BlockFi is one of the most popular crypto lending platforms. It has reached a trustworthy reputation and hundreds of thousands of customers. This article is a BlockFi review. We’ll go through the key features and give you also our BlockFi experiences.
BlockFi is a lending platform operating in the cryptocurrency market. The idea is simple: customers deposit funds for BlockFi to manage. Once a customer has funds at BlockFi, they can be used to earn interest or as collateral for a loan.
BlockFi is competing in the same market as Celsius and Nexo. There are also decentralized options such as Aave and Compound.
BlockFi was founded in 2017. It is a rather new operator in the crypto market. This is also an American company. It’s founded by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez. This duo is still active in running BlockFi.
The leadership team has lots of experience in the finance sector.
The company has more than 500 employees. There are offices in the United States, Poland, and Argentina. BlockFi is managing funds worth more than 15 billion USD. They have more than 225,000 customers too.
BlockFi has received 500+ million dollars of funding from respected crypto VC companies, such as Coinbase Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Morgan Greek Capital, and Winklevoss Capital.
The Gemini exchange, which is founded by the Winklevoss twins, is a strategic partner. Gemini is managing the funds of BlockFi customers. Popular crypto influencer Anthony Pompliano is also one of the investors.
Do you have BlockFi experiences? Help to make this article better by sharing your views in the comment section.
Now we can open a BlockFi account and start earning some yield!
BlockFi can be used with a standard desktop browser or via a mobile app. This review shows you the desktop version. If you are using a mobile app, some features will be slightly different.
Click the link below to begin the registration process.
A landing page opens, which gives you information about BlockFi deposit bonuses. At the time of writing this article, there are bonuses from $15 to $250 available. The exact amount depends on your first deposit.
Note. These bonuses might change over time. There could be different offers available at the time you’re reading this article.
Think about the size of your first deposit to get the best out of this offer. For example, instead of depositing $900, you might want to deposit $100 more to get an extra $20 bonus. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the Terms and Conditions.
Once you are ready to go, click the yellow Sign Up button. A simple registration form opens.
Input the required information and accept the Terms & Conditions. Be careful when typing your personal information. It has to match later in the KYC process to your ID.
Next, BlockFi asks you to input a confirmation code, which has been sent to your e-mail. Check your inbox, input the confirmation code and the registration part is finalized!
Account preparation and KYC
Once you’ve successfully registered, BlockFi asks for some additional information in order to prepare your account. First, you must choose the account type (individual or business).
In this example, we’ll choose the individual account.
Next, BlockFi asks you to give location information. Select your home country & zip code and click Continue. You’ll also need to input your home address.
After this, it’s time to give your birth date and phone number. Be careful when inputting the birthdate, because it has to be given in the American format (month/date/year). It’s easy to input the month and date the wrong way.
Once all information is given, the identity verification process begins.
This is a standard procedure in crypto exchanges and lending services. Click the Complete Identity Verification button to start the process. A popup should open.
You can confirm your identity by using a passport or driver’s license. We tried with a driver’s license had no issues. Use high-quality images where all information is visible.
The final stage includes web camera verification. All you need to do is to turn your head from right to left. It might require a couple of attempts. If you have problems, try to move your head closer to your webcam.
Once the KYC process is completed, you’re forwarded into your BlockFi account.
Now we can make a deposit and start earning yield! At the time of writing this article, BlockFi supports ten different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Chainlink, and stablecoins Binance USD, Paxos, Paxos Gold, USD Coin & Tether.
Remember what we wrote earlier about the deposit bonus!
Click Deposit from the main menu. A popup opens, where you can choose the currency. In this example, we are making a USD Coin deposit. BlockFi gives you an address and a QR code for the deposit.
Be careful with addresses and make sure you deposit the correct type of coins. If you are using Ethereum-based tokens and there’s lots of network activity, use high enough gas fees. Check ethgasstation.info for a reference price.
We tried deposits with USDC and BTC. Once they are confirmed by BlockFi, you can see the balances on the main page.
You should get an e-mail confirmation of an incoming withdrawal. In our test deposits, it took about one minute to get an e-mail confirmation for USDC deposits. Funds were available in the account in five minutes.
With the Bitcoin deposit, the e-mail confirmation took less than a minute to arrive. BlockFi requires three confirmations from BTC deposits, which means your funds are available in 30 minutes (on average).
If you want to earn yield at BlockFi, this is all you need to do. Every coin you deposit starts to earn interest, which is paid once a month.
