Updated February 16, 2022

BlockFi Review

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BlockFi lets you buy, sell, earn and borrow cryptocurrency. But is it safe? Read on to find out.

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Overall Score


Cryptocurrency Trading


Interest Accounts


Crypto Loans


Mobile App


Commissions and Fees


Ease of Use





5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Earn crypto rewards
  • No commissions (only charges a spread)
  • Excellent customer service
  • Only supports 8 coins
  • Withdrawal restrictions
  • Slow withdrawal times (up to 7 days)

Bottom Line

Good custodian for earning interest on crypto

Wondering if you waited too long to invest in crypto?

If so, earning up to 7.5% APY with BlockFi could be a great way to hedge your bets.

As of February 14, 2022, BlockFi Interest Accounts are not available in the United States. BlockFi is in the process of registering a new product, BlockFi Yield.

BlockFi offers crypto interest, lending and trading with impressive rates and low fees. Is it a safe place for your cryptocurrency? Read our in-depth review to learn more.

What is BlockFi

BlockFi is a New York-based cryptocurrency platform founded in 2017 by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez. Their goal was to provide credit services and financial products to markets that didn't usually have access to them, i.e. cryptocurrency.

BlockFi offers several financial products, including the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA), which can earn as much as 7.5% APY.

They also provide crypto lending, which allows investors to use their crypto as collateral, and a trading platform with a limited number of cryptocurrencies.

Unlike many other cryptocurrency exchanges that make their money from trading fees, BlockFi makes most of their money by lending cryptocurrencies to other institutional borrowers, which they then use for trading and further lending.

These borrowers include:

  • Traders
  • Investment funds
  • Over-the-counter market makers
  • Businesses requiring crypto liquidity

They do also charge withdrawal fees for cryptocurrencies, which is covered further down.

Supported Cryptocurrencies
Compared to pure exchanges, the number of cryptocurrencies supported on BlockFi is quite limited.

It includes: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Chainlink, PAX Gold, USDC, Binance USD, PAX, BAT, DAI, UNI

Supported Countries
BlockFi is available in the U.S. in all 50 states. However, they do not currently offer any trading pairs in: New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Vermont, and West Virginia. BlockFi Interest Account is not available in New York.

BlockFi is available worldwide, except in sanctioned or watchlist countries.

Who is BlockFi Best for?

BlockFi has services to offer for both experienced traders and novice investors.

Those well-versed in the ways of crypto will find BlockFi's Interest accounts an attractive option for growing their existing crypto holdings.

Their crypto-backed loans mean that investments that otherwise might have just been sitting around appreciating become spendable again, without the worry of missing big market changes.

Meanwhile, their simple, easy-to-use interface will provide a stepping stone for even the most inexperienced traders.

While their selection of coins is smaller than some other exchanges, their relatively low fees and access to the most popular coins make BlockFi an accessible avenue to exploring the ins and outs of cryptocurrency.

Pros and Cons

Review BlockFi's pros and cons before signing up for an account. Here's the takeaway:


  • No minimum deposits
  • No monthly fees
  • No trading fees
  • Competitive interest rates on interest accounts
  • Company is based and regulated in the U.S.
  • Easy to sign up and get started
  • Easy to manage account from the app
  • Gemini (a security-focused crypto exchange) as custodian


  • Inconvenient withdrawal restrictions
  • Slow withdrawal times (1-2 business days)
  • APY is volatile
  • Fewer features than a traditional bank
  • Not FDIC- or SIPC-insured like traditional banks or brokerages
  • No investment guidance (best for people with existing knowledge of crypto)

Is BlockFi Legit?

BlockFi is inarguably a legit platform for crypto services, with large institutional investors including Valar Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Fidelity, Akuna Capital, SoFi, and Coinbase Ventures.

BlockFi's primary custodian is Gemini Trust Company, LLC, a New York trust company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

  • BlockFi is not accredited with the BBB, and currently has no rating
  • BlockFi has a Trustpilot rating of 4.0

Early 2021, BlockFi completed Series D funding, raising $350 million and receiving a $3 billion valuation. Investors included Valar Ventures, Tiger Global, and Bain Capital Ventures.

