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Linus Review 2024: Blockchain-Based Savings Accounts

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Important Notice

Linus has shut down as of April 22, 2022. Beginning May 1, 2022, accounts with remaining balances will be subject to a $30.00 monthly account maintenance fee debited against Linus’ balance. In the event funds are not claimed or withdrawn, they will be turned over to the account holder’s local state’s abandoned property entity, per state escheatment laws.

Tired of earning rock-bottom yields on your savings account? Linus is here to help.

Linus is an innovative fintech company that offers blockchain-based savings accounts so you can earn higher interest rates on your assets.

But is it the right place to invest your hard-earned money?

In this Linus review, we’ll help you decide whether the firm’s savings account is a good addition to your financial life. We’ll take a look at how the platform works and offer insight into its pros and cons so you have the information you need to achieve your money goals.

Linus Logo

3.7

Offer not available

Quick Summary: Linus is an online platform leveraging blockchain technology to offer users an alternative to traditional cash deposit accounts. Their flagship product is a high-yield savings account that allows users to earn up to 4.5% interest per year.

Promotion: None

Pros:

  • No fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Earn up to 4.5% APY
  • No withdrawal limits
  • No credit check required
  • Blockchain backed

Cons:

  • Not FDIC-insured
  • APYs are volatile
  • Unproven track record

What Is Linus?

Linus is a Nashville-based fintech company that was founded in 2019. The company’s mission is to help everyone access the benefits of digital assets through an intuitive platform that makes investing as simple as possible.

Currently, Linus offers interest-bearing savings accounts that use the power of the blockchain to earn higher yields for individual investors. The firm hopes to offer more features in the coming years so that the world of decentralized finance is more accessible for everyone.

Linus Homepage
Source: Linus

How Does Linus Work?

To use Linus, you need to create and fund an account. Let’s take a look at what this process involves and what you’ll need to get started.

Getting Started

If you want to invest with Linus, your first step is to determine your eligibility for an account. 

Currently, the platform is only available to US residents over the age of 18, except those in the following states:

  • New York
  • Minnesota
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska

You’ll need to provide some important information during the application process, including:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Physical address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

All new account holders must also verify their identity by submitting a copy of a government-issued ID.

Opening an Account

Once you gather all the information you need, you can sign up for a Linus account. To open an account, navigate to the company’s website and click the button to sign up.

You’ll first enter your personal information, such as your name and email address. Linus will then ask you to complete identity verification through its partner Passbase. This process involves uploading a photo of your government-issued ID.

After you submit a photo of your ID, you’ll need to wait until your account is verified. This normally happens within 24 hours, but it can take longer. As soon as your Linus account is verified, you can deposit funds and start investing.

Linus Open an Account
Source: Linus

Funding Options

You have three options for funding your Linus account:

  • ACH bank transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Debit card

However, there are daily, weekly, and monthly deposit and withdrawal limits on all Linus account funding options. For example, debit card deposits are limited to $1,000 per day and ACH deposits are limited to $10,000 per day. You can check your deposit and withdrawal limits in your Linus account dashboard.

Linus Features

Linus is a relatively new platform that’s decidedly streamlined. However, it offers a few unique features for account holders.

Minimum Deposit$1
Minimum Balance$0
Fees$0 maintenance fees, $0 deposit or withdrawal fees (*other fees may apply)
Deposit MethodsBank transfer (ACH), wire transfer, and debit card
Interest Rate on Deposits (APY)Up to 4.5%
Interest CompoundingDaily
AvailabilityUnited States residents (*except Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota and New York)
InsuranceNone
SecurityTwo-factor authentication (2FA), Passbase to secure identity information and Plaid to securely connect with banking partners
AppsNone
PromotionNone
SupportChat and Email ([email protected])

Earn Interest

Linus’ primary feature is its interest-bearing accounts. With this feature, you can earn upward of 4.5% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) on your cash assets.

Here’s how it works: Individual investors (that’s you!) can open a Linus account and deposit US dollars. That money is automatically exchanged for a stablecoin called the USD Coin (USDC), which is supposed to maintain 1:1 peg with the US dollar.

