10 Best DeFi Lending Platforms With the Best Rates for 2024

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DeFi lending platforms allow users to lend crypto and generate passive income. Crypto asset lending is usually automated and is based on smart contracts, which makes the whole process seamless.

In the following article, we’ll list some of the best DeFi lending platforms, along with their pros and cons, available coins, key terms, and more. Read on.

The Top 10 DeFi Lending Platforms

Based on our review of several dozen sites, we selected ten that offered maximum yields, the best terms, and the highest security. Check out our list of best DeFi Lending platforms and learn why we recommend them: 

  1. DeFi Swap — One of the main reasons why this is the best DeFi lending platform is the fact that it enables you to stake your funds for 30, 90, 180, and 365 days. Longer terms result in higher APY.
  2. AQRU— A fee-free DeFi crypto lending platform that allows APY of up to 10% on the idle coins in your account. The only charge is the fixed $20 crypto withdrawal fee.
  3. YouHodler — A Swiss-based service with more than 150,000 users. It’s one of the best DeFi lending platforms security-wise, with a 3FA for investors holding more than $10,000 worth of crypto.   
  4. Crypto.com — A versatile crypto platform offering a range of products. Investors can earn as much as 14.5% APY, provided they reach top-tier status.
  5. Nexo — A platform with great DeFi lending rates for stablecoins offering up to 12% APY. There are also other services available, such as borrowing, exchange, and more. 
  6. Binance — A comprehensive crypto platform known for its exchange. It also offers several options for creating passive income, including lending.
  7. Aave — A lending platform aimed at advanced users who know how to get the most out of fluctuating rates. It’s Ethereum-based and accepts wallets from other chains.
  8. Compound — The original DeFi lending platform featuring its own token and no KYC or AML checks. Although it is not beginner-friendly, it offers huge interest potential.
  9. Yearn Finance — A flexible DeFi platform with a range of products related to lending and borrowing, including the option to lock several cryptocurrencies and earn interest.
  10. dYdX — A non-custodial online cryptocurrency exchange that features lending and borrowing capabilities and floating interest rates.

Reviewing the DeFi Lending Platforms

It’s no secret some DeFi lending platforms are superior to others, as they offer higher yields and an overall better experience. Our team has narrowed down the selection to the ten options mentioned above, and we’ll now review each in detail. 

Ultimately, choosing the best DeFi lending platform is a matter of personal preference. That is why we advise you to read the following reviews carefully to discover which one suits your needs best. Users interested in DeFi lending can also check out some of the most popular crypto yield farming platforms.

1. DeFi Swap — Best DeFi Lending Platform with Up to 75% if Locked Annually

DeFi Swap

DeFi Swap is a decentralized exchange offering several crypto-related services. Even though swapping tokens is its primary feature, you can also make a passive income (with a great APY) by depositing some of the coins accepted.

The platform is based on the DeFi Coin (DEFC) — an integral part of its ecosystem, which includes two lending products: Yield Farming and Syrup Pools.

If you decide to use farming, you’ll have to stake two tokens (any two that make a trading pair and are accepted at DeFi Swap) and get LP tokens in return. After that, you need to stake LP in the Farm to start earning rewards. According to CoinMarketCap’s take on yield farming, the popular industry skyrocketed from $500 million to $10 billion in 2020 alone.  

The other option is Syrup Pools. You will get to stake your DEFC and earn additional tokens in return. The platform features special pools that also accept tokens other than DEFC.

Pros: pros

  • Option to lock up coins for only 30 days 
  • Support for yield farming and crypto pools
  • Entirely decentralized and anonymous platform
  • No charge for the majority of services
  • Interest payments distributed every 24 hours
  • Easy to connect wallets with no additional registration processes required

Cons cons:

  • Low fees
  • Lack of detailed instruction manuals on the platform
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
DeFi Coin is used for lending, but it can be easily swapped for other accepted coins on the platform. Up to 75% if locked annually You can lock up coins for 30, 60, 90, and 365 days. BNB Smart Chain

2. AQRU — One of the Leading DeFi Lending Platforms with High APYs

AQRU is currently only open for USDC deposits.

