You may have seen a little buzz recently around the Hodlnaut platform and, although not as well known and established at competitors like Celsius/BlockFi/Nexo etc, this chatter is for good reason. If you've followed any of my other articles on similar products you'll know that I'm a big fan of this kind of product. The ability to passively increase my position with cryptocurrency holdings in a reliable and stable manner is invaluable to the everyday investor. These kind of platforms don't require any extensive knowledge of market trends, fancy lines on charts or mad precognition-like skills that some traders have. Instead the formula is one of my preferred mantras:
Save a little, but save often.
What I by this is that regularly saving even a smaller amounts and adding too it as frequently as I am able, combined with compounding interest earning accounts like those offered by Hodlnaut, make long-term crypto-finance goals much less of a fantasy and more an inevitability. Using platforms like this (or this methodology) isn't aimed at getting rich overnight, instead they are for those with patience. It works best well with regular savings, for example each month I buy a small amount of BTC and have done so for the last few years. Then I place the funds in an interested earning account and let the compounding interest take care of the rest. For me this method has worked wonders, it is less stressful and in some respects less market depended so I'm not chart watching, though at time when the markets dip I have picked up a little more when I can.
In this article we're going to take an honest look at how I've found using the Hodlnaut platform to complement my earning/saving strategy. Remember this is not financial advice, be sure to assess if a product is right for you before taking the plunge.
What is Hodlnaut?
Before taking a look at the interface, benefits or any of those juicy rates let's start with the basics. What is Hodlnaut and how does it work?
Hodlnaut comes from the mashup of "hodler" and "astronaut", because for those of us that stack crypto there is really only one place we're planning on going with our funds and that is the moon. So it stands to reason that this platform picked a name that is trying to convey this sentiment.
The Hodlnaut platform is a centralized crypto-finance (CeFi) built around the age old banking combo of savings and loans and effectively works like this:
- 1.) Savers deposit cryptocurrency into Hodlnaut
- 2.) Hodlnaut lends out funds to:
- Financial institutions
- Decentralized protocols
- 3.) Interest earning from lending is distributed:
- Savers earnings appear as interest on deposits
- Hodlnaut takes a portion of the profits
What are the benefits?
- Hodlers are offered extremely competitive rates (some of the best on the market for CeFi) on the following assets: BTC, wBTC, ETH, USDC, USDT and DAI.
- Interest is paid weekly and compounds (this is why you see APY rates next to the APR rates).
- There is no lock-in for funds, savers can deposit an withdraw as needed (though withdrawal/network fees apply)
- There is no minimum deposits which is great for regular savers, any amount will get you started
- If you're concern the market will dip and you want to move to stablecoins there is a built in swap functionality.
What are the risks?
- This is a trust based system, like with any bank, funds are under the control of Hodlnaut while deposited
- KYC (know your customer) requirements are in place meaning collection of personal data for compliance reasons
- There is a chance that borrowers default on loan. Though this is mitigated with:
- 70% or less loan-to-value borrowing
- Strict credit score requirements
- Legal obligations for borrows
- Assets managed using Fireblocks and no hot wallets are used
- Funds are not (by default) insured against hacks while in Hodlnaut's custody
- iTrust insurance available for purchase though: https://www.hodlnaut.com/crypto-guides/how-to-guide-for-buying-nexus-mutual-custody-cover-through-itrust
My Experience (so far)
Setup: Although there were KYC requirements that delayed my setup a couple of days (since it was a weekend when I submitted the info) the set up was pretty easy and straight forward. Probably 10-15mins of my time and then a little waiting time.
Deposit: I started off with a deposit of 0.03 BTC to test out how things went and, as this was over $1000, I got a sign-up bonus ($20 of BTC) instantly. I'll be honest this is a bit steep for beginners, though as referral programs go it has a lot of upside when you refer someone as you receive 10% commission on their interested for life I believe.
Interface: The general interface was easy to navigate and I really like that you can 'interest watch' in real-time. The earning count up and then each week I get an email letting me know when the earnings have been deposited into my account. I also like that the platform is available in both a web App and mobile App as well as offering the usual 2FA security boosts along with facial recognition with my phone.
Swaps: In addition to the basic stuff I was also able to test out the swap functionality through the demo site https://app.hodlnaut.com/demo. This is a really important tool I think as it allows savers with some market awareness to play the trading game on the side. While I wouldn't recommend this being used as the main trading platform (due to the inability to set limit orders, stop-loss etc.) it is handy if you can see the market going for a dip and you want to put your funds into stablecoins for a while to ride out the storm.
Earnings: I've found it useful to be able to see the earning before they are deposited. Also being able to individually set the payout preferences is a neat feature as well, it means if you plan on doing a little swap trading you can set the stable to payout in BTC or ETH to maintain that as your main source of interest.
All in all my first test run (around a month) of Hodlnaut has been great, the platform is smooth and easy to use. There is a focus on just the big daddy cryptocurrencies BTC and ETH as well as some stablecoins, though I am sure that in time they will likely bulk this out with others. The interest rates are really attractive and the major selling point being some of the best available on the market currently (outside of DeFi). I'll be honest I don't like that the insurance is an optional extra that users need to payout for, but on the scale of risk reward they up the reward if you are willing to take the risk. I'd highly recommend that folks take out the insurance if you have a substantial deposit with them.
You can try it out for yourself: http://hodlnaut.com/join/SsQgvcvyB
If you want to give it a go, and support Publish0x at the same time, then how about using the above referral link. This is not my referral but was the one I used to sign up and belongs to the Publish0x team, therefore any bonus earnings go directly to them, it is the easiest way to give back to the platform we all know and love.
Thank you very much for reading, I hope you found the article interesting and will take a look at what Hodlnaut has to offer, good luck y'all!