At some point on your crypto passive income journey, you’re going to want to review your situation and consider “stable” forms income. By stable, I generally mean much safer than those high-risk, high-(potential)-return opportunities you've been chasing.
UPDATE 23rd October 2022: Freeway have paused Supercharger buybacks (basically; withdrawals) due to market volatility and what appears to have been a failed trade or stop-loss. They are keeping us updated on the situation via email and Telegram.
I will update this more fully when more concrete information is made available. In the meantime, the team are communicating; as of 27th October, there have already been 3 emails and several Telegram updates.
You can now request a copy of the ACA Independent Performance Certification Report 2021 using the “Performance Report 2021” link at the bottom of the Freeway website. You will need to sign an NDA via Docusign to download it (quick & easy!).
Aubit's Freeway Supercharger is my stable platform of choice and I'll share why later (teaser: excellent APYs, ethical finance-social mission and deposits held in regulated brokerage accounts!).
In general, the simplest way to earn stable income in the crypto world is via staking platforms that offer a high APY on stablecoins.
You will see staking opportunities in most exchanges now such as Coinbase and Binance, but these are not high APY, at least not high by crypto standards.
For high yield, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Below I will share information on a few high yield platforms for stablecoins – because stability is what we're mainly after, and why I ultimately choose Freeway (previously Aubit); a FinTech company that aim to shake up the world of finance in order to more fairly distribute profits and give everyone more via their Freeway token (FWT) and Supercharger staking rewards.
And, I'll provide a review of my Freeway experience to date and how things have been going since first purchasing FWT in December 2021.
What is a stablecoin?
I could do a full article on this; however, I’ll assume if you are reading this article, you’ll already know what a stablecoin is.
Very briefly, a stablecoin is a crypto that is pegged to something (usually a fiat currency but could be anything eg gold, silver). Popular stablecoins that are pegged to the USD are Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC) and MakerDAO (DAI).
They may all do a similar job, but how they operate and how they are backed and pegged vary hugely (de-pegging is one of the risks with stablecoins).
What APYs can I get on stablecoins?
APY is simply the annual percentage yield you can get. It is APR but with compounding included (if compounding is possible).
We all know how little interest a fiat bank account pays, even a “high interest” savings account; nothing worth talking about! Er, 0.1% APR in many cases!
Stablecoin APYs vary hugely, from single digits at the low end (often still much better than those “high interest” fiat savings accounts!) to as high as 43% (even better; 50% opportunities are coming in 2022!) with AuBit Freeway Superchargers, which are based on real fiat (USD, EUR) rather than pegged stablecoins — I’ll talk more about that later.
Note that crypto is still only an infant compared to traditional finance (aka TradFi) and it is expected that these super-high yields will eventually come down.
5 X High-yield stablecoin platforms
Relative to fiat, there are many “high yield” platforms. And there are more and more appearing every day.
Here are just a few high-yield platforms for stablecoins / fiat;
- AuBit Freeway (Supercharger): up to 50%! 🤩 – read more below!
Anchor Protocol: up to 19.5%FA
- Yearn Finance: up to 16%
- BlockFi: up to 8.25%
- Nexo: up to 18%
UPDATE: There have been several failures in 2022 on multiple platforms, including Anchor (Luna – UST) and most remaining platforms can no longer offer such high yields because their yields relied on crypto. Freeway's yields do NOT rely on crypto.
I choose AuBit's Freeway Supercharger as my first, for many reasons.
First though, lets take a quick look at basic risk-reward.
Like everything, the platform you choose to pursue for any passive income will depend on your own appetite and analysis of risk-reward. Same goes when looking at the less-sexy ‘stable' yields.
Usually, but not always, lower APY yielding platforms are less risky.
This could be due to a number of reasons such as having insurance or some form of regulation, or simply due to time/reputation in the market ie newer platforms have less of a proven track record than older ones and thus are deemed higher risk.
For example, if you have a bank account, it will likely have some level of insurance as required for their banking license. This is true for most countries, and I’d assume all “Western” countries, thus they are generally deemed very low risk. And they provide very low returns.
Potential stablecoin staking risks include;
- De-pegging (ie the stablecoin itself, not the platform)
- Various forms of hacking (contracts &/or the platform)
- Freezing of account (centralized platform)
- Loan defaults (if that's how the platform generates yield)
- Algorithmic failures (if that's how the stablecoin is pegged)
- Investment risk (if that's how the platform generates yield)
- Insufficient collateralization (how is the stablecoin collteralized?)
