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Celsius Network Review

Celsius Network lets you earn interest on your crypto and instantly borrow against it. No fees ever.
Celsius Network
By
Dean Fankhauser
Posted
1st April 2020
Our review

What is Celsius Network?

Celsius Network is a crypto wealth management platform that allows you to borrow and lend crypto assets.

The entire system is based on their native token CEL. CEL tokens can be used to send money peer-to-peer, take loans, get interest and much more.

While CEL tokens have generally increased in value over the last 12 months, they’re very volatile and significantly riskier than established cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Furthermore, in order to get the advertised rates and benefits from Celsius Network, you not only need to have CEL tokens, you have to stake them.

Staking means to own and store. Their staking system is a four tiered system. This tiered system includes bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The way in which they determine which tier you’re in depends on how much you have staked with them.

It’s worth noting that unless you belong in their ‘Platinum’ tier, you won’t receive their advertised rates. To be in their platinum tier, you’ll need to have 15%+ of your portfolio on Celsius Network in CEL tokens.

As you can imagine, this whole system is at best confusing and at worst, misleading.

They don’t clearly explain this on their website, or their app.

If staking at least 15% of your crypto assets in CEL tokens doesn’t sound appealing, we recommend using services like BlockFi or dYdX. They offer more competitive rates without the need to buy and stake native tokens.

If staking CEL tokens is appealing, then read on.

Important to note

  • They use BitGo wallets which are covered by $100m Lloyd’s Insurance
  • Some of the most competitive rates in the industry
  • Higher rates require CEL tokens

How does Celsius Network's loyalty system work?

In order to get Celsius Network's advertised interest rates, you’ll need to stake CEL tokens on a four-tiered system.

Celsius Network call it a ‘loyalty system’ that determines the interest rates and other benefits you’ll receive. The only one that really matters is the ‘Platinum’ loyalty level as that is the one that gives you their advertised rates.

Bronze

This means you hold less than 5% of your portfolio on Celsius Network in CEL tokens. If you’re a bronze member, you will receive 0% bonus interest and 0% loan interest discount.

Silver

You hold 5-10% of your portfolio in CEL tokens on Celsius Network. Here you’ll receive 10% bonus interest and 10% loan interest discount.

Gold

You hold 10-15% of your portfolio in CEL tokens on Celsius Network. Here you’ll receive 20% bonus interest and 10% loan interest discount.

Platinum

You hold more than 15% of your portfolio in CEL tokens on Celsius Network. Here you’ll receive 35% bonus interest and 30% loan interest discount.

If you’re wondering why you don’t already know this, it’s because Celsius Network don’t exactly make it clear.

Now that this is clearly laid out, you can see that very few of Celsius Network’s customers will be getting the advertised rates. This is why we believe they are actually misleading their customers.

If you hold less than 15% of your portfolio in CEL tokens (most of you), there are definitely better options to either earn interest or getting a loan.

Can Celsius Network be trusted?

Having used Celsius Network for a number of months, we can confirm that it is a real company that really does pay out interest and loans.

We are, however, very disappointed by the complexity of their offering which clearly teeters on being deliberately misleading. Particularly when you compare it with their increasing list of Competitors. They have been very aggressive in their marketing communications, touting rates and returns that most of you clearly won't be getting.

Bitcompare have reached out directly to Celsius Network. They have been very responsive and even offered to rectify many of the problems we're outlining in this review.

For now, we would say that Celsius Network can be trusted to pay you interest and give you loans, just not the amounts you might expect.

Fees

Unlike many of their competitors, Celsius Network don’t charge withdrawal fees, termination fees or default fees. They claim not to charge any fees at all, which is quite rare.

While this may be true on the surface, take it with a grain of salt. Everything about their service is about pumping the price of their CEL tokens. This is how they charge fees, even if it can't be labeled as such.

Earning interest with Celsius Network

It couldn't be much easier earning interest. All you need to do is deposit your crypto assets into the relevant Celsius Network wallet and it'll start earning interest, immediately.

Celsius Network pay interest every week and you can withdraw anytime.

There are no fees to deposit or withdraw funds. Though as I've mentioned many times above, be aware that you'll only get the favourable rates if you're a platinum member.

Their interest rates aren't particularly competitive if you're not a platinum member, however, if you hold more than 15% of your portfolio in CEL tokens, the rates are very competitive.

Celsius Network's interest also compounds which is an important thing to look out for when choosing a savings accounts.

Beware of the Bitcoin rate

Celsius network claim to offer up to 8.43% interest on Bitcoin. This simply is not true. In fact, it's not even close to being true. This particular trick from Celsius Network is particularly frustrating and confirms our suspicion that they are deliberately misleading users.

The 8.43% compounding interest they advertise for Bitcoin is only for platinum users (holding more than 15% of their assets in CEL tokens) and get this: it's only for the first month. This small but important caveat isn't clearly stated anywhere we could find. So while they're happy to sign people up on this number, they sure aren't paying it.

For many people this would be enough to discount them as a trusted service and so it should. Admittedly when we found out, we took most of our funds out of their wallets. Why should we hold our hard earned money with such a service? If Celsius Network got in a pickle, is this really where you want to be holding your funds? We sure don't.

Getting a loan with Celsius Network

Getting a loan with Celsius Network couldn't be much simpler. So long as you can cover the loan with a healthy amount of crypto collateral, you're good to go.

It is, however, worth nothing that to get Celsius Network's advertised loan rates, you need to take the loan with CEL tokens. This isn't clear to some and when not using CEL tokens, Celsius Network often don't have the most competitive rates

Pros

  • Insured wallets stored by BitGo for up to $100,000,000 per wallet
  • Flexible terms
  • No fees
  • Highly competitive interest rates, particularly on Stablecoins
  • Compounding interest
  • There is a CEL Pay option that allows transferring coins from one Celsius user to another Celsius user without any additional fees
  • Pay interest weekly
  • Large variety of supported cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • No web app
  • Need to be paid in native currency in order to earn higher interest rates
  • Misleading loyalty system
  • Unlikely to get advertised rates
  • Questionable marketing communications
  • Uncompetitive rates when not using CEL
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Celsius Network summary

Celsius Network is a fast-growing platform that allows you to earn interest on a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, 0x and a large range of USD, GBP, AUD and other stablecoins.

They have an easy-to-use app that allows you to easily deposit and withdraw funds. They have 2FA authentication, fairly responsive customer support and now offer compounding interest. The biggest drawback from Celsius Network is the fact that they require you to stake their CEL tokens in order to get their advertised interest rates.

Their advertised interest rates are based on their 'Platinum' loyalty scheme which requires more than 15% of your portfolio to be in CEL tokens. For those of you who are interested in high interest rates but not CEL tokens, we recommend you look elsewhere.

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