Long time readers would know that as an investor, I rarely change my investment philosophy. Once I have decided on a curated portfolio, I would build automated processes to streamline the investment and stay mostly hands off for multiple years.
In December 2021, I decided to do a full revamp of my core investment portfolio and during that process, I relooked at the potential of adding cryptocurrency into the mix.
After a month of intense reading blog articles (special shoutout to Gideon from thefipharmacist.com), scanning through subreddits and watching Youtube videos like most rookie investors, I think I have an up to date understanding of the cryptocurrency space today and what has changed over the years. While there are many different ways to make (and lose) money through cryptocurrency, I felt more comfortable going using money to earn yields through Decentralised Finance (DeFi) projects instead of betting on which cryptocurrency is going to moon.
I evaluated a number of yield-generating protocols that are popular in the market today and have narrowed down based on a few criteria:
- Require little fees end to end - from on-ramping with fiat to getting the cryptocurrency deposited in the protocol.
- Generate at least 10X the yields that traditional financing instruments are distributing today.
- Keep deposits and yields in stable coins to reduce the risk of impermanent loss and maintain a low volatility in cryptocurrency prices
- Stay to bigger projects to reduce the risk of rug pulls and hacks (though it's really hard to prevent this)
Eventually, I narrowed my choices to 2 yield-generating options to utilise for savings and investments:
- Anchor Protocol
- Crypto Earn by Crypto.com
Anchor Protocol is a decentralised money market savings and lending platform. Put simply, you can think of Anchor Protocol to a bank that facilitates deposits and loans with one key difference. Unlike traditional banks, there is no intermediary. Instead, the deposits and loans are automatically processed by the protocol’s smart contract.
Anchor Protocol allows users to earn slightly above 19% interest per year by depositing TerraUSD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin that utilize algorithms to control the stablecoin’s market structure and the underlying economics.
Crypto Earn by Crypto.com
Crypto Earn offers a variety of cryptocurrency and a range of deposit duration (flexible, 1-month and 3-month). The longer duration you choose, the higher the interest rate.
I decided to go with Crypto Earn's 3-month deposit using USD Coin (USDC) which offers 10% interest per year.
You're probably wondering why am I not elaborating more about how I narrowed down to these 2 choices, why I didn't go with other options, yadda yadda yadda.
The purpose of this article is not to tell you what to do in the cryptocurrency space, but more of to share what I am doing with my own money.
Which is also why it's a good time for you to check out my awesome disclaimer. 🙂
You won't trust Mickey Mouse to manage your portfolio so there's no reason to trust Mickey J to make insurance or investment decisions for you either. The contents in this article should be considered as entertainment only and you should do your own due diligence before making any investment decisions.
My style of investing and saving is to always create a systematic approach to invest and save the allocated funds at the start of every month with the salary from the previous month, i.e. pay myself first, before paying the rest.
I am still keeping my emergency funds with traditional financing instruments - SingLife Account and Dash EasyEarn for easy access to funds with better yields than a regular savings account in the bank. I want to keep these funds fairly liquid and accessible within a number of days in a few taps on the mobile apps.
Saving my savings for year-end SRS contribution in Anchor Protocol
The saving that I am moving into cryptocurrency is the $1,275 that I save every month to contribute into my Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account at the end of the year for tax relief. Because I only need the funds in its entirety at the end of the year, the monthly saving from January to November (no point depositing December funds since it would be withdrawn in the same month) will be deposited into Anchor Protocol.
Here's how much interest I can earn by using Anchor Protocol.
* Interest earned is calculated in simple interest (Starting Balance x Interest Rate of 19%) because I am lazy. In reality, Anchor Protocol pays out interest pro-rata every block transaction (about every 8 seconds) with an interest of 19.5% pear year.
I know that $228.87 is a really small amount for this effort but I see it as a starting point to using DeFi platforms to generate yield for my savings. Because I strongly believe that every dollar must be assigned a role, I will be reasigning the $228.87 savings to my core investment portfolio, under the bond alternative allocation (more on that at the later part of this article).
I am also well aware that it is unsustainable for Anchor Protocol to continue to offer >19% interest every year so I will continue to look out for other DeFi projects that offer similar risk to reward opportunities.
How I am moving my savings into Anchor Protocol
Since I am moving my savings into Anchor Protocol at least once a month, it is important to keep the fees as low as possible to maximise the yield. To do so, I had to adopt a manual process of moving money through a number of platforms to eventually get into Anchor Protocol.
Here's what the entire workflow looks like.
I'm buffering 15 days to offramp the cryptocurrency from Anchor Protocol back into my OCBC 360 account to contribute into my SRS account before the end of the year. The workflow is simple as I'm simply reversing the steps that I took to deposit my savings into Anchor Protocol to offramp the cryptocurrency.
As FTX provides free withdrawal service to send SGD-denominated funds back into my OCBC 360 account, I can skip the use of DBS My Account and Tiger Brokers during the withdrawal process.
