Best Bitcoin Lending Platforms for December 2022

Live Bitcoin lending rates from the top lending platforms for December 6, 2022

Showing 3 results with an average rate of 1.86% APY

Nexo

$70.73

mo earnings

Exact rate for 1 BTC ($16,975.23)

More information

DeFiRate calculates your exact lending rate using live data feeds from each lending platform.

We show you exactly what you will earn instead of basic teaser rates which may only apply to smaller lending balances.

ClickRate breakdownto see full details.

5% APY

Rate breakdown

Rate breakdown

  • 0.00 - $25,0005%
  • $25,000+3.5%

Nexo, founded in 2018, is one of the world's leading Bitcoin lending platforms. Nexo supports over 5M users in 200+ countries, but does not permit USA customers.

Aave

$3.00

mo earnings

Exact rate for 1 BTC ($16,975.23)

More information

DeFiRate calculates your exact lending rate using live data feeds from each lending platform.

We show you exactly what you will earn instead of basic teaser rates which may only apply to smaller lending balances.

ClickRate breakdownto see full details.

0.21% APY

Aave is a DeFi protocol that supports lending of Ethereum-based assets, including wrapped Bitcoin. Users can lend wBTC by connecting their wallet and depositing funds to the Aave lending pools.

Compound

$0.89

mo earnings

Exact rate for 1 BTC ($16,975.23)

More information

DeFiRate calculates your exact lending rate using live data feeds from each lending platform.

We show you exactly what you will earn instead of basic teaser rates which may only apply to smaller lending balances.

ClickRate breakdownto see full details.

0.06% APY

Compound is one of the largest DeFi protocols for lending Bitcoin. Users simply connect their wallet to Compound and supply wBTC to the lending pool to immediately begin accruing interest.

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What You Need to Know About Bitcoin Lending

  • November 19, 2022
  • 17 Min Read

Lending your Bitcoin can be a great way to earn yield on your BTC tokens. Your lent BTC is then borrowed by others who pay you interest on your funds.

Key Takeaways

  • Lending your BTC is a good way to earn passive income while still retaining ownership of your tokens.
  • The yield earned on lending your BTC tends to be lower than the yield on lending stablecoins, but it’s still worth it for many BTC holders.
  • Centralized exchanges make lending your BTC easy, but if you’re looking to lend BTC through DeFi, you will need to “wrap” your BTC by turning it into wBTC that can be traded on the Ethereum network.

What is Bitcoin (BTC) Lending?

Bitcoin lending is when you lend out your BTC and receive interest payments on your loaned funds. Lending is a critical part of the crypto financial infrastructure, and lenders like you provide the funds to originate loans for others who are looking to borrow crypto.

How Does Bitcoin Lending Work?

Bitcoin lending, similar to traditional lending, is normally done through centralized institutions that act as intermediaries by finding borrowers for your loaned funds. These platforms will then pass on the interest of these loans to you as yield rewards (after taking an intermediary cut, of course).

Any time you lend your Bitcoin out, you will earn interest on it in the form of Annual Percentage Yield (APY). This works similarly to traditional APY savings accounts at banks, however, crypto APYs are normally higher than APYs at traditional banks — in large part because of the higher risk profile of crypto.

APY accrues during any period of time when your Bitcoin has been deposited to a lending service. To maximize APY, some lending platforms require that your Bitcoin is locked up for some period of time, during which you will not be able to use or withdraw your BTC tokens.

Your lent Bitcoin is used to provide loans to Bitcoin borrowers. Unlike traditional financial institutions, which determine the creditworthiness of a borrower through factors like a credit score, crypto loans require borrowers to deposit collateral to guarantee that loans can always be repaid.

This means that you won’t have to worry about losing your loaned funds in the case of borrowers defaulting since the crypto loans originated with your funds are almost always entirely secured by collateral.

How to Pick a Bitcoin Lending Platform

Not all lending platforms are built the same. While they all provide some return on invested tokens, there are major differences in APYs, lockup terms, supported assets, and a host of other factors.

Some of the main things to keep in mind when selecting a lending platform:

  • Interest Rates (APY): Each platform will offer a different APY for your lent crypto. It’s important to compare these rates and weigh them with your other considerations.
  • Fees: As intermediaries, lending platforms will take a cut when lending out your funds. These fees are often baked into the interest they pay out and are not always explicitly displayed as fees. It is important to compare any platform costs, however, and be aware that higher APYs may have hidden fees lurking.
  • Platform Reputation: When you loan out your crypto, you are entrusting it to a third party to custody it. Any time your funds leave your wallet, it’s important to consider the security of the platform custodying your funds. While rare, platform instability can sometimes wipe out deposited client funds.
  • Yield Terms: Each platform has their own schedule for how they pay interest yield and how they handle new inflows of funds. Some pay interest once a month or once a week, while others process interest payouts daily. Some platforms allow more funds to be added to your lending account at any time, while others only allow this during certain periods.
  • Lockup Requirements: Some platforms require you to lock up your crypto for a fixed amount of time while it’s being lent out. Usually, lockup periods provide a higher APY compared to lending terms, where crypto can be retrieved at any point.

