Celsius and Gemini Earn are two prominent cryptocurrency interest account products; in today’s review, we’ll be comparing Celsius vs. Gemini Earn and how offer users can earn rewards on their crypto.
Celsius is a leading crypto lending and wallet service. Founded in 2017 by Alex Mashinsky, Nuke Goldstein, and S. Daniel Leon, Celsius has over 340,000 users worldwide, earning interest at up to 17.78% APY, compounded daily and paid each Monday. At the time of this writing, Celsius has over $5.3 billion in crypto deposits on its platform.
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian available in the US and 50+ countries worldwide. It lets users buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies. Founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in 2015. Gemini has over 13.6M users and recently surpassed $30 billion of crypto under its custody.
Gemini Earn is Gemini’s interest account, released in February 2021. It lets Gemini users transfer their crypto into an “Earn” account to earn up to 7.4% APY.
So, let’s dive into Celsius vs. Gemini Earn– which is the better interest account and why?
Celsius vs. Gemini Earn: Key Information
BTC, ETH, GUSD, PAXG, others
BTC, ETH, GUSD, DAI, others
Feature #1: Interest Rates
One of the most important criteria in our rankings is how much one can earn on a platform like Celsius or Gemini– after all, that’s what a crypto interest account is for, provided your funds are safe.
Celsius offers varying APY rates for users in the US, international users, and users who choose to receive their interest in its native token, CEL. For illustration, here are Celsius’ offerings on Bitcoin and Ether.
Users in the US:
BTC: 6.20% APY on the first two BTC, then 3.51% APY
ETH: 5.05% APY
BTC: 3.51% APY
ETH: 5.05% APY
International users paid in CEL: (not available for users in the US)
BTC: 4.40% APY
ETH: 6.35% APY
Celsius offers interest on stablecoins like PAX, GUSD, and USDC at up to 8.88%. This APY can go up to 11.21% if it’s paid in CEL, which is only available for international users.
There are over 40 coins you can earn interest on in Celsius, including MATIC (up to 13.30% APY) and SNX (up to 17.78%APY).
In contrast, Gemini Earn offers a fixed rate of 2.05 APY for BTC and ETH and up to 7.40% APY for stablecoins like DAI and GUSD, Gemini’s stablecoin. Gemini Earn supports the 40+ coins available in the Gemini exchange. Here’s a look at their structure.
With higher APY across the board, Celsius is the more attractive interest account.
However, you may be wondering how Celsius and Gemini can offer interest at these percentages.
How Do Celsius and Gemini Make Money?
Like most centralized banks, Celsius and Gemini make money by loaning customers’ assets to corporate and retail borrowers. The significant difference here is that your resources are digital, so there are some nuances to consider.
Celsius lends to corporate institutions and exchanges, securing these loans by requiring at least 50% LTV (loan-to-value) collateral. In other words, to get a loan creditors must have crypto assets at least 2x the value of the amount they intend to borrow held with Celsius as collateral. This collateral can go up to 150% LTV.
It’s important to note the risk associated with this. Crypto loans and deposits can not be FDIC insured. Moreover, you may be permitting Celsius to make uncollateralized loans.
“…you grant Celsius…the right to…lend…any amount of such Digital assets…without retaining in Celsius’ possession and/or control a like amount of Digital Assets….”
Here’s what celsius says about its methods for securing loans.
Like Celsius, Gemini makes loans to corporate borrowers to pay users their interest. Unlike Celsius, Gemini does not charge any collateral for loans and instead chooses to perform an in-depth risk assessment of each of its corporate creditors, informing users to whom it lends their funds.
They are very clear on the risks of this in their Terms.
According to Founder Alex Machinsky, Celsius intends to provide self-insurance on loaned assets soon, although it has not announced a release date for this.
You asked for it and we listened. We will be launching a self insurance plan for all @CelsiusNetwork users that will cover all your coins, it will take us a few months but it will insure coins lent out to institutions and exchanges. No one else has such insurance today.
— Alex Mashinsky ©️ (@Mashinsky) February 5, 2021
Feature #2: Payouts and Withdrawals
Celsius pays out on Mondays. Members can withdraw funds at any time with no fees.
