Getting Started with Celsius
A step-by-step walkthrough
Celsius’ mission is simple– return 80% of their revenue to their community, in the form of interest earned on crypto held in the Celsius app. In the US, Celsius currently offers in-kind rates of 8.69% APY on stablecoins, and anywhere from 2–7% APY on other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. These rates fluctuate over time and are set weekly based on how much Celsius earned in the previous week.
To sign up for Celsius Network and start earning interest immediately on your crypto, you’ll first need to download their app– find it in either the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android).
Once you have downloaded the app, open it up, and you’ll be greeted with the login screen:
Signing up with a Referral Code
Here you’ll want to select “Join Celsius”, followed by your preferred method of signup. I personally chose using email, as I’d prefer not to have my social media accounts linked with my Celsius account, but that’s totally your choice.
On the following screen you’ll need to input your name, as well as the email and password you’d like to use for your account. Importantly, this is also where you need to input your referral code– if you do not put the code in before creating your account, you will not be able to put it in again later.
To enter your referral code, simply click “Have a referral code?”, then “Enter Referral Code.” Type in the referral code you’d like to use (mine is 137247d31d). If everything worked properly, you should get a green checkmark as a confirmation that the code was activated. You now only need to deposit $200 or more into your wallet and keep it for 30 days, and both you and I will get $20 in BTC. As your last step to sign up, you’ll also need to create a PIN– make sure to either write this down or use something memorable, as you will need it to log into your account (for now, at least).
Once you create your account, you’ll need to verify your identity via KYC (Know Your Customer) before you can start earning interest on your deposits. With Celsius, this is a quick and simple process that should take you less than 10 minutes. To begin, click “Verify Profile.”
For profile verification, you’ll need to enter your country, followed by personal details for KYC/AML (Anti-Money Laundering) purposes. This will include providing home address, photos of an identifying document (such as a passport or driver’s license) and your Social Security Number if you are in the United States. Not only do these documents help Celsius stay compliant with KYC and AML regulations, but they also make sure that Celsius is only offering you services that they are licensed to offer in your state or country.
After going through the verification process, you should get a confirmation message that your KYC data was successfully submitted and that your profile verification is in progress. While the app states this can take up to 24 hours, I have found that it generally only takes 5–10 minutes for your account to be fully activated.
Now that you’re verified, congratulations! You’re officially a Celsian and can deposit and start earning interest immediately with your account.
To me, the most important part of this process is securing your account with two-factor authentication (2FA), something Celsius strongly recommends. 2FA ensures that even if someone gets access to your login information (email and password) they would still need access to your phone to login to your account. One of the most secure 2FA methods is using one-time passwords (OTPs), which can be generated by authenticator apps on your phone such as Google Authenticator or Authy and change every 30 seconds for security purposes. For this tutorial, I recommend Authy, because you can recover your 2FA account from the cloud if you lose your phone– for Google, this is not possible, and recovering your 2FA is a major pain in the ass (and sometimes impossible if you did not back up your 2FA seed).
First, you’ll want to install Authy, and set it up using your phone number and your email address. These are important, as they help with the recovery process if you get a new phone, as explained here.
Enable 2FA in Celsius App
Once your Authy account is setup, you’ll want to turn on 2FA in the Celsius app– do this by bringing up the main menu (blue C in the bottom-right corner of the home screen), selecting “Profile”, then “Security”, and turning on Two-Factor Verification.
After you toggle on 2FA, you’ll see a QR code with a 2FA seed under it (mine is blurred out here). Click “Copy” to copy the code to your clipboard, then open the Authy app back up. You’ll want to click “Add account”, then select to “Enter key manually” and paste in your 2FA seed. If you haven’t backup up your Authy before, you’ll be prompted to set a backup password– I highly recommend you do this, as this will enable you to recover your 2FA keys should something happen to your phone. You can also search for the logo for Celsius in the app to set this 2FA key apart from any others you may have– and you’re done!
As one last protective measure, you can set up a PIN (or Face/Touch ID) to protect your Authy app from unauthorized use. To do this, simply click the gear in the top right corner of the home screen to bring up settings, click “Security”, and toggle on the settings for App Protection, Face/Touch ID Protection, and Protect Entire App.
You’ve now finished setting up 2FA for your Celsius app– and can rest easy knowing that your Celsius account and 2FA keys are both secured and backed up.
Deposits and Withdrawals
To start earning interest with Celsius, you first need to deposit some digital assets– whether this is BTC, ETH, stablecoins, or XAUT. For this example, I’m going to be depositing USDC, although the same principals apply to any other crypto you may want to deposit.
