BlockFi Review 2022: What Sets This Trading Platform Apart

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GOBanking Rates Score

Quick take: BlockFi is designed for beginner to intermediate crypto investors looking for a secure trading platform. However, it doesn’t provide much consumer education, and the cryptocurrencies available are rather limited compared to other platforms like Coinbase, so if you’re a newbie who isn’t particularly tech-savvy, you might want to consider other platforms. BlockFi can also benefit wealthy individuals who want a safe place to park their crypto and even leverage investments for low-interest loans with crypto as collateral.
  • Commercial experience
  • Credit card with rewards
  • Features
  • Security

How did we calculate this?

Advantages

  • Secure platform
  • Rewards credit card
  • Loans available
  • No trading fees
  • No minimum balance to hold

The inconvenients

  • Limited cryptocurrencies available for trading
  • Recent issues with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Withdrawal fees on certain assets
  • Minimum transaction amount of $20

Introducing BlockFi

BlockFi is a trading platform for over 15 cryptocurrencies, including many of the most popular such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. It includes a free crypto wallet with no minimum balance required and the ability to instantly exchange many cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. Additional features include a rewards credit card, simplified tax reporting and a referral bonus.

Main characteristics

BlockFi comes with several cool features. Here are the details on some of the biggest benefits for users.

Commercial experience

BlockFi’s biggest drawback is that there are only about 20 cryptocurrencies available on the platform for US customers. Some reviewers on TrustPilot said they encountered issues with identity verification, which they say is not common on other platforms. Overall, however, BlockFi received an average rating of 3.4 stars on TrustPilot. One five-star reviewer said, “Top-notch support: fast and friendly.”

Credit card with rewards

BlockFi is relatively unique in the crypto industry in that it offers a Visa Rewards signature card that rewards 1.5% in crypto for every purchase, with the potential to earn up to 10% cash back on special offers. With an annual spend of $30,000, the rewards increase to 2%.

Due to SEC regulations, BlockFi had to stop paying interest to its US customers. It would seem that the rewards credit card is a way to add value to the platform for US investors. The card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and all the benefits of a Visa Signature card. You will need good to excellent credit for approval, and the APR if you have a balance can vary from depending on your credit and prime rate.

Features

BlockFi provides users with their own digital wallet with no minimum balance required and no hidden fees. Easily exchange and store crypto through your wallet. You can also make instant transactions and exchanges to your bank account via ACH transfer. Plan repeat purchases to average your investment for maximum return. Users also get a free TaxBit Network account that connects your crypto investments across exchanges for easy tax reporting.

Security

BlockFi is transparent about its current security measures and future plans to stay abreast of impending threats. The BlockFi website published a blog post from Chief Security Officer Adam Healy listing major security initiatives which include Endpoint, Cloud, Identity, Core Security Services, Custody Operations, Employee Training and Awareness and Data Governance.

However, it is important to remember that BlockFi is not a bank and is not FDIC insured. However, BlockFi’s main custodian, Gemini, buys its own insurance through Aon. Gemini stores 95% of its assets in cold storage, which is considered more secure because it is offline except during transactions.

How BlockFi Stands Out

Not all cryptocurrency exchanges offer crypto lending, which is a key area where BlockFi excels. With a crypto loan, you can earn cash 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 on platforms that don’t connect directly to your bank account. Also, there is no minimum deposit required to start or maintain your BlockFi wallet, which is a nice feature.

Comparable options

There are many crypto exchanges available today, with Coinbase being the biggest and, arguably, the best known. Binance is the largest exchange based on trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap.

How does BlockFi compare to these two industry leaders?

Coinbase

Coinbase is highly regarded as the largest crypto exchange based on the number of users. It is intuitive and easy to use. Fiat currencies, such as US 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%.

Binance

Although Binance is the largest volume-based crypto exchange, it only received a two-star rating on TrustPilot – a stark contrast to BlockFi’s high ratings. Binance offers over 500 coins to buy or sell, which is way ahead of BlockFi. Binance fees are lower than Coinbase, ranging from 0.01% to 0.07%. But BlockFi has no fees at all.

How to register

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 get started. If a friend referred you to BlockFi, they can earn money when you sign up, so you’ll need to enter their referral code. After that, you’ll receive a verification email and you’ll be ready to log in and get started. You will need to complete a few additional security and identity verification steps when making your first withdrawal.

Who BlockFi is best for

Reviewers recommend BlockFi for beginner to intermediate investors due to the limited types of coins traded on the platform. If you’re looking for a relatively easy-to-use crypto exchange with fast withdrawals via ACH and no fees, BlockFi is worth considering.

Final take

Although it has recently faced hurdles down the road with regulatory action against its interest-bearing crypto loan product, BlockFi is a reputable company that takes great security measures to protect your money. For newbie investors interested in blue chip crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum, looking for an easy way to buy and sell, BlockFi may be a good choice.

BlockFi FAQs

  • Is BlockFi legit?
    • BlockFi is a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange platform offering.
  • Is BlockFi better than Coinbase?
    • Although Coinbase is the largest user-based crypto exchange, BlockFi is also a very reputable trading platform. BlockFi has no minimum deposit or transaction fees, although there are withdrawal fees for some cryptocurrencies. BlockFi only has around 15 different coins available for trading, so if you want more trading choices, Coinbase might be the best bet. Users should also be aware that BlockFi has withdrawal fees. Either platform offers a safe and secure way to trade and store cryptos.
  • Is it worth using BlockFi?
    • BlockFi has several value-added 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 lose your money if the price of the coins you bought drop, no matter what 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 with its security systems. BlockFi’s main 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 very 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, criticisms, ratings, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or otherwise endorsed by BlockFi.

Information is accurate as of July 24, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create accurate, unbiased and up-to-date content. We check every stat, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to ensure that the information we provide is correct. You can read more about GOBankingRates processes and standards in our Editorial Policy.

About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer with interests in finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. His long list of publishing credits includes Bankrate, Lending Tree and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology and entertainment website. She lives in Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten and three lizards of different sizes and personalities – plus her two children and her husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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