How I am using cryptocurrency as a bond alternative allocation in my portfolio
To further diversify cryptocurrency risks and factoring the worst case scenario where Anchor Protocol is no longer a viable low risk stablecoin yield option, I decided to do a 50-50 split between Anchor Protocol and Crypto Earn in my bond alternative allocation for cryptocurrency.
By doing this, I have 2 cryptocurrency yield-generating options to choose from just in case one doesn't work out. But in doing so, I am sacrificing some yield since Crypto Earn only pays out 10% interest per year compared to the 19.5% interest per year that Anchor Protocol pays out.
Here are the key differences between both of them.
Crypto Earn (3-month USDC)
Pays out a higher interest of ~19.5% per year
Pays out a lower interest of 10% per year
Interest rate is variable and algorithmically changes based on:
Interest rate is fixed but subjected to change at the discretion of Crypto.com
No lock-in period and the deposit can be withdrawn at any time
3 months lock-in period and deposit is paid out upon maturity
Higher fees are incurred during the deposit and withdrawal process
There are no fees incurred during the deposit process and very little fees incurred during the withdrawal process
Interest earned is automatically compounded
Interest earned is paid out on a weekly basis and needs to be reinvested manually
How I am moving my investment funds into Anchor Protocol as a bond alternative allocation
The workflow I use to move investing funds to Anchor Protocol is the same as my SRS savings workflow. In fact, I combine the funds together and move them into Anchor Protocol at the same time.
I would maintain a simple ledger using Google Sheets to track how much Anchor UST (aUST) came from investment and how much came from savings. It's similar to how Syfe and Stashaway is doing with their client's money, except I trust myself, to not cheat me of my own money. 😀
The only difference in this workflow is that the investment funds would stay in Anchor Protocol unless the rebalancing threshold of my investment portfolio is breached or Anchor Protocol's yield falls below my acceptable range.
How I am moving my investment funds into Crypto Earn as a bond alternative allocation
As mentioned earlier, I diversify half of my bond alternative allocation for cryptocurrency to Crypto Earn just in case Anchor Protocol is no longer a viable option for unforeseen reasons.
Depositing USDC into Crypto Earn for a 3-month lock-in period to generate 10% interest per year is also a good option as a bond alternative, considering the traditional bond choices that we have in the market today.
Compared to Anchor Protocol, Crypto Earn is very easy to get into because I can simply send SGD into my StraitsX account and use it to buy USDC in the Crypto.com app within minutes. Thereafter, I just need a few taps to deposit the USDC into my Crypto Earn account to start generating interest.
The entire process costs $0 in fees and takes minutes to complete.
I chose a longer workflow below because exchanging SGD to USD using Tiger Brokers would provide a better exchange rate, compared to doing it in the Crypto.com app. The compromise is that I will need to wait 2 working days for the currency exchange transaction to complete before I could withdraw the USD from Tiger Brokers to my DBS My Account for remittance into Crypto.com.
I'm sure you would notice in my workflow below that the biggest difference between my Anchor Protocol and Crypto Earn workflows is the frequency of the deposits in Crypto Earn.
As the interest in Crypto Earn is paid out every week and deposits are paid out once they mature from their 3-month lock-in period, I need to build a Crypto Earn ladder that contains 12 weeks of Crypto Earn deposits.
- In the first week, deposit the minimum deposit requirment of 250 USDC into Crypto Earn for a 3-month term deposit.
- From Week 2 to Week 12, deposit fresh funds and combine with the interest paid out to meet the minimum deposit requirement of 250 USDC and deposit into Crypto Earn to create a new 3-month term deposit.
- On Week 13, combine the USDC paid out from Week 1's matured term deposit with all the interest paid out adn deposit into Crypto Earn to create a new 3-month term deposit. Now that the ladder is complete, the entire process becomes circular and the requirement for fresh funds in point 2 becomes optional.
After Week 13, I will have the flexibility to choose whether I want to put my monthly allocated bond alternative funds into just Anchor Protocol, Crypto Earn, or both.
I know it sounds complicated when explained in words. Take a deep breath, and re-read the above (a few times, if you need to) and slowly digest the concept.
What you have read above is essentially the result from close to a month of learning and critical thinking about cryptocurrency and identifying the strategy that fits into my goals and objectives.
Would it suit everyone?
Are there other methods to generate even more returns from cryptocurrency?
But the choices I have made for my savings and investments are solely based on the risks that I am willing to take to sleep well at night, and the rewards that I am willing to accept with contentment.
If you are interested to dip your hands into the cryptocurrency space, it is important to first decide on your objectives and pick the strategies that can help you meet your objectives within your acceptable risk tolerance.
In any case, I've decided on my strategy. What's yours?
By the way, in case you are interested, here are the links to the platforms and exchanges that I am using in the workflows mentioned in this article. Some of them are affiliated links that would distribute rewards to both of us if you decide signing up and meet the bonus requirements.
- Anchor Protocol
- Crypto.com (Get $25 USD in CRO when you stake for a Ruby card)
- FTX (Save 5% off fees for each trade)
- Tiger Brokers
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. I've love to learn about what you are doing in the cryptocurrency space.