Are you looking for a cryptocurrency exchange to hold cryptos and earn interest? Several exchanges provide interest savings accounts, with two popular options being BlockFi and Binance.
BlockFi is a US-based exchange that allows you to buy and sell cryptos, hold them and earn interest, and use cryptos as collateral to get a loan. On the other hand, Binance is a full-service cryptocurrency exchange with various features and products.
So, which exchange is better for lending and savings accounts, and why? This in-depth comparison between BlockFi and Binance will help you make the right choice.
BlockFi vs. Binance: Supporting Crypto Assets & LTV
The main difference between BlockFi and Binance is that BlockFi started as a crypto interest platform and started offering to buy and sell crypto later whereas Binance started as a Global crypto exchange which later started offering various services like earning interest on crypto holdings.
BlockFi’s main offering is the savings interest account. Users can buy cryptos and keep them in their savings account to earn interest on them. BlockFi offers one of the most competitive interest rates in the crypto space.
BlockFi also allows users to have a trading account and buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
BlockFi supports six popular cryptocurrencies, including:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Paxos Standard (PAX)
- Paxos Gold (PAXG)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- LINK (LINK)
Additionally, BlockFi supports four stablecoins, including:
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
- Tether (USDT)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
Binance, on the other hand, lists over 250 cryptocurrencies, ranging from popular coins like BTC and ETH to stablecoins like USDT to new cryptocurrencies like UNFI and AXS.
Both BlockFi and Binance allow you to take crypto loans by using your crypto assets as collateral. Both the exchanges follow the same method to calculate the loan to value (LTV) ratio. Here is how it is calculated.
- LTV (%) = (Loan Amount / Value of Collateral) x 100
Here, Loan Amount is the total of Principal and Interests.
LTV also plays a role in the liquidation process. For example, Binance liquidates your collateralized assets if the LTV ratio reaches a threshold percentage.
BlockFi offers crypto-backed loans at a flat LTV of 50%. The LTV offered by Binance is 60-65% depending on the cryptocurrency you use as collateral.
For instance, it offers 60% LTV on ADA, AXS, BCH, CAKE, DODO, DOT, EOS, LINK, LTC, MDX, UNI, and XRP. The LTV is 65% for BNB, BTC, BUSD, DAI, ETH, USDT, and USDC.
However, please note that BlockFi doesn’t have a trading platform. It doesn’t have any chart visualization functionality, and you can only see a line chart to determine the long-time price movement.
Verdict: Binance is the winner, as it supports more crypto assets than BlockFi.
BlockFi vs. Binance: Interest Rates, Lock-in Terms & Payouts
Before delving into the figures, let’s quickly discuss what interest accounts are and how they work.
Like a bank account, an interest savings account allows you to store crypto in it and pays you interest for it. The interest is usually paid on the first day of each month. The interest rates can vary based on the exchange and the underlying asset.
You’ll come across two terms when storing money in an interest savings account. These terms are annual percentage yield (APY) and annualized interest rate (AIR).
AIR is similar to the regular interest rate offered by banks and other financial institutions. APY takes into account interest as well as the rate at which it compounds.
BlockFi and Binance have different interest rates, payouts, and lock-in terms. Here’s a head-to-head comparison between the two exchanges.
The annual percentage yield (API) on BlockFi depends on two factors:
BlockFi supports the lending of ten cryptocurrencies, as discussed above. It has three tiers for BTC and ETH and two tiers for the other cryptocurrencies.
For instance, users who have 0-0.25 BTC are in Tier 1. The APY for Tier 1 users is 4%. Users with over 5 BTC are in Tier 3, and the APY for them is 0.2%.
Similarly, users with 0-100 LTC are in Tier 1, and their APY is 4.5%. Users with over 100 LTC are in Tier 2, and the APY for them is 2%.
Coming to lock-in terms, BlockFi has no lock-up periods or other restrictions. Users can withdraw funds anytime. You get one free crypto withdrawal and one free stablecoin withdrawal.
BlockFi pays you monthly compounding interest distributed on the first business day of each month.
Binance offers two saving options: flexible savings and locked savings. Flexible savings, as the name suggests, offer more flexibility in terms of lock-in periods. However, the APY on flexible savings is low.
For instance, Binance offers 0.50% APY on BTC savings and 3.29% on 1INCH savings.
The annualized interest rate (AIR) is higher for locked savings. Binance gives 7% AIR on BTC savings and 15% AIR on AXS savings.
