Celsius Network Weekly AMA– December 18, 2020

With Alex Mashinsky and Zach Wildes, Community Manager

This week’s AMA begins with some updates from Alex, followed by community questions. As always, the timestamp from YouTube is hyperlinked to each question below.

Summary: Alex starts off with the exciting news that Celsius will be opening up a new office in Austin, Texas. This office will focus on strategy, development and big data, and is led by Waseem. In related news, Celsius held their first virtual job fair, and is continuing to grow like crazy and hire new employees—if you’ve got passion and talent, reach out to hr@celsius.network. Celsius is also planning to push an update this week to fix the bug that has been preventing rewards from displaying properly in the wallet, so be on the lookout for that.

Four coins are in the process of being added to the app—COMP is already live, and DOT, HBAR, and AAVE will all be added very soon. Additionally, Celsius is looking into adding Cardano (ADA), and Alex invited Charles Hoskinson (Cardano CEO) on his MOIP podcast. Alex also mentioned the new Euro stablecoin that runs on Stellar as a possible future addition to the Celsius wallet once it gains sufficient liquidity.

Finally, in the spirit of doing good before doing well, Celsius will be adding the ability to send crypto donations directly to pre-selected charities directly from your Celsius wallet. New HODL shirts are available at usastrong.io, and the Celsius swag store is relaunching with a complete overhaul on January 4th. Celsius has also disclosed that one of their preferred Self-Directed IRA partners is iTrustCapital, and they plan to add several other providers to the website as well. As a reminder, Self-Directed IRAs are a great way for US users to take advantage of IRA tax benefits with crypto assets.

And scroll to the bottom for current Celsius promo codes (free money), sign-up guides with referral codes for both Celsius and Coinbase (more free money for new users), and my Gitcoin grant (support these write-ups).

Updates with Alex

  1. Big names in support of Bitcoin. Many big institutions and investors have come out in support of Bitcoin as a store of value asset, including Guggenheim discussing their price target of $400,000. I’ve been predicting hitting all-time highs for BTC during the fourth quarter since earlier this year, so this is not surprising. I also think that we may revisit lower levels, and that a big part of this move up was caused by a short squeeze and not by buyers chasing price.
  2. Why did CEL have a big jump? If you look at the last week, you can see that CEL token had a big jump. We know that some big investors have been mentioning CEL token recently, but even at these prices Celsius is still not selling tokens and is still buying CEL from the market.
  3. New HODL shirts! Check out usastrong.io to order some new Celsius shirts that we’re currently selling at cost! Buy them for your friends and family, so everyone can know that banks are not your friends.
  4. Celsius in the news. We’ve had recent interviews with Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance—go check out all of the great content on our YouTube channel. There’s a great Medium post about Celsius, and Dharma has also added the ability to buy CEL directly from your bank account!
  5. Reward bug will be fixed ASAP. Although we’ve been doing a lot of reward promo codes recently, we’ve still been dealing with a bug in the app that is preventing them from showing up. Don’t worry, you’re still being credited with these rewards, and they will show up this week once that update is live.
  6. Still looking for more employees. We just had our first job fair, and had a great response—but we’re still hiring! So if you applied and we didn’t get back to you, don’t get discouraged; we’re still going to keep growing. Keep working, and pushing, and show us why we need to hire you.
  7. OTC is still going strong! We still have a $25,000 minimum, so email us if you’re looking to buy (or sell!) 10,000 CEL or more. We can always match you up with someone else, and Celsius buys and sells CEL token themselves to help facilitate this with limit orders. Since Celsius is always buying CEL token every week anyway, this is a great solution that helps Celsius and helps the community as well.
  8. Celsius heads to the Lone Star State. Celsius is opening up offices in Austin, Texas—the live music capital of the world. This will be a location that focuses on strategy, development and big data, and is led up by Waseem.
  9. Four more coins/tokens coming! DOT is coming very soon, COMP is already live in the wallet, HBAR and AAVE are also coming very soon as well. Additionally, Flare’s airdrop for XRP holders went off smoothly, and those users can now see how much SPARK they will receive in their wallet.
  10. Donate to charities from your Celsius wallet! Celsius will be adding the ability to donate to several different charities that accept crypto directly from within the wallet.
  11. Another Celsius Success Story. This story is with Joel, whose experience with Celsius has completely changed his sense of financial security and what an experience with a financial institution should be.

Community Questions

Q: Why haven’t more Celsius employees retired if you have the money to do so?

Alex: I tried retirement and I couldn’t handle it—I was bored to death with nothing to do. It eats away your brain—just like your muscles need exercise, your brain needs exercise. And I think most Celsius employees came here for the mission, not just to make a buck and then run.

Q: When I lock up my collateral for a loan, why don’t I earn interest on it anymore?

Alex: If you continued to earn interest on it, then Celsius would basically be a scam—we’d be paying interest that we weren’t earning, because we wouldn’t be able to make money on the loan if you still earned interest on it. We make money on the loan because you put up the collateral and we lend this out, not because of any interest we charge on it. We don’t make much when you only deposit with us; the cost of running Celsius is more than 20% of all of our revenue. The rest of our income comes from rehypothecating the collateral that our users provide for loans.

Q: Please tell us more about the card, we’re so excited!

Alex: I promise that every episode I will give you a tiny nugget about the card. I promise that the card will not have any fees, unlike our competitors.

Q: What obstacles are you facing for US users to earn in CEL?

Alex: We have a program right now that is being run for us, we just need to finalize the registration, and early next year accredited US investors will be able to earn in CEL.

