BlockFi vs. Celsius: Which Should You Use?
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BlockFi and Celsius are two of the top places to open a cryptocurrency interest account and obtain a crypto-backed loan on the market, but which one is better? In this BlockFi vs. Celsius review, we will provide a summary of each platform, as well as compare the services offered, pros and cons, supported cryptocurrencies, fees, and how safe each platform is.
UPDATE 12/2022: Celsius and BlockFi have both filed for bankruptcy and cannot be used. Here is a list of alternative exchanges to earn interest on crypto.
BlockFi vs Celsius: Quick Overview
This comparison will start with BlockFi followed by Celsius Network. For a detailed overview of BlockFi or Celsius, click on the exchange review links for more information.
|Promotion||Get up to $250 Bonus in Bitcoin||None available at this time|
|Fiat Currency||USD||USD (or 18 currencies via third-party)|
|Deposit Method||Bank transfer, wire transfers, SWIFT||Credit Card, Debit Card, ACH and SEPA|
|Lending & Borrowing||Varies on each crypto||1.0%, 6.95%, 8.95%|
|Loan Interest Rates||Up to 11% APY||Up to 17% APY|
|Savings Account Interest||Yes||N/A|
|US Residents Allowed||Yes||Yes|
|Review||Read our full BlockFi review||Read our full Celsius review|
Detailed Comparison: BlockFi vs. Celsius
BlockFi is a crypto lending and interest-bearing platform that allows users to earn interest on deposits, borrow against crypto holdings, and buy or exchange crypto. Founded in 2017 by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez, the company is based in the U.S. and is available in 48 states as well as most countries around the globe. BlockFi allows users to purchase crypto with fiat currency and offers high interest rates on crypto held on the platform.
- Regulated lending and borrowing platform
- Crypto-loans with fixed term arrangements and traditional payment options
- High interest rates within savings accounts
- Exchange for users to buy, trade and sell crypto directly
- Bank-like security measures to protect customer funds
- Interest accounts are no longer available to U.S. residents
- Limited selection of assets to borrow or earn interest from
- Lower interest rates in some accounts compared to industry
- Only 4 assets can be used as collateral to obtain a loan
- $10,000 minimum amount for loans and a 2% origination fee
Celsius is a lending and interest-bearing platform, allowing users to earn interest on crypto deposits, as well as borrow against crypto deposits. It also allows users to purchase crypto directly with a credit or debit card through a third-party partner. Celsius is available in most countries around the globe, including all 50 U.S. states. Celsius offers support of 40 crypto to borrow against, 50 to earn interest on, and 13 that can be purchased via a third-party.
- No origination fees on loans
- High interest payments on deposited crypto
- Customer service available via phone
- Can buy crypto on the platform
- No deposit or withdrawal fees
- High fees for credit card purchases
- Some features not available to U.S. investors
- Only 13 cryptocurrencies available
- No trading interface or tools available
Supported Countries & Fiat Currency
BlockFi and Celsius are both regulated cryptocurrency platforms that are available around the globe. Both support fiat currency for purchasing crypto and pay interest on deposited cryptocurrency. Accepted countries include the United States, Europe, UK, Australia, Singapore, Africa, New Zealand, Canada and many others. The only restricted countries are those on U.N. or U.S. sanctions lists.
Currently, BlockFi only allows USD fiat deposits, while Celsius partners with a third-party gateway to allow purchases with 19 different fiat currencies. Both support crypto deposits, but countries that do not offer fiat ACH deposits cannot deposit USD into BlockFi.
Comparing the Savings & Interest Accounts
Both lending and borrowing platforms offer interest-bearing crypto savings accounts with daily pay-outs. BlockFi interest rates use a decreasing rate schedule for most cryptocurrencies deposited. This means that deposits above a certain threshold pay less in interest. The best rates for BlockFi are on stablecoins, with up to 8% APY available. BlockFi supports 23 cryptocurrencies at the time of writing.
Celsius interest accounts offer similar rates to BlockFi, with up to 17% interest available for certain stablecoins. For Celsius users to earn the highest rates they will need to elect to receive their interest payments in Celsius tokens. This increases the rates by 2% APY. Celsius has a wider selection of assets that can be deposited to earn interest with 32 coins listed.
|Cryptocurrency||BlockFi Interest Rate||Celsius Interest Rate|
|Bitcoin||0.1%, 1%, 4.5%||5.00% (on first 1 BTC) then 1.5%|
|Ethereum||0.25%, 1.5%, 5%||5.35% (on first 30 ETH) then 3.52%|
|Tether||5.5%, 7%, 8%||4.06%|
|USD Coin||5.5%, 7%, 8%||7.1%|
By assessing the base-level interest rates of the most popular cryptocurrencies, BlockFi offers a higher interest rate than Celsius for lower amounts Bitcoin and Ethereum deposited. However, for investors with larger amounts above 1 BTC and 30 ETH respectively, the rates are substantially higher on Celsius. In contrast, for users that deposit less than $20,000 worth of stablecoins such as USDT or USDC, the interest paid out in a BlockFi savings account is slightly higher at the time of writing.
