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Written by Sam Pennington on May 22, 2021
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BlockFi Review 2021: Best Crypto Platform?

Just a few years ago, many investors set cryptocurrency aside. It was considered a "fool's" investment. Today, however, crypto is becoming one of the most hyped investments around.

Though it is still highly volatile and speculative, cryptocurrency is becoming more widely accepted. With companies like Microsoft and AT&T accepting various cryptos as payment, Wall Street has begun taking digital coins more seriously.

For retail investors looking to add crypto to their portfolio, which platform to use becomes an important question. Cryptocurrency isn't regulated the way other investments are, so investors must be certain the platform they use is high quality and secure.

So which platform is best? In this article, we will provide a complete BlockFi review with its pros and cons.

BlockFi
  • Simple User Interface
  • Cryptocurrencies Available
  • Interest Earnings
  • Platform Features
  • Security
  • Fees
3.9

Summary

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency platform with many bank-like functions. The platform offers members the ability to earn interest, receive loans, and soon, receive a cryptocurrency credit card.

With free trading, investors may be interested in BlockFi vs other competitors with high fees.

One of the downsides of BlockFi is the lacking number of cryptocurrencies available for trade.

Pros

  • High interest rate for holdings
  • Access to immediate loans
  • Zero trading fees
  • Can transfer to a separate wallet

Cons

  • Few cryptocurrencies available
  • Fees for withdrawals

blockfi phone

BlockFi: Highlights

  • Account holders can earn up to 8.6% interest on crypto holdings
  • Interest accrues daily and is paid monthly
  • Interest begins accruing immediately after trading
  • Users have access to crypto-backed loans
  • Loan requirement of 50% LTV
  • BlockFi charges 4.5% APR for their loans
  • No hidden fees and no account minimums
  • Access to buy and sell 6 cryptocurrencies and 4 stablecoins
  • Members can transfer to a private wallet
  • BlockFi offers users a feature called "Allowlisting" for additional security

What is BlockFi?

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency platform that allows members to buy and sell coins, earn interest on their holdings, and receive crypto-backed loans.

While BlockFi doesn't have the number of cryptocurrencies that some of its competitors have, the platform certainly offers a highly competitive interest rate for holdings. For those interested in BlockFi's interest rate, it's important to understand that each cryptocurrency earns a different rate. More on this later.

BlockFi was created in 2017 in New Jersey, making it one of the few US-based crypto platforms. Many investors like BlockFi for its simple platform and high interest rates.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, also known as crypto, is a digital currency made possible through blockchain technology. Like other currencies such as the US Dollar or British Pound, crypto can be used for various transactions. 

Rather than being issued and secured by a central authority, cryptocurrency is secured by cryptography and is managed on a decentralized network. This appeals to many as this technology makes crypto nearly impossible to counterfeit. Unlike fiat currencies, which are managed by a central authority such as a government, Crypto is managed across a host of computers. 

Every transaction is recorded on an online ledger. Since this ledger is managed on a decentralized network, it would be nearly impossible to change a record for criminal purposes.

Cryptocurrency does not inherently have value, nor is it like a company that produces a good or service. Crypto's value is purely speculative and rises or falls based on individual perceptions. This is often referred to as the Greater Fool's Theory, which states that a person can make money off of an overvalued object because there is almost always someone else willing to pay more for the same item.

Cryptocurrency is a speculative investment that is highly volatile. Investors interested in cryptocurrency should understand the risk involved before making an investment.

BlockFi Features

In addition to buying and selling cryptocurrencies for free, BlockFi also offers members a few other key benefits.

blockfi calculator

BlockFi Interest Account

The BlockFi Interest Account is a top feature for BlockFi. Many cryptocurrency platforms do not offer any type of interest on holdings. And others require holdings to be "staked," which means locking the coins in the platform for a specified period of time.

With BlockFi, interest begins accruing immediately after trades and is paid out monthly. For example, if you deposit 1 BTC on December 1st and convert BTC to ETH on the 15th you will earn ~14 days worth of BTC interest and ~16 days worth of ETH interest when you receive your interest payment on Jan 1!

Each coin earns a different rate. The company boasts earnings of up to 8.6% APR, but it depends on which coins you are holding. (BlockFi Interest account is available throughout all states in the US except New York.)

