BlockFi Review 2021: Is BlockFi Safe and Legit?

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BlockFi is one of the most popular – and arguably one of the best – cryptocurrency interest accounts. 

In today’s interest rate environment, you’ll typically find yourself earning less than 0.50% APY on your cash.

With BlockFi, you can earn up to 7.5% APY on your cryptocurrency – in addition to a few other features offered through this platform, which include:

  • Sell crypto
  • Buy crypto
  • Borrow cash

BlockFi is quickly becoming a titan in the cryptocurrency industry

But, is it safe, legit and worth your time?

Let’s walk through this in-depth BlockFi review and find out if it’s the best cryptocurrency trading platform for you.

Bonus: New BlockFi clients can get up to a $250 bonus when you deposit $100 or more in crypto! Check out BlockFi here.

BlockFi Review 2021

MMW Rating
4.2/5

BlockFi is one of the most popular and one of the safest cryptocurrency exchange platforms that allows you to earn interest up to 7.5% APY on your cryptocurrency – which is up to 14X more than current high-yield savings account rates (which typically are less than 0.50% APY).

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a big-picture look at the BlockFi pros and cons:

Pros Cons

$0 fees

No FDIC insurance

$0 minimum

No SIPC insurance

You can borrow against your crypto assets

Limited asset options

You earn interest on your crypto deposits

You can only withdraw 1x per month for free

Buy and sell cryptocurrency

Interest rates could change

Originally, BlockFi was mainly dedicated to its BlockFi Interest Account (BIA).

However, after much popularity (and after earning much profit), BlockFi began expanding its products and services to encompass borrowing, trading, etc. 

Below is an overview of BlockFi:

BlockFi Overview

Liquidity

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Usability

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Safety Features

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cryptocurrencies Offered

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fees

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Customer Service

⭐️⭐️⭐️

For those of you who are wondering about customer service issues, I read through all of the 1-star reviews, and it sounds like the majority of the complaints are due to BlockFi holding or not processing withdrawal requests.

However, 79% of reviews (120 total reviews) either gave BlockFi a 4 or 5-star rating.

See the reviews on this independent website, below:

blockfi trust pilot reviews screenshot

If you’re new to cryptocurrency investing and don’t have much experience, then BlockFi would be a fantastic platform to:

  • Sell your crypto
  • Buy more crypto
  • Earn interest on your cryptocurrency

BlockFi is an innovative technology platform to help you leverage and profit more from your cryptocurrency.

What is BlockFi?


BlockFi is a well-known cryptocurrency exchange and wallet that was founded in 2017 in New Jersey.

Although BlockFi is fairly new, it’s a trailblazer and is at the forefront of the cryptocurrency industry, offering innovative crypto products.

blockfi current products screenshot

Keep in mind that BlockFi originally focused on marketing the BlockFi Interest Account or BIA.

Since BlockFi’s inception in 2017, the company has pivoted multiple times, as you can see with the product list above. 

In summary, here’s what BlockFi offers:

  • You can trade your crypto
  • You can borrow against your crypto
  • You can earn interest on your crypto
  • You can earn bitcoin rewards with their latest credit card

So, although BlockFi offers revolutionary technology, it certainly is not as safe as your regular bank account or investing through a brokerage firm such as Vanguard, Fidelity or Charles Schwab, for instance.

BlockFi Features & Benefits


If you’re new to cryptocurrency, then BlockFi is an excellent platform to start your crypto investing ventures.

BlockFi Features

Minimum Needed to Open Account

$0

Interest Rate Range

Up to 7.5%

Cryptocurrencies Available to Trade

- BTC
- ETH
- LTC
- PAXG

Stablecoins:

- USDC
- USDT
- GUSD
- PAX

Trading Fees

$0

Year Founded

2017

Digital Wallet Available

Yes

Are your assets insured?

