Crypto APY Explained - The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Annual Percentage Yield

Crypto APY Explained - The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Annual Percentage Yield

Crypto APY is a key metric in digital assets, representing the annualized return on crypto investments, factoring in interest, rewards, and compounding. Explore Crypto APYs in this definitive guide.

In the complex realm of cryptocurrencies, staying informed and adaptable is key to thriving, especially amid uncertain market conditions. Crypto APY, or annual percentage yield, serves as a crucial metric for investors seeking to earn passive income rather than adopting aggressive strategies in a bearish market


This guide will unravel the intricacies of Crypto APY, shedding light on its significance, calculation methods, and how to harness its potential to optimize your returns. Designed for seasoned investors and crypto novices, this comprehensive resource will empower you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate the ever-changing digital asset landscape and fine-tune your investment approach. 


Let us first understand the concept of annual percentage yield (APY), what distinguishes it from a simple interest rate (IR), and how to calculate your potential returns. 


What Is APY?

The annual percentage yield (APY) is a method for calculating the accumulation of interest over time. It is an approach for determining the profit gained on money market accounts over a year. APY can indicate to investors exactly how much interest they will receive. They can compare possibilities using this technique. For instance, they can choose the best bank and whether or not they want to pay a higher IR.


The effects of compounding are not considered in other interest rates, but they are considered in APY. The APY is the predicted annual return rate on a deposit after considering account compound interest. The annual rate of return on an investment is a big part of how much compound interest you get, and it goes up as the balance goes up.


Compounding interest measures the return that is earned by investments. It differs from simple interest. "Simple interest" implies interest earned on the principal amount. In contrast, compound interest means the amount received on the money you placed into the account (principal amount) and the interest that has been collected. It allows its users to earn money over time, which is why it is such a powerful financial tool for investment.


How to Calculate APY

A particular formula is used to calculate the APY. This formula is commonly applied in financing when the nominal interest rate remains relatively constant. However, the nominal interest rate and the number of compounding periods are involved in calculating the APY.


Nominal interest rate: It is the interest rate before considering inflation.

Compounding period: The compounding period is the period between the prior interest being compounded and the next time it will be compounded. Annually compounding indicates the interest which is compounded every year. It can be done monthly, daily, or at any other period.


APY is calculated using this formula: 


APY = ( 1 + (r / n))- 1




APY = annual percentage yield

r =  nominal interest rate

n = number of compounding periods


Example: If you deposit $10,000 in a savings account with a simple yearly interest rate of 6%, and your bank only calculates and pays interest once a year, you will have $10,600 at the end of the year.


Now assume the bank calculates and pays interest monthly. You would be given a raise every month. In that case, using APY, you'll have $10,616.78 at the end of the year due to adding earned interest to the “pot” more often, which ultimately nets you more than the original 6% interest rate ($10,600).


The difference may appear insignificant initially but may add up over time or with more significant deposits, especially if we take year or decade-long investments into account.


Difference Between APY and APR

As both contain interest, the terms annual percentage yield (APY) and annual percentage rate (APR) appear very similar. Some users may even mix up these two terms. However, APY and APR are not the same things.


In simplest terms, APY takes compounding into account, while APR does not. APY is a term often used when investing long-term, while APR is used for short-term investments or loans. 


How Does Crypto APY Work?

There’s a slight difference between how we calculate APY in crypto and traditional banking. 


Rather than calculating an interest rate based on the dollar value of the assets, customers earn an interest rate denominated in the cryptocurrency they invested (or, in rare cases, in a different cryptocurrency). 


For example, if someone is expecting a 6% APY on a 1 Bitcoin investment, they would get 0.06 BTC in return after a year. The dollar value of Bitcoin has no bearing on the interest rate users will earn. As a result, if an investor is thinking about converting their crypto, crypto APY may be significantly more appealing than traditional investment choices in bull markets, and significantly less appealing in bear markets. 


When it comes to crypto investments, making a passive income on a regular basis is done through yield farming. Yield farming is the practice of “putting your crypto to work” strategically to generate additional coins. It includes numerous different ways of obtaining profits, including:


  • Crypto staking, which involves acquiring cryptocurrency rewards by verifying cryptocurrency transactions on a blockchain network. Users can earn money by participating in proof-of-stake networks, which bring investors together to validate the network.The more currencies committed to the network, the more likely a user will be chosen as a validator for adding blocks to the blockchain. 