If you want to withdraw your funds, click Withdraw from the main menu. Move forward by choosing the currency you wish to withdraw. In this example, we’ll be using bitcoins.
Next, you’ll see detailed information about your withdrawal. Input the amount you wish to withdraw. Check also Fees and Withdrawal Terms by clicking the info (i) icons.
Click the Select Wallet dropdown list and choose New wallet. Since this is our first withdrawal, we must first save an address to the system. Type in a valid address and click the Review Withdrawal button.
You’ll see a final confirmation window with all the withdrawal information in it. Click Confirm. A confirmation code is sent to your e-mail inbox, which you need to input to finalize the process.
The general withdrawal rules are as follows:
Withdrawals are subject to a security hold and processed the next business day if the request is received prior to 5PM EST. All withdrawals are processed by 8:00 PM EST on weekdays.
In a normal situation, your withdrawal is processed on the next business day.
There is also a simple trade feature at BlockFi. You can swap any supported currency to each other. Click Trade from the main menu to access this feature. The following popup opens.
Just select the coins you want to buy and sell. In this example, we are selling $100 worth of USDC and buying bitcoins.
Repeat Trade feature allows you to set up monthly or weekly purchases. You could deposit $5200 worth of USDC and create a $100 weekly purchase of bitcoins. This would be a great way to dollar-cost average your purchases for a period of one year.
Account settings (2FA)
There is one security feature you should enable before making any significant deposits. That’s Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). You’ll need the Google Authenticator app for that. It’s available for both Android and iOS.
Open the account settings menu from the top corner of the page.
Select Profile Settings from the opening menu and Security from the sub-menu. From here, you can also change your password if needed.
Scroll down the Security settings until you see TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION. Click the link titled ENABLE 2FA.
Next, a popup opens with a QR code in it. Open your Google Authenticator app and use it to scan the QR code. BlockFi should appear on the Authenticator list after that.
Remember to save the security code as well! You’ll need that to access your account if the Authenticator app is not available (phone lost or stolen).
We recommend using a backup mobile phone with Google Authenticator installed on it. Scan the QR code with both devices. Then you’ll always have the 2FA app available even if your phone is broken, lost, or stolen.
BlockFi interest account
Remember, you don’t need to transfer your funds anywhere after the deposit. There is no additional interest account. All your coins start to earn interest right away.
BlockFi gives you the freedom to choose the currency for interest payments.
Click the Profile button in the top right corner and select Profile Settings. Choose Interest from the sub-menu. Here’s a screenshot of interest payment options.
There are two ways to get paid:
- Interest is paid in the currency you have deposited. For example, a USDC deposit earns interest in USDC, a Bitcoin deposit in bitcoins, etc.
- The interest of all your deposits is paid using a certain currency.
Which one of these options is better? We assume that most people are depositing stablecoins to earn interest. You can choose the safe way and earn interest in USDC. Alternatively, you can take payments in bitcoins.
You should consider the bigger market cycle before making this choice. If it’s a bull market, it makes sense to take payments in bitcoins. In a bear market, you want to earn USDC.
We like the combination of depositing USDC and earning interest in bitcoins!
BlockFi experiences and overview
BlockFi is an easy service to use. The GUI is simple and informative. BlockFi has built a solid reputation, and it has a strong leadership team running the company.
It seems a bit that BlockFi is attracting more professional investors and institutions. BlockFi doesn’t try to compete with Nexo and Celsius when it comes to interest rates.
Roughly speaking, BlockFI has the best rates for BTC & ETH & LTC, while Celsius & Nexo pays higher rates for stablecoin and other altcoin deposits. The big difference is that BlockFi doesn’t have a token of its own. Celsius and Nexo pay higher rates if you take the interest payments using their own tokens.
Each of these lending platforms pays the interest in a different way. Nexo pays it every day, Celsius pays it every week, while BlockFi pays you once a month. Celsius can be only used with a mobile app. Some people prefer the desktop version, which BlockFi has.
We feel that BlockFi has the best reputation among all lending platforms. Especially having the Winklevoss twins & Gemini as partners is a great catch.
Could you say that BlockFi is designed for institutional users, while Celsius and Nexo attract more small investors? It seems a bit like that. On the other hand, the internet is full of positive BlockFi experiences written by all types of investors.
BlockFi will also introduce a debit card soon. It wasn’t available at the time of writing this article.
You should also follow BlockFi on social media for promotions and the latest news. The official Twitter handle is @BlockFi. There is also a support account @BlockFiSupport. The Reddit discussion can be found at reddit.com/r/blockfi/.