PLEASE NOTE: With Celsius filing Chapter 11 (technically not) bankruptcy as of July 2022, I no longer endorse holding funds with them. To be completely honest, while I believe in decentralization, I have more concerns with the current state of cryptocurrency.
By now, many of us have heard of the high yield savings accounts (HYSA) with pre-COVID rates of up to 2%. At a certain point, I realized I had hit my savings goals and wanted more low-risk investments, and stumbled upon Celsius Network. The appeal comes with understanding of cryptocurrency, stablecoins, and traditional banking profit models. In this post, I’ll break down these concepts and provide some how-tos and external links so we can all earn our (stable)coin.
If you join Celsius Network using my referral code 131957fec4 or this link when signing up, you’ll earn $20 in BTC with your first transfer of $200 or more! You can also store other forms of cryptocurrency on Celsius and earn interest on those as well. So not only will your investment (hopefully) rise with the value of the coin, but also add value via compounded interest—truly the best of both worlds. Now, if you have more questions, read on and hopefully I’ll address them.
Feel free to use the links below to jump around the article. This information is accurate to the best of my knowledge as of January 2021.
INTRO TO BANKS
Assuming some understanding about all of these concepts, Celsius Network is a platform which stores cryptocurrency and stablecoins and allows you to earn interest either in-kind or in CEL tokens for non-American users. The profit model works much like a traditional bank in that they lend out money and the interest charged is what allows for such large payouts by storing there. What’s different is that loans are given out only with collateral, meaning there is significantly less risk and therefore fewer fees associated with banking with them. More details can be found in this article published by Celsius.
To understand the beauty of the cryptocurrency, first understand the drawbacks of regular (aka fiat) currency. Fiat currencies are issued by central banks and similarly regulated by central agencies. Typically, (hidden) fees are assessed by businesses and middle-men in order to process payments via bank accounts and credit and debit card, such as Square, Paypal, or Braintree. This was why back in the day before digital payments were prominent, credit and cash had different payment totals—in order to pay the middleman. Though the process has greatly improved, one drawback that persists today is the processing time—if you’ve ever wondered why those pending charges last a couple of days on your credit/debit card, this is why.
Cryptocurrency is similar to fiat currency in that it only has as much value as a society places in it. $1 can buy you a dollar’s worth of goods in the USA, but doesn’t mean shit in Switzerland. It may as well be paper. Similarly, cryptocurrency holds no inherent value, only the value society has placed on it, especially since most cryptocurrencies are not backed by physical goods (a la the gold standard.) This has resulted in massive volatility regarding pricing and value of the coins.
Unlike fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies operate on a decentralized model, which on top of reducing middlemen and opportunities for corruption and manipulation, also allows for more accessibility to those without access to traditional banking. This decentralization also allows for quicker processing of payments, decreasing process times from days to minutes.
Bitcoin is the front-runner in the cryptocurrency trend that has taken the world by storm since 2017 or so, when Bitcoin’s value skyrocketed nearly twenty-fold in less then a year. Part of cryptocurrency’s broad appeal is it’s lack of geographical restrictions and absence of federal regulation, although many countries are reconsidering that stance.
More info can also be found in this article from Nerd Wallet, or you can reach out to any blockchain fanatic or fintech bro around the world.
Stablecoins cut out the central agencies and convert to a decentralized ledger for fiat currencies. Transactions are processed on public decentralized networks such as Ethereum and thus take only a few minutes to confirm, depending on network traffic. The value of stablecoins such as USDC are pegged directly to the value of a fiat currency such as the US Dollar (USD), so there is no volatility. Crypto investors will often keep stores of stablecoins to trade for more volatile cryptocurrencies for this reason, to take advantage of market dips in a timely manner. This allows for both quicker payment and for acquisition of coins that may not be available to buy directly (such as CEL.) Stablecoins are typically obtained through currency exchanges, often with little to no fees.
Currency exchanges such as Coinbase will essentially front the money when paying with a bank account, but also charge fees for the convenience of instant crypto acquisition. Still, having the option of converting your between crypto, stablecoin, and fiat currency in a pinch is very useful, especially since the majority of the world still processes payments via fiat (although more and more businesses are accepting cryptocurrency, such as Whole Foods.) If you haven’t already joined Coinbase, use my referral and we’ll both get $10 when you trade $100 through them! There are no fees to open or maintain an account.
Okay, so now that we understand the technology and reasoning behind different currencies and banking model, now all that’s left to do is reassure you that your money is safe with Celsius. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. All I can tell you is that the Celsius Network founders are well-regarded in the tech space, and that they have more to earn as a legitimate business in the long-term than going through with an exit scam. They also have a number of partners with similarly good backgrounds.
