On Wednesday (January 8), FinTech startup BlockFi announced support for Litecoin (LTC) and stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) across all of its products.
A Brief History of BlockFi
BlockFi, which is based in New Jersey, United States, was founded in July 2017 by Zac Prince (CEO) and Flori Marquez (VP of Growth), and it got launched in August 2017.
Among others, it is backed by ConsenSys Ventures, Fidelity subsidiary Devonshire Investors, Morgan Creek Digital, and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.
In April 2018, BlockFi started offering USD loans collateralized by your cryptoassets (Bitcoin and Ether). Roughly six months later, it expanded the range of cryptoassets that it accepts as collateral to Litecoin and stablecoin Gemini dollar (GUSD).
Then on 4 March 2019, BlockFi launched the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA):
… users can securely store their Bitcoin or Ether at BlockFi and receive 6% annual interest, paid monthly in cryptocurrency. Interest earned in a BIA compounds monthly, delivering an industry-leading APY of 6.2%. The program has been in private beta since the beginning of 2019 and already holds over $10 million in assets from retail, corporate, and institutional crypto investors.
The company also said that the BlockFi Interest Account “is available to customers worldwide,”and that “client assets are custodied at Gemini Trust Company.”
BlockFi said that this product offered the following advantages over competitors:
- compound interest;
- institutional backing;
- interest paid monthly in crypto (i.e. in BTC if you have a Bitcoin interest account and in ETH if you have an Ether interest account); and
- no-notice withdrawals.
Although the BlockFi Interest Account was initially launched with support for only Bitcoin and Ether, on 29 May 2019, BlockFi announced “support for Gemini Dollar (GUSD) stablecoin throughout its platform.” BlockFi said back then that this meant two things:
- BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) clients based outside the United States could now “earn up to 6.2% APY, earned monthly in GUSD.”
- GUSD became available “as a USD loan funding option and as collateral from institutional crypto borrowers.”
BlockFi’s Support for LTC and USDC
Today’s announcement means that both of these digital assets will now be supported by the BlockFi Interest Account.
The initial annual percentage yields for USDC and LTC holdings are 8.6% and 3.8% respectively.
Litecoin and USDC Coin will also be supported by BlockFi Trading, the company’s cryptocurrency trading platform, which was launched on 5 December 2019.
Zac Prince, BlockFi’s Co-Founder and CEO, had this to say:
“We’re excited to kick-off 2020 by adding USDC and LTC to our platform and providing seamless connectivity between earning, borrowing and trading. Stablecoins play an increasingly valuable role globally to help people move money using blockchain payment rails and store their wealth in U.S. dollars, which many normally wouldn’t have access to. This added support facilitates global access to major markets, with our product line now empowering those building an investment strategy around USDC with options for growth they’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.”
Featured Image Courtesy of BlockFi