CurrencyAmountInterest Rate
BTC (Tier 1)0 - 0.55%
BTC (Tier 2) > 0.5 to 20 BTC 2%
BTC (Tier 3) > 20 BTC and above 0.5%
LINK> 0 4.5%
ETH (Tier 1) 0 to 15 ETH 4.5%
ETH (Tier 2) > 15 to 1000 ETH 2%
ETH (Tier 3) > 1,000 ETH and above 0.5%
LTC> 0 5.5%
USDC> 0 8.6%
GUSD> 0 8.6%
PAX> 0 8.6%
PAXG> 0 4%
USDT> 0 9.3%
BUSD> 0 8.6%

BlockFi Loans

In situations where cash is needed, some investors unhappily liquidate their holdings. With BlockFi, selling your crypto is not necessary as you can receive a loan using cryptocurrency as collateral.

BlockFi loans have the following details:

  • 50% Loan to Value requirement
  • 4.5% APY
  • Loans have a 12 month term
  • No early payment fees
  • BTC, ETH, and LTC are the only cryptocurrencies being accepted as collateral

The loan to value (LTV) must remain below 70%. At 70% there will be a crypto margin call. The investor will have 72 hours to either post additional collateral in the account or pay off a portion of the loan to bring the loan back to good health. If the LTV rises to 80%, BlockFi will sell a portion of the collateral to bring the LTV back to 70%.

BlockFi Credit Card

BlockFi is currently allowing members to sign up on the waitlist for their Bitcoin credit card. The card features 1.5% back in Bitcoin with every transaction.

The BTC received from each transaction will automatically start accruing interest based on the interest rate for Bitcoin. The rewards are paid out on a monthly cycle.

Additionally, BlockFi is offering $250 as an incentive to sign up when a card holder spends $3,000 in the first 3 months.

blockfi instant trade

Cryptocurrencies Available

One of the downsides with BlockFi is the number of cryptocurrencies available for trade. Other competitors such as Coinbase have more than double the number of coins available on the platform.

BlockFi currently has 6 cryptos and 4 stablecoins.

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Link
  • PAX
  • PAXG
  • USDC
  • GUSD
  • USDT
  • BUSD

For those looking to purchase other various cryptocurrencies, read our Coinbase review or our Crypto.com review.

Does BlockFi Have Fees?

Upon first glance, investors may be confused about BlockFi fees. The platform does not charge any trading fees like some of its competitors, but they do charge fees for making a withdrawal.

Each month, account holders are offered 1 free withdrawal of cryptocurrency and 1 free withdrawal of stablecoins. Any withdrawal after that will be subject to fees as shown in the table below.

CurrencyFee
Bitcoin0.00075 BTC
Ethereum0.02 ETH
LINK0.95 LINK
Litecoin0.0025 LTC
Stabelcoins$10.00 USD
Pax Gold0.015 PAXG

As long as you do not exceed your two free monthly withdrawals, BlockFi could be completely free to use.

Transferring Coins

Transferring coins to another wallet is a great way to add another layer of security to your crypto holdings.

In the platform, there is a "Wallet Addresses" section in your profile. To transfer coins, you will follow the steps below:

  1.  Navigate to the ‘Wallet Addresses’ category of your profile.
  2.  Select the ‘+New Address’ button located in the top right section of the screen to add a crypto wallet address.
  3.  Add a name to the address for easy reference.
  4.  Enter the 6-digit code sent to your email to save the address.
  5.  When withdrawing, choose the address you’d like to use from the drop-down menu within the withdrawal request screen.

In addition to transferring coins to a separate wallet, you can also enable a service BlockFi calls "Allowlisting." When this is enabled, you will only be able to withdraw to addresses that have been previously added to your Address Book. This can prevent others from withdrawing funds to another wallet not saved in your profile.

bitcoin blockfi

Is BlockFi Safe To Use?

BlockFi, like any other cryptocurrency platform, seeks to ensure high security for its members. However, it is important to remember that cryptocurrency is not regulated by a central authority. This means that funds do not have the same insurance that banks and other brokerages offer.

Funds held in BlockFi are not SIPC or FDIC insured. 

Allowlisting is a great feature that users can use to add security to the platform.

BlockFi Review: Final Thoughts

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency platform that was designed for all levels of crypto traders. With features such as high interest earnings and a crypto backed loan, BlockFi was created to give investors a place to earn more without sacrificing flexibility.

With zero trading fees, investors can also save more of their hard-earned money and ensure their total investment is being used. However, the platform does have withdrawal fees, though if members plan ahead and do not exceed 2 withdrawals a month, they can completely avoid any fees in the platform. Investors can also watch their investments earn more with interest that is paid out monthly.

Investing in cryptocurrency does come with its own set of challenges. First, crypto can be highly volatile, which can cause investors to worry. Second, cryptocurrency is not regulated the same way other investments are, which means the funds are not FDIC or SIPC insured.

If you're interested in cryptocurrency, and liked the features discussed above, then BlockFi might be the platform for you!

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Article written by Sam Pennington

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