BlockFi vs Celsius: Crypto Lending Platforms Compared – Which Is Better?
BlockFi and Celsius are both crypto lending platforms and in this article we have compared them neck to neck.
At the beginning of 2022, time and again we saw Blockfi on the news. Sometimes it is for their new launches and sometimes because they are flagged by the authorities.
Celsius too is not far behind as we saw it banning non-accredited US citizens from their reward program.
And this is just recent news. It has been a few years now that these have been topics of many crypto debates: especially ones trying to conclude which one is better.
In our article we shall discuss similar stuff, we will look at their similarities, and differences and see what makes one better than the other!
By the time the article ends, you should be able to decide which platform to use to stake your crypto to earn interest.
What we are going to learn?
What Are Crypto-Lending Platforms?
Crypto lending platforms are exactly what they say they are. They lend out cryptos to potential borrowers at a set interest rate. When these principal amounts and interests are returned, they use this to pay its users who had deposited or locked their Crypto with the company in the first place. This is done at a rate of interest charged annually.
Locking Crypto assets with such centralized exchanges are a way to generate passive income. Though the company will charge some commission fee for helping you in making an additional income!
Another thing to understand about Crypto lending companies is since these are centralized institutions, they have full control over your crypto assets! So it requires a huge lot of trust on your part to lock a certain amount with these privatized companies.
What Is BlockFi?
Blockfi is a US-based company that came into being in 2017. It is primarily known as a crypto lending company but also performs multiple other Crypto-related activities as well. It has private as well as institutional clients.
Blockfi’s working mechanism is similar to those of our banks. We go and deposit some money as savings. Banks use our money to lend their services to other borrowers and when these borrowers pay back interest, the bank uses that money to pay us our entire amount!
Blockfi offers Blockfi Interest Accounts popular as BIAs to its users. Through this users can earn up to 11% APY on a deposit of cryptocurrency.
The deposited amount by the users is lent to other institutional and corporate borrowers. These borrowers pay BlockFi with a certain amount of interest. Whatever the returns are, BlockFi uses that to pay back its initial users.
But like banks, BlockFi is a centralized company and thus the money you deposit for a particular span is controlled by the company for that period.
Read the complete review of BlockFi.
What Is Celsius?
Celsius is also a crypto lending platform that allows users to deposit money with the company and wait for interest returns at a certain percentage. It also allows borrowers to borrow money at comparatively lower collateral rates.
Both in the case of Blockfi and Celsius we see that the interest rate offered is much higher compared to those given out by our centralized banks.
In spite of being similar crypto lending platforms, there are some key differences that make one better than the other. But before going into that, we will understand crypto lending platforms and how it is actually different from banks.
Read the complete review of Celsius.
BlockFi vs Celsius: Which is a better Crypto Lending Platform?
BlockFi vs Celsius: Origin and Growth
Blockfi has its headquarters in New York and New Jersey (although New York had one of the strictest rules regarding crypto jurisdictions). Blockfi is backed by a number of big names investors like Arrington capital, Avon ventures, Akuma capital, galaxy, Sofi, PJC, etc.
As of December 2021, Blockfi had over 10.4 billion dollars in BIA investor assets. The biggest cryptos held were Ethereum and Bitcoin. Its APY can be up to 8%.
Celsius was mainly based in Europe but eventually had offices in The US as well. It has main offices in Lithuania and London. Now Lithuania becomes a strategic choice over here because Lithuania has favorable crypto banking conditions in the East. Thus through this Celsius intends to have access to the Eastern Market as well.
Celsius has the feature of sharing their stats directly on their app. Their daily AMU updates among other community stuff are all given on the app on a daily basis.
As of July 2021 Celsius had around 16 billion AMUs under its management with around 300,000 active wallets and 800,000+ members. In August 2021 Celsius became the first to cross 20 billion AMUs under the category of CeFi (centralized finance) or DeFi (decentralized Finance).
