Crypto Loans From Reputable Services: BlockFi, Cream Finance, and ChangeNOW Review
People have been taking loans since banks have been around. Whether it’s starting a business, paying bills, or buying the gadget you’ve wanted for a long time, loans can come in handy in getting you closer to your goals. Paying off the loan can also be easier than saving money because you can break it down into manageable chunks.
With the growing popularity of crypto, crypto loans are also becoming a popular way to afford a big buy or get fiat without selling your crypto assets. In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular crypto lending services and what they can offer crypto enthusiasts in return for keeping their crypto.
What is BlockFi? Founded in 2017, BlockFi is a loan service without affiliation to banks. They offer standard functions like buying, selling, and storing crypto, but in addition to that, users can also take out a low interest loan or compound interest on their crypto assets.
The two co-founders Zac Prince and Flori Marquez have years of experience behind them when they started BlockFi in New Jersey. Zac has a background in consumer credit and Flori has worked in portfolio management. Their goal is to facilitate the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and give crypto investors the same opportunities traditional investors have had for decades.
Among their milestones are raising $ 350 million in the last round of funding, by launching a Visa credit card that allows users to earn up to 3.5% in BTC on every purchase and, more recently, by joining the list of companies request a physically supported Bitcoin funds.
As we focus more on loan services in this article, let’s take a look at what terms BlockFi offers. You will need to have crypto assets as collateral that would cover at least 50% of your loan. Loans are issued in US dollars (USD), Gemini dollars (GUSD) or USD Coin (USDC). Guarantee funds are accepted in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) or Litecoin (LTC).
The minimum loan amount is US $ 10,000. Monthly loan payments can be made by wire transfer or stablecoin. If the value of your warranty decreases, you will receive an email with a warning and recommended action. If the value increases, you can release the excess collateral, if applicable. More information on loan conditions can be found in BlockFi Help Center.
BlockFi fees on loans include an origination fee of 2%. The annual percentage rate (APR) is between 4.5% and 9.75%. The final rate will depend on the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), more collateral means less percentage of APR.
What is Finance Cream? This is a loan protocol that runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is part of desire.finance ecosystem. CREAM stands for “Crypto Rules Everything Around Me”. The platform allows users to obtain cryptocurrency backed loans as well as earn interest on lending their own assets. Cream Finance is also an AMM (Autonomous Market Maker) and allows users to buy and sell cryptos on the platform.
This platform strives to follow the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) system and encourages self-governance. To this end, CREAM is used as a governance token and helps users lend, borrow and invest assets as well as vote on assets that appear on the platform.
Last month there was a flash loan attack on Cream Finance with hackers stealing over $ 100 million in assets. This is just another bug case that has been exploited and is fixed now. As far as we can understand official Twitter account of the platform, the funds of the users affected by this hack will be refunded through the network charges.
To take out a crypto loan on Cream Finance, you will need to deposit a crypto collateral worth more than the crypto you are borrowing. This is called oversizing. For example, you can borrow USDT instead of your BTC, therefore, get money to spend while enjoying an uptrend in your crypto. The limit on the funds you can borrow depends on the crypto used as collateral. The list of corresponding cryptographic and collateral factors is available here.
These loans are available without KYC or credit checks which are more attractive than traditional bank loans. There is also no time limit on repaying the loan as long as your collateral does not drop in price. If this is the case and its value is lower, for example, than the allowed 60% of the guarantee factor, part of it can be liquidated to make up the difference.
Advanced users have the option of taking out a flash loan without any collateral (this is the feature that was attacked recently). The fee for taking out a flash loan is only 0.03%. APY on a regular loan will depend on the crypto used as collateral. APY is displayed individually for each user and each asset on the main dashboard of the application.
NOW Loans by ChangeNOW
Change now is a non-custodial instant cryptocurrency exchange that has been running since 2017. They offer instant exchange over 350+ crypto assets and the users can also store their funds in the crypto wallet on the platform. ChangeNOW has also launched its own NOW utility token which helps run the platform. It exists on both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain.
The convenience of ChangeNOW is that most transactions do not require registration or verification, which means any user can trade their funds hassle-free. They also don’t store your funds or ask for your private keys.
ChangeNOW has partnered with many other trusted services like Binance, Uniswap, Atomic, and Cake wallets. They have iOS and Android apps which have been reviewed by thousands of users, proving a good reputation in the crypto community.
Any user registered on ChangeNOW can take out a loan. NOW Ready is another service that was added to this multi-faceted platform earlier this year. Loans can be issued in as little as 5 minutes and are provided in USDT or USDC. For collateral, users can deposit many different crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, DogeCoin, Chainlink, etc.
For all guarantee funds provided, there is a liquidation price (LP). If the crypto you provided goes down and hits this price, it will be liquidated. The minimum collateral amount starts at $ 100 worth of crypto.
NOWLoans have 50% LTV (loan-to-value) and an APR of 10% (annual percentage rate). A handy loan calculator is available to see exactly what fees will need to be paid before you post your collateral and take out a loan. If you close your loan before 30 days, an additional $ 100 will be charged as closing costs.
Make a profit on your loan
Crypto is a unique space where taking out a loan can actually mean you make a profit instead of paying more in interest rates. As ChangeNOW loan page described, a user can deposit their BTC and get USDT back. Then buy more BTC with the USDT received. Hold this BTC while the price is trending up, then sell it at a profit. Use this money to redeem the BTC used as collateral for a loan. So even after paying the APR, users will keep profit as long as the price of BTC has increased enough.
In addition, for most loan services, cash is also required. Even without borrowing, you can let others borrow your crypto and delegate any risk that users won’t pay back to the service itself. In the meantime, you are simply building up the interest in making your crypto work for you.
However, as with any financial decision, it is important to measure the risks and invest only what you can afford to lose.