BlockFi

BlockFi is the regulated and transparent crypto lending platform investors have long been waiting for. The company is experiencing a massive 25% monthly user growth and is set to become a dominant player in the centralized crypto finance space, fueled by venture capital from big dogs like Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal), Coinbase, and the Winklevoss twins.

 

Headquartered in New York, BlockFi is a peer-to-peer lending platform for crypto-backed loans, providing investors with high yield interest accounts with compounding returns and crypto-to-USD loans to borrowers at attractive rates.

 

BlockFi is licensed by 30 top-tier financial authorities in the US and uses NYDFS-regulated Gemini for storing clients assets under strict banking laws, making it a trusted provider for interest-bearing crypto accounts and for borrowing cash or stablecoins without selling your crypto.

Having spent months testing the best cryptocurrency lending platforms and interest accounts, these are our top takeaways for BlockFi:

  • Launched by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez in 2017, BlockFi is a leading cryptocurrency lending and loan platform that has raised over $100m since founding, with backing from financial gladiators like Valar Ventures, Fidelity, SoFi, and Coinbase.
  • BlockFi is licensed in multiple US states, uses banking-regulated Gemini as custodian, and only lends funds to institutional and corporate borrowers with overcollateralization, making it a trusted platform for crypto lending.
  • Interest rates and fees at BlockFi are easy to understand and competitive, thanks to its effective yield based on monthly compounding, core number of supported currencies, free monthly withdrawals, and low-end trading fees.

BlockFi offers a limited selection of products for borrowers and lenders: flexible crypto savings accounts with no minimum lock-up period, crypto loans with no credit checks, and a simple trading feature.

 

Investors can enjoy around 8.6% annual percentage yield on PAX, USDC, and GUSD, 6% on BTC, 4.5% on ETH, and 5% on LTC. Borrowers, on the other hand, can get an instant USD or stablecoin loan at attractive rates by putting their Bitcoin or Ether up as collateral.

 

Other advantages include worldwide accessibility, free monthly withdrawals, high trust, and the safety of investing alongside big institutional players. Account opening is also fast and intuitive.

 

On the negative side, BlockFi has a limited product portfolio, supporting only six currencies, with no extra frills like high-risk staking awards or cashback debit cards. In terms of aesthetics, the web design feels dated, although easy to navigate.

In May 2020, BlockFi suffered a security breach. One of its employees was targeted by hackers who performed a SIM swap attack, gaining access to confidential customer data, such as personal names, dates of birth, postal addresses and activity histories. While no funds were lost, the leak may pose a problem for customers in the future on other fronts.

BlockFi was founded by Zac Prince who spent several years working in the online peer-to-peer lending industry serving different leadership roles. His journey into the rabbit hole of cryptocurrencies started around 2015 when he bought and sold Bitcoin for the first time. Wanting to combine this personal interest with his professional working experience, he launched BlockFi in 2017 with co-founder Flori Marquez.

 

The company raised $60m in equity and was the first to receive institutional backing for issuing crypto-backed loans. The flagship product gave crypto-holders the ability to convert their assets into real USD without having to actually giving it up. Shortly after, in 2019, BlockFi released its second core product, the interest-bearing cryptocurrency accounts.

 

BlockFi grew its revenue over 20x in 2019 and now claims a loan book worth more than $650m, with a 0% loss of funds since inception in 2018. This fact led to a second round of funding that raised $30m from prominent investors such as Valar Ventures and Winklevoss Capital. In Q2 of 2020, BlockFi posted another revenue increase amounting to 100%.

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Comments: 4
  • #1

    BlockFi Team (Friday, 30 October 2020 19:34)

    Monthly Update

    We’ve got some important updates from BlockFi this month. We’re introducing changes to the annual percentage yield (APY) rates for three of our cryptocurrencies, partnering with the DeFi Alliance to help out other fintech firms, and examining ways that crypto can play a role in retirement strategies.


    As a reminder, interest payment day is always the first business day of the month. As such, all interest payments, statements, and any bonuses will be posted by 8 PM ET on Monday, November 2. Your accrued interest will also reset because it is a new earning month. BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) statements will be available in your BlockFi dashboard.

    We’ve got some important updates from BlockFi this month. We’re introducing changes to the annual percentage yield (APY) rates for three of our cryptocurrencies, partnering with the DeFi Alliance to help out other fintech firms, and examining ways that crypto can play a role in retirement strategies.

    As a reminder, interest payment day is always the first business day of the month. As such, all interest payments, statements, and any bonuses will be posted by 8 PM ET on Monday, November 2. Your accrued interest will also reset because it is a new earning month. BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) statements will be available in your BlockFi dashboard.

    We’ve got some important updates from BlockFi this month. We’re introducing changes to the annual percentage yield (APY) rates for three of our cryptocurrencies, partnering with the DeFi Alliance to help out other fintech firms, and examining ways that crypto can play a role in retirement strategies.


    As a reminder, interest payment day is always the first business day of the month. As such, all interest payments, statements, and any bonuses will be posted by 8 PM ET on Monday, November 2. Your accrued interest will also reset because it is a new earning month. BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) statements will be available in your BlockFi dashboard.




    Can Crypto Be a Path to Retirement?





    The goal of diversifying a retirement portfolio is to spread your risk over a wide variety of investments that don’t tend to move in the same direction at the same time. That way, as one investment dips, another one might rise, thus evening out potential losses and providing more predictable, stable returns.