Obviously you also have general risks that are more personal and exist in many scenarios, such as phishing.
Initially, I was going for Anchor Protocol, until I stumbled across Aubit's Freeway Supercharger in December 2021, a platform/product where USD and EUR deposits are placed in regulated brokerage accounts (GBP Superchargers coming soon).
Yes; your deposits are not held as ‘stablecoins' in Freeway, they are held in fiat. No stablecoin = no de-pegging risk 😀
However; i was that massive 43% APY on USD & EURO which first caught my eye.
Yes; that’s some serious return.
Early access platform
Freeway is currently in a beta or “early access” stage. Their roadmap shows many updates happening in 2022 that will improve on the user experience.
Above you can see the top of my dashboard. I've set my Notice Period to 30 days so I can avail of the maximum 10% APY bonus (more on that later – you can also set it to less than 30 days).
Personally, I purchased most of my FWT directly on the Freeway platform as there wasn't enough liquidity on BSC at the time (December 2021 and January 2022). That may have improved by the time you read this and I have purchased some $FWT using PancakeSwap.
Up to 43% (and up to 50%) APY on ‘stablecoins'
As already mentioned, EUR and USD Superchargers are stimulants for real fiat, NOT stablecoins, so there is no de-pegging risk.
The astute may have noticed in the screenshot above that the daily rate is 0.098041% rewards per day, and that 0.098041% * 365 days = 35.784965%…not the 43% you were expecting.
This is because the 43% is ‘APY' – it takes into account the daily compounding. Read more on compound interest, APY and APR here.
Can I buy Superchargers with fiat (eg USD, EUR)?
Not at this time, however it is coming very soon.
Currently, you purchase your superchargers by sending crypto eg BTC, ETH, BNB.
Purchasing with a credit/debit card or bank transfer is expected by May 2022.
Again, if you're onboard before this – consider yourself early 😜.
Why is it called Freeway Lite?
Did I mention in the previous paragraphs that you're early? 😜
The current version is called Freeway Lite because it is only basic. Some might call it an MVP ‘Minimum Viable Product' to prove their concept and onboard early adopters, and it is evolving rapidly – there was an earlier version before this version that you see today; they develop in an agile and iterative manner, always pushing updates 🙂
Much of the background processing is only partially automated..
A “Full Fat” 2.0 version is coming with a smoother user experience and ultimately full banking services, including debit cards etc.
More on that later!
Is Freeway Supercharger available in the United States?
However, there is a US-specific dashboard and the available selection of Superchargers is slightly less than the global platform due to regulations.
Supercharger staking rewards 20-50% APY
Freeway Supercharger is the product that offers extremely high APYs — starting at 20% APY and going up as high as 50% APY!
There are various methods you will be able to increase from the base rate of 20% to 50%, including locking up your deposits for a defined timeframe, staking 5% of your holdings in $FWT tokens (which you will also earn a % annual yield on!!!) and being active, which is yet to be defined.
How to increase your Freeway APY:
Every Supercharger gets a 20%: base rate
- +10% stake 5% or more in FWT (eg if you have $100K in a supercharger, then you need 5K of FWT).
- +10% lock up (3 days +2.5%, 7 days by +5%, 15 days by +7.5%, 30 days by +10%).
- +10% activity and engagement (to be defined)
Yes – that's a potential 50% APY! 🤯
Lock-up / Notice period
Here is a granular breakdown of boosted rewards for Superchargers based on notice period (the notice required to sell/withdraw your Superchargers);
- 0 Days: 0% Annual Rewards Boost
- 3 Days: 2.5% Annual Rewards Boost
- 7 Days: 5% Annual Rewards Boost
- 15 Days: 7.5% Annual Rewards Boost
- 30 Days: 10% Annual Rewards Boost
Currently the notice period applies to ALL Superchargers. I'm hoping Freeway will provide an update to this that will allow us more granular control of notice period ie. the ability to lock-up part, whilst keeping some without (or less) notice period.🤞
Rewards are compounded daily for as long as the revenues exist from the revenue sources to justify such rewards ie they are on a “best effort” basis. That means that the Supercharger ‘staking' rewards could be lowered at any time, or even removed entirely. Although they have stated that this is not expected in the medium term.
However, when looking at where to put your hard-earned crypto (or not-so-hard-earned!), there’s much more to look at than APY alone, and this is where Freeway excels.
