Best Cryptocurrency Exchange

BlockFi vs. Coinbase: Which Should You Choose?

BlockFi vs. Coinbase: Which Should You Choose?
Written by publisher team

BlockFi Queen Piece
Outlay Up to 1% spread per trade Up to 0.50% spread per trade, 2% for credit card purchases, 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases
Currencies 8 141
protection Two-factor authentication (2FA), cold storage, hot storage insurance, bug bounty program 2-Step Verification, FDIC-Insured USD Balances of up to $250,000, Bug Bounty Program, Platform Theft Insurance, and Cold Storage
wallet AES-256 encryption and allowed list AES-256 cipher, whitelisting, multi-signature wallets
Approved Transactions Buying, selling, exchanging, sending, withdrawing and receiving Buying, selling, exchanging, sending, withdrawing and receiving
the above. Trading Amount Based on user account size and historical activity, and varies by customer Limits vary based on payment method and region
Mobile Application Android and iOS Android and iOS

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Features

While Coinbase and BlockFi offer exchange services, they take a different approach. On Coinbase, investors can use the Automated Clearing House Network (ACH), wire transfer, debit or credit card, or PayPal to purchase cryptocurrency. These deals exchange fiat money for digital currencies. BlockFi users send money via wire transfer or ACH. BlockFi converts fiat currency into Gemini Dollars (GUSD) and deposits it into a BlockFi Interest Account (BIA), generating an annual return of 9.5% (APY) so that investors use the currency to purchase cryptocurrencies.

Interest-earning accounts are the main reason investors choose BlockFi. Other BlockFi products include consumer and business loans. The amount of borrowing depends on the amount of the collateral carried forward and the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. All loans have a 2% origination fee, and interest rates range from 4.5% to 9.75%. BlockFi is also introducing the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature credit card, offering 1.5% back in Bitcoin on every purchase and no annual fee.

On the other hand, Coinbase focuses on educating investors and allowing them to earn cryptocurrencies by watching videos and taking short courses on different currencies. Like BlockFi, Coinbase is introducing the Coinbase Visa Debit Card. There are no annual fees, users earn up to 4% rewards on every purchase, and “they can spend cryptocurrency everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted,” according to Coinbase.

Coinbase also offers a native currency, the USD Coin (USDC), and users can earn rewards of 0.15% APY for holding it. Furthermore, both BlockFi and Coinbase support institutional or commercial users.

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Currencies

When it comes to selection, Coinbase is the clear winner. Coinbase supports 76 cryptocurrencies, most of which are purchased by US-based investors. Currencies include many popular options, such as DOGE, BAND, and BCH.

In contrast, BlockFi supports only eight: BTC, ETH, LTC, PAXG, USDC, USDT, GUSD, and PAX. Among these currencies, you cannot buy PAX, PAXG, or GUSD on Coinbase. BlockFi also does not support fiat currencies. Instead, it converts your bank or bank transfer into the stable currency, GUSD. Coinbase accepts cash deposits and more than 20 fiat currencies, including the US dollar, the euro, and the British pound. However, on both platforms, users can purchase fractional currency.

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Security

These US-based exchanges operate under strict regulatory standards and meet or exceed industry guidelines. Both know the customer (KYC) and account verification methods. They use bug bounty programs to find security weaknesses. BlockFi uses Gemini as the primary trustee, which means that Gemini takes over and oversees the funds. As part of their partnership, Gemini keeps the vast majority of crypto holdings in cold storage and secures their hot wallets through Aron.

In contrast, Coinbase stores 98% of account funds offline in cold storage and holds an insurance policy that protects funds in hot storage from theft or fraud. Coinbase cash balances are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Both crypto platforms offer a hot wallet. Coinbase and BlockFi use two-factor authentication (2FA), password, and device verification. Users can choose to be whitelisted, also known as allowed list, to further protect their funds. But, investors do not control their private keys on either platform. Coinbase manages your keys, while Gemini, the guardian of BlockFi, handles your keys.

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Fees

There is a stark price difference between the platforms. Coinbase charges a 0.50% difference plus a fee based on factors like your location or payment method. But they also charge on top of a fixed “convenience” fee or a payment-related variable fee. For example, if you buy $199 in bitcoin using deposited funds, you will pay a flat fee of $2.99, while if you pay by debit card, you will pay a variable fee of 2%.

Coinbase Convenience Fee consists of:

  • US$10 or less: 0.99 USD
  • More than $10, but $25 or less: $1.49
  • Over $25, but $50 or Less: US $1.99
  • More than $50, but $200 or less: US $2.99

However, the Coinbase Pro platform charges a difference of 0.50% and the product maker fees range from 0% to 0.50% (maker) and 0.04% to 0.50% (taken).

In contrast, BlockFi markets itself as a “fee-free” platform. There are no convenience fees added to the trading costs. You can send money for free via ACH or wire transfer, or investors can link their bank accounts. However, as BlockFi says, prices at the time of trading “may vary, on average, +/- 1% relative to the spot index price of the asset.” This means that investors pay up to 1% more than the current market price. In many cases, it’s still less than Coinbase fees but more expensive than Coinbase Pro. Some users prefer to buy cryptocurrency on another exchange, such as Binance, and then transfer the funds to BlockFi to take advantage of the interest-bearing accounts.