This comes not long after raising $50 million in Series C funding in August 2020. According to a report by Growjo, BlockFi employed over 500 employees in 2021.


BlockFi is accessible both through a desktop site and mobile apps via the App Store and Google Play Store.

BlockFi Interest Account
Earn up to 7.5% (paid monthly) on select crypto assets, with no fees and no minimum balance.

The BlockFi Interest Account works by lending your cryptocurrencies to larger, institutional borrowers, who then use them for trading or lending, and pay interest, some of which passes to you[1].

CryptocurrencyAmountInterest (Paid Monthly)
Bitcoin (Tier 1)0 - 0.10 BTC3.5% APY
Bitcoin (Tier 2)> 0.10 - 0.35 BTC2% APY
Bitcoin (Tier 3)> 0.35 BTC2% APY
Ethereum (Tier 1)0 - 1.5 ETH3.5% APY
Ethereum (Tier 2)> 1.5 - 5 ETH2% APY
Ethereum (Tier 3)> 5 ETH2% APY
Litecoin (Tier 1)0 - 20 LTC2% APY
Litecoin (Tier 2)> 20 - 1001% APY
Litecoin (Tier 3)> 100 LTC0.10% APY
USD Coin (Tier 1)0 - 20,000 USDC7.5% APY
USD Coin (Tier 2)> 20,000 - 2 Million USDC6% APY
Gemini Dollar (Tier 1)0 - 20,000 GUSD7.5% APY
Gemini Dollar (Tier 2)> 20,000 - 2 Million GUSD6% APY

Rates vary depending on the crypto you're lending and the amount, which decreases with volume. Full rates, which are subject to change, can be found on the BlockFi desktop site. Interest compounds monthly and is paid out at the beginning of every month.

What is Gap Risk? When you put your savings in one of BlockFi's Interest Accounts, they will be lent to an institutional borrower. It is these loans that allow BlockFi to pay you interest. But the price of crypto can shift in an instant, and if that change exceeds the value of the borrower's collateral faster than BlockFi can execute a margin call, the borrower might default and BlockFi would lose money. Since the money they're lending is actually users', there's a chance that some of your money might be lost. BlockFi pays users before they pay themselves, but nonetheless gap risk exists.

Crypto-Backed Loans
In need of cash, but not interested in selling off your rapidly appreciating crypto assets to get it? Consider a crypto-backed loan.

This feature allows you to use your currencies as collateral for a cash loan without transferring ownership and losing out on market gains. By not selling your crypto, you also avoid a taxable event in the eyes of the IRS.

The LTV (loan to value) ratio ranges from 20% - 50%, meaning you can get loans in USD, GUSD, and USDC worth as much as 50% of the value of your crypto collateral, at tiered interest rates:

  • 50% LTV: 9.75% interest
  • 35% LTV: 7.9% interest
  • 20% LTV: 4.5% interest (only available for BTC-backed loans valued up to $20k USD)

Since you can borrow up to 50% of your collateral, if one Bitcoin were worth $50,000, you'd be able to use it as collateral for at most a $25,000 loan.

The price of crypto can drop at any moment. If your LTV reaches 65%, BlockFi will send you a notification.

At 70% you'll have 72 hours to cure your margin, and at 80% BlockFi will sell a portion of your collateral to bring the LTV to an acceptable level.

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Trading Platform
Compared to other exchanges like Coinbase or Binance, BlockFi offers a fairly limited trading platform, with only 8 cryptocurrencies currently available for trade. On the flip side, those trades are zero-fee. BlockFi only charges for crypto withdrawals.

How can BlockFi offer fee-free trading, when other platforms make most of their money from transaction fees? The answer is simple: If you aren't the customer, you're the product.

Typically, when companies offer free trading to retail investors, it's because they're selling anonymized market data to big institutional crypto firms that want to know how people are trading.

