Blockfi Vs. Gemini: Where To Get The Best Rates?
Choosing which crypto platform to use during your crypto journey is one of the most important steps you will take. We know that with so many options available at your fingertips, the process can be challenging.
However, be confident that you are already on the right path! If you have found yourself interested in Blockfi and Gemini, you have opted for two of the most reliable platforms out there.
Whether you are just at the start of your research or not, we have got you covered. In this Blockfi vs. Gemini review, we are going to see how the platforms compare. We will be analyzing what benefits they have to offer, their past, and what they are.
We are sure you will finish reading this article obtaining excellent knowledge about the subject. That will surely help you reach a final decision. Which platform will it be: Blockfi or Gemini? Let’s get to the bottom of this!
Blockfi And Gemini: What Are They?
What Is Blockfi?
Blockfi is a privately held New York-based crypto lending platform that was founded back in 2017. While other lending platforms chose to raise funds using token sales, Blockfi’s team took the venture capitalist route. The result was increased security for its users by ensuring the continued development of the platform.
Back in 2019, Blockfi raised $18,300,000 in financing during its series A round. That funding round included several notable names like Peter Thiel (Paypal co-founder) and Winklevoss Capital. Some people who invested in this platform are inside the list of the richest in the crypto world!
These factors show the confidence that influential people have in this platform. It also should provide you with ease of mind as Blockfi isn’t going broke anytime soon with all this money lying around.
Another thing you should know is that Blockfi holds a bunch of lending licenses. These are held under Blockfi lending LLC, and they also have money transmitter licenses held by Blockfi trading LLC.
While many would argue that compliance with regulation is a negative thing, the opposite is true… This ensures that the platform complies with financial and security standards, ensuring the safety of your investments.
Blockfi is still the most well-funded crypto lending platform out there, and it is also highly unlikely to rug pull on your funds, something that should be on top of your priorities. This is especially true for custodial platforms, as you don’t control your private keys.
What Is Gemini?
Gemini was launched back in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins. To put that into context, this exchange has been here for a couple more years than Binance.
What is Gemini best known for? That would be regulatory compliance. We know this might sound boring, but it is crucial. Firstly, it means that you can be sure your funds are safe.
Secondly, if the exchange you are using is in the SEC’S regulatory crosshairs, it could add uncertainty to your experience. In this aspect, Gemini is similar to Blockfi but certainly surpasses it.
Gemini’s motto is: “the revolution needs rules”. If you like centralized exchanges, this probably sounds great to you. However, if you are on the opposite side of the debate, we recommend you have an open mind.
This platform is owned and operated by the Gemini Trust Company LLC. This is a trust that is regulated by the New York state department of financial services. Having this regulation means something good for the New York population. Gemini can service you, something that many other crypto exchanges have not been able to do.
With all this regulatory compliance, you won’t be surprised that Gemini is very popular among corporations and wealth managers. This is because they prefer using platforms with the highest assurance that their client’s funds are safe.
Gemini also offers multiple features that make it a favorite among many investors. However, we will discuss these in the later section!
What Features Does Each Platform Offer?
Okay, so we just talked about these exchanges’ history. It is shocking to see such a centralized platform like Gemini here, right?
Well, now we are going to go through all the features that they have to offer. These two not only focus on trading, but they also provide many other things. The diversification in features is growing since the competition is also getting bigger.
We will review many features in a general way so that you are widely informed. In this way, you will not miss any details of these platforms. By doing this, we make sure you will be able to make an excellent decision about which exchange to adopt. Let’s get into it.
While this is not a feature per se but more of a benefit, we consider it too good not to mention it. Blockfi offers a sign up-bonus, between $10 to $250, depending on how much you invest in the platform. This reward is paid using Bitcoin, which means you will have a lovely addition to your portfolio.
As a Blockfi user, you will be able to borrow cash at a specific interest rate, and Blockfi will accept your crypto as collateral. The minimum loan amount is $10,000, and the current LTV ratio starts at 50%. This means that if you want to borrow $10,000, you will need to lock up $20,000. After all, crypto can be highly volatile!
Blockfi also offers interest-only loans on a one-year term, and you will have to pay the interest every month. After a one-year term, you have to pay back your loan in full. Depending on the circumstances, you could decide to refinance that loan.
Taking out a loan on Blockfi might make sense if you need some cash but don’t want to sell your crypto.
Simple Trading Platform
Trading cryptocurrencies on Blockfi is very simple. All you gotta do is click “trade”, decide which crypto you want to buy or sell, and then type in the amount and finally confirm
The platform’s intuitive interface helps new investors that would like to invest with fiat money.
However, this is not the primary purpose of Blockfi as the conversion rates are suboptimal. Honestly, you could save more money if you traded in Gemini or another platform.
The Blockfi interest account allows you to deposit your cryptocurrency on Blockfi and earn between 0.1% and 9.5% interest per year. This depends on what currency you are holding and what amount of it. This interest is then paid out at the beginning of every single month.