How to Sign up For a BTC Lending Platform

Our pick for a US-friendly BTC lending platform is Cake DeFi. Below we outline how to sign up for Cake DeFi step-by-step.

Step 1: Navigate to the Cake DeFi website and log in to your account or sign up if you don’t yet have an account.

Lend BTC on Cake Defi

Step 2: Once you’re logged in, navigate to the “Lending” dashboard. Here you will be able to view the expected APYs and batch information for BTC.

Lending BTC on Cake DeFi

Step 3: Use the “Details” button to view more detailed information about each batch. Make sure you are familiar with the batch process before proceeding.

Lend BTC on Cake DeFi

Step 4: Once you’re ready to lend your BTC, click the “Enter” button and specify the amount of Bitcoin you would like to lend. After completing this step, your Bitcoin is lent to Cake DeFi and will start earning yield.

Lending BTC on Cake DeFi

How to Transfer Your BTC to a Lending Platform

Step 1: Head to https://cakedefi.com/ and log in or sign up.

Lending BTC With Cake DeFi

Step 2: Search for Bitcoin in the Balances section of your dashboard and click Deposit next to it.

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi

Step 3: Scan the QR code from your mobile phone (if you're transferring from another mobile crypto wallet or exchange) or copy and paste the address displayed on the screen into your exchange or online wallet and transfer BTC to the address.

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi

Step 4: The BTC you transfer will immediately reflect on your Cake DeFi account, and you can deposit it into one of the platform’s yield-generating programs and earn interest of up to 10% APY.

What Lending Terms Are Available?

The APY of your loaned Bitcoin will often depend on how long your funds are being loaned out for. This length of time is known as the loan “term” and can either be predetermined or freely decided by you, depending on which platform you use to loan your crypto out.

On some lending platforms, your loaned funds will be subject to a lockup period during which you will not be able to withdraw or use your BTC for any purpose. At the end of the loan term, your funds will be released. During predetermined loan terms, some platforms will distribute interest yield that is available to withdraw immediately even while the principal of your loan is still locked up.

Lending platforms that do not require a lockup allow you to deposit or withdraw your BTC at any point. Whenever your tokens are deposited on these platforms, they start earning interest immediately, and whenever you withdraw them, they stop earning.

Risks of Lending BTC

As with any yield-bearing activity in crypto — or in traditional finance — there is no reward without some risk. The main risks of lending out your crypto are:

  • Asset Lockup: Many lending platforms impose a lockup period on your crypto. This means that any time your assets are lent out, they cannot be withdrawn or sold. Lockups can be a disadvantage during significant market moves when you may be able to sell your crypto to realize gains greater than the lending APY, or — in the case of large negative price moves — when you may need to sell to limit downside. For this reason, lending just to receive the APY is not always a good idea, as the unpredictability of the market can quickly erase any projected profits.
  • Platform Risk: The crypto space is notorious for platform hacks and insolvencies. There are numerous crypto lenders — even some of the biggest companies in the space — who have experienced severe drains of client funds and temporary insolvencies. There have even been large lenders who have gone bankrupt and taken client funds with them. Unlike traditional finance, where bank account deposits are secured by governments, in crypto, your funds are never fully guaranteed. Keep this in mind when lending.
  • Regulatory Concerns: The regulatory landscape for crypto is always evolving. Given how new the space is, there is still a lot of room for sweeping legislation that makes lending unviable or requires traders to be registered as accredited investors. It’s not far-fetched to consider that there may be some situations where the regulatory environment under which you lent your crypto is different from the one you find yourself in by the time your loan term expires.

Top Bitcoin Lending Platforms

Below are our top 2 picks for the best Bitcoin lending platforms. The table below compares and contrasts these centralized platforms.

