Editorial Review

Celsius Review: An "Old-School Financial Institution" for the 99%

Founded in 2017, Celsius Network offers interest payments for cryptocurrency HODLed with Celsius or loans in both USD and stable coins. Celsius makes it easy for HODLers to put their cryptocurrency to work for them.

April 19, 2020

Celsius Network Loan Review

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Celcius Network Crypto Loan

3.5 Editor's Rating
on Celsius Network's website
APR
3.5-8.9%

Celcius Network Crypto Loan

3.5 Editor's Rating
Availability
Unavailable in: Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Japan, New Zealand, Israel
Loan details

KYC required

Loan-to-value: 25-50%

Terms: flexible

Security
3.5
Collateral accepted

BTC

ETH

XRP

Rates

Interest rates with Celsius Network start as low as 4.95%. Interest rates depends on the loan-to-value ratio. That is, the more collateral (cryptocurrency) that is deposited, the lower the interest rate. Note that users can receive up to 30% off an interest payment by using the Celsius Token (CEL). Applying for a loan only takes a couple minutes given all the necessary information and is as quick as 15 steps.

Celsius Network funds loans in USD and stable coins:

Tiers

Users are incentivized to hold the CEL token to recieve loan interest discounts. Depending on the percentage of CEL in a portfolio, a user may fall on a tier ranging from Bronze to Platinum. Respectively, loan interest discounts range from 5% to 30%. If a user has 15% or more of their portfolio in CEL tokens, then they qualify for a loan interest discount of 30%.

tiers

Loan Terms

The standard loan agreement is six or twelve-month term, but 18, 14, 30, and 36 month terms are also offered. However, there is no penalty for terminating and repaying a loan early. lastly, there is always an option to renew.

Example

Borrowing $1,000 with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 33% on a loan term of 12 months (i.e., one year) would require a collateral amount of 0.445748 BTC (i.e., BTC/USD = $6,800).

  • If paying with Fiat then the APR% is 6.95% or $5.79 per month for a total of $69.48 in interest payments on top of the loan amount.
  • If paying interest with CEL then the APR% is 4.87% or $4.06 per month for a total of $48.72 in interest payments on top of the loan amount.

Withdrawal

Users can withdraw stable coins as soon as they get them. It's fast and fee free. A user can also withdraw USD to a bank account with the following information:

  • Bank location
  • Bank name
  • Bank city
  • Bank street and number
  • Bank zip
  • Account number (IBAN)
  • SWIFT (bank identifier code)
  • Account type (saving or checking)

Liquidation

There are only two extreme situations in which Celsius Network will sell a user's assets:

  • The value of the collateral dropped significantly enough to change the Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV) to 65% or higher. A margin call notification is sent to the user. The user must respond within 12 hours or the collateral is sold.
  • The LTV has increased to 80%. In the first situation, Celsius Network has the right to sell the users cryptocurrency back down to the original LTV. In the second, Celsius Network will only sell enough to bring the user to a 70% LTV, and then issue another Margin Call with the twelve-hour response time window.

Security

Users must set up 2FA or a pin when first creating an account. Users must verify 2FA or confirm pin before taking out a loan.

KYC

Users must complete KYC before the deposit function is active. Once KYC is complete, users can deposit cryptocurrency and start collecting interest.

KYC applications can be approved within a few minutes but sometimes can take up to 24 hours (only weekdays).

KYC/AML provider is Onfido, a large and well-known company that processes KYC applications for companies such as Bitstamp.

Insurance

Celsius Network offers insurance with BitGo and is expanding their custodian and Mutiparty Computation (MPC) partners. So far they had added entities such as Primetrust and Fireblocks, with more to come.

Celsius Network Company Review

What Celsius Network Does Well

Celsius Network makes is easy for HODLers to put their Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to work for them and make passive income. Rather than keeping it in storage, store cryptocurrency on Celsius Network and earn interest. However, what makes Celsius Network stand out from the others is the CEL token.

The CEL token is a utility token that provides users access to higher interest rates on the coins they hold and lower interest rates on the loans they take. The CEL utility token incentivizes users to buy and HODL CEL through a loyalty program.

The loyalty program works in tiers. Essentially, a user falls into a bracket depending on the percentage make-up of that user's portfolio in CEL tokens. For example, if a user HODLs >15% of their portfolio in CEL, then they qualify for a bonus interest rate of 35% or a loan interest discount of 30%. This is the Platinum tier. Next is the Gold tier (10-15% CEL) which offers 20% bonus interest and 20% loan interest discount. Silver tier (5-10%) 10% bonus interest and 10% loan interest discount. Bronze (<5%) 0% bonus interest and 5% loan interest discount

Celsius Network offers competitive interest rates for passive income and loans. Earn interest for HODLing cryptocurrency with Celsius Network both in-kind coins and in the CEL token (earn more). Users can take loans out using the cryptocurrency they HODL as collateral without ever selling their crypto. With interest rates as low as 4.95%, users can apply for a loan in both USD or stable coins.

Celsius Network is based in London, England and was founded in 2017. The company size is between 11-50 employees, including Co-Founder/COO S. Daniel Leon and Co-Founder/CTO Nuke Goldstein. Celsius Network's Assets Under Management (AUM) is about $600 million and are audited by Nyman Libson Paul (NLP).

Why You Might Want To Choose Another Service

There are few reasons why someone may want to use an alternative to Celsius Network. One such reason is that someone might prefer to use a web browser over a phone app. Currently, Celsius Network is only available as an app for iOS or Android. However, they are working on a web app. Users can try and look elsewhere for better rates, but Celsius incentivizes users to save by using the native CEL token. Perhaps the CEL token itself is what drives someone away. These individuals would not want to be forced into a loyalty program and purchase CEL to do so. They would rather use a service without a native utility token. Celsius is a crypto company, not a Bitcoin company. This might push some users to support a Bitcoin company versus a crypto company.

Wrapping up

Celsius Network allows users to earn interest on Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies starting with any amount. Users can also take loans out using cryptocurrency as collateral. Celsius Network is for the HODLer who wants to put their cryptocurrency to use while not selling it. Earn interest in in-kind token or in fiat. Users can cancel loans at any time without any penalties or fees; and withdraw earnings and cryptocurrency at any time. Celsius Network has an active social network (e.g., Twitter and Telegram) and reliable customer service; typically contacting users within 24 hours of inquiry. Celsius Network offers users additional benefits by using the CEL token, including higher interest payouts and discounts on loan interest rates. Overall, Celsius Network is a well-rounded financial service allowing the 99% to put their cryptocurrency to work. Unbank yourself with Celsius Network.