Yes

Customer Service

646-779-9688 (only available for active clients)

9:30 am to 5 pm ET Monday to Friday

support@blockfi.com


AI-powered smart assistant, BotFi

Country Availability

Available to most countries worldwide and all U.S. states except NY

Here’s who should use BlockFi:

  • New crypto-traders
  • Traders who want to buy and sell crypto
  • Traders who want to earn interest on their crypto
  • Traders wanting to take on risk with a loan against their crypto

If you’re interested in the BlockFi credit card, you can apply here to see if you approved.

Here are some fast facts about the BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Visa Credit Card:

BlockFi Credit Card

Rewards

Earn an unlimited 1.5% back in Bitcoin on every purchase

Bonus Offer

Earn up 3.5% back in Bitcoin during your first 3 months

Earn 2% back in Bitcoin on every purchase over $50,000 of annual spend

Annual Fees

$0

BlockFi certainly is taking full advantage of the recent popularity spike in cryptocurrency.

What Cryptocurrencies Can You Trade on BlockFi?


Below is a list of available cryptocurrencies that you can:

  • Sell
  • Buy 
  • Save

Keep in mind that not every U.S. state (New York, for instance) and not every country may have access to these services offered by BlockFi. 

Below are some of the top traded cryptocurrencies on BlockFi:

Cryptocurrencies on BlockFi

Bitcoin

BTC

Ethereum

ETH

Litecoin

LTC

Paxos Gold

PAXG

USD Coin

USDC

Tether

USDT

Gemini Dollar

GUSD

Paxos Standard

PAX

As you can see, BlockFi may not offer as many altcoins for trading as other platforms like Coinbase do, but BlockFi still offers some of the most popular cryptocurrencies for trading. 

How Can you Take Loans from BlockFi?


BlockFi’s innovative technology gives you the chance to take a loan (in USD) against your cryptocurrency on deposit. 

Below are a few fast facts that you should know about before taking a crypto loan with BlockFi:

BlockFi Crypto-Backed Loans

Minimum loan amount

$5,000

Loan-to-value (LTV) Ratio

50%

Eligible Coins for Loans

  • Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum

Loan Interest Rate

4.5% (plus other fees may apply)

Loan Duration

12 months

Trigger Event: If your LTV reaches 70%, you will receive a notification from BlockFi, requesting you to increase your collateral to bring the LTV ratio back to 50%

Would I suggest for you to leverage (aka take a loan against) your current crypto holdings?

I’m not a big fan of it.

Here’s why:

  • Fees could pile up fast
  • You could lose all of your crypto investments, if you don’t make payments
  • Cryptocurrency is volatile, so you may fall outside of your LTV at any point

Personally, I would not take a loan against my crypto, no matter how profitable I think it would be – and that’s mainly because I have a very conservative investing personality. 

Now, 1 thing to keep in mind if you do decide to take loans: Make sure you understand what Loan-to-Value Ratios mean for you.

The lower your LTV ratio, the more property you own.

The higher your LTV ratio, the less property you own.

In the case of taking a loan against your cryptocurrency, you have to maintain a 50% LTV ratio.

You’ll also likely have to monitor this constantly since cryptocurrency is highly volatile and could cause your LTV ratio to jump above the 50% threshold.

(Aka causing a trigger event, as described, above).

How to Sign Up for a BlockFi Account [Step-by-Step Guide]


For those of you who are wondering how to sign up for a BlockFi Account, I’ve outlined a simple, step-by-step guide for you below with detailed screenshots.

Let’s get started. 

First, you’ll want to head to the BlockFi home page.

From there, you’ll want to click on “Get Started” to create your free BlockFi account.

blockfi account creation page screenshot

Next, you’ll have to include your basic information to open your account.

blockfi sign up part 1

Now, it’s time to check out your email and confirm that you actually intend to open a BlockFi account. 

Here’s a tip for you: If you’re not able to find the email in your inbox, the email may be stuck in your spam or junk folder. 

Here’s how my verification email looked like:

blockfi sign up part 2

To verify you do want a BlockFi account, click on the link (you can’t miss it, it says “click here” to confirm you are ready to move forward.

Once you click the link, you’ll be directed to a new webpage, that confirms your email was verified.

blockfi sign up part 3

Click on the button “Back to Login” so that you can complete the sign-up process. 

blockfi sign up part 4

It’s a bit repetitive, but sometimes you want to take a few extra security precautions.

blockfi sign up part 5

Next, you’ll have to select the type of account you’re opening.

