BlockFi Review 2022: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

This review is outdated. BlockFi filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 28. We are temporarily leaving the content of the below review up for visibility, but we have removed our star rating for this product.

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Our Take

The bottom line:

This review is outdated. BlockFi filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 28. We are temporarily leaving the content of the below review up for visibility, but we have removed our star rating for this product.

BlockFi
BlockFi
Fees
$0
spread of about 1%
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
None
no promotion available at this time

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers ability to borrow against crypto.

  • Large selection of crypto trading pairs.

Cons

  • Services are limited in several states.

  • No crypto staking offering.

Compare to Similar Brokers

Gemini
Robinhood Crypto
Webull Crypto
NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
NerdWallet rating 

3.6

/5
NerdWallet rating 

3.9

/5

Fees

0.5% - 3.49%

depending on payment method and platform

Fees

$0

per trade

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Account minimum

$0

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$20 of BTC

for new users after trading $100 or more within 30 days

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion

Get $5 in Crypto

after opening a Webull account, activating crypto trading, and completing 1 crypto trade before 1/4/2023.

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Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

Editor's note, Nov. 28: The below review is outdated.

BlockFi filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 28. Previously, the company had paused client withdrawals following the crypto exchange FTX's sudden crash. We are temporarily leaving the content of the below review up for visibility, but we have removed our star rating for this product. For customers wondering what happens to their crypto in a situation like this, we're updating this article as we learn more.


Where BlockFi shines

Financial services: BlockFi has made its name trying to extend traditional financial services into the world of cryptocurrency. While U.S. regulators recently forced it to limit a product that pays interest on crypto, BlockFi does allow people to use crypto as collateral for loans, a service that many competitors do not offer. BlockFi says its loans have interest rates as low as 4.5 percent APR.

Crypto trading pairs: Depending on which state you’re in, BlockFi allows users to trade crypto assets between one another in as many as 105 combinations.

Where BlockFi falls short

Services limited in some states: BlockFi’s novel approach, combining aspects of the crypto world with some services traditionally offered by banks, has subjected it to a good deal of regulatory scrutiny. Several states have not cleared it to provide all of its services, and in early 2022 it agreed to stop registering new users to a program that paid interest on crypto holdings.

BlockFi is best for:

  • Crypto-to-crypto trading.

  • Borrowing against crypto.

BlockFi at a glance

Minimum trade

$20 for cash-to-crypto; $1.50 for crypto-to-crypto.

Trading and transaction fees

Spread of about 1%, but no transaction fee.

Number of cryptocurrencies

Up to 15.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs

Up to 105.

Website transparency

BlockFi has improved the transparency of its website.

Storage offering

BlockFi doesn't carry insurance on assets held on its platform.

Staking

BlockFi doesn't offer staking or rewards programs.

Mobile app

BlockFi's apps for iOS and Android average around 3.5 stars.

Customer service

BlockFi has live customer support by phone from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. It offers a chatbot off-hours.

More details about BlockFi's ratings

Minimum trade: 3.5 out of 5 stars

BlockFi says users can begin trading with a minimum of $20 in cash, though crypto-to-crypto trades can be as small as $1.50.

Trading and transaction fees: 4 out of 5 stars

BlockFi does not charge trading fees on its platform, but it does mark up crypto assets with a spread of about 1 percent. The company says that figure can vary based on market conditions.

BlockFi has done away with a portion of its fee structure that formerly offered one free crypto withdrawal per month. However, it has also lowered withdrawal fees for Bitcoin. So depending on how often you withdraw, the change may not make a major difference. In October of 2022, BlockFi charged .00025 BTC per withdrawal, a fee that at the time was worth about $5. Withdrawal fees for other cryptocurrencies vary.

Number of cryptocurrencies: 3 out of 5 stars

BlockFi offers about 15 cryptocurrencies.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs: 5 out of 5 stars

Blockfi has as many as 105 trading pairs in some states, though the number is lower in some jurisdictions. In a handful of states, BlockFi doesn't offer any crypto pairs at all. Be sure to check your local offerings before you decide which exchange to use.

Storage and security: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Editor's note: On Nov. 11, BlockFi paused client withdrawals following the crypto exchange FTX's sudden crash. Previously, FTX was set to acquire BlockFi, and FTX.US had extended BlockFi a $400 million line of credit.

BlockFi allows customers to use their own digital wallets to transfer assets to and from those wallets into the BlockFi platform.

The company says it takes security seriously and that it has taken both financial and technological steps to secure its accounts. However, it’s important to note that while some of BlockFi’s services might be reminiscent of those offered by a bank, assets held on the platform are not subject to protections such as FDIC insurance.

Staking: 1 out of 5 stars

BlockFi doesn't offer any staking or rewards programs.

Mobile app: 3 out of 5 stars

BlockFi offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, both of which have earned middling reviews from users.

Customer support options: 4 out of 5 stars

BlockFi has expanded its live customer support by phone, which now runs from from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. The company also offers support via chatbot, which it says will help open a ticket to connect customers to live support for persistent problems.

Other features you should know about

While BlockFi is well known in part for its interest-earning products, new users are no longer eligible to use these offerings under a February 2022 agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Customers who had BlockFi interest accounts before the change can still earn interest, the company says.

BlockFi continues to offer people loans that use their cryptocurrency as collateral. The company promotes these loans as ways to get access to some of your capital without selling your crypto, and without generating a taxable event.

Getting the best available interest rate may require you to put up a large amount of crypto, though. The 4.5% lowest rate advertised by BlockFi is only available to users whose loan-to-value ratio is 20 percent or less. It's also worth noting that if the value of the crypto you put up as collateral drops, you may have to contribute more or repay part of your loan on short notice.

Is BlockFi right for you?

If you want to free up some cash without selling your crypto assets, BlockFi’s loans may be worth considering.

However, if you’re looking for a place to buy, sell and trade a wide variety of crypto assets without using these features, there are other platforms that offer similar trading services and wider availability.

» Want to earn money on your crypto? Here are the top staking and rewards platforms.

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