This is why there’s an asterisk in the title—there are no guarantees, but I feel 99% confident. I obviously have very good experiences with Celsius, but you can read other reviews below. Another quick plug for my referral code 131957fec4 or register using this link if you do end up joining Celsius!
- Market Me Good
- BitCompare, which highlights the drawbacks and risks (but still comes to the conclusion that you will receive the highest return through Celsius)
- Celsius Network Subreddit, which I recommend subscribing to for updates and tips
Celsius Network pays interest for storing your coins with them. The 10.51% stated in the title is specifically on USDC and other stablecoins; although they award interest on a variety of other coins as well. This interest is paid out weekly, and upon calculation, the 10.51% is the already compounded figure (so you won’t get more even though it’s paid out weekly.)
As for the referral bonus, this will unlock after your coins have been left in your account for a month. After this reward unlocks, I do not receive any further bonuses should you decide to make more purchases. The only incentive I have to encourage you to invest more is to watch us all prosper!
First things first, I use four apps/websites throughout these instructions: Celsius Network, Coinbase, Coinbase Wallet, and Uniswap (which is available in the Coinbase Wallet app.)
- Select “Buy Coins” in the Celsius app, and enter the verification code sent to the email on file
- Follow the instructions to verify your identity via Wyre and Gem if not performed earlier
- Add desired bank accounts to Wyre
- Under “Buy Asset”, select USDC/desired coin. The default method under “Pay With” should be your local currency
- Select the desired payment account, or add new payment method at the bottom
- Click through the screens and verify amounts
- Wait for payments to process (typically 3-5 business days for the cheapest transaction fees)
- EARN REWARD$!
TRADE USDC FOR USD (VIA COINBASE)
- Sign up for Coinbase (my referral link again.)
- Verify your identity and add desired bank accounts/payment methods
- Download the Coinbase Wallet app and link your coinbase account. This will be useful for coinswaps and for quickly sending coins in the future.
- FOR CELSIUS: there is no way to send coins per se, only withdraw. If the withdrawal address has already been set, skip to step 4(e).
- In the Coinbase Wallet app, select Receive > USDC
- Copy this address to the clipboard
- In Celsius, set this address as the withdrawal address by selecting USDC > Withdraw
- Wait 24 hours for the address to activate, then proceed
- Open Celsius and select withdraw after clicking either the USDC chart or the Celsius button
- Select or type the amount you’d like to withdraw
- Submit the transaction
- FOR OTHER APPS: paste the address in the sending field and submit the transaction
- Once the Coinbase Wallet has received the USDC, you should receive a notification. Now you can sell USDC and wait for your balance to update
- Deposit your balance into the desired bank account
BUY CEL TOKENS TO STORE IN CELSIUS
I think decentralized banking has a very bright future, and as such have made the decision to invest in one volatile cryptocurrency, CEL tokens. As Celsius reaches more consumers, I see the value of their token similarly increasing. That being said, for Americans, CEL tokens are somewhat difficult to buy, which is why I’ve outlined a relatively painless process to do so quickly, inspired by this video.
- Buy USDC on Coinbase Wallet. You can use cryptocurrencies instead, but due to volatility I recommend stablecoins.
Note: you can avoid some miner fees by buying coins through Celsius/Gem and then sending to Coinbase; however this will take more time
- Buy ETH on Coinbase as well to cover the network fees. The network fees for me have been less than $15 but variable, so I bought $50 to cover me for several transactions. Network fees are lower outside the regular business day.
- Go to Uniswap (or click within the coinbase wallet app) to swap your USDC/crypto for CEL
- If not already connected to a wallet, in the top right corner, select Connect to a Wallet > Coinbase Wallet and complete the log-in process using your phone
- All available coins should show as options with their associated balances. Select the USDC/crypto you’d like to convert to CEL
- Type in and verify the transfer amounts as you progress through the confirmation screens and confirm the transaction
- If you already have the Celsius CEL token deposit address copied to the clipboard, skip to step 8.
- In the Celsius app, select one of the available coin charts or ‘Transfer Coins’
- Navigate the dropdown to CEL via the dropdown arrow if not already selected
- Copy the address to the clipboard
- Once your CEL tokens are confirmed, open the Coinbase Wallet app and select Send > CEL Token (another token may be pre-selected)
- Paste Celsius’ CEL Token wallet address and enter the desired transfer amount, or hit ‘MAX’ to send the maximum allowable amount
- If network fees are particularly high, either wait to send the transaction or click the gear icon to lower the transaction fee. This will cause the payment to process slower, but will typically arrive within the day.
- Send the payment! Confirmation shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and then you’re earning CEL reward$ AND reaping the benefits of an increasingly-valuable coin!