CELSIUS NETWORK – PLATFORM REVIEW & GUIDE

In this Celsius Network review, we focus on Celsius Network’s crypto-credit functions, the lending functionalities, Celsius’s native token (CEL), fees, customer support and the possibility to invest fiat money, cryptocurrencies and stablecoins at a fixed or flexible rate of return. Of special interest in our Celsius Network review were interest rates, withdrawal fees, the Celsius Network mobile app, Celsius users and their experience, how to earn passive income, Celsius loans, the Celsius team, the Celsius Network savings account as well as how Celsius compares to Celsius Network alternatives in the crypto market.

Celsius’ history

Celsius Network is a CeFi provider offering crypto savings accounts (Celsius account) and crypto loans. Founded in 2017, the company is considered one of the early pioneers of cryptocurrency lending and offers some of the most attractive interest rates in the industry. Celsius Network LLC is an United States registered and based crypto company. At the point of writing, Celsius Network serves over 1 million customers worldwide and has paid yield, interest rates and rewards worth over $1 billion!

The Celsius Network team is a team of professionals, lead by CEO Alex Mashinsky. 

The wealth management platform has an app for both Android and iOS devices and is overall very user friendly, with interest paid weekly in-app.

In this article, we share our experience with Celsius Network.

Regulation and Security

Celsius Network offers savers on their crypto holdings and borrowers on a cash loan a comprehensive range of services. Celsius Network is often referred to as the industry leader in relevant forums. The company was founded by CEO Alex Mashinsky, a serial entrepreneur with experience who looks back on an impressive entrepreneurial track record. As an example, Alex invented the voice over internet protocol (VoIP), owns over 35 patents and has successfully launched a number of thriving enterprises, including Arbinet.

Celsius Network is registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is thus subject to strict regulations. The company’s philosophy is based on the motto “Unbank Yourself” and is oriented towards the end customer’s needs and the community. 

Top tier security and asset protection is guaranteed through Multi-Party Computation (MPC), and top tier layered data protection. Celsius Network is also at the forefront in terms of transparency. Partnering with Horizon Labs was introduced to prove liquidity at any given moment through the blockchain without privacy breaches and relying on external auditors.

One additional and unique feature of the Celsius App is its so-called HODL Mode. Enabling HODL Mode adds security to the user’s account by disenabling the withdrawal function. Once activated, this function can only be turned off with a unique passcode generated at the activation of the HODL Mode. Once the individual passcode has been entered, a pending period of 24 hours needs to pass before any crypto asset can be withdrawn from the account. 

Please do your own research when it comes to any financial services platform, but we consider Celsius Network safe to use. It is also vital to understand that there are unique laws surrounding cryptocurrency in various jurisdictions.

Sign-up Procedure

Creating a user account is simple and done within only a few minutes. The verification and KYC process is very similar to most cryptocurrency lending platforms for personal identification. Once this process is complete, the user can take advantage of Celsius Network offers, functions and services. Every user should be fully verified to enjoy all platform functionalities and offers, such as Celsius Network interest rates and loan offers.  Users that have completed KYC verifications with other cryptocurrency exchanges or lending platforms will be able to complete the process in only a few minutes.

Instant crypto loans

As is the case with all crypto lending platforms, complete KYC identity verification is required to be able to take out crypto backed loans. Similar to the sign-up process, Celsius advertises on the Celsius Network website that customers can take out a loan in just 4 steps:

To make it crystal clear from the beginning in our Celsius Network review: you won’t be able to receive a loan coupled with Celsius’ low loan interest rates without holding a balance in your Celsius wallet. There are no deposit fees when depositing funds to the Celsius wallets. It doesn’t matter which coins or tokens you hold in your Celsius savings account, or how you send crypto to your wallet, only their value is of concern. The coins you are HODLing are being used as crypto collateral against the loan you are taking out and pay interest on in the lending platform. 

This means that you first need to deposit any of the currently 40+ supported coins or tokens to your Celsius wallet before receiving a crypto loan. Once you have an active balance, you will see which crypto lending you can get and set individual terms. While having an active crypto lending loan, you won’t be able to take advantage of the attractive interest rates or earn any rewards or yield on the assets used as collateral for the loan.

Once the loan interest is settled and therefore the loan is closed, your crypto assets will start to earn interest once again.

You can close your cash loans (early) and stop paying loan interest at any time. There are no early termination fees when closing a loan early on the lending platform. All that is required is that you must be up-to-date with your interest payments. A six-months interest payment will be due if the loan has not matured for at least six months since this is the minimum loan requirement. You can select between manual or automatic loan interest payments. If you choose the automated solution, you will need to ensure that you have enough coins in your Celsius wallet to cover the interest rates payments. 