FWT Rewards: Double whammy!
Before we get on to the other stuff, Freeway have a bonus for you… Your staked FWT Freeway tokens will also earn rewards!
Yes, staked $FWT will earn an estimated 15-30% annual rewards, paid in Supercharger (you can choose what supercharger to send them to — as you can see, I send mine to ETH coz I'm a bit of an Ethereum fangirl)….which in turn will be earning 20-50% rewards. 🤯
You need 5% FWT to gain the full Supercharger Boosted Rewards (ie the the full 10% APY bonus; see previous section).
eg. if you have $100,000-worth in superchargers then you'd need to hold $5,000-worth of FWT in your Freeway account to gain the maximum available boost of 10% APY.
Firstly, Aubit has been about since 2017 and has always held a mission of fairer distribution of wealth and access to all (financial markets, asset management etc). In 2021 it began rebranding as Freeway and opening up its Freeway Lite platform.
So the company has some serious history relative to crypto.
The team and advisors come from many top financial and tech institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, IBM, Fidelity, Credit Suisse, Google, HSBC and Prudential. With many from humble origins too — a team of more than 50 people.
At time of writing Aubit Prime (https://aubitprime.io) are the only fully regulated platform in the world offering crypto and fiat deposit rewards — Freeway Supercharger funds are all held in EU-regulated brokerage accounts.
Large institutions can ONLY work with regulated platforms, thus big scope for growth. 😉
More in the next section.
Insurance & safety of funds
Freeway’s first insurance partnership is with DeFi startup, Steady State to offer protection for exploitation of the tech; ie protecting agains when initial deposits are made because, after that, deposits are moved to the regulated brokerage account, which brings us on to….
Currently, Superchargers themselves are unregulated as they are simulants – Freeway does not hold any funds.
Supercharger funds go into Freeway Lite's own AuBit Prime brokerage account and so these funds are protected at an EU-regulated broker level (more strict than in the US).
The Superchargers themselves contain virtual simulation tokens so if the Freeway platform ever got hacked, there is nothing to steal apart from data.
The EU-regulated Freeway Prime Brokerage and it's client funds are subject to very strict regulation. It does not lend, trade or risk deposits. There'll be more on “Client Funds Segregation” and brokerages later!
However, your funds , although deposited to the brokerage, are held in a Freeway account ie. they are technically owned by Freeway….therefore you must trust Freeway.
Which brings us on to…
What is AuBit Prime (Freeway Prime)?
Aubit Prime is the EU-regulated brokerage that Freeway places all deposits in and is owned by Ardu Prime and Freeway.
The Aubit Prime brokerage is rebranding to Freeway Prime, however there are many regulatory approvals required for rebranding that could take several months (ie it might not happen until late 2022).
Depending on your location, you will soon be able to deposit directly into the brokerage, Aubit Prime (Freeway Prime), instead of Freeway Superchargers via your Freeway dashboard.
This means the brokerage funds will be held in your name, not Freeway's.
Brokerage onboarding only commenced March 2022 via invite and the Freeway dashboard update is expected mid-2022.
No details are available yet regarding returns and rewards, although they are expected to be similar.
Freeway Supercharger vs Aubit (Freeway) Prime
Assuming the APY returns are the same, if you are in a position to choose either, which would you choose?
From what I understand, this will vary from person-to-person.
In Aubit Prime, your funds will be directly deposited in the brokerage under your name. So, in theory, that would be the most secure option.
However, there have been discussions around tax implications.
AubitPrime it appears would be fiat income, whereas Freeway Superchargers are crypto stimulants which may be taxed differently and could be subject to capital gains tax in certain countries, rather than income which could be advantageous.
Everyone's situation is different.
Freeway crypto token ($FTW)
Outside of the staking benefits, FWT will also be the layer one token used to secure the Freeway Chain, a blockchain network that will be the bridge from TradFi to DeFi and digital finance.
Staking FWT in Freeway (basically just depositing it) earns 15-30% APY. This is on top of the Supercharger rewards!
If you missed the current dashboard graphic for FWT, here it is again;
Essentially, when buying $FWT you are not only boosting your APY, you are investing in the success of the Freeway crypto / blockchain ecosystem.
The Freeway Token $FWT is currently at a rather low market cap when compared to other similar platforms, sitting around position #500 or $100M market cap. For comparison Celsius (Celsius Network – $CEL) is around #100 and approx $1.5B market cap at time of writing).
