Celsius Network Review: Pros, Cons and How it Compares

Our comprehensive Celsius Network review looks at their interest rates, usability, security, reputation and fees. We break down every element of the service, so that you can make an informed decision.

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Our take

4.5
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With the launch of Bitcoin (BTC) in 2009, digital currencies have grown in value and reputation by leaps and bounds. More than 18,271,364 BTC exist, and the total coin supply of Bitcoin is 21 million. What's more, an estimated 23 million entities hold BTC. 

While Bitcoin comprises 63.8 percent of crypto's market value, it isn't the only coin worth watching. For example, the popular stablecoin known as Tether USD sometimes sees more daily transactions than BTC.

And that doesn't even cover Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and more. Of course, you need a trusted platform to gain access to the tremendous savings interest rates for Bitcoin and other cryptos on the market.

In this Celsius Network review, we'll take a look at one such website. Here's what you need to know about Celsius Network and whether it's right for you. 

What Is Celsius Network?

A wealth management platform, Celsius Network facilitates earning interest and borrowing funds on cryptos. The network boasts an app available for Androids and iOS. 

In May 2018, the platform was born from an initial coin offering (ICO) of its proprietary token, CEL. During this ICO, they raised $50 million, earning attention for the native coin in the process. 

CEL has performed well ever since. Annually, its performance sits at +3767.7 percent. The utility token permits customers to earn more interest on their savings accounts.

When taking out a loan, you'll also enjoy discounts on interest for loan repayment.  

Which coins does the network support? More than 30 cryptocurrencies. They include popular digital currencies and stablecoins such as:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Tether Gold (XAUT)

How did Celsius Network get started? It's the byproduct of a real Renaissance man's innovations. Here's what you need to know about Celsius Network's early history and fascinating founder. 

A Brief History of Celsius Network

Alex Mashinsky is the CEO and founder of Celsius Network. Before launching this platform, Mashinksy helped invent Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

For those who don't know, VoIP is the reason we can talk through the internet without relying on telephone networks. What's more, Mashinksy boasts more than 35 patents and has founded many other successful companies, including Arbinet. 

In 2004, Arbinet Corporation had an IPO with a market capitalization of more than $750 million. He also created Transit Wireless, which had a valuation of $1.2 billion at the time of his departure.

Mashinksy remains active on YouTube. Every Friday, he interacts with the community via sessions called Ask Mashinsky Anything (AMAs). He also conducts interviews with some of the biggest names in the crypto world for the Money Over Internet Protocol (MOIP) series.

Past episodes of the MOIP have included interviews with Jonathan Levin from Chainalysis and presidential candidate Brock Pierce.

Alex has plenty of experience in the technology sector and is now dedicating his effort and time to helping people achieve financial freedom. He believes that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain represent two essential tools for achieving these ends. 

Celsius Network: Ease of Use

How easy is Celsius Network to use? The app makes creating a crypto savings account and earning yields a cinch. You'll also enjoy a simple onboarding process.

That said, you should be prepared for a slight delay following onboarding. Why? Because of the need for identity verification.

The Celsius Network app is available in more than 100 nations. And each of these countries comes with unique laws surrounding cryptocurrency.

This variation in legislation shouldn't surprise you. After all, there are still some countries in the world where trading cryptos represents a crime.

The onboarding and verification process differs depending on which country you live in.

Once onboarded, the app's user interface is streamlined and intuitive. As a result, you can navigate the platform without a large learning curve or need for guidance.

Should you desire a tutorial, Celsius's app boasts countless videos that walk you through each service and feature available on the app. It also contains detailed videos on how to use them.

For example, you'll see your balance and total earnings available at the top of your dashboard. With a single click, you'll see a weekly breakdown of your earnings with records stretching back to when you joined the app.

More Advantages of Using Celsius Network

With Celsius Network, it’s easy to keep track of your deposits, earnings, and withdrawal history. You'll also find it a cinch to start earning interest.

What do we mean? Every Friday, your rewards will get calculated. And every Monday, they'll get deposited automatically into your wallet.

When you make a deposit, you start earning. For example, if you deposit on a Wednesday night, you’ll see your first rewards the following Monday in your Celsius wallet.

Other features that prove equally simple include: 

  • Buying more coins
  • Withdrawing money
  • Paying friends
  • Taking out a coin-backed loan

To get started, choose your preferred loan amount along with your interest rate and payback schedule. Then, you’re ready to start earning on your crypto-assets. It doesn't get much simpler than that. 