You can borrow USDC, USDT, TUSD, GUSD, MCDAI, USD and PAX. Interest can be paid in CEL token, BTC, ETH, USDC, GUSD, TUSD, USDT and MCDAI. Paying interest in the native CEL token triggers an up to 30% discount on the interest rates payments.

Below, you will find an overview on all assets available for borrowing and which ones can be used as collateral:

Earning weekly returns with cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and gold tokens

Celsius offers some of the highest yields and interest rates in the industry on various digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and gold tokens. To take advantage of Celsius’ crypto interest rates, and start earning passive income on your digital assets, you only need to transfer your crypto to your Celsius wallet. Once the coins are received, you start earning interest. The interest payments are then credited to your Celsius wallet weekly every Monday. Celsius Network does currently not off an exchange, DEX, or any option to buy into digital currencies and tokens. Therefore, the only way to start earning yields on your otherwise dormant cryptos is to buy them on a trading platform, DEX or cryptocurrency marketplace first and then transfer them to your Celsius wallet. Credit card purchases is currently not something that Celsius Network supports.

Keep in mind that you can select for each asset you hold if you want to earn interest in-kind, which means earning tokens in the same currency that you hold, or in CEL tokens. Once your deposited coins show in your wallet, the Celsius mobile app pre-selected earning in CEL, so make sure to switch to in-kind interest rates rewards if you want to add to your bags of certain assets. 

However, earning in CEL tokens instead of in-kind typically boosts the yield quite significantly. Be sure to check the relevant interest terms beforehand, though, because some assets make higher returns in-kind. The per asset option to choose how to earn interest – in-kind or in CEL token – is one of the best features of Celsius Network. It is excellent in terms of user experience, and since you can change from in-kind to CEL rewards and vice versa any time, it makes earning yields ultra-flexible. 

This is to say that other lending and earning platforms or alternative mobile app do not provide such a flexible method. As an example, though one of our favourites, the NEXO app does not allow an individual earning approach per asset. At NEXO, as just one example of a competitor app to Celsius Network, the user can only select to earn in-kind or earning in NEXO tokens for all or no digital asset held in the user account.

All the following rewards APYs reflect the international rates for the Celsius Network app, excluding United States customers. Users in the US may have other rates, but it ultimately depends on the digital asset in question. 

At Celsius, HODLing stablecoins, including TUSD, GUSD, PAX, USDC, USDT, TGBP, TAUD, THKD, TCAD, BUSD, or ZUSD, already earn interest as high as APY of 8.88% – the ultimate envy of traditional banks. If the customer chooses to earn yields in CEL tokens, the APY is boosted to a whopping 11.21%. Holding the MCDAI stablecoin produces yearly returns of 4.6%, and accumulating in CEL increases the interest rate to 5.78%.

Gold tokens, including PAXG, XAUT, and WDGLD, earn interest of 5.5% APY, or 6.92%, when accumulating is set to CEL tokens. 

The Celsius Network mobile app also supports many of today’s leading cryptocurrencies and offers attractive yields. All currently available cryptocurrencies include SNX, MATIC, DOT, BNB, BNT, LUNA, CEL, AAVE, DASH, COMP, BCH, EOS, SUSHI, 1INCH, LTC, ADA, ETH, BTC, ETC, LINK, XRP, UNI, BSV, ZEC, ZRX, XLM, BAT, UMA, OMG, KNC, and MANA. 

The weekly rates for those cryptos change from time to time but are typically at a competitive level. Below is just one example for earning BTC rewards in USD for holding $30,000 worth of Bitcoin for one year in your Celsius wallet when you are an international customer:

CEL token

Celsius’ native platform token CEL is not only available for raising certain interest rate levels, high yield returns and better loans, we also believe that it is an attractive speculative asset. Celsius advertises that you should think of the CEL token as “a rewards program, with actual financial rewards”. As highlighted before, this means that the CEL holder and users gets access to higher yields and better loan offers. Interest payments are made every Monday.

Like other digital lending and borrowing platforms, Celsius Network offers a tiered rewards structure (loyalty tiers). Our Celsius review shows, that the higher the loyalty tier, which means the more CEL tokens you hold, the better the rewards. This rewards system is based on a percentage basis regarding your total wallet holdings:

As the above table shows, holding at least 25% of your crypto bags as CEL tokens puts you in the Platinum Status and gives you 25% better APYs on the coins and tokens you choose to earn in CEL. It further guarantees a loan discount of 25%. On the opposite side of the equation, you won’t receive any bonus rewards or loan reductions if you do not hold any CEL tokens.

