Nexo could be considered the “Coinbase” of crypto lending. Like Coinbase’s crypto exchange, Nexo provides easy to use and understand tools for participating in finance with digital assets. Additionally, it also caters to US traders and investors (especially newbies) who are often restricted from up and coming DeFi protocols and decentralized crypto exchanges, either because of regulations or due to their complexity.
Nexo’s fully regulated platform offers user-friendly financial services similar to those at your local bank, only better and with crypto. For instance, you can earn interest on your crypto “savings” with decidedly higher APYs than you’d earn with a savings account at your bank (albeit the underlying assets are more volatile).
Nexo also provides an easy way to use your crypto to lend and borrow for fiat, only without a bank’s application process and credit checks. Users may even borrow in stablecoins like USDC and Tether. Unlike your local bank, Nexo is available in over 200 global regions. Unlike Coinbase, you can borrow and lend crypto assets while still maintaining full ownership over them, as well as their upside.
In addition to the banklike features of savings and lending, you can also use Nexo for instant swaps between over 75 crypto assets on an exchange that carries digital asset insurance and institutional grade cold storage via BitGo.
As banklike as Nexo seems, the project does plan to roll out increased paths to decentralization, including instituting a governance token for the use in voting on the direction of the protocol, just as you see with other DeFi projects like Compound and Uniswap.
After a quick sign up process, Nexo users can transfer some digital assets into their wallet to open a collateralized credit line. The limit on each individual’s credit line depends on the current market value of the digital assets in your Nexo account. For instance, if you are holding Bitcoin or Ethereum as collateral, your credit line will be 50% of your account balance in those coins. Other (more volatile, less liquid, and more risky) crypto assets have varying percentages as to how much a user’s credit line will be.
In the US, the average interest rate on a savings account is currently 0.05% (remember when they were closer to 5%?). Nexo crypto asset “savings accounts” earn up to 12%, paid daily and compoundable. It doesn’t take advanced math skills to calculate the disruptive value propositions that crypto assets make.
For depositing crypto assets, Nexo supports 15+ cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. Generally, the less volatile and risky the crypto, the higher the interest rate. Additionally, users have the option to receive +2 basis points if they choose to receive their interest payments in Nexo’s exchange token, $NEXO.
Interest rates in Nexo savings accounts vary by coins as well as with market fluctuations.
It takes about 24 hours for you to start earning interest once you’ve funded a Nexo savings account.
While Nexo does support token swaps and fiat exchanges, it is centered mainly on the lending and borrowing side of business. The crypto swaps are instant and seamless, with 75+ crypto and fiat pairs available.
There are no advanced trading tools or charting mechanisms; the swap interface is simple and designed more of a digital asset savings portfolio than an investment portfolio.
The minimum exchange amount is $40 and the maximum is $50,000. There is no limit to how many exchanges one can make.
The Nexo card allows people to easily use their crypto backed credit lines at over 40 million merchants. Cash back rewards are available for purchases and payments are made in the user’s local fiat. There are no monthly or yearly fees; just the interest on the borrowed line of credit.
Although it’s not termed as crypto “staking”, Nexo does allow its users to gain value in the form of better interest rates by holding the Nexo token ($NEXO) in a wallet on the platform. A Loyalty program grants users with different tiers that have varying user benefits:
Nexo does not provide in-app pop up instructions as you might see on crypto exchanges like Binance and Gemini. But what they do provide is content that is thorough, easy to understand and available in many formats.
The Nexo homepage is filled with resources for Nexo users. They have a vibrant blog and YouTube channel filled with Nexo how-to’s, market updates, AMAs, interviews and crypto-based educational articles and videos.
Nexo has a zero fee policy. It’s revenue modely, unlike most crypto exchanges, is based on interest income from their loan programs.
Nexo does have limitations as far as how much a user may withdraw, as follows:
Users may make between 1 and 15 crypto withdrawals per month, depending on their Loyalty Tier (described in the $NEXO section above). For digital assets, the minimum withdrawal amount depends on the cryptocurrency. For instance the minimum Bitcoin withdrawal is .001 BTC, whereas the minimum for USDT is 2 Tether, and for Tron is 20 TRX (subject to change).
There are 3 verification levels at Nexo and they are fully KYC compliant. Withdrawal limits are based on the verification level (see withdrawal limits in above section).
Starter Verification: Email address only
Basic Verification: Name, address, phone number and email address
Advanced Verification: Basic information plus photo ID
What are AML and KYC?
As part of a range of Anti Money Laundering regulations mandated nationally and internationally, KYC involves the requirement of companies to verify each customer’s identity during the onboarding process. Verification is achieved by submitted identification, proof of ownership, and personal information such as name, address, email address, phone number and tax I.D. number.
Navigating Nexo is extremely easy and intuitive; it is much less complex than any crypto exchange, but still allows users to freely exchange fiat currencies, stablecoins and crypto. The UI is similar to many banking and payment applications and will not in itself be a barrier to entry for Nexo to scale.
By providing high quality user information and superior educational resources (to most exchanges), Nexo mitigates many of the security problems that arise when uneducated newcomers enter the crypto space. Additionally, one of their CoFounders, Antoni Trenchev, is a former member of the Bulgarian Parliament as well as long term legal advisor and a Certified Anti Money Laundering specialist.
Currently, Nexo has over $4 billion in assets under management, over a million users and over $5 billion in funds processed during the last two years. They are partnered with BitGo, a leading company in crypto custody, and are dedicated to increasing insurance coverage, becoming more decentralized, and instituting a community governance model.
Nexo provides a unique twist on DeFi and crypto exchanges, bringing together a swap protocol with a very modern savings and loan program that intermeshes fiat, crypto and stablecoins to blow away available rates now available at traditional banks. They provide a platform for users to dabble in cryptocurrencies with a large insurance policy in place and a trusted cold storage provider.
With zero fees for exchanges, Nexo makes a great place to manage digital assets, earn on digital asset holdings, and borrow in a collateralized way that may be much safer than many of the 10x leverage products available in crypto markets.