What is APY in Crypto and How Is it Calculated?


Discover the ins and outs of APY (Annual Percentage Yield) in the realm of cryptocurrency. This article breaks down what APY is and how it’s calculated, making it easier for you to make informed investment choices. Learn about compound interest and explore practical ways like lending, borrowing, staking, and yield farming to grow your crypto assets.

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What is APY?

APY, or Annual Percentage Yield, is a crucial metric that reveals the total interest earnings a savings or investment account can accrue in a year, accounting for compound interest. This measure provides a comprehensive view of the account’s potential growth over the span of one year, offering investors a clear understanding of their returns.

What is APY in Crypto?

APY holds significance both in the realm of traditional finance and the crypto market. Essentially, APY serves as a metric to quantify the annual rate of return an investment generates.

In the crypto universe, APY assumes an even more intriguing role. The potential to earn interest on crypto assets has led to the emergence of diverse avenues such as staking, yield farming, and cryptocurrency lending. These paths often generate APY rates exceeding 10%, a notable difference from the usual high returns in traditional finance. The average savings interest rate in U.S. banks hovers at a meager sub-one percent.

This comparison gains further significance due to the context of decreasing bank interest rates, influenced by the state of inflation. As these rates dwindle, individuals are drawn to the cryptocurrency market, enticed by the prospect of passive yields that defy the constraints of traditional finance.

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How is APY Calculated?

Let’s dive into the world of APY calculation by understanding the basics of simple and compound interest.

Simple Interest

Simple interest stays constant, tied solely to your initial investment. Any interest earned doesn’t impact future interest calculations. The formula for calculating simple interest is straightforward:

Simple interest earned = P × I × T


P = Principal (initial amount)

I = Interest rate (annually)

T = Time held (in years)

Imagine investing $20,000 in a crypto protocol with a five percent annual interest rate for three years. You’d earn $3000 in interest, resulting in a total of $23,000 after the period.

Compound Interest

Compound interest, in contrast, considers both the initial investment and previously earned interest. It paves the way for accelerated investment growth. The formula for compound interest earned is:

Compound interest earned = [P × (1 + I)^n ] – P


P = Principal

I = Interest rate (annual)

n = Number of compounding periods

Consider this scenario: $10,000 invested in a crypto protocol with a 5% annual interest rate compounded yearly over four years. The accumulated interest after four years would amount to $2155.06, showcasing the cumulative nature of compound interest.

Compound interest goes beyond by factoring in both your starting investment and previously earned interest. It sets the stage for exponential growth. The formula for compound interest is slightly more complex:

Compound interest earned = [P × (1 + I)^n ] – P


P = Principal

I = Interest rate (annually)

n = Number of compounding periods

Imagine investing $20,000 in a crypto protocol with a 5% annual interest rate compounded annually over three years. The accumulated interest would be approximately $3162, showcasing how compound interest accelerates growth.


Annual Percentage Yield (APY) bridges the gap between a simple stated interest rate and the intricate world of compounding. Here’s the formula that captures APY:

APY = (1 + r/n )^n – 1


r = Periodic rate

n = Number of compounding periods

In the example of investing $20,000 ata 5% annual interest rate compounded annually over three years, the APY would be approximately 5.08%.

Additional Considerations:

  • Stay vigilant about inflation rates. If your crypto investment faces inflation exceeding your APY, gains could diminish swiftly.
  • Crypto APY hinges on factors like demand and liquidity. These aspects can impact potential gains, varying based on a cryptocurrency’s popularity and market conditions.

Difference Between APY and APR

People often wonder about the distinction between APY and APR. While APR is commonly known in traditional finance, its role in the crypto world is a bit different.

APR, the annual percentage rate, is familiar for determining interest rates in regular finance. It takes fees into account and works well for straightforward calculations. However, when it comes to crypto, things change. Cryptocurrencies often grow through compounding, where earnings increase over time. This isn’t the flat way APR usually works.

For the crypto context, we have APY, the annual percentage yield. APY fits better because it captures the way crypto assets compound and grow. It’s a more accurate way to show how your money can multiply in the crypto space.

So, to sum it up, APY and APR are like tools for different jobs. APR works for fixed situations, while APY paints a better picture of how crypto investments can grow over time.

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Crypto Investments that Earn APY

Crypto investments offer more than passive storage. Utilizing the power of compound interest or APY, you can multiply your assets through different investment choices.

Cryptocurrency Lending and Borrowing

Long-term crypto investors can maximize their holdings with cryptocurrency lending and borrowing.

Cryptocurrency Lending: Similar to traditional lending, but with cryptocurrencies. Lend your crypto on decentralized platforms, earning interest or dividends ranging from 3% to 17%. A far wider range compared to traditional finance’s 4.75% to 5%

Cryptocurrency Borrowing: Use your crypto as collateral for loans when you need cash urgently. Repay the loan with interest based on the APY, which determines the borrowing cost.

Yield Farming

Yield farming involves lending your crypto to earn more crypto. Yield farmers switch between markets for the best returns, treating it like a trading strategy. Successful yield farmers closely monitor APY for lucrative opportunities, often earning higher rates than traditional banks offer.

Cryptocurrency Staking for Rewards

Cryptocurrency staking lets you earn rewards by validating transactions on a blockchain network. By committing your crypto, you secure the network and earn more cryptocurrency in return. The more you commit, the better your chances of being chosen as a validator.

Staking involves locking up your crypto for a defined period. This reduced supply can positively affect the cryptocurrency’s value.


  • Be cautious with new protocols offering high APYs. Some might attract users initially but drop significantly later.
  • When diving into the DeFi community, verify the credibility of yield farming platforms.


In the world of cryptocurrency, understanding APY and its benefits is key. It offers a pathway to multiply assets through compound interest, transforming passive storage into active growth. Whether through lending, borrowing, staking, or yield farming, APY empowers investors to make their crypto holdings work harder. Investing in crypto is much more than just HODLing or trading. APY is a great way to earn a significant percentage on your crypto assets.

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