Supported AssetsCompany DetailsWithdrawing YieldYield Paid InLend APY Range for BTCLockup LengthUS Support?Platform Generates Yield By
Cake DeFiBTC ETH USDC USDTFounded in 2019 Based in SingaporeYield funds can be withdrawn every 4 weeksIn the currency you lent (In-kind)2.5% - 5%* *Earn product offers yields up to 10%, but is riskier4 weeksYesCharging fees on originating loans that are secured by Sparrow and Signum Capital
NexoBTC ETH SOL + moreFounded in 2018 Based in SwitzerlandDaily interest payoutsChoice between in-kind and in NEXO token3% - 7%Choice between fluid, 1 month lockup, and 3 month lockup periodsNoOriginating overcollateralized loans

Cake DeFi

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi
Supported AssetsCompany DetailsWithdrawing YieldYield Paid InLend APY Range for BTCLockup LengthUS Support?Platform Generates Yield By
Cake DeFiBTC ETH USDC USDTFounded in 2019 Based in SingaporeYield funds can be withdrawn every 4 weeksIn the currency you lent (In-kind)2.5% - 5%* *Earn product offers yields up to 10%, but is riskier4 weeksYesCharging fees on originating loans that are secured by Sparrow and Signum Capital

Cake DeFi is a leading lending platform available to crypto holders in the US. Signing up for the platform requires an identity verification process, but once you’re verified, you have access to their lending, borrowing, and earning products.

Batches

Cake DeFi has a unique approach to providing loan returns. The platform collects funds from users across batches that are then lent out through the Cake DeFi borrowing service. Each batch takes in a set amount of user funds and guarantees some minimum return 4 weeks later. New batches are launched every week.

The actual return can be higher than the guaranteed base return depending on how Bitcoin does during the period when the batch is lent out. Cake DeFi’s Bitcoin batches guarantee a base APY of 2.5% and go up to 3.75% if Bitcoin grows in price by more than 20% during the batch period. If Bitcoin experiences a very significant price increase during the 4-week batch period, lending returns for batches can be as high as 5%.

The Cake DeFi lending interface is shown below. You can enter funds at any time leading up to the beginning of a batch as long as there is still space in the batch and the cap of 1,500 BTC has not been reached.

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi

Earn

Cake DeFi also offers an Earn product which can provide larger returns on Bitcoin funds, with APYs of up to 10%. The Earn product combines the best of lending with liquidity mining — a process by which your funds are used to provide liquidity to traders looking to trade BTC. Keep in mind that part of the reason the Earn product offers higher APYs is because it is more risky and more correlated with crypto volatility.

Pros

  • Available to US Residents
  • Does not charge fees from users, all costs are baked in
  • “Earn” product features high APYs with a blended risk profile

Cons

  • You must wait for a batch to start before your money can begin earning interest
  • Fixed 4-week lockup on your funds
  • Lower APYs compared to some other platforms

How to Lend BTC via Cake DeFi


Step 1: Navigate to the Cake DeFi website and log in to your account or sign up if you don’t yet have an account.

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi

Step 2: Once you’re logged in, navigate to the “Lending” dashboard. Here you will be able to view the expected APYs and batch information for BTC.

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi

Step 3: Use the “Details” button to view more detailed information about each batch. Make sure you are familiar with the batch process before proceeding.

Lend BTC with Cake DeFi

Step 4: Once you’re ready to lend your BTC, click the “Enter” button and specify the amount of Bitcoin you would like to lend. After completing this step, your Bitcoin is lent to Cake DeFi and will start earning yield.

Lending BTC with Cake DeFi

Read our full Cake DeFi review.

Nexo

Lending BTC with Nexo
Supported AssetsCompany DetailsWithdrawing YieldYield Paid InLend APY Range for BTCLockup LengthUS Support?Platform Generates Yield By
NexoBTC ETH SOL + moreFounded in 2018 Based in SwitzerlandDaily interest payoutsChoice between in-kind and in NEXO token3% - 7%Choice between fluid, 1 month lockup, and 3 month lockup periodsNoOriginating overcollateralized loans

Nexo is one of the most forward-thinking companies when it comes to lending and borrowing. Their BTC lending APYs start at 3% and go up to as high as 7% for holders of the NEXO token who take their APY rewards in NEXO token and lock up their Bitcoin for at least 1 month.

NEXO Token

The core of the Nexo ecosystem is their platform-native NEXO token. The platform provides several loyalty tiers for NEXO holders depending on how much of their portfolio is in NEXO tokens. These rewards range from higher APYs on lending to better terms when borrowing and a whole host of other platform-specific benefits.