Currently, you will get the highest APY for holding stable coins like USDT.
Blockfi Visa Credit Card
This is a regular cashback card. It allows you to get a certain percentage back of what you have spent using the card, which uses your crypto. With this card, however, you will be getting Bitcoin instead of cash. At this time, you will receive a 3.5% cashback in the first three months, up to $100. After that, it will be a 1.5% cashback.
Just like with Blockfi, Gemini offers a sign-up bonus we have to mention. You will get $10 in Bitcoin for investing $100 on the platform within the first 30 days after signing up. If you only buy $100 worth of crypto, then that is a 10% return.
It’s not bad at all, to begin with! This perk is only valid if you are new and sign up with a referral code, which there are lots on YouTube and other sources. If you are considering taking advantage of this bonus, you can do so by clicking here!
Newbie Friendly Interface
Gemini’s exchange is newbie-friendly. It allows you to buy and sell crypto instantly at the market rate. It even has an automatic buy feature. This lets you schedule purchases for every day, week, or however often you’d like. It honestly makes dollar-cost averaging much easier.
However, if you are an advanced trader, you will have your place too. For more experienced traders, Gemini offers an advanced trading platform called “active trader”, and this offers many more features that you don’t see on the basic interface.
Several Deposit Methods
Gemini offers a wide variety of deposit methods to deposit fiat money. These include wire and bank transfers, ACH transfer, apple pay, google pay, and debit/credit cards. However, we recommend avoiding debit or credit cards since you will incur 3.49% on fees you could save otherwise.
Recently, Gemini got into banking services via the product “Gemini earn”. One of the main highlights of this account is the 7.4% APY returns. We can notice here that Blockfi wins with an earning rate that goes over 9.5%.
However, this APY is appealing because it is much higher than a regular high-yield savings account with APYs between 0.5% and 0.6%. This includes banks such as VIO bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs… You just can’t beat crypto.
Mobile Wallet App
You can store your crypto in Gemini mobile wallet app while piggybacking on all the security infrastructure provided by Gemini. That includes things like insurance, their rigorous internal controls, and secure storage environments.
Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
This is a stablecoin that is accessible for all Gemini users. This is Gemini’s attempt to challenge the stable coin dominance by USDT. This coin was launched in September 2018 and has been slow to get out of the gates. It may be due to the different alternatives that went by, like USDC, for example. However, we assure you this coin has much more transparency and security than the USDT opaque operating structure.
How Secure Is Each Platform?
We are sure you are wondering how these two platforms perform in terms of security. After all, security is probably at the top of the list for things that matter to crypto investors. Let’s take a look at how these two compare in this regard.
As far as we are aware, no user has lost crypto on the Blockfi exchange due to a security breach. However, we should let you know that there was an alleged breach in which hackers stole personal data, and this was not the result of a Blockfi vulnerability but that of a third party. The attackers were unsuccessful when it came to withdrawing funds.
Then you had another incident where the Blockfi system was hijacked to send obscene and racist emails. Yes, no money was lost in that attack, but it was still not a great look.
These crazy events show that Blockfi has had some stumbles when it comes to security. However, these events are not that out of place in the crypto or traditional finance world. Blockfi also used these events as a lesson to improve its security measures. If ou would like to see details on how they manage security on your account, here they are.
We recommend enabling this type of authentication. What this is going to do for you is put another step between the hacker and your account. To make use of it you are going to have to download google authenticator. Once you set it up, a code generated by the app will be required to log in. Sometimes, it can be a hassle, but it greatly increases security as your account won’t be accessible without access to your phone.
Most crypto exchanges will have an option like this, but it is usually called addresses whitelisting. In Blockfi it is called Allowlisting. This is where you can add several addresses that are whitelisted. By doing this, you will be sure that you can only send your crypto to known withdrawal addresses. If a malicious party were to gain access to your account, you would have 24 hours to notice the attempt and take action.
Unlike Blockfi and some of the other biggest platforms in the crypto world, Gemini has never been hacked. This is why many consider it to be the “world’s safest crypto exchange”! There are many reasons why this is the case… However, let’s focus on the main security measures that allowed the exchange to keep this clean record.
Gemini is protected by 2FA, which is strictly required to log into your account and make crypto withdrawals. You can do this by using authenticator apps like Google authenticator and working the same way as with other exchanges… Except that it is mandatory in this case.
The majority of client funds are stored in offline cold storage. However, we should note that the exact percentage of users’ funds held in cold storage is unknown. Gemini doesn’t publish hard numbers like other exchanges, and that is something for you to think about.
In terms of cold storage management, which means the crypto is never accessible via internet connectivity. Gemini also uses multi-signature wallets, which eliminates single points of failure. It also improves the exchange resilience against the loss of any individual key!
