Founded in 2017, BlockFi has established itself as one of the most popular options for buying, selling, and earning interest on cryptocurrencies —all without the burden of excessive trading fees.
Zac Prince and Flori Marquez are the founders and current CEOs of the New Jersey-based company.
BlockFi offers several crypto-related products for its customers, including a BlockFi wallet, an interesting account, crypto-backed loans, an exclusive high-yield generating program for its wealthy investors, and a Visa-backed crypto rewards card.
The exchange also has a mobile version, which is pretty easy to use and comfortable for beginners and advanced traders.
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BlockFi features a user-friendly interface that’s intuitive and pretty straightforward, so it’s safe to say that it’s suitable for all users, whether new or advanced traders.
Pros & Cons Of BlockFi
- Excellent customer service with phone support.
- Users can earn a percentage of their expenses with BlockFi’s Crypto Reward Credit Card
- Help center and thorough educational content for beginners
- Users can earn interest by simply holding crypto
- Not available for US customers for now due to regulatory issues
- No joint accounts
- A limited selection of cryptocurrencies
Our Take On BlockFi
BlockFi has many simple yet innovative features that set the exchange apart from its competitors.
The interface is user-friendly and suitable for anyone seeking to earn a passive income by simply holding their assets within the platform.
I would recommend BlockFi for anyone who wants to earn an extra income or simply buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Besides, the help center is a great resource as it provides all the educational content needed to start using the exchange, and customer service is where BlockFi stands out the most, with live chats, email, and phone support.
Something that sets BlockFi apart from its competitors is its fee model.
Instead of taking the maker-taker approach, BlockFi charges a withdrawal fee and has weekly withdrawal limits depending on the cryptocurrency.
BlockFi Fees Schedule. Source: BlockFi Fees.
Is BlockFi Safe?
BlockFi is a highly secured platform and holds its funds in cold storage —physical wallets that store assets offline, making them more secure against hackers.
Additionally, the exchange shares cold storage with numerous partners of the highest quality, including Gemini, Valar Ventures, Galaxy Digital, and Coinbase Ventures.
All of them combined provide BlockFi with top-notch security protocols.
Some other security features are:
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): When setting up an account, you can enable 2FA to add an extra layer of security.
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII): BlockFi employs PII Verification to collect users’ data and confirm their identities.
- Biometric Access: The BlockFi mobile version allows Android and iOS users to enable biometric access, such as Face ID.
Banking At BlockFi
BlockFi only has a few deposit methods, which are: crypto deposits, ACH (Automated Clearing House, a network used for digital payments), or wire transfers.
The last two options aren’t available for US customers, so they are obliged to buy cryptocurrency from another exchange first and then send them to their BlockFi accounts.
BlockFi’s interest program is not the same as staking, however.
Staking requires you to lock up your assets for a certain period, while in BlockFi you only need to hold crypto.
As simple as that.
This is the reason why BlockFi has become an extremely popular option for people looking to earn passive income with no hidden fees.
The BlockFi Wallet allows users to store their crypto funds with no fees and no minimum balance.
The wallet enables 2FA and Allow-Listing, which is a security protocol that authorizes withdrawals only to approved addresses.
BlockFi Crypto Rewards Credit Card
BlockFi offers a crypto credit card called BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Card, which returns a percentage back in crypto on every purchase.
One of the perks of the crypto credit card is that it has no annual or international fees, and you can earn up to 1.5% with every purchase and get paid out on a monthly basis.
Your return percentage increases to 2% if you spend more than $50k annually.
BlockFi allows you to borrow loans —something that only a few competitors do.
All you have to do is put the amount to be borrowed in USD and use your crypto as collateral.
As a note, keep in mind loans are risky —if there’s a sudden price drop and the cryptocurrency you put up as collateral plunges significantly, you’re obligated to pay down the difference in order to sustain your loan.
Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is quite easy on BlockFi.
However, the amount of crypto pairs available is limited. The desktop version has an intuitive dashboard that allows you to buy crypto in just a few clicks.
Simply head to the table at the top and choose the digital asset you wish to buy.
BlockFi supports a total of 13 cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins and some ERC-20 tokens. As such:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Algorand (ALGO)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- USD Circle (USDC)
- Tether (USDT)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
Registering at BlockFi is a straightforward process —you need to type your first and last names, an email address, and a password.
Once done, you need to choose the account type.
Unfortunately, BlockFi only provides Individual and Business accounts with different documentation requirements.
Customers who chose an individual account can submit one of the following documents:
- Driver license
- ID Card
After you submit your ID document and a selfie, the exchange will take 1 to 2 business days to properly verify your account so you can start using it.
US customers are no longer able to create new interest accounts since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the exchange with a $100 million penalty for failing to register its crypto lending product, called BIA (BlockFi Interest Account), which the SEC deemed as a securities offering.
The SEC stated that BlockFi’s BIAs are securities and thus subject to regulatory laws.
This legal action is one of a kind from the regulatory body and belongs to a new legal framework that seeks to properly regulate crypto-related products in the US.
This means the SEC might be targeting more crypto-lending companies and exchanges in the future.
In any case, BlockFi paid the penalty and plans to register its crypto lending product under the securities Act.
It’s uncertain how long it will take for BlockFi to provide US citizens with BIAs.
But for now, they are no longer able to create new accounts or deposit more funds to existing ones.
It’s also unclear if this also affects the rewards from the crypto card.
BlockFi Site Experience
BlockFi features a lightning-fast homepage dashboard where you can easily find what you’re looking for.
The main dashboard shows your total balance, and next to it we have Total Interest Paid and Accrued interest on all the currencies that you hold.
This is the same for the mobile version, which we’ll break down in the next section.
At the top bar we have:
- Products: Here you can find BlockFi’s latest products, such as Trading, Interest Accounts, BlockFi Wallet, Personalized Yields, and Crypto-Backed Loans
- Institutions: You can borrow USD or crypto to fund your business, whether you own an ATM, an exchange, or a mining company.
- Services: You can become a BlockFi partner and receive exclusive benefits and earn passive income.
- Resources: The Resource Center is one of the best features of BlockFi as it provides educational content and guides to drive you through the exchange, a FAQ, a help center, and more.
- Company: Here you can find information about the company, contact support via email or phone —which is a feature that not a lot of exchanges have—, and check the platform’s Status Page to keep track of recent product updates.
BlockFi App Experience
BlockFi has its own mobile version downloadable for iOS via App Store and Android via Play Store.
The app can be found on the BlockFi homepage.
Overall, the BlockFi app is well organized and has all the necessary features to start buying and selling crypto or make your coins earn interest for you.
One of the perks that make BlockFi stand out is that you can earn interest on each cryptocurrency that you hold.
When you access your account, the first thing that pops up is your current balance followed by a small section detailing your Total interest Paid and Accrued Interest. Below, you have:
- Fund: top up your account via crypto deposits or wire transfers
- Trade: exchange any crypto available in the exchange
- Withdraw: send your crypto to a different wallet address
Interest is paid out every month for the currencies that you hold.
Another interesting feature is that you can choose to get paid in the same currency you’re holding or choose a currency of your preference.
Customer support is where BlockFi shines the most. Unlike many of its competitors, BlockFi provides phone support, with business hours being Monday to Friday, starting from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern Time zone).
Institutional clients receive exclusive benefits, such as 24/7 support and a dedicated client coverage manager.
BlockFi Global Restrictions
Like most crypto companies, customers from certain jurisdictions aren’t allowed to use the BlockFi platform. I
n the US, BlockFi is available (at least until the company halted its lending and interest services due to the SEC settlement) in 47 states in the US.