Our take on Nexo
The bottom line:
Nexo has proven to be a solid competitor to many of its contemporaries – offering numerous options to crypto users with programs for loaning, credit cards, and loyalty. While the best of the platform is locked to those living outside of the U.S., anyone that falls within that sphere is able to find a solid space to invest in Nexo.
Best for crypto rewards
On Nexo's website
Nexo is a centralized lending institution that has been serving crypto users since 2018. This platform, while one of many exchange options available to crypto enthusiasts, stands out in large part because it enables its users to unlock the value of their cryptocurrency holdings without having to sell their tokens. That alone has likely been a significant contributor to the rapid growth of this platform.
In addition to the unique value-add featured offered by this platform, Nexo offers instant crypto-backed loans and crypto interest accounts. Users who have undergone a standard Know Your Customer verification process and have deposited cryptocurrency into their Nexo account can utilize the platform’s credit line options. And, those with an eye on interest-earning opportunities for tokens like Ethereum, Bitcoin, USDC, or any of the other crypto assets supported by Nexo can access competitive interest rates by utilizing this platform.
But while Nexo offers a variety of features to crypto users, the reality is that crypto enthusiasts have plenty of platforms and exchanges to choose from these days. And, as with any other financial platform, the pros and cons of each platform can vary — and that includes Nexo. If you’re curious about what Nexo may be able to offer you, or if you’re weighing the options for crypto platforms, here’s what you need to know about Nexo.
Nexo pros and cons
Numerous features and products for crypto users
Loyalty earning opportunities
Transparent security measures
Loan options for users
No benefits without native token
Unique earning opportunities
Nexo enables users to deposit stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies to earn a return on their deposits. Various fees, rates, and limits are directly related to the level of the loyalty program a user reaches in the exchange. All interest payments are made on a daily basis and users can withdraw their deposited assets at any time. You can earn on both stablecoins and other tokens supported by Nexo.
The loyalty level increases as a user invests more in the native token of the exchange, NEXO, and can incur benefits such as lowering interest rates on loans from 13.9% down to 6.9%. With this model, users are able to generate higher interest rates on deposits based on having a minimum allocation of NEXO tokens in their portfolio. Additionally, by accepting their interest payout in NEXO, users can get an additional +2% bonus on top of their boosts from the loyalty tier.
Transparency in security
A notable issue plaguing many of the centralized platforms that compete with Nexo is a lack of clarity and freedom of information in regards to their security practices. Luckily, Nexo has done a fine job in ensuring that this is not an issue on their platform — and has an easily navigable interface to view the different ways in which they ensure their users’ data and assets are secure.
The security practices themselves can arguably be improved upon — but at the very least we are able to have this conversation as a result of the platform’s transparency.
Numerous features and products for crypto users
Nexo takes the same route that many of their contemporaries take in that they have created a network of programs that work with each other to provide a single place for their users to invest, borrow, trade, and earn interest on their tokens. But what is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of Nexo is its credit card, which works off of the user’s given credit through their holdings on the platform.
Nexo also features an ERC20 company token called NEXO, which claims to be the world’s first complaint, dividend-paying, asset-backed token. Nexo shares 30% of its profits with token holders in the form of dividends. The company regularly updates the incentives to encourage token holders to hold their NEXO tokens. For example, NEXO holders receive benefits both on the borrowing side in the form of lower interest rates on their credit line and on the lending side with the higher APYs reserved for NEXO token holders.
Loan options for users
By utilizing Nexo’s crypto banking services, users can put up their crypto assets as collateral and take out instant fiat loans. Their credit lines will also dynamically adjust based on the fluctuation in market prices of their crypto collateral.
With dynamic credit lines offered by Nexo, loans can be backed by a basket of accepted cryptocurrencies, enabling users to utilize their holdings as efficiently as possible. Loans can be paid back with fiat currency via bank wire or with cryptocurrency.
Loyalty programs can be a big benefit to users, but can also add an extra level of complexity to any exchange. While Nexo does its best to make the system simple and navigable to the average user, there’s no doubt that the massive and complicated differences between each tier of the rewards system make it less than enticing in many ways.
No benefits without investing in the native token
With Nexo, there’s not much benefit to using the platform over another option unless you invest in its native token, NEXO. If a user chooses not to invest in NEXO, and instead uses the amenities provided at the base level, they may end up stuck with less than stellar terms, such as a 13.9% interest on loans and a 4% interest rate on their crypto investments, if applicable.
Because of the SEC’s settlement with BlockFi in early 2022, Nexo made a preemptive decision to remove the ability for United States-based users to enjoy a lot of the benefits of the platform — which includes everything under the “Earn” section of their loyalty page. This translates to limited or nonexistent opportunities for U.S.-based users to earn interest on their crypto investments, which is usually one of the biggest selling points of engaging with a platform like this.
