12 Differences Between BlockFi and Celsius Network

What are the differences between BlockFi and Celsius Network? Passive income is becoming one of the most popular ways among people to earn some extra money without putting in much of an effort.

And, with the advent of cryptocurrencies and their rapid adoption, people are more interested in trading and investing in these digital assets.

However, for that, you will need to choose and use one of the best crypto trading and lending platforms.

But, which one among the large variety of crypto exchanges is the best to go with will need some research and careful consideration.

Two such popular crypto platforms are BlockFi and Celsius Network and this article deals with their differences in features, functionalities, pros, and cons of the two.

Knowing these differences will not only let you know which one among these two reigns supreme in the crypto space but also help you to choose one that will suit best according to your needs and preferences.

Typically, BlockFi and Celsius Network are two of the top crypto lending platforms that are well known for their crypto interest accounts.

When you choose the right platform and go ahead with your crypto venture strategically, you can earn quite a handsome amount of interest from these two crypto lending and borrowing platforms.

Just make sure that you go through the whole article for a proper and fruitful head-to-head comparison.

12 Differences Between BlockFi and Celsius Network

Differences Between BlockFi and Celsius Network

Most users often find themselves in a situation wherein they cannot choose a crypto platform for them confidently. This is because they do not know the differences between them.

Well, here are the differences between Celsius Network and BlockFi that will put you in a better position than others when you need to choose one among them.

1. Interest Rates

First, it is better to know how much money you can make while using BlockFi or Celsius Network in terms of APY or Annual Percentage Yield. The rates however vary depending on the type of coins used as mentioned hereunder.

  • For Bitcoin, BlockFi offers 5% on 0.5 Bitcoin, 2% if it is between 0.5 and 20 BTCs and thereafter 0.5% on any amount more than that. As for Celsius Network, the rate of interest offered to the users for Bitcoin is 6.2% for the first 2 Bitcoin and 3.51% after that for more coins held.
  • For Ethereum, the rate of interest offered by the BlockFi platform is at the rate of 4.5% on the first 15 ETH coins, 2% if it is more than 15 but up to 1000 coins, and 0.5% over that for amounts held more than that. As for Celsius Network, the interest rate offered is 5.5% for holding any amount of ETH coins.
  • As for Stable coins, the flat rate of interest offered by BlockFi is 8.6% on the most commonly used and popular stable coins such as GUSD and USDC and for USDT it is 9.3%. On the other hand, the Celsius Network offers a flat rate of interest of 8.88% on all stable coins.

2. Payouts and Withdrawals

As for the payouts of the interests earned by the users, BlockFi pays them out every month. And, Celsius Network pays it out every week.

On the other hand, when it comes to withdrawals, BlockFi allows the users to make one free withdrawal of crypto in a month. In comparison, Celsius Network allows its users to make unlimited free withdrawals of cryptocurrencies.

3. Safety Aspects

Now, you may wonder which among BlockFi and Celsius Network is safer to use. Well, both are almost the same in this aspect with a few differences in their safety features.

As for Celsius Network, it uses multi-signature wallets of BitGo to ensure that the funds of the users are safe. BitGo typically spreads its insurance policy of about $100M over all its users.

On the other hand, the safety features of BlockFi use both BitGo and Gemini as its primary custodians that offer private insurance on the funds deposited.

4. Standout Features

There are some features of these two crypto lending platforms mentioned hereunder that make one stand out from the other.

As for Celsius Network, it is a mobile-only platform, which may be a bit disappointing for those particular users who prefer using a desktop to manage their crypto accounts.

In comparison, the BlockFi platform offers both a website and a mobile app which adds to the convenience of its users.

In terms of the native tokens of these two crypto platforms, the native token of Celsius Network is represented as CEL and the holders of this token are rewarded with a share that is proportional to 80% of the profits earned.

There is also an additional boost of around 2% on the APY for the international users. However, this option is not available for the US users. They, typically, have to earn in kind. However, there is nothing as such available on BlockFi.

Also, BlockFi is slowly but surely expanding its ecosystem by adding more services over and above crypto lending and borrowing.

One of the most noteworthy features of this platform is the upcoming BlockFi Credit Card. This card will help the users to get a cashback of up to 1.5% in Bitcoin for all purchases made by using it.

This is transferred every month automatically to the BlockFi Interest Account to accrue interest.