For investors that want to deposit large amounts of crypto to earn interest, the interest rates on Celsius are generally higher than BlockFi. In contrast, the rates for Bitcoin and Ethereum for deposits less than 1 BTC and 30 ETH are more appealing.
Note: BlockFi does not offer crypto interest accounts to U.S. residents. Users with existing deposits in BlockFi before February 14, 2022 can still earn interest on existing balances, but cannot add to them. Celsius paused interest accounts for U.S. investors as well but has re-opened them to accredited investors only ($200k income or $1 million net worth, excluding home).
BlockFi vs. Celsius Crypto Loans
Celsius and BlockFi have crypto-backed loans which allow users to deposit crypto assets and borrow against a portion of the balance. These loans are “over-collateralized,” meaning that users can only borrow a percentage of the total balance while the deposited collateral secures the loan. Similarities between the loans include the loan-to-value ratio (20%, 35% and 50%) and a monthly repayment cycle. For each LVR option, the loan repayment rates are cheaper with the Celsius product.
|Loan-to-vale Ratio||BlockFi Interest Rate||Celsius Interest Rate|
|20% / 25%||4.5% (for BTC collateral loans up to $20k USD only)||1%|
|33% / 35%||7.95%||6.95%|
A significant difference between the products are the supported assets that can be deposited and the loan currency. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LITE) and Paxos Gold (PAXG) can be used as collateral on BlockFi to obtain a loan that can be paid in USD, GUSD, USDC or PAX. In contrast, Celsius supports 47 digital currencies that can be deposited as loan collateral. The loan currency includes the same assets as BlockFi with the addition of TUSD, MCDAI and USDT.
|Collateral assets||BTC, ETH, LTC, PAXG||BTC, ETH, USDT & 47 others|
|Loan currency||USD, GUSD, USDC, PAX||USD, TUSD, GUSD, USDC, PAX, MCDAI, USDT|
|Loan-to-value ratio||20%, 35%, 50%||20%, 33%, 50%|
|Minimum amount||USD $10,000||$100 (stablecoin), $1,000 (fiat)|
|Interest rate||Depends on crypto asset||1.0%, 6.95%, 8.95%|
|Origination fee||Yes (2%)||No|
Another important consideration is the BlockFi loan has an up-front 2% origination fee and is 12 months in duration. In comparison, Celsius does not charge an origination fee with longer loan terms of 6 months up to 5 years.
Overall Celsius offers a superior product for its crypto-backed loans with greater support for assets that can be used as collateral. Moreover, there are zero origination fees compared to the 2% charge on BlockFi.
BlockFi vs. Celsius: Ease of Use
BlockFi and Celsius offer a simple interface on both the web and mobile apps to buy, sell, and deposit crypto to earn interest, as well as apply for crypto-backed loans. Overall, BlockFi has a simpler user experience when applying for loans and buying crypto, while Celsius offers more flexibility in their crypto selection for loans and interest accounts. Although, using the products on Celsius is limited to the mobile app only which may be a disadvantage for certain users.
To apply for a crypto-backed loan on BlockFi, users will need to create an account with BlockFi, choose which crypto to post as collateral, select the loan terms, and deposit the crypto into BlockFi’s secure storage wallet. Once the loan is approved (usually instantly), the funds will deposit into a user’s bank account (if USD) or crypto wallet if borrowing a stablecoin. Loan interest payments are made monthly via USD or crypto.
To deposit crypto for earning interest on BlockFi, users can choose which crypto they want to deposit, transfer from their digital wallet to the BlockFi wallet, and interest will automatically start accruing. To buy or exchange crypto on the platform, funds can be deposited onto the platform (either USD or cryptocurrency) and users can select which crypto they wish to trade or purchase.
Similarly, to apply for a crypto-backed loan on Celsius, users will first need to sign up for a Celsius account and download the Celsius mobile app. On the app, users can select what asset they prefer to use as collateral, complete the loan terms, and deposit crypto funds. Loan funds are deposited upon instant approval and transferred to your bank account (if borrowing USD), or to your crypto wallet (if borrowing crypto).
To deposit crypto into the Celsius platform to earn interest, users will select which crypto they want to deposit, transfer it to the platform, and begin earning interest right away. To buy crypto on the platform, Celsius has integrated third-party partners to allow users to purchase cryptocurrency within the app. Users can purchase 13 available cryptocurrencies with a credit card, debit card or bank account.
The user experience on BlockFi is beginner-friendly with simple navigation to access its variety of products. Celsius is also easy to use, however, its crypto-backed loans can only be accessed on its mobile app which could be problematic for some users.
