UPDATE 28 November 2022: BlockFi filed for Chapter 11-protection (i.e. filed for bankruptcy) today. The bankruptcy was required primarily due to BlockFi's exposure to FTX.
BlockFi Wallet Review
BlockFi offers a variety of crypto products and related services to individual investors and businesses across the world. These services include BlockFi Interest Account, Trading facilities and Crypto Lending. The company started with a mission of providing credit services and simple financial products. But in the four years of its operations, the company has not only grown as an independent lender but has also secured backing from institutional investors like Coinbase Ventures, Fidelity, Akuna Capital, Valar Ventures, Galaxy Digital and SoFi.
BlockFi’s primary custodian, Gemini Trust Company LLC, is regulated by the New York State Department of Finance Services.
All of its products can be accessed through the BlockFi Wallet App which is available on all platforms (Android, Apple and Windows).
Here’s a peek into some of the company's services.
BlockFi Interest Account
If fiat currencies can generate passive interest income, why not cryptos? BlockFi is capitalizing on this idea with the BlockFi Interest Account or BIA. BIA investors can generate up to 9.5% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) from their investments. The effective APY is determined based on a tiered structure.
The account accrues interest on a daily basis whereas the pay-out takes place on the last business day of the month. There are no lock-in periods, so investors can withdraw their funds at any time without any restrictions. Typically, these withdrawals are processed in one or two business days.
According to an article published in October 2021, the BIA is not available in New York. From the global point of view, it is also restricted for users based in sanctioned countries or from countries placed on the watchlist by the U.S. government.
BlockFi Trading Platform
The BlockFi Wallet application has an inbuilt trading portal. Their website claims that its instant trade execution and better pricing compared to its competitors are some of the lucrative features of this platform. Other innovative features like an automated crypto portfolio can mitigate volatility by buying assets gradually over time. The automated crypto portfolio places recurring trades based on the preferences set by the user.
Here’s a short video on how to buy cryptocurrencies on the BlockFi Trading platform
BlockFi users can easily borrow funds against their crypto assets using the Crypto-backed Loans offering. Users can pledge cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin to get funds in USD, USDC or GUSD. The minimum borrowing amount is set at USD 10,000 and the value of the collateral is determined using a Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV). For US-based borrowers, an LTV ratio of 20% attracts a 4.5% interest rate whereas a 50% LTV will attract 9.75%. Additionally, a fixed origination fee of 2% is charged irrespective of the LTV.
The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for US-based users is split into three tiers; 4.5% (requires approximately USD 50,000 in collateral), 7.9% (collateral of roughly USD 29,000) and 9.75% (close to USD 20,000 collateral). However, this rate along with other lending parameters is subject to different factors and may vary based on the jurisdiction.
Typically, the company disburses the loan on the same day you place your collateral. It also doesn’t charge any penalties or hidden fees for partial or complete prepayment of loans.
BlockFi has a dedicated Client Services Team to address any queries from prospective borrowers.
The Basics You Need to Know
BlockFi Inc was founded by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez in August 2017. It is based out of the United States of America. The company is spread across the globe with offices in New York, New Jersey, Singapore, Poland and Argentina.
According to Crunchbase, the company has generated USD 508.7 million to date from 13 funding rounds. Bain Capital Ventures, DST Global, Pomp Investments and Tiger Global Management led the last funding round or the Series D funding round in March 2021. At the time, BlockFi raised USD 350 million from 21 investors.
Is BlockFi Wallet Easy to Use?
We believe that the BlockFi Wallet App is easy to use for both new entrants and crypto veterans. Signing up for a new account is effortless and quick. The website hosts a dedicated help page for new users.
The BlockFi team is also working on new features to make its application more convenient. In February 2021, the company launched a facial recognition feature for easy sign-in.
Does BlockFi Wallet Have Fees?
Typically, most trading platforms charge a minor portion of transaction volumes as trading fees. We couldn’t confirm if BlockFi charges any trading fees. However, the fee schedule on their website lists the withdrawal limits and fees for BlockFi Interest Account Withdrawals.
The BIA withdrawal cap is fixed at 100BTC for a 7-day period and charges 0.00075 BTC for withdrawals. However, we would like to highlight that BlockFi users can execute two withdrawal transactions (one for crypto and one for stablecoin) every month for free. The withdrawal fees will be applied for all subsequent transactions.
What Coins Does BlockFi Wallet Support?
BlockFi Wallet supports 8 major cryptocurrencies as well as some of the well-known stablecoins. The list of supported tokens and coins includes Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Chainlink Token (LINK), Litecoin (LTC), USD Coin (USDC), Pax Gold (PAXG), DAI, Tether (USDT), Uniswap Token (UNI), Basic Attention Token (BAT) etc.
Does it store NFTs, Crypto Art, and Collectibles?
We could not find any information on the BlockFi website which suggests that it supports ERC-721 tokens. So, we believe that NFTs, Crypto Art or Collectibles cannot be stored on the BlockFi Wallet app.
Is BlockFi Wallet Anonymous?
BlockFi Wallet is not anonymous. Users have to comply with mandatory identity verification. The list of documents includes government-issued documents (like Driver’s License or Passport) and a recent photo.
BlockFi also conducts occasional identity checks. This is intended to add an extra layer of security, especially when making account-related changes like resetting the 2FA or making an email change request.
Is BlockFi Wallet Safe?
From a security and safety perspective, BlockFi proudly claims that its Risk Officer Rene van Kesteren is a former Managing Director at the Bank of America. It has also listed down some of Rene’s career achievements to emphasise that user safety is a key concern for the company.
BlockFi is a non-custodial wallet and works with regulated crypto-custodians like Gemini. Since it is a non-custodial wallet, users have complete control over their secret keys.
The acceptable deposit methods include wire transfers and ACH Transfers. Users can also deposit cryptos from another wallet in their BlockFi account.
Some crypto portals support Cards. However, BlockFi does allow users to attach Debit/Credit Cards.
Does BlockFi Wallet have an Affiliate program?
BlockFi has an Affiliate program as well as a Referral program. Content creators and bloggers can apply with BlockFi to become an affiliate whereas users can invite new users under the Refer-a-Friend program.
Affiliate applications are scrutinized for eligibility. On approval, affiliates receive training and support from a dedicated Partner Success Manager. Affiliates are entitled to rewards as well as partner-only offers and promotions.
Under the referral program, users will earn USD 10 in BTC for a USD 100 deposit in the BIA by a referee. The referral bonus increases to USD 20 (in BTC) after the referral count exceeds five.
You can find more information on these programs on the BlockFi website.