I feel that in buying into the FWT token now, I’m securing some high stablecoin yield in the future and buying in ‘early' to something that has the potential of being much bigger than Celsius.
More than stablecoins
Various other crypto options are available too!
If you're in the United Kingdom and want stability, currently you'll need to go for USD or EURO (Gold mightn't be a bad idea either, but as you can see the APY is highest for the “stablecoin” options).
Freeway is available in more than 180 countries!
Traditional assets will be made available for those who can access them, and if that is not possible, then tokenised variants aka stimulants will be available.
This makes ownership possible to everyone, even the unbanked.
They do social good and have a Freeway charity supercharger!
They even refer to themselves as “social finance” 🙂
Ethical and with a big vision
AuBit envisions a world where anyone can benefit from network-enhanced returns on the world’s top investment products from as little as just $1 — no matter where in the world they live. #accessforall
Their aim is to bridge the worlds of digital finance and traditional finance through mutualisation and democratisation, sharing the rewards (profits) in a fairer and more ethical manner.
Their ethics and vision is best summed up by two quotes from Founder and Co-CEO Graham Doggart;
“This is where the idea came from that financial services should give back as much value as they can, over traditional finance’s operating basis of extracting as much value away from users as they can get away with.”
“Our plan is to become the ‘Big Financial Network’ with our own ‘Finance Super App’, with the highest rewards available in the industry. That’s where I see us in a few years.”
From what I've been reading and hearing in the AMAs, there is much more to come. This is very early days, yet already so rewarding!
Think: banking, debit cards, insurance, payments, trading…Freeway will be all of this.
Could Freeway replace Celsius or at least be an alternative to consider?
How can Freeway afford to reward up to 50% APY?
There is no ‘in a nutshell' answer to this unless you understand a lot about the finance industry and trading or asset management and brokerages.
Currently, Freeway deposit your funds in their regulated brokerage accounts which are safe; the funds are held in separated accounts (a process called “Client Funds Segregation” and accounts known as “Client's Funds Accounts”) and cannot be used by Freeway for any purpose, other than if a client asks for a withdrawal.
Freeway can then borrow against these funds and and leverage it's own quant trading strategies to generate profit, similar to the elitist Medallion quant trading fund, that has averaged around 70% per year over the past 30 years.
Being ‘social finance', Freeway then distribute the majority of these profits to users, with most of the remainder going to operations. In addition, 80% of product-related transaction fees (trading) are redistributed to all holders in the platform.
A number of Freeway's licensed strategies have a similar record to that of Medallion over a 5 year period. A trading report for 2021 is expected fairly soon (as of early March, the numbers were in and are in process of specialist audit and legal review).
Third-party trading audits are expected soon – keep an eye on the Telegram AMAs for updates.
How do Freeway make money?
See above question “How can Freeway afford to reward up to 50% APY?” which explains the brokerage system.
Basically, the more funds of ours they hold (in safe, regulated, segregated accounts), the more credible and credit-worthy Freeway become. Which means they can borrow more and trade with more funds, thereby earning more revenue.
More deposits = more credible = more leverage = more revenue generated.
As Freeway develop to offer more services and banking, there will be additional revenue streams.
But how can they borrow against our funds AND the funds still be safe?
If you're Joe Bloggs like me and don't know much about brokerages, you'r probably asking yourself something similar.
Why would they give you leverage if they can't use these client-protected funds as collateral?
The best explanation I found was from a Telegram AMA with Freeway CEO Graham Doggart;
It is not about the lender so much as the regulation.Graham Doggart, Co-CEO Freeway AMA 15th November 2021
Brokerages can provide leverage and the more deposits, the more leverage.
The actual credit comes from liquidity providers that know the traders involved and provide it because of track records.
You need both the credit facility and the strength of un-risked deposits to get more leverage to actually do it in a compliant fashion.
Sure you could go somewhere exotic but we have worked very hard to get regulated in the EU and not somewhere exotic to do this for the long term.”
🤔 Hmmm….now we're starting to gain some insight as regards how TradFi banks work and why they really want you to deposit with them!
Oh, and they distribute 80% of product-related trading fees to holders in the platform.
How to earn an extra 2% with zero effort 🚀
As a user, you can refer others and BOTH of you will gain benefits via “Freeway referral rewards” rewards for 2 years. Freeway say, “it is better to be referred and to refer than go it alone”.
