Rating as of based on a review of services January 4, 2023.
Nexo is a crypto lending and borrowing platform that offers crypto-backed loans and the ability to earn interest on deposited crypto (for non-U.S. residents). It also offers a crypto debit card that allows you to tap into a crypto-backed credit line and earn crypto rewards.
- Long-term HODLers
- Crypto beginners
- Low interest rates
Founded in 2017 as a way for crypto enthusiasts to extract more value from their holdings, Nexo has grown to support over 4 million customers throughout 200+ countries around the world. Nexo also supports over 40 cryptocurrencies and 40 different fiat currencies for use on its native exchange.
Overall, Nexo is a solid crypto lender with an intuitive platform for access to crypto loans at low interest rates.
Pros & Cons
- Access to crypto-backed loans — Rates as low as 0% APR on crypto-backed loans.
- Built-in crypto exchange — Easy-to-use crypto exchange with over 300 trading pairs available.
- Excellent customer service — Live chat support, and from my direct experience, the support team is very responsive and helpful.
- Up to 18% interest on crypto savings accounts — Pays very high rates on crypto interest accounts, though only for non-U.S. residents.
- Interest accounts not available to U.S. residents — As of February 2022, new users from the U.S. can no longer access Nexo interest accounts.
- Must hold NEXO tokens for best rates — Crypto loans only offer rock-bottom rates to holders of the NEXO native token.
How Does Nexo Work?
Signing up for a free Nexo account is a similar process to signing up for a bank account. You will need to sign up with a valid email address, and then submit personal information to verify your identity. This includes providing the following:
- Legal name
- Legal address
- Phone numbers
- Picture of personal ID card (such as a driver’s license)
- Selfie picture
After submitting this information, your account will be verified and you can use any of Nexo’s features.
Nexo allows you to buy crypto with fiat currency (such as USD), and then use that crypto to apply for a loan, or earn interest (for non-U.S. users only). Crypto-backed loans offer rates as low as 0%, and crypto interest accounts pay up to 17% on deposited cryptocurrencies.
Nexo offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS, which has the same functionality as the web version. You can deposit and withdraw crypto, apply for a loan, or apply for the Nexo debit card all within the app.
Read more: Crypto Lending Explained
How Much Does Nexo Cost?
Nexo makes money by charging fees for crypto loans, as well as spread fees through its built-in crypto exchange. There are also fees charged for making crypto withdrawals. Here’s a quick breakdown of the costs on the Nexo platform:
Crypto Loans 0%-13.9% (varies by loyalty level and LTV)
Buy/Trade Crypto Up to 2% spread fee
Deposit Fees None
Withdrawal Fees Varies by currency and loyalty level
Nexo is first and foremost a crypto lending platform that allows you to deposit cryptocurrency as collateral, and borrow against the value of their holdings. This requires depositing crypto onto the platform (or purchasing through the Nexo exchange), and then choosing your loan terms.
Nexo loans are similar to a portfolio line of credit, allowing you to borrow up to a certain percentage of the value of your crypto holdings. Loans are available in both cash or stablecoins, and there are no required monthly payments. Nexo allows you to borrow up to 90% loan-to-value (LTV) on the value of your crypto, depending on the token used for collateral.
Interest rates are based on both the LTV and Nexo loyalty level. The Nexo loyalty level is determined by the amount of NEXO tokens held in a user’s account. Here’s a breakdown of the rates:
Loyalty Level Loan-to-Value (LTV) Interest Rate
Base (no NEXO tokens) Up to 90% 13.9%
Silver (1% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) Up to 90% 12.9%
Gold (5% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) Up to 90% 8.9%
Gold (5% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) ≤ 20% 1.9%
Platinum (10% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) Up to 90% 6.9%
Platinum (10% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) ≤ 20% 0%
There are no origination fees, and interest is only charged on the amount of funds withdrawn from the line of credit, not the total approved amount. There are also no monthly repayment requirements, meaning the loan can be paid back whenever.
Loan minimums are $50 for stablecoin loans, and $500 for fiat loans.
Nexo offers a crypto exchange that supports over 40 cryptocurrencies for buying and selling, as well as trading pairs to swap from one crypto to another. Altogether, there are over 300 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs available for trading.
Nexo doesn’t offer advanced charting or trading tools, and is aimed at beginners and platform users that simply want to buy crypto, or quickly swap between currencies. The order form is very simple, and prices are fixed. Nexo also offers up to 0.5% cash back on swaps, depending on which loyalty tier you are in.
While there are technically no fees for using the Nexo exchange, in my testing there was about a 2% spread between the Nexo price and the market price, meaning that Nexo will collect the difference in price as a fee. This fee is in line with exchanges like Coinbase, but much higher than FTX.us or Binance.us.
Overall, the Nexo exchange is there for the convenience of Nexo users that want to keep their money all on one platform, but it’s not ideal for active or high-volume traders that want to save on fees.
Crypto Debit Card
The Nexo card is tied to Nexo credit line accounts, allowing you to spend money using your borrowed funds. As a debit Mastercard, you can make everyday purchases and the balance of the card is pulled from your credit line.