Q: Can you give us an update about future plans for equity?

Alex: I don’t think we have any future plans right now—the company is worth several times what it was a few months ago. When and if we go public, they’ll be able to monetize that investment, but currently there’s nothing to do.

Q: Are you planning to bring functionality to Indian users?

Alex: I think deposits are enabled in India, just not loans. So no matter where you are, just download the app and see what’s available, and if you have any issues feel free to email app@celsius.network and maybe we can work something out.

Q: Alex is listed as an advisor for the COIN project—could you speak more about that?

Alex: Yes, so I am an advisor to a few projects. I’m not endorsing it, I’m just trying to help out—sometimes these things work out and sometimes they don’t. I’m not an investor or a paid promoter or anything like that.

Q: Will it be possible to earn a percentage of our rewards in CEL and a percentage in-kind?

Alex: Currently, that’s not possible because it’s too complicated from a regulatory and tech standpoint. We’ve got lots of other features that are higher priority like in-app swap, so we’re focusing on other things first.

Q: Could you make it possible to have multiple whitelisted addresses?

Alex: I understand why it’s frustrating, but we prefer to only allow one address to try and limit mistakes by our users and minimize risks of your funds being sent somewhere you don’t want.

Q: Alex, please teach us how to identify scams in the crypto sector! Many people are chasing yield blindly and losing everything.

Alex: It can be very hard to identify scams—but what you need to focus on is the services and projects that you know are for real. Just because a group has a flashy website or is paying you high rewards, that doesn’t mean that they’re legit. Basically, it’s just important to do your own research, and always look for companies that are trying to be transparent and are acting in the best interest of their users.

Q: Any updates on a Euro stablecoin?

Alex: There’s a German bank that is issuing a Euro stablecoin that runs on Stellar. We’ve been waiting for a good issuer of a Euro stablecoin, and this looks like it could be a good option once there’s sufficient liquidity out there. We already support Stellar so this wouldn’t be difficult to add, and it’s a great example of a good project.

Q: The chat is also blowing up about Cardano—when ADA? This has almost become a meme in the Celsius community.

Alex: Let’s do this—let’s get an interview with Charles Hoskinson, get him on MOIP, and then we can add it to the app. Look, it’s not that we’re holding off, it’s that we need for our custodians need to support it. Cardano has had several big upgrades recently which is great for them, but it’s still a bit more experimental. It’s a staking protocol so that’s great, but we also like to have borrowing demand as well.

Q: Why isn’t the Celsius app available in Germany anymore?

Alex: Germany passed a new law that requires you to have essentially a banking license to operate there. Luckily, our partner Bitwala has this license because they’re partners with Solarisbank, which is a German bank. German users can earn through Bitwala, although currently it’s only on BTC, and they are adding ETH next year.

Q: How exactly do the promo codes work?

Zach: For our new promo (BTC, deposit $2k in BTC and get $30), you need to enter the code, and then transfer in $2,000 of BTC and you don’t want to make any withdrawals after that for a 30-day period. Also, you can see much improved descriptions of our promo codes in the app now after you enter them.

Q: Any updates on in-app swaps?

Alex: The first swap will still be ETH to ETH 2.0, which should be coming very soon to the app.

Q: When will CEL token be available for US customers?

Zach: You’re in luck, because it’s available right now! I’m a US user and I have plenty of CEL token. The best place to buy it is with Uniswap, and there are also several videos on our YouTube channel that show you how to buy CEL.

Q: The Fed is still continuing to print money—what effect will this have on the economy?

Alex: There’s a whole bunch of new money that is about to be printed, and short-term it’s great—it’s like an adrenaline shot. But ultimately we’re just prolonging the pain and making it more difficult for us and our children to recover from this.

Q: Alex, will you be attending the CoinTelegraph charitable quiz?

Alex: I will, I think it’s tonight—I probably won’t do as well as some of the other contestants, but I’ll do my best to represent the Celsius community.

Q: Any updates on the Celsius swag store?

Zach: The store is getting a complete redesign and will be live on January 4th.

Q: Could you enable IRA accounts in your Celsius accounts?

Alex: Yeah, so we are adding a few providers who can do it, but for now you can go to iTrustCapital or several other guys who do it, and just open an account with them and invest.

Q: Are there particular challenges or opportunities that Celsius faces during a bull market?

Alex: We do best when there’s volatility, so BTC going up quickly creates volatility. We actually have tons of demand for stablecoins right now because people are taking loans to chase Bitcoin going up.

Q: What influenced Alex and Celsius to be so altruistic and give 80% back?

Alex: I think it’s part of our DNA—no, it’s not that I’m special, this is just the arrangement that banks and hedge funds normally have with rich people. We simply wanted to take this deal and make it available to everyone.

Want to unbank yourself with Celsius (and get a free $20)?

You will earn $20 in BTC once you hold your deposit for 30 days

Click here for a step-by-step guide for onboarding with Celsius, and here for my onboarding guide for Coinbase.

Current Celsius Promo Codes

  • WELCOME20: Deposit $20 in any asset, get $20 reward (must be first promo code, for new users only).
  • BTC: Deposit $2000 in BTC, get $30 reward.
  • TRUST: Deposit $2000 in any asset, get $50 reward.

If you find my work helpful and would like to donate to support it, you can use the addresses below or find my Gitcoin grant here. Thanks! 🙂

  • ETH/ERC-20: 0xF8030E71e3F5A6B0F4E3EF4324f5Dd55F4d679BD
  • BTC: 3JteiJoCdF2gsTbD8YB1YBKerCCpXb5P5n

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dudesahn

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