In today’s economy, people are looking to save money in whatever method they can. Traditional savings accounts are one option, but most savings accounts barely top the 1.0% APY rate, which barely keeps up with inflation. So what are some ways that you can maximize your savings? Investing in stocks is one option, but there is another option for cryptocurrency traders. Read our review of BlockFi to see if the platform is right for you.
BlockFi is a neat take on the savings model that allows you to save money in cryptocurrencies and get a favorable interest rate. BlockFi currently allows you to yield up to 8.6% annually on your money, which is nearly 800% higher than the best high-yield savings accounts.
So today we are going to talk about BlockFi and see what all the fuss is about. We will talk about BlockFi’s features, services, pros, cons, and cost. We will then give our verdict on whether BlockFi is worth it.
BlockFi Review: Overview
BlockFi is a cryptocurrency “custodian” that lets you store crypto and get a high-interest rate, and also take out USD loans against your cryptocurrency. BlockFi was founded in 2017 and is based out of New Jersey. The company has managed to raise over $150 million up to a Series C and has been working to make its crypto technology more accessible to people around the globe.
BlockFi, put simply, lets you earn interest on your cryptocurrency, just like you would at a normal bank. For example, with a 6% compound interest rate, if you deposited 1 BTC, one month later you would have 1.005 BTC in your account. BlockFi accounts compound monthly so that is 12 compounding periods over the course of a year. You can also add more money to your account so the amount that gets compounded is even more.
BlockFi also lets you create a trading account for buying and selling cryptocurrency, and they recently launched a new BlockFi loan option where you can take out loans against your cryptocurrency in USD denomination. BlockFi allows you to put cryptoassets up as collateral at interest rates as low as 4.5% APR.
How Does BlockFi Work?
BlockFi is very simple at its core. It is basically an ultra-high-yield savings account for cryptocurrency. With BlockFi, you can turn your money into crypto, deposit it and gain a very high-interest rate, then convert that crypto back into cash when you need it. Like a regular bank, BlockFi earns interest on your savings by loaning it out to other institutions. BlockFi lends overcollateralized crypto assets to make sure that their loans are backed.
It is important to realize though that since BlockFi accounts are not technically currency (cryptoassets are not regulated by the government) they are not protected with FDIC or SIPC insurance. That means that if the brokerage goes insolvent, your funds may not necessarily be reimbursed.
BlockFi also has trading accounts for cryptocurrency so users can buy and sell currencies with other traders. Trading is instant and you get immediate interest accrual on trades. Currently, BlockFi allows trading in BTC, ETH, LTC, and PAXG, as well as USD-backed stablecoins.
Is BlockFi Legitimate?
Yes, BlockFi is a legitimate company. They are licensed and regulated by the SEC and they follow all legal regulations when it comes to trading cryptocurrency and issuing loans. BlockFi also takes great pains to protect your personal information and employs 128-bit encryptions on your account and extra security features such as 2-factor authentication.
However, there is one big elephant in the room. BlockFi accounts are not FDIC or SCID insured so it is very possible that you lose your principal. BlockFi claims that they take every precaution to minimize risk as much as possible but they are very clear that, because interest rates and withdrawal fees, and limits are subject to market conditions and can change, there is a risk of losing money.
So, BlockFi is legit, but that does not mean it is risk-free. You need to trade and save at your own risk.
BlockFi Products & Services
Here is a quick rundown of the products and services BlockFi offers
BlockFi Interest Rates
BlockFi interest accounts are their main products. The interest accounts are basically savings accounts for cryptocurrency. BlockFi lends out your currencies and pays you interest, just like a regular bank does with savings accounts. Interest rates depend on the currency and change daily. At the time of writing, BTC has a 6% APY and ETH has 5.25% APY. The highest rate crypto is currency USDT with a 9.25% interest rate.
BlockFi Charges a small fee for withdrawal from this account; the fee depends on the type of crypto. There is also a weekly withdrawal limit too. At the time of writing, the withdrawal limit for BTC is 100 per 7-day period and the withdrawal fee is 0.00075 BTC.
BlockFi allows you to take out loans with your cryptoassets as collateral. You can borrow against your crypto assets with APR as low as 4.5%. This allows you to effectively turn your crypto into cash without having to sell it. BlockFi allows you to receive your funds the same business day and there are no early pay-off penalties or fees.
BlockFi lets users borrow up to 50% of the value of their crypto assets. So if you have 2 BTC, then you can borrow up to 1.0 BTC in cash. BlockFi loans have margin calls happen at 70^ LTV, after which the borrower has 3 days to post more collateral or pay off a portion of that loan. If LTV hits 80% or more, BlockFi will liquidate a portion of the loan.
BlockFi trade is a cryptocurrency marketplace where you can buy and sell assets with other traders. BlockFi trade allows instant trades and offers better pricing than competitors. BlockFi also allows you to get immediate interest accrual on your trades. BlockFi trade accounts let you set up recurring trades and accept BTC, ETH, LTC, PAXG, and USD-backed stablecoins.