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The Celsius network also comes with a CelPay feature that allows the users to receive, send, pay, or get paid in crypto instead of just holding them. Money can be sent through text or a secure link or from a list of other users of this platform.

When the CelPay feature is used by the investors holding CEL tokens they are entitled to get an additional cashback of 2% on all transactions made through this token.

This is a unique system that can even prioritize the users who are holding the highest number of CEL tokens in their account when there is a limited availability of dollar loans.

And, as for Celsius Network, it is the competitive rates of interest offered on a much more diverse and wider variety of crypto assets that makes it stand out from BlockFi.

These assets include the latest trailblazers such as Polygon, Synthetix, Aave, Polkadot, and Compound.

5. Security

As for Celsius Network, the security features include:

  • Two-Factor Authentication feature which prevents unauthorized access to the user accounts
  • Six digit pin which needs the users to set up and enter it while logging in
  • Facial recognition feature that allows the user to log in without needing a pin
  • Up to 150% collateral of the funds of the users that the platform lends out which cannot be insured to the selected borrowers after due diligence and reviews
  • Insurance on digital assets that are not lent out and are under the custody of Fireblocks and PrimeTrust
  • A multi-party computation that enhances asset security and protection
  • HODL Mode that disables outgoing transactions and restricts withdrawals from the account of the users and a 24-hour period after deactivation of this mode to allow making outgoing transfers of funds
  • Address Allowlisting which allows the users to choose the type of wallets that are allowed to withdraw and is locked for 24 hours after a change is made and
  • Cyber Intelligence and Incident Response experts who monitor the assets 24/7 as well as threats, risk management, governance, different crypto protocols, and advanced data protection.

As for BlockFi, apart from 2FA and Address Allowlisting, the security features include:

  • PII verification, which ensures that the actual account holder is using it and not anyone else
  • Offline cold storage, where the major portion of the funds of the users are held
  • A security-first exchange Gemini as its custodian to protect the funds of the users with SOC 2 Type 1 security compliance and
  • FDIC insurance on the funds held by Gemini up to $250,000 for each customer against theft but not for user error.

As it is evident, both these platforms offer industry-grade security to protect users’ accounts from any unauthorized users and access and has some similar and a few different features in place for that.

6. Customer Service

In terms of customer support, the users of Celsius Network have different options to avail themselves. The fastest way to get in touch with their customer support team is through their social media pages on Twitter and Reddit.

You can send a direct message from here on the app. Add to that, you can also get in touch with their customer support staff on the phone for the needed assistance or contact them via email.

In comparison, customer support by BlockFi is typically provided via their customer service page which comes with FAQs and is quite helpful and comes with the solutions of most common issues that users typically experience on this crypto lending platform.

However, if the Frequently Asked Questions on the page do not resolve your issue, you can also contact their customer support service via email or phone from the same page.

7. Cryptocurrencies Supported   

The BlockFi platform supports a variety of crypto coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, PAX Gold, USDC, Litecoin, Chainlink, GUSD, BAT, Binance USD, PAX, DAI, and UNI.

However, the Celsius Network supports a few more of these coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Paxos Standard, LINK, USDC, Gemini Dollar, BAT, COMP, AAVE, Bitcoin SV, UMA, SNX, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Polygon, Livepeer, Mana, Uniswap, Kyber Network, Ethereum Classic, Binance USD, EOS, TrueCAD, TrueGBP, TrueHKD, TrueAUD, TrueUSD, DAI, PAX Gold, USDT, 0x, Stellar, Ripple, OMG Network, and Dash.

8. Fiat Currencies Supported        

There are lots of different fiat currencies supported by the Celsius Network such as USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, GPB, EUR, DKK, NZD, RUB, BRL, NOK, SEK, CZK, RON, BGN, TRY, HUF, HKD, INR, IDR, MYR, ZAR, HRK, PHP, JPY, PLN, CLP, COP, VND, ISK, KES, TWD, ARS, and PEN.

On the other hand, BlockFi typically supports USD.

9. Availability

People from over one hundred countries can access the Celsius Network. The list is pretty long and therefore it will be shorter if those countries where this network is not available are mentioned.

These are Sudan, South Sudan, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, as well as all those countries against which the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have imposed financial embargoes or sanctions.

In comparison, BlockFi is accessible from all countries except those countries that are watchlisted or sanctioned as of now.