The result is that a hacker would need to find the vaults containing the wallets, gain access, then hack the exchange, and gain access to all the keys. See why this feature is essential?
Criminal Background Checks
Gemini makes all employees undergo criminal and credit background checks, and they also are subject to background checks throughout their employment. This makes it harder for malicious actors to infiltrate the company and gain access to funds. Even if a thief would pass this filter, other security measures are in place to prevent that.
Which Customer Support Is Better?
Using your account would have to go always without a hitch. However, sometimes things can go wrong, and you will need to get help from somewhere. That’s when customer support enters the field. Let’s see how these two exchanges manage this section which is especially important for every user.
There is nothing worse than needing help and being completely ignored by a platform’s so-called customer support.
However, you can be sure this won’t be the case when using Blockfi. The platform’s ticketing system is one of the best experiences you could have in crypto. You can get responses in under 2 hours!
Blockfi offers phone support too. This is far from the rule in the crypto world, which makes it even more surprising and welcome.
Gemini offers customer support via chat and email but no phone. Response times for the ticket system tend to take between 24 and 48 hours, which is the standard for most exchanges.
However, you will get support in a matter of minutes when using the chat feature. The customer support working for Gemini is highly knowledgeable and professional, which means Gemini will well serve you.
We can’t choose between Gemini and Blockfi’s customer service. They both excel in this regard, especially when compared to other platforms.
Which Platform Offers Better Fees?
There are several fees you will need to consider when using any crypto platform. These will usually vary depending on the type of transaction so that the list can be extensive at times. Let’s look at the 3 types of fees you will be more likely to incur for each of these platforms.
Blockfi gives you only 1 free withdrawal a month and charges you a small fee for additional withdrawals. These fees will vary depending on the coin you want to withdraw:
● BTC: 0.00075 BTC
● ETH: 0.02 ETH
● LINK: 0.95 LINK
● LTC: 0.0025 LTC
● Stablecoins: $10.00 USD
● PAXG: 0.015 PAXG
● UNI: 1 UNI
● BAT: 35 BAT
We recommend you check the latest information here.
You may not believe this, but Blockfi doesn’t charge any trading fees! This is a big advantage if you compare it with Gemini’s fees. However, withdrawal fees make a balance in this situation, and this is where Gemini can lower the impact of this big Blockfi.
Nevertheless, not everything is perfect here. The conversion rates on Blockfi’s trading platform are not the best ones, as we said before.
There is also a 2% origination fee to be considered. You will have to pay it at the end of the one-year term if you take out a loan on Blockfi. Also, the interest you will pay will be between 4.5% and 9.75%, depending on your LTV ratio.
We have good news here. Every withdrawal made before getting to 10 in a month is free! This applies to individual customers and institutional ones. if you are a savvy investor and follow our advice… You won’t be surpassing this limit. As such, we will let you check the current rates if you believe you will need to pay these fees.
There are two types of fees here. The first is a transaction fee, a flat fee for trades up to $200 which will range between $0.99 and 1.49%.
If you are planning to trade small amounts of crypto, Gemini might not be the right choice for you. A transaction of less than $10 will result in a $0.99 fee, which is about 10%! However, for those who trade more than $50 at a time, the trading fees will be pretty fair.
On top of that, you will pay for the second type of fee. This is the convenience fee, and it is a 0.5% spread on the price of the crypto asset you are trading.
You will have to pay fees also if you use Gemini’s program “Gemini earn”. These are charged at the end of every year. These fees will be somewhere around 0.17% and 2.68%, varying depending on the coin. You can see every single one of them here.
What Cryptocurrency Does Each Platform Support?
Let us be direct in this regard: Blockfi has a lot to work on regarding cryptocurrency support. It only supports 8 cryptocurrencies, and while some of the most popular are covered, this is not enough for most investors.
The list of supported currencies are:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- PAX Gold (PAXG)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Tether (USDT)
- Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
- PAX (PAX)
Gemini doesn’t have the most comprehensive selection, but it is more than enough to beat Blockfi. With 62 cryptocurrencies, Gemini has a lot of options for investors to choose from. However, if you are looking to invest in specific currencies like Cardano, Gemini might not be the platform for you.
Some of the most popular currencies supported by the exchange are:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum ETH)
- The Sandbox (SAND)
- Amp (AMP)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Decentraland (MANA)
- Loopring (LRC)
- Fantom (FTM)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
Which Platform Is Best For You? Blockfi or Gemini?
We have arrived at the end of this Blockfi vs. Gemini battle. In conclusion, there is a lot of overlap between these two exchanges. They are very similar platforms, especially if you want to take on a loan.
In such a case, we believe that Blockfi may be the best option as long as you are not that concerned about coin support.
However, Gemini’s security and cryptocurrency exchange features are far superior to Blockfi. If you are looking for a platform to trade crypto, go with Gemini.If you want to learn more about each of these platforms, you can check our Gemini and Blockfi reviews!
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