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BlockFi vs. Coinbase: Which is better?

Rickie Houston,Tessa Campbell   

BlockFi vs. Coinbase: Which is better?

Our experts answer readers' investing questions and write unbiased product reviews (here's how we assess investing products). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners. Our opinions are always our own.

*Note: On October 24, 2023, BlockFi officially emerged from bankruptcy after initially filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 28, 2022. The company is now accepting withdrawal requests through December 31, 2023. Current BlockFi account holders also have the option to participate in the platform's optional loan repayment program. The company has paused platform activity, so users can't invest at this time.

*Coinbase is currently under investigation by the SEC following charges in June 2022 for allegedly breaking security rules and operating as an unregistered securities offering through its staking-as-a-service program. In October, Coinbase filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit but was denied.

Bottom line: Both Coinbase - Product Name Only and BlockFi are cryptocurrency exchanges suited for intermediate and advanced crypto traders. But there's no competition in which platform stands out on top as BlockFi's platform remains paused following a bankruptcy filing in 2022. Investors who want access to a huge selection of cryptocurrencies, services, and advanced trading features are best off with Coinbase.

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Which is Right for You?

BlockFi - Product Name Only and Coinbase are both global cryptocurrency exchanges and wealth management platforms for individuals and institutions looking to trade and store crypto assets. While both platforms are big names in the crypto-trading market, BlockFi is not a recommended trading platform following its bankruptcy filing in 2022.

The good news is that BlockFi has officially emerged from bankruptcy only 11 months after its initial filing. The future looks promising for the exchange, but BlockFi isn't out of the water yet. Plus trading features are still paused, and new investors aren't allowed to sign up.

BlockFi now plans to recover assets previously owned by FTX and other bankrupt crypto exchanges, distribute assets back to existing BlockFi customers, and continue the claim reconciliation process. Existing users are now able to make withdrawal requests through December 31, 2023.

All that is to say that Coinbase is the overall better crypto exchange when comparing both platforms. Despite the current SEC investigation into the popular exchange, Coinbase is still one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for individuals and institutions.

Coinbase is much more suitable for traders in search of a wider variety of cryptocurrencies. It offers nearly 250 different assets, as well as several educational resources (including Coinbase learning rewards) for traders who want to learn more about cryptocurrencies.

Is BlockFi Right for You?

BlockFi - Product Name Only is a US-based crypto lender that has offered a variety of crypto services for individuals and institutions both in the US and abroad. These services include crypto trading, crypto-backed loans, and more.

  • No minimum to set up account
  • Commission-free trades
  • Instant trades and recurring trades available
  • Platform activity is currently paused; new accounts are unavailable
  • Limited selection of cryptocurrencies
  • Platform filed for bankruptcy in November 2022
  • New York residents can't take advantage of interest perks
  • No longer offers a mobile trading app

Who is BlockFi Best For?

At the moment, BlockFi isn't a recommended platform for crypto investors as the platform is still frozen despite exiting bankruptcy on October 24, 2023. BlockFi is not currently allowing new investors to open accounts and existing BlockFi account holders only just got access to resume withdraws.

Crypto traders should consider alternative cryptocurrency exchanges or other best investment apps if you're looking to trade stocks, bonds, and other assets.

Ways to Invest With BlockFi

Currently, you can't invest through BlockFi - Product Name Only as trading remains paused while the platform recovers from bankruptcy. Only existing BlockFi account holders and loan customers can access their BlockFi accounts to withdraw funds. The initial wave of asset recovery is expected to start in early 2024, as stated on the BlockFi website.

The following information reflects BlockFi's crypto offering and services before its initial bankruptcy filing on November 24, 2023.

BlockFi's selection was more limited compared to larger crypto exchanges. It offered 15 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, and litecoin. Its stablecoin offering included US dollar stablecoin (USDC), tether (USDT), gemini dollar (GUSD), and paxos standard (PAX).

You could fund your BlockFi account with fiat money or crypto transfers to skip out on transaction fees on all crypto exchanges (though you may incur a small spread fee of up to 1%). Plus, any crypto you would purchase immediately earned interest on the following day of the exchange.

