BlockFi Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A custodial, multi-function wallet that allows users to earn cryptocurrency

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BlockFi

BlockFi

Investopedia’s Rating
2.8

Our Take

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency wallet and lending app that enables investors to buy, sell, store, borrow, and earn interest on crypto assets. Moreover, BlockFi users can earn rewards paid in cryptocurrency using the BlockFi Rewards Credit Card. 

The custodial crypto wallet is available online and as a smartphone application, enabling crypto holders to seamlessly manage their digital assets.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Enables cryptocurrency investors to earn interest

  • Users can take out crypto-backed loans to access cash

  • Investors can buy, sell, and trade crypto directly within the app

Cons
  • U.S. customers can currently not access interest-bearing accounts

  • Only supports a small number of crypto assets

Key Takeaways
  • BlockFi is a leading crypto lender that enables investors to earn interest on 8+ digital assets. 
  • The innovative BlockFi Rewards Credit Card enables holders to receive rewards in cryptocurrency.
  • The BlockFi wallet is custodial, which means users have to trust BlockFi with their funds.
Company Overview

Launched in 2017 by Flori Marquez and Zac Prince, BlockFi is a financial services provider that enables retail and institutional investors to buy, sell, trade, borrow, and earn interest on digital assets. 

The New Jersey-based unicorn (valued at $3 billion during its Series D funding round) is primarily known as a non-bank lender that allows users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. Since the launch of its popular BlockFi Rewards Credit Card, the company has paid out over $15 million in crypto rewards. 

Additionally, BlockFi enables investors to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency, and borrow fiat currency by providing collateral in crypto assets. Crypto-backed loans enable investors to remain in crypto while accessing cash in a tax-efficient manner. 

In January 2022, the company launched BlockFi Wallet to enable its clients to easily buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency. Additionally, BlockFi also launched a bespoke crypto wealth management service for high-net-worth individuals called BlockFi Personalized Yield (BPY). 

In February 2022, BlockFi was fined $100 million by the SEC for failing to register the offers and sales of its retail crypto lending product.

BlockFi is most suited for wealthy individuals and institutional investors (outside of the U.S.) who are looking to earn interest on their digital asset holdings.

BlockFi

BlockFi

Investopedia’s Rating
2.8
Type of wallet Web and mobile
Price  Free 
Fees  No wallet fees and trading commissions.
Number of cryptocurrencies supported  20+ 
Bitcoin and Ethereum supported?  Yes 
Earn (staking/rewards)  Yes 
Customer Service  Help Center, Chat Bot, Live Chat, Support Tickets, Phone 
In-App Features  Buy, Sell, Trade, Borrow, Earn, Spend 
Hardware Compatible  No 
Mobile App  Yes. Android and iOS 

Pros Explained

  • BlockFi enables cryptocurrency investors to earn interest. BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIA) allow users to immediately start earning a yield on their digital asset investments. 
  • Users can take out crypto-backed loans to access cash. BlockFi’s crypto-backed loans enable investors to access U.S. dollars while keeping their funds in crypto as collateral for the loan, thus forgoing a taxable event.
  • Investors can buy, sell, and trade crypto directly within the app. The wallet’s trading functionality enables investors to seamlessly trade 20+ digital assets.

Cons Explained

  • U.S. customers can not currently access interest-bearing accounts. Following a cease-and-desist order from the SEC, BlockFi was forced to shut interest accounts for U.S. customers and persons. 
  • Only supports a small number of crypto assets. Unlike most leading multi-asset software wallets, BlockFi Wallet only supports a little more than 20 assets.

Features

BlockFi is a feature-rich cryptocurrency wallet and lending platform. Users can buy, sell, trade, and store 20+ digital assets directly with BlockFi’s web interface or mobile application.

The company’s most prominent product is the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA), which enables investors to lend their digital assets to BlockFi to receive up to 7% APY. BlockFi users can buy cryptocurrency using a wire transfer and immediately start earning interest on their holdings, which is paid out monthly. 

Additionally, crypto users can take out crypto-backed loans by providing cryptocurrency as collateral to access U.S. dollars. This allows investors to remain in crypto while gaining access to cash. For investors, this is particularly interesting as it allows them to forgo a taxable event that would occur if they sold crypto (for a profit) to access cash. BlockFi’s borrowing APR can be as low as 4.5%. 