There is no lock-up period for flexible savings. For locked savings, the lock-up period ranges from 14 to 60 days, depending on the cryptocurrency.
Verdict: BlockFi is the winner.
Products & Features Comparison
BlockFi and Binance offer different products and services for crypto users, traders, and investors. BlockFi mainly focuses on savings accounts and crypto loans, whereas Binance offers a comprehensive range of products, from spot trading to staking and loans.
Let’s compare the products offered by BlockFi and Binance.
BlockFi offers three products on its platforms. These are:
- Interest Account: BlockFi interest account allows you to deposit cryptos in your savings interest account. BlockFi claims that it offers market-leading returns. The platform is also seamless and easy to use.
- Other benefits of the BlockFi interest account include payment flexibility and security.
- Trading Account: BlockFi lets you open a trading account and take instant trades at a low cost. You can trade ten cryptocurrencies and earn immediate interest.
- Crypto-Backed Loans: BlockFi allows you to borrow money at APR, starting at 4.5% APR. The loan amount begins at $10,000, and you can get loans by using your crypto assets as collateral.
Binance offers a wide range of products, including:
- Spot Trading: You can invest in over 250 cryptocurrencies by seamlessly buying and selling them from the Binance platform. Binance also offers margin trading with up to 6x leverage.
- Derivatives Trading: Binance supports the trading of crypto futures and options with up to 125x leverage. If you’re looking for a top-notch trading platform, Binance is an ideal pick.
- Binance Earn: Binance Earn is a crypto staking platform where you can stake your cryptos and earn attractive interest rates. The estimated APY depends on the underlying asset and duration.
For instance, you can earn 4.90-21.60% APY by staking ETH for a fixed duration.
- Binance Visa Card: Binance Visa Card allows you to spend your cryptocurrencies anywhere, anytime. It is like your regular debit card, but it allows you to pay using crypto.
- Crypto Loans: Binance allows you to borrow several cryptocurrencies at low-interest rates and a competitive loan to ratio. The loan term is flexible, and there is no interest penalty for early repayment.
- Liquid Swap: Binance Swap allows you to trade instantly and pool tokens to earn amazing rewards.
- Binance Pay: Binance Pay is a crypto wallet that allows you to pay and receive cryptos in a hassle-free manner and without any fees.
It’s essential to understand that BlockFi is primarily a wealth management platform, just like a bank account. You can buy cryptos, save them in your savings account, and earn interest on them. Additionally, you can use your crypto assets as collateral to get a loan.
Binance, on the other hand, is a fully-fledged cryptocurrency exchange with the main focus on crypto trading and investing. While it offers more features than BlockFi, it doesn’t specialize in saving interest accounts and crypto loans.
Verdict: Binance is the winner, as it offers more products and features than BlockFi.
Many exchanges, including BlockFi, charge a nominal loan origination fee. There could be other fees charged during the process of borrowing and lending.
That said, let’s compare the trading fee of the two exchanges.
BlockFi charges a loan origination fee of 2% regardless of the LTV. In addition, there are certain interest account withdrawal limits and fees that you should keep in mind.
For instance, there is a BTC withdrawal limit of 100 BTC per seven-day period, and the withdrawal fee is 0.00075 BTC.
BlockFi is a one-of-its-kind exchange because it charges no trading fee. There could be a small spread fee on transactions, but it is lower than the spread fee charged by other exchanges like Coinbase.
Plus, you don’t need a minimum account size to start trading.
Binance doesn’t mention any loan origination fee on its website. However, it charges a loan liquidation fee of 2% if a borrower doesn’t repay their loan on time.
Binance has a tiered fee structure and charges fees based on your account tier level. Binance has ten account tiers (VIP 0 to VIP 9).
Users with less than 50 BNB balance are VIP 0 traders, whereas users with a BNB balance of more than 11,000 are VIP 9 users.
The margin borrow daily interest rate depends on the user’s account tier and the underlying cryptocurrency. For instance, for VIP 0 traders, the borrow daily interest rate for 1INCH is 0.050%.
The cross collateral daily interest rate is 0.2400% for VIP 0 traders and 0.0480% for VIP 9 traders.
Coming to the trading fee, Binance follows a market maker-taker fee structure. The trading fee ranges from 0.00% to 0.1%.
Verdict: BlockFi is the winner, as it has a simpler fee structure.
Safety & Security Features
Security is another essential factor to consider when selecting a crypto exchange. Both BlockFi and Binance deploy robust security measures. Let’s compare the security features of the two exchanges.
