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The cryptocurrency industry has expanded a lot over the past few years, with Blockfi coming onto the scene in late 2019 with its revolutionary crypto lending platform. Seven years earlier, Coinbase began offering users an easy platform to use for buying Bitcoin and has since grown to be one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges.

What is there to compare between a lending platform and crypto exchange? More than you think, as Blockfi offers users the ability to swap between supported assets in addition to earning interest on their holdings. While Coinbase may have a significant advantage on the selection front, it is a closer comparison than you might think if your goal is to hold crypto for the long haul.

Coinbase Quick Overview

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with trading volume only beaten by Binance and a great reputation for industry-leading security. It is considered one of the best ways to buy Bitcoin, especially for Americans.

Coinbase is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in existence, having been in operation since 2012, and is one of the earliest adopters and providers of various cryptocurrency-related products. Over the years the company has entered into partnerships with a variety of mainstream companies such as Dell, Overstock, and Time Inc, which helped solidify them as one of the most trusted organizations in the cryptocurrency community. A Coinbase listing has become synonymous with an asset seeing a new pump.

To learn more about the exchange be sure to check out our in-depth Coinbase review.

Coinbase logo new


  • Beginner-friendly UI make it easy to make quick buys
  • One of the oldest and most reliable exchanges
  • Earn $200 in free crypto after completing sign-up process. Terms apply.
  • Variety of products including exchange, staking, wallet
  • Advanced Trading options for experienced traders
Funding Methods Debit & Credit Bank, PayPal, ACH, Bank Transfer, e-Transfer
Cryptocurrencies 100+
Countries 100+

Coinbase Pros & Cons


  • New users can earn free crypto through

  • User friendly design with simple buy/sell buttons and clearly indicated prices

  • Large selection of crypto assets and tokens

  • Have their own stable coin (USDC)


  • Fees are right in the middle of industry standards

  • No ability to earn interest on holdings

  • Significant identity verification required

Blockfi Quick Overview

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms on the market. Blockfi hit the market in 2019 with Zac Prince as the CEO and founder, and the company was able to raise more than $60 million in funding before it launched.

Blockfi is considered one of the first platforms that let users earn interest on their crypto. Much like a traditional bank, BlockFi allows users to either take out a loan or earn interest on their crypto holdings. The platform also offers an exclusive Visa card that offers cashback in Bitcoin, the ability to purchase cryptocurrency directly, and no fee swaps between any of the supported cryptocurrencies.

For more info on Blockfi check out our full review.

Blockfi Logo


  • Earn interest on your cryptocurrency
  • Not required to lock up crypto for a set period of time
  • Reliable and safe platform based in the USA
  • Particularly good earn rates for Bitcoin and ETH
  • Offers an exclusive Visa card with Bitcoin rewards
Minimum Loan Amount $5,000
Max Interest Available 7.25%

Blockfi Pros & Cons


  • Integrated exchange with zero fees for swaps of supported assets

  • Lenders earn compound interest on deposits

  • You can choose the cryptocurrency in which they earn their interest

  • Blockfi Visa Card that offers Bitcoin rewards


  • Each withdrawal is charged a flat fee, with the exception of one free withdrawal per month.

  • Limited number of cryptocurrency assets available

Beginner Friendliness

Both platforms are very beginner friendly and offer mobile apps for users to easily sign up from their phone. However, Blockfi does not allow you the ability to purchase crypto with a credit card, while Coinbase does, making Coinbase a slightly more beginner friendly option. If you already own some crypto in another wallet then it is a bit of a moot point, and you can still connect your bank to Blockfi to buy crypto that way in addition to both offering the ability to deposit cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase and Blockfi both have user interfaces that are easy to navigate and use, meaning which platform you choose really depends on your intentions.

Trust & Security

Neither Blockfi nor Coinbase have ever been successfully hacked, though there was a SIM card swap incident for Blockfi in spring 2020 with zero funds lost. They both offer two-factor authentication (2FA), IP logging and hold the majority of users funds in cold storage with Coinbase holding 98% and Blockfi holding 95%. For Coinbase, Cash deposits are also FDIC insured up to $250,000. All other assets held online are privately insured by Coinbase.

For Blockfi, the remaining 5% is held in hot wallets insured by Aron, though they offer no FDIC insurance. Blockfi wallets are provided by Gemini Exchange, one of the top American exchanges that is known for its regulatory compliance.

Not much to worry about with either choice here, though since Coinbase has not been hacked in almost a decade, they have a slight edge.


Comparing fees between Coinbase and Blockfi has to be divided into various areas. For trading fees, Blockfi actually comes out on top as they do not charge any fees for swap, and even with the possibility of up to a 1% spread, that is still less than the maker fees on Coinbase.

When it comes to deposit fees, there are none for both platforms.

For withdrawals, Coinbase only charges the blockchain network fee and nothing additional, while Blockfi gives you one free withdrawal for stablecoins and one free withdrawal for a crypto per calendar month. Otherwise, you may be paying a significant fee for withdrawing various assets on Blockfi, as the fee for Bitcoin is over $30 USD for any withdrawal amount, or $60 USD for Ethereum.

Sign-Up Process

The sign-up processes for both Coinbase and Blockfi are quick and easy, though they still require full identity verification. That means you’ll be required to provide name, address, personal identification (driver’s license, passport) and a photo.

Available Cryptocurrencies

This is one area where there is absolutely no contest, as Blockfi offers just 13 total cryptocurrencies, while Coinbase offers almost 100 coins and tokens for users to buy and sell. If you are looking for the platform with the most selection of assets, then Coinbase is where you want to go, however Blockfi does offer many of the top Ethereum-based assets such as Uniswap (UNI) and Chainlink (LINK) in addition to Bitcoin and all of the most popular stablecoins.

Standout Features

  • Blockfi Interest Accounts

The flagship platform of Blockfi, the Blockfi Interest Account allows users to earn interest on their crypto or stablecoins holdings of up to 8.25% APY.

  • Blockfi Visa Credit Card

The Blockfi Visa Credit card is one of the only crypto credit cards on the market and offers users a 1.5% cashback reward in Bitcoin for all spending, and you can earn 2% once you have spent $50,000 USD in one year.

  • Coinbase Card

While not a credit card that allows you to earn crypto rewards for your spending, the Coinbase Card is a Visa Debit card that allows you to spend your Coinbase holdings anywhere Visa is accepted. They also offer you up to 4% in crypto rewards for your spending.

  • Coinbase Earn and Staking

Coinbase Earn is a way to earn free crypto rewards for taking short lessons on that specific cryptocurrency. Assets are then immediately sent to the user who can do what they please with their rewards.

Staking is available for certain assets and lets you earn interest on your held crypto assets.

CryptoVantage Verdict: Trade with Coinbase, Hodl with Blockfi

When it comes to deciding between Coinbase and Blockfi, your platform of choice really depends on your intent.

If you are interested in trading many cryptocurrencies or staking while also being able to spend your holdings with a Visa Debit, then Coinbase is certainly right for you.

If you are interested in earning interest on your crypto holdings for Bitcoin or Ethereum and having a crypto credit card that gets you Bitcoin cashback rewards, then Blockfi might be something to look into.

You really cannot go wrong either way though, as both platforms are extremely secure and user friendly.

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About the Author

Evan Jones

Evan Jones was introduced to cryptocurrency by fellow CryptoVantage contributor Keegan Francis in 2017 and was immediately intrigued by the use cases of many Ethereum-based cryptos. He bought his first hardware wallet shortly thereafter. He has a keen and vested interest in cryptos involving decentralized backend exchanges, payment processing, and power-sharing.

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