Not only that, but the NEXO tokens necessary to level up in the loyalty program are indefinitely unavailable for trade to U.S. investors. While there are workarounds to purchase them, it’s not a simple system, and it greatly increases the effort necessary to engage with this platform — even on its own terms.
What Nexo is best for
- Low-interest crypto loans: Crypto users who want to borrow with the lowest rates possible may find Nexo to be a good option.
- Loyalty-based rewards programs: One of the features that make Nexo a standout is the loyalty program, which rewards users based on different loyalty tiers — and the benefits can be substantial for some tiers.
- Reasonably-sized selection of cryptocurrencies: While Nexo doesn’t offer the most crypto options to users, the selection is fine for most users.
- Transparent security and asset insurance: Security is a big deal in the crypto space, and Nexo is transparent about its efforts — which is a big plus for the platform.
- Centralized exchange: While centralized exchanges require more verification during account setup, these types of platforms can be a great option for new crypto users who are still getting their footing in the space.
Key features of Nexo
In addition to the benefits outlined above, there are a few key features that make Nexo stand out in the crowd. These include:
- Credit card: Nexo’s credit card gives users the potential to purchase everyday items with their crypto backing, which only a few other platforms offer.
- Rewards system: Users outside of the U.S. can invest in Nexo’s native coin, NEXO, and rise through their tier system. As they do so, they’ll gain advantages such as interest on crypto holdings and lower interest rates on lending.
- Low-interest lending: Nexo’s higher loyalty tiers offer very good rates on services such as lending – with their highest tier only requiring a 6.9% interest on their loans.
Nexo Interest Rates
Cryptos listed on Nexo
There are currently about 42 total tokens available on Nexo, including:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
Fees for using Nexo
|Withdrawal||Crypto withdrawal Variable after loyalty-based, fee-free withdrawals have been used|
|Interest on loans||From 13.9% - 6.9% depending on the loyalty tier|
|Trade fees||Uses a “spread’ pre-calculated into the cost of the token|
Alternatives to consider
Not sure Nexo is the right option for you? Luckily, there are plenty of other exchanges that may be a better fit. If you’re looking for alternatives, it may be worth considering:
Coinbase: Good for brand-new users
Nexo has a steep learning curve without the proper resources to usher in new users. If you’re unfamiliar with the crypto landscape or interacting with exchanges, Coinbase is one of the most well-known and accessible platforms available.
Uniswap: Good for users who want to control their own assets
Nexo is a centralized exchange, which means that the platform takes custody of your assets when storing them in the exchange for trading. Users who prefer to maintain control of their own assets may want to consider Uniswap, a decentralized platform and leader in the industry.
Binance.US: Good for users who want more token selections
While Nexo’s token selection isn’t quite as small as some of its competitors, it by no means offers the most options. Users who are looking for more token variety may want to consider a platform like Binance.US, which offers hundreds of different cryptocurrencies to users.
Is Nexo right for you?
Nexo may offer the biggest benefit to users outside of the U.S. Because of the nature of its region-locked programs, any U.S. resident will be unable to be able to take advantage of many of the best features the platform has to offer. Those who are able to take advantage of these programs, though, will gain access to a high number of fee-free withdrawals and low interest loans, both of which can be of big benefit to users.
Final thoughts on Nexo
Nexo is a strong investment platform contender for crypto enthusiasts — especially those users who are based outside of the U.S. It rewards users who continue to stick with the platform for a longer period of time and those who engage with it in ways that ultimately serve the betterment of the platform. While U.S. users can still certainly benefit from features on this platform, numerous benefits are inapplicable. Therefore, it may be worth U.S.-based crypto users finding an exchange elsewhere.
MilkRoad.com reviews cryptocurrency and Web3 products, services, and operators based on five quantifiable metrics to help crypto users understand how they compare based on similar metrics. For the best centralized exchanges, our editorial team compared customer support, 30-day trading volume, fees, cryptocurrencies available to trade, and average mobile app ratings from each operator to rate the top competitors in the space.
Frequently asked questions
Is my crypto safe when using Nexo?Expand to learn more
Yes, your crypto is generally safe when using Nexo. While the platform doesn’t have the traditional banking system backing, Nexo has $750 million worth of insurance for their users’ assets and has the standard account security measures that are common with other crypto exchanges, such as two-factor authentication.
Is the NEXO token a good investment?Expand to learn more
NEXO can be a good investment for some crypto holders, but it depends on the user. While Nexo is less versatile and more general-purpose than a lot of other exchanges, users who are looking for low-interest lending and an interesting crypto-backed credit card can benefit substantially by investing in the native tokens for this platform.
Is the Nexo platform available in the U.S.?Expand to learn more
Yes, U.S.-based users are able to trade on the Nexo platform and can access most of the features that international traders can access. However, the platform’s native coin, NEXO, as well as their “Earn” rewards program, are locked for U.S.-based users.
Does Nexo report to the IRS?Expand to learn more
No, Nexo says it doesn’t report transactions to the IRS, but you should self-report any income earned on the platform to avoid penalties.