Ledn Review Key Takeaways
- High compounding interest rates: Save and earn up to 12.5% on USDC and 6.10% on BTC, all accrued daily and paid/compounded monthly, with no lock-in periods or native token staking required. Withdrawal fees are free for BTC and $10 per USDC withdrawal.
- Limited currency options: presently, only USDC and BTC are supported. More currencies will be added in future, but this is a major drawback.
- Security is taken seriously: Insured by BitGo, the majority of funds are kept in cold storage, and the platform is insured up to $100 million.
- Simple over collateralized loans, but fees are above average: Use your BTC as collateral with a 50% loan to value (LTV) ratio and receive a loan in USD or USDC within 24 hours, which can be paid back over a 12-month term, or paid back early without penalty. This is tax efficient, as users keep their underlying asset. There’s a $500 minimum and 2% origination fee on all loans and the loan can be extended after the 12 month period by paying the origination fee again. The interest rate is 12% APR paid in 1% monthly instalments, or paid in one lump sum when paying off your loan in full.
- Slow withdrawals: Withdrawals typically take between 24-72 hours.
- Backed by Genesis: one of the biggest and most trusted institutional borrowers. Ledn operates through lending deposits to their partner exchange.
What is Ledn? An Overview
Ledn is a Canadian based cryptocurrency savings and loan platform founded in 2018, which complies with the federal laws and regulations of the region. Their aim is to provide world-class financial products for the crypto economy. It is both refreshing and reassuring to see a crypto loans/savings platform that isn’t registered in a tax haven.
They describe their mission as a commitment to building world-class financial services catered to the crypto economy. Their platform is limited but easy to use, available on web, iOS and Android. accessible via web and mobile. Never undertaking an ICO, this platform makes money via lending deposits to their partner, Genesis; cited as one of the biggest and most trusted borrowers.
Ledn takes security seriously both for their own platform and for user accounts. They’re partnered with BitGo, leading crypto custodians, who insure the assets on the platform against security breaches for up to $100 million. Please note that this insurance does not cover loss of currency from user error, please stay secure at all times.
Straightforward yet limited
Whilst Ledn is straightforward and simple, it lacks many features offered by its competitors. BTC is the only collateral option for loans, BTC/USDC are the only supported savings options, and loan payouts are only paid in USDC/USD.
Does Ledn Have Loyalty Levels?
Unlike many other CeFi platforms, Ledn doesn’t have its own native token and doesn’t require you to staking to receive preferential rates. All users receive the same rates on savings and loans.
Verification, deposit and withdrawals
Verification and KYC
On signup, users are required to complete KYC checks via 3 steps: basic personal info, official document upload (passport, drivers license, etc.), finally followed by a verification selfie via the third-party app: Persona. This does compromise anonymity, but it’s essential to comply with Canadian Federal law and regulation. Ledn also conducts AML (anti-money laundering) checks to further combat fraud.
After completing the mandatory onboarding steps, they state that they will respond/verify within 24 hours. However, I think this is rare since my account was verified within 3 minutes of me sending the request. This was one of the fastest KYC verifications we’ve seen on any platform we’ve reviewed. Despite all of these security checks, there are no credit check requirements.
Once signed up, Ledn enables two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS as standard, and further 2FA via your authenticator app can be added in the user settings. This is highly recommended since it’s more secure than SMS.
Users can make deposits of any amount, at any time in Bitcoin and USDC without fees. The deposit process is very simple, and funds are automatically added to the savings account, which will start earning interest straight away.
To withdraw your funds, you will have to submit a request through the platform and complete 2FA checks. Withdrawals typically take 24-72 hours, and whilst there are no fees for BTC outside of standard network/miner fees, Ledn does charge $10 for each USDC withdrawal which is pretty high compared with several competitors. The savings APR is high at 12.5% which should make it worth it for most deposits, but it obviously makes sense to only take out larger USDC amounts when you need to to avoid unnecessary fees.
Security and Insurance
Since its founding in 2018, Ledn has never suffered from a security breach or hacks. Customer accounts utilise industry-standard 2FA via SMS, with the option to add additional 2FA via an authenticator app. This would be safer as standard, but at least it’s there as an option.
