BlockFi Review Pros and Cons. Is BlockFi safe?

This review analyze the various facets of this crypto lending platform and show you whether or not it is worth your time and trust.

Dean Fankhauser15 min read
BlockFi

Our take

4.5 out of 5 stars

With a friendly mobile interface, better-than-average interest rates, and personalized tax-reporting services, it is one of the leading destinations for lenders and borrowers alike.

BlockFi is a popular name among crypto lenders and borrowers. Zac Prince and Flori Marquez founded it in mid-2017 as one of the earliest crypto lending platforms. Since then, it has grown bigger and is now valued at over $3 billion.

This article will analyze the various facets of this crypto lending platform and show you whether or not it is worth your time and trust. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this exchange.

What is BlockFi?

What is BlockFi?

BlockFi is a crypto-based financial institution well known for offering lending and borrowing services. It is one of the few in this niche present and regulated in the United States of America.

Even though lending and borrowing are its major services, BlockFi goes beyond that. It also offers a credit card rewards system, a crypto trading terminal, an affiliate program, and some other features, which we will discuss later in this article.

Another noteworthy thing about BlockFi is the amount of big-name investors it has. It is backed by Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Sofi, Paradigm, and many others.

Promoted

Midas.InvestmentsEarn higher yields on your crypto

  • 9.4% APY on BTC, 10.1% APY on ETH, 20% APY on USDC
  • Rewards are paid daily and in-kind
  • No limits, no lockups, no restrictions, and no tiers

Key Features of BlockFi

  • It is available in all 52 states of the US. However, some states have restricted features.
  • It helps users calculate and report their crypto lending taxes.
  • It stores its assets with Gemini, which has an insurance fund of about $200 million.
  • It has a mobile app that runs on Android and iOS systems.
  • It has leading security measures.
  • It offers the BlockFi rewards credit card, which gives up to 3.5% cashback on purchases.

Products and Services Offered by BlockFi

Crypto-Backed Loans

With this feature, you can use your cryptocurrencies as collateral to borrow loans with as low as 4.5% APR. BlockFi loans span 12 months and come with a maximum of 50% LTV. In most cases, BlockFi disburses its loans within hours.

BlockFi's loan amounts range between $10,000 to $50,000. If you want a loan above $50,000, you'll fill out a personalized form on their website, and a member of their team will contact you.

Crypto Lending

With the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA), you can earn up to 7.5% APY by putting your crypto down for lending. This interest accrues daily and is paid monthly.

Currently, there are 15 coins that can be lent on BlockFi, while the platform only pays interest in BTC, ETH, and stablecoins. However, because of recent issues with the SEC, this service is currently not available to US citizens.

Crypto Trading Services

BlockFi allows users to instantly trade popular cryptocurrencies at competitive prices. Since this is not the main feature of the exchange, you can only trade the coins available on the exchange.

As a result, users do not need to first obtain crypto on another exchange before transferring it to BlockFi. They can simply deposit fiat on BlockFi, use it to buy their preferred crypto, and start earning interest immediately.

BlockFi Personalized Yield

Once your total portfolio with BlockFi exceeds $3M worth of assets, you are eligible to join the personalized yield program. This program provides exclusive benefits, which include:

  • Ability to negotiate your interest rates and loan durations.
  • Access to loans of over $50,000.
  • Advanced trading features, including custom price spreads.
  • Personalized support, including a personally-assigned relationship manager.

Affiliates and Referrals

This is another way to earn passive income on BlockFi. As an affiliate, you have the opportunity to earn up to $1000 for every person that signs up through your link.

The BlockFi team vets prospective affiliates individually to ensure they meet BlockFi’s standards. Once approved, the team trains them and provides them with a dashboard to track and analyze their earnings and earning potential.

However, you don’t have to be an affiliate before earning passive income from referrals. Through the refer-a-friend program, you can get $10 per referral. Your friend has to fund their account with at least $100 and keep it there for at least 30 days before you both get $10 in BTC.

