For the past 6 months, I have been a regular user of Nexo, BlockFi, and Celsius as a way to earn interest and build my cryptocurrency portfolio. I have used several different exchanges to buy and sell cryptocurrency including Coinbase Pro, Kraken, Binance, and Gemini. I have been a big fan of BlockFi as they allow me to purchase cryptocurrency and earn yield in Bitcoin. Earlier this month when I was looking for a place to purchase Avalanche cryptocurrency, I stumbled on the Voyage Crypto App. This article is not financial advice and I am not recommending that you purchase Avalanche (although it may be worth researching and doing your own due diligence on). I want to share what my initial experience and thoughts are on the Voyager Mobile App. Note that right now Voyager is only available in the US, but I have read that there are plans to add Canada and Europe this year.
The Voyager crypto app is only available in app format. For those familiar, Celsius network is very similar. I downloaded the Voyager mobile app for free and signed up. I was then told that I’d go on a waiting list and would receive an email when I could sign up. This was somewhat disappointing and intriguing. I thought, “Wow, this must be good if I have to wait to spend my money on their platform.” Luckily, my instant gratification was only delayed for 2 days when I got notice via email that I was ready to sign up. I signed up and can confidently say that it was the easiest experience I’ve had onboarding to a KYC (know your customer) platform. It took less than five minutes and, compared to some other platforms, felt refreshingly easy. I synced up my bank account in a less than another five minutes and, after loading up some money, I was ready to buy my Avalanche.
The app user interface reminds me a lot of Robinhood. It is streamlined and intuitive to navigate. There were a couple of things that initially got me really excited. First, they have nearly sixty cryptocurrencies that I can trade. Popular coins like Polkadot and Cardano and Vechain as well as smaller altcoins as well. I am not a huge fan of paying high Ethereum gas fees on decentralized exchanges so it was great to see that I now have access to coins that I can’t get through the other exchanges. The second thing that I was happy to see is that Voyager pays interest on a lot of different cryptos including USDC!
I made my first trade and realized that while there is no commission that is spelled out, the fees are baked into the ask price. In other words, you pay more for the crypto than what you can sell if for. You end up paying about 1–2% in fees on each side of the transaction (buy and sell). Compared to Kraken, Binance.us, and Coinbase Pro, these fees are higher. However, I am not a heavy trader and am looking more at accumulating so the increased fees don’t shy me away. I have used BlockFi for a while to grow my Bitcoin and Ethereum and PAXG holdings and they charge a higher premium than many of the main exchanges. And since I can actually earn yield (which I am unable to do on the major exchanges) this adds another benefit of buying directly on Voyager. As far as the interest, there are minimums which is frustrating and not necessary on competing yielding platforms. Also, you do earn preferential rates if you hold 500 Voyager tokens. I took the plunge and bought the tokens. It worked out well on NEXO for me so I figured that I’d do the same here. I recommend you research this and decide if it’s worthwhile for you.
Some of the interest rates are comparable to BlockFi and Celsius (USDC, BTC, ETH, LTC, and LINK). Others are nice because they don’t require the extra steps of staking. For example, to stake Cardano and earn an estimated 5%, you have to set up a separate wallet, transfer your tokens, and then find a staking pool. These are all extra steps that I would like to avoid. The yield on DOT is 8% where it’s 12% for staking on Kraken. It’s pretty easy to stake on Kraken so for me that is worth 50% more in rewards. But if you don’t have a Kraken account, it may just be easier to buy and earn yield on Voyager. Below are the March 2021 interest rates and minimums as of the date of this article: 3/15/21. Keep in mind that there are other coins that can be traded, but do not earn interest.
I’ve already received promotional emails about different monthly bonuses and benefits that will keep me attuned to the platform and will further improve the tokenomics of the Voyager token. The Voyager app has had tremendous growth since the beginning of the year. After using it for a couple of weeks, I can understand why. I imagine that Voyager is going to eat into market share on the centralized finance side like the Nexo’s, Celsius, and BlockFi’s, and I think that it will also take some of the market share from Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and Gemini. And, deservedly, it should because it combines the features and benefits of both options in a better way. As I am not a fan of having all of my crypto on one platform (in the hopes of spreading risk), I definitely plan on using Voyager in addition to the other platforms that I use.
Some things that you will want to keep in mind about Voyager is that they can change the interest rates monthly. Their FAQ’s also states that interest earning assets may require 7 days before they can be withdrawn. Also, as with everything else in crypto there is risk in using Voyager. Thank you for reading this article. I hope that you have found it insightful and helpful.
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