At this point, it is safe to say that cryptocurrencies are now being seen as a legitimate asset class with many seeing them as the new age of finance. With an entirely new asset class comes many new types of investors with varying preferences on how they like to allocate their money. Some people enjoy slow and steady returns while others prefer to take advantage of the highly volatile market that cryptocurrencies exist in. The main type of investment strategy that will be talked about in this article revolves around the trendy new wave of crypto banking platforms that let you earn interest over time on your digital assets.
In particular, the specific company being talked about is called Celsius, which allows you to earn up to 17% APY on your crypto assets and pays you weekly. It also lets you borrow crypto or USD at interest rates as low as 1% APR with no credit checks. Here, we take a closer look at the Celsius platform.
Celsius, which was founded in 2017 by Alex Mashinsky and Daniel Leon, has its headquarters based in London and is available worldwide. The plan for Celsius was created on a coffee shop napkin and ultimately had the mission of having a financial platform that offered financial freedom through crypto – one with zero fees, fair interest, and fast transactions. Celsius is best for people looking to earn high interest rates on their crypto without having to do any extra work, in essence delivering solid passive income.
How does Celsius Work?
Getting started with Celsius is pretty simple. You want to first download the Celsius app on your mobile device to make an account.
Once you hit “Join Celsius” you will then be prompted to signup through email, Google, Apple, and other options. Once you click your preference, you will be required to enter in your first and last name, email, and password.
Next, you will be asked to submit a form of verification via a driver's license, national ID, or passport. After you submit that and wait a couple of minutes to verify, you will be able to buy coins with your credit card/debit card or transfer coins from an external wallet to Celsius and begin earning or borrowing crypto. That's it.
How much does Celsius cost?
Celsius is a completely free-to-use platform. All of Celsius’s features – Celsius Earn, Celsius Borrow, CEL Token, and Celpay –do not have any fees to get started and no features are hidden behind a special paywall. Celsius has both a desktop version and mobile apps that are also free to use.
As with any of the crypto banking platforms that allow for earning interest on your crypto, Celsius Earn remains the most significant and popular attraction of the platform. With Celsius Earn, Celsius claims you can earn up to 17.78% annual percentage yield (APY) in minutes (however it is only up to 13.99% APY for U.S. users).
Celsius network currently supports 12+ stablecoins like Coinbase’s USD Coin (USDC), Tether US (USDT), and True USD (TUSD) at up to 8.88% APY, 26+ cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar (XLM), Chainlink (LINK), and more at up to 13.99% APY.
The cool thing about Celsius compared to similar platforms is that Celsius supports earning interest on many Defi coins and at really good interest rates as well. Celsius allows you to earn 13.99% APY on Synnex (SNX), 5.92% APY on Aave (AAVE), 4.60% APY on Compass Inc. (COMP), and supports other Defi-related coins like ZRX, K9 Gold (KNC), Uniswap (UNI), and Decentraland (MANA).
Plus, there is no minimum deposit, no termination fees, no origination fees, and no withdrawal fees. The interest rewards received from Celsius are distributed weekly every Monday, which means it is possible to just put money in Celsius for a week, earn interest on it, then withdraw it all free of charge, which is seriously impressive.
As a crypto lending platform, Celsius claims they have the lowest industry rates in terms of taking out a loan of USD or crypto by using your crypto as collateral. Celsius borrow allows you to borrow at 1% annual percentage rate (APR) with no credit checks. For tax purposes, this is a massive benefit of using Celsius loans because you can avoid selling while still owning crypto and can set yourself up to be taxed on long-term capital gains over short-term capital gains while also having cash created from owning crypto assets.
Celsius loans are collateralized, so you need to deposit crypto and then depending on the interest rate of your choosing (1%, 6.95%, or 8.95%), you will have either a 25%, 33%, or 50% loan to value ratio respectively, which means the lower interest rate you pick, the higher amount of collateral you need to borrow. This also means the higher interest rate you pick, the lower amount of collateral required.
For example: Take out a loan for $500 in a stablecoin using $1,000 worth of Litecoin as collateral for an interest rate of 8.95% with a 50% loan to value ratio.
For Celsius, the stablecoin minimum loan you can borrow is at $500 and the USD minimum is at $25,000. Realistically the USD minimum should not matter as you can easily convert a stablecoin to USD off the Celsius platform for an equivalent amount in dollars. The minimum loan term for a Celsius loan is 6 months and goes in 6-month intervals up to a 3-year term.
Celsius offers users a way to earn even better interest rates and discounted loan interest rates with the use of the CEL token. The CEL token has four tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It is based proportionally on how many CEL tokens you have in your Celsius account relative to your other crypto holdings.
At Platinum, if you have 25% of your assets in CEL tokens, you can earn up to 25% bonus interest and a 25% loan interest discount, while at Bronze with 5 to 10% CEL holdings, you can earn a 5% bonus interest and 5% loan interest discount.