Ethereum is their most held crypto asset and the company has earned over 450 million dollars of interest on their crypto till now. APY in Celsius can be as high as 18.63%.
A key difference between Blockfi and Celsius is that Celsius has its own utility and native token CEL and this fares well in your interest rates as we will see later in the article.
Blockfi vs Celsius: Deposit Fees
Talking about deposits and fees neither Blockfi nor Celsius charges you any fee for depositing your money with them. So if you already have a crypto wallet all you gotta do is find the wallet address from the app and start a withdrawal from your other wallet. But when you send your crypto through the blockchain then you have to pay the blockchain fees which really are not controlled by any platform!
To buy crypto on Blockfi you will have to pay with dollars. You must send this amount through a wire transfer. And yes Blockfi allows only USD as a viable option to purchase any crypto on its platform!
When you use USD to purchase crypto through wire transfer your account will automatically get credited with 1:1 stable coins in form of GUSD and this can later be traded to Bitcoin or whatever Crypto you may want to. But this process involves paying a commission fee to them.
Blockfi has a feature that allows you to buy crypto at set intervals on a weekly or monthly basis.
Coming to Celsius, this platform supports all kinds of fiat purchases. Viable fiat options are USD, Sterling, Canadian swiss, Australian Dollars, Hong Kong Dollar, euros, etc. Unlike direct wire transfers in Blockfi, Celsius uses a payment partner called Gem and you will pay a fee to them as a commission. This fee will vary depending on what currency you use. For instance, the euro charges pretty less than American dollars.
Even credit card purchases are allowed on the Celsius platform. But this too involves a third party to whom you just pay a commission of 3.5-5 %.
When buying from Celsius you can choose crypto to buy. But the Celsius app does not allow trade at the moment. So once you choose crypto you transfer it out to another exchange and trade and deposit it back to Celsius.
So, if you do not have access to USD then Celsius is a better platform to look at.
Winner: I think since Celsius does not provide any trading platform, I would declare BlockFi as a winner here. However, BlockFi should consider reducing the spread, which is on the higher side.
Blockfi vs Celsius: Withdrawals
Coming to withdrawals, BlockFi offers the users one free crypto withdrawal a month and one free stable coin withdrawal a month. This is usually enough for some, but not all.
On the other hand, Celsius has a feature that allows it to pay the blockchain fees. So whatever the fees are, if you are on Celsius you will be saving the blockchain fees which are at 5-10 USD per transaction in Bitcoin and it can reach up to 23-25 USD for Ethereum.
Winner: BlockFi is the winner as it provides one free withdrawal a month.
Blockfi vs Celsius for Crypto Loans
Well, this field shows stark differences between the two platforms.
Blockfi only allows you to borrow USD by keeping cryptos as collateral. It offers a minimum loan amount of around 10,000 dollars for a period of 12 months.
Celsius allows you to borrow cryptos as well, apart from fiat currency. It offers a minimum loan amount of 500 dollars for 6 months.
In both cases, you would need to deposit twice the number of crypto with regard to the amount you want to borrow.
The lower the loan to value ratio (LTV means the value of your loan cannot exceed the value of the cryptocurrency you put up as collateral), the lower the interest rate. Blockfi annual rate varies between 4.5 and 9.75%. And it also charges a 2% origination fee.
While Celsius the rates may vary between 0.75% to 8.75%, it does not charge you an origination fee. Additionally, if you decide to deposit some CEL Tokens you get even better interest rates.
Winner: Celsius is a clear winner in case of crypto loans. If you wish to take a loan, consider Celsius.
Interest Rates on BlockFi vs Celsius
Interest rates in BlockFi do not change very frequently and the interest is paid on monthly basis in the crypto you opt for.
And here the rates depend upon the number of coins you deposit. This is weird in a way. The more you stake to earn, the lesser rewards you get.
This is the new BlockFi interest rate slab.
