What Is APY In Crypto?
10 Dec 2023 by Harry Newman 4 min read
What Is APY In Crypto?

What is APY in crypto? APY is Annual Percentage Yield and represents a crucial metric within digital finance. 

APY offers insights into the potential earnings from various crypto investment strategies.

APY is the annual rate of return that an investment yields, factoring in the effect of compounding interest over a year.

What Is APY In Crypto

APY in cryptocurrency refers to the annual rate of return that an investment yields with compound interest over a year. 

APY reflects the additional interest earned on interest accumulated over time.

Compounding in APY refers to the process where the earnings from an investment are reinvested to generate additional earnings over time, which is significant for crypto where compounding can occur at varying frequencies such as daily or monthly.

The equation for APY is APY = (1+r/n)n-1.

R is the annual interest rate, expressed as a decimal number so 25% would be 0.25.

N is the number of compounding periods per year.

1 is the baseline that represents your investment.

Let's use an example of £100 invested in a cryptocurrency where you receive 10% APY, compounded monthly over a year.

Instead of adding 10% at the end of the year, we split this 10% over each month, so each month earns a bit of interest, not the whole 10% at once.

The 10% yearly interest is divided by 12, which is the months in a year, this gives about 0.83% per month.

So each month you earn 0.83% interest on your balance.

At the end of the first month, you earn 0.83% of £100, which is 83p, so now you have £100.83.

The next month, you earn 0.83% on £100.83, which is slightly more than 83p. 

This process repeats every month, with the interest each month calculated on the new balance.

At the end of the year, your final total will end up being approximately £110.47.

Without compounding your interest and just adding 10% you would have £110.

This shows how monthly compounding makes your money grow a bit more than just adding 10% at the end of the year. Over a longer period of time, this will provide a greater return on your investment.

Several factors influence the APY in crypto investments, such as the frequency of compounding, the stability of the asset, and market conditions.

Staking cryptocurrencies in a DeFi protocol with daily compounding will have a different APY compared to a protocol with monthly compounding.

How can I earn APY?

The calculation can be confusing, often staking services or other yield programs will have a calculator for users to work out what they might earn.  

Staking involves holding cryptocurrency and often locking in a staking program to support the operations of a blockchain network.

The APY in staking is influenced by the staking duration, the amount staked and any other network-specific factors.

A good website to check the best staking rewards can be found here.

Yield farming and liquidity mining where investors provide liquidity to DeFi platforms in exchange for rewards, typically they offer attractive APYs.

These APYs, however, can fluctuate significantly based on the total value locked in the protocol and the demand for the particular liquidity pool.

Crypto lending platforms offer users the opportunity to lend their assets to others and earn interest, offering APY to lenders, the APY is influenced by the demand for borrowing specific cryptocurrencies and market interest rates.

A list of best lending platforms can be found here.


APY and APR are often mentioned together but have distinct differences. APR represents the simple interest rate annually without considering compounding, APY includes the effect of compounding, providing a more accurate representation of potential earnings.

For crypto investors, distinguishing between APY and APR is crucial for making informed decisions.

A higher APY indicates a higher return on investment due to compounding, which is significant in the long term, this does however come with increased risk and often high APY from yield farming is not sustainable.

Final Thoughts 

What is APY in crypto is a question that requires an understanding in investing and the risks involved. It is best to use a range of investment strategies, diversifying your assets.

APY serves as a way to evaluate the potential returns with compound interest from different assets and guide investors in navigating the complex and dynamic world of investing in cryptocurrencies.

Understanding what is APY in crypto and how it works gives an investor more potential benefit from the market. 


How does compounding frequency affect APY in crypto?

The frequency of compounding has a significant impact on APY. The more frequency compounding results in higher APY, as interest is earned on previously accumulated interest more regularly.

Are high APYs in crypto sustainable in the long term?

High APYs are not always sustainable, as they can be influenced by market volatility, liquidity levels and the demand for the asset. It is important to manage your risk if using a high APY as this won’t be provided forever.

Can regulatory changes impact APY in the crypto market?

Yes, regulatory changes can impact APY in the crypto market, stricter regulations may reduce the availability or attractiveness of certain yield-generating opportunities.

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This article is intended for educational purposes and is not financial advice.