AQRU is a service that allows crypto savings. It supports Ethereum and Bitcoin, offering up to 2% APY on them. However, its true power lies in stablecoins, as AQRU can offer as much as 10% APY on them, especially on USDC. Unfortunately, this changed from the last time when AQRU was able to offer as much as 12% APY, which is why it’s best to check back regularly and see whether the terms have been modified.

The reason why we selected AQRU as one of the leading DeFi lending protocols is its simplicity — all you have to do is deposit your funds and start earning interest.

However, once you begin exploring this platform, you’ll notice that it has plenty of other unique services, including the DeFi Mulltet-covered Yield-as-a-Service option via its AQRU Trend and AQRU Ten products. 

As of now, AQRU no longer offers most of its lending- and interest-related options for deposits — USDC is the only one available, with a 45-day fixed lock-in period.

Still, the best part is you’ll be financing real-world receivables by depositing at AQRU. According to CoinDesk, it has partnered with Maple Finance and Inero Capital Solutions, which has bridged the gap between DeFi and the real world.

Pros: pros

  • No charges for most services
  • Ability to earn up to 10% APY on stablecoins
  • Minimum balance as low as $100
  • AQRU Trend and AQRU Ten investment strategies available
  • Regularly adapted strategies based on the latest trends in DeFi

Cons cons:

  • $20 crypto withdrawal
  • Many deposit options unavailable at the moment
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
USDC, Bitcoin, Ethereum Up to 10% Lock-in periods are flexible, depending on the products. Multi-chain

3. YouHodler — Popular DeFi Lending Platform With 3FA

Getting loans with YouHodler is a streamlined process — you just need to have crypto as collateral.

Unlike the previous two options, which focused on farming and staking pools, YouHodler is an actual DeFi lending and borrowing solution. Still, it should be noted that the DeFi part is questionable, given that this platform accepts fiat money and seems quite centralized.

It supports a range of cryptocurrencies, but loans are possible primarily in fiat currencies — EUR, USD, CHF, and GBP. The only crypto loan we were able to find is in USDT. These are all collateralized loans (pawnshop), and the platform promises a 90% loan-to-value ratio.

The platform is regulated by the European Union and all of the relevant Swiss financial institutions. Moreover, its custody is secured by Ledger Enterprise.

You can also invest in cryptos via the Multi HODL options and get interest ranging from 3% to 15% (even though these rates may change in the future). Due to this reason, YouHodler can be considered one of the top DeFi yield farming services.

Pros: pros

  • 3FA available for big investors
  • 50+ crypto coins accepted as collateral
  • Streamlined lending process
  • Superb loan-to-value (up to 90%)
  • Interest on coins earned with Multi HODL

Cons cons:

  • Needs to increase its transparency
  • Not true DeFi, as the platform is centralized
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
50+; fiat lending available, as well Between 3% and 15% via the Multi HODL feature Flexible terms (no limits) Centralized

4. Crypto.com — One of the Most Popular Brands in the DeFi Sector

Crypto.com enables locking your CRO and earning yield.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Crypto.com, a global leader in security and regulatory compliance, trusted by more than 80 million users.

The platform offers a range of features, including DeFi wallets, accounts for earning interest, a crypto exchange, and more.

There are many ways in which you can earn interest on this platform, but the rates vary depending on your tier — for example, top-tier investors can earn up to 14.5% APY. The most standard way to start earning is to lock up your CRO tokens.

Users looking to make a loan can do so via a separate feature, which allows you to borrow up to 50% of your crypto collateral.

Pros: pros

  • Superb reputation
  • Up to 14.5% interest for savings accounts
  • Flexible withdrawals
  • Up to 50% of your crypto collateral available for borrowing
  • Interest payments available for spending via the Crypto.com credit card 

Cons cons:

  • Not the highest APY for BTC investors
  • CRO (native token) must be staked for boosted yields
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
250+ cryptocurrencies Up to 14.5% Flexible lockup terms Centralized

5. Nexo — DeFi Lending Site With Many Products, Up to 12% APY

Nexo accepts many cryptocurrencies, but getting the highest yield requires investing plenty of its native crypto: NEXO.