As for the US, trading pairs are available in all but not in New Mexico, Nevada, West Virginia, New York, and Vermont as of now. Moreover, the BlockFi Interest Account is not available currently in New York state.

10. Crypto-Backed Loans

Since both these platforms offer crypto-backed loans, it is good to know the differences in them, if any.

The BlockFi platform offers its lending program in the 45 states of the USA and against four specific currencies namely Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and PAX Gold.

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You can receive the loans in a variety of currencies such as in USD, USDC, and GUSD. These loans are offered at a different rate of interest that typically depends on the LTV or Loan to Value ratio that may range between 20% and 50%.

For example:

  • The rate of interest is 9.75% for an LTV ratio of 50%
  • The rate of interest is 7.9% for an LTV ratio of 35% and
  • The rate of interest is 4.5% for an LTV ratio of 20%.

The last rate of interest is offered only for BTC-backed loans that are valued up to 20000 US Dollars. All loans by BlockFi are offered for a period of six to twelve months and the platform charges an origination fee of 2% origination for new loans.

On the other hand, the Celsius Network accepts more than 25 crypto coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash, as collateral while offering their crypto-backed loans. There are a few good things about these loans such as:

  • There are no credit checks made
  • There are no origination fees charged
  • The loans can be paid in either cash or coin and
  • The loans are offered for a tenure of 6, 12, 24, and 36 months.

The interest charged on these loans by The Celsius Network can be as low as 0.75% for the Platinum level users when paid in CEL tokens instead of cash or can be as high as 8.95%. The breakup of the interest rates is as follows:

  • 1.0% APR for 25% LTV ratio
  • 6.95% APR for 33% LTV ratio and
  • 8.95% APR for 50% LTV ratio.

Also, higher tiers on Celsius Network allow the users to earn discounts on the loan interest as per their loyalty programs, as mentioned earlier.

11. Trading and Fees

In terms of trading, the partnership of Celsius with Gem offers the users to buy crypto coins using the Celsius app.

The fees charged by the platform for that matter depend on the purchase methods. It can be either through credit cards with its partner Simplex or through bank transfers and credit cards with their partner Gem.

  • For Simplex, the fee is 3.5% or $10 minimum which is included in the price and it can fall up to 2.99% for users in the UK and EEA.
  • As for Gem via Wyre, the fee is 0.1% through ACH transfer but for the US users only. If the users use Gem via Coinify, the fee is 0.5% for manual bank transfer, 2% for credit card purchases by the EU users and 3.5% for credit cards used by the non-EU users.

As for BlockFi trading, it is a bit more robust than what Celsius has on offer. It is quite easy for the users of BlockFi to buy and sell crypto coins on this platform which claims to be a zero-fee exchange.

As for making withdrawals, BlockFi charges different fees for different currencies such as:

  • For Bitcoin, it is 0.00075 BTC
  • For Ethereum, it is 0.02 ETH
  • For Litecoin, it is 0.0025 LTC

And, they also charge a spread on each trade conducted on this platform which ranges from 0.70% to 1.5% along with an origination fee on new loans of 2%, as said earlier.

12. Pros and Cons

Finally, here are a few advantages and disadvantages of these two platforms for your knowledge.

As for the Celsius Network the benefits enjoyed by the users include:

  • Higher rates of interests offered on accounts
  • Lower rates of interest charged on loans
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No minimum or maximum deposit requirements

However, the demerits of this network are also notable which include non-availability of the best interest rates, desktop site, and CEL to the US users.

It also offers relatively slow support and the 24-hour address lock after deactivation of HODL mode or update can be really bothersome.

On the other hand, as for BlockFi, the list of advantages includes:

  • Better rates of interest offered on specific crypto coins
  • Safe custody of Gemini and
  • Its Bitcoin Rewards credit card.

As for its downsides, the list includes its higher rates of interest charged on loans along with a loan origination fee of 2%, a limited number of crypto coin and fiat currency support, non-transparent fees and spreads, withdrawal limits imposed, and pretty slow withdrawal times.

Which is Better – BlockFi or Celsius Network?

Both BlockFi and Celsius network have a pretty good reputation in the market as crypto lending platforms that prioritize security to protect the funds of their investors.

However, when it comes to choosing one among the two, you should do so based on your location primarily as well as your needs.

If you are located outside the US then the Celsius Network is the right fit for you.

Also, you should consider the unique features of the platforms that you need or attract you the most along with the advantages, disadvantages, interest rates, withdrawals, payouts, and more.

