19.01.2021

BlockFi Drops Minimum and Fees on Interest Bearing Crypto Accounts

BlockFi told CoinDesk on Friday that while the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has risen substantially since BIA’s launch in March, it dropped its minimum deposit requirement because of consumer demand. BlockFi previously mandated a 0.5 BTC, 25 ETC, or 2,500 GUSD minimum on deposits before the rule change.

BlockFi has done away with minimum deposits for its BlockFi Interest Account (BIA).

Under its new rules, anyone can deposit bitcoin, ethereum, or the gemini dollar and allegedly get up to a 6.2 percent annual return.

Early withdrawal penalties have also been lifted on the BIA product and users can receive up to one free withdrawal per month.

“This update to our terms will make our products more widely accessible – which is a key theme of the crypto sector and part of our mission at BlockFi,” CEO and Founder Zac Prince said in a statement.

The company is eyeing an imminent Latin America market push which complements a launch in India earlier this year.

“By making BIA open to all, we plan to target clients in Latin America, where banking services and credit reporting are limited. BlockFi’s platform leverages blockchain rails to make wealth management products available on a much broader scale,” said Co-Founder and VP of Operations Flori Marquez in a statement.

“US-grade financial products have typically only been available to high net worth individuals in countries like Argentina and Costa Rica,” he added.

The product launch comes a month after the closing of an $18.3 million Series A round led by Valar Ventures. At the time, BlockFi said the funds would go toward launching additional products like BIA.

BlockFi Adjusts Interest Rates to Lure Larger Crypto Deposits

BlockFi, one of the first lending startups in the cryptocurrency markets, recently announced Thursday it would make changes to the interest paid based on the yield it generates from lending bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). The changes begin Feb. 1.

Rates for litecoin (LTC) and Gemini dollar (GUSD) will remain unchanged, according to BlockFi.

In an email to CoinDesk, CEO of Blockfi, Zac Prince said the crypto market is starting to “position more bullish”, which brings yields for lending bitcoin (and ether) down.

“As market conditions change, particularly price sentiment, this has an effect on the prices in the crypto borrowing market which is a big driver of rates that BlockFi can offer to our clients,” Prince said.

BlockFi’s new yields for those lending up to 10 BTC (its “Tier 1” customers) will be 5.1 percent. Right now, customers loaning up to 5 BTC see a yield of 6.2 percent. Likewise, their Tier 1 ETH lenders will also see a rate cut to 3.6 percent on loans of up to 500 ETH from 4.2 percent for lending 1,000 ETH.

On the other hand, yields will increase by a modest margin for users holding balances above 5 or more BTC (“Tier 2”) to 3.2 percent from 2.2 percent. (Tier 2) while ETH lenders will see a yield increase to 2 percent, up from 0.5 percent for more than 500 individual ETH (Tier 2).

“Our rates are still way ahead of alternative options and we remain the only retail-focused interest-earning platform that is US-domiciled/regulated, institutionally backed and doesn’t have a utility token,” Prince said.

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