Similar to Crypto.com, Nexo features a range of products, including crypto purchases, crypto exchanges, Nexo Card, Nexo Wallet, and more. We were particularly intrigued by the Earn Interest section, which promises daily payouts, flexible and fixed terms, and zero fees.

You can stake tokens on this platform and earn decent APY, which ranges between 4% and 12% (though this isn’t guaranteed). Nexo is best for stablecoins, as it promises up to 12% APY for cryptos such as Tether, USD Coin, and DAI. For Bitcoin, it’s 4% — similar to Polygon, which was selected as one of the leading cryptos to buy, according to Reddit users.

Nexo has a tier system for APY, and to achieve better status, you need to stake enough NEXO tokens. The highest (Platinum) tier requires having 10% or more NEXO in your staked portfolio.

Pros: pros

  • You can earn up to 12% APY
  • Flexible terms, with an optional lock-in period
  • Range of other available products
  • Licensed and regulated 
  • ISO/IEC-certified (27001:2013)

Cons cons:

  • Staking rewards are the highest only if you stake enough NEXO
Supported coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
35+ cryptos Up to 12% Both flexible and fixed Centralized

6. Binance — The Largest DeFi Exchange by Trading Volume, $6Bn Spot Trading Volume (24h) 

Binance features a range of options, but its robust interface could be a bit of a turn-off for users with no experience in DeFi lending.

Binance might be known for being one of the top online crypto exchanges — in fact, its BNB is one of the most popular cryptos at the moment. However, this platform also features many other products, including DeFi crypto lending. It is so comprehensive that a short review won’t do it justice: after all, it has more than 100 million clients and features 1,000+ trading markets.

Those interested in borrowing funds can easily do so via Binance Loans. Then, they can use the loaned money for spot, margin, and futures trading. Alternatively, they can stake the borrowed funds to maximize APY.

If you want to earn passive income, you can pick one of the Binance Earn options, including Simple Earn, Staking, Farming, and Dual Investment.

APY ranges vastly depending on how you want to earn it — it can even go above 100% in some cases.

Pros: pros

  • Both flexible and locked terms available
  • Great for medium- and small-cap coins
  • Reputable and trustworthy platform known for its exchange
  • Secure and audited

Cons cons:

  • Fluctuating yield rates 
  • Too many options could be off-putting 
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
Depends on the investment or lending method Varies (can reach 100%+ in some cases) Flexible and locked terms available BNB Smart Chain

7. Aave — DeFi Lending Platform for Advanced Users with up to 7.5% APY

Aave quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the most popular platforms for lending and borrowing.

Aave was launched in 2020, and its popularity has been growing rapidly. This platform enables earning interest, borrowing assets, and building applications. It is entirely decentralized and community-governed and is actually one of the most highly-rated platforms for crypto lending. Aave also developed popular flash loans for those needing a quick buck.

At the moment, you can submit 11 cryptos as collateral and borrow them with a promised LTV value of 80%.

Those who want to start earning will have their funds allocated via a smart contract, which is public, verified, open source, and audited. It’s possible to withdraw your funds from the pool or use their tokenized versions (aTokens), which you can move or trade on Ethereum, much like any other asset. 

AAVE, its native token, is a widely used cryptocurrency, currently ranking #49 based on CoinMarketCap.

Pros: pros

  • No tier system, meaning both big and small investors receive the same DeFi lending rates
  • Interest compounded and accrued in real-time
  • No KYC necessary
  • Flash loans available

Cons cons:

  • Flash loans subject to cybercriminals in the past
  • Updates necessary for the list of accepted wallets
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
AAVE, ETH + 15 others The APY varies — it currently goes up to 7.5% There’s a 10-day cooldown period for locking AAVE. Ethereum-based, but accepts wallets from other chains

8. Compound — Original DeFi Lending Platform with APY of 2.29%

Compound’s numbers have been increasing over the years, as it’s the original DeFi lending platform that has revolutionized the industry.

Compound is a protocol that powers open financial applications, and it’s based on an autonomous interest rate. It’s the original DeFi platform that has paved the way for the DeFi sphere to expand. Its primary purpose is lending and borrowing, meaning users can lock up their crypto to earn passive income or take out loans. 

The platform features a governance token called COMP, which gives holders voting rights. In other words, Compound is community-driven, with COMP holders deciding on new assets, upgrades, and more.