BlockFi Wallet

BlockFi Wallet

The BlockFi wallet allows you to store and trade crypto on the BlockFi platform, but it is not an interest-bearing account. You can transfer digital assets in and out of the wallet as you do for other wallets. The BlockFi wallet has no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements.

BlockFi Rewards Visa Credit Card

BlockFi Rewards Visa Credit Card

The BlockFi rewards visa credit card offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases. There are no annual trading fees and no foreign transaction fees.

It also offers a 3.5% cashback offer for the first 90 days, up to $100. Additionally, if your total card purchases for the year have exceeded $50,000, your rewards rate jumps from 1.5% to 2% for the rest of the year.

We offer a deep dive into the intricacies of the BlockFi Visa credit card in this review.

Tax Reporting Services

BlockFi provides its US citizens with tax forms to ensure their activities are tax-compliant. On the BlockFi platform, US citizens can choose from two types of forms.

The first, the 1099-misc form, is for users of BlockFi interest accounts who have earned up to $600 worth of interest in a tax year. The second is the 1099-B form and is for those who have traded crypto assets on BlockFi in the tax year.

For non-US citizens, BlockFi provides a detailed earnings statement at the end of the year. They can then use these statements to fill and submit tax reports according to tax regulations in their respective regions.

How to Deposit and Withdraw On BlockFi

Deposits

You can make fiat deposits on BlockFi through ACH (Automatic Clearing House) or wire transfer. You can also deposit crypto directly.

ACH Deposits

BlockFi accepts only USD as the fiat currency you can deposit on the platform. You’ll first link your bank account to BlockFi through Plaid before you can make deposits. Bank transfers made through ACH are available to trade instantly, but you can't use them as loan payments until five working days after making the deposit.

Wire Transfers

Depending on your bank, you may need to wait up to three business days for wire transfers to appear in your BlockFi account. Once they show in your account, you can use the funds for all platform functions.

Crypto Transfers

You can also transfer crypto directly to the platform and start trading or lending. BlockFi provides a wallet address for each supported coin. Take care to cross-check the address before each deposit, as your funds may not be recoverable if you send them to the wrong address.

Withdrawals

BlockFi also processes withdrawals through the same methods it processes deposits with. However, if your loan’s LTV ratio is already above 70%, you cannot make any withdrawal on BlockFi until your LTV ratio goes down.

ACH Withdrawals

ACH withdrawals from BlockFi may take up to 4 business days before appearing in your bank account. BlockFi may cancel or delay the withdrawals if:

Wire Transfer Withdrawals

These withdrawals are faster than ACH withdrawals, usually completed within 1-2 business days. US citizens can withdraw a minimum of $50,000 through wire transfer, while the minimum for non-US citizens is $5,000.

Crypto Withdrawals

After requesting a crypto withdrawal on your BlockFi account, your account is subject to a security hold which may last seven days. Your request is then processed the business day after such hold clears.

BlockFi also allows you to whitelist some wallet addresses for faster withdrawals. This process is called allowlisting on BlockFi. After allowlisting an address, your account will be suspended for withdrawals for an entire week.

The minimum crypto withdrawable for each coin is shown in the picture below:

BlockFi Withdrawal Minimum

BlockFi Fees Schedule

Domestic wire transfers (within the US) are charged $20, while international transfers are charged $30. Your bank may also charge you additional fees. ACH withdrawals, on the other hand, are free.

For crypto withdrawal fees, the following rules in the image apply:

BlockFi Withdrawal Fees

Is BlockFi Safe?

BlockFi was hacked in May 2020 and suffered a compromise of users’ personal non-banking information. This is a sore spot for BlockFi’s security. However, that doesn’t mean you still shouldn't trust the exchange with your funds. Why so?

