Quick Take: BlockFi is designed for beginner to intermediate crypto investors seeking a secure trading platform. However, it doesn’t provide a lot of consumer education and the cryptocurrencies available are rather limited compared to other platforms like Coinbase, so if you are a beginner who is not particularly tech-savvy, you may consider other platforms. BlockFi can also benefit high net worth individuals who want a secure place to park their crypto and even leverage investments for low-interest loans with crypto as collateral.
Rewards Credit Card
How did we calculate this?
Rewards credit card
No trading fees
No minimum balance to hold
Limited cryptocurrencies available to trade
Recent issues with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Withdrawal fees on some assets
Minimum trade amount of $20
BlockFi is a trading platform for over 15 cryptocurrencies, including many of the most popular ones such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. It includes a free crypto wallet with no minimum balance required and the ability to trade many cryptocurrencies and stable coins instantly. Additional features include a rewards credit card, simplified tax reporting and a referral bonus.
BlockFi comes with several compelling features. Here are the details on some of the biggest advantages for users.
The biggest drawback to BlockFi is that there are only 20 or so cryptocurrencies available on the platform for U.S. customers. Some reviewers on TrustPilot said they experienced hassles with identity verification, which they said is not common on other platforms. Overall, however, BlockFi received a 3.4-star average rating on TrustPilot. One five-star reviewer said, “top notch support: fast and friendly.”
Rewards Credit Card
BlockFi is relatively unique in the crypto industry in that it offers a Rewards Visa Signature Card that pays 1.5% back in crypto for every purchase, with potential to earn up to 10% cash back on special offers. With a $30,000 annual spend, rewards increase to 2%.
Due to SEC regulations, BlockFi had to stop paying interest to its U.S. customers. It would seem the rewards credit card is one way to add value to the platform for U.S. investors. The card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee and all the benefits of a Visa Signature card. You’ll need good to excellent credit for approval, and the APR if you carry a balance can range from , depending on your credit and the prime rate.
BlockFi provides users with their own digital wallet with no minimum balance required and no hidden fees. Easily trade and store crypto through your wallet. You can also make instant trades and exchanges into your bank account through ACH transfer. Schedule repeated buys to dollar-cost average your investment for a maximum return. Users also get a free TaxBit Network account that connects your crypto investments across exchanges for easy tax reporting.
BlockFi is transparent about its current security measures and future plans to stay on top of impending threats. The BlockFi website published a blog post from Chief Security Officer Adam Healy listing major security initiatives that include Endpoint, Cloud, Identity, Core Security Services, Custody Operations, Employee Training and Awareness and Data Governance.
However, it’s important to remember that BlockFi is not a bank and is not FDIC-insured. However, BlockFi’s primary custodian, Gemini, carries its own insurance through Aon. Gemini stores 95% of its assets in cold storage, which is considered to be safer since it is offline except during transactions.
How BlockFi Stands Out
Not every cryptocurrency exchange offers crypto loans, which is a key area that BlockFi stands out in. Through a crypto loan, you can gain liquidity without having to sell your assets. You can borrow up to 50% of the value of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or PAXG you hold in your account, with an interest rate as low as 4.5%.
BlockFi also gives users access to ACH direct deposits, which means you can withdraw money faster than you can from platforms that do not connect directly to your bank account. Also, there’s no minimum deposit required to start or to maintain your BlockFi wallet, which is a nice feature.
There are many crypto exchanges available today, with Coinbase being the largest and, arguably, the most well-known. Binance is the largest exchange based on trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap.
How does BlockFi stack up against these two industry leaders?
Coinbase is highly regarded as the largest crypto exchange based on number of users. It is intuitive and easy to use. Fiat currency, such as U.S. dollars, deposited into a Coinbase account are held in an FDIC-insured account, which means your investment is protected up to $250,000, which is an advantage over BlockFi.
However, BlockFi has no transaction fees while Coinbase has taker fees between 0.05% and 0.25% and maker fees up to 0.15%.
Although Binance is the largest crypto exchange based on volume, it received a rating of only two stars on TrustPilot — a stark contrast from BlockFi’s high ratings. Binance offers more than 500 coins to buy or sell, which is miles ahead of BlockFi. Binance fees are lower than Coinbase, ranging from 0.01% up to 0.07%. But BlockFi does not have fees at all.
How To Apply
To open a BlockFi account, click the blue “get started” button in the upper right corner of the screen. You’ll need your first and last name, email address and a secure password to begin. If a friend referred you to BlockFi, they can earn money when you sign up, so you’ll want to enter their referrer code. After that, you’ll receive a verification email and you are ready to login and get started. You’ll need to complete a few additional security and ID verification steps when you make your first withdrawal.
Who BlockFi Is Best For
Reviewers recommend BlockFi for beginning to intermediate investors due to the limited types of coins traded on the platform. If you are looking for an crypto exchange that’s relatively easy to use, with fast withdrawals via ACH and no fees, BlockFi is worth consideration.
Although it’s faced some bumps in the road recently with regulatory actions against its interest-earning crypto lending product, BlockFi is a reputable company that takes great security measures to protect your money. For beginning investors interested in blue chip crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum, seeking a simple way to buy and sell, BlockFi may be a good choice.
Is BlockFi legitimate?
BlockFi is a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange platform offering.
Is BlockFi better than Coinbase?
Although Coinbase is the largest crypto exchange based on users, BlockFi is also a highly reputable trading platform. BlockFi has no minimum deposit and no transaction fees, although there are withdrawal fees for certain cryptocurrencies. BlockFi only offers about 15 different coins available for trade, so if you want more trading choices, Coinbase might be the better choice. Users should also be aware that BlockFi does have withdrawal fees. Either platform offers a safe, secure way to trade and store crypto.
Is it worth it to use BlockFi?
BlockFi has several value-adding features, including the ability to take out loans on up to 50% of your crypto investment and a Visa Signature Rewards credit card available to qualified BlockFi account holders. Crypto is a speculative investment and you could stand to lose your money if the price of the coins you purchased drops, regardless of the crypto exchange you use. BlockFi has several desirable attributes that set it apart from some other crypto exchanges, including no transaction fees and no minimum deposit to maintain an account.
Can I trust BlockFi with my money?
Yes, you can trust BlockFi due to its security systems. BlockFi’s primary custodian, Gemini, carries insurance against theft. BlockFi is not FDIC-insured, but the company uses state of the art security to protect against cyberattacks and other threats. Understand that crypto is a highly volatile investment. Do not use BlockFi as a bank to store uninvested fiat currency and do not make investments that exceed your personal risk tolerance.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by BlockFi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by BlockFi.
Information is accurate as of July 24, 2022.
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