The unique feature of cryptocurrencies is the versatility that they possess. Blockchain technology enables transactions, provides collateral-free loans, and now allows you to earn interest on your crypto via several cryptocurrency platforms.
Celsius and Nexo are platforms that offer crypto lending and transaction processes and charge no fees while providing highly competitive interest rates. They allow you to either use your crypto as collateral or earn passive income on your stored crypto without selling them.
Choosing the right crypto platform can be difficult, but you will learn all you need to make an informed decision in this review.
What is Celsius Network?
Celsius Network was founded in 2017 by Alex Mashinsky, Chief Strategy Officer S. Daniel Leon, and CTO Nuke Goldstein. The platform allows users to buy, sell, borrow crypto, make payments online, and convert one cryptocurrency to another.
The platform enables the provision of loans with low interest while encouraging investors to buy and hold their digital assets to earn consistent returns over time.
The lending services are transparent without hidden fees, and the loans may be provided in the form of crypto assets or fiat currency delivered through bank transfer. Celsius is headquartered in NJ, USA, and the company's services can be accessed through its website or the Celsius app.
Now that you know about Celsius, let's talk about Nexo.
What is Nexo?
Nexo, just like Celsius, is a leading crypto lending platform that essentially acts as a cryptocurrency bank. Nexo offers crypto loans and allows you to receive interest payments on your crypto holdings. You can earn interest in the form of conventional crypto assets like Bitcoin or a customized coin known as a Nexo token, which is credited to your Nexo account.
Both Nexo and Celsius are reputable platforms, and now that you understand their services, let us discuss in detail some differences they have.
The interest rate can be calculated as APY (Average Percentage Yield). This is a measure of the percentage return you will get on your investments. It factors in compound interest, so once you make profits, you reinvest them, compounding over time. Therefore, daily and weekly payment compounding is already factored into the numbers we will discuss.
Nexo provides a 4% APY base rate for almost all crypto assets. If you hold Nexo tokens in your account, you can earn up to 1% more APY on your assets.
But, you can also increase your interest rates by locking up your tokens monthly. Unlike Celsius, Nexo pays users their interest daily. If you like seeing your funds accrue and compound daily, this is a good option for you.
If you choose to earn your interest rewards in Nexo tokens, you can earn an additional 2% APY.
You can earn over 6% on your crypto assets, but only by locking your assets up and holding at least 10% of your portfolio in Nexo. However, this is not available to US residents because Nexo has stopped offering interest accounts to US customers.
If you wish to hold stablecoins on Nexo, you have a base interest rate of 8% APY, which can be increased to 10% if you hold Nexo tokens.
Overall, Nexo has a consistent interest rate across all assets, making it easy for you to calculate your expected returns with ease.
In contrast to Nexo's model, Celsius has a dynamic interest rate model. Celsius Network's interest rate fluctuates with demand, and you cannot increase your earnings by locking up your tokens.
Like Nexo, Celsius provides its own tokens, known as CEL tokens. If you earn CEL tokens, you can increase your interest rate by 25%. For example, if you have a base interest rate of 10%, you can increase this to 12.5% by earning in CEL tokens.
Celsius offers you;
- 6.2% APY on Bitcoin if it is less than 0.25BTC, and 3.05% APY if you have more.
- 5.35% APY on ETH if it is less than 30ETH, and 3.25% APY if you have more.
- 8.5% APY on stablecoins
Therefore, you can earn more interest on your Bitcoin and Ethereum by using Celsius. But, if you have more than 0.25BTC, you will earn more interest on Nexo. However, these Earn Products from Celsius and Nexo are not available to United States residents. Only accredited investors in the United States have access to the Celsius platform. Read more about the accredited investor qualifications.
Native Tokens and Their Tokenomics
Nexo provides customized coins known as Nexo tokens. These tokens can be used to:
- Obtain loans at lower interest rates
- Secure a higher interest rate on cryptocurrencies that are stored on the platform
- Get free withdrawals
- Obtain other cryptocurrencies by swapping them
The highest tier on Nexo is the platinum tier, which requires you to hold 10% of your portfolio in Nexo tokens. Holding Nexo maximizes the earnings on your crypto, but you need to increase your loyalty tier to platinum to get the best out of these perks.
Celsius has CEL tokens with four tiers of ownership. Their top tier requires you to hold at least 25% of your portfolio in CEL tokens. This increases the earnings in your Celsius account by 25%, but it's only available to non-US users.
Hence, both platforms provide tokens, and owning them can help you earn more interest on your assets. The value of each token is closely tied to the demand by users on the platform.
Celsius Network requires a greater percentage of your portfolio to be held in CEL tokens before accessing the platinum tier. This could reduce your ability to diversify your crypto holdings since the CEL tokens would take up 25% of your portfolio.
Fortunately, these CEL tokens are considered deflationary because the Celsius platform occasionally buys them to increase demand and boost their value.
Nexo and Celsius provide crypto-backed loans. These loans can be obtained as cash deposits or stablecoins. The loans come with no fees on the Celsius platform, and you will pay the interest monthly until the loan matures. When your loan matures, you'll be required to repay the principal.
While comparing the crypto loans on both platforms, you need to consider the loan-to-value ratio, also known as LTV. LTV refers to the percentage of your collateral value that you may borrow against.