On the other hand, Gemini compounds interest daily so that users can watch their earnings increase faster. There are no fees for withdrawals on Gemini, and users can withdraw at any time.
Feature #3: Security
Celsius’ custodians are Fireblocks and PrimeTrust. They insure funds they hold, but this insurance does not cover your assets when they’re “deployed,” or loaned to generate yield. Celsius’ in-app security includes 2FA and “HODL Mode,” a feature that restricts withdrawals.
On the 15th of April 2021, Celsius announced a security hack that had gained access to a third-party email distribution system and the contact info of some of its customers. They then performed a phishing attack through email and SMS on some Celsius users.
On the other hand, Gemini is renowned for its security practices. The Gemini Trust Company, Gemini’s custodian, has over $30 billion worth of crypto in its custody. It secures users’ assets in offline cold storage and insured hot wallets for as long as those assets remain in its possession. Gemini Trust also secures the funds of other platforms, including the popular crypto interest platform, BlockFi. Again, assets are not insured by Gemini once they are deployed.
Gemini is a New York Trust company and is subject to the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). It has completed SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 exams and earned an ISO 27001 certification. As of this writing, Gemini has never been hacked.
Feature #4: Promos and Bonuses
Both Gemini and Celsius offer bonuses to new users. Celsius offers new users $40 in BTC as a signup bonus. After that, you’ll earn $40 on each referral you make. Alongside this, Celsius’ loyalty program rewards users who hold its native token, CEL. Based on the percentage of CEL they keep (compared to other assets), Celsius rewards users with more rewards on their crypto and loan interest discounts.
On the flip side, Gemini’s signup bonus gives new users $10 in BTC if they buy or sell assets worth $100 within their first 30 days, and then $10 for each referral who does the same.
Feature #5: Standout Features
The Gemini platform allows buying, selling, and storage with interest earnings.
Celsius offers its crypto interest account, crypto loans, and CelPay, which lets users send cryptocurrencies. Both services are beginner-friendly and accessible via web or mobile apps.
Gemini’s other products include Gemini Pay, which lets users make purchases in popular stores using their crypto assets, and Active Trader, a more comprehensive exchange platform for seasoned traders.
Celsius’ HODL Mode is quite helpful for account security. It lets users prevent any outgoing activity on their account, which is handy if you know that you won’t be making any withdrawals for some time. As another nod to keeping your crypto safe, Celsius plans to launch a self-insurance plan that covers all its user’s funds. This insurance would be a considerable advancement for the crypto industry, as no other platform has such insurance today.
The Court of Public Opinion: Celsius vs. Gemini Reddit
Redditors generally have positive opinions on both Celsius and Gemini.
Both platforms have loyal communities, and the most common concerns are lack of insurance, loan collateral policies.
Neither platform has overly negative feedback.
Can You Trust Celsius and Gemini?
Celsius has over 340,000 users and over 100,000 BTC in assets. Although its lending practices have been questioned, Celsius hasn’t given its users any reason not to trust it. Celsius’ website contains a dedicated Help Center that should cover any questions you may have. It covers FAQs on deposits, withdrawals, and security, among others.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Help Center, you can send a help request, and a Celsius representative will reach out to you via email. Alternatively, you can reach out on Celsius’ Telegram group, which has over 17.3k active users.
Gemini has earned its trustworthy status with industry-leading security practices, certifications, and longevity. It has about 13.6M users and maintains a comprehensive knowledge base that contains FAQs, definitions, videos, and more. You can contact Gemini support here.
Celsius vs. Gemini: Which is the Better Crypto Interest Account?
We’ve had a look at the key features, and Celsius and both have their pros and cons. We love Celsius for its interest offerings — up to 17% APY is pretty hard to beat.
Gemini Earn is a newer service with decent APY, and it’s an attractive option since it comes with Gemini’s brand.
However, Celsius offers higher APYs on all major digital assets and then some, giving users the bigger bang for their buck. Celsius has a $40 sign-up bonus for new users, which beats Gemini’s $10 sign-up bonus.
All things considered, Celsius is the better cryptocurrency interest account at this point in time. However, Gemini’s large community, security, and customer support practices give it a significant foundation to build a better product in the future.