Since Celsius Network doesn’t offer any crypto exchange or crypto trading platform, buying CEL tokens needs to be done on an external exchange or digital marketplace that offers CEL tokens.

The Celsius platform also offers its customers an intra-app payment network called CelPay. Like payment platforms such as PayPal, as just one example, CelPay allows Celsius Network users to send supported tokens within the CelPay network to other users. The CelPay service is fast, easy to use, and free for all individual and institutional Celsius Network customers.

Further to all other Celsius services, a Celsius credit card is soon to be released by Celsius Network as well. Currently, Celsius clients can only join the waitlist, but the promises this new product holds seems too good to miss out on: No annual fees, no late payment fees, no foreign transaction fees, no ATM fees. As far as their advertisement goes, the customer can pick how they wish to settle a transaction within the Celsius app by choosing between their holdings: fiat, stablecoins, or cryptocurrencies.

Customer Support & Service

Celsius’s customer support features include a well-sorted FAQ Help Centre section and a virtual chat assistant. If the virtual chat assistant cannot answer the customer’s question, the customer may submit a customer support request. There is also “submit request” option, which skips the step to figure out the answer to a question on your own. You can also follow Celsius Network via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and the Celsius Network YouTube channel. 

In our experience, the Celsius support team is quick to reply, and their attitude and responses have so far been professional and complete.

The mobile app can be accessed with a mobile phone or tablet device. Supported operating systems include standard Android and iOS.

Conclusion

Our Celsius review concludes that the Celsius Network lending platform offers superb loan interest rates for crypto lending, high interest rates on the Celsius savings account and a positive customer support experience. 

Ease of use, high security standards, up to 17 % interest on savings deposits, attractive bonus rewards, and fast loan disbursement support Celsius Network as one of the leading crypto assets lending and borrowing providers. However, caution is also advised, as there is no access to the private keys of tokens deposited to the platform. Once coins and tokens are deposited to your Celsius wallet, they are not your keys anymore. Please review the difference between private and public keys. However, Celsius Network, one of the first crypto lending and earning platforms, has been around since 2017 and is thus one of the most trustworthy at this point. Founded and spearheaded by serial entrepreneur and crypto advocate Alex Mashinsky, Celsius Network’s customer base exceeds 1 million clients in over 150 countries worldwide.

Celsius Network has no deposit or withdrawal fees and using CELpay comes without any Celsius network fees or any other transaction fees. We also consider Celsius Network legit, as the company is regulated at a very standard. Celsius Network safe and secure features include high industry standards in terms of security and encryption. Celsius’ unique HODL mode feature adds another layer of security, which makes it harder for security breaches, withdrawing money or any crypto asset held in the Celsius wallet.

In our Celsius Network review, we found many positive customer reviews and feedback for Celsius Network over the past years confirm that Celsius Network, their digital lending platform and borrowing app is one of the best digital assets borrowing (crypto lending) and earning platforms on the market right now.

FAQ

Is Celsius regulated?

Yes, Celsius Network has licenses with FinCEN and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company has several measures in place to protect user wallets and the customer’s assets. These security features include everything from two-factor authentication to biometric signatures, as well as Celsius’ unique HODL mode.

In their 4+ years of being in business, Celsius Network has never had a hack, security breach, or loss of client funds.

Celsius Network can further be trusted in paying out interest and providing loans quickly.

What is CEL Token?

The CEL token is the native (platform) token of the Celsius Network ecosystem. Why do CEL tokens matter? Because they can unlock various advantages, such as higher interest rates, lower loan rates or other bonus rewards. 

We also believe that Celsius Network’s native token holds attractive speculative value because crypto lending platforms are only in their infancy state, and ecosystems in this space, especially early movers such as Celsius, are set to grow in value.

How Does Celsius Make Money?

We are often asked how a lending and borrowing platform such as Celsius can make any money when they are paying such high interest rates.

Celsius Network and Alex Mashinsky have clarified this many times publicly by stating that the company has numerous pillars to back their finances. One pillar consists of a mining operation that generates crypto tokens that can later be sold for profit. Furthermore, Celsius generates returns for the Celsius crypto community by lending the community’s digital assets to borrowers in the institutional and retail space.

Celsius’s objective is to return up to 80% of the revenues made from lending the community’s assets back to the community weekly. 