    While some people diversify with stocks and bonds, don’t forget that cryptocurrencies can play a key role in your retirement strategy. In fact, there are a number of smart ways that crypto can be used to increase diversification and shore up gaps in a retirement investing strategy.

  • #2

    BlockFi Team (Saturday, 02 January 2021 21:44)

    We don’t know what historians will say about 2020, but we know what we’ve lived through. It’s been a year of dramatic changes—a contentious election, a movement for social justice, a pandemic that has upended our understanding of the world. Our vocabulary has changed too. Words like “quarantine” and “lockdown” went from the idiomatic to the everyday, while bitcoin became a byword for wealth.



    Throughout this chaotic, exhausting, and exhilarating year, crypto has been a haven, a port in the storm. Despite the great divides in our society, one thing we can agree on is the power of digital currency in helping people secure their future. BlockFi is proud to champion financial inclusivity and offer economic opportunities around the globe through this universally accepted technology. In 2020 alone, we distributed more than $50 million in monthly interest payments to our clients. We’ve spent the last 12 months moving closer to our goal, and our mission is only gaining momentum.



    This year, we announced a game-changing new product: the first-ever Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card. Cardholders will be able to earn 1.5% back in bitcoin on every transaction. It’s an intuitive and easy way for people to access a new asset class, and it’s going to fundamentally change the way credit card rewards work. BlockFi clients have an exclusive opportunity to join the waitlist and be first in line to receive the card. In 2021, we’ll be making it more widely available in the US.



    We’ve also introduced major innovations to our suite of products and services. This past year, we launched the BlockFi mobile app, empowering clients to take the BlockFi platform with them everywhere they go. We introduced ACH and wire payments, making it easier than ever to transfer funds. And we’ve added support for a wide range of currencies, including Litecoin (LTC), USD Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT) (USDT is available to non-U.S. clients only), and PAX Gold (PAXG), the first cryptocurrency that lets you directly invest in gold.



    We’re not just expanding what we do for clients, either. These innovations are also helping us build new bridges with institutions. In 2020, BlockFi became the first crypto company to join Symphony, one of the top collaboration platforms for the world’s leading financial firms, introduced lending on tokenized assets to help investors become more capital efficient, and partnered with Fidelity Digital Assets to enable clients on Fidelity’s institutional-grade digital assets custody platform to pledge bitcoin as collateral in a transaction.



    But what does this all mean for BlockFi and the future of crypto? In a word: inclusion. Every new product, feature, and partnership is intended to bring more people into the crypto community, giving access to a thriving financial market for those who didn’t—or couldn’t—participate in it before. Crypto is a big tent, and BlockFi is inviting the world inside.



    That’s why we’ve spent so much time on education and knowledge-sharing this year. One of our core values is, “Transparency Builds Trust,” so we strive to teach first-time users (and even savvy investors) about the crypto market to help them understand what they’re investing in. That’s why we listen to each and every question from our community and we don’t keep anything behind a curtain—with BlockFi, what you see is what is what you get. And that’s why everyone who signs up with us is a valued client, not a “customer.” We take our responsibility to do right by them seriously.



    It’s been a hard year, but BlockFi is not the kind of company that takes the easy route. Just like you, we adapt, we learn, and we strive to do better every day the sun rises. Our clients are the ones who make this mission possible, and we’re endlessly grateful that you’re with us on the journey. In 2021, we’re going to keep growing, keep listening, and keep working to bring that brighter horizon closer to your doorstep.



    We hope you’re as excited as we are to see what comes next.



    Sincerely,

    Zac Prince & Flori Marquez

  • #3

    BlockFi Team (Friday, 19 March 2021 19:25)

    Starting today, earn a bitcoin bonus of up to .4% on every trade you make between now and March 31, 2021.


    Whether you want to diversify your portfolio or trade more of your favorite cryptocurrency you could earn a bitcoin bonus. As a reminder, BlockFi now supports chainlink (LINK) and Binance USD (BUSD).


    Simply make a trade on any cryptocurrency and earn a bitcoin bonus up to .4% of the value of your trade.


    This offer expires on March 31, 2021, so don’t wait. Terms apply.

  • #4

    BlockFi Team (Wednesday, 28 July 2021 17:57)

    I wanted to share a quick update with you to make sure you had the latest facts regarding the regulatory news from last week.

    From when Flori and I started BlockFi, we have had ongoing discussions with regulators as crypto is a new area for many and we knew there would be questions. We’ve said time and again that the key to our industry’s success is appropriate regulation. Ultimately, we see this as an opportunity for BlockFi to help define the regulatory environment for our ecosystem.

    BlockFi has a multi-faceted retail and institutional business, but the recent regulatory focus has been on the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA). We have been engaged in a productive discourse with regulators to protect your interests and expand accessibility to innovative financial solutions for all. This is our commitment to you -- to fight for your rights to earn interest on your crypto assets.

    One update I want to share with you following these discussions is that the New Jersey Bureau of Securities (NJ BOS) has further postponed the effective date of its previous order to Thursday, September 2, 2021.

    While the NJ BOS’s order calls for preventing the creation of all new BIAs, it has no impact on current BIA clients or any of our other products. Rest assured, your access to BlockFi is completely unimpaired. We are fully operational for all of our existing clients worldwide, and you will continue to have access to all products, services, and assets on BlockFi.

    I want to extend a huge thank you for your confidence in us, and we will keep you informed as this process evolves.

    Zac