This extra 10% is provided by Freeway and split between referrer (8%) and the referred (2%). A win-win-win.
Here's my Freeway referral link – if you use it, you will gain 2% more APY!
By using it (or someone else's!) you will earn an extra 2%, rather than signing up directly.
Yep, +2% for zero effort!
And, if you think Freeway is as great as I do, then you can use your own referral link to refer your friends and family 🙂
My Freeway Supercharger review / experience
I first purchased the FWT token in December 2021 out of a bit of FOMO. I'd read a bit about the platform, thought it sounded great but didn't have the time to research much further or consider setting up, transferring funds etc. Still, I could sense something and wanted the $FWT token to secure my future.
I eventually funded my Freeway SuperCharger account around a month later.
I have been buying FWT regularly ever-since (it's now April 2022).
The (my) experience
During my onboarding and deposit phase Feb/March 2022, the Freeway platform and process was still in very early stages. I needed to complete a simple signup form, a KYC and then I could buy FWT tokens &/or deposit (“buy”) Superchargers.
However, Freeway have recently done a major upgrade and the process is now much more slick, with all the information you need provided at point of purchase…
Things are not automated yet. Humans are involved; deposits can take up to 48hrs (mine all within 24) and withdrawals, 24hrs.
When you “buy” anything on the site, it is via a shopping cart or OTC (Over The Counter).
OTC (Over The Counter) involves filling out a form and a manual trade/swap. It is a bit cheaper than the shopping cart, but takes a bit longer to due to the more manual process.
I'm not very patient, so I used the shopping cart.
I've used BNB (to deposit for my USD SuperCharger) and BTC (for my BTC Supercharger and to purchase FWT).
TIP: you can deposit in various currencies and “swap” between Superchargers freely…so choose your deposit method wisely eg BNB is very cheap, whereas sometimes ETH gas fees can be high.
I takes around 24 hours for your SuperCharger to become active in your dashboard.
After everything is processed, you'll see something like this….
At the top, you can see your current staked balance of all your Superchargers and the rewards / return since you started. Click the icon to see a breakdown.
Everything is now fairly explanatory.
The rewards are distributed daily, which is great for user experience.
Especially when you first deposit/purchase; you get to see the return building up in around 24 hours.
You can click on any Supercharger to see more details
#FreewayFam – review to date / updates
It's been 3 months now since I setup my first Freeway Supercharger (USD), my partner has set one up and I'm collecting $FWT tokens for my family so I can set them up too in the coming months.
So you could say, I'm both happy and excited.
I'm excited at the prospect of amazing “stable” returns that are much less risky than my other crypto plays and the innovations coming, including FreewayChain and #AccessForAll.
I'm also excited for their future “bank-like” developments; EMI licensing and debit cards etc because this will make it much more accessible for family who are not so tech-savvy, especially mum and dad!
Near-future updates (Q1/Q2):
- Brokerage onboarding/invites
- UK sports TV advertising starting late March 2022
- Website & dashboard updates by April 2022
- Fiat on-ramp
- Referral rewards
- $FWT staking rewards by April 2022 (15-30% APY)
- Brokerage integration into dashboard
- Automation of KYC
QUICK UPDATE: late August 2022 — almost 7 months in and I'm still very happy with Freeway results and progress. I shall review and update this article soon 🙂
Time to stabilize
For anyone who has been following me on this journey over the past year or so, you’ll know I like to spread my risk over multiple high-risk, high-return opportunities that are EXTREMELY passive.
Those plays have paid off, however for me, the time has come to slowly start stableizing and from what I can see, Aubit’s Freeway is going to be my weapon of choice!
Yes, it's not going to earn you mega-bucks (unless you already have mega-bucks to deposit), however its attention to and experience in regulated makes it s much lower risk than many other platforms. Hence, my partner who is much more risk-adverse than me has much more in Freeway Superchargers than I do!
I feel Freeway is also going to be the place I refer family to, especially once they get their app and UI sorted — ie a better (easier) user experience for those who are technology-awkward; aka my parents.
Care to join me?
If so, here’s my invite link (earn an extra 2% by using it!)
Not quite ready to stake stables yet?
It still might be worth registering and/or purchasing some $FWT tokens whilst the market cap is still low.
You never know when you might need them! 😜
[THIS ARTICLE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS – MORE UPDATES COMING AS FEATURES ARE RELEASED ETC!]