I think it’s awesome that BlockFi gives you the choice to open either an individual account or a business account.

For the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to open an individual account.

blockfi sign up part 6

Next, it’s time to fill in your information to open an account.

blockfi sign up part 7

Next, you’ll need to include your phone number.

With your phone number, you can also set up two-factor authentication, which can help secure your BlockFi account.

blockfi sign up part 8

…more personal data….

blockfi sign up part 9

Next, you’ll need to explain where your money comes from, and that’s because BlockFi adheres to strict anti-money laundering laws.

blockfi sign up part 10

…And more personal stuff…

Again, because of the Bank Secrecy Act, BlockFi will need to collect personal information for U.S. clients.

blockfi sign up part 11

You have to go through another identity verification step.

blockfi sign up part 12

At this point, I was starting to get a bit impatient, because I don’t like inputting my personal information 20 times over.

blockfi sign up part 13

Once again, I had to confirm my phone number.

This time, they were going to set up my 2 Factor Authentication (aka 2FA) code.

blockfi sign up part 14

After you type in the 4-digit code you received, you have to continue typing in your basic personal information.

blockfi sign up part 15

Finally!

I finished!

blockfi sign up part 16

And here’s the interface you’ll see, once you’re all signed up.

blockfi dashboard screenshot

As you can see, the BlockFi dashboard is clean, user-friendly and it’s pretty easy to navigate (even for beginners like myself).

How to Earn Up to 7.5% APY on Your Cryptocurrency on BlockFi?


If you 
signed up to BlockFi because you want to earn money on your cryptocurrency, then here’s how you can do so. 

blockfi interest page screenshot

On your homepage dashboard, scroll down to where you see “Make a Deposit and Start Earning Interest.”

Next, you’ll want to click on “Deposit Crypto or USD.”

blockfi deposit screenshot

Here, you’ll have to select the type of cryptocurrency you want to deposit into your BIA (BlockFi Interest Account).

blockfi deposit 2

For the purposes of this article, I’ve selected USD.

blockfi deposit 3

Based on what I’m reading (remember I’m a beginner), it appears that if you transfer US Dollars into your BlockFi account, you’ll actually convert them into Gemini USD, which is BlockFi’s default stablecoin.

In plain English:

  • You can transfer US dollars to your BlockFi account through a bank transfer
  • When you transfer US dollars to your BlockFi account, your US dollars will be converted to a cryptocurrency known as the Gemini USD (aka GUSD)

The Gemini USD cryptocurrency is a stablecoin.

blockfi link account screenshot

Assuming you’ll want to link your bank accounts, here’s how your next steps would look.

blockfi plaid screenshot

Next, you simply select your bank and transfer your funds.

blockfi bank screenshot

You’ll have to include your bank account login credentials.

blockfi bank login screenshot

From there, you’ll be able to select how much money you want to be taken out of your bank account and transferred to BlockFi.

How do I Trade Crypto on BlockFi?


When you’re signed into BlockFi, you’ll have to scroll down just a little to see the top traded cryptocurrencies, as shown below, along with some neat statistics. 

blockfi cryptocurrencies screenshot

As you can see, BlockFi only trades 5 types of cryptocurrencies.

If you’re a serious cryptocurrency trader, then this may actually be a downside for you, and you might want to consider exploring other popular cryptocurrency platforms like Coinbase that trade multiple crypto types. 

If you want to continue making a trade, you’ll probably want to scroll to the top of your dashboard and click the button that says “trade.

blockfi trade screenshot

After clicking the “trade” button, you’ll have to select whether you want to buy or sell your cryptocurrency.

blockfi buy or sell screenshot

Notice how you can repeat trades as well, so you can dollar cost average your cryptocurrency purchases.

Next, you’ll simply have to select whether you prefer to buy or sell, and how much, and then start executing your trades.

How do I Claim my BlockFi $250 Bonus?