Pros: pros

  • Accepts 17+ coins
  • Minimums on lending or borrowing are not imposed
  • No slippage or trading fees
  • Community-governed DAO
  • Multiple asset pool usage not prohibited

Cons cons:

  • Somewhat complex, with plenty of lending/borrowing options (not beginner-friendly)
  • Limitations caused by the fact that it is only Ethereum-based (no tokens from other chains)
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
ETH and 16+ other coins (ERC20) Interest rate varies and currently goes up to 2.29%. No time periods specified Ethereum

9. Yearn Finance — Versatile Lending Platform With Several Unique Products 

Yearn Finance has clearly defined products — Vaults being the most popular one, as it enables depositing tokens and receiving yield.

You may think of Yearn Finance as the ultimate intermediary between lenders and borrowers, with YFI token at the heart of its ecosystem. However, this platform has become so much more: a suite of products focused on enabling users to collect yield.

Perhaps the most popular among them is Vaults, where you can lock up your tokens and earn an annual percentage yield — keep in mind that it varies a lot, depending on the token you select.

Users can also lock the native token to take part in the governance of Yearn Finance or even use the somewhat controversial yet innovative yBribe feature to sell their votes to the highest bidders or bribe voters. 

Pros: pros

  • Suite of innovative products that facilitate governance and yield collection
  • Military-grade security
  • Varying investment returns that can be quite high for some coins
  • Investment insurance available via Yearn Finance

Cons cons:

  • Not particularly user-friendly
  • Possibility of permanent loss if specific high-risk strategies are applied
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
ETH, DAI, USDC, USDT, and more Varies, but goes up to 28% Terms are different depending on the service you decide to use. Ethereum-based; accepts Optimism, Fantom, and Abritrum wallets

10. dYdX — DeFi Site With No KYC & a High-Performing User Interface

dYdX is mainly a crypto exchange, but it also features staking, lending, and borrowing.

Launched in 2018 by Antonio Juliano, this DeFi platform with an odd name offers a range of services, including margin trading, spot trading, and lending. The service is completely decentralized and operates as a trustless system.

dYdX stands out thanks to oracles — data feeds from third parties. Their main job is to provide external data to dYdX’s smart contracts, which allow it to come up with a set of unique financial products that are not found on other trading platforms.

While it’s primarily an exchange, users can stake their assets and earn interest rates. They follow a floating model, so it’s fairly difficult to pin them down. Borrowing is also possible, but the collateralization ratio goes as high as 125%.

Pros: pros

  • Non-custodial platform with no KYC
  • Fast and high-performing user interface, which mainly appeals to traders using the platform
  • Data feeds from third parties (oracles), which incorporate external data into smart contracts

Cons cons:

  • Primarily an exchange, so the number of DeFi lending features is smaller compared to competitors
  • Varying interest rates based on supply and demand, meaning no specific numbers are given
Accepted coins APY  Key terms Blockchain used
USDC as collateral, 37 available for borrowing Floating Flexible Ethereum

Best DeFi Lending Accounts Comparison

To help you pick the best option, we’ve compared all the top DeFi lending platforms in the table below. You should remember that all the information listed here is subject to change.

Ultimately, you should also check interest rates, accepted cryptos, key terms, and more yourself, as that will help you make the right decision.

Accepted coins APY/Interest rates Key terms  Blockchain used
DeFi Swap DeFi Coin is used for lending but can be easily swapped for other accepted coins on the platform. Up to 75% if locked annually You can lock up coins to 30, 60, 90, and 365 days. BNB Smart Chain
AQRU USDC, Bitcoin, Ethereum Up to 10% Lock-in periods are flexible, depending on the products. Multi-chain
YouHodler 50+; fiat lending is available, as well. Between 3% and 15% via the Multi HODL feature Flexible terms (no limits) Centralized
Crypto.com 250+ cryptocurrencies Up to 14.5% Flexible lockup terms Centralized
Nexo 35+ cryptos Up to 12% Both flexible and fixed Centralized
Binance Depends on the investment or lending method Varies (can reach 100%+ in some cases) Flexible and locked terms available BNB Smart Chain
Aave AAVE, ETH + 15 others The APY varies — it currently goes up to 7.5%. There’s a 10-day cooldown period for locking AAVE. Ethereum-based, but accepts wallets from other chains
Compound ETH and 16+ other coins (ERC20) Interest rate varies and currently goes up to 2.29%. No time periods specified Ethereum
Yearn Finance ETH, DAI, USDC, USDT, and more Varies, but goes up to 28% Term are different depending on the service you decide to use. Ethereum-based; accepts Optimism, Fantom, and Abritrum wallets
dYdX USDC as collateral, 37 available for borrowing Floating Flexible Ethereum

What Is DeFi Lending?