BlockFi Wallet users can also receive rewards in cryptocurrency by using the BlockFi Rewards Credit Card. Cardholders earn 2% back in crypto on whatever they spend in the first three months. Additionally, they earn 1.5% cashback (paid in Bitcoin) on each purchase they make. 

The company also offers BlockFi Personalized Yield to high-net-worth individuals looking to invest a large amount of money into crypto assets. 

Top supported cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Uniswap (UNI)

BlockFI Interest Accounts (BIAs) are no longer offered to new U.S.-based clients. Existing clients that are U.S. persons or located in the United States will be unable to transfer new assets to their BIAs. The BIAs have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States, to U.S. persons, for the account or benefit of a U.S. person, or in any jurisdiction in which such offer would be prohibited.

Security

BlockFi recommends that users set up two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator to increase account security. 

Additionally, BlockFi has an allowlisting feature that enables users to whitelist external crypto wallet addresses to which they can withdraw funds. When a new wallet address is added for allowlisting, it takes seven days until the user can withdraw cryptocurrency to it, reducing the risk of theft by hackers.

As a custodial wallet provider, BlockFi essentially holds funds on behalf of their clients as they hold their client wallets’ private keys.

Privacy and Anonymity

BlockFi requires all users to complete an identity verification process as part of the account setup procedure. As a result, BlockFi wallet user privacy is de facto non-existent as all cryptocurrency transactions can be linked to the account owner. 

Setup 

To set up a BlockFi wallet, you can either register online to access the web-based version or download the mobile app. 

Unlike most crypto wallets that only require you to create a wallet by noting down the recovery phrase, BlockFi requires users to complete an onboarding process to verify their identity. The KYC process is automated and only takes a few minutes. 

Once you have completed the identity verification process, you will gain access to your BlockFi wallet and can start funding your account to buy, trade, or earn interest on crypto. 

Usability

BlockFi can be accessed online and via a mobile application. 

Web

The web version of BlockFi has a clean look and feel, making it easier to navigate than most crypto exchanges. While BlockFi has an extensive suite of features, the dashboard is not cluttered or overwhelming, making it easy to find what you are looking for. 

Mobile App 

Available for Android and iOS, the BlockFi app provides the same features and capabilities as the web version, allowing users to manage their crypto assets on the go. Buying, trading, and earning interest only take a few taps on your smartphone. 

Customer Service

In addition to an extensive help center, BlockFi users can receive customer support through a chat bot, live chat, support tickets, and a customer service hotline. 

Cost & Fees 

The BlockFi wallet is free to set up, and there is no commission for trading cryptocurrency. Instead, users are charged the bid/ask spread, which can amount to up to 1%. Compared to the fees of other in-wallet exchanges, that is on the lower end. 

However, BlockFi does charge withdrawal fees, which can eat into users’ returns, especially for individuals with small crypto holdings. 

Final Verdict

BlockFi enables all types of cryptocurrency investors to buy, sell, trade, borrow, and earn interest on their crypto asset investments. The easy-to-navigate dashboard makes digital asset management simple and straightforward. 

BlockFi Wallets big drawback is that it is custodial, which means users need to trust the company with their money. Also, U.S. customers are currently not able to use the platform’s popular interest-bearing accounts for regulatory reasons.

Methodology

One of the most important things to consider before you transact in and store cryptocurrencies is that you have a suitable crypto wallet in place. To help determine the wallet that works best for you, we conducted a comprehensive review process of the top cryptocurrency software wallets. 

Our review process is built around a quantitative ratings model that weighs key factors like security, costs, privacy, usability, customer support, and features according to their importance. Our team of researchers gathered over 40 data points and conducted extensive research for each of the 19 companies we reviewed. Our team of writers, who are experts in this field, then test drove each wallet to lend their qualitative point of view.

Our model gave preference to companies with the strongest security measures and reputations. Companies with rich features, such as supporting a large number of crypto assets, giving users the ability to sync with hardware wallets, and allowing for fee customization, also ranked highly.

Read our full methodology.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. TECHCRUNCH. "BlockFi lands a $350M Series D at a $3B Valuation for Its Fast-Growing Crypto-Lending Platform."

  2. SEC. "BlockFi Agrees to Pay $100 Million in Penalties and Pursue Registration of its Crypto Lending Product."