Celsius is a platform that provides financial services around cryptocurrencies, such as interest-bearing accounts and crypto-secured loans.
Celsius is a centralized service, which comes with different risks than those in smart contract-based platforms.
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Ease of Use
Celsius is available as a mobile app only, to most countries worldwide. This creates an easy and intuitive experience for mobile users, however makes things more difficult for those who prefer a desktop-compatible application.
To get started, users simply need to provide an email address or social media account, as well as some personal details such as name, date of birth and country of citizenship.
After signing up, users can instantly begin earning interest on any cryptocurrency funds that they deposit, or even buy crypto from within the app.
Users may also choose to borrow fiat currency or stablecoins against their cryptocurrency deposits, with no paperwork or processing time required (aside from typical know-your-customer processes).
Celsius also allows users to send each other funds using their payments solution, CelPay.
Unfortunately, Celsius users cannot switch or trade between cryptocurrencies, so a user will need to withdraw funds to an exchange if they wish to convert them.
Celsius charges no fees for any of the platform’s own functions including deposits, sending money to other users and originating loans.
Network fees do apply when withdrawing cryptocurrencies, however these are charged by the blockchains and are not taken by Celsius itself.
Additionally, users may encounter some fees charged by payment processors when buying crypto via the app. These can be as high as 3.5% on purchases made with bank cards.
Celsius has a comprehensive FAQ section, as well as an interactive chatbot which will answer most general inquiries. Unfortunately if you require personal assistance from their support team, you’ll have to submit your issue and wait for a response via email.
Celsius was founded by the trio of Alex Mashinsky, Nuke Goldstein, S. Daniel Leon in 2017, and held a $50 million initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018. The company is headquartered in Longdon, England.
Notably, the company also later received backing from controversial stablecoin company Tether, in June 2020.
Celsius is viewed by many as a direct competitor to BlockFi, a popular US-based crypto lending platform.
Celsius deals primarily in cryptocurrency, directly taking crypto deposits and making interest payments in crypto too.
They do, however, allow users to purchase cryptocurrency within the platform using a bank card, SEPA transfer or ACH transfer.
Fiat currency loans are provided to borrowers via wire transfer and must be repaid with fiat. Interest payments on these loans are made using cryptocurrency out of the user’s Celsius account.
Celsius uses Fireblocks and PrimeTrust as custodians, which both provide insurance on digital assets stored with them by Celsius. On the other hand, user funds that are lent to borrowers are not insured. A small safety buffer is created by requiring these borrowers to post up to 150% of the loan’s value as collateral.
On the user end, there is also a “HODL mode” which can be activated to restrict withdrawals. If HODL mode is disabled, no withdrawals can be made for another 24 hours.
The company is periodically audited by a firm called Nyman Libson Paul, however, these audits are not published publicly.
US Availability for Celsius
Celsius is available to most states in the US, however, it appears that there are restrictions on the state of New York and possibly others. These are not explicitly mentioned on the Celsius website.
All US users are unfortunately excluded from using the platform’s native CEL token for its discount and bonus benefits.
Celsius is also available to most countries around the world, with the exception of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria or any other country sanctioned or embargoed by the US, EU or UK.
Celsius US Review 2021
Ease of Use
Celsius is available in the United States to earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings and borrow US dollars against them.