Alex Mashinsky (LinkedIn | Twitter) doesn’t quite like the way our financial system is set up. He thinks it’s a behemoth that takes from consumers without giving anything back. While a lot of people think that, Alex isn’t just railing against the system – he’s changing it. He, like many other CEOs in the cryptocurrency realm, started his company with the hopes that he could help make the world better.
He’s the Founder and CEO of Celsius Network – an app that helps you take control of your money.
Fifty years is a long time to wait for change, but everything has to happen at the right time. “So for all technologies, there’s the right time. And one of the companies that started I think you mentioned in ground link was ‘Over’ before Uber in 2003. And it was just too early. And just a few years later, somebody came and did exactly what we did. And it was the hardest thing. So and I hope our timing is good here because I feel that, the seven and a half billion people on the planet that want to earn more on their money. They want to pay less on their loans, and it’s just never going to come from the banks, and the banks are just not, they could care less. We have this God-given monopoly to take your money for free, and then lend it to your neighbor on his credit card at 25% and pay you nothing for that, or pay you maybe 1%. So they keep 95% of the value 24% to 25%. Just because you need a safe place to put your money. So it’s just a completely ridiculous idea.” And this ridiculous idea is coming to an end.
The answer? Blockchain. “Blockchain is a new revolution. It’s even a bigger wave than the Internet Wave because it touches all the money in the world. It’s… a new set of rails that is disrupting the banking and the money supply, which has been abused by central banks and governments for the last fifty years.”
Celsius Network is part of this revolution. Launched in July 2018, this app creates “new rails” for your money, keeping it out of the hands of banks. “Our slogan is ‘Unbank Yourself’, and the idea behind it is that the banks have become such monopolistic institutions that they stopped caring for their depositors. They only care for their shareholders. And they’re basically extracting way too much from all of us. The 99% of Americans that are not part of the 1%, and they’re giving it all to the few people who are the major shareholders of these institutions.”
If you’re thinking this sounds amazing – but a little complicated? Alex has your back. The idea of Blockchain is not simple. He’s kind enough to break it down:
“Basically? Think of your salary as a value that you convert. You convert your work to a salary. You convert your hours work into dollars, and then you give that value to an institution, a bank. Then, you have to move it into savings account, and that savings account earns interest – hopefully 1% a year or more. And whatever is earned, the bank earns it for you and then deposits it in your account. So, Celsius does exactly the same thing. We basically take whatever value you created and just and convert it into stable coin.”
What is stable coin? We’re so glad you asked. “It’s a cryptocurrency, it’s an ERC-20 token, issued for Circle. For example, USDC is a stable coin, which is a digital currency that is backed by a dollar, meaning for every token that you buy from USDC, from Circle, there is a dollar sitting at Goldman Sachs. There, their backers, give them $400 million to do this. And you know that at any time you want your dollars back, you can always redeem your dollars for fair value. So there’s no risk of Bitcoin going up or down, or something else happening, at any time. You can always take your stuff out, go back to Circle, and the dollars are sitting in a trust account. You can just pull your dollars back. We don’t sell the USDC, we don’t sell Bitcoin: you have to buy it somewhere else. The only service we provide is that you can get in, you can download our app, we give you an address, and with BitCo or custodian their trust company as well, and you can deposit these stable coins with us almost like a savings account. We’re just not the bank. And we put these things to work just like a bank puts them to work, they lend them out, which has 9%, 80% of 9% is 7.1% and that’s what we pay you out.”
“We take, we pay you in USDC, we pay in stable coin. So if you give us 100 USDC on January 1st the end of the year, you’re going to have 107.1 years USDC. You can withdraw this at any time, there’s no lockup, there’s no minimum period, there’s no early termination fee or contract or anything. You can deposit anytime and withdraw at any time. And whatever is the earned amount, you can convert back into dollars and shift it back to your bank account.”
Sound amazing? A lot of people think so. Even though Celsius Network is just ten months old, it’s already killing it. “If this space continues, we will be probably one of the largest holders of assets… in this industry. And it’s great news for the community because basically, I think the ability to earn this return is something that is, I see that as a God given right. All of us should have our money work for us, not just us work for our money.”
To hear more from Alex, catch him on our IT Visionaries podcast here