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Pain at the pump is real, but that’s not the high gas fees seasoned crypto traders are talking about. They’re actually referring to the cost of transferring crypto on the Ethereum network. Gas fees are based on real time demand. When Bored Ape Yacht Club began minting again in May 2022, gas fees rose to $3,500.
Surely there’s a proverbial hero to rescue this new Gotham City? According to some, it’s Polygon. Polygon prides itself on “web3 for all,” focusing on solving scalability issues on Ethereum with a high focus on decentralization.
Polygon’s native token is MATIC, and it’s possible to hold MATIC both for working within the community as well as through MATIC lending.
- MATIC lending is compatible with both CeFi and DeFi; you can choose which path works best for you.
- Polygon uses PoS (proof-of-stake) consensus, so you can stake or lend your tokens.
- You always get to choose how long to lend your MATIC; it’s a flexible way to pull in passive income.
What is MATIC lending?
MATIC lending is all about offering up MATIC, Polygon’s native utility token, for borrowers to use for trading or other purposes. Borrowers then repay the loan by the end of the term with the hopes of having a profit leftover after trading or investing. In exchange for lending out MATIC, the lenders receive an interest yield in return.
The amount of interest you can earn on lending MATIC depends on the platform. As of August 2022, Gemini advertises APYs of 5.43% and Nexo advertises up to 14% for MATIC lending, but this can vary widely based on principal amount, the lending platform, and the length of deposit.
How does MATIC lending work?
MATIC lending is divided into two distinct segments: CeFi MATIC Lending, and DeFi MATIC Lending. The paths do differ, but they have one basic goal: your tokens are locked in for a set period of time and interest is gained in exchange for tying up your tokens for the time period of your choice. Typically, they are deposited into a liquidity pool that borrowers then borrow from, or they are deposited into an interest-bearing account to be available for platforms to lend to borrowers.
Depending on the platform, the Polygon token rewards earned from lending your tokens will either deposit into the wallet of your choosing, or you can have them compounded with your lending account on the platform.
When users borrow MATIC, they also put up collateral, worth 50% to 150% of the total amount they borrow. They don’t have to use fiat currency, almost any other token can be used, as long as the borrower puts up enough to meet the loan-to-value requirements. In case they lose their loan in trading or margins, which is possible, the borrower’s collateral is liquidated to ensure the investment isn’t completely lost.
CeFi MATIC lending
The easiest way for beginners to dive into lending MATIC is through a centralized finance platform, like Coinbase or Gemini. With most CeFi lending platforms, users can buy MATIC and then lend it out on the same platform. CeFi lending platforms focus on making it as easy as possible to get involved in their ecosystems, which has a lot of advantages for purchasing and lending MATIC. So you can get MATIC, hold it on the exchange, and the exchange does the heavy lifting in terms of making your tokens available to borrowers in exchange for interest rewards.
Pros and cons of CeFi MATIC lending
- Easy on-ramp into lending for beginners
- More regulated
- Clear loan terms
- Tokens are not in your control
- Lengthy verification process
- MATIC isn’t as popular as other tokens
Pros of CeFi MATIC lending
Many CeFi lending platforms make it easy for beginners to set up a wallet, buy MATIC, and start lending it. After completing the KYC verification process on a CeFi MATIC lending platform, users can easily fund their wallets with fiat currency, purchase Polygon tokens, and then offer it up to lend.
Customer support available
CeFi lending platforms typically have a robust customer service help desk compared to their DeFi counterparts. If you have trouble with your account or need assistance, platforms usually have chat, email, and or phone support to contact customer service and get help.
Clear loan terms
You always know how long your MATIC tokens are going to be locked in for interest-generating purposes. Depending on the lending platform, you may also choose to lend with flexible terms, meaning you can pull your tokens at any time, however, you may not receive an APY as high as the platform advertises if you choose this route.
Cons of CeFi MATIC lending
Custodial lending means that the platform holds your tokens and has custody of them until you initiate withdrawal. If the platform was hacked or failed completely, you could lose your entire investment. This is how most CeFi lending platforms and exchanges work, so users who can navigate non-custodial DeFi platforms confidently should consider this a dealbreaker.
Centralized crypto platforms that want to operate in the United States must adhere to policies in the Bank Secrecy Act and require a user verification process, known as KYC, or Know Your Customer. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete and you must submit your personal information, which is at risk in the event of a data breach.
MATIC isn’t as popular
Lending Polygon isn’t as popular as other coins like ETH, DAI, or a number of stablecoins that people typically borrow. The price of MATIC itself is also quite low, compared to other currencies. For this, its presence in CeFi crypto lending is limited and you’ll be hard-pressed to find options for MATIC lending in the CeFi space.
DeFi MATIC lending
While beginners tend to lean towards CeFi lending, more seasoned and experienced crypto users tend to prefer DeFi lending for multiple reasons. In terms of DeFi MATIC lending, there is a greater sense of working directly with the community at large while getting passive interest income in return.