To deposit crypto with Celsius, bring up the main menu (click the blue C in the bottom corner), and select “Deposit.” Alternatively, you can bring up the same deposit coin screen by clicking “Deposit” near the top of every coin’s individual page in your wallet or by simply clicking “Deposit Coins” from the home screen.
Click the Ethereum (ETH) drop-down to bring up the lists of assets that can be deposited. Once you’ve selected your coin, simply copy the address or use the QR code to send your crypto from your wallet (or exchange) to Celsius. Important: NEVER manually type out addresses, as you will lose any crypto sent to the wrong address. ALWAYS copy-paste or use QR codes to generate the address, and verify the address is correct before sending.
Celsius recently integrated with Gem to allow ACH deposits directly in the app. While the fees are low (0.75% from Gem, Celsius does not charge a fee), it is still free to deposit USDC through Coinbase (you can find my Coinbase guide here), so I wouldn’t suggest using Celsius’ ACH transfer just yet, although it is incredibly convenient and a step in the right direction. If you are interested in trying it out, ACH deposits can be accessed through the same deposit screen as above by selecting either “Buy USDC from Circle” or “Buy ETH in App” for USDC and ETH– and then selecting the Bank Transfer option.
Note 8/7: Celsius has announced they are lowering ACH rates to 0.1%– I’ll update here with revised instructions on ACH deposits once they do.
Withdrawals with Celsius are quick, simple, and free. To withdraw crypto from Celsius, access the withdrawal portal either through the main menu or from a specific coin’s page. Once you’ve brought up the withdrawal screen for a specific coin, simply specify the amount–in either the coin itself or USD, which can be switched using the two using the bi-directional arrows (boxed in red above). If you haven’t entered a wallet address yet for a specific coin, you will be prompted to do so. As with deposits, make sure to ALWAYS copy-paste address and never manually type them out. After confirming, you will need to enter your 2FA code and send a verification email to the email address associated with your account. Open the email, click “Confirm Withdrawal Request”, and then click “Confirm Withdrawal Request” again on the link that opens in your browser to finalize and confirm your withdrawal.
Once a withdrawal is processed, it will change from “Pending” (yellow) to “Confirmed” (green) in your transaction history.
Other App Functions
This can be accessed under the Security menu. This mode, when enabled, prevents all withdrawals from the app. A special, separate code (generated at time of activating HODL mode) is needed to turn off HODL mode, and will then start a 24 timer before withdrawals may resume. This simply acts as another layer of security, and can help prevent any impulse buys with the crypto you are saving.
While it is unavailable in several US states due to varying money transmitting laws (including my own), CelPay is a great way to send money to other Celsius users instantly and freely from within the app.
You are able to borrow (take loans) against crypto in your Celsius wallet. This can be especially useful if you believe that the value of your crypto is going to go up (so you don’t want to sell it), but you need cash to pay bills or buy something big. Celsius offers very low rates (as low as 0.7% APR, based on LTV ratio). I discuss Celsius’ loans more here.
Within the app, Celsius has a community tab. Here you can see stats that are updated regularly about Celsius and their users– how many users, Celsius’ total AUM, and average user interest earned, amount others.
Periodically, Celsius will release promo codes to help spur depositing activity, and they typically involve putting in a code (under Profile -> Enter a promo code), depositing a set amount of crypto (usually $100 or $200), holding it for 30 days, and then getting a reward in BTC ($10 or $20) for doing so. The most recent one is SUMMER, which gives you $20 for depositing and holding $200 for 30 days. Importantly, once you deposit, you cannot withdraw this $200 or it will invalidate the code. For a more in-depth explanation of promo codes, check out my FAQ.
- Never, ever send crypto to someone who you do not know. Neither the Celsius team, nor anyone who is not trying to scam you will ever need you to send them any amount of money to verify your account. If someone is asking you to send them crypto, it is 100% a scam. Period.
- I will reiterate this again– only send crypto to the addresses that appear in your Celsius wallet, or to other addresses that belong to you or someone you know.
- Use secure passwords, and use a password manager– I personally use and highly recommend 1Password.
- If you ever have an issue, the only official way to reach the Celsius team is by emailing them– firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There is an unofficial Telegram group where many staff members, community admins, and long-time users hang out. It’s a great place to learn more about Celsius or crypto in general– but again, the only way to get official support is through email. Official support will NEVER contact you on Telegram, and anyone pretending to be Telegram support is a scammer.
Want to unbank yourself with Celsius (and get a free $20)?
- Install the Celsius wallet (https://celsius.network/get-the-app/)
- Use a referral code during registration (137247d31d)
- Deposit $200 of crypto or stablecoins
You will earn $20 in BTC once you hold your deposit for 30 days