Some people are comfortable with that. If you aren't, consider another exchange for your trading. It may cost money, but at least you'll know where you stand.

Institutional Services
Along with their retail offerings, BlockFi provides a range of services for institutional and accredited investors.

They offer traditional financial services in the cryptocurrency space, such as customizable lending and borrowing options, executing, margining, shorting, and reporting.

Market makers, investment funds, and crypto businesses can obtain financing based on their needs.

All this is accomplished through a combination of retail investor balances and backing by a variety of groups including Valar Ventures, Susquehanna, Fidelity, CMT, Akuna, Three Arrows Capital, and Hashkey, among others.

They also offer Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin Trusts, which allow passive exposure to those coins through an investment trust vehicle, potentially avoiding the costs of purchasing, storing, and safeguarding them directly.


BlockFi operates what they call a zero-fee trading platform. However, this does leave out an important part of the picture, because BlockFi does charge a spread on buy/sell transactions.

They don't disclose it on the website, which can pose a challenge for traders looking to make informed decisions, but based on reports from multiple users, it seems to range from between 0.70 - 1.50%.

They claim this is to mitigate the risk of price fluctuations during the execution of trades.

If you want to know how to check the spread on your own trades, compare the buy and sell prices offered for a specific currency.

While there are no fees for setting up or using a BlockFi Interest Account, there are Withdrawal Fees, for example:

  • Bitcoin: 0.00075 BTC
  • Ethereum: 0.02 ETH
  • Litecoin: 0.0025 LTC

There are also rolling 7-day Withdrawal Limits:

  • Bitcoin: 100 BTC per 7-day period
  • Ethereum: 5,000 ETH per 7-day period
  • Litecoin: 10,000 LTC per 7-day period

Their Crypto-Backed Loans incur an Origination Fee, currently 2%.

How do you get money out of BlockFi?
Withdrawing money from BlockFi is not as easy as with some of its competitors. The first withdrawal per month is free. After that, you'll be charged fees by Gemini, BlockFi's custodian.

To withdraw money, sign in to your dashboard, click on the "Interest Account" tab, select the asset you wish to withdraw, click on the "Withdraw" button, and enter the amount you wish to withdraw and the wallet address for return.

Direct bank withdrawals are possible for amounts over $5,000 USD. Amounts less than $5,000 may be withdrawn as crypto assets, including Stablecoins.

How to Open an Account

It is easy to sign up for an account with BlockFi through their desktop site or mobile app:

  1. Visit or download and click the button to "sign up."

  2. From there, you'll enter personal information like name, birthdate, address, Social Security number, and contact info.

  3. You'll need to verify your email address.

  4. After that, they'll need photos of a picture ID and a picture of you (you can take it via webcam or your phone) for account security and KYC (Know Your Customer) purposes.

Is BlockFi Safe?

Safety is a more complicated question. While BlockFi is unlikely to run off with your crypto, you are exposing yourself to the risk of total loss if they default.

Is BlockFi safe?
41% Yes
59% No
Source: CreditDonkey poll, December 22, 2021 to December 23, 2021

It is important to remember that cryptocurrencies are not insured by either the FDIC or SIPC. To protect users, they employ several security measures:

  • Two-Factor Authentication generated by the Google Authenticator app to prevent unwanted account activity.

  • Allowlisting, which lets users specifically choose which wallets they want to allow their assets to be transferred to.

  • PII Verification to make sure you are, in fact, you.

Investing always carries a risk-reward trade-off. Investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin carries a heavier amount of risk than traditional investments like stocks and bonds because the prices fluctuate much more dramatically.

This is exactly what makes it an appealing investment for those looking for high gains over short periods.

Lending your crypto on platforms like BlockFi further exposes you to "counterparty risk". This is the risk that the platform or their borrowers go bankrupt and take your money with them. Avoid investing money you cannot afford to lose.