You can buy CEL tokens in the Celsius app or on other crypto exchanges. It is important to note that the only way to currently receive the benefits of the CEL token as a U.S. user is if you are an accredited investor. The company is working on making it just as accessible in the U.S. as it is elsewhere.
A rather small but useful feature Celsius is called CelPay, which allows you to send or receive crypto to and from other Celsius users. There are no fees to the service. All you have to do is select a recipient, choose the amount and coin being sent, add a note and then you can send it instantly.
Who is Celsius best for?
Safe crypto investors. The great thing about Celsius is that for a platform of its kind it works best for those that just want to earn simple passive income without having to do any outside work. Many people coming into crypto are still brand new and on the safer side of investing, so the ability to earn high interest rates on crypto assets as well as still being able to have the actual investment of the crypto asset itself is superb.
Crypto maximalists. Celsius is a great platform for crypto maximalists looking to maximize the number of their favorite crypto holdings without having to pull strings trading to get a higher coin total. With Celsius, any user can get guaranteed APY on crypto of their choosing.
Who shouldn’t use Celsius?
Diehard traders. The fact of the matter is that if you are a diehard trader that is trying to scoop up the max percentage gains off of trading volatility, Celsius is not the platform for you. At the end of the day, Celsius is more of a banking app than it is an exchange for trading. While the interest rates are very high especially when compared to something such as a savings account, a diehard trader would rather take on the volatility of price swings for even more potential gains.
Those who doubters crypto is the future of finance. The most important fact that needs to be mentioned is that Celsius is a crypto banking app over anything else. For anyone to have a banking platform based around cryptocurrency, it would be preferred that the person involved believes that cryptocurrency is an asset class that is here to stay.
Celsius most definitely has an edge over its competitors especially when it comes to the Defi support and the large catalog of cryptocurrencies you can earn interest on. However, Celsius has strong competition that does not make it a clear-cut choice in the crypto banking space. Nexo and BlockFi have similar visions to Celsius and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
Earn Interest on Fiat Currency
Lowest Loan APR
Interest Payout Time Frame
Up to 17.78% APY
27+ Cryptocurrencies, 12+ Stablecoins
Up to 8.6% APY
5+ Cryptocurrencies, 5+ Stablecoins
1 free crypto withdrawal a month, 1 free stablecoin withdrawal per month
Up to 12% APR
11+ Cryptocurrencies, 6+ Stablecoins
Up to 5 free withdrawals a month
BlockFi is the biggest name by far in terms of all the crypto banking platforms. It has the support of all the major institutions and is heavily touted by crypto pioneers such as Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital and the co-founders of leading cryptocurrency exchange Gemini-- the Winklevoss twins. It does have the lowest interest payout time frame, lowest APY percentages. and the least amount of cryptocurrencies supported between its competitors, but if you are interested in a platform with significant institutional investment, BlockFi is first in that area.
Nexo takes the cake for the cleanest user interface among the three platforms. It is extremely easy and appealing to view. Nexo also has such a huge advantage in that the interest is paid out daily. It offers competitive interest rates, and if you hold the NEXO token (which also allows you to receive dividends), or choose to use their fixed interest rate terms, you can get a significant boost of extra annual interest that leaves the other competitors in the dust.
Celsius is available worldwide and to all 50 U.S states. This includes Celsius Earn, Celsius Borrow, and CelPay. CEL token is available internationally and to accredited investors in the U.S.
How does Celsius make money?
Celsius can give outhigh interest rates by lending out the crypto assets deposited to be earned to institutional and retail borrowers. Celsius claims they aim to return up to 80% of the revenue back to the community in its weekly payments.
Are my assets secure on Celsius?
You do not own your private keys on Celsius, however, Celsius is Security ISO 27001 certified and has insurance on digital assets held by Celsius from custodians Fireblocks and PrimeTrust. Celsius claims that in the worst-case scenario, they will use their balance sheet to cover any financial damage. Celsius also offers 24/7 customer support and features 2FA authentication and a HODL mode that allows for users to lock withdrawals on their accounts.
The bottom line
The new age of finance is here and traditional bank savings accounts are becoming a thing of the past. Celsius is paving the way for a new wave of finance and it is a fantastic choice for those wanting to break out of the old system. The weekly interest payments paired with the fact that there are zero fees on anything on the platform makes it a no-brainer platform for those looking to earn passive income without any strings attached.
It isn’t convenient that the CEL token is not readily accessible in the U.S., but the rates without that token are still amazing. Celsius’s massive catalog of cryptocurrencies along with its support of Defi coins make Celsius network a strong recommendation for your crypto banking platform.
Reclaim Up to $610/Year in Car Insurance
Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But, who has the time to look around for around a new company?
A website called CarInsurance.net makes it super easy to see if you’re getting the lowest price. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and your age, and it’ll show you your options.