After your funds are exchanged for USDC, Linus moves your money into a liquidity pool (a collection of assets) that’s powered by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. 

From here, institutions can borrow USDC funds from this liquidity pool. They have to pay interest on these funds in exchange for access to this capital. This interest is then paid out to you in the form of an APY.

But these savings accounts are not the same as what you’d get at a traditional bank. They aren’t backed by FDIC insurance and there is a risk of losing money if the USDC breaks its US dollar peg.

Additionally, there is a 30-day lock-up period for any deposits to your Linus account. But after 30 days, you can withdraw your money whenever you’d like.

Also, interest rates on Linus are subject to change at any time. The firm states that it updates its rates each month.

Linus How it Works
Source: Linus

APR to APY Tool

Linus is one of the few blockchain-based savings account companies out there that offers compound, rather than simple, interest.

This might seem like a minor distinction, but it can make a big difference in the long term. That’s because compound interest lets you earn interest on your interest while simple interest only pays interest on your principal balance.

That means that the interest rate you’re quoted with Linus is an APY (Annual Percentage Yield), not an APR (Annual Percentage Rate).

APR is basically the rate of return that you’ll get through simple interest. APY, on the other hand, is how much you’ll earn on a platform that offers compound interest.

To help you see the benefits that APY can offer, Linus created a free APR to APY Tool. So, before you invest, you can check the APR to APY Tool to see if you’re getting the best deal on your hard-earned money.

Savings Goal Calculator

If you’re looking to save for the future, you need to have a solid savings plan. However, creating your plan starts with having a savings goal.

To get you started, Linus built a savings goal calculator that’s free and easy to use. 

It lets you input your target savings goal, your initial savings balance, and the APY you’ll receive. Finally, you’ll input how much time you have before you want to reach your goal.

Once that’s done, the savings goal calculator will tell you how much you should contribute to your savings each month to reach your goal.

Linus APR to APY Tool
Source: Linus

Referral Bonus

Linus offers a referral bonus to all its customers. For each new account holder that you refer, the firm will give both you and your friend $20.

Note that your friend first needs to deposit $100 into their Linus account for you to receive your bonus. You can find your referral link in your account dashboard, so you can share it with friends and family at any time.

Linus Pricing & Fees

Linus bills itself as a no-fee platform. This means the company doesn’t directly charge any account, transfer, or transaction fees. 

There’s also no minimum account balance with Linus. However, there is a $1 minimum on deposits and withdrawals.

That being said, your bank or credit card issuer might charge a fee to deposit money into your Linus account. This is particularly true when it comes to wire transfers. But, these fees are determined by your bank—not Linus.

Finally, note that all deposits to Linus have a 30-day minimum lock-up period. Before your 30 days are complete, you cannot withdraw your funds.

Linus Security & Insurance

Currently, Linus offers relatively little information about its security features. The company does offer two-factor authentication on all accounts, but it doesn’t mention how it secures its platform.

Additionally, your deposits to Linus are not FDIC or SPIC insured. Therefore, there is a risk of loss when you use the platform, especially in the event of a major market downturn.

Linus Benefits
Source: Linus

Linus Customer Support

If you have an issue with your Linus account, you can always access the firm’s online support pages.

For help from a Linus customer service representative, you can use the company’s online chat feature. Linus also has a customer service email address, but they don’t offer phone-based support.

Linus Pros

  • Quick and easy account set-up process
  • No account minimums or maintenance fees
  • Doesn’t charge deposit or withdrawal fees
  • No need to open a crypto wallet or do crypto research
  • Quick customer support via online chat
  • Interest compounded daily for increased growth in the long-term

Linus Cons

  • No FDIC, SPIC, or private insurance on client assets
  • New company with limited track record
  • 30-day lock-up period for all deposits
  • Not supported in all US states

Linus Alternatives

Not convinced that Linus is the best option for your needs? Here are some alternative platforms with interest-bearing accounts to check out.

Gemini

Gemini is a New York-based crypto exchange that offers interest-bearing accounts for investors through its Gemini Earn. With Gemini Earn, you can get up to about 8% interest on cryptocurrencies in your portfolio.

