Cryptocurrency lending isn't new, but there are only a few players in this space who have risen to the top. Celsius is one of them.
Celsius offers great interest rates for cryptocurrencies on deposit. You can also borrow in crypto or USD at low rates. Additionally, you can send someone cryptocurrency through the Celsius app without having fees tacked on.
If you're already involved in cryptocurrency borrowing/lending, there's a good chance that you'll like Celsius. If you aren’t familiar with this space, this article will explain how it works.
- Earn high reward rates on deposited cryptocurrency
- Use your cryptocurrency to borrow cash or coins
- Send and receive cryptocurrency without fees
Celsius Network Details
Crypto Savings and Borrowing App
2.50% - 18.55% APY
$30 In Bitcoin Sign-Up Bonus
Who Is Celsius?
Celsius is a blockchain-based lending platform. It was formed in the summer of 2017 and issued its first coin (CEL) in March 2018. The founders of Celsius are Alex Mashinsky, Nuke Goldstein, and S. Daniel Leon. Celsius is based in London, U.K. The company has raised $93.8 million across five rounds.
“We’re targeting what we take for granted in the United States, access to credit and interest income, and making it fungible across the planet so anybody can start a business. We take the American dream and make it available worldwide,” Mashinsky said in an interview with CoinCentral.
What Do They Offer?
Celsius is a centralized lending solution that is based on blockchain technology. People can borrow from Celcius or leave cryptocurrencies on deposit with Celcius to be lent out. In exchange, they’ll earn interest.
You can borrow in cash or CEL (the native token of Celsius). If you need money to spend, you’ll want to borrow in cash.
Rather than putting up all of your crypto as collateral, you can choose how much to put up. This is called the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.
Note that you'll always put up more in collateral than the value of the loan. To get an idea of how much loan interest you may pay, check out the loan example below:
Celsius Loan Example
Bitcoin (0.0581 BTC)
Cost Per Month
If you change from cash to CEL as the payment type, the interest rate will decrease as shown below:
- APR: 6.27%
- Total Interest: $62.70
Your interest rate will also decrease your LTV decreases. For example, going from a 50% to a 25% LTV paid in CEL will result in a much lower interest rate:
- APR: 0.70%
- Total Interest: $7.00
Of course, CEL can fluctuate and you’ll want to take that into consideration. There are loan configurations with interest rates as low as 1%. You’ll have to pay a minimum of six months in interest on any loan.
There are over 30 coins that can be used as collateral. Also, know that Celsius may lend out your collateral to institutional investors. Loan approvals are instant, and there are no credit checks.
You can earn additional cryptocurrency or rewards by keeping crypto on deposit with Celsius.There is no minimum balance or fees to earn on your crypto deposit. And payouts are made on a weekly basis.
The Celsius term for earnings is "rewards." Rewards differ depending on the type of cryptocurrency and if you’re in the U.S. or not. If you don't live in the U.S., you can qualify for one of Celsius' loyalty tiers which pay reward bonuses based on the percentage of your crypto portfolio that is in CEL tokens.
Those loyalty tiers are as follows:
CEL Loyalty Tier
CEL Token Holdings
Unfortunately, CEL rewards are not currently available for U.S. crypto holders. This means that U.S. residents won't able to take advantage of the best rates that Celsius has to offer.
For example, the "in-kind" rewards rate that Celsius currently pays for Synthetic Network Token (SNX) is 13.99% APY. But if you were able to earn in CEL, the APY would go up to 18.55%.
It should be noted that CEL rates are very dynamic. In other words, the rate you see today may not be the same one you see tomorrow.
Are There Any Fees?
No, there are no fees except interest paid on loans. That sets Celsius apart from many of its competitors which may charge withdrawal fees, termination fees, and more.
Up to 18.55%
Up to 8.60%
Up to 4.50%
How Do I Open An Account?
Note that Celsius is very app-based. They do have a web-app, but you can only access it after you've passed KYC and AML on the app.
Is My Money Safe?
Celsius deposits are not FDIC-insured or SIPC-insured. The U.K. government regulates deposits rather than the U.S. While Celsius says it lends your cryptocurrency to institutional investors, there isn’t a way to know for sure. Certainly, there is a risk with depositing any cryptocurrency with Celsius.
We should also briefly mention crypto keys/ Some cryptocurrency exchanges will store them. That can be a positive if you don’t want to manage your keys yourself. However, Celsius does not offer any crypto key storage.
Is It Worth It?
The CEL token has been on a steady upward trend, which is good for Celsius. The Celsius network is large and used by many people. And, overall, it's a safe option within the context of cryptocurrency lending.
If you're comfortable with the risk of cryptocurrency lending, Celsius is a top player in this space and could certainly be worth it. If you're wanting to compare your options, check out our full list of top crypto savings accounts.
Crypto savings and borrowing app
Min Balance Requirements
Interest Rate On Deposits
Loyalty Tier Reward Bonus
Interest Rate On Loans
Starting at 1%
Loyalty Tier Loan Interest Discount
Min Loan Term
Credit Check Required On Loans
Deposit or Withdrawal Fees
Supported Payment Types
Digital asset insurance provided by Fireblocks and PrimeTrust.
No insurance provided when assets are lent out, however loans are collateralized up to 150%.
No assets are held by Celsius. Account security options include:
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Customer Service Options
Contact form only
$30 In Bitcoin Sign-Up Bonus
Ease of Use
Safety and Security
Celsius allows cryptocurrency owners to earn rewards on their coins and borrow cash without giving up their assets. Learn how it works!
- Earn up to 18.55% APY on your crypto
- No fees
- No minimum deposit or balance requirements
- Weekly reward payouts
- Highest reward rates unavailable in the U.S.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.