Both companies charge withdrawal fees when converting cryptocurrency to US dollars. Coinbase users pay 1.49% to send money to a bank account or Coinbase wallet in US dollars. BlockFi offers 1 free stablecoin and 1 free cryptocurrency withdrawal per calendar month. Next, the fee is calculated based on the currency:

  • BTC: 0.00075 BTC
  • Ethereum: 0.015 eth
  • Link: 2 links
  • LTC: 0.001 LTC
  • Stable Coins: 10.00 US dollars
  • Package: 0.035 package

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Ease of Use

Coinbase is known for being great for first time users. This is partly due to its large knowledge base, including tips and tutorials. Mobile apps receive high ratings for ease of use. Most people will find the platform intuitive and easy to use.

BlockFi is also a beginner-friendly platform. First-time investors will find the mobile apps and website easy to navigate. Rather than offering resources geared toward learning crypto, BlockFi offers tips on buying a car, paying crypto taxes, or understanding loan terms.

However, if you are looking for customer support, BlockFi is the best option. It offers live chat, email, and phone customer support, and many emails are answered within 24 hours. In contrast, Coinbase customer support is notoriously slow, and their phone service is listed as nearly unusable.

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Mobile App

Both exchanges provide mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. Mobile applications allow users to access their accounts and trade cryptocurrencies. Since companies focus on beginners, you won’t find advanced charts or profit and loss information. Instead, the apps are straightforward and allow users to buy or sell from their mobile phone.

In addition, BlockFi users can view their BIA account or apply for a loan using the mobile application.

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Access

Coinbase supports investors in 49 states, excluding Hawaii. It’s also available in Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and 39 European countries. New Yorkers may be prohibited from purchasing certain currencies.

BlockFi is available to users in all 50 states and international locations, except for those sanctioned by the United States. However, the popular cryptocurrency trading is only available in 45 states. The interest account on BlockFi is not available to residents of New York, however, USDT is only available to residents from outside the US as a stable currency trading pair. Furthermore, access to BlockFi products varies by state. For example, in states where wire transfer or ACH is not available, BlockFi suggests depositing cryptocurrency into your BlockFi account or sending “USD” to Gemini or Coinbase, then funding your BlockFi account using GUSD (Gemini’s stablecoin) or USDC ( Coinbase stablecoin).

BlockFi Product or Trading Pairs Not available in these states or territories
BTC / ETH / LTC / PAXG trading pairs Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and West Virginia
Stable currency trading pairs Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, and West Virginia
Fiat Wire or ACH . Transfers Delaware, Guam, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia
business loans Gaum, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont
Consumer loans Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont

Final verdict

BlockFi and Coinbase are very popular and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges. Each platform is suitable for beginners, and both will soon offer a credit or debit card with crypto rewards. However, Coinbase supports more cryptocurrencies, allows various payment methods, and features a Pro platform for advanced users. For investors who want to trade regularly and diversify their altcoins, Coinbase is the best trading platform.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is BlockFi and Coinbase?

BlockFi and Coinbase are crypto exchange platforms, which means that investors can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. However, both offer other products and services. Coinbase users have more chances to earn cryptocurrency, join the queue to get Visa card for Bitcoin rewards, and use business services. BlockFi products include interest-earning savings accounts and a Visa debit card queue. People tend to use BlockFi to store cryptocurrencies and earn interest, while they use Coinbase to buy cryptocurrencies.

How does BlockFi and Coinbase work?

Since the United States regulates both exchanges, the signups are similar. Each platform is easy to navigate and use. But, Coinbase allows users to buy cryptocurrency or deposit fiat money through various methods, such as PayPal, credit card or ACH. In some cases, investors can earn rewards for holding onto cryptocurrencies, such as 2% APY for DAI.

BlockFi only supports ACH or wire transfers, and these methods are not available to users in all 50 states. Instead, they recommend transferring the encryption to your BlockFi account. Once users deposit cryptocurrency, it automatically starts earning interest.

Does BlockFi Work With Coinbase?

Yes, users can transfer coins from their Coinbase account to their BlockFi account. Doing so requires investors to enter their unique BlockFi wallet address in the destination box after initiating the transfer. Similarly, users can also send funds from BlockFi to their Coinbase wallet. Investors usually transfer coins to BlockFi to take advantage of interest-bearing accounts.

Who Should Use BlockFi vs. Coinbase?

Although BlockFi and Coinbase are good options for beginners, there are distinct use cases. BlockFi provides a complete and comprehensive financial services platform, offering loans and financial advice. Many BlockFi users transfer crypto from other platforms to their BlockFi accounts to take advantage of interest-bearing accounts. Therefore, BlockFi is better for users who want to hold their cryptocurrency instead of buying or selling regularly.

On the other hand, Coinbase supports a larger number of coins so that users can diversify their holdings. Investors prefer Coinbase or Coinbase Pro to buy, earn and learn about cryptocurrencies. But, users often open a BlockFi account to take advantage of the features of both platforms.


We compared BlockFi and Coinbase by looking at usability of the web and mobile applications, unique features and security. We also took into account the total cost of trading and withdrawing funds, accessibility for US and international clients, and supported currencies. In making our final decision, we explored several use cases, such as investors who want to trade regularly versus those who want to hold their cryptocurrency for a longer period of time.

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