Services like BlockFi are adding a new incentive for Bitcoiners who love to Hodl. Presenting customers with a streamlined approach to earning interest on cryptocurrency savings. It doesn’t stop there; users can also leverage their lending options.
Although this is just the tip of the iceberg, in this review we’ll do a deep dive into entire offerings and see if it’s worth considering.
Table of Contents
- About BlockFi
- How Bitcoin Loans Work
- Who’s Blockfi Meant For?
- BlockFi Products
- BlockFi Interest Account (BIA)
- Trading Account
- Crypto-Backed Loans
- BlockFi Sign-up process
- Supported Countries
- BlockFi Loan Rates, Withdrawal, & Trade Fees
- Additional BlockFi Highlights
- Monthly statements
- Interest Flex Payment
- Is BlockFi Legit?
- BlockFi Support
- BlockFi User Interface
- BlockFi Pros & Con
- BlockFi Review – Good Way To Maximize Crypto Investments?
Founded in 2017 by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez, the company was created with the goal of emulating banks’ services for the crypto space. The company is an independent lender with a deep bench of investors which includes big names like SoFi, Coinbase Ventures, and Fidelity.
BlockFi is headquartered in New Jersey with offices in Poland, and Argentina. It offers a series of services around the world and in all U.S. States. In January of 2018, BlockFi started lending fiat cash against cryptocurrency.
How Bitcoin Loans Work
Obtaining a loan from a traditional bank brings about a load of hurdles for the average consumer. This changes when Bitcoin is used as a collateral loan.
Cryptocurrency is seen as a highly liquid asset. Financial institutions can use it as collateral in an exchange for fiat.
This type of loan is like a traditional loan offered by banks. The exemption is that the loan amount isn’t based on the borrower’s credit history. There aren’t any special requirements to obtain the money and interest rates are all the same for everyone.
Who’s Blockfi Meant For?
Crypto owners love to hold on to their Bitcoin investments. This is a great long-term view to have but sometimes opportunities arise, and it can make sense to sell your crypto in exchange for fiat.
Instead of trading your crypto at the current exchange rate, you can leverage it and gain access to more fiat currency. This who BlockFi is meant for:
Bitcoiners looking to leverage their digital assets buy a home, diversify investments, paying off debt or funding a business.
Also great for people who don’t want to actively trade cryptocurrency. Yet, still interested in the benefits of earning passively from their Crypto holdings.
This is only one piece to the puzzle, BlockFi offers more products and services Bitcoiners can take advantage of.
- Zero Fees for Trading – Seamlessly trade between LTC, PAX, ETH, BTC, USDC, and GUSD
- No Early Withdrawal Penalty – withdraw any time of the month with no penalty.
- Number of Ways To Earn Passively – Earn up to 8% with a BlockFi Interest Account
- No Buy & Sell Feature – Users can only exchange for cryptocurrency.
- Limited Cryptocurrencies Options – Other platforms offer a larger selection of cryptocurrencies.
- No Ownership Of Private Keys – Gemini is the sole custodian for users digital assets
BlockFi Interest Account (BIA)
BlockFi offers customers an interest account. Users can earn 8% on cryptocurrency held in the account. The interest compounds monthly and in the course of a year interest can yield up 8.6%.
No minimum to earn interest, a quick sign-up process, and it’s available to cryptocurrency worldwide.
Interest rates are paid on a monthly basis in crypto. Then compounded to help accelerate users’ returns.
BlockFi is able to generate interest on assets held in BIA by lending them to institutional and corporate borrowers. To ensure users’ digital assets are safeguarded. BlockFi lends users crypto through over-collateralized borrowing terms.
BlockFi also has automated risk management systems in place. It’s designed to monitor their borrower’s positions.
If any red flags are noticed they are able to eliminate a borrow in a quick manner. To further eliminate risk BlockFi has a reserve balance to help facilitate users’ withdrawals from their BIA. The primary custodian of this reserve is Gemini.
BlockFi provides a cryptocurrency trading platform. Major cryptocurrencies are supported like BTC, ETH, LTC, USDC, GUSD, and Pax. One of the biggest perks of the platform is there zero fees for users who make trades.
You only pay for the price displayed on each trade. Trading is seamless and users can get started as soon as the funds hit your BlockFi account.
BlockFi offers its customers a way to Borrow fiat at rates as low as 4.5%. Users borrow funds against the cryptocurrency they own. The collateral that can be chosen is Bitcoin, Either, or Litcoin.
It’s a simple process, you don’t have to contend with complicated requirements like credit history. In this case, Cryptocurrency is being used as collateral in an exchange for fiat.
The minimum loan requirement is 5,000 and LTV (Loan-To-Value) is 50%. This means customers looking to borrow fiat need to put up at least 50% of their cryptocurrencies as collateral.
BlockFi Sign-up process
The best way to sign up for BlockFi is by opening an interest account. The sign-up process is simple and takes a few minutes to complete. Once general contact information has been inputted, users will be asked to through the BlockFi KYC process.
Once completed, a notification is sent via email to confirm the user’s crypto interest account.
Upon the account creation, users are immediately prompted to deposit funds into their account. Now you can start earning interest.
BlockFi’s overarching goal is to provide its loan services to everyone around the world. In recent years BlockFi has expanded to new regions, building upon their U.S. coverage.
In regards to their loan service, we couldn’t source a list of every country supported. (May vary from country to country.)
