BlockFi Review 2022: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

If you're looking to free up some cash without selling your crypto assets, BlockFi’s loans may be worth considering.
May 17, 2022

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

The BlockFi exchange’s fees are about average among its competitors, but it may appeal to users interested in products such as loans.

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.

  • Withdrawal fees are high.

Compare to Similar Brokers

FTX.US
Coinbase
Gemini
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

0%-0.4%

Fees

0.5% - 4.5%

varies by type of transaction; other fees may apply

Fees

0.5% - 3.99%

depending on payment method and platform

Account minimum

$0

Account minimum

$2

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion

Get $5 in Bitcoin

when you make your first trade. Terms Apply.

Promotion

$20 of BTC

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

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

Full Review

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.

Website navigation: BlockFi’s website makes it difficult to find some critical information such as how to close your account.

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

Some key information is difficult to find or unavailable on BlockFi's website.

Can use your own digital wallet?

Yes.

Mobile app

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

Customer service

BlockFi has live customer support by phone from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. It offers a chatbot off-hours.

More details about BlockFi's ratings

Minimum trade

BlockFi says users can begin trading with a minimum of $20.

Trading and transaction fees

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 offers one free monthly withdrawal of stablecoins and one free monthly withdrawal of Bitcoin or Litecoin. After that, fees kick in, and they vary based on the type of cryptocurrency in question. A withdrawal of Bitcoin, for example, would cost ​​.00075 BTC, which would be worth about $35 in September of 2021.

There are no free withdrawals for other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, however.

Number of cryptocurrencies

BlockFi offers about 15 cryptocurrencies.

Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs

Blockfi has as many as 105 trading pairs in some states, though the number is as low as 55 in states where it is not allowed to offer stablecoin trading. BlockFi doesn’t offer any trading pairs in New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Digital wallet options and security

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.

Mobile app

BlockFi offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, both of which have earned 3-star ratings from users.

Customer support options

BlockFi has live customer support by phone from 9:30 a.m. to 5 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 will require you to put up a large amount of crypto, though. For instance, BlockFi said that in May of 2021, the borrower of a $10,000 loan would need to put up $20,000 in crypto and would be charged a 9.75% interest rate. To get a loan at the lowest listed rate of 4.5%, you’d need $50,000 worth of crypto as collateral.

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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