The Nexo card pays 0.5% cash back in BTC rewards or 2% cash back in NEXO token rewards for every purchase. The card also supports Google and Apple Pay, and offers virtual card numbers for additional security.
The Nexo card comes with no hidden fees, but it does not have the same protections as a credit card. You do not have to make a monthly payment on the card; its balance is simply taken from your existing Nexo credit line. To apply for the Nexo card, you must have an open Nexo credit line in good standing.
Crypto Interest Accounts (Non-U.S. Residents Only)
Nexo has interest-bearing crypto savings accounts for non-U.S. residents, offering up to 18% APY on selected crypto deposits. Interest is paid out every day back into the account, allowing funds to compound.
The highest interest rates are only available to users that elect to earn interest in NEXO tokens, which boost earnings by an additional 2%. Users that are at a higher loyalty level may also earn additional interest. To start earning, you will need to be a non-U.S. verified user and deposit funds into a Nexo Earn account.
* Note: After a $100M lawsuit by the SEC against crypto lender BlockFi, Nexo removed the Earn product for U.S. residents, and new U.S. users as well as existing U.S. users’ deposits can no longer earn interest as of February 19, 2022. U.S. residents with existing deposits in a Nexo Earn account prior to February 19, 2022 can still earn interest, but removed funds cannot be re-deposited.
My Experience Using Nexo
Nexo is an intuitive platform, and I was able to quickly navigate all of its features, as well as get an estimate for how much I could borrow against my crypto portfolio. Even before creating an account, I was able to start up a chat session with the customer service team and get some questions answered within a few minutes.
Having tried out dozens of crypto exchanges, I was pleasantly surprised at how simple everything was on Nexo’s user-friendly customer dashboard.
Though I have not pulled out a Nexo loan or traded on the platform, the overall experience seemed like it would be perfect for beginners, or investors that want instant access to cash without the tax implications of selling their crypto.
Who Should Use Nexo?
Investors that want to HODL their crypto for the long term may benefit from freeing up some of their capital by utilizing Nexo for its crypto line of credit. It’s hard to beat rates as low as 0%.
If you are new to crypto, Nexo offers a very intuitive user experience, making it easy to buy and sell crypto, as well as access cash if needed. While the trading fees can be on the high side, the experience is designed with beginners in mind.
Nexo.io vs. Competitors
Nexo.io BlockFi CoinLoan
Supported crypto 40+ 15 25
Loan interest rates 0%-13.9% APR 4.5%-9.75% APR and 2% origination fee 4.95%-11.95% APR and 1% origination fee
Minimum loan amount $50 (stablecoin) and $500 (fiat) $10,000 Varies by currency
Crypto interest account for U.S.? No Yes (high net-worth clients only) Yes
Crypto card Yes Yes No
Customer support Live chat, email, social media Phone support, live chat, email, social media Live chat, email, social media
BlockFi vs Nexo
BlockFi offers crypto loans on Bitcoin and a few other popular cryptocurrencies. It also offers a built-in exchange and crypto rewards credit card. Similar to Nexo, BlockFi used to offer crypto interest accounts to U.S. residents, but were penalized by the SEC in February of 2022, and now only offers interest accounts to users with $3 million in assets (or more) on the platform.
BlockFi loans only allow users to borrow up to 50% of the value of their crypto, and interest rates are lower for users that borrow at a lower LTV rate. Unfortunately, BlockFi also charges an upfront 2% origination fee, while Nexo does not, making BlockFi much more expensive for borrowing.
Overall, BlockFi is a decent choice over Nexo for users that want a traditional loan instead of a line of credit. But it charges more for crypto loans than Nexo’s LOC, with less cryptocurrencies that can be used as collateral.
Get started with BlockFi or learn more by reading our full BlockFi review.BlockFi Bankruptcy Notice -On November 10, 2022, BlockFi announced that it had to suspend withdrawals from its platform due to the FTX liquidity crisis. As a result, consumers should not be using the BlockFi platform. As of November 28, 2022, BlockFi officially declared bankruptcy.
CoinLoan vs. Nexo
CoinLoan is a crypto lender available in all 50 states, offering crypto loans as well as crypto interest accounts. While supporting fewer coins than Nexo, users can borrow against over 20 cryptocurrencies, and can borrow Euros (EUR), or a selection of crypto, including stablecoins and other currencies. Interest rates range from 4.95% to 11.95%, allowing users to borrow an LTV of up to 70% of the value of their collateral. There is also a 1% origination fee on all loans.
CoinLoan also offers high-yield crypto savings accounts, paying up to 12% on deposited crypto. CoinLoan still offers these accounts to U.S. investors, though ever-changing regulations may change this in the future.
Overall, CoinLoan is a well-designed crypto lending platform that offers decent rates and crypto interest accounts to U.S. investors.
Nexo is one of the top crypto lenders for a reason, offering some of the lowest rates available on crypto-backed loans, as well as a decent selection of currencies. The lack of interest accounts for U.S. investors is a bummer, but they are promising to come out with a new “Yield” offering to fill the gap soon.
If you are looking for a crypto-collateralized loan with low rates and flexible repayment terms, Nexo is my top choice.