The rate of returns the network can achieve in the cryptocurrency lending market changes almost daily, which is also why Celsius adjusts the community’s rates on crypto assets each week. 

With the traditional banking systems offering an average of <1% APY, how can an alternative provider like Celsius Network offer much higher rates? 

Banks often keep >80% of your 1% interest, which is something most savers are unaware of. Each bank’s capital is generally between 14 and 25%, which is evenly distributed amongst shareholders through dividends or share buyback.

In traditional banking, banks are in control and simply choose not to pay higher interest rates. When a client deposits fiat currency into a bank, they get close to nothing for it. Still, the banks profit immensely by putting the deposited funds to work, often through their investment arms. 

The competition was also lower in the traditional banking system for a long time, but this is changing rapidly, mainly because of crypto and providers such as Celsius, which are helping to change the paradigm.

How can I earn interest with Celsius?

Earning interest with the Celsius lending and borrowing platform is as simple as can be. All you need to do is transfer/deposit cryptocurrency into your Celsius wallet, which you can access via desktop or a mobile device. As long as the deposited coins or tokens are not used as collateral for a loan you are taking out, the funds earn daily interest, which is paid out weekly.

Every Monday, you will receive a report via email, as long as you have not opted out of this option, showing you the rewards you received over the past week, denominated in US dollars.  

As outlined in our detailed review, Celsius currently pays one of the highest yields in the cryptocurrency market. For example, stablecoins generate 8.88% APR already on the lowest loyalty tier. 

The returns can further be boosted by holding native CEL tokens on the platform. Still, one needs to keep in mind that higher yields are only applied if one chooses to receive interest payments in CEL and not the deposited token earning the interest in-kind.

Please also keep in mind that APYs differ from token to token and might change over time.

How can I transfer funds to my wallet at Celsius?

Depositing cryptocurrencies and stablecoins to Celsius works the same way as sending cryptocurrency to any other wallet. First, you need to sign up with Celsius, create an account and complete KYC verification. Once you are set up, you are ready to deposit any available crypto to your account. 

Here is the deposit process as a step-by-step guide:

  1. Log into your Celsius account.
  2. Select “Receive” at the top of the screen.
  3. If you haven’t transferred any funds over yet, select “+Add New Coins”, as shown in the screenshot below.
  4. Finally, click on the relevant coin you wish to deposit and copy the address and the destination tag if applicable.

Please be advised that sending cryptocurrencies is even simpler than executing a bank transfer, but copying a wrong address or sending coins to invalid addresses may result in a total loss of funds, as it is often impossible to recover coins sent incorrectly. 

It is currently also not possible to transfer fiat currency directly to Celsius and exchange it for cryptocurrency. Please make sure to check which stablecoins, cryptocurrencies and gold tokens are supported on the lending and borrowing platform. 

The positive news is that there are origination fees when you deposit any coin or token to your wallet at Celsius.

How can I send funds to other wallets outside Celsius?

There are two ways how you can send coins and tokens within the Celsius Network. 

If you want to send your funds out of your account, first click the “Send” button on the top of the screen and then select any of the coins in the list.

If you have previously activated HODL mode, you will need to follow the steps outlined within the app and wait for at least 24 hours after deactivating HODL mode. Once deactivated and the 24-hour security window has passed, you can send the relevant coins to the pre-selected address. 

Another point to bear in mind is that you first need to enter a receiving address for each coin you hold before you can send them out. This is a one-off requirement and incurs another 24-hour waiting period. Once you have set a withdrawal address for each relevant coin, you will not have to wait 24 hours again if you wish to send the coins again in the future, unless you wish to make changes to the receiving address. 

Once again, we need to highlight how important it is to enter correct receiving addresses, matching for each cryptocurrency, and adding a destination tag where applicable. 

The second option for sending funds in-app is via the unique CelPay function. With this option, sending coins to other user addresses within the Celsius Network is simple, fast and free.

Do I need to be a crypto pro to use Celsius?

No, we believe that Celsius is one of the best crypto lending and borrowing platforms out there regardless of the user’s experience with digital money. 

Beginners will find it easy to use as the app, and in-app features are well-sorted and not overwhelmingly many features available. It is especially the simplicity that makes Celsius stand out. Customers start earning interest as soon as they deposit funds to the platform. Taking out a loan is self-explanatory and straightforward, but our guide should also be helpful if any doubt arises. 

Advanced HODLers or crypto advocates will also like the app’s simplicity and enjoy the high yields and lucrative loan offers.

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