Review: Celsius Network cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform
An in-depth review of one of the most popular lending and interest earning platforms in cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency borrowing and lending has become one of the most popular activities for users. Celsius Network has created an interesting platform for those looking to generate passive income on their cryptocurrency assets. It is a platform that enables you to take out loans, earn interest on the assets you hold, and pay or be paid in cryptocurrency.
|Fiat Currencies||USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD|
|Cryptocurrencies||BTC, ETH, CEL, SNX, MATIC, DOT, AAVE, BNT, DASH,COMP & 30+ more|
Bank transfer (ACH)
Simplex charges a 3.5% or $10 minimum fee
Wyre - ACH transfer (US only) 0.1%
Coinify - 0.5% manual bank transfer, 2% for credit card purchases (EU), 3.5% (non-EU credit card)
What is Celsius Network and how does it work?
Warning, this review is from 2021. In June 2022 Celsius suspended withdrawals, swaps and transfers, blaming market conditions.
Celsius Network is a centralised wealth management and creation platform that was created in 2018 by Alex Mashinsky, a renowned computer developer. He is the creator of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows voice communication over the Internet, used by apps like Zoom, Skype and Discord.
The Celsius Network is a borrowing and lending cryptocurrency platform that allows users to earn yield on their holdings, take out cryptocurrency loans, and easily pay or be paid via the platform. Using a mobile-first approach, its app is a one-stop shop for all cryptocurrency related needs.
Deposit some cryptocurrency on the platform and you can enjoy a number of benefits. Aside from managing your cryptocurrency portfolio on a sleek and easy to use platform, users can earn compounding rewards of up to 17% APY on a selection of cryptocurrencies (including BTC and ETH). Users can also get instant approval for stablecoin cryptocurrency loans at just 1% interest, and by using cryptocurrency as collateral, there is no need to sell their coins.
The platform leverages its native token CEL to create a 4-tiered staking system. Called Loyalty Tiers, these come with a series of different benefits that increase as you go. They are divided into:
- Bronze: Users are holding 5-10% of their portfolio in CEL tokens. This tier rewards them with a 5% bonus on their interest payments and a 5% discount on their loan interest.
- Silver: Users are holding 10-15% of their portfolio in CEL tokens. This tier rewards them with a 10% bonus on their interest payments and a 10% discount on their loan interest.
- Gold: Users are holding 15-20% of their portfolio in CEL tokens. This tier rewards them with a 15% bonus on their interest payments and a 20% discount on their loan interest.
- Platinum: Users are holding 20% or more of their portfolio in CEL tokens. This tier rewards them with a 30% bonus on their interest payments and a 30% discount on their loan interest.
When it comes to fees, this is one of Celsius Network's main benefits over its competition. It covers all network costs, meaning users are never charged any transfer, origination, deposit or withdrawal fees.
In addition, the Celsius Network has a unique payout feature. Every Friday, the rewards you earned on your assets are calculated and then paid out automatically into your wallet on Monday. In fact, as soon as you make a deposit, you begin earning, regardless of the day or week you began.
On top of those features, the team has built a mainstream focused service called CelPay. This in-app payment option streamlines the network to do away with confusing cryptocurrency addresses and network fees. Essentially, it makes cryptocurrency payments easy by generating a link to a CelPay wallet that holds the cryptocurrency that was sent. Your mother or father might not want to engage with cryptographic tools, so CelPay avoids that process.
What fiat and cryptocurrencies are supported?
Celsius Network currently supports over 40 cryptocurrencies and a selection of stablecoins for various fiat currencies including USD, GBP, AUD, HKD and CAD.
However, it does not offer interest bearing accounts for fiat.
- Supported fiat currencies: USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 43 cryptocurrencies
Lending on Celsius Network
As soon as you deposit cryptocurrency on Celsius, you begin to earn interest from the borrowers of the network. The rates for earning rewards depend on 3 factors: your country of origin, the asset you deposited and whether you hold CEL tokens.
Rates differ for users from the United States and depend on what you are depositing. As such, depending on which tokens you deposit, you will get a higher or lower interest rate.
As stated above, holding CEL tokens will give you extra rewards. The amount you hold will define your loyalty tier and the bonus rewards you receive.
Borrowing on Celsius Network
Celsius Network allows you to take out a cryptocurrency loan with your deposited funds as collateral. The platform offers 3 different interest options depending on the total value locked in your account.
- Lock 25% of your crypto and pay up to 1% interest.
- Lock 33% of your crypto and pay up to 6.95% interest.
- Lock 50% of your crypto and pay up to 8.95% interest.
It's important to note that these interest fees decrease when staking or paying in CEL tokens.
How to sign up with Celsius
Celsius Network has created a seamless and easy-to-onboard platform for cryptocurrency users. Keep in mind that this is a mobile-app platform, so it will require downloading the app on your mobile phone.
The registration only requires your email address, but once inside the platform you are required to go through a verification process to buy cryptocurrency with your debit or credit card. Known as a KYC (Know Your Customer) process, this involves providing a government issued ID. However, one of the main features of Celsius is that there are no credit checks or sign-up requirements. Anybody with a valid government issued ID can verify themselves and once completed, is ready to earn rewards, borrow cryptocurrency, and pay or be paid.
What does the CEL token do?
The native token of Celsius Network is CEL and it is central to unlocking several benefits of the platform. This is an ERC-20 token which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Although there are several use-cases for CEL, its main functions are:
- Staking. Earn up to 30% interest for your deposited CEL.
- Send and receive payments.
- Discounted loan interest. Get up to a 30% discount on your loan interest.
It's important to note that Celsius rewards CEL holders with a proportional share of 80% of its profits.
Celsius Network offers a number of different support options including email and social media.
Is Celsius safe to use?
Celsius Network has received licensing by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States as well as the US Treasury Department's FinCEN unit.
It's important to note that Celsius does not have an insurance policy. Given that it provides yield for assets borrowed, it cannot store assets on cold storage. However, it does work with a custodian, Fireblocks, which provides insurance for assets held by Celsius. According to the CEO and Founder, Alex Mashinsky, Celsius has hot wallet insurance for its funds.
Sites like Celsius
Although Celsius Network was one of the first platforms to offer interest on digital assets, there is a lot of competition today, especially with the growing interest in cryptocurrency and the world of DeFi. Its competitors include dedicated lending platforms as well as exchanges which now offer interest-bearing products, such as:
- Nexo. This cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform is easy to use and offers daily interest payouts on both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
- BlockFi. This is one of the most hyped cryptocurrency borrowing and lending platforms in the market. Although it offers competitive rates and Bitcoin and Ethereum interest options, it has a minimum deposit requirement to begin earning interest and only offers monthly payout options.
- Crypto.com. The Crypto.com exchange offers competitive rates and daily payout options. However, the platform has minimum deposit requirements and it's not as easy as the instant deposit and earn yield option on Celsius.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Celsius Network is a heavyweight in the cryptocurrency borrowing and lending industry. Its mobile-first approach brings borrowing and lending cryptocurrency into your everyday life. It has simplified lending and borrowing of cryptocurrency so that it caters to users of all levels. Although competition has popped up, Celsius Network's extremely competitive rates and easy to use platform are attractive to users interested in earning passive income.
- No fees
- No minimum deposits
- Stake and earn immediately
- Weekly rewards
- CelPay makes cryptocurrency payments easy and instant
- High rewards for lending
- Low interest rates
- Custodial and centralised platform
- Web platform requires KYC through mobile app
- No insurance policy