Crypto Invest Reviews

Gemini Earn vs BlockFi – Which Platform Is Better?

Gemini Earn vs BlockFi

Last updated on July 30th, 2021

When you want to earn interest on your crypto, you may have encountered 2 different platforms: Gemini Earn and BlockFi.

Both of them seem to be rather reputable, so which one should you be choosing?

Here’s what you need to know.

The difference between Gemini Earn and BlockFi

Gemini Earn allows you to earn interest on a larger number of cryptocurrencies compared to BlockFi. However, they may lend out your funds via unsecured loans, while BlockFi overcollateralizes your loans. Your funds may be more secure when you lend them out with BlockFi.

Here is an in-depth comparison between these 2 platforms:

Founder

Gemini was founded in New York in 2014.

Gemini is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange that is found in 50+ countries!

BlockFi was founded slightly later in 2017, and they are headquartered in New York too.

Meanwhile, BlockFi has a smaller user base, with 225,000 users on their platform.

Number of cryptocurrencies

Here are the different cryptocurrencies that you can earn with either platform:

Gemini Earn allows you to deposit 38 different currencies

With Gemini Earn, you are able to earn interest on a large variety of cryptocurrencies.

Gemini Earn Interest Number of Currencies

This includes:

  1. BTC
  2. ETH
  3. LTC
  4. AAVE
  5. LINK

There are quite a lot of altcoins on this list!

However, the only stablecoin that you can earn interest on is DAI.

BlockFi allows you to hold 13 different currencies

Meanwhile, BlockFi only allows you to deposit 13 cryptocurrencies into your account.

BlockFi Number Of Currencies July 2021 2

The number of cryptocurrencies that you can hold are much lower on BlockFi.

Buying cryptocurrency

Gemini has a whole ecosystem of crypto services that they can offer you. Apart from their Earn feature, they also allow you to buy crypto on their platform.

There are 2 ways that you can buy crypto on Gemini:

  1. Gemini Exchange (i.e. Instant Buy)
  2. Gemini Active Trader

Gemini Exchange allows you to buy crypto instantly from some fiat currencies.

Gemini Exchange Platform

However, their fees are extremely high. For every trade that you make, the fees that you’ll be charged start from 1.49%!

You can use Gemini’s Active Trader to lower your fees

If you are looking to lower your fees, you can consider using Gemini’s Active Trader platform instead.

Gemini Active Trader Platform

The trading fees you’ll incur will be up to 0.35%, which is more than 4 times lower than the exchange!

The only drawback is that you can’t buy a variety of currencies from these 3 fiat currencies:

  1. SGD
  2. GBP
  3. EUR

You can only buy BTC or ETH with them!

If you want to own other currencies besides BTC or ETH, you’ll need to make at least 2 trades.

For example, you may want to buy LINK. You’ll have to make 2 trades from your SGD:

  1. SGD to BTC
  2. BTC to LINK

Meanwhile, you can use USD to buy a large variety of currencies.

Gemini Active Trader USD Trading Pairs

BlockFi does not allow you to purchase crypto directly

Meanwhile, BlockFi only allows you to transfer USD into your account.

BlockFi Deposit USD

You are able to transfer your USD via a wire transfer. The minimum deposit is $10.

You are unable to buy crypto using your credit card.

When you deposit USD into your BlockFi account, you will receive the equivalent in GUSD.

GUSD is a stablecoin that is created by Gemini.

After depositing your USD, you can trade to other cryptocurrencies from your GUSD.

BlockFi Trade GUSD To Other Crypto

Interest rates

The main thing you’ll be interested in are the interest rates that either account offers you.

Both Gemini Earn and BlockFi allow you to earn interest based on the currencies that you own.

This is different from Celsius or Nexo, which allow you to earn interest in their native tokens: CEL or NEXO.

Here are the interest rates for some currencies that you can deposit on both platforms:

Gemini EarnBlockFi
BTC2.05%0.25% – 4%
LINK4.08%0.5% – 3%
ETH2.05% 0.25% – 4%
LTC2.77%2% – 4.5%
PAXG1.81%0.5% – 2%

BlockFi’s interest rates are tiered. For example, you will earn the highest interest rates your first 0.25 BTC (4%) and your first 5 ETH (4%).

Overall, BlockFi provides higher interest rates of all the common currencies it has with Gemini Earn except LINK.

If you want to earn interest in any of these 5 currencies, then BlockFi may be the better choice!

The interest rates may change

Like all other accounts, the interest that you earn on your crypto is not guaranteed.

Both platforms reserve the right to change the yields at any time.

Gemini did not explicitly state how often they may change their interest rates. This makes them slightly less transparent on this issue.

For BlockFi, they will review their interest rates each month and make any changes accordingly.