Ideally, the Celsius Network is a good crypto lending platform to choose if you are looking to have some of the best rates offered and charged on account and loans respectively and want to send or receive crypto payments instantly even if you reside outside the U.S.

In comparison, the BlockFi crypto lending platform will be a good choice if you are looking to earn interest on your existing holdings of Litecoin, cannot work without a desktop, and want a Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card desperately.

BlockFi is also the platform to go for due to its more conservative approach regarding investing.

It is for this reason that BlockFi has more than thirty prominent and highly regarded investors in the market that they are accountable to. It also comes with a lot of user-oriented metrics.

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You can choose the Celsius network if you want a more streamlined signup process, though, ideally, both these platforms have a more or less similar process.

However, on Celsius Network even the starters are allowed access to loans after a short period of time.

Apart from that, the verification process followed by this platform is quite easy and fast, usually taking a couple of minutes only.

However, at times it may take as long as 24 hours as the delay is primarily caused when there are notable issues with the details of the users that are necessary for the verification process.

You may also make your choice based on the interest-earning accounts of each of these platforms and the amount you can earn.

Though both offer quite a generous amount of interest on crypto, it is Celsius Network that offers a bit higher amount in all respects.

The BlockFi Interest Accounts allows the users to earn interest of up to 8.25% on their crypto coins held and has no minimum deposit requirements or fees charged for it, but the amount is paid monthly.

Also, a few specific crypto coins may offer lower earnings when the deposit size reaches the preset thresholds such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In comparison, the Celsius Earn feature offers a wide range of interest rates from 2.02% to 17.78%. This is more than double the highest rate of interest offered by BlockFi.

However, there is a catch. This highest rate of interest is not available to all and it depends on its native token CEL.

Based on the percentage of CEL tokens held by the users, the interest rate offered is according to its specific tiered loyalty program. This program dictates the interest and bonus earnings and is as under:

  • Bronze tier offers an earning bonus of 5% for 5% to 10% of CEL tokens held in an account
  • Silver tier offers an earning bonus of 10% for 10% to 15% of CEL tokens held in an account
  • Gold tier offers an earning bonus of 15% for 15% to 25% of CEL tokens held in an account and
  • Platinum tier offers an earning bonus of 25% for more than 25% of CEL tokens held in an account.

This means that if your Celsius Network account comprises 100% BTC and ETH coins, you will be entitled to earn interest at the base rate.

Moreover, the platform also allows the users to receive additional bonuses when they receive their interest payments in CEL tokens specifically instead of taking them in the currencies they have invested in.

However, considering the large user database of both these platforms it can be said for sure that neither of these platforms offers full insurance protection to the funds of the users. Moreover, neither of these platforms is covered by FDIC insurance.

However, Celsius Network is planning to release its private insurance for the users but has not announced the date for it.

And, both these platforms are contemplating on using third-party private insurance providers to cover the crypto interest accounts for at least 2.6% of the return, but that is still in the pipeline.

Therefore, as of now, both these platforms have more or less similar safety precautions and are vulnerable to similar types of risks and threats of holding crypto assets of the users.

However, the good news is that neither of these two companies has been hacked yet causing loss of funds but how they would compensate the users should one such incident occur is yet to be seen.

In that case, if Celsius Network can incorporate private insurance for its users, it will surely have an edge over BlockFi, then.

BlockFi also offers its users a very convenient deposit option via ACH transfer which allows converting USD into GUSD, the stable coin of Gemini, without having to pay for the fees for it and still get it converted instantly.

ACH deposits can be made directly from fiat currencies and you can even claim a bonus for it, subject to the $250 cap.

However, if you intend to use both these platforms and have signed up with them for two different accounts, you are advised to diversify your holding strategy.

Spread your BTC and ETH holding accordingly because the BTC rate of BlockFi drops down significantly from 5 to 2% after 0.5 BTC but the Celsius Network pays out 6.2% till 2 BTC.

To summarize, you should make your choice based on exactly what you are looking for and want the platform to do for you.

BlockFi is a larger company and their interface is easy to use by the novice investors but the Celsius Network is also a good one to consider for holding your funds safely on a crypto exchange.

Conclusion

Both platforms, Celsius Network and BlockFi are good enough to compete with the customary finance sector and are good alternative investment vehicles. However, how these two differ is good to know to choose one among them.