For eg 0-0.10 Bitcoin would earn you 4% returns and greater than 0.10 earns you around 1 % interest.
Similarly, Ethereum earns 4% and Litecoin is somewhere around 5%.
|Max Interest on||BlockFI||Celsius|
Another feature of Blockfi interest is that you can choose which coin you would prefer to receive interest on.
For instance, you deposit Bitcoin for a certain period. Now in the select preference section, you can opt to receive interest in Bitcoin, Gemini USD, or Ethereum even.
This is useful because it brings more stability and to an extent also reduces the currency risk due to crypto volatility.
Coming to Celsius, this is a broader spectrum for the users to choose from. While Blockfi offers trade in 13 digital assets, Celsius offers 40+ cryptocurrencies.
Now Celsius has its own token CEL which allows users to boost their interest returns. How so? To increase your interest rates, you need to hold a certain percentage of your portfolio in the CEL coin. You can also choose to receive interest in CEL tokens. You can also convert this into a different currency if you deem it necessary.
Another point of difference between Celsius and Blockfi is that Celsius repays interest weekly. And these weekly rates keep changing according to the market and demand for loans.
Another feature allowed by Celsius is that it allows you to send cryptos to different users. So with Celsius, you can easily send them crypto including the CEL token.
Winner: For anyone holding less than 0.1 BTC, BlockFi is the winner. For anyone holding more than 0.1BTC, Celsius is the clear winner
Blockfi has announced the launch of Blockfi Personalized Yield and Blockfi Wallet. While the former is a portfolio product tailored to the users’ needs, the latter makes it easier for users to buy, sell and store cryptos.
As of August 2021, Celsius began offers of 0% APR loans to California citizens. Recently Celsius has introduced a feature that allows users to earn 10dollars to 600 dollars in Bitcoin rewards by transferring UDSC to USDT from another wallet. To claim such bonuses you will need some promo codes.
BlockFi vs Celsius: Safety Measures
Blockfi uses Bitgo, Coinbase, and Gemini as their custodian. Gemini offers insurance up to 200 million dollars.
Celsius uses Fireblock and prime trust. They offer insurance up to 30 million USD.
Note: Neither of the platforms has any insurance at the time for if the value of the crypto you deposited plummets, then you have to deposit more crypto till it matches the amount you have borrowed.
Otherwise, your collateral would be liquidated and your investment repaid! So this is a risk you need to be ready for if you decide to invest in these platforms.
Winner: From safety measures, BlockFi seems to be way ahead of Celsius.
Risks Involved in Staking your Crypto for Earning Interest.
The risks do not end at plummeting crypto value. No. There are other risks involved too, which are common for both platforms.
You see, once you lend your crypto to the lending platforms, there is an agreement in place that says that the platform is obligated to return you your cryptos. That means you are no longer the owner of cryptos. So it means you are trusting the platform to not freeze your account or lose your coins.
Both platforms are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. An instance like this arose when Blockfi was hacked and almost half of the users’ personal info like addresses were under threat.
Though both the platforms do have a 2-factor authentication security measure, biometrics scans, and whitewashed wallet addresses still there have been instances in the past where platforms like these have been hacked. Apart from your personal info at stake, these kinds of hacking might also lead to the loss of value of the currency you lent.
Pros of Crypto Borrowing
From a borrower’s perspective, this is a lucrative method where hassle-free borrowing is permitted. Here you do not have to sell any asset and only use your crypto as collateral and borrow money in a quicker process.
Celsius vs Blockfi: Which one is Better for Earning More Interest?
With this article, we hope that we could succeed in providing you with information and data that would help you make better choices in choosing which platform to go for in 2022.
Though, remember that we are not your financial advisor. We are here to just let you get the feel of the market trends and products.
Always consult your financial advisor before making any such investments or doing something as risky as locking your coins with someone else. And also never forget to do your own diligent research on the subject to get a better grasp of everything!
I personally use both the platforms. Risk diversification is the key.