How you earn your rewards

For Gemini Earn, your interest is earned and compounded daily. With this daily compounding effect, you are able to receive even higher returns!

However, the interest will only be credited to you at the start of each month.

Gemini Earn Monthly Credit Of Interest

Meanwhile, for BlockFi, your interest is only paid on the first business day of each month. This is similar to how banks pay you.

The daily payouts from Gemini Earn will help to compound your returns much faster!

Borrowers of both platforms

How can both of these platforms afford to pay you such a high interest rate on your crypto?

Gemini loans out your funds to their approved borrowers. So far, Genesis Global Capital is their only approved borrower.

Gemini Earn Approved Borrower

You may want to take extra caution when placing your funds with Gemini Earn. This is because of this clause in their Terms of Service.

Gemini Earn Terms Of Service Program Risks

In the event that a borrower defaults with your cryptocurrency, you may not be able to get back your funds!

Moreover, Gemini does not require borrowers to post collateral when they take a loan.

This may mean that your loans may be much riskier. The borrower may not incur much penalties if they decide to default on the loan.

This is compared to a collateralised loan, where the borrower has to leave some assets with the borrowing platform.

In the even that the borrower defaults, you will still be able to receive the collateral.

As such, you’ll need to consider if it’s worth taking this risk when lending out your crypto with Gemini Earn!

BlockFi possibly provides safer loans

Meanwhile, BlockFi lends your crypto to “trusted institutional and corporate borrowers“. They also lend your crypto “on overcollateralized terms“.

Over-collateralization (OC) is the provision of collateral that is worth more than enough to cover potential losses in cases of default.

Investopedia

This means that your crypto is lent to rather reputable sources who are able to pay in case of a default.

As such, the risk of defaulting may be lower, compared to borrowers of Gemini Earn.

However, the assets that you own in BlockFi are not insured by the FDIC!

Deposit

For Gemini Earn, there is no minimum deposit required. You can deposit any amount of crypto that you earn immediately!

I managed to send 0.000022 LINK into my Gemini Earn account, even though it is worth less than a few cents.

Gemini Earn No Minimum Deposit

BlockFi also does not have any minimum deposit. However, if you decide to only deposit a small amount, you may want to take note of the minimum withdrawal amount of 0.003 BTC and 0.056 ETH.

While you still can withdraw amounts lower than this minimum, the transaction may take up to 30 days to process.

No deposit fees

You are also not charged any deposit fees for either account.

However, you’ll need to consider the fees you’ll incur when sending your crypto from an exchange!

This depends on the exchange that you’re using, and some of them may be very hefty.

No lock-in period

Both Gemini Earn and BlockFi do not have any lock-in periods. This means that you are able to freely withdraw your crypto any time you wish!

For Gemini Earn, you should be able to receive your funds almost instantly. However, there may be certain instances where it’ll take up to 5 business days before you are able to withdraw your funds from the account.

For BlockFi, you do have certain withdrawal limits over a 7-day period:

CurrencyWithdrawal Limit
(Over 7-Day Period)
BTC100
ETH5,000
LTC10,000
Stablecoins1,000,000
PAXG500

Withdrawal fees

Gemini Earn does not charge you any withdrawal fees when you withdraw from their platform.

Gemini Earn No Withdrawal Fee

Furthermore, Gemini does not charge you any withdrawal fees for your first 10 withdrawals out of their platform each month.

As such, this makes Gemini very flexible when you want to send crypto to another platform!

BlockFi has one free withdrawal a month

Meanwhile, BlockFi allows you free withdrawals for each month:

  • 1 free crypto withdrawal per month
  • 1 free stablecoin withdrawal per month

This free withdrawal can only be applied to one currency only.

After that, you’ll be charged withdrawal fees which depends on the currency you withdraw:

CryptoWithdrawal Fee
BTC0.00075 BTC
ETH0.02 ETH
LTC0.0025 LTC
Stablecoins$10.00 USD
PAXG0.015 PAXG

These fees can eat into your returns! You may want to consider Celsius which does not charge any fees when you withdraw from your account.

Taking loans

If you are looking to take a loan, you can only do so on BlockFi.

BlockFi Loan

You will need to select a collateral from 4 cryptocurrencies:

  1. BTC
  2. ETH
  3. LTC
  4. PAXG

You can only take a loan in USD. This is more restricted compared to Nexo which allows you to take a loan using stablecoins.

The minimum amount you can loan from BlockFi is $10,000 USD.

BlockFi Minimum Loan

The interest rate that you are charged depends on your Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio:

BlockFi Loan To Value Ratio

As of now, you are unable to take a loan with Gemini.

Platform

Gemini has both a web platform,

Gemini Earn Web Platform

as well as a mobile app.

