Celsius Review: What to Know About the Pros, Cons, and Features

Celsius is a centralized lending platform that pays rewards on cryptocurrency assets while allowing users to borrow fiat currency against their pool of assets.

  • September 22, 2022
  • 5 Min Read

NOTE: Celsius has filed for bankruptcy and is currently not processing user withdrawals. We do not recommend depositing funds to the Celsius platform at this time.

Celsius is a centralized lending platform that pays rewards on cryptocurrency assets while allowing users to borrow fiat currency against their pool of assets.

By offering competitive rates and fiat currency support, Celsius Network provides a viable alternative to DeFi platforms to earn yield on cryptocurrency holdings and take out loans.

Celsius is available via a mobile app, which is available on both iOS and Android and via their website.

At the time of writing, Celsius has already exceeded $15 billion in assets.

Background

Celsius is based in the USA and was founded by Alex Mashinsky & Daniel Leon in 2017.

The company has raised a considerable total of $93.8 million to date, including a $50 million initial coin offering (ICO) of the platform’s utility token, CEL, in March 2018.

Prominent stablecoin company Tether also purchased a $10 million stake in the company in 2020.

Why Celsius?

Being a centralized company, Celsius has the advantage of being able to deal in fiat currency, as well as crypto. This provides a useful bridge for its users between the two worlds, who enjoy being able to borrow fiat currency against their cryptocurrency holdings – something which is not easy to do using DeFi.

Centralization also comes with other pros and cons. This includes having reduced smart contract risk, but also taking on more human and regulation-based risk via the company itself.

Earn rewards

Celsius users automatically earn rewards on any holdings of supported cryptocurrencies, with no minimum balance required. Rewards are paid out weekly, in the same assets that are held or in CEL.

Users may withdraw their balances at any time, 24 hours 7 days a week.

Borrow fiat or stablecoins

Since selling cryptocurrency is a taxable event in many jurisdictions, a useful alternative can be to borrow against your cryptocurrency instead.

Celsius facilitates this alternative, allowing users to borrow fiat currency or stablecoins against their cryptocurrency assets. Just like most DeFi protocols, Celsius loans are over-collateralized to ensure repayment.

Celsius loan rates are as low as 1%.

Loan terms can be 6, 12, 24 or 36 months with no extension fees. Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio options are 25%, 33% or 50%.

Borrowers pay interest on their loans on a monthly basis, using their choice of fiat currency or crypto. Rates are discounted when paid in the platform’s native CEL token.

Loans can be applied for and approved within minutes, with no credit checks required. These loans have no origination or hidden fees.

How to lend on Celsius

  1. To get started with Celsius.Network, begin by downloading the app on iOS or Android (their web application is launching in May 2021).
  2. Open the app, and tap “Join Celsius” to create a wallet. Users can sign up using a social media account or email address.
  3. Once a user has created a Celsius wallet, they will need to complete the verification process. Tap “Verify Profile” and follow the steps.
  4. Following successful verification, a user can now deposit any of the supported cryptocurrencies and instantly begin earning rewards! Alternatively, users can purchase cryptocurrency using their credit card, by tapping the “Buy Coins” button.

CelPay

CelPay is another Celsius platform feature, which enables users to send cryptocurrency to each other for free. If the recipient doesn’t already have a Celsius wallet, the funds can still be “sent” via a website link. In order to claim the cryptocurrency, the recipient simply needs to follow the link and create a Celsius wallet.

About the CEL token

CEL is the native utility token of the Celsius platform. It was distributed via a public ICO in March 2018. Celsius Network has also raised funds via an equity raise in June 2020 via BnkToTheFuture.

Platform users can earn extra rewards by opting to receive CEL tokens instead of other assets, as well as earn discounts on loan interest payments by paying in CEL.

Benefits to users are proportional to the percentage of a user’s holdings that are kept in CEL, in accordance with the Celsius loyalty program. Complete details on the loyalty program can be found on their website or app.

Assets supported on Celsius

Celsius supports well over 35 crypto assets, including but not limited to:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Celsius (CEL)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Most major stablecoins

Being centralized, Celsius has the advantage of offering support for assets across several blockchains, rather than just those that exist within the Ethereum network.