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blockfi review

BlockFi Review: Is BlockFi Worth the Risk?

BlockFi stands out as not only a crypto exchange but also as a money lender. It’s one of the select few exchanges based in the United States, and it has some interesting systems in place to allow investors to earn interest while transitioning from traditional financial maneuvers to the crypto market.

This crypto trading platform offers the typical features of modern exchanges like Coinbase and Binance, but lets you earn interest at up to 9% APY, borrow cash, and trade currencies.

It has very few low points, and it stands out as one of the best platforms for long-time investors who are just now jumping into the crypto world. 

Here’s what you’ll learn in this BlockFi review.

  1. BlockFi UI and Ease of Use
  2. Cryptocurrencies available on BlockFi
  3. BlockFi Supported Countries
  4. How to Open a BlockFi Account
  5. Steps to Set up a BlockFi Account
  6. BlockFi Features
  7. BlockFi Trading Experience
  8. BlockFi Fees
  9. Is BlockFi Safe and Secure?
  10. BlockFi Wallet
  11. BlockFi Pro Version
  12. Should I Use BlockFi?

Summary of BlockFi Review

Feel free to click on the links above to jump to a specific section. You can also scroll through to learn everything you need to know before buying crypto on BlockFi.

Product TypeCryptocurrency savings accounts, loans, and trading
Min Deposit$0
Account MinimumNone
Deposit Fees$10 minimum fee for incoming wires
Withdrawal FeeOne free withdrawal per month
Digital WalletYes
MobileYes, (iOS, Android)
BlockFi Quick Summary

BlockFi UI and User Friendliness

BlockFi is largely known as a user-friendly platform. The user interface seamlessly blends its crypto exchange features with those of its traditional money lending system.

Even those who have never used a crypto exchange should be able to make their first investments within half an hour of setting up their account. 

blockfi user interface
BlockFi user interface. Image: Courtesy of BlockFi

However, BlockFi doesn’t have many of the in-depth beginner’s resources that platforms such as Voyager and Coinbase have. So, new users may need to use a bit of trial and error to figure out every feature.

Also, the addition of traditional lending features somewhat clutters up the interface, but it’s nothing new users won’t figure out within a reasonable amount of time, and it adds to the platform’s versatility. 

In addition, BlockFi has recently created a mobile app that brings all of its features to a simple, on-the-go format. So far, BlockFi has done a great job of translating the controls and menu layouts of its original PC site to a mobile interface, and some users claim it’s even easier to use than the original PC version. 

Cryptocurrencies available on BlockFi

One of the low points for BlockFi is that it doesn’t support more than 8 coins. It doesn’t even support fiat-to-crypto trading, but we’ll talk about that more, later. 

For now, these 8 coins are your only options with BlockFi. 

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • USDCoin (USDC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • GUSD Stablecoin
  • PAXOS Gold (PAXG)
  • PAXOS (PAX)

This list may expand in the future, but BlockFi has preferred to focus on fully supporting these 8 coins rather than proactively adopting as many coins as possible.

So, you may want to consider the limited selection if you’ve been investing in crypto for a while or plan to have a very diverse portfolio on the platform. 

BlockFi Supported Countries

BlockFi is available worldwide with few exceptions, but only a portion of its service is available outside of the US. 

For trading crypto, BlockFi is available in 47 states. This excludes: 

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota

It’s also unavailable in any country sanctioned by the US, UK, or Canada. That list fluctuates based on foreign affairs. If BlockFi is unavailable in your country, it is likely due to a sanction by one of the three listed countries. 

For its traditional fiat lending services, BlockFi is available worldwide. However, it cannot be used in New York or any country currently sanctioned by the US, UK, or Canada. 

BlockFi is currently working on gaining the required licenses to open its services to all fifty states, and international expansion is expected sometime in the future. 

How to Open a BlockFi Account

BlockFi’s account setup process is very similar to other platforms, and you can bring your existing account over to the mobile app if you choose to try it out.

However, before we get started, BlockFi has a constantly evolving referral system you may want to take advantage of. 

Create a blockfi account
Create a BlockFi account. Image: Courtesy of BlockFi

If you have a friend who also uses BlockFi, or might be willing to try it out after you’ve made an account, see if they have a referral link or would like to accept one from you after you complete the process.

BlockFi will reward both users with free crypto if the referral system is used, and the payout amount can be as low as $10 or as high as $50. The referral bonus will take effect once the new user deposits a specific amount in their account, and that amount fluctuates frequently. 

Steps to Set up a BlockFi Account

Click the “Get Started” button on BlockFi’s website, and you’ll be provided with a standard popup for your basic information. 

Basic Information

In the popup, you’ll have to provide your name, email, and preferred password before you can move forward with the sign-up process.