BlockFi vs. Celsius: Supported Assets
BlockFi currency supports 23 digital assets on its platform that can be purchased with fiat or other digital coins. This includes the major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, UNI and ALGO, as well as some large cap altcoins, including XRP and Avalanche (AVAX).
In comparison, Celsius lists 50 assets such as the major coins by market capitalization like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and also its native token CEL. Celsius has a greater selection of altcoins including Terra (LUNA) and Avalanche (AVAX) that can be transferred to the platform to earn interest.
Overall, Celsius has a wider selection of assets than BlockFi that can be used for lending, borrowing and exchange products.
BlockFi Credit Card vs. Celsius Credit Card
BlockFi offers a crypto credit card that can be used to buy goods, services and pay bills. The BlockFi VISA card is a standard credit card offering that earns 1.5% back in crypto for every purchase, and the crypto is deposited directly into your BlockFi interest-bearing account. Users can choose which crypto they want to earn rewards in. The card also offers no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and the standard perks offered to Visa Signature cardholders.
Celsius has announced the launch of a credit card to spend crypto and earn a reward on the spent amount. In addition to earning weekly rewards on your crypto collateral. The card is coming soon and has not been released as yet. however, is limited to a waitlist at the time of writing.
Given the Celsius credit card has not been released, the BlockFi credit card is the only product on the market that allows users to spend crypto and earn rewards with a credit card.
BlockFi vs. Celsius: Fees
Fees are important, especially when comparing crypto lending platforms. Both BlofkFi and Celsius offer multiple services and charge various fees for these features. Here’s a breakdown to compare the fees on each platform:
|Product||BlockFi Fees||Celsius Fees|
|Crypto Loans||2% origination fee||No origination fee|
|Buy Crypto||1.49% - 3.49% for debit/credit card||0.1% - 0.5% bank account, 2.99% - 3.5% for debit/credit card|
|Exchange Crypto||No additional fees||No additional fees|
While the crypto purchase and exchange fees for BlockFi are estimates, they do charge a spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask price of a cryptocurrency. Withdrawal fees also vary by crypto with BlockFi, but Celsius claims to not charge any withdrawal fees whatsoever. On the other hand, BlockFi applies the standard blockchain network fee for withdrawals which can be viewed here.
Overall, Celsius seems to have the edge in charging lower fees across the board. There are no withdrawal fees, transfer fees, transaction fees, early termination fees or origination fees.
BlockFi vs. Celsius Network: Customer Support
BlockFi and Celsius both provide thorough information through their help centers, including comprehensive user guides, platform FAQs, and general help information. Both also offer a chat bot to assist in finding information, which can be helpful. However, only BlockFi offers live chat support.
Both companies also offer email support and a ticketing system that allows customers to open help tickets. Probably the most helpful customer service option is live phone support, which both platforms offer during business hours. BlockFi phone support is available 9:30AM - 8:00PM EST, Mon - Fri, while Celsius phone support is available 11:00AM - 11:00PM EST, Mon - Sat.
Overall, BlockFi edges out Celsius in the category of customer service due to the live chat feature for urgent queries, or those that are not comfortable using the phone to speak with a support representative.
BlockFi vs. Celsius: Security of Assets
BlockFi and Celsius have secure platforms that protect user funds and personal data. Both offer protection via two-factor authentication (2FA), KYC requirements and withdrawal protections. While BlockFi utilizes cold storage and third-party insurance against theft of user assets, Celsius instead employs a third-party custodian service called Fireblocks to secure user assets. Moreover, they employ hot wallet insurance to insure against the loss of user funds from Celsius wallets.
BlockFi does not great detail on how it handles user data, but has outlined its current security initiatives around data protection. Celsius is ISO 27001 certified and has 24/7 cyber security monitoring. Overall, both companies offer great security of assets and data, as well as carrying third-party insurance against theft which is important given the number of big Defi hacks in recent years.
BlockFi and Celsius are reputable lending and borrowing providers that feature cutting-edge security measures to ensure customer funds deposited to the platforms are kept safe. Neither BlockFi or Celsius has been hacked to date.
Based on our detailed reviews and comparison criteria, BlockFi has scored higher than Celsius for its features, products/services, ease of use, trading fees, security and customer support.
|Savings & interest accounts||BlockFi|
|Ease of use||BlockFi|
Final Verdict: BlockFi or Celsius?
BlockFi is a secure and reputable platform that offers reasonable rates on crypto loans, and pays high interest rates on crypto interest accounts. The downside of BlockFi are the 2% loan origination fees and $10,000 minimum for crypto loans.
Celsius offers access to more crypto options for interest accounts and loans, and lower rates on loans overall. Celsius also gives discounts on loans and higher interest rates by holding its native token, CEL. The downsides of Celsius are no live chat support, and no crypto credit card offering (yet).
Verdict: BlockFi and Celsius options are a good choice for those looking for crypto-backed lenders or crypto interest accounts. However, BlockFi is a more established and reputable company and a suitable option to begin with for small amounts.