However, with Gemini, you have to buy and hold cryptocurrencies to earn interest. Rates with Gemini also vary based on the coin in question.

But Gemini offers a slew of other features for the crypto-savvy investor, including a basic and advanced crypto exchange. Fees on some Gemini features can be higher than on other platforms, though, so double-check potential fees before you sign up. Read our full Gemini review to learn more.

BlockFi

BlockFi is another New York-based crypto-focused financial institution that offers up to 7.50% interest on more than a dozen cryptocurrencies.

Like on Gemini, you have to buy and hold crypto to earn interest with BlockFi. But BlockFi also provides a number of additional features such as crypto-backed loans, a crypto rewards credit card, and a simplified crypto exchange.

Additionally, BlockFi partners with Gemini for custodial services. However, BlockFi charges some withdrawal fees and it has some limits on crypto withdrawals from the platform. Read our full BlockFi review to learn more.

Linus LogoBlockFiGemini
Our Rating

3.7

2.4

3.5

Cash/USDC (APY)Up to 4.50%Up to 7.50%Up to 7.99%
Bitcoin (APY)N/AUp to 4.50%Up to 1.49%
AppsNoneMobile (iOS and Android)Mobile (iOS and Android)
PromotionsNoneEarn up to $250 in BTCEarn $10 in BTC (*After buying or selling $100)
FDIC InsuredNoNoNo
Web Accessyesyesyes

Who Is Linus For?

Linus is a blockchain-powered platform that’s ideal for investors who are dissatisfied with the low-interest rates that you can get with traditional savings accounts. The high yields and lack of fees on Linus are nice for cost-conscious investors who want to earn passive income without the need to learn too much about crypto.

However, there are some real risks involved with crypto-powered interest accounts. The lack of insurance coverage at Linus and the potential volatility of crypto markets can lead to financial loss, even with a US dollar-pegged stablecoin like USDC. 

So, anyone looking to invest with Linus should be comfortable accepting these risks before they open an account.

Linus FAQ

Here are our answers to your most commonly asked questions about Linus:

Is Linus Safe?

Linus is a relatively new fintech company that doesn’t have FDIC or SPIC insurance on assets held on its platform. As such, there is a risk of losing money in the event of a major market downturn or if the platform gets hacked.

Is Linus a Bank?

Linus is not a bank. Rather, Linus is a fintech company that works with institutional investors to help you earn high yields on your savings through the blockchain.

How Often Is Interest Paid via Linus?

Linus pays interest daily into your account. After the initial 30-day lock-up period for any new deposits, you can withdraw all of the interest you’ve earned up until that point.

How Long Does a Withdrawal Take?

Withdrawal times from Linus depend on the withdrawal method you choose. Most wires take about 1 day while ACH withdrawals can take 2 to 3 business days.

How Does Linus Make Money?

Linus makes money by taking a portion of the interest rate that borrowers pay to access funds held on the platform. The company then passes the rest of this interest on to account holders in exchange for access to their financial assets.

Is Linus FDIC Insured?

Linus is not FDIC or SPIC insured. Thus, there is no government-backed insurance for any funds held in a Linus account. Although unlikely, this means you could lose money in a major market downturn or if the Linus platform were to get hacked.

Does Linus Offer Mobile Apps?

Currently, Linus does not offer an iOS or Android mobile app. The platform is currently only available on a web browser, but Linus hopes to offer mobile apps in the near future.

In A Nutshell

  • Interest Rates (APY): Up to 4.50%
  • Interest on Bitcoin (APY): None
  • Promotion: None
Linus Logo

Offer not available

Final Thoughts

Linus is a relative newcomer in the world of blockchain-powered interest accounts, but it potentially offers a lot to like for investors that are constantly seeking higher yields. The simplicity and low-cost nature of the platform are particularly beneficial for anyone that’s interested in the power of crypto but doesn’t have the time to research individual coins.

But anyone investing with Linus or any other type of crypto-related savings account should understand the risks involved with doing so. Ultimately, these accounts can be a great addition to your financial plan, but only if you fully understand what you’re signing up for.

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