Keep in mind that trading fees and interest rates vary depending on market conditions. At the time of writing, BTC is trading with an APY of 6%. It is also possible that market conditions might affect your ability to buy and sell assets at a given point in time.
BlockFi Credit Card
BlockFi also recently launched a credit card option. With the BlockFi credit card, you get unlimited 1.5% crypto back for every purchase that you make. You can earn up to $750 or more in bitcoin rewards. Each card has a USD limit and you get instant crypto back on your purchases, deposited directly into your BlockFi account. You start to accrue interest on these rewards too. BlockFi credit cards can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted.
The credit card comes with some special benefits too. You get a $250 in bitcoin sign-up bonus for spending $3,000 in your first month and get a special 3.5% bitcoin cashback reward during months 4-6 of owning a card. BlockFi will also give you $30 in bitcoin for every client referral.
BlockFi Business Accounts
BlockFi also offers institutional services to bridge the gap between the trading and market makers in the crypto industry. BlockFi uses its lending inventory to give institutional backing and has enterprise-=grade regulatory compliance. With a business account with BlockFi, you get customizable lending and borrowing and financing for any kind of company. BlockFi also has the backing of some of the biggest names in the investment industry.
BlockFi Cancellation Policy
If you want to cancel your Blockfi account, you can request a support ticket so that the team can assist you. Unfortunately, they do not seem to offer any information about what canceling your account entails and whether you have to pay any cancellation fees.
How Much Does BlockFi Cost?
It is free to make a BlockFi account and there is no monthly fee for having an account. BlockFi also does not have a minimum deposit so there is no required amount to open an account. BlockFi mostly makes money through lending your cryptocurrencies and charging fees on withdrawals. You have a limited number of withdrawals per month and a fee for each type of cryptocurrency. Fees for withdrawals change daily but are usually very low, compared to other crypto brokerages. For example, as of the time of writing, BTC has a 100 7-day limit and a fee of 0.00075 BTC !~$50).
BlockFi trade also has fees for each trade you perform. Fees change from day to day, but they are normally very low. BlockFi manages to keep a low cost-basis for investments so their trading fees are similarly low.
BlockFi Pros & Cons
- Very high interest rates. BlockFi has very high interest rates for cryptocurrencies, on the order of 6%-9%. To put that number in perspective, even the best savings accounts rarely have over a 2% APY. The highest current interest rate is over 9%.
- Easy to use. Using BlockFi is basically like using a regular bank. You stick your money in it, it gains interest, then you can withdraw that money and use it. The main difference is that interest rates, withdrawal fees, and withdrawal limits differ depending on market conditions.
- Loans with low interest. With BlockFi loans, you can borrow up to 50% of the value of your crypto assets at rates as low as 4.5%. The lower the LTV, the lower these interest rates.
- Trading platform. With BlockFi, you can trade cryptocurrencies with other traders on the platform. BlockFi allows the most popular cryptocurrency denominations including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
- Accounts are not insured. Since BlockFi accounts are crypto and crypto is not technically a currency, BlockFi accounts are not FDIC or SIPC-insured. That means that it is entirely possible that you lose your principal. BlockFi claims they take every precaution to minimize this risk but it is still a possibility.
- Rates change daily. BlockFi’s business model is based on loaning out crypto assets to institutions to gain interest. As such, interest rates and trading fees vary based on market conditions and can change day to day.
- Limited withdrawals. BlockFi also limits the amount you can withdraw each month. This amount also can change month to month. Generally, it’s a 7-day limit.
Is BlockFi Right for Me?
If you already have a lot of assets in cryptocurrency, then BlockFi might be a good choice for you. BlockFi allows you to get an extraordinarily high interest rate on your cryptocurrency and has some great services akin to those offered by traditional banks, such as credit cards and loans. If you are comfortable dealing with cryptocurrencies and have a relatively moderate tolerance for risk, the BlockFi could be a great choice to make your crypto work for you.
BlockFi Reviews from Users
We checked out BlockFi’s Trustpilot page and here is what we found. BlockFi currently has a 4.2 out of 5 rating from over 100 reviews. The majority of reviewers claim that BlockFi has reasonable fees and that they appreciate how responsive the platform is to changes in market conditions. One major criticism is that the app currently does not have support in any language other than English. A number of reviewers also praise how simple it was for them to move their assets into BlockFi from other platforms.
Among negative reviews, the most common complaint is that withdrawing funds can be a difficult process that takes a lot of waiting. Some people also complain about the UI bugging out and the app crashing unexpectedly.
Final Review: Is BlockFi Worth It?
If you already have some crypto assets and do not mind a little bit of risk with your accounts, then BlockFi might be worth checking out. You get a great interest rate, excellent loan terms, and a unique way to make your savings work harder for you. BlockFi is also relatively simple to use too so you do not need to be a cryptocurrency expert to use it.