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Celsius Network Review 2021

Celsius Network is one of the easiest ways for crypto holders to earn interest by staking their crypto or borrowing fiat using their crypto as collateral. Users can download the app for Android or iOS, verify their account, and get started right away with earning crypto or borrowing cash. Interest rates on loans are as low as 1% at the time of writing.

General Overview


  • Multiple popular crypto assets supported

  • Niche offerings: stake and earn gold, HKD, and others

  • Size: over $600M in user assets currently held, making it one of the largest crypto lending markets

  • Interest paid out weekly


  • Limit on withdrawals larger than $20k

  • Higher interest rates available only when paid out in native CEL token

  • Account not accessible on web application

  • Users don’t have control over their private keys

Celsius Network At A Glance

Built-in exchange: No
Other Tools CelPay - send crypto using a link
Max interest available: 11.09% (rates are annualized and subject to change)
Headquarters: New York, NY, USA
Year established: 2017
Proprietary credit card: No
Minimum loan amount: $1,00
Maximum loan amount $999,999
FDIC insured: No


Originating in 2017 on the back of a napkin, Celsius Network has grown to be one of the largest crypto lending platforms, with over 100k active user accounts and $610M in staked assets. Celsius Network aims to “put the power back in the hands of the people” and create a new world of banking without banks. Celsius Network is a mobile app that handles customer transactions, with crypto deposits held with BitGo. This may be a bit confusing, since Celsius isn’t a blockchain, it is moreso a blockchain-focused bank. Its major difference (other than being crypto of course) is that Celsius pays its depositors (users) 80% of the interest earned, unlike traditional banks’ 20%.

Celsius operates in three ways:

  • lending USD to users who pledge crypto as collateral;
  • allowing users to “Stake” their crypto with Celsius and earn interest;
  • lending crypto to institutions (banks) who want less risky access to the crypto markets.

Screenshot of Celsius Network basic homepage

Here’s how it works. If you want to earn interest on your crypto, you can stake your crypto with Celsius, and then they lend that crypto to exchanges, institutional partners, and hedge funds in exchange for dollars. These dollars are then loaned to other users who deposit crypto as collateral and request a loan, then paying interest on that loan until it is paid back when the term is up. This interest then goes to Celsius, who gives 80% of it back to the original users staking their crypto in the app. It’s really a big happy crypto lending circle.

The founder, Alex Mashinsky, explains “We pay 7% to 10% interest. You can take your dollars or euros, you convert them into stablecoins like Paxos or USDC, deposit the coins in the Celsius app, I lend them out. I make 9% to 12%, I give you 80% of what I make back,”

To use Celsius, users need to download the Celsius App, which is compatible with all android and iOS devices and can be found on the App Store and Google Play. Users are required to use the app to access all that Celsius has to offer, and it conveniently doubles as a wallet for the dozen coins that you are able to stake and borrowed against. In order for Celsius to use your coins, they are stored with the custodian BitGo, who provides insurance on deposits up to $100m, and users have access to their funds at all times through the Celsius App.

In order to access the in app features of earning interest by staking funds, borrowing fiat, and purchasing crypto with a credit card, users need to go through a ~5 minute verification process for KYC compliance.

Earn Interest

Once users have their Celsius app set-up and verified, they can send a number of coins, such as BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, as well as stablecoins such as USDT, TrueHKD, and XAUT to their wallet app. Users can stake any one of these cryptocurrencies and earn up to 10% a year for the respective crypto. On its website Celsius compares its rates to Nexo and BlockFi, and alleges that for certain amounts, their payouts are the highest. If users choose to receive their interest payout in CEL they will receive a higher payout rate (up to 30% higher).

Advantages of using Celsius Network for earning interest are: they don’t charge fees, there is no lockup period, no penalty for withdrawing your funds, and no minimum deposit amount.

Celsius Network is also the trusted solution by the Litecoin Foundation to manage a portion of their treasury, as well as for users to store Litecoin and earn interest.

Borrow Cash

One of the main advantages of using Celsius Network’s lending platform is the ability to borrow USD using crypto as collateral, giving users access to spending money without needing to sell their crypto assets.

Applying for a loan is as simple as going in the app, selecting the crypto to be used as collateral and for interest payments, how much collateral to use, the term, the USD amount, then done! It can be as fast as 60 seconds with no credit checks, no transaction or termination fees, and instant approval. Users can get loans at amounts equal to 25%, 33%, or 50% of the value of their collateral (to protect lenders of course), with 25% being the lowest interest rate, currently 1% annually!


Screenshot of Celsius Network Lending CelPay online page

Many crypto lending platforms have credit cards or similar perks, what does Celsius have? CelPay, a crypto payment app that allows you to send crypto even to people who don’t have a wallet. It does this by generating a link, which can be shared, texted, or copied  that gives the recipient their own CelPay wallet holding the coins you sent them. All transfers are fee-free, and users can even earn up to 2% cash back when sending CEL! CelPay is compatible with all the cryptocurrencies on the platform.

CEL Token

Celsius Network has an ERC-20 utility token named Celsius (CEL), able to be purchased on exchanges like Liquid and IDEX. It was launched in June of 2018 raising $50m, and is currently valued at slightly less than that. Total supply is 650m, with 50% of coins issued. 25% went to the team and the rest is held in a locked smart contract that will only release these coins to be used for new loans if CEL is valued at greater than $1.50 for longer than 10 days, and then greater than $3 for 30 days.

CEL is primarily used to stake in the app and get weekly compounding interest (the highest interest scheme in the app), earn up to 30% discounts on loan interest payments, and earn up to 30% more on staked assets, when receiving in CEL. In order to earn the highest rates users need to hold 30% or more of their crypto in the app as CEL, incentivizing users to HODL the token.

Funding Methods

Funding Method Deposit Withdrawal Speed
Bank Account (ACH) No No n/a
Credit Card No No n/a
Debit Card No No n/a
Wire Transfer Yes Yes 2-5 business days
Wallet to Wallet Yes Yes Nearly instant

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, users can earn interest on up to 25 different cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, USDT, and Celsius’ on token CEL.

Celsius makes money by acting as the intermediary between lenders and borrowers. The borrowers pay interest to Celsius, who then pays 80% of this to lenders (stakers).

No, Celsius does not offer a credit card. However, they have an app called CelPay where you can send crypto to others using a link or as a text message, inviting them to download the app and receive their funds. Users can also transfer directly to each other.

Lending on Celsius is a good way for users to make use of their crypto holdings, earning interest instead of collecting dust.

If measured using interest rates, yes, since their interest rates on deposits are up to 10x greater than banks.

CEL Token is a utility token that encourages users to HODL it in the app by giving higher interest rates to stakers, lower interest rates to borrowers, as well as compounding interest rates when staking CEL.

Yes. You can stake and earn XAUT, which is Tether Gold, an asset backed stablecoin tracking the price of Gold.

Currently you can earn up to 11.90% annually on multiple stablecoins such as all the True currencies, USDT, PAX and many more.

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About the Author

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson is an award-winning writer and editor who hails from the Pacific Northwest. His career began in traditional news media but he transitioned to online media in the mid-2000s and has written extensively about the online poker boom and the rise of cryptocurrency.