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BlockFi Review: The Most Reliable Way to Earn Interest on Your Crypto?

BlockFi was one of the first examples of the financialization of Bitcoin and other crypto assets.

Much like a traditional bank, BlockFi allows users to either take out a loan or earn interest on their crypto holdings. Additionally, BlockFi has a trading platform that allows users to easily manage their crypto asset portfolio as well as an exclusive Visa card.

Nov. 28, 2022, update: BlockFi has filed for bankruptcy and is no longer accepting deposits.

Blockfi Overview

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%

Pros & Cons


  • Integrated exchange platform makes it easier for users to manage their crypto holdings

  • Lenders can earn compound interest

  • Gemini (a trusted and regulated exchange) is the platform’s custodian of crypto funds

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

  • Some users are able to earn more than 8% interest on their crypto asset holdings

  • Exclusive Blockfi Visa Card that offers Bitcoin rewards


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

  • Launched in 2019, BlockFi is still a relatively new player in the cryptocurrency space

  • BlockFi supports a limited number of cryptocurrency

  • BlockFi’s rates are relatively low compared to competitors

What is BlockFi?

BlockFi is one of the most well-known crypto lending platforms on the market. In fact, crypto lending wasn’t really a topic of conversation before BlockFi hit the market in 2019.

Zac Prince is the CEO and founder of BlockFi, and the company was able to raise more than $60 million in funding before it launched. Some of the biggest names in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, such as Morgan Creek Capital and Consensys Ventures, have invested in BlockFi.

For their custody solution, BlockFi tapped Gemini, which is based in New York and may have the best relationship with regulators out of any other cryptocurrency exchange on the market. In short, BlockFi offers the same services as a bank for cryptocurrency holders. Users are able to either take out a loan (after putting down some crypto collateral) or lend their cryptocurrency holdings to BlockFi to receive interest payments.

In addition the platform also offers an exclusive Visa card that offers cashback in Bitcoin. Finally BlockFi even gives users the the ability to buy cryptocurrency in certain regions, which makes it a one-stop shop for everything crypto.

Crypto-backed Loans

Crypto Loans are the name of the game when it comes to BlockFi. Users are able to deposit their cryptocurrency on the BlockFi platform in order to gain access to a collateralized loan. Currently, users are only able to borrow against their Bitcoin, Ether, or Litecoin holdings. In most cases, it will only take a few hours to take out a loan with BlockFi.

Once a user has made a deposit, they are able to borrow up to 50% of the value of their cryptocurrency from BlockFi. In other words, if a user deposits $100,000 USD worth of Bitcoin onto BlockFi, they will be able to take out a loan up to $50,000 USD. Once the loan has started, the user can make monthly interest payments. The principle of the loan can be paid back at the end of the loan.

BlockFi holds the user’s cryptocurrency deposit for the duration of the loan to protect themselves against possible defaults. In a situation where a user doesn’t pay back the loan, BlockFi is able to seize the user’s cryptocurrency deposit. The user’s loan is denominated in U.S. dollars.

BlockFi Interest Account

On the other side of every loan there is a lender, and that’s where the BlockFi interest accounts come into play. When users deposit their cryptocurrency into a BlockFi Interest Account, they can earn up to 8% interest on a yearly basis. Notably, the interest is compounded, meaning users earn additional interest on their interest earnings (as long as they’re left on the platform).

BlockFi currently supports interest accounts for Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, USDC, GUSD, USDT, PAXG, LINK, BUSD, DAI, BAT, UNI and PAX. It should be noted that users are able to receive their interest payments in whatever cryptocurrency they prefer. Payments are made monthly.

There is no lock up required for BlockFi interest accounts, which means you don’t have to stake your crypto for any set period of time. That’s especially noteworthy considering some competitors require a lock-up period of up to three months.

BlockFi interest accounts are paid out at the end of every month, which is standard in the industry although some competing lending platforms do payout weekly or even daily in certain situations.

Generally stablecoins offer significantly more interest than regular cryptocurrency on BlockFi.

BlockFi Visa Card

BlockFi offers what it’s calling the “World’s First-Ever Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card”. There are numerous cryptocurrency debit and credit cards out there but BlockFi is the first company that has focused on Bitcoin rewards back to its customers.

The BlockFi Credit Card is extremely straightforward compared to some of its competitors. Users receive a flat 1.5% cashback in Bitcoin on all the purchases they make. The physical card is also made of metal, which has become extremely popular in the high-end credit card business over the last few years.

The BlockFi card works slightly different than many competitors. Quite a few companies actually issue crypto debit cards, which you have to load up with crypto or credit but the BlockFi card is an actual credit card with a credit limit. You can spend up to your limit every month and, so long as you pay your balance, you won’t pay any interest. That’s all while receiving 1.5% back in Bitcoin.

BlockFi Wallet

BlockFi also offers a non-interest bearing wallet for users who are simply looking to store their coins. The BlockFi wallet is a custodial wallet but it does offer the ability to buy, sell and trade crypto all in one place. You can lock the wallet down with 2FA authentication.

BlockFi also makes it extremely easy for wallet users to fund their interest accounts and Visa Card.

Extra Features

In addition to their lending platform, BlockFi also allows users to trade cryptocurrencies. That said, the list of available trading pairs is somewhat limited and region dependent. Currently it offers trading between Bitcoin, ETH, GUSD, USDC, Litecoin, Pax and PaxG.

The company also gives users the ability to buy the GUSD stablecoin directly with cash. That means users can potentially forgo starting an account on a cryptocurrency account and just purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies with GUSD. Currently BlockFi gives users the ability to buy GUSD with a bank account (ACH) or bank wire.

Check the latest BlockFi promos for new sign-ups.