Consider the following security features it has:

  • It offers both two-factor and biometric authentication as extra layers of security for its users.
  • It stores the bulk of its assets with Gemini, an exchange renowned for cryptographic security.
  • It was recently slammed with a $100 million fine by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Before you think that is a bad thing, remember that this means that it is accountable to a higher body. So, if you think about it well, this regulation makes it more secure as they now have to adhere to the federal securities act.
  • BlockFi’s allowlisting feature bans crypto withdrawals into accounts you have not personally approved.

Alternative Crypto Lending Platforms

BlockFi Vs. Hodlnaut

  • Hodlnaut offers its services for only 8 crypto assets. On BlockFi, you can lend or borrow up to 15 different cryptocurrencies.
  • Hodlnaut only offers loans to institutions with a minimum loan amount of $50,000, while BlockFi provides loans for retail and institutional investors with a minimum of $10,000.
  • Hodlnaut has a partnership with FireBlocks, a digital asset security platform. It also offers direct insurance coverage for its users. BlockFi doesn't have insurance and funds security of its own. It uses third parties like Gemini and BitGo.

Check this article to see more comparisons of BlockFi and Hodlnaut.

BlockFi vs. CoinLoan

  • The highest LTV ratio you can get with BlockFi is 50%, while you can get up to a 70% LTV ratio on CoinLoan. While this means CoinLoan offers more value for your loan, you're at a higher risk of liquidation on CoinLoan than on BlockFi.
  • CoinLoan has a native token, CLT. This token is used for discounts, staking bonuses, and loyalty benefits. BlockFi, on the other hand, does not have a native token.
  • BlockFi goes beyond crypto lending; it also offers perks like crypto rewards, tax reporting, and personalized services for high net worth clients. On the other hand, CoinLoan's features are centered only around trading and lending.
  • BlockFi offers one free crypto withdrawal per month to its users. CoinLoan does not provide such a service.

Get a deeper CoinLoan vs. BlockFi review.

BlockFi vs. Nexo

  • BlockFi offers only monthly payments. On the other hand, Nexo's payment frequency is more flexible.
  • The minimum loan amount on Nexo is $50, while it is $10,000 on BlockFi.
  • The only fiat currency supported on BlockFi is USD, while Nexo supports more than 40 fiat currencies.

Want to learn more? Read our in-depth comparison of BlockFi vs. Nexo.

Compare with BlockFi alternatives

Similar Savings Accounts and Loans

PlatformInterest Rates (APY)
Nexo
Up to 7% on BTC
Up to 12% on Stablecoins
... 34 more coins
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Midas.Investments
Up to 9.42% on BTC
Up to 14.5% on Stablecoins
... 15 more coins
Go to site →
CoinLoan
Up to 5.2% on BTC
Up to 10.3% on Stablecoins
... 23 more coins
Go to site →
YouHodler
Up to 3.05% on BTC
Up to 8.33% on Stablecoins
... 55 more coins
Go to site →

Final verdict

BlockFi makes it easy to utilize your crypto holdings without selling them. With a friendly mobile interface, better-than-average interest rates, and personalized tax-reporting services, it is one of the leading destinations for lenders and borrowers alike.

With the BlockFi Visa credit card and trading terminal, this platform evolves beyond crypto lending. Perhaps, in line with its vision to bridge the gap between traditional finance and digital assets, BlockFi will yet grow to become a one-stop shop for crypto banking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Owns BlockFi?

Zac Prince and Flori Marquez founded BlockFi. These two are part of a 13-person leadership team currently running affairs on the BlockFi Platform. They are all distinguished individuals who have made their mark on the crypto and general finance scene.

How Long Does BlockFi's KYC Process Take?

Customer Service BlockFi takes less than 24 hours in most cases. If, after 48 working hours, your verification is still pending, you should contact them to see if you need to submit additional information.

Is BlockFi An Exchange?

Yes, BlockFi is a cryptocurrency exchange. Even though it deals mainly with crypto lending and borrowing, it also allows users to trade about 37 crypto assets and exchange crypto for fiat. BlockFi also offers margin and derivatives trading with BlockFi Prime, a product developed for institutional clients.

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