BlockFi Review

Earn interest on Bitcoin and Ethereum

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BlockFi

BlockFi

overall rating
3.9

Our Take 

BlockFi offers a small selection of cryptocurrencies and could be an ideal platform for new investors to buy, sell, and hold crypto. Users’ crypto assets are protected by the Gemini Trust Company. New crypto investors will enjoy BlockFi’s simple-to-use platform, but advanced traders seeking more selection and lower fees will want to look elsewhere.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Interest earning opportunity for high net worth clients

  • Crypto assets secured by Gemini Trust Company

  • Crypto-backed loans up to 50% of holdings

  • Phone support available

Cons
  • Very few crypto supported

  • Fees are around 1% and can be higher at times

Key Takeaways
  • BlockFi is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in New Jersey.
  • It offers a web-based crypto platform with an available mobile app for trading.
  • BlockFi is a regulated exchange, and its assets are held by Gemini Trust Company, which is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
  • It offers crypto-backed loans to access instant cash.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2017
  • Official Website www.BlockFi.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 16
  • Customer Support Email, Phone

Introduction

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers a secure way to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency online. This exchange also allows wealthy users to earn interest on crypto assets and provides crypto-backed loans for all types of users. Currently, only 16 cryptocurrencies are supported on BlockFi, which is fewer than most exchanges.

BlockFi is designed to help new crypto investors purchase Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies using fiat currency. While this platform does offer basic crypto trading, it is not designed for active traders, and only supports simple market order buying and selling. However, BlockFi does offer institutional investing with 24/7 support, including an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk, as well as the ability to invest in a crypto trust product.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

Founded by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez in 2017, BlockFi was created to offer cryptocurrency lending and savings products. It is a regulated U.S.-based exchange headquartered in New Jersey. BlockFi users’ crypto assets are in the custody of Gemini Trust Company, which is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

BlockFi operates in most countries worldwide and 45 U.S. states. It is not currently available in New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Individual users can expect a simple trading experience on BlockFi. This exchange also offers an institutional investing platform, providing lending, trading, and investing services to corporate clients. Its standard platform allows individuals to deposit crypto or fiat currency, and buy and sell crypto.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on BlockFi

Users can access a small selection of popular cryptocurrencies on BlockFi, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LITE), and Chainlink (LINK). There are only 16 currently-supported cryptocurrencies on BlockFi, though they occasionally add more. Here is the complete list: 

  • BTC
  • ETH
  • LTC
  • PAXG
  • UNI
  • DAI
  • LINK
  • BAT
  • ALGO
  • BCH
  • DOGE
  • USDC
  • USDT
  • GUSD
  • USDP
  • BUSD

BlockFi does not currently support some of the most popular coins, such as Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL), Polkadot (DOT), or Avalanche (AVAX).

Trading Experience

BlockFi offers a simplified trading experience. Instead of real-time crypto prices, it freezes prices for 60 seconds time blocks, allowing them to lock in prices exactly as quoted. The main user dashboard displays a list of crypto you can buy or sell, as well as view any other BlockFi products they might use. You can deposit funds into your BlockFi account using a wire transfer, ACH transfer, or from a digital wallet. 

BlockFi does not allow users to purchase crypto with a credit or debit card.

Users can also set up recurring crypto purchases (daily, weekly, or monthly). Additionally, BlockFi lets customers borrow against their crypto assets, lending up to 50% of their holdings in U.S. dollars. However, your crypto holdings can be liquidated if there is a significant drop in the prices of your cryptocurrency to maintain the correct amount of collateral for the loan. Interest rates range from 4.5% to 9.75% depending on the ratio of your crypto to the loan's value.

Fees

BlockFi does not charge a transaction fee but does collect a spread, which is around 1% (or more, depending on market conditions). It does offer free fiat deposits via ACH and wire transfers. BlockFi also charges fees on withdrawals of crypto assets from the platform.

Here’s a breakdown of BlockFi’s fees:

Payment Method BlockFi Fee 
Crypto Wallet Withdrawal Fees vary
USD Wallet Free 
Debit/Credit card  N/A 
ACH Transfer  Free 
Wire Transfer  Free 
Crypto Conversion  Around 1% spread (or more) 
Purchases  Around 1% spread (or more) 
Trades  Around 1% spread (or more) 

BlockFi Withdrawal Fees

BlockFi allows users to withdraw crypto assets once a month and reimburses the fees. However, customers who make additional withdrawals during a month can expect to pay withdrawal fees. Here’s a breakdown of the BockFi withdrawal fees:

Currency  Withdrawal Limit  Fees 
BTC 100 BTC per 7-day period 0.00075 BTC
ETH  5,000 ETH per 7-day period  0.015 ETH 
LINK  65,000 LINK per 7-day period 2 LINK 
LTC  10,000 LTC per 7-day period  0.001 LTC 
Stablecoins  1,000,000 per 7-day period  $50.00 USD 
PAXG  500 PAXG per 7 day period  0.035 PAXG 
UNI 5,500 UNI per 7 day period  2.5 UNI 
BAT  2,000,000 BAT per 7 day period  60 BAT 

Security

BlockFi offers several security features to help keep users' holdings safe. All crypto assets are stored with the Gemini Trust Company, with most of them in offline cold storage. Users can also set up two-factor authentication (2FA) and whitelisting for user crypto withdrawals for an extra layer of protection.