The company's crypto-backed loans included interest rates as low as 4.5% for certain crypto assets as collateral for loans. This meant you wouldn't have to sell your cryptocurrencies in case of an emergency completely. BlockFi gave you the loan in USD, gemini dollar (GUSD), or US dollar stablecoin (USDC).

Institutions could also utilize a wide range of services through the BlockFi Prime institutional platform. These included over-the-counter (OTC) trading with 24/7 support, financing solutions ( this includes the lending of cryptocurrencies, US dollars, and stablecoins), corporate treasury solutions, and more.

BlockFi is no longer available on mobile.

BlockFi review

Is Coinbase Right for You?

Coinbase - Product Name Only is a global cryptocurrency exchange serving millions of users. The platform caters both to individuals and institutions, and it offers a vast suite of services for both client types.

  • Nearly 250 cryptocurrencies
  • Low account minimum
  • Can earn interest rewards from staking-crypto or completing courses on different crypto assets
  • Digital wallet storage, crypto-backed loans, educational resources, and multiple trading platforms
  • Lower balances cost more
  • Limited staking options
  • Under investigation by the SEC for allegedly breaking security rules and operating as an unregistered securities

Who is Coinbase Best For?

Coinbase is best for active individual investors and institutions who want to trade and store a wide range of cryptocurrencies all on the same platform. While the exchange doesn't offer copious staking options, it does offer flexible account options (including IRAs and custodial accounts), as well as margin trading. mobile access, and strong customer support.

Hands-off investors or crypto traders looking for more substantial staking reward opportunities may want to look elsewhere. Similarly, you want to consider a different crypto exchange if the current investigation by the SEC makes you uneasy about Coinbase.

Ways to Invest With Coinbase

Coinbase - Product Name Only exchange offers investors access to nearly 250 cryptocurrencies for trading for a Coinbase - Minimum Deposit minimum requirement. It also has an NFT trading platform and futures trading. There are two main account options:

  • Standard Coinbase account: Get you access to crypto trading, staking rewards, Coinbase learning rewards (an educational feature that pays you in crypto rewards for learning about different cryptocurrencies), and digital storage.
  • Coinbase Advanced Trade: Get all the benefits of a standard Coinbase account plus access to order books, advanced charting tools, and trading APIs that let you use programmatic trading bots. You'll receive boosted staking rewards and additional security features.

In response to the SEC's investigation alleging Coinbase of offering unregistered securities, Coinbase has paused staking reward features in the following four US states: California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Staking is still available for residents of Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Vermont, and Washington.

Some existing Coinbase users may have a Coinbase Pro account. Pro accounts are no longer available to new users as this account option is being phased out to be replaced with Coinbase Advanced Trade.

In addition, Coinbase offers a subscription service, Coinbase One, that allows for 24/7 customer support, premium market research, and fee-free trades on hundreds of assets. Coinbase One costs $29.99 per month and users are required to have a minimum of $100 in their accounts.

Coinbase also offers several products for institutions. These include the Coinbase Prime full-service prime brokerage trading platform, which gets businesses access to commerce services, financing solutions, offline crypto storage, margin trading, ventures fundraising for new crypto startups, and much more.

Coinbase is available on iOS and Android devices.

Coinbase review

BlockFi vs Coinbase: Which Should You Invest With?

Coinbase - Product Name Only and BlockFi each offer crypto exchange services, crypto loan products, and card rewards. However, Coinbase has a much larger selection of cryptocurrencies, and it offers futures, NFTs, and multiple trading platforms for advanced traders.

Moreover, new investors aren't allowed to open an account with BlockFi as the platform recovers from bankruptcy. Existing BlockFi account holders are now able to start making withdrawals as the initial wave of distributions is set to begin starting early 2024.

If you want to trade assets besides crypto, NFTs, and futures — or want access to passive investing strategies such as managed accounts or robo-advisors — then Coinbase won't be the best platform for you.

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