  • Providing liquidity, which involves providing two cryptocurrencies of the same dollar value to a decentralized exchange automated market maker, thus helping facilitate transactions. You can earn a solid APY providing liquidity and profiting from the accrued fees.

  • Crypto lending, which involves providing direct or distributed decentralized loans, and earning a profit in the form of interest. 


You can earn a profit by utilizing your crypto through decentralized finance, or through centralized intermediaries. KuCoin’s Earn program offers numerous ways of utilizing your crypto, including staking, mining, lending, and more. 


Pro tip: Another factor to consider while considering APY in cryptocurrency is impermanent loss. Liquidity pools often provide highest APYs, but carry a risk with it. As liquidity providers need to provide liquidity to a specific crypto pair, they need to deposit two assets of equal dollar value. Impermanent loss occurs when the value of your investment after a certain period is lower (due to price fluctuations of one or both cryptocurrencies) then it would’ve been more profitable to just buy and hold.


Factors That Influence Crypto APY

Several factors affect crypto APY. Some of the elements are described below:



Inflation is the gradual fall in the value of a currency. In the cryptocurrency world, inflation means introducing new tokens to the blockchain network at a predefined rate.


The level of inflation for a particular network influences staking results. If the coin has a greater inflation rate than the APY, the profits will erode as soon as they are earned.


Token Supply and Demand

Like in any economic system, the law of supply and demand affects the price. For instance, a cryptocurrency owner can easily lend his coin and earn interest.


The interest rate imposed for borrowing money is lower when there is a lot of supply and higher when there is a shortage. In the same way, the crypto APY changes based on how much demand there is for each token and how many are available.


Compounding Periods

If there is more compounding period, the APY has more value. So, users who save funds in bank accounts must consider how frequently the money is compounded. That is why daily or weekly compounding is generally preferable to yearly compounding.


7-Day APY Mean in Crypto

In most banking services, interest is typically compounded once a month. Most cryptocurrency platforms, on the other hand, have shorter compounding periods, with seven days being one of the most common. Every seven days, the interest is compounded into a 7-day APY. Shorter timeframes are used on occasion for the following reasons:


  • The extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies may be unacceptable for some investors. As a result, shorter compounding periods enable them to offset the effects of price fluctuations.

  • Investors can ensure that the yearly percentage yield is precisely what the financial firm promises and that there are no manipulations.

  • Shorter compounding periods are ideal for investors still unsure about investing in cryptocurrency and want to test the waters first.


The basic formula is as follows:


APY = (( A - B - C ) / B) * ( 365 / 7 )




A = the price at the end of the 7-day period

B = the price at the start of the 7-day period

C = any fees accrued during the week


This estimated figure helps investors understand the weekly yield or return.


Why Are Cryptocurrency APYs Higher Than in TradFi?

The APY offered in traditional finance is significantly lower than that provided by cryptocurrency money management services in most cases. This can be explained in several ways:


  • Interest rates are lower in traditional and internet banks than in cryptocurrency. On average, bank savings accounts pay 0.28%, while loans pay 2% to 3%. The annual percentage yield (APY) on cryptocurrency, particularly cryptocurrency savings accounts, can reach 12%, whereas loans are typically granted at 5% to 18%.

  • Crypto offers higher APRs due to fewer rules and increased volatility. The type of cryptocurrency and its value determine the actual APR, which increases the value of APY.

  • Several institutional participants in the market frequently control IR in cryptocurrency. Higher APRs and APYs result from increased risks and earnings associated with the space. Cryptocurrency exchanges contribute to this trend by offering loans at comparable rates.



Every investor requires a strategy for analyzing investment opportunities and estimating returns. The annual percentage yield, or APY, is a standard return computation rate in traditional banking and cryptocurrency. It considers the benefits of compound interest, which can increase the amount received. If the APY is high, investors can earn a higher profit. Comparing the APY options may aid in determining the best investment opportunities.


The APY is the rate of return on an investment that considers both the principal and compounded interest. Users will profit more from their investments if the APY is high. When comparing platforms for cryptocurrency deposits, people should consider the APY and remember that it can fluctuate. Follow KuCoin Learn for more amazing educational content.