Investors frustrated with minuscule yields from banks savings accounts may have a would-be saviour: so-called crypto lending accounts that can pay interest rates of 9% or higher. 

Upstart crypto firms like Celsius Network and BlockFi think this new business could create the killer app that brings a whole new cohort of investors into cryptocurrencies; thus far, the firms say they’ve collected more than US$35 billion ($50 billion) in deposits.

But the accounts are also drawing criticism from traditional financial firms, who say they’re riskier than they appear, and from some regulators, who claim the accounts are being offered illegally. The conflict could push questions about regulation and crypto’s place in the US financial system to a head.

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