Ledn also insures themselves with the help of leading crypto-custodians BitGo which hold the majority of digital assets in cold storage across institutional-grade vaults throughout Canada. Digital assets of up to $100m are insured in the event of loss due to third-party hacks, copying/theft of private keys. They also cover insider theft or “dishonest acts by BitGo employees or executives”.
Whilst 2FA with SMS is enabled as standard, we would like to see 2FA via authenticator as standard since it is much more secure. In addition, the mobile app lacks security features such as biometric (fingerprint) scanning. One unique feature not commonly seen was optional token authentication; a protocol allowing users to identify their identity and receive a unique access token. This token is invalidated once the user quits the app or logs out, making a great alternative to traditional password-based authentication; or for use in conjunction for even greater security.
How do Ledn loans work?
Ledn is another CeFi platform that offers instant, over collateralised loans with a 50% LTV (loan to value) against your digital assets, with no credit check required. In laymen terms, this means if you deposit a minimum of $500 worth of BTC, you can borrow 50% ($250) against it in either USD/USDC. When you do so your BTC is held as collateral and you can’t withdraw it until you’ve paid back the loan.
Each loan incurs a “greater of” administration fee or $25, or 2%, with all loans typically paid out within 24 hours to a USDC address or USD bank account. Every loan incurs a 12% annual interest rate (APR), paid in monthly instalments of 1% for a maximum of 12 months. Loans can be paid back anytime without penalty, and you only pay interest for the months you use.
Below you can see a screenshot of the simple dashboard used to take out loans:
Ledn margin calls: What happens if the value of your assets decreases?
The initial loan to value (LTV) when you take a loan is a maximum of 50%. If the value of BTC decreases during the period you’ve taken out your loan, that means that your LTV increases. Ledn has a feature to liquidate part of your assets if your LTV reaches 79%. This is called a margin call LTV. Before this happens though, Ledn will ask users to deposit more collateral into their wallet or pay off some of the principal to prevent the liquidation.
Here’s an example:
- The original value of collateral: $1000 in Bitcoin
- Initial loan amount: $500 (50% LTV)
- Value of collateral if Bitcoin price were to decrease significantlyy: $630
- (500/630)*100% = 79%.
In the above example, if your original $1000 in BTC decreases to $630, you’ll need to add more collateral or risk liquidation.
What happens if the value of your assets increases?
Users keep any gain in the value of their asset, only owing the balance of their initial loan which remains unaffected by BTC price.
Taking loans is tax efficient!
Due to the nature of a crypto-based loan, users still keep the underlying asset. As no assets are sold when you take out a loan with Ledn, it is not a taxable event, meaning that you can keep your crypto whilst releasing capital.
What assets are supported as collateral?
Currently, this platform only offers one collateral option, BTC. We would love to see more options in future and is a major drawback compared to other crypto loan platforms we’ve reviewed.
Can’t find your asset? Check out our loan comparison tool for more information >>
What is the minimum loan amount?
$500, which would require $1000 of collateral.
How long does it take to receive funds?
Loans take no more than approx. 24 hours for funds to appear, however, withdrawals take ~24-72 hours.
Ledn B2X Leverage / Increased Exposure
The Ledn B2X product is a leverage trading product that allows you to double your exposure to BTC. If you have 1 BTC, it means you have the increased exposure to 2 BTC. If the price increases, you can sell and keep the difference. Likewise, if the price decreases, you may have to sell for double the loss. You can read more about leverage trading here.
How much do Ledn Loans cost?
Each loan incurs a 2% administration fee or $25, whichever is greater. Ledn charges a fixed 12% APR which is charged in 1% monthly instalments for up to 12 months. If you want to extend, you can either apply for an extension which will incur another origination fee of 2%. If you want to pay off their loan early, you’ll incur no additional fees or early repayment penalties. And, since interest is calculated daily, you only have to pay for the days that your loan is active.
As it stands, there is currently no “loyalty level” scheme like with other platforms like Nexo, so all users receive the same rates and fees.
How much can you borrow with Ledn?
There is no set limit as you can loan up to 50% of your collateral value. There is a $500 minimum loan.
Repaying Ledn Loans
Each loan is open for up to 12 months and remains available for repayment at any time, without penalty and at no extra cost to the user. Alongside this, users can also extend their loan period, however, this may incur additional fees.