BlockFi interest account is available to users worldwide. Exceptions to sanctioned or watchlist countries. For US users 49 of 50 states can have a BIA.
BlockFi Loan Rates, Withdrawal, & Trade Fees
Trading fees – One thing to note, BlockFi has zero trade fees besides the current exchange rate displayed upon making a trade. There are also free stablecoin conversions which is a nice perk to see.
Loan Rates – As we mentioned earlier in our review users are required to provide cryptocurrency as collateral. In addition to this cryptocurrency collateral, users will pay interest on the loan. BlockFi loan rates can start as low as 4.5 percent.
Withdrawal – Although a BlockFi account is free users should be aware of withdrawal fees. BlockFi currently offers one free crypto and stabelcoin withdrawal.
After that free withdrawal is expected to be subjected to Gemini’s withdrawal minimums as shown in the chart below. Withdrawal fees are dependent upon the type of coins users choose to withdraw from.
|BTC||100 per 7-day period||0.0025 BTC|
|ETH||5,000 per 7-day period||0.0015 ETH|
|LTC||10,000 per 7-day period||0.0025 LTC|
|Stablecoins||1,000,000 per 7-day period||$0.25 USD|
|PAXG||500 per 7 Day period||0.0025 PAXG|
Additional BlockFi Highlights
BlockFi takes the sting out of record-keeping. Providing a monthly statement similar to what a traditional bank provides. You can see current holdings. What’s been earned and the projected amount to be made the month following that statement.
Documents are easily accessible via PDF downloads in your account.
Interest Flex Payment
Another area we wanted to highlight is interest payment flex. BIA users have the ability to choose the currency their interest is paid in.
For example, If you have an interest in BTC, you can choose to receive an interest in any of the offered currencies. Essentially giving users another outlet to build up other positions through their earnings.
Is BlockFi Legit?
Yes, BlockFi is legit. BlockFi has been around since 2017, getting major backing from top companies in the finance space.
We’ve looked at various web forums, customer review sites, and seen no one complaining about scams. There’s been a large mix of positive reviews from users who’ve deposited and withdrawn without issue.
Where are users’ digital assets being stored? Gemini is BlockFi’s primary custodian for users’ cryptocurrencies. Users’ digital assets are securely stored in a unique wallet address generated by Gemini.
Gemini is regulated by NYDFS. As such is held to specific security requirements to ensure users’ assets are secure. Gemini also has insurance coverage on users’ digital assets. Receiving SOC 2 Type 1 compliant rating by Deloitte.
Gemini keeps 95% of its assets in cold storage to maximize its security efforts and limit risk. Read more about Gemini security efforts here.
From what we noticed customer support is responsive and responds to inquiries presented by BlockFi users.
BlockFi offers many avenues for users to get assistance. The first is through a phone line where you can speak to a live person.
That’s not common to see, other companies in the crypto space don’t have a dedicated phone line. Second-place users can reach Blockfi from their email support.
If you have any troubles reaching customer support. BlockFi offers a help center to get common questions answered.
BlockFi is also very active on Twitter. Strong user engagement can be found on their Telegram. This seems to be an area BlockFi is actively growing. As it helps increase their exposure.
BlockFi User Interface
BlockFi has a clean and simplistic interface. Very easy for users to navigate, fund your account, and trades can be done in a few clicks.
Account information is accessible. From the primary dashboard, users can view the amount of collateral deposited, transaction history, and BlockFi account balance.
In addition to the web platform, BlockFi is also available as an app for android and iOS. Similar to the web platform, the app is easy to use sporting a simple modern UI. You can quickly check your account balance, make trades, etc.
BlockFi Pros & Con
- No minimums to earn interest – BlockFi doesn’t require a minimum balance to be eligible to earn interest on crypto.
- No Early Withdrawal Penalty – BlockFi use to charge penalties if users removed their funds prematurely. However this change, you can withdraw any time of the month with no penalty.
- Zero Fees for Trading – Seamlessly trade between LTC, PAX, ETH, BTC, USDC, and GUSD without fees.
- Number of ways to Earn Passively – you have a myriad of ways to earn with a number of cryptocurrencies. Earning up to 8% in a BIA.
- User Interface – UI for both mobile and desktop platforms are easy to navigate.
- No direct buy and sell – Users can only exchange for cryptocurrency. Leverage Gemini GUSD token or USDC to perform trades for Fiat.
- Withdrawal fees – Although users are allowed two free withdrawals. Any withdrawal after isn’t and is pretty high.
- Limited Cryptocurrencies options – Other platforms offer a larger selection of cryptocurrencies.
- No ownership of private keys – Gemini is the sole custodian for users digital assets
BlockFi Review – Good Way To Maximize Crypto Investments?
BlockFi isn’t a perfect platform but offers crypto holders an opportunity to maximize their investment. If you’re new to crypto investing and looking to make a small leap then this definitely a good place to start.
As a BIA account lessens the complexities of traditional crypto exchanges. You can simply invest, let rest, and earn on your crypto.
Some gripes we had is they lack a buy or sell feature. We hope the team adds this feature in the future. Currently, users can leverage Gemini GUSD token or USDC to move dollars from a user’s bank account to the platform to perform tasks such as trades.
BlockFi offers a robust risk management system to safeguard users’ digital funds. Also presenting a viable option for users looking to leverage their cryptocurrencies for fiat.
As with anything you choose to invest in, be mindful and never put up what you are not willing to lose.