BlockFi is one of the best exchanges in the world when it comes to security. The exchange implements various security features that create a secure experience for everyone. Here are the key security features of BlockFi.
- Licensed and Regulated: BlockFi is licensed and regulated and has a clean lending record with no security issues in the past.
- Robust Risk Management: BlockFi follows robust risk management practices, such as cold wallet storage, SEC-regulated activities, CFTC-regulated futures, and more.
- Client Data Security: BlockFi has a multi-layered client data security system that ensures complete data protection for all clients.
- Trained Staff: BlockFi has a highly trained and skilled staff that performs manual withdrawal authorizations and background checks to create a safe environment for all users.
Binance also has a cutting-edge security system. Key security features of Binance exchange include:
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Binance encourages you to activate two-factor authentication, protecting your account and preventing unauthorized access.
- Cold Wallet Storage System: Binance stores over 95% of funds in multi-signature cold storage wallets for enhanced security and protection from hackers.
- Withdrawal Authorization: The Binance team manually authorizes and authenticates every withdrawal request.
- Best-In-Class Technology: Binance leverages technologies like IP whitelisting and SSL encryption to improve the security of its platform.
However, Binance has been hacked once, resulting in a loss of millions of dollars worth of crypto assets from users’ accounts.
Verdict: BlockFi is better, as it has a stronger security system than Binance.
Both BlockFi and Binance offer insurance coverage on the deposited funds. All funds deposited on BlockFi are insured by Gemini and protect against cryptocurrency loss due to security breaches or any other fraudulent activities.
On Binance, all USD deposits up to $250,000 are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The insurance protects users’ funds against cryptocurrency losses arising due to malicious activities.
Verdict: BlockFi is the winner.
Minimum Deposits & Withdrawal Limits
As mentioned, BlockFi has a tiered structure, and the APY you earn on your deposits depends on your tier. For BTC deposits, a 0-0.25 BTC deposit falls into Tier 1, and APY for Tier 1 users is 4%.
Users with a deposit of over 5 BTC are in Tier 3, and the APY for Tier 3 users is 0.25%.
Binance doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement for earning interest. For locked staking, users need to deposit at least 10 USDT. For locked savings, users need to deposit at least one lot of the crypto. The lot size is different for each crypto.
For instance, the lot size of AXS is 1 AXS, and the lot size of DOCK is 100 DOCK.
Verdict: BlockFi is the winner, as it has no minimum deposit requirements and a lower withdrawal limit.
Account Sign-Up Process & KYC
BlockFi and Binance offer a seamless account opening and registration process.
To register for BlockFi, you need to go to the BlockFi website and click on “Get Started.” Then, you’ll need to provide your legal name, email ID, and password.
Since BlockFi is a regulated exchange, it has mandatory KYC requirements. You’ll need to verify your identity before using any services.
Binance doesn’t have mandatory KYC requirements for using the trading and derivatives trading services. However, KYC is mandatory for using the savings account and earning interest on the deposit. Non-KYC users also need to face withdrawal limits.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both the exchanges have KYC requirements.
BlockFi interest accounts are available to users worldwide; however, there are a few exceptions. Due to legal restrictions, the interest accounts are not available in sanctioned or watch list countries. In the US, BlockFi interest accounts aren’t available in the New York state.
Binance is available in over 180 countries. However, it isn’t available in major countries like the US, the UK, and Canada.
Verdict: BlockFi is the winner, as it is available in the US and other parts of the world.
Is Binance Safe?
Yes. Binance is a safe and secure exchange. Though it isn’t regulated and has mandatory KYC requirements, it deploys best-in-class security measures to provide a seamless crypto investment experience.
Is BlockFi Safe?
Yes, BlockFi is a regulated exchange and completely safe to use. It has mandatory KYC requirements and implements various security features to deliver a safe and hassle-free experience to all its users.
The choice between BlockFi and Binance can be difficult, considering the exhaustive range of services offered by Binance. However, if we stick to savings accounts and lending only, BlockFi is a better pick for many reasons.
First, it is regulated and insured. It is available in the US, unlike Binance, which is prohibited in the US, the UK, and Canada. BlockFi is a more robust security infrastructure and provides a safer experience to its users. It also has a simpler fee structure and offers a better APY.
Overall, BlockFi is better for lending and opening a savings account. You may opt for Binance if you’re looking for an exchange that focuses on trading and analysis.
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