Gemini Earn Interest Number of Currencies

Here is BlockFi’s web platform,

BlockFi Web Platform

and their mobile app.

BlockFi Mobile App

You can access both platforms from your mobile and laptop.

Security

If you intend to leave your funds with either account, you will be more at ease if they are secure.

So what measures do both of these accounts have?

Gemini stores the majority of your currencies in a cold storage

Gemini claims it is one of the most secure crypto exchanges.

Majority of the assets on the exchange are stored in an offline cold wallet.

Moreover, the remaining funds in the hot wallet is insured.

Our policy insures against the theft of Digital Assets from our Hot Wallet that results from a security breach or hack, a fraudulent transfer, or employee theft.

Gemini

It seems that Gemini’s owners are quite confident about the security of their platform!

BlockFi uses Gemini as their primary custodian

BlockFi actually uses Gemini as their custodian!

However, they also place your assets under the custody of 2 other institutions as well:

  1. Coinbase
  2. BitGo

As such, you can be reassured that your assets are rather safe with BlockFi.

Crypto lending is risky

The reason why both platforms are offering such high interest rates on your crypto is because this is quite a risky business.

Cryptocurrency is very volatile, and it may fluctuate in price by a lot!

The amount of crypto that you have in your portfolio really depends on your risk profile.

As such, you should decide if you are willing to take the risks when it comes to investing into any cryptocurrency!

Verdict

Here is a comparison between Gemini Earn and BlockFi:

Gemini EarnBlockFi
Year
Founded
20142017
HQNew YorkNew York
Number
of Currencies
3813
Buying
Cryptocurrency
Available (via Exchange
or Active Trader)
Available
(via Exchange)
Interest RatesGenerally lowerGenerally higher
Accrual of InterestCompounded dailyEvery 1st business day
of the month
BorrowersGenesisAccredited institutions
Type of loansUnsecuredOvercollateralized
Deposit FeesNoneNone
Minimum DepositNoneNone
Lock-in PeriodNoneNone
Withdrawal FeesNone to Gemini platform
1st 10 withdrawals
from Gemini are free
1st withdrawal for both crypto
and stablecoin are free
LoansAbsentPresent
PlatformWeb and
mobile platforms
Web and
mobile platforms
SecurityCold storage
+ hot wallet
Gemini as primary
custodian

So which platform should you choose?

Choose Gemini Earn for more currencies and free withdrawals

Gemini Earn allows you to earn interest on a larger number of cryptocurrencies compared to BlockFi.

If you own certain currencies like AAVE, you can earn interest on Gemini Earn, but not on BlockFi.

Moreover, Gemini Earn has unlimited free transfers to Gemini’s platform. This makes it much more flexible compared to BlockFi.

The main drawback about Gemini Earn is the security of your loans. They may be unsecured, and you may lose all of your funds!

If you are interested in using Gemini Earn, I would only suggest leaving a small part of your portfolio inside.

Choose BlockFi for more secured loans and higher interest rates

BlockFi mostly offers higher interest rates overall compared to Gemini Earn for the currencies that are common between them.

If you own currencies like ETH or LTC, it may be better to lend them out with BlockFi.

However, the rates may change at any time!

BlockFi also loans out your money with greater security. This is because they overcollateralize your loans.

This means that the borrower has to leave something with BlockFi in exchange for taking the loan.

In the event that they default, you may still be able to get some of your funds back!

The main drawback about BlockFi is that you can only make one free withdrawal each month. If you withdraw your crypto rather frequently, the costs may add up eventually!

Conclusion

Both platforms offer an alternative way of earning rewards on your crypto compared to staking.

In the end, the platform that you choose may depend on these few factors:

  1. The currency you wish to earn interest on
  2. The safety of your funds
  3. The interest rate that you’ll receive
  4. The number of free withdrawals you are able to make

👉🏻 Referral Deals

If you are interested in signing up for any of the products mentioned above, you can check them out below!

Gemini Referral (Earn $10 USD in BTC)

If you are interested in signing up for a Gemini account, you can use my referral link.

You will be able to receive $10 USD in BTC!

Gemini Referral

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Register for a Gemini account
  2. Trade ≥ USD $100 or equivalent on Gemini’s platform
  3. Receive USD $10 worth of BTC in your account

BlockFi Referral (Earn $10 USD in BTC)

If you are interested in signing up for a BlockFi account, you can use my referral link.

You will be able to receive $10 USD worth of BTC in your BlockFi account!

BlockFi Referral

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign up for a BlockFi account
  2. Deposit $100 USD or more into your BlockFi account
  3. Hold the balance until the next interest paying day (1st business day of each month)
  4. Receive the $10 USD worth of BTC in your BlockFi account

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