Ledn Loan Summary / Verdict
Ok, but not great. Ledn is a simple, but limited loan platform suitable for BTC holders, as this is the only collateral option they offer. Users are also limited on the loan payout options for which only USDC/USD are available, and there are no fiat-to-crypto options. We do think this platform needs more currency options, especially considering many of their competitors offer 30+ asset options, multiple fiat choices and just as many assets to loan against.
Despite its obvious limitations, Ledn is flexible and easy to use; allowing users to pay off their loans at any time or even extend the loan period beyond 12 months.
The 12% APR charge on loans is reasonable, but when you consider the 2% administration fee for loans (or greater of $25), this is a significant addition to their APR which actually makes Ledn one of the more expensive loan options when you compare them with others.
How to use the Ledn savings account
To start earning interest on your BTC/USDC, you just need to deposit funds into your savings wallet and you’ll start earning interest right away (BTC: 6.10%/USDC: 12.5%). There is no minimum required balance or lock-in term, and interest compounds monthly, so you’re actually earning interest on your interest each month. There are no withdrawal fees on BTC, but USDC withdrawals will incur a charge of $10 USDC.
Flexible savings account (no lockup term)
Although offering a fixed rate of interest, there are no withdrawal limits or lock-in periods which is great for users. APY remains the same, no matter how long the loan.
Compounding monthly interest
There is no minimum balance required. As soon as you deposit, you’ll start earning monthly compounding interest on USDC and/or BTC. There are no loyalty levels or native token staking for higher rates, and all interest payments are compounded monthly.
The Ledn Negatives:
- Limited asset options – As it stands, users can only use BTC as collateral and receive loans in USDC/USD. Although their team state plans to include more assets in the future, these highly limited options fail to meet the requirements of many.
- CeFi which means regulation – In compliance with Canadian financial regulations and laws, this platform must still undergo regulation and isn’t decentralised; requiring KYC and AMC checks which compromise anonymity.
- No exchange or fiat onboarding – No surprises here, with only 3 total asset options (BTC, USDC, USD), it seems pointless for this platform to have an exchange or fiat on ramp.
- Quite high loan rates / fees – Although only paid in 1% monthly instalments, the 12% APR on loans plus 2% origination fee makes it more than competitors like Nexo.
- Support can be slow – There’s no live support, and email response can be slow at times. Robot representation is stressful for those with large amounts saved with this platform, as automated responses are often inaccurate and tiresome.
- Mobile / web app – The overall design of the app is very basic and barebones, although it does get the job done with few features, it lacks the super slick UI/UX of many competitors.
Is Ledn legit?
Yes, they do a lot right! This platform is clear from any controversy, with a great track record, backing from major companies like Coinbase Ventures, and no security breaches to date. Their rates are consistent their products are straightforward to use. They’re backed by BitGo, a leading crypto custodian that offers insurance coverage of up to $100m against third-party hacks, copying/theft of private keys. The majority of assets are kept in cold storage with proof of reserve, stored in secure vaults across Canada. In partnership with Genesis, claiming the title of “world’s largest digital asset lender”. Lastly, this company are in full compliance with Canadian financial regulations and laws, ensuring accountability and legal practice in a company that isn’t a tax haven.
Summary: is Ledn a good company?
We like Ledn, however, their products are very limited. Their lack of asset options, payout options and fiat onboarding leave them behind many competitors, and their UI/UX feels like they’re still in Beta. They also really need to improve their support, which is currently just a chatbot relaying FAQ relevant to your message. There are some novel features, like their B2X leverage product, but even this is extremely limited when compared to leverage trading on an exchange like Bittrex, or even to companies with far superior user interfaces like YouHodler Multi HODL.
Their fees are pretty high on loans. With a 2% admin fee + 12% APR, it’s more expensive, with fewer features than other competitors like Coinloan and others which only charging a 1% “origination fee” and have way more options.
To conclude, Ledn is good for BTC holders looking for stable USD/USDC loan/savings rates. Personally, I would leave some of my portfolio on this platform, simply to earn interest and diversify, but it lags behind many other competing companies we’ve reviewed on multiple factors.