CEO and Founder of Celsius Network, Alex Mashinsky, wants to bring the next 100 million people to the blockchain. How? Through high-interest cryptocurrency savings accounts with no lock-up or penalties for withdrawing your HODLings, low-interest USD loans using crypto as collateral–and correcting our ‘bad financial habits’.
Earn Interest on Your Bitcoins
If you’re HODLing your BTC or ETH stash, waiting for the next bull run, the Celsius Network proposal is what Mashinsky calls a “no-brainer.”
As the inventor of VOIP (Voice Over IP) technology, a serial entrepreneur, and part of the “one-tenth of the one percent,” Alex hasn’t always had it easy. He started out as an immigrant to the U.S. 30 years ago with just $100 in his pocket. Now the man that brought you VOIP wants to help by bringing MOIP (Money Over IP) to the masses. He explains:
With Celsius, we’re building MOIP, Money Over IP, which creates the same value as VOIP, just for money instead of free voice communications. We’re offering people the ability to control their money and earn a 7X return compared to what banks pay.
Most countries in the world have close to zero interest income or negative rates. So Celsius offers up to 7.5% return a year on your money which is something very valuable for most people on the planet.
You may not love the fact of taking your funds out of your hardware wallet. But remember that you’re not earning any return. Celsius offers to hold your coins at a custodian and lend them out to earn a return. Using BitGo, they’ve chosen one of the market leading custodians right now and have been paying interest every week since the middle of last year.
Downloading the app is pretty simple (I passed KYC in about 5 minutes). Then you just deposit your chosen cryptocurrency into your wallet. The app supports about 18 coins and tokens. You earn interest immediately–with no penalty if you want to take your stash out for any reason. Interest is paid weekly in the same coin you deposit.
Borrow USD Using Your Crypto as Collateral
AMashinsky reveals that Celsius Network has already originated over $1 billion worth of loans since starting in June 2018 and had no losses or liquidations. How have they managed to achieve that? It’s simple, he says:
We give 80% of our earnings back to our depositor community. Do the math, we give out 7.1% in interest and we charge 9% on dollar loans.
The guys at the top of the economic pyramid love the fact that you’re stuck at the bottom of the pyramid because all of their companies and systems work very well with most of us having to work so hard for the money. They make tremendous profit from the fact that 90 percent of the people are stuck at the bottom of the pyramid.
He starts to speak louder, clearly on a roll:
One of the biggest reasons for the disparity, and lack of opportunities in the world and that hundreds of millions of people are struggling is the monopolistic behavior of banks. That’s the main reason, because if you can’t get low-cost loans and you can’t earn money on your money then you have to stay at the bottom of the pyramid.
JPMorgan can pay you 7% interest and still make a profit, they just don’t want to. They don’t have to. Today few people withdraw their money out of the banks and deposit it with a company like Celsius. So it’s about educating billions of people that we really are acting in their best interests. Just like we educated them that VOIP is in their best interest, it’s educating everyone that MOIP is in their best interest.
As passionate as Mashinsky is about what he’s doing, he believes that blockchain technology will not survive unless hundreds of millions of people join in the revolution. But, cryptocurrencies are still too volatile for the average person, so how does he expect people to drain down their bank accounts and invest in coins?
“We’re not telling hard-working people to do that,” he says.
When we use the term ‘Unbank Yourself’, we don’t ask you to close all your bank accounts. Rather, transfer some of the value held to a company acting in your best interest. Tokens such as TUSD and USDC are pegged to the dollar and offer 7.1% annual yield.
We don’t provide many services banks do so one should continue using banks for checking, mortgages and other services.
Mashinsky doesn’t have a whole lot of love for banks, “you can’t see me,” he says, “but I have a T-shirt on that says ‘Banks are not your friends.’ But like so much else in the blockchain space right now, he recognizes that we still need them to function in society.
Rather than just HODLing or trading yourself, Mashinsky says it’s your responsibility to spread the word about cryptocurrencies and encourage more people to join the revolution.
Crypto will not grow unless we have the hard conversations. Growth doesn’t come from agreement. Watch the live stream on @CryptoCoinTrdr to hear some real options. @PeterMcCormack @ToneVays @saifedean @token2049 https://t.co/FeZiph5Noo
— Alex Mashinsky (@Mashinsky) March 13, 2019
We need at least 200 or 300 million users. The blockchain will just die off if we have 20 or 30 million users, and be replaced with something else. So how do we bring all these people?
We can’t bring new users over if we just HODL and speculate and do all the stuff we’re doing now with cryptocurrency. We need a killer app that everyone on the planet needs. High interest on your savings, low interest on your loans, who doesn’t want that?
How Celsius Network Is Different from the Competition
— Celsius Network (@CelsiusNetwork) March 12, 2019
Most of the people in this industry are a bunch of speculators. Most vendors in the industry are here to extract profit from other people…
If you look at most of our competitors, you will see that they are just a different form of a bank. They charge high fees, they charge early termination fees, withdrawal fees, and they take these profits and give them to their rich shareholders and financial institutions. Celsius is different. We give most of our earnings to our depositors.
BlockFi, one of our competitors, they have fees upon fees, upon fees. So how are you different from the banks? Even if you’re charging a little bit less, you’re still behaving like a bank.
Since we launched, we’ve never charged anyone a penalty, a transaction fee, a monthly fee, a termination fee, any fee, we don’t charge any fees. Just like WhatsApp or Skype doesn’t charge you for VOIP. You can use it for free and still do exceptionally well
You may not be able to completely Unbank Yourself just yet, but the Celsius proposal is definitely interesting. Beyond moving your bitcoins into an account, they’re talking about converting your fiat savings into stablecoins and earning 7.1% instead of zero.
Imges via Shutterstock, Celsius