Here are a few of the security features BlockFi offers:

  • Whitelisting approved addresses. Users can create an approved address “allow list,” which lets you specify which wallet addresses can withdraw cryptocurrency. 
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA). BlockFi offers two-factor authentication (2FA) via the Google Authenticator app. This helps secure account logins.
  • PII verification. This exchange runs advanced algorithms to detect anomalies in user accounts, especially around user withdrawals. Unusual account activity can trigger a “PII Verification,” which requires resubmitting user identification data before being able to withdraw funds.
  • Biometric access. BlockFi mobile app users can enable biometric access (such as Face ID) to secure the app further.

Opening a BlockFi Account

To sign up for a BlockFi account, you will need to provide an email address, your name, and a password. Once you verify your email address, BlockFi recommends securing your account with Google Authenticator 2FA. This includes scanning a QR code and inputting an expiring 6-digit code.

While you can deposit funds and purchase crypto right away, before you can withdraw any funds, you’ll need to verify your identity by submitting a government-issued photo ID and a selfie to BlockFi. This follows modern Know Your Customer (KYC) security standards in the U.S.

Customer Service

BlockFi offers online support via its support center help docs and a chatbot to help find answers to common questions. Direct customer support is available via phone or email, with business hours from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET. The options to access phone and email support are rare for crypto exchanges, as most only offer email or online chat support.

BlockFi's institutional clients can access 24/7 support, including a dedicated account manager. Overall, BlockFi offers more support options than most crypto exchanges.

Customer Satisfaction

BlockFi receives mixed customer reviews, though many are positive. Complaints are primarily related to account verification issues and long hold times for calling customer service. Few customers report having account issues, though some mentioned identity verification issues and complaints of high withdrawal fees.

Overall, BlockFi customer service seems to respond to most complaints promptly. Pair that with a simple-to-use platform and the option to get phone support, and BlockFi offers a decent customer experience.

Account Management

BlockFi offers account access through a web-based platform and a mobile app. The website dashboard allows users to buy and sell crypto. Wealthy clients can also access a product that allows them to earn interest and other benefits. Users can log in using a web browser and deposit fiat currency to purchase crypto. Instant loans are also available by depositing or purchasing cryptocurrency; you can borrow up to 50% of your holdings.

The BlockFi mobile app offers much of the same functionality as the desktop platform, allowing users to buy and sell crypto, and borrow against crypto holdings. Users can deposit or withdraw funds from the mobile app as well. The mobile app allows biometric access controls, using FaceID or fingerprint access to secure the app.

How BlockFi Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

BlockFi provides a simple way to buy Bitcoin and a few other popular cryptocurrencies for beginners. It also allows users with 3 million dollars or more in assets to earn interest by lending crypto holdings, which helps offset the fees for purchasing crypto on the platform. Users can also take out crypto-backed loans with reasonable interest rates.

BlockFi only supports 16 cryptocurrencies. Its spread fees are also around 1% or more, making it more expensive than many crypto exchanges. Here’s how BlockFi compares to another large crypto exchange in the U.S.

BlockFi vs. Kraken

Both BlockFi and Kraken are cryptocurrency exchanges that offer a simple way to buy crypto. Both provide access to popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Users on both platforms can earn interest on crypto holdings. Although, BlockFi now requires you to have 3 million or more in assets to earn interest, while Kraken makes staking available to a wider population.

While BlockFi does have more services for institutions and wealthy individuals, it is primarily aimed at beginners who want to buy Bitcoin and a few other popular cryptocurrencies. Kraken offers advanced trading capabilities and supports over 120 cryptocurrencies total.

Here are a few other differences between BlockFi and Kraken:

  • Kraken offers margin and futures trading, while BlockFi does not.
  • Kraken makes staking crypto to earn interest available to a wider population, while BlockFi now only allows wealthy clients to lend crypto to earn interest.
  • Kraken offers trading with up to 5x margin, while BlockFi only offers simple buying and selling of crypto.
  • BlockFi offers a rewards credit card for making purchases with crypto, while Kraken does not.

BlockFi offers a simple way for beginners to buy crypto as well as advanced features for wealthy individuals and institutions. Kraken is ideal for active traders who want access to advanced charting and order types, as well as margin and futures trading. 

Final Verdict

BlockFi is a secure, centralized cryptocurrency exchange offering an easy way to buy crypto. While it only offers Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies, users can also borrow against their crypto assets for access to cash. Additionally, wealthy individuals have access to other products with more features such as earning interest by lending.

This exchange doesn’t charge transaction fees or deposit fees, but it does charge a spread of 1% (or more) of the purchase price. This is much higher than what many competitors charge. Higher withdrawal fees as well as the imposition of withdrawal limits also make it more costly and difficult to withdraw crypto from the platform.

Overall, BlockFi is a great option for beginners who want to buy and hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other crypto assets. BlockFi offers a simple mobile app, a straightforward purchase process, and access to customer service on the phone during business hours. BlockFi may be ideal for beginners, but active crypto traders will likely want to look elsewhere for more trading options.

Methodology 

The Balance is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.


Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the data collection and review processes and weighted data points, is available for review. 

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. BlockFi. "Crypto Interest Rates." Accessed Mar. 13, 2022.