Below is a breakdown of the BTC lending APYs for different tiers of NEXO holders:

Base Loyalty TierSilver Loyalty TierGold Loyalty TierPlatinum Loyalty Tier
Percent of Portfolio in NEXO tokensLess than 1% 1% to 5%5% to 10%10%+
APY for Loans with no Lockup Period3%3.25%3.5%4%
APY for Loans with 1 Month Lockup Period+1%+1%+1%+1%
APY if Interest is Paid Out in NEXO instead of BTCNo bonus+0.25%+1%+2%
Maximum BTC APY for Tier4%4.5%5.5%7%

As shown in the table above, APYs are higher when BTC is locked up for a longer period of time and when interest is paid out in NEXO token rather than in BTC. Your Nexo loyalty tier — which is determined by what percent of your Nexo portfolio is in NEXO tokens — also makes a big difference on payouts. After optimizing for all of these factors, your Bitcoin APY can be as high as 7%.

It’s important to note that when choosing to receive your interest payouts in NEXO rather than in-kind (in BTC), you are exposing yourself to the price volatility of the NEXO token. This means that while you net a higher interest rate, your overall earnings may be lower if the NEXO token price drops significantly. This exposure also applies when you buy NEXO to upgrade your loyalty tiers. As with all financial yield, greater reward comes with greater risk, so keep this in mind when weighing your options.

Pros

  • BTC APYs as high as 7%
  • Robust platform token that provides benefits for all Nexo products
  • Daily interest payouts

Cons

  • High APYs are very reliant on the NEXO token, which can be a volatile asset to hold
  • Not available in the US
  • Platform can be complex for new investors

How to Lend BTC via Nexo


Step 1: Head to https://nexo.io/ and sign in or create an account.

Lend BTC with Nexo

Step 2: Head to the Assets section of your dashboard and select BTC– you’ll see the specific interest rate that Nexo offers.

Lend BTC with Nexo

Step 3: Click Top Up on the pop-up menu that comes up after selecting BTC. Select the amount of BTC you want to lend, and you'll start earning interest the next day.

Lend BTC with Nexo

Read our full Nexo review.

BTC Lending and Taxes

The interest you receive from lending out your BTC is taxed as regular income. Most exchanges will track your profits and will provide you with organized tax documents at the end of each year, which will allow you to easily report your income from lending.

To better understand your tax liability when you lend Bitcoin, let’s look at a specific example. If you lend out $20,000 worth of Bitcoin at a yearly APY of 3%, you will end up with $20,600 after 12 months (ignoring Bitcoin price fluctuations). In this case, you have earned $600 in interest.

The IRS treats this $600 as income, and it will be tacked on to the rest of your income for the year. Depending on what tax bracket you end up in, you will pay a marginal tax rate on this $600, along with the rest of your income accordingly.

Bitcoin appreciation also incurs a capital gains tax when Bitcoin is sold. Keep in mind that you are also liable for taxes on the amount that your lending yield has appreciated in price after you have received it.

DeFi BTC Lending

Centralized exchanges are not the only way to lend your Bitcoin. You can also use Decentralized Finance (DeFi) solutions to lend out your BTC. In DeFi, you are still lending to borrowers, however, you are doing it more directly and without going through an opaque exchange.

The only third party you go through is a DeFi platform that finds borrowers for your funds, facilitates the transaction, and ensures each party holds up their part of the deal.

DeFI platforms are automated and governed by code in the form of smart contracts written on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s important to note that in order to trade BTC through DeFi, you will need to convert it to “wrapped” Bitcoin (wBTC). wBTC is an Ethereum-compatible token that represents Bitcoin.

The price of wBTC is the same as the price of BTC, so it is an accurate proxy for the BTC asset. Once your DeFi lending completes, you can always convert your wBTC back to regular BTC. Find our picks for the best DeFi platforms that support lending wBTC here.

To Sum it Up

Lending Bitcoin is a great way to earn some passive income on your Bitcoin. It’s not without risks, however, and it’s important to accurately weigh your risk tolerance when considering different lending platforms.

Lending can be a good idea when you have unused Bitcoin sitting around, and you are confident that the price of it will not fall significantly. Keep in mind that, on some platforms, once you loan out your Bitcoin, you will not be able to move it out until the lending period is over.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does BTC lending cost?

  • Can I borrow against my BTC?

  • Where can I lend Bitcoins?

  • What are the BTC lending rates?

  • What is the best BTC interest rate?

  • How do you earn interest on BTC?



Contributors

  • Avatar of George Hristov

    George is a tech writer interested in web3 startups and communities. In the dynamic world of crypto, he stays plugged in to the day-to-day headlines, deep dives, and industry commentary.

  • Avatar of Shannon Ullman

    Shannon Ullman is a senior editor for DeFiRate.com. Shannon specializes in cryptocurrency and personal finance. Her work has appeared in publications like The Motley Fool and Insider.