Nexo review: Is it safe for high yield savings?
Earn yield on cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and fiat all in or borrow a cash loan against your crypto holdings.
Nexo is a borrowing and lending platform focused on digital assets. The platform offers yield-earning accounts for some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and select fiat currencies. Rates can be as high as 12%, which makes it a promising platform for investors looking to put cryptocurrency holdings to work.
|Product Name||Nexo Cryptocurrency Lending|
|Fiat Currencies||EUR, GBP, USD|
|Cryptocurrencies||BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, XLM, BCH, TRX & 5+ more|
Bank transfer (ACH)
What is Nexo and how does it work?
Founded in 2018, Nexo aims to bring popular financial services to the cryptocurrency industry. With over 1.5 million users and US$12 billion in assets under management (AUM), Nexo has become a premier platform in the sector. It can be utilised by lenders looking to earn passive income and borrowers that wish to use cryptocurrency assets as collateral.
The platform offers between 6% and 12% annual percentage yield (APY) for a range of digital assets and fiat currencies. Digital assets range from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Chainlink (LINK), to stablecoins, such as USDC and DAI.
Its beginner-oriented platform is easy to use and was developed for long-term investors looking to earn yield on their funds. Alongside the potential to earn yield, the platform also provides users with the opportunity to borrow funds.
The platform works alongside its native cryptocurrency, NEXO. NEXO token holders are entitled to extra features within the Nexo platform including bonus yield, dividends and access to lower interest rates on loans.
A Nexo cryptocurrency account comes with access to 3 main features:
- Cryptocurrency Earn account. With an Earn account, users can earn yield on cryptocurrency holdings and select fiat currencies. Nexo offers up to 12% annual yield and has a unique daily payout model, where users get credited every day. Funds can be deposited or withdrawn at any time.
- Cryptocurrency credit lines. Nexo cryptocurrency credit lines allow users to deposit digital assets as collateral and borrow either cash or stablecoins. The platform offers automatic approval, without the need for credit checks. Interest starts from 13.9% APR depending on the asset borrowed.
- Nexo card. This Nexo card is accepted at all Mastercard outlets (currently over 40 million merchants). Through the Nexo Wallet app, users can navigate all features and transactions related to a Nexo card. Users can get 2% cashback on all purchases, create virtual cards for online purchases, and monitor transactions in real time.
What fiat currencies are supported?
- Supported fiat currencies: EUR, GBP, USD
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 15 cryptocurrencies
Nexo offers support for 3 fiat currencies. These include the euro (EUR), British pound (GBP), and the US dollar (USD). Users can deposit all 3 into Earn accounts. Although keep in mind that Nexo is not a bank, and fiat deposits do not carry the same protections as traditional banking products like savings accounts.
Lending: Nexo Earn account
One of Nexo's most popular features is the Nexo Earn account. Lenders can open an Earn account and begin earning yield on a variety of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and fiat currencies. Yield is paid daily, with no set period for how long digital assets must be locked in the system before the withdrawal.
Nexo currently offers Earn accounts for 14 different cryptocurrencies listed above. The highest yield is offered to those that deposit the native token NEXO into an Earn account. Users can also earn yield from a further 6 stablecoins including USDT, USDC, PAX, TUSD, DAI and HUSD. When opening an Earn account users have the option to select "Earn in Kind" or "Earn in NEXO". Earn in Kind means that yield is paid in the underlying cryptocurrency of the account. Earn in NEXO means that yield is paid in NEXO tokens. Users receive an extra 2% APY when yield payments are collected as NEXO.
Not only does Nexo offer extremely competitive rates on a range of cryptocurrencies but the platform also offers users the possibility of earning yield on fiat. Users can open either a EUR, GBP or USD Earn account. While NEXO offers an insurance policy on user deposits, fiat currencies deposited onto NEXO do not carry the same protections as fiat deposited into a traditional bank account.
APY on cryptocurrencies ranges from 6% to 12%. They vary based on the cryptocurrency chosen, the amount of NEXO tokens that are within a portfolio, and whether a user would like to receive yield as NEXO or the underlying cryptocurrency. APY for fiat currencies ranges from 10% to 12%.
Borrowing: Nexo crypto credit lines
Nexo offers users the opportunity of instant loans when using cryptocurrency as collateral. These are known as Nexo crypto credit lines. Options for collateral include BTC, ETH, DAI and USDC. The company offers up to a $100 million insurance policy for the custody of such assets.
When creating a loan, a user's annual percentage rate (APR) depends on the amount of NEXO they hold in their portfolio. Without NEXO tokens the platform's loan APR starts at 13.9%. With NEXO tokens the APR can be reduced to 5.9%. Importantly, loan repayments are always rounded up to 30 days. If a user repays a loan within a 30-day period, they will still be charged interest for the full 30 days.
