BlockFi is a non-bank lending company which provides fiat currency loans, secured with cryptocurrency collateral. They also offer cryptocurrency interest accounts, which pay competitive interest rates on deposits including BTC, ETH and USDC.
BlockFi is a centralized service, which carries different risks to decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms built on smart-contracts.
BlockFi Interest Rates 2020
Background on BlockFi
BlockFi was founded in August 2017 by Zac Prince, the former SVP of Cognical (consumer lending business), and former VP of Orchard Platform (broker dealer and registered investment advisor in online lending).
BlockFi has had several rounds of funding, kicking off with $1.6 million of seed capital in February 2018. Notable investors included ConsenSys Ventures and SoFi.
Its recent Series B funding round raised $30 million from Valar Ventures, Winklevoss Captial, and others.
BlockFi bridges the gap between cryptocurrency and the traditional finance world by providing the one thing that decentralized lenders currently cannot: Fiat currency loans, secured with cryptocurrency.
By accepting cryptocurrency as collateral but lending fiat currency to borrowers, BlockFi empowers cryptocurrency holders with quick access to fiat liquidity, without having to sell their coins outright.
💵 Announcing crypto purchases with USD. You can now buy crypto directly with a USD wire and start earning up to 8.6% APY. Get started now 👇https://t.co/Wba4d81C3t
— BlockFi (@TheRealBlockFi) March 10, 2020
The company also provides an alternative way to earn interest on cryptocurrency assets, especially for those who prefer to avoid the smart-contract risk in decentralized platforms.
Centralized platforms do, of course, present their own risks. This can include custodial risks, general management of funds, and the solvency of the underlying company. These risks, however, may be preferable in times of network instability or uncertainty in smart-contracts.
How Does Lending on BlockFi Work?
To get started with lending cryptocurrency via BlockFi, visit https://blockfi.com/crypto-interest-account/.
Click the green “Earn Interest Now” button.
Users will then enter their details including their full name, email, and a password. Be sure to thoroughly read the terms and conditions, before submitting the form.
Users are then sent a six-digit verification code to the email address provided. Enter the code in the field provided, to verify the email address.
Being a company dealing with traditional finance, BlockFi requires more personal information than decentralized services do, for KYC and AML purposes. To proceed with accessing their services, users must fill out the above form.
A final step is required to authenticate the user’s identification.
Once users have confirmed all of their details, they will be taken to the dashboard where one can deposit cryptocurrency and immediately receive interest on their assets!
How are crytocurrency interest payments made?
By default, interest payments are made in the same asset that is deposited. For example, if an interest account is funded using USDC, the user will be paid interest in USDC. A user can change the asset in which interest is paid, within the settings panel.
Interest payments are distributed on a monthly basis, in contrast to the often-continuous interest stream seen in decentralized platforms. This makes BlockFi interest accounts feel more like a traditional bank account than the DeFi lending platforms we are used to.
BlockFi generates interest by lending user deposits to institutional and corporate borrowers, and stores reserves using Gemini as their primary custodian.
Which assets are supported?
How to get involved?
For in-depth reports on the lending market, platform updates and more, check out their official blog.