Is BlockFi Safe?

While cryptocurrency is inherently volatile it’s pretty easy to say that BlockFi is one of the safest companies in all of crypto.

The company is based in the USA and utilizes Gemini Exchange for its crypto custodial services. Gemini Exchange, which was founded by the Winklevoss twins, is renowned as arguably the most secure and regulated exchange in the world. They even acquired a bank license recently.

In additional the company has secured financing from business heavyweights like Morgan Creek, Winklevoss Capital and Coinbase. This is pretty much the farthest thing from a fly-by-night operation.

All that said, BlockFi isn’t a bank (not yet anyways) and you won’t find any FDIC insurance that you might get at your local credit union. Still, BlockFi is as close to a sure thing as you’re going to get in crypto.

History of BlockFi

BlockFi was originally founded back in 2017; however, the platform did not launch until 2019. There was also a beta version of the platform available in 2018. The basic idea behind BlockFi was to bring traditional banking services, such as savings and loans, to the crypto arena.

In early 2018, BlockFi received funding from some well-known names in the crypto industry such as SoFi, and Kenetic Capital. Later that year, Galaxy Digital Ventures invested $50 million in the company. By April 2019, BlockFi had more than $50 million worth of crypto deposits on its clients’ accounts. August 2019 is when Morgan Creek and Winklevoss Capital decided to invest in BlockFi.

BlockFi launched a trading platform in December 2019, and they are expected to release a credit card that allows users to earn crypto rewards by the end of 2020.

What Are BlockFi Fees?

BlockFi goes out of its way to give its users one free crypto withdrawal per month (for most of the cryptos it offers), which is a fantastic bargain compared to some of its competitors.

Unfortunately certain cryptos like Ethereum and Chainlink don’t offer free withdrawals so you’ll be paying .015 ETH and 2 LINK for each withdrawal, for instance, which is a shame.

Here’s a complete breakdown of BlockFi’s withdrawal fees:

BlockFi Fees

Why Did BlockFi Stop Accepting US Customers?

In early 2022 BlockFi reached a massive $100 million settlement with the SEC. As part of the agreement BlockFi agreed to stop offering yield-bearing accounts to new US customers.

Investors who had previously deposited in BlockFi yield-bearing accounts were able to continue earning interest on their crypto but new users (other than high net-worth, accredited investors) were shut out of earning any interest at all.

BlockFi is working with the SEC to release a new, registered, yield-bearing account for US customers but a launch date has not been announced.

Customers can still take advantage of BlockFi wallet if they’re looking for somewhere to deposit their funds in the meantime.

BlockFi Frequently Asked Questions

BlockFi interest rates are variable so it changes on a month-to-month basis.

Currently Bitcoin holders can earn 4.5% interest up to .10 BTC. If a Bitcoin holder exceeds the .10 BTC mark than the rates drop down to 1%. There’s also a third tier where earnings drop down to a minuscule .25% after investing .35 BTC or more.

There are similar tiers in place for Ether, Litecoin, Chainlink and others.

Meanwhile stablecoins offer significantly more interest with 8% all the way up to 40,000 in stablecoins. After that it drops down to 5%.

Yes. The BlockFi Visa card offers a flat 1.5% cashback in Bitcoin.

Celsius Network offers a few advantages over BlockFi, but it can also be a bit more confusing. Additionally, Celsius Network does not have the same level of prestige as BlockFi when it comes to the investors backing the project, as Celsius Network raised its funding through an initial coin offering.

That said, Celsius Network does offer a number of additional options in terms of cryptocurrencies that can be used as collateral for loans or interest-bearing deposits. In addition to the Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin options that are also available on BlockFi, Celsius Network users are able to use Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Dash, or EOS as collateral. There are also more stablecoin options available with Celsius Network. In terms of interest accounts, Celsius Network supports 25 different cryptocurrencies.

Celsius Network also offers low interest rates for borrowers. For example, users who borrow against Bitcoin collateral are able to get a lower APR% than on BlockFi. Those who deposit funds into interest accounts are also able to generally earn more with Celsius Network, with nearly 10% interest offered for stablecoin deposits.

Celsius Network also has its own token, which can be used to get discounted rates on loans and higher interest payouts.

Gemini, which is well known and regulated cryptocurrency exchange based in New York, takes care of custody for BlockFi. The vast majority of the cryptocurrency held by Gemini is done so via cold storage, which is a method of holding cryptocurrencies in an offline manner.

While BlockFi deposits are not FDIC insured, Gemini’s does have insurance on some of the funds that it holds on behalf of its users. This insurance policy only covers the funds held in Gemini’s hot wallets.

In terms of crypto custodians, there aren’t many options that could be considered safer and more regulated than Gemini, which is the company that handles BlockFi users’ crypto deposits. That said, it’s important to understand the risks involved with handing custody of crypto assets over to any third party. Check out our article on custodial wallets vs non-custodial wallets.

BlockFi is able to turn a profit on the spread between their loan and interest account rates, meaning, taking a cut from the difference between interest charged on crypto loans and interest given to crypto lenders. As mentioned previously in this piece, BlockFi allows its users to borrow Bitcoin for rates up to 9.75%, but those with interest accounts are only receiving 3 – 6% on their Bitcoin holdings.

Yes. BlockFi offers a non-interest bearing wallet. Keep in mind that it’s not a non-custodial wallet so it doesn’t offer that much in terms of self-ownership.

The BlockFi wallet is simply a good place to hold funds for a short period of time while you are deciding what to do with it.

If you’re looking for a non-custodial wallet, where you keep your private keys, check out our crypto wallet section.

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About the Author

CryptoVantage Staff is committed to simplifying cryptocurrency for everyday people. Learn more about and our team on the About Us page.

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