The value of the cryptocurrencies collateralising the loan will greatly influence the amount of credit offered by the platform. If the value of cryptocurrencies reduces, a loan may have to be partially repaid to cover the difference. If the value of cryptocurrencies increases, more credit will be offered.
How to sign up with Nexo
Signing up on the Nexo platform is straightforward. To access the basic features all a user needs to do is register on the platform and then verify their associated email address. Once verified a user will be able to access the majority of features on offer. There are 2 different types of wallets on the platform: an Earn wallet, which earns compounding yield paid out daily; and a credit line wallet, which is used as collateral for instant cryptocurrency loans.
When signing up to Nexo there are 3 levels of verification:
- Starter verification. Only an email address is required for this tier. It permits unlimited top-ups of cryptocurrency deposits but caps daily withdrawal limits at US$20,000.
- Basic verification. A user is required to provide their full name, country of residence, address and phone number. Basic verification comes with the same limits as the starter tier but raises the withdrawals for a credit line wallet to US$2,000,000.
- Advanced verification. The final verification tier requires a user to provide a government-issued ID. This allows users to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies through bank transfers associated with Nexo. Cryptocurrency withdrawal limits are also increased.
Nexo remains loyal to the open nature of cryptocurrencies and allows the majority of features to be accessed from the bottom "starter" verification tier. This means that anybody is eligible to use the majority of cryptocurrency-related products available on the platform.
What does the Nexo token do?
NEXO is the native token of the Nexo platform. It is the underlying asset that contributes to the credit line and yield services. It offers a number of features for its users:
- Interest discounts. Users can get up to a 50% discount on interest rates for cryptocurrency credit loans by holding NEXO tokens within their portfolios.
- Bonus yields. Users can earn an extra 2% APY on cryptocurrency, fiat and stablecoin Earn accounts. The additional bonus is granted when yield is paid in NEXO tokens.
- Free withdrawals. When holding a set number of NEXO tokens in a portfolio, users can get up to 5 free cryptocurrency withdrawals.
- Dividends. 30% of all profits collected by the Nexo platform are redistributed as dividends to NEXO token holders. This includes a base dividend, that is proportional to the amount of NEXO deposited in the platform, and a loyalty dividend, which varies based on the length of time NEXO tokens have been deposited.
Where to buy NEXO in Australia
Nexo offers 3 different types of customer support:
- Online messaging
- Live chat
It also provides social media feeds that are constantly monitored by the support team. Although cryptocurrency platforms usually lack decent customer support, Nexo has created an above-average help centre.
Is Nexo safe to use?
The Nexo group holds legal entities all over the world to remain regulatory compliant in the jurisdictions that it operates within. The company is licensed by FinCEN in the United States and has strict KYC and AML policies that adhere to European, Australian, and Hong Kong legal frameworks.
All funds deposited onto the platform become the custody of Nexo. A user must, therefore, trust Nexo to look after funds once they are within an account. To account for this responsibility, the platform has a dual institutional-grade custodial partnership with BitGo and Ledger. This partnership means the platform is able to offer a US$375 million insurance policy for all users' deposits. While this is promising, it only covers 3% of the claimed US$12 billion worth of assets under management. Nexo claims that the majority of assets are held within offline "cold" storage facilities but what percentage of assets are held there is unknown.
While Nexo ensures that all funds are asset-backed by a portfolio of 200-500% overcollateralised cryptocurrency loans, using a platform such as this always comes with some associated risk. While the policies implemented at Nexo make it as safe as similar cryptocurrency platforms, a user should be comfortable with the potential risks before depositing funds.
Sites like Nexo
Direct competitors to Nexo include BlockFi, Celsius and Crypto.com. Broadly speaking, Nexo offers similar APY on borrowing and lending when compared to these competitors, although they tend to differ on specific cryptocurrencies. One factor that Nexo does stand out on is its insurance policy. However, as previously mentioned, the insurance offered does not cover all assets under management. Before choosing a centralised borrowing and lending platform, we always recommend doing your own research to see which better serves your needs and experience level.
Nexo has successfully brought popular financial services to the cryptocurrency industry and has done so within a platform that is easy to use for inexperienced cryptocurrency investors. Nexo offers a wide range of features, excellent rates for both borrowers and lenders, and has institutional-grade security to guard funds. If you are looking for a way to earn passive income on cryptocurrency holdings, Nexo will likely be a platform worth checking out.
- Beginner-friendly. Nexo has built an approachable and simple user interface, making it ideal for newcomers to the cryptocurrency space.
- Safe. Nexo employs the highest levels of security for its users' funds. Although not void of risk, it does offer comfort that funds will be secure on the platform.
- Support for business accounts. Nexo caters to all users, including institutions.
- Cumulative insurance policy. The US$375 million dollar insurance policy is cumulative for all clients. If there is a black swan event, there might not be coverage for all users.
- Lacks educational resources. Nexo's tutorials and guides are limited and could be improved.