Two of the most attractive features to setting up an account with BlockFi include: 

Being a newbie to the crypto world myself, when I saw that I’d have a chance to claim up to $250 in crypto, I was pretty excited to say the least!

Here’s how you claim your free crypto:

  • Open a BlockFi account
  • This must be your first ever deposit into the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA)
  • You must maintain $25 or more in a crypto balance for 2.5 months  

The amount of crypto you can claim is based on the balance you maintain in your BlockFi account. 

To read more about the specifications regarding this promo offer, check out the BlockFi promo terms either on their website, or from my screenshot below:

blockfi promotion terms screenshot

As you can see, there are different Tiers based on the balance you maintain in your BlockFi account.

BlockFi Fees


BlockFi is a great platform for beginners. 

However, there are a few downsides that I feel are important to mention – especially when it comes to fees related to withdrawals. 

After that 1 free withdrawal, you’ll likely incur fees:

blockfi fees screenshot

As you can see, there is a maximum withdrawal amount for each rolling 7-day period.

Any withdrawal less than those limits may take 30 days or longer to process.

Is My BlockFi Money Safe?


When you’re depositing a nice chunk of your money into BlockFi, you’ll probably want to make sure that your money is safe from hackers.

Let me answer your question: With BlockFi, your money is certainly safer than with other cryptocurrency platforms, but nothing is guaranteed. 

Here are some ways that BlockFi helps keep your money safe:

  • Offers 2-factor authentication use
  • The majority of your funds are stored in cold wallets (aka offline)
  • BlockFi claims that in the case the company goes under, returning your funds safely takes priority over helping employee funds or other company, equity investor funds

The reason why I did not give the company a lower “safety” rating than a 3/5 is for two reasons, both having to do with Gemini Trust Company, which is the custodian (aka the company that holds your money).

Why BlockFi employs relatively safe measures:

  • Gemini stores most client funds offline
  • Gemini is regulated by the United States 

Why does offline storing matter?

Offline storage (or cold storage) helps prevent hackers from stealing your funds because hackers typically can only access funds that are held online (or in hot storage).

Take a look at how BlockFi prevented hackers from stealing clients’ (aka your) money back in May of 2020:

38 2

Source: CoinDesk

Unfortunately, client account data was exposed to hackers, however, no funds were stolen, which certainly speaks to BlockFi’s ability to protect your funds. 

Based on the article, other sensitive client data including:

  • Photo scans
  • Social security
  • Passport numbers
  • Bank account details
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Tax identification numbers

…was not exposed during the data breach, which is also reassuring. 

Unfortunately, there is a big downside to BlockFi: No FDIC or SIPC insurance.

There are FDIC and SIPC limits, so not all of your money will be protected in the case of a loss.

FDIC and SIPC insurance has become an industry standard for most, if not all, banks and traditional brokerage firms.

To date, there is no SIPC insurance – or any other insurance coverage for that matter – on any cryptocurrency investments.

Although BlockFi does say they take strong safety precautions, you can also take safety measures of your own to protect your money and crypto investments.

One of those precautions could be storing the password to your crypto investments offline, and away from hackers.

In other words, you would be storing your information in what is known as a “hard wallet” or a “cold wallet.”

To keep things simple, your private key has 64 characters that range from 0 to 9 and from A to F.

It’s a complicated password to unlock your crypto account, completely separate from the password you use to log into BlockFi.

The best hardware or cold wallet to store your information is known as the Ledger Nano X. And yes, even my mom has one too ☺

Below are some fast facts for the Ledger Nano X hardware wallet:

  • Small
  • Easy to use
  • Supports a wide range of digital coins

The Ledger Nano X is essentially like a USB stick, just optimized to hold information for your cryptocurrency assets. 

A situation where your money is not withdrawn when you request it is not ideal, but based on what I’ve read, this situation happens sparingly and may also depend on the investor’s situation.

Is BlockFi Worth It?


Ultimately that answer really depends on you and whether you are an investor who can stand the risk and volatility that cryptocurrency gives you.

