Crypto Lending Startup BlockFi Slashing Interest Rates on Ether Deposits

BlockFi is almost halving the interest rate it offers on ether deposits from June 1, while the rate on larger bitcoin deposits will go up slightly.

May 22, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:13 a.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency lending startup BlockFi is almost halving the interest rates it offers on ether (ETH) deposits, while some bitcoin (BTC) rates will increase slightly.

From June 1, customers with 25–100 ETH balances in a BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) will see the interest rate drop from the current 6.2 percent annual percentage yield (APY) to 3.25 percent, the startup announced Tuesday. Those holding over 100 ETH balances will earn just 0.2 percent APY.

Some BTC balances, on the other hand, will see a slight interest rate increase – up to 2.15 percent from the current 2 percent – for deposits of over 25 BTC. Those holding 0.5–25 BTC will continue to earn 6.2 percent APY, BlockFi said.

The firm cited the reason for the increased interest rate on larger BTC deposits as being because borrowing and lending markets for the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization “have developed into a vibrant and growing field.”

On the contrary, the ether lending market has become "stagnant" over the last couple quarters, BlockFi said. The firm's terms and conditions state that it can change interest rates at its discretion.

The company launched the BIA in March, offering an annual interest rate of 6 percent, paid on a monthly basis in cryptocurrency. That monthly interest is then compounded to produce a 6.2 percent APY.

BIA crypto holdings are custodied at the Gemini Trust Company, which is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services and also offers insurance coverage for the digital assets it holds in custody.

In Tuesday’s update, BlockFi further updated that the BIA now has over $100 million in assets under management – almost double the $53 million it had as of last month.

BlockFi is backed by notable investors including Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures and Anthony Pompliano’s Morgan Creek Digital. The firm raised $4 million last December, and previously raised $52.5 million last July.

BlockFi image via CoinDesk archives

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