Has BlockFi been hacked?
BlockFi was hacked once in May 2019 via what is called a "SIM Swap Attack," targeting an employee's phone. The hacker was able to gain access to BlockFi's systems for approximately 90 minutes, acquiring customer information including names, email addresses, dates of birth, addresses, and activity history, but no funds, according to BlockFi. While BlockFi has since taken measures to prevent it from happening again, they recommend all users employ 2FA and preferred wallet Allowlisting to protect their accounts.

Does BlockFi report to the IRS?

Yes. BlockFi is required by law to report to the IRS. All interest earned on their interest accounts is considered taxable. Users will receive a 1099-Misc form at the beginning of every year, where they can find the exact amount of interest they earned and are required to report to the IRS.

Common Complaints

Some users are frustrated with BlockFi's withdrawal times, which are slower than some competitors - up to 7 days.

They do this in order to prevent fraudulent activity, but users may find it onerous nonetheless.

Can you get scammed on BlockFi?
It is possible to get scammed anytime you're dealing with cryptocurrency, but it is unlikely to happen on the BlockFi platform itself. Instead, be wary of investment gurus and recovery specialists on forums or review sites, always make sure emails are from a trusted sender, and guard your personal information carefully.

Contact Customer Service

Contact BlockFi customer support through their website Contact page, or through the "Help" section on their app.

Their AI-bot will attempt to answer your questions first, and if it fails, you'll be able to submit a ticket to their support team.

Phone support is available to active BlockFi customers from 9:30AM - 5:00PM EST Monday through Friday.

How It Compares

While BlockFi is a popular choice for crypto lending and borrowing, they are not your only option. See how they stack up to some competitors.

BlockFi vs Celsius

Celsius is another well-known crypto platform, with similar services to BlockFi. For major currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, the rates for base users and U.S. investors are not too different from BlockFi, but vary among coins.

BlockFi tends to offer more generous rewards overall. However, members able to take advantage of Celsius' rewards for holding CEL will likely find better rates there. This is unfortunate for average U.S. users, because CEL rewards are currently limited to international users and accredited investors.

Regarding crypto-backed loans, Celsius offers much more lenient interest rates, as low as 1.0% for loans with an LTV of 25%, where BlockFi charges 4.5.% for loans up to $20k backed with Bitcoin with an LTV of 20%.

The takeaway is that for American users, Celsius is the better choice for loans, and BlockFi is superior for earning rewards. For international and accredited investors, Celsius performs better overall.

BlockFi vs Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the best-known mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges, offering over 50 cryptocurrencies and is available around the world.

In terms of their exchange, the variety of currencies available vastly outnumbers those on BlockFi. However, their relatively high fees should be taken into account if you're trading any of the crypto assets that BlockFi has on offer.

However, Coinbase does not currently offer anything like the BlockFi Interest Account, or crypto-backed lending, which are BlockFi's primary offerings.

BlockFi vs Gemini

Gemini is a popular, security-minded cryptocurrency exchange that offers a variety of features including Gemini Earn, a similar service to BlockFi's Interest Accounts.

While Gemini's interest rates are a little lower than BlockFi's, they do offer a much wider range of options for both their interest-earning accounts and on their exchange itself.

Because Gemini has so many more features, if you're interested in trading and don't expect to take advantage of BlockFi's crypto-backed loans, the difference in interest rates may not be enough to make BlockFi preferable over Gemini.

Bottom Line

Overall, BlockFi is a solid option for crypto investing. Their main features, the BlockFi Interest Account and crypto-backed loans, provide useful services to members of the cryptocurrency community, and may well serve to advance their founders' goal of providing financial services to those who had none.

While their rates of return may not be quite as high as those advertised by competitors, the same rates are available to everyone, whereas others, like Celsius, have tiered programs that make the highest rates impossible for many users in the U.S.

They don't offer the most lenient rates for crypto-backed loans, however, so investors interested in those may want to look elsewhere if they want to get the most for their money.



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Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a crypto comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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Is BlockFi safe?
41% Yes
59% No
Source: CreditDonkey
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