What is BlockFi and how does it work? BlockFi has become a major player in the US crypto scene by providing a range of lending and borrowing services to crypto holders. In this BlockFi review pros and cons of using BlockFi and whether it is worth the time of lenders and borrowers.
New York-based crypto lending platform, BlockFi has received a ton of attention from the financial world for its work providing banking services to crypto holders. Founded in 2017, in 2018 and 2019 alone the platform secured around $70 million in investment from sources like Sofi, Winkelvoss Capital, Galaxy Digital, and ConsenSys.
Top investors certainly seem to buy into the BlockFi model, but does that mean you should too? In this BlockFi review, we’re going to take a deep dive into the platform’s features and help you decide whether BlockFi is best for your needs.
What is BlockFi?
BlockFi is a wealth management technology firm servicing crypto investors.
Considered one of the pioneers in crypto banking, they offer products such as crypto interest accounts, crypto trading, a crypto debit card, and USD loans backed by crypto. They mostly focus on major crypto-assets like:
- USD stablecoins.
Unlike other competitors such as Nexo, BlockFi does not offer native tokens. They focus on providing a simple product with simple terms. BlockFi currently offers three main products to customers:
- BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIA)
- Crypto-backed loans
How does BlockFi work?
Many crypto holders store their digital assets in cold storage or on exchanges to keep them safe long-term. However, this doesn’t always bring much immediate profit as most coins fluctuate quite a bit. BlockFi enables companies and individuals that own crypto assets to earn steady interest despite volatility.
BlockFi might just be the wealth management solution you’ve been looking for. However, what are the pros and cons of using BlockFi as a lender or borrower?
BlockFi loans for borrowers
BlockFi loans are all-purpose. Applying for a BlockFi loan requires no membership and on average takes less than three minutes.
Step 1– Visit the BlockFi website and click on ‘loan’.
Step 2– Click on ‘Apply’ and fill in the required details.
Step 3– Wait for the loan decision/offer. It is usually made in less than 24 hours.
Step 4– Review your loan offer and sign the loan agreement.
Step 5– Transfer collateral to BlockFi’s secure storage wallet.
Step 6– You will generally receive your loan the same day in USD. It will be either wired to your bank account or sent as stablecoins to your preferred wallet address.
Step 7– You then make interest-only payments per month using USD, BTC, ETH, or LTC.
Step 8– Finally, you pay off the principal in one payment at the end of the term (12months maximum).
BlockFi offers three levels of loans based on your LTV (Loan To Value) ratio or what percentage of your collateral value you choose to get a loan against. Loans at each level are instantaneous and do not require a credit check since they’re collateral-based.
- For 200% LTV: 9.75% with a 2% origination fee
- For 350% LTV: 7.9% with a 2% origination fee
- For 500% LTV: 4.5% with a 2% origination fee
- Fast and easy process: BlockFi loan decisions are made in less than 24 hours.
- BlockFi loans do not impact credit scores.
- You need a large amount of collateral to access their best rates.
- Limited collateral types are available.
Investing with BlockFi
BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIAs) let you put your crypto to work earning monthly interest payments in whichever asset type you deposit.
BlockFi generates interest on your assets by lending them to trusted corporate and institutional borrowers as well as individuals. Interest rates on BlockFi are quite competitive. BlockFi pays interest monthly and the rates vary depending on the asset you deposit.
- Bitcoin users can earn up to 6% annual interest on deposits under 5 BTC, and 3.2% on any BTC amount above the 5 BTC threshold.
- Ethereum users can earn up to 4.5% in annual interest on deposits under 500 ETH, and then 0.5% on amounts over that 500 ETH threshold.
- Litecoin users can earn up to 5% in annual interest on all deposits.
USD stablecoins — (GUSD, USDC, and PAX); You can earn up to 8.6% APR on GUSD, USDC, and PAX deposits.
- All interest compounds every month.
- No minimum balance is needed to begin earning interest.
- High fees: At 0.0025 BTC and 0.0015 ETH respectively, BlockFi’s withdrawal fees are quite high.
- Elongated monthly payouts: Interest is paid on the 1st business day of every month as opposed to daily or weekly payouts offered by others.
- Lower value withdrawal times: All withdrawals under 0.056ETH and 0.003BTC may take up to 30 days to process.
- No USD investment options are available on BlockFi at this time.
BlockFi lets you seamlessly and instantly trade between any of their supported cryptocurrencies.
They charge a variable fee based on the current liquidity available for each asset. On their website, they also claim that daily trading volumes are capped on a per user basis based on account size. Your assets will start earning interest again approximately one day after a trade.
Is BlockFi safe?
BlockFi does not hold their crypto assets; they outsource them to Gemini for increased security. Gemini keeps up to 95% of its assets in cold storage(offline) and 5% in hot wallets, insured by AON.
Gemini is New York-based and fully licensed and regulated by the NYDFS. They’ve received a SOC2 Type 1 compliance audit from Deloitte so they seem pretty safe.
Is BlockFi legit?
To sum up our BlockFi review, BlockFi is legit. You might stumble upon some negative reviews online that might say otherwise, but these are usually misunderstanding from users who assumed interest was paid in USD and not in BTC/ETH/GUSD.
Should I use BlockFi?
BlockFi is one of the pioneers of crypto banks and a decent way to earn interest on and borrow against some of the top cryptos today.
However, it has neither the best rates nor as many options as some of its competitors.
Borrow against 70+ cryptos and earn up to 9% on BTC, BNB, and ETH with MyConstant
If you want to invest with fiat like USD or hold one of the many cryptos BlockFi doesn’t offer loans against, you may want to try MyConstant.
All our loans are backed up to 200% by collateral. This means that as an investor, you can feel safe knowing your assets are protected. And borrowers can get rates as low as 6% at a collateral level that would get them 9% on BlockFi.
Investors can earn up to 7% APR through term-based crypto-backed lending or 4% by lending through our Flex account with anytime withdrawals. You can also lend your BTC, BNB, and ETH for as much as 9% APY and withdraw anytime.
Sound good? Create your free account today.