The risk of using BlockFi as a trading platform is likely lower than other cryptocurrency platforms because BlockFi claims to pay their clients (you) before anyone else in the case of bankruptcy.

Just keep in mind that your investments are not FDIC or SIPC insured, so you have much less safety with BlockFi than if you were stashing your cash with a regular bank account.

If you prefer the safety (and non-volatility) of the FDIC-insured banks, then you may want to consider putting your cash in a high-yield savings account.

FAQs

Yes, BlockFi is legit and it is available to investors worldwide. You can withdraw your assets at any point, just keep in mind that you can make only 1 free withdrawal per month. 

The funds at BlockFi are held by the Gemini Trust company, which in turn is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services. 

BlockFi was founded in 2017 and has skyrocketed in popularity since.

BlockFi has become so popular because they are using innovative technologies that help the average consumer potentially make more money off of their cryptocurrency.

Money that is deposited into the BlockFi accounts are not FDIC or SIPC insured, so BlockFi accounts are less safe than your regular bank. 

However, you can optimize the safety and security features you implement by creating a two-factor authentication password to access your interest account. 

As with any cryptocurrency investment platform, BlockFi is certainly a target for hackers.

BlockFi claims no funds have been lost, however, BlockFi has been hacked in the past. Hackers gained access to account users’ information including dates of birth, addresses and user activity history.

Keep in mind that BlockFi is a very lucrative target for hackers, especially with the recent cryptocurrency boom.

Yes, BlockFi reports any interest earned to the IRS. 

Since any interest earned on your savings account is taxable, BlockFi will send you a 1099-misc form at the beginning of every calendar year, which you are obligated to report to the IRS.

You always run the risk of losing money with BlockFi because the account is not FDIC or SPIC insured. 

However, in the worst-case scenario, BlockFi has claimed they would take a loss before client funds would be impacted.

How much would I trust that?

Honestly, I am a skeptic, so I would be a bit cautious here.

In other words, if you cannot afford to lose that money in your BlockFi account, then don’t do it (and honestly, you probably shouldn’t be investing in cryptocurrency in the first place, if you’re struggling for money).

BlockFi Review: The Bottom Line


BlockFi is considered one of the best high-interest cryptocurrency savings accounts in the world. 

Here’s a quick recap for BlockFi:

  • $0 fees
  • It’s user friendly
  • It’s easy to set up
  • $0 account minimum
  • Earn up to 7.5% APY interest
  • You can trade popular cryptocurrencies
  • The accounts are not FDIC or SIPC insured
  • You can borrow against your cryptocurrencies
  • New BlockFi clients can get up to $250 bonus

Before you go head-over-heels investing in cryptocurrency, I can’t stress this enough: cryptocurrency is very risky, but it could be very rewarding (as we have seen recently). 

I’m still getting used to the idea of investing in cryptocurrency because it is:

  • Risky
  • Fairly new
  • Highly speculative

Another reason why I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to cryptocurrency is that it’s still relatively young and doesn’t have a proven track record like the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ for example. 

However, the more I read about cryptocurrency and bitcoin (if you want to become a Bitcoin expert, check out this bitcoin guide here), the more of a fan (and believer) I’m becoming. 

The last thing you want to do is to dump all (or a majority) of your net worth into cryptocurrency, only for prices to tumble down. 

Here’s when you should consider investing (and earning high interest) through BlockFi:

  • You don’t have high-interest debt 
  • You’re already investing for retirement
  • You already have an emergency savings fund

So, assuming that your general financial picture is in good shape and you are comfortable with the volatility when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency, then I would suggest checking out high-yield crypto accounts like BlockFi.

Are you planning to sign up to BlockFi? Let me know in the comments, below!

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Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith
The Millennial Money Woman was founded by Fiona Smith. She holds her Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning and has co-founded a local non-profit community teaching financial literacy to young professionals.

2 thoughts on “BlockFi Review 2021: Is BlockFi Safe and Legit?”

    1. Hi there! I’m so glad to hear this helped. Before you start investing, I would definitely recommend doing as much research as possible. The more you research, the more you’ll understand how much you feel comfortable investing. Good luck!

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