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High-Interest GUSD Savings Account

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Update: I decided not to go forward with the Gemini account for 2 reasons: 1. It’s overly complicated to get money into Gemini because of the initial wire requirement. My bank (Charles Schwab) does not appear to allow the memo field on wire transfers, and Gemini requires a specific memo, or the funds will bounce. Other Schwab customers have had trouble getting money into Gemini. I have minimally investigated other banks, but at this point, I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. 2. I fear that the Gemini account will get shut down soon, as I have seen other crypto startups get out of offering bank account equivalents in the wake of the BlockFi ruling. While I believe Gemini is reputable to give money back, I just don’t think it’s worth the effort versus the ease and reliability of other interest-earning methods. As of April 10, 2022, I still have some money in the BlockFi interest account that was deposited before the shutdown.

BlockFi Interest Account Phase-Out

BlockFi used to offer Interest Accounts, which were similar to savings accounts but with a high yield on GUSD stablecoins. These were shut down in February 2022 as part of an SEC settlement. Existing accounts will continue to earn interest, but funds can no longer be transferred into Interest Accounts.

High-Interest Account: Gemini Earn

Gemini Earn is a savings account analogue that earns a high interest rate.

As of 2022-02-18
As of 2022-02-18

The account can be funded via ACH from your normal bank account, but there is a catch: the first account funding needs to be a wire transfer. Most banks charge ~$25 for outgoing wire transfers. Subsequent fundings can be ACH, but they have to come from the same account you sent in a wire transfer from initially.

Risks

  • Gemini Earn accounts are not FDIC insured.
  • Gemini may see similar scrutiny to BlockFi, probably very soon. Or if their lawyers get their way, shut down the offer before receiving a massive fine.
  • If Gemini / Gemini Earn shuts down, there is a small chance of your money disappearing.