DeFi Polygon lending keeps the tokens in your custody, using smart contracts to automate everything between the lender and borrower. There’s a higher degree of control, but with control often comes having to handle more things yourself.
Pros and cons of DeFi MATIC lending
- No identity verification required
- Community-driven lending
- Flexible smart contract
- More complexity
- Less customer support
- No safety net
Pros of DeFi MATIC lending
No ID verification
Interacting with and using DeFi MATIC lending platforms doesn’t require the same identity verification process that CeFi platforms do. Because of this, you have anonymity in your MATIC lending and security breaches won’t compromise your personal data.
DeFi exchanges focus on being more “by the people, for the people” than their centralized counterparts. If you own some of the lending platform’s native token, then you may have a say in protocol updates. Your participation in a DeFi lending protocol itself also helps keep decentralized finance alive.
Smart contracts drive DeFi platforms, and cut out the middleman. With a smart contract, certain actions are automatically triggered when certain conditions are met, speeding up the process of depositing and withdrawing your MATIC tokens.
Cons of DeFi MATIC lending
Beginners may find themselves lost at first with DeFi Polygon lending protocols. It requires more knowledge of verifying transactions, market volatility, and personal data security to ensure your funds and tokens are safe.
Less customer support
Since so much of DeFi MATIC lending is community-driven, expect to find little to no customer support. Instead, you may have to head to the token’s forums and wiki guides to troubleshoot issues on your own.
No safety net
It’s always best to be careful before you click, as there are no safety nets in DeFi lending. If you fall victim to a scam and lose your MATIC tokens, there are little to no recourse options to regain them.
MATIC lending vs. staking
MATIC does use the proof-of-stake protocol to generate more tokens and verify new blockchains, making it possible to actually stake MATIC, not just lend it out. But what’s the difference between lending and staking MATIC?
Lending out Polygon is offering up your coins to be available to borrowers, who then use MATIC for trading or other purposes. Borrowers pay interest on their loan and you recieve it, much like peer-to-peer lending in traditional finance.
The most common way to stake MATIC is to lock up your tokens with a validator. When that validator is chosen to verify a new blockchain on the Polygon network, it receives the network’s native tokens—in this case, MATIC—as a reward. Those rewards are then shared with the people who pooled their tokens together to increase the chance of that validator node being chosen to verify the new blockchain. Staking MATIC reinvests back into the Polygon network and helps the project at large.
You can stake some of your MATIC and lend some of your MATIC, so it doesn’t have to be completely one or the other.
MATIC lending taxes
Just like with fiat currency, lending out crypto tends to lead to interest. Interest is considered taxable income in most jurisdictions. However, every area is a little bit different. It is always a good idea to speak with a qualified tax professional to address how to build a solid crypto-friendly tax strategy.
After all, it isn’t just about what you owe, but how you account for it and reduce the amount owed. Handling losses is just as important as reporting gains.
Final thoughts on lending MATIC
Like lending out any crypto, there is always some risk. However, lending Polygon is a relatively low-risk investment, and your tokens can earn you interest passively. Make sure to do your research to find the best platform on which to lend your MATIC, whether it is a CeFi or DeFi lending platform. If you prefer flexibility in pulling out your tokens, DeFi might be the better option, but if you want ease-of-use and beginner-friendly interfaces, CeFi could be the route you need.
Frequently asked questions about MATIC lending
Is MATIC lending safe?Expand to learn more
Given the power of both CeFi and DeFi platforms, MATIC lending is fairly safe. On the CeFi side, the centralized exchanges want to retain users, and the DeFi side always wants to see the community grow and bring in even more MATIC.
Should I lend my MATIC?Expand to learn more
There are no guarantees in crypto, but lending out MATIC is a great way to get advertised interest and other incentives.
Where is the best place to lend MATIC?Expand to learn more
While the best place will depend on your specific investing goals, we recommend Gemini for ease-of-use, and Fulcrum for a powerful DeFi platform.
What are the risks of lending MATIC?Expand to learn more
Once locked in, there is little risk involved with lending MATIC, since loans are typically over-collateralized. However, there is a risk if there’s a centralized exchange failure or policy change that freezes your tokens.
How much can I earn from lending MATIC?Expand to learn more
The amount you can earn from lending MATIC depends on the advertised interest for the exchange of your choice. If you lent $1,000 of MATIC (about 1,131.464 MATIC) at Gemini’s advertised rate of 5.43% for a year, your investment would grow to a total of 1,192.90 MATIC.
Will I owe taxes on MATIC lending?Expand to learn more
It is possible that you will owe taxes on MATIC lending, but the rest of your taxable income sources will play a role in your total tax liability. Seek out a qualified tax professional that can go over the full picture of your finances.