DeFi lending is the practice of lending and borrowing cryptocurrencies using dedicated services known as DeFi lending platforms.

It is a relatively new process established in the wake of crypto popularity. DeFi platforms now allow users to lend a cryptocurrency using their respective algorithms, all of which have one thing in common: they don’t feature any intermediaries, such as banks. This makes the entire lending/borrowing process much more convenient.

Passive income is the main reason why many people want to become lenders. Crypto owners can choose to stake their funds in a lending pool to provide liquidity for borrowers and earn interest in return. Platforms don’t usually promise fixed rates for specific cryptocurrencies, meaning you should keep track of potential annual yields before investing your funds.

Moreover, all the best DeFi lending platforms are secure and based on smart contracts, which automate the lending process and ensure all parties get what they expect.

DeFi lending platforms have been gradually updated, with many innovative options added, including flash loans. Since their inception in mid-2020, DeFi platforms have loaned a total of about $5.5 billion through flash loans, according to a piece from Bis.org.

It’s also important to note that not all DeFi lending platforms offer borrowing services. In other words, you can lend your digital assets to the platform itself, which can then use them for various other purposes, such as liquidity for automated market makers and more. Therefore, not all featured DeFi lending options on our page are focused on this activity alone — in fact, most of them are versatile platforms with a variety of DeFi products and services.

In case you’re knowledgeable in traditional lending (banks), here’s a quick comparison to help you understand how these two options differ. 

Criteria DeFi lending platforms  Banks
Interest rates Interest rates vary heavily, but some platforms can provide as much as 15% APY for lenders, while borrowers can be charged up to 10% APR. This also varies depending on your country’s laws and the bank of your choice. Some banks can offer up to 5% APY for savers.
Collateral You need to have the collateral to secure your loan. The collateral must have a value higher than the loan, and it must be in crypto. The collateral isn’t always necessary, but this mainly depends on your loan type and credit history. Moreover, it can be in the form of assets, including property, vehicles, and more.
Intermediaries There are no intermediaries when using DeFi lending platforms. Banks are intermediaries as they are highly centralized organizations, charging all kinds of fees for their services, which makes loans more expensive.
Fees DeFi lending platforms either have low or no fees. The only charge you may expect is a gas fee for processing transactions on the chain. Bank loans are expensive, as you have to take into account origination fees, prepayment fees, service fees, late fees, and more.
Accessibility Accessibility is high, as anyone with a wallet and the internet can consider using DeFi lending services. The accessibility of loans in banks is low or restricted. You might not have the right bank account, or you might be geographically restricted. Moreover, banks require you to go through various processes, including credit score and AML checks and more.

How Does DeFi Lending Work?

In DeFi lending, you can contribute to loans by investing your digital coins via a dedicated lending platform and earning interest. As a borrower, you can borrow cryptocurrencies, but you’ll still have to provide collateral for them (usually in the form of another crypto).

When it comes to DeFi lending, liquidity pools are usually essential. These are pools of cryptocurrency that are used to provide loans to other users. Each DeFi lending platform has interest rates, which are sometimes bigger than traditional loans. This makes them attractive to people who want to lend their crypto (by depositing them to a pool).

As a borrower, you cannot just take your money and leave. This might be possible when you’re borrowing money from a bank, but DeFi platforms need some sort of collateral from you. This will ensure that you will return your funds on time and at a specified interest rate.

The terms for lending and borrowing are defined and executed by smart contracts. They regulate everything — from interest payments to liquidation, duration, and more. Users rely on decentralized applications (dapps) to interact with these smart contracts.