You’ll also want to add your referral code if you got one from an existing BlockFi user before signing up.

If you plan to use the site and refer someone else to get your bonus, you’ll do that after you’ve started investing. 

Email Verification

This step is a standard email verification process. Just go to your email, click the link provided, and your email will be verified before you’re returned to the setup process. It may take a few moments to receive the email. 

Account Type

Next, you’ll simply have to choose whether you’re an individual or representing a company. Most of you will want to choose “Individual”. 

You’ll receive two popups back to back. First, you’ll be asked which country you live in. Then, you’ll be asked to provide your street address. 

Another two-step popup window will appear asking for your phone number and date of birth. It’s important to get these details right since they’ll be used to verify your identity. 

Funding Method

Choose a funding method. You’ll be given a long list of items to choose from to add funds to your account.

Keep in mind that fiat will be converted to the platform’s stable coin. Provide the site with your Social Security Number when the popup prompts you to. 

Identification Process

Now, you’ll be walked through the simple identity verification process. You’ll need appropriate government-issued paperwork to perform this step. So, have your ID and other relevant forms of identification ready. 

Once you complete these steps, you can top up your account and start investing right away. 

Notable BlockFi Features

BlockFi may have a limited coin selection, but it has several features that make it stand out from the crowd. Here are the features we love the most. 

  • Accrued Interest: On select coins, you’ll build interest every single day, and that interest will be deposited into your wallet at the end of the month. This means that not only do you accrue interest, but you’ll accrue interest on the interest you already earned each month you stay on the platform. Interest rates fluctuate and vary based on the coins you hold. 
  • Rewards Credit Card: With frequent investments, you can earn a BlockFi Rewards credit card that allows you to easily use your crypto in day-to-day life while also earning profitable rewards and bonuses. 
  • Fiat Lending: Very few exchanges double as money lenders, but BlockFi lends fiat currency to users around the world, and it even allows you to leverage your wallet contents against your loans. 
  • Profitable Referral System: BlockFi will pay you in crypto to use a referral code upon sign-up or to give a code to someone who signs up later. 
  • Seamless Mobile Integration: A lot of other exchanges sacrifice features or user-friendliness when jumping to mobile. BlockFi adopted the technology seamlessly. 
  • The US Based: BlockFi is based in the United States, and that makes it one of the easiest platforms to use while remaining compliant with federal tax and income regulations. They even send a 1099 form at the end of the year. 

BlockFi Rates

The following table shows the interest rates you can earn on your cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. The interest compounds daily and pays out at the beginning of every month.

CryptocurrencyMaximum APY
Bitcoin (BTC)4.50%
Ethereum (ETH)5.00%
Uniswap (UNI)3.25%
Litecoin (LTC)4.75%
Chainlink (LINK)3.50%
Basic Attention Token (BAT)3.25%
PAX Gold (PAXG)3.25%
Dai (DAI)8.00%
USD Coin (USD)8.00%
Binance Coin (BUSD)8.00%
Paxos (PAX)8.00%
Gemini USD (GUSD)8.00%
BlockFi Rates

BlockFi Buy and Sell Trade Experience

BlockFi’s trading experience is extremely smooth and easy to understand. You simply click “Trade”, choose what you want to buy or sell, choose how you want to receive it, and then confirm your trade.

BlockFi trading experience. Image: Courtesy of BlockFi

You have to pay gas fees just like you do anywhere else, and you’ll have to do a bit of research beforehand to make good purchasing decisions.

However, you can earn compound interest on multiple orders, and that stacks on top of the interest you earn each day for the coins you’re holding.

If you’re certain you want to buy the same crypto at a given time repeatedly, you can even set up recurring trades. This allows you to choose a type, amount, and delivery schedule, and then BlockFi will automatically purchase the order on your behalf every day, week, or month.

This system works great if you’re looking to invest the excess portion of your paycheck each payday. 

Between the easy trading process and the opportunity to earn more than you pay for, BlockFi’s trade experience stands out among the top names in crypto. 

BlockFi Fees and Limits

BlockFi has a unique way of handling its fees. First of all, you get one free withdrawal each month. After that, our fee chart will be applied to each withdrawal you make for the rest of the month.

If you’re good at holding, this can work in your favor. You also get one free stable coin withdrawal each month, and this can be used to consolidate all your earnings from selling into one easy-to-convert coin before exchanging it for fiat. 

Here are the withdrawal fees for subsequent withdrawals. Keep in mind, these rates are likely to change depending on the market value of the coin in question. 

