BlockFi Supports Purchases via Bank Wires, Awarded New License


Coming off a fresh funding round, BlockFi has plans for a new suite of services. Today, the New York-based provider of crypto-backed lending products announced support for cash purchases on its platform.

More specifically, BlockFi now allows crypto-curious folks and those interested in its lending offering to send bank wires to buy crypto assets and earn up to 8.6 percent per annum on stablecoin deposits in their interest-earning accounts. The new feature is provided in partnership with Silvergate Bank, a crypto-friendly lender, in another sign that crypto-focused banking space is maturing.

The San Diego-based bank now supports cash purchases of crypto through wire transfers. Silvergate, which is trading under the ticker (NYSE: $SI), saw its assets double after recently focusing mostly on blockchain firms.

“In an increasingly low-yield and volatile market, opportunities like earning 8.6% on stablecoin deposits with BlockFi stands out in the crypto sector. Adding support for inbound wires will facilitate increased liquidity on BlockFi’s platform, which flows through and improves liquidity in the broader crypto ecosystem,” said Zac Prince, Founder and CEO of BlockFi.

New licenses and more money

BlockFi has also become the first in crypto to be eligible to offer interest-bearing accounts for Florida state residents after it obtained a money services business license. The latter is the state equivalent to a standard money transmitter license and will make the company the first to offer crypto interest-bearing accounts in “the Sunshine State.”

BlockFi has raised $30 million last month in Series B funding led by Valar Ventures, with participation from a host of other investors. It had previously raised nearly $60 million in various funding rounds since 2018. The Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange is also providing custody of BlockFi accounts, which recently added digital asset insurance coverage.

The new investment will enable the firm to build out new products and expand its existing platform, which includes interest-earning accounts for Bitcoin and crypto-backed USD loans.

According to the company’s statement, the BlockFi crypto lending platform has attracted so far over $650 million in deposits from retail, corporate, and institutional crypto investors.

BlockFi launched its service earlier in March 2019, offering loans to those who are interested in borrowing crypto, starting from $2,000, and go as high as $100 million, against bitcoin, ethereum, and stablecoins at an 8.6 percent interest rate. The crypto startup is also offering a 3.8 percent annualized rate on Litecoin deposits, as part of its offering for interest-bearing accounts.

The startup pays crypto deposits interest rates from 4 to 12 percent. However, the actual interest rate is set on a month-to-month basis and is based on a combination of rates BlockFi sees in the institutional cryptocurrency borrowing market.

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