BlockFi Canada Review (May 2022): Why We Don’t Like It

March 14, 2022
Reviews

BlockFi is a crypto-asset lending firm based in New York that provides loans in US dollars against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets. It has a few unique features not found on other platforms, such as its BlockFi Interest Accounts and BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Cards.

However, because BlockFi only supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies, I’m hesitant to recommend it as a top crypto exchange for Canadians looking to buy, sell, and trade different types of cryptocurrency. Instead, I’d recommend using Bitbuy, which offers a broader selection of altcoins and stablecoins to choose from. Given that it also has the lowest trading fees across all crypto exchanges in Canada, I simply can’t recommend it enough.

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What Is BlockFi?

BlockFi is a crypto-asset lending company based in New York City. It offers loans in the form of dollars against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets, as well as the ability to take cryptocurrencies with a higher interest rate than usual.

The firm was established in 2017 to mimic banks in the cryptocurrency industry, with the eventual goal of providing cryptocurrency-denominated credit cards. Starting in January 2018, it began lending fiat cash against cryptocurrency collateral.

BlockFi Features

1. High Interest Rates On Your Crypto Holdings

With a BlockFi Interest Account, you may earn up to 8.6% in compounding interest on your cryptocurrency holdings. There are no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements to worry about with the account either.

The interest rate varies by currency type and fluctuates with market values. Interest shall be accrued to your account daily and will be added to your account every month, so you’ll earn interest on your interest each month.

2. BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

BlockFi is the first firm to offer a Visa credit card that gives 1.5% back in Bitcoin on purchases, making it one of the first Bitcoin rewards credit cards around in the world today.

The BlockFi card earns you rewards in the form of Bitcoin, and these rewards will be added to your BlockFi Interest Account and will begin earning interest immediately.

3. Recurring Purchases Feature

When you have fiat funds in your BlockFi Interest Account, you may set up recurring purchases similarly to how you would when using Coinberry’s Autopilot feature.

With this feature, BlockFi can help you make automated cryptocurrency purchases on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis so that your account value and interest earnings will increase even if you don’t spend much time actively trading.

Cryptocurrencies on BlockFi

BlockFi currently supports 10 cryptocurrencies, 6 of which are altcoins and 4 of which are stablecoins. Here’s the full list of crypto tokens BlockFi currently supports:

Bitcoin (BTC)Paxos Standard (PAX)
Ethereum (ETH)PAX Gold (PAXG)
Litecoin (LTC)Chainlink (LINK)
USD Coin (USDC)Tether (USDT)
Gemini Dollar (GUSD)Binance USD (BUSD)

BlockFi Fees

For trading on their exchange, BlockFi does not charge transaction fees. However. you’ll pay withdrawal costs once you exceed the free withdrawal you’re given every month, and you’ll also have to pay origination fees and interest on cryptocurrency-backed loans you borrow through the platform.

Our Recommendation: Bitbuy

Despite its high-interest earning rates and interesting features, there’s one big drawback that doesn’t allow me to fully recommend BlockFi as a top crypto exchange option for Canadians, and that would be its limited range of supported cryptocurrencies.

Having only 6 altcoins and 4 stablecoins to choose from, BlockFi falls short of the range of supported crypto we’ve seen from other top crypto exchange platforms. This won’t be a problem if you’re only interested in coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but if you’re interested in rarer tokens, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.

For this reason, I instead recommend that you take a look at Bitbuy, our top crypto exchange choice in Canada. Here are a few reasons why I’d recommend using it over BlockFi:

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Trading fees: 0.2%
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I recently broke down 10+ of Canada’s most popular crypto platforms, and CoinSmart came out on top. It scored so well because it excels on what I believe are the three most important factors when choosing a crypto platform: fees, security, and customer support.

Here’s how CoinSmart performs in each of those areas, and why I believe it’s the best crypto trading platform in Canada. And to get your $50 signup bonus with CoinSmart, use this signup link and the special promo code YOREOYSTER.

#1 Lowest Fees In The Industry

CoinSmart’s trading fees are just 0.20%, the lowest of any crypto platform in Canada. And those savings add up quickly: if you trade $100,000 worth of Bitcoin in a given year (buying and selling $25,000 worth twice), you’ll save $800 in trading fees compared to a platform that charges 1% ($200 vs. $1,000).

Perhaps more important than trading fees, though, are spreads: the difference between the Buy price and the Sell price. CoinSmart has razor-thin spreads, which makes day trading possible and keeps more money in your pocket.

#2 Bank-Level Security

CoinSmart maintains a 95% cold storage policy, which means at least 95% of its users’ crypto is always held offline. This is a security measure that only the most advanced trading platforms employ, and CoinSmart is leading the charge.

CoinSmart is also the only publicly traded crypto platform in Canada, which means it’s subject to far more financial scrutiny than any other platform. It’s regulated by FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada) and the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission), and its financials are audited by external professionals at least once per year.

#3 Excellent Customer Support

CoinSmart offers 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email, and their customer service reps are actually helpful rather than just following a script. I’ve never had to wait more than about 60 seconds on hold, and they’re very responsive via live chat and email, too. 

The only time I ran into an issue with CoinSmart, I called them and had it sorted out within 5 minutes. Keep in mind that telephone and live chat support is only available for registered users, so if you have a question for CoinSmart, the best way to get it answered is to open an account

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In Summary

BlockFi is a crypto-asset lending firm based in New York City that offers loans denominated in US dollars against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets. It has some interesting features that are seldom seen in other platforms, such as its BlockFi Interest Accounts and BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Cards.

However, the fact remains that BlockFi only supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies, so it’s simply not our top recommendation for Canadians looking to buy or sell different kinds of cryptocurrency. For this reason, I’d instead recommend using Bitbuy, which offers a wider range of altcoins and stablecoins to choose from. Considering it also has the lowest trading fees across all crypto exchanges in Canada, I simply can’t recommend it enough.

BlockFi FAQs

How To Withdraw From BlockFi

To withdraw funds from your BlockFi account, you only have to follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to your BlockFi account.
  2. Click on the “Accounts” tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose the cryptocurrency you wish to withdraw.
  4. Click on the “Trade” option.
  5. Exchange the desired amount for Gemini dollars (GUSD).
  6. Click on the “Withdraw” option.
  7. Choose Gemini dollars (GUSD).
  8. Select your Bank Account as the desired destination.

Is BlockFi Safe?

Yes, BlockFi is a secure cryptocurrency exchange. It takes various security precautions to safeguard your funds and ensure money availability, including handing reserves over to third parties (including Gemini and Coinbase).

BlockFi is a custodian that is both state-regulated and backed by respectable investors. Valar Ventures, Morgan Creek Capital Management, Coinbase Ventures, and others are among them.

Is BlockFi Legal In Canada?

Yes, BlockFi is a legitimate crypto exchange and it’s legal to use in Canada. BlockFi operates within U.S. federal and state regulations, and it also complies with Canadian laws.

BlockFi Referral Code

Unfortunately, there are no BlockFi referral codes available at this time.

Does BlockFi Report To The CRA?

Yes, BlockFi reports every large transaction to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). BlockFi may also report your cryptocurrency gains, so it’s best to keep track of every transaction you make.

The Best Crypto Exchanges In Canada

Best Overall

Supports: 16 cryptocurrencies
Security: 95% cold storage
Trading fees: 0.2%

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★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

Lowest Fees

Supports: 17 cryptocurrencies
Security: 95% cold storage
Trading fees: 0.1% - 0.2%

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Rated 4.8/5

Best For Altcoins

Trading fees: 0.4%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $10

Trade with 10x leverage.

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Rated 4.2/5