U.S., and it offers a wide range of tokens and cryptos on both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. In total, the platform offers over 100 tradable cryptocurrencies, which is enough to appease all types of crypto buyers. Plus, it allows users to buy tokens right on the platform, and the fees are relatively low. Plus, the purchase process is easy enough for even the most novice crypto user to navigate. In addition, the security measures employed by the exchange are top-notch, which means your money and your crypto are safe when buying on this platform.

Why Coinbase is our top pick

  • The largest and most popular exchange in the U.S.
  • Two different platform options: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro
  • Over 100 token options to choose from
  • Educational resources to help new users learn the market
  • Easy purchase process, even for novices
  • Security measures are top-notch
  • Fees are low on transactions

Best crypto wallet of 2022

Best cold wallet: Trezor Model T

The Trezor T is one of the leading crypto hardware wallets, in major part because it features everything a crypto enthusiast would need to safely store their coins. For starters, the Model T supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, more than what any user would need to develop an impressive portfolio. The design is top-notch, too. This cold wallet comes with a full-color, LED touchscreen, a hardshell case, and easy desktop and browser capabilities that allow users to easily manage their crypto. The PIN safety safeguards against unauthorized access, so you won’t have to worry about the wrong people accessing your crypto, and the order changes for the PIN input layout, which makes it nearly impossible for someone else to decipher. What more could you want from a cold wallet?

Why the Trezor Model T is our top pick

  • Supports more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies
  • Full-color, LED touchscreen
  • Desktop and browser capabilities for easy crypto management
  • Extra PIN and security features

Best hot wallet: Coinbase Wallet

When it comes to hot wallets, you really can’t beat the Coinbase Wallet. This wallet is free, and while it may appear that it’s part of the Coinbase exchange, it’s not. It’s a separate wallet that supports thousands of different types of currencies, so it can be used to hold basically any token your heart desires. It’s also simple to use, so even the most inexperienced crypto enthusiasts can learn to navigate the interface. Plus, the wallet is non-custodial, which means that Coinbase isn’t holding your tokens — you are, with the help of your private keys.

Why the Coinbase Wallet is our top pick

  • Supports thousands of currencies
  • Free — and also independent of the Coinbase exchange
  • Easy to use, even for new crypto users
  • Non-custodial, so users retain control of their assets

Best NFT marketplace of 2022

Best NFT marketplace: OpenSea

When it comes to NFT marketplace options, you really can’t beat OpenSea. It’s the most established NFT marketplace on the web, and it offers everything from digital art to music, photography, collectibles, sports memorabilia, and even virtual worlds. It’s kind of like the Amazon of NFT marketplaces, with any and everything you could be looking for under one umbrella. But the wide range of options it offers doesn’t equate to a steep learning curve. It’s user-friendly and payments can be made in more than 150 different token options. Plus, OpenSea is now gas-free, which means you won’t have to pay for those hefty Ethereum gas fees when using it.

Why OpenSea is our top pick

  • Offers an extremely broad range of NFT items to choose from
  • The most established marketplace on the Web
  • Payments can be made with 150 different tokens
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Doesn’t charge gas fees to users who transact

Other best of 2022 content:

Contributors

  • Avatar of Angelica Leicht

    Angelica specializes in crypto and personal finance content. Her work has appeared in publications such as Bankrate, Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Simple Dollar, The Houston Press, Dallas Observer, The Village Voice, and others.