How Celsius Turned Its Crypto ICO Into a Billion-Dollar Lending Business

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The Takeaway:The initial coin offering (ICO) boom birthed its fair share of ghost ships. So far, it appears the lending startup Celsius certainly isn’t among them.The New York-based startup raised $50 million worth of crypto in May 2018 through an ICO, selling CEL tokens that borrowers could choose to earn as interest. Since then, according to CEO Alex Mashinsky, 10,415 Celsius users have taken out fiat loans by locking up crypto collateral. The mobile app accepts