For example, if you borrow $10,000 and deposit Bitcoin worth $20,000, your LTV ratio would be 50%.
Celsius offers three options for loans; 25%, 33%, and 50% LTV. The higher the LTV, the higher the interest rate charged by the platform. But, if you choose to pay the interest in CEL tokens, you can reduce the interest rate by 25%.
Unlike Celsius, Nexo offers more LTV and loan interest payment flexibility. It has a maximum LTV ratio for each asset and allows users to choose any LTV ratio below the maximum value.
The interest rate depends on your Nexo loyalty tier. The higher the percentage of your portfolio in Nexo tokens, the lower the interest rate you have to pay.
As a crypto owner, you may have some NFTs, and Nexo provides the opportunity to use them. How?
Nexo lets users borrow using NFTs as collateral. You need to agree to a 20% LTV ratio to do this. There is no interest rate here, and this gives users some flexibility.
But, if you are not interested in keeping either of these tokens, Celsius might be a great option. You get access to decent lending terms and conditions without owning the Celsius token.
If you like holding tokens, you will likely get favorable LTVs and interest rates by holding the Nexo token.
Crypto Credit Cards
While the Celsius credit card hasn't been released yet, here is some information on how the card will work.
Firstly, Celsius claims there would be no fees charged on the card, and users would be allowed to top up their credit cards using fiat, stablecoins, and rewards earned on the platform. Celsius also said that users who use the card would be able to earn rewards on their credit card spending while earning rewards on their crypto collateral. This is a crucial feature to look out for because other platforms like Nexo do not allow users to earn rewards on their locked-up collateral.
Since the card hasn't been released yet, we can't tell whether or not this would be available to US residents.
Interestingly, the Nexo card offers instant 2% cashback on all purchases in either Bitcoin or Nexo tokens. But, you won't earn interest on any asset you use to collateralize your credit line. The credit line is also tied to your portfolio's value.
Both Nexo and Celsius allow users to swap between multiple crypto assets on their platforms.
Nexo users can swap different assets by exchanging them on the Nexo app. The swaps are free of charge, and users can exchange an unlimited number of crypto assets.
If you're swapping on Nexo, you will be linked to the top crypto exchanges, and your swap will be done at the best price available.
One of the unique features of Nexo is that the platform pays you up to 0.5% of your swap fees as cashback. This benefit comes with the higher tiers and requires you to hold some of Nexo's native tokens.
Celsius has a swap feature, but this is still in its developmental stage. Compared to Nexo, swap pairs on Celsius are currently limited. Furthermore, Celsius users cannot swap more than $25,000 daily.
But there are no swap fees involved.
There are no withdrawal fees on Celsius, and users are allowed to withdraw up to $600,000 daily. Any withdrawal that's more than $150,000 typically takes longer for Celsius to process, but don't fret; they usually process this within 24 hours.
There are no withdrawal or deposit fees on fiat. Furthermore, Nexo customers receive 1–5 free withdrawals per month, depending on their loyalty tier. As explained earlier, your loyalty tier depends on how many Nexo native tokens you have in your account.
Celsius is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FinCEN.
Nexo is regulated by many regulatory agencies in countries such as Canada and Switzerland, including some regulatory bodies in the United States.
Celsius deposits are not FDIC-insured or SIPC-insured. Fortunately, Celsius insures a part of its stored crypto assets by partnering with Fireblocks. This insurance doesn't cover assets that are deployed or used to provide loans and payments.
As a result, the company makes up for this through the LTV or percentage of collateral charged for providing loans.
Nexo partners with BitGo and Ledger Vault to provide insurance of over $350 million for digital assets on the platform.
In their 3+ years of business, Celsius has never had a hack, security breach, or loss of funds. Besides providing insurance, the company protects users through biometric signatures and two-factor authentication.
Nexo uses encrypted and offline wallets provided by BitGo to achieve a high level of security for their accounts. In addition to securing its funds, the platform also provides several methods for users to secure their accounts. There are many ways to keep tabs on your account, from two-factor authentication and biometric verification to login alerts.
Is Celsius or Nexo Safer?
Both Celsius and Nexo provide insurance and safety tools for users.
However, BitGo provides Nexo with cold storage wallets and vaults, insured for up to $100 million. According to Nexo, the total value of insured assets is over $775 million, which is significantly higher than what Celsius offers.
On the other hand, Celsius is still considered safe as there are many security measures to protect the users and their funds. Therefore, the platform you decide to use is entirely up to you.
Compare with Celsius Network and Nexo alternatives
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Celsius vs Nexo: Which is Better?
Ultimately, Celsius and Nexo provide unique opportunities for crypto investors and leaders to take advantage of. If you are unsure about which platform to choose, consider the pros and cons of each one in relation to your;
- risk appetite
- payment and withdrawal requirements
- crypto swap needs
- crypto loan terms and conditions
If you like to swap between several assets, Nexo might be right for you because it offers free and unlimited swap services. If you are a US citizen who owns Bitcoin or Ethereum, Celsius provides higher interest rates and more opportunities for compounding interest over time.
Essentially, you should choose a platform that meets your needs and helps you take your crypto investment journey to the next level.