CryptocurrenciesWithdrawal LimitFees
BTC100 BTC per 7-day period0.00075 BTC
ETH5,000 ETH per 7-day period0.02 ETH
LINK65,000 LINK per 7-day period0.95 LINK
LTC10,000 LTC per 7-day period0.0025 LTC
Stablecoins1,000,000 per 7-day period$10.00 USD
PAXG500 PAXG per 7-day period0.015 PAXG
UNI5,000 UNI per 7-day period1 UNI
BAT2,000,000 BAT per 7-day period35 BAT
BlockFi interest account withdrawal limits & fees

There are also no transaction fees whatsoever besides gas fees that come with all forms of crypto. 

Is BlockFi Safe and Secure?

BlockFi is widely known to be a safe platform, and users shouldn’t worry too much about using it. However, there are some key points you should know about before diving in head-first. 

First, BlockFi uses the custodial firm Gemini to handle its finances. That includes the contents of your wallet. Gemini takes proper safety precautions by storing 95% of its assets in cold storage.

Otherwise known as offline servers that can’t be hacked unless someone has physical access to the servers. The other 5% is kept in hot wallets that are properly secured, yet available for quick transactions. 

This property protects the funds of its users, but if anything does happen, BlockFi isn’t insured by the FDIC or SIPC. While it is unlikely that your funds or the funds of other users will be compromised, they’re unprotected if they ever are.

This has the potential to result in major losses in the event of a large-scale cyberattack, but BlockFi is currently working to gain insurance to eliminate that problem. 

However, despite BlockFi’s efforts, the platform has had a concerning attack made against them. In 2020, a criminal was able to steal an employee’s phone and gained access to the entire platform.

Luckily, no assets or funds were lost, but it was a major slip-up that reduced trust in the platform’s management. 

BlockFi Wallet

BlockFi does have a built-in wallet like other major platforms, and it’s an imperative part of the platform’s interest program.

BlockFi’s wallet doesn’t provide any other notable features. However, it does a good job of securing your funds and helping you track how much you’ve earned or invested since joining the platform. 

BlockFi Pro Version

BlockFi doesn’t currently offer a pro version with advanced features. All users have access to many features available within their country or state, and there’s no need to pay a monthly account fee or use a different app. 

However, BlockFi does have PC, iOS, and Android versions available to let you enjoy the smooth, big-screen experience available on PC while also taking the app on the go via mobile platforms. 

Should I Use BlockFi?

BlockFi predominantly caters to beginners. It doesn’t have a lot of the advanced tracking and research features intermediate and expert-level investors need, and it has a limited selection of coins.

However, its easy-to-use interface, focused coin selection, and multiple profitable programs make it a great way for beginners to invest with minimal risk or startup costs. 

Higher-level investors may also want to hold a specific amount of crypto with BlockFi to take advantage of the interest program while they create a diversified, short-term portfolio on other platforms. 

FAQs

Yes, BlockFi is legit and registered with the U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) as a money services business (“MSB”).

Your funds at BlockFi are handled by the Gemini Trust company, a New York trust company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services

BlockFi was founded in 2017 and has grown exponentially to become one of the most popular and best crypto exchanges in the market now.

Yes, you can lose your money on BlockFi. Like with any other investment, there’re risks of losing your money.

BlockFi is not a bank or a brokerage account, which means it’s not FDIC or SIPC insured. In the event of BlockFi going out of business, there’s a chance you could lose your money.

Yes, you can withdraw your funds from BlockFi at any time because there are no restrictions or lock-up periods.

Keep in mind, you can only make one free crypto withdrawal and one free stablecoin withdrawal per calendar month. Beyond that, you’ll pay a fee for each withdrawal, which varies by currency.

BlockFi makes money by lending coins to hedge funds, exchanges, institutional traders, and by issuing asset-backed loans to retail customers.

Yes, BlockFi reports your earning to the IRS by sending your 1099 information.

Conclusion

As one of the United States’ only homegrown crypto exchanges and one of the only exchanges to also offer fiat lending and accrued interest, BlockFi stands out as a great bridge between a traditional financer and the crypto world.

Unfortunately, its limited selection and lack of in-depth tools make it less useful for expert-level investors. 

Despite these shortcomings, BlockFi remains a stable platform that is constantly aiming to improve, and it provides plenty of incentives to get would-be skeptics on the crypto bandwagon. 

blockfi review
BlockFi
Verdict
BlockFi, one of the world's best crypto exchanges, offers more than a dozen cryptocurrencies, high interest-earning accounts, crypto-backed loans, and crypto rewards Visa cards.
Liquidity
8
Security
7.5
Supported Currencies
9
Fees
8
Customer service
7.5
Good Stuff
No minimum deposits
No trading fees
No monthly fees
Competitive interest rates on interest accounts
Ability to borrow against your crypto assets
Bad Stuff
Limited crypto assets
No FDIC or SIPC insurance like traditional banks or brokerages
Volatile APY and loan rates
Only one free withdrawal per month
8
Gotechtor Score