DeFi Lending Rates Explained

Lending rates are the interest rates. Lenders earn and borrowers pay these when lending and borrowing digital assets on DeFi lending platforms.

Lenders and borrowers need to pay attention to the following two abbreviations: APY and APR.

  • APY — Annual percentage yield determines the interest one earns when saving or investing money. In this case, APY determines the interest for lending crypto.
  • APR — Annual percentage rate measures the interest one pays when lending or borrowing a cryptocurrency. APR differs from APY in that it doesn’t include compound interest

Lending rates can vary significantly across different DeFi platforms and crypto assets. For example, as of April 26, 2023, the average lending rate for USDC (a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar) was 2.12% on Compound, 2.63% on Aave, and 10% on Nexo.

But how are these determined? Supply and demand are the main factors, just like everywhere else. When more people are interested in borrowing crypto assets than usual, the lending rates will increase, providing more chances for lenders to collect higher yields. This is especially true when the lending supply of a specific cryptocurrency is low. In that case, DeFi lending platforms will attract more lenders to deposit their funds to the liquidity pools by offering higher rates.

On the other hand, rates will start decreasing if too many lenders stake their assets and the demand by borrowers isn’t that big. 

However, there are other factors affecting the price, including liquidity, risk, platform fees, and more. 

Potential Benefits of DeFi Lending

To determine the primary advantages of DeFi lending platforms, we must take into account traditional lending and compare the two. Here’s what you can expect:

  • DeFi platforms are more secure and transparent — All transactions are verified and recorded on the chain. As a result, users are able to benefit from a much higher degree of security than they would on traditional financial platforms.
  • DeFi lending is more inclusive and accessible — Traditional banks often have strict requirements about lending and borrowing — it is likely that you will need to have a great credit score and meet many other criteria. DeFi lending is available to virtually anyone with a compatible wallet, as many platforms don’t even require KYC and AML checks.
  • DeFi lending is more flexible and efficient — You get to set your own terms, which are very flexible on many platforms that offer this type of service. Moreover, the entire lending and borrowing process is streamlined and can be completed within minutes.
  • There is potential for earning passive income in the long run — No DeFi landing platform can actually promise you’ll increase your wealth. Some of them may suggest return rates, such as APY and APR, but none of that is a guarantee. Cryptocurrencies are still very volatile, and there’s a range of other challenges down the road. However, like with crypto trading, if you play your cards right and know which cryptos to lend and where you can still generate interest, you will be more likely to profit.

How to Choose a DeFi Lending Platform

When picking a DeFi lending platform, you need to research its security, liquidity, user experience, and available features. Also, don’t disregard personal preferences since no single service is suitable for everyone.

  • Security — Check if the platform is secure and trustworthy. See what other users on popular forums have to say about it and read reviews from professionals. Look for additional information on the underlying blockchain (if available), smart contracts, and audits from reputable third parties. Find out if the platform has a policy related to bugs or if it features some insurance funds.  
  • Liquidity — Ideally, the platform of your choice should have a high liquidity pool combined with low slippage.
  • Features — Explore available lending options, services, and more. In addition, look for platforms that offer flexible terms, such as variable or fixed interest rates, overcollateralized or undercollateralized loans, and different repayment options. If possible, check for additional benefits, like reward programs, staking options with governance tokens, and integrations with other DeFi protocols.
  • User experience — Find DeFi loaning services with a simple and intuitive design, responsive and helpful customer support, and a transparent and reliable information system.


DeFi lending took off several years ago, and it’s still a popular way for many to earn passive income (lenders) or get a financial boost without dealing with banks (borrowers).

We’ve presented some of the best DeFi loan platforms, so feel free to analyze the available options and pick the one that is the most suitable for you. 













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Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Sam Cooling is a crypto, financial, and business journalist based in London. Along with Techopedia, his work has been published in Yahoo Finance, Coin Rivet, and other leading publications in the financial space. His interest in cryptocurrency is driven by a passion for leveraging decentralized blockchain technologies to empower marginalized communities worldwide. This includes enhancing financial transparency, providing banking services to the unbanked, and improving agricultural supply chains. Sam has a Master’s Degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and has worked as a Junior Research Fellow for the UK Defence Academy.