Ease of Use
BlockFi is a cryptocurrency lending platform that allows you to earn interest on Bitcoin (BTC) 12 other cryptocurrencies. It also provides cash loans (backed by your crypto holdings) and allows you to trade cryptocurrency.
It gives you up to 9.5% APY on some cryptocurrencies – with no minimum deposit, no lock-in period, and no hidden fees.
It’s quick and painless to get verified and super-easy to use too. Just deposit your cryptocurrency and you’ll automatically start earning interest on it.
Interest rates offered by high street banks in the UK are awful.
You’d be lucky to get even 1% interest on your hard-earned savings. The same is true across Europe and the United States.
But with BlockFi, it’s now possible to earn MUCH better interest than this on your cryptocurrency balances.
But how does it work? Is it legit and safe to use?
And how does it compare to the alternatives that are out there?
Check out this BlockFi review where I cover all this (and more).
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Earn up to 9.5% APY on your cryptocurrency deposits.
- No minimum deposit to start earning interest on your cryptocurrency
- Flexible access to your cryptocurrency deposits (i.e., there’s no lock-in period).
- You get one FREE cryptocurrency and one FREE stablecoin withdrawal per month.
- BlockFi Interest Accounts are available in most countries.
- Takes less than 5 minutes to register and get verified.
- Requires ID verification (to comply with KYC/AML regulations).
- Alternative platforms support more cryptocurrencies.
- Higher interest (on some cryptocurrencies) is available elsewhere.
What Is BlockFi?
BlockFi was established in 2017 by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez.
It’s based in New York – but they have offices in New Jersey, Poland, and Argentina too. They operate in most countries around the world (excluding New York, due to the tough regulations that exist there, and any country on sanction lists).
In this post on their website, BlockFi noted that they have more than $15 billion in assets on its site and “a 0% loss rate” since the company began lending. As of May 2021, it had more than 200,000 clients and a team of more than 500.
BlockFi have a 3.8-star rating on Trustpilot, but there are only around 200 reviews right now. Most of the recent negative reviews are about further identity verification that has been required when some people have attempted to withdraw funds.
BlockFi provides four products:
- Cryptocurrency Interest Account: Deposit supporter cryptocurrencies into BlockFi and get interest every month on your balance (up to 9.5% APY).
- Cryptocurrency Loans: Borrow money from BlockFi by using your cryptocurrency as collateral (up to 50% LTV ratio). Currently only available to US residents.
- Cryptocurrency Trading: Trade between cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Chainlink (LINK), as well as stablecoins like USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT).
- Bitcoin Credit Card: This bitcoin debit card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and gives you 1.5% cashback on all your spending (paid in BTC). Includes other benefits too. Currently only available to US residents.
How Does BlockFi Work?
BlockFi is a platform that allows you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency balances.
Just open a BlockFi Interest Account and deposit one of these supported cryptocurrencies:
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Dai (DAI)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- PAX Gold (PAXG)
- Paxos Standard (PAX)
- Tether (USDT)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- USD Coin (USDC)
It’s simple, quick, and easy to open a BlockFi account to get started.
BlockFi Interest Rates
The rates offered on BlockFi interest accounts depend on what cryptocurrency you’re depositing.
You’ll get the best rates if you deposit Tether (USDT) and other stablecoins like USDC, GUSD, BUSD, and DAI.
The interest you earn on your cryptocurrency deposits also depends on how much you’re depositing. To illustrate, here’s a snapshot of BlockFi’s current rates for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) deposits.
|Bitcoin (BTC)||0 - 0.10 BTC||4.5%|
|Bitcoin (BTC)||0.10 - 0.35 BTC||1.0%|
|Bitcoin (BTC)||> 0.35 BTC||0.10%|
|Ethereum (ETH)||0 - 1.5 ETH||5.0%|
|Ethereum (ETH)||1.5 - 5 ETH||1.5%|
|Ethereum (ETH)||> 5 ETH||0.25%|
All of BlockFi’s interest rates are frequently updated – so it’s best to just head over to BlockFi’s website to check the rates for yourself.
How Does BlockFi Compare?
This is all great, but how does it compare to the BlockFi alternatives that are out there?
I took a look at what interest rates some of the most popular alternatives were offering for Bitcoin (BTC) deposits.
Here’s how BlockFi compares:
|Lending Platform||Bitcoin (BTC) Interest Rates||# of Cryptocurrencies|
|BlockFi||Up to 4.5% APY||13|
|Celsius Network||Up to 6.2% APY||40+|
|Crypto.com||Up to 6.5% APY||40+|
|Nexo||Up to 8.0% APY||20+|
Crypto.com looks decent, but there’s a catch. To unlock these rates, you need to lock-up your Bitcoin (BTC) for 3 months and have a Jade/Indigo (or higher) Crypto.com Visa Card. If you want more flexible access, then you’re quoted lower rates.
Celsius Network currently has slightly lower Bitcoin (BTC) interest rates than BlockFi. However, it allows you to earn interest on many more cryptocurrencies.
Interest rates change everywhere on a regular basis. Ensure that you check each provider’s website to get the most up-to-date numbers.
BlockFi Limits & Fees
Like most other places, BlockFi charges fees to withdraw cryptocurrency from its platform.
However, you’re entitled to one FREE cryptocurrency withdrawal AND one FREE stablecoin withdrawal per month. You’ll only pay the below fees if you exceed this allowance.
|Cryptocurrency||Withdrawal Limit (Per 7-Day Period)||Fees|
|Bitcoin (BTC)||100||0.00075 BTC|
|Ethereum (ETH)||5,000||0.02 ETH|
|Chainlink (LINK)||65,000||0.95 LINK|
|Litecoin (LTC)||10,000||0.0025 LTC|
|PAX Gold (PAXG)||500||0.015 PAXG|
|Uniswap (UNI)||5,500||1 UNI|
|Basic Attention Token (BAT)||2,000,000||35 BAT|
Although there’s no minimum deposit required to start earning interest on your cryptocurrency, withdrawals will be delayed (by up to 30 days) if you attempt to withdraw less than 0.003 BTC or 0.056 ETH.
You can open a BlockFi Interest Account in most countries around the world.
You’re only restricted from using BlockFi if you’re in New York, Connecticut, or a sanctioned/watchlist country. Access is restricted in New York because “BlockFi’s hands are tied” until the tough rules and regulations in this state are reviewed.
As a UK users, I’m also currently unable to access BlockFi’s crypto-loans or its new Bitcoin Credit Card.
Is BlockFi Legit?
In short, everything points towards BlockFi being legitimate.
Here are the key things you should know:
- BlockFi’s management team are well-qualified and have decades of combined experience in the financial world.
- Zac Prince (CEO & Co-Founder) has previously had leadership roles in successful technology companies.
- Flori Marquez (SVP of Operations & Co-Founder) has previously worked in the financial services industry (with alternative lending products).
- They’re supported by numerous investors, including some of the most well-known investors in the crypto-space (e.g. Mike Novogratz and the Winklevoss brothers).
- BlockFi’s social media accounts (e.g. Twitter) are active and they have a responsive/helpful customer service team.
Is BlockFi Safe?
Cryptocurrency is NOT considered to be legal tender, which means that your cryptocurrency deposits aren’t insured by any government. That doesn’t just apply to BlockFi, but to the whole cryptocurrency space.
But there is some good news.
Most of the funds stored on Gemini are kept in cold-storage wallets, with the keys to these wallets distributed across “secure, guarded, [and] geographically distributed facilities”. In other words, it sounds like Gemini are doing everything they can to keep safe the cryptocurrency they’ve been trusted with.
A small proportion of cryptocurrency deposits on Gemini are kept in hot wallets to satisfy immediate operational requirements. Gemini maintains insurance (from numerous underwriters) that is in excess of what is stored in these hot wallets.
Nothing like this is ever 100%, but BlockFi has definitely made moves to reduce the risks that you’re accepting when you use their lending platform.
You can also enable:
- Two-Factor Authentication: This is an industry-standard that adds a second layer of protection to your account. Find out more about this here.
- Wallet Whitelist: This means that you can specify which cryptocurrency wallet addresses you want to allow withdrawals to. If you like, you can also set this up to restrict all cryptocurrency withdrawals. Find out more about this here.
Summary: Earn Crypto Interest
My experience with BlockFi has been nothing but positive.
They’ve only been around a few years, but they’ve quickly become a popular and trusted place to earn interest on your cryptocurrency.
But earning interest on your cryptocurrency isn’t without its risks. Using something like BlockFi is just like leaving your funds on any other cryptocurrency exchange. This means there’s always the chance that they could be compromised and lose some, or all, of your cryptocurrency.
Not your keys, not your coins.
BlockFi does seem to go above and beyond to reduce the risk that your funds are lost or stolen, though. And this risk hasn’t stopped me from putting some Bitcoin (BTC) into BlockFi and alternatives like Crypto.com.
What Do You Think?
Thanks for checking out this BlockFi review!
Have any questions I haven’t answered? Or want to share your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments below!
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