Celsius is the only app with no withdrawal fees, no lockups, no minimums. You can also transfer crypto to other users in the app without fees. There are also no limits on withdrawals. If you are withdrawing greater than $75k then you must verify your identify for security purposes.

What backs the loan? Your coin balance. This means the amount is limited based on what's in your wallet. Your coins stay in your wallet and continue earning while paying back the loan.

This system makes it a convenient option when you need cash. But you won’t have to withdraw any funds from your Celsius wallet to realize it.

Comparing Networks: Celsius Network vs the Competition

How does the platform contrast with Celsius Network competitors such as like Nexo and BlockFi? Compared to other platforms, Celsius Network offers very competitive rates.

That said, there are a few things you need to understand. For starters, interest rates vary by the week. Currently, the annual interest rate (APY) for Bitcoin (BTC) is 4.51 percent when earning interest in BTC. But you'll see returns of 6.20 percent when you choose to earn in the platform's native coin, CEL.

Stablecoins offer even greater interest. For example, USDC and USDT have reward rates of 10.51 percent in-kind and 13.86 percent when operating in CEL.

Some altcoins have reached downright unbelievable rates. Take, for example, SNX, which boasts a reward rate of 16.16 percent in SNX. What's more, you'll enjoy yields of as high as 21.49 percent in CEL.

You also need to understand how compound interest works and can benefit you. To take out a loan of $500 over 12 months, Celsius requires collateral of 0.13 BTC (approximately $2000). The total interest needed to repay in cash comes out to $0.42 per month or $5.

You must understand that CEL’s utility plays a role. It reduces the APR to 0.7 percent, which means the total interest to repay the same loan would drop to $3.50 in its proprietary token.

Celsius Network's Four Loyalty Tiers

What else do you need to know about Celsius Network? The platform has four loyalty tiers. These tiers are stipulated by the percentage of CEL tokens customers hold as opposed to the rest of the funds that they've staked. 

They include:

  • The Bronze Tier
  • The Silver Tier
  • The Gold Tier
  • The Platinum Tier

What do you need to know about each of these tiers? Let's take a closer look at each one. That way, you'll get a better idea of what perks are possible with Celsius Network. 

The Bronze Tier

Customers of this tier will receive between five and ten percent in interest on CEL. But the benefits don't stop there. 

You'll also enjoy five percent bonus rewards and five percent loan interest discounts with the Bronze Tier.

The Silver Tier

As for the Silver Tier? You'll receive between ten and 15 percent yields with CEL. You'll also enjoy bonus rewards of ten percent and loan interest discounts of ten percent. 

The Gold Tier

Moving up to the Gold Tier, you'll get 15 to 20 percent in earnings with the platform's proprietary token. Bonus rewards come in at 20 percent, and you'll see 20 percent loan interest discounts, too.  

The Platinum Tier

Last but not least, you'll earn between 20 and 100 percent on CEL at the Platinum Tier. You'll also get bonus rewards of 30 percent. And you'll enjoy loan interest discounts of 30 percent as well.

As you can see based on the data above, the more CEL tokens you hold on the platform, the higher the yields you'll receive. Of course, HODLing in CEL proves riskier due to the high volatility of the crypto market. So, you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully. 

Other Services Offered by the Network

What else do you need to know about Celsius Network? It provides a useful service called CelPay. 

As the name implies, Celpay is an in-app payment solution. This service lets you network with other Celsius users to facilitate sending and receiving cryptocurrencies. That way, you don't have to deal with unwieldy cryptographic addresses and network fees.

Instead, when you send one Bitcoin, your family member or friend receives one Bitcoin. Best of all, the person you send crypto to doesn’t need to have a Celsius wallet to receive your funds. It doesn't get easier than that. 

Generally, it’s a streamlined and convenient platform. This platform proves simple for customers to use and navigate all of the features offered. 

It's also worth noting that the company is renowned in the community for not charging Celsius network fees for the services it provides.

That means no deposit fees, no transaction fees, no withdrawal fees, no early termination fees, and no origination fees. Period.

What fees will you pay in the app? They come solely from third-party services (such as Wyre, Coinify, and Simplex) for the purchase of digital currencies.

Celsius is also in the process of adding CelSwap, an automated market maker (AMM) and decentralized exchange (DEX), to the app. This feature will allow users to swap between currencies to take advantage of higher interest rates on some tokens.

The Safety and Security of Celsius Network

Is Celsius Network safe? This is a valid question with a complicated answer. 

After all, each week, the news is cluttered with stories of crypto entities that get hacked, resulting in the loss of untold user funds. What steps has Celsius Network taken to ensure its customers' funds remain safe?

Celsius Network boasts licenses with FinCEN and the American SEC. The company has many measures in place to protect user assets. They include everything from two-factor authentication to biometric signatures.

What's more, funds get stored with third-party custodians like PrimeTrust and Fireblocks. Both provide insurance on customer assets. Fire block uses MPC (multi party computation) wallet infrastructure. Celsius has a dedicated in-house security team composed of ex-military cyber security professionals. 

In their 3+ years of business, Celsius has never had a hack, security breach, or loss of funds.

Celsius Network can be trusted to pay interest and provide loans quickly. As long as you stay on your toes about these issues, you won't be surprised when using the site.

How Does Celsius Network Pay High-Interest Rates?

Celsius only pays what it earns. That's why the company adjusts rates so frequently. Compared to what traditional finance lenders or banks make, it represents around 15 to 20 percent of net profits.

These profits get distributed to company shareholders, not depositors. The network doesn't pay shareholders any dividends. Instead, it passes earnings along to customers.

Ultimately, Celsius's mission is to return 80 percent of its revenues to the Celsius community via weekly interest payments. Celsius generates profits through lending cryptos (e.g., Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH)) to institutions.

Currently, Celsius boasts more than 55,000 active users. The platform also has 340 institutional clients. Expect to see these numbers continue to rise. It's also worth noting that Celsius published a thorough explanation of how they set rates back in 2019.

How Does Celsius Make Money?

Celsius Network's finance team creates returns for the community by lending the community's digital assets to borrowers in the institutional and retail spheres.

Celsius Network has a stated objective of returning up to 80 percent of the revenues made from lending the community's assets back to the community on a weekly basis. 

Because the rate of returns the network can achieve in the lending market changes almost daily, Celsius adjusts the rates that the community earns on crypto assets each week. 

Is Celsius Network Insured?

The company has $20 million in insurance in hot wallets. These contain coins in transit from one place to another. But Celsius doesn’t have insurance on currencies lent out.

Why? Because Celsius loans out coins to a wide variety of different institutions. These loans get collateralized, unlike many others in the industry. 

That means there's a minor chance that multiple institutions could get hacked. If this happens, the company could lose its funds. In this worst-case scenario, the network wouldn't have enough collateral to cover its losses.

Can You Earn Interest on the Amount Above a Loan's Collateral?

If you take out a loan with Celsius but continue to deposit more of the same collateral, you'll earn interest on the amount above the collateral. And you don’t need to do anything for this to start happening. It's automatic.

You'll earn interest on everything not locked up in collateral. What's more, you can swap collateral between different coins.

Why might you wish to do this? Let's say the rates on Ethereum rise, and you'd like to change your collateral to Ripple (XRP)

What to do? It's as simple as reaching out to the company via the following email address: loans@celsius.network. From there, Celsius Network's skilled team will handle the rest. 

What Advantages Do You Get With Celsius?

Celsius Network permits customers to earn interest on their cryptos. It also allows them to borrow against them instantly, with no fees. Celsius’s mission remains to return 80 percent of its revenue to the community via an interest in cryptos held in the Celsius app.

Currently, they offer rates of 11.5 percent APY on stablecoins. Customers will also enjoy anywhere from two to 18 percent APY on other cryptocurrencies like  Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Their rates fluctuate over time. Nevertheless, they get set weekly based on how much Celsius earned in the previous week.

What is CEL Token?

As we've already mentioned, CEL is the native token of the Celsius ecosystem. Why does CEL matter? Because it can unlock tremendous earnings for users. 

When it's all said and done, the CEL token can be held to receive bonus interest on deposits. Earning with CEL also permits access to discounts on loan interest payments.

Is Celsius Network Safe to Use?

No doubt you will want to use a safe, reliable place to store and hold your crypto. Whenever we choose to store our funds, be it fiat or crypto, we want to know we're in safe hands. Does Celsius Network offer a safe and reliable source?

With any financial platform, crypto, or fiat, we recommend you do your due diligence. Depending on where you do your own research (DYOR), you'll receive like-minded or opposing viewpoints.

As of January 2021, here are some noteworthy numbers for the Celsius Network:

345,854+ active users $8.2B loans processed Hodls $5.3B in community assets

$200M crypto rewards distributed It is also important to mention that Celcius Network is a custodial wallet. This means that you are not in control of your private keys. As the mantra goes, not your keys not your crypto.

It's worth noting that Celsius was the very first yield provider of crypto. Today it has the largest assets under management of any consumer facing crypto yield provider with over $10B under management. 

Their CEO does a public AMA every Friday and answers community questions. Celsius pays up to 80% of its revenue to users as rewards on a weekly basis. 

According to Celsius, they've paid the most in rewards in comparison to their competitors - over $350MM.

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Pros and cons of Celsius Network

Pros

  • No Minimum Deposits or Balance
  • No fees
  • Competitive interest rates, particularly on Stablecoins
  • Fee-free, instant payments via CELPay
  • Weekly Rewards. Each Monday, you'll earn interest.
  • Large variety of supported cryptocurrencies
  • You can two options for earning your crypto interest. You can either earn the same coin as you had deposited or earn in CEL, Celsius' native coin. Earning is CEL will earn an additional 5-30% interest.

Cons

  • No web app
  • Need to be paid in native currency in order to earn higher interest rates
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) is required if you're looking to earn interest. This means you'll need to submit your ID and SSN.
  • Interest rates can fluctuate quite a lot
  • You'll only be able to use one withdrawal address for each crypto. If you wish to change, there will a 24-hour hold on your account.
  • United States users will not be able to take advantage of earning in CEL.

Frequently asked questions about Celsius Network

We’ve compiled some answers to questions we often get. Should you have any other questions, feel free to reach out below in the comments.

How often does Celsius Network pay interest?

Celsius Network pays interest every week.

Can I earn interest on fiat currency with Celsius Network?

Celsius Network doesn’t pay interest on fiat currencies, however, they do offer high interest rates on TUSD, TGBP, TAUD, THKD and other stablecoins. This is a great option for people who want the stability of a fiat currency like USD, but the savings interest rates of crypto currency.

How does the Loyalty Tier System work?

Celsius Network offers a loyalty tiered system for earning interest in CEL. The tiers are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. For more information on the system, head here.

How Does Celsius Network Fund 3-10% Interest Rates?

With traditional banking systems offering an average of <1% APR, how is Celsius Network able to provide a much higher option? The short answer? Banks choose not to.

Banks keep >80% of your 1% interest—a sobering thought indeed. Any bank's capital is generally between 14 and 25%. This is then evenly dispersed amongst shareholders through dividends or share buyback.

Banks don't have to and banks don't want to. When you deposit your fiat currency into a bank, you'll get next to nothing for it. Banks profit both figuratively and literally by giving the individual a low rate.

Competition is lower in the traditional banking system as well, allowing them to get away with this for the past 100 years.

How Interest Rates Are Determined

The state of the market, the insistence of coins, and 80% of Celsius' profits being returned to the crypto community all play a role in how weekly interest rates are determined.

Celsius Network interest rates provide a competitive alternative to similar crypto platforms and traditional banking systems. For coins with more demand, Celsius Network remains competitive with their high-interest rates as well.

How frequently are interest rates Changed

As stated in the paragraph above, interest rates are calculated by three major contributors.

You can always check the current state of interest rates on celsius.network, the app, or on their respected social media channels. On a week-to-week basis, they remain fairly constant.

Interest rates are subject to change, and Celsius is open and transparent about that fact.

How do I contact Celsius Network support?

Celsius has 50 dedicated support agents to assist our customers and active community groups across Telegram, Twitter, Reddit and other channels.

Celsius Network Review

As you can see, there are many advantages of using Celsius Network. But who is the ideal client for this platform? It proves most well-suited to beginners looking to buy cryptos without shouldering the full risk associated with the volatile crypto markets.

Besides newbies, the network will also meet the needs of passive investors who gravitate towards a safer tool for holding and buying digital currencies. Remember that there are no account minimums with Celsius Network.

By using this company, you'll also avoid hidden fees and other complications associated with withdrawing money. That said, we highly recommend doing your research before deciding on a crypto platform for your financial needs.

How can you learn more about different currencies and how the crypto market functions? Take a look at the leading CeFi and DeFi platforms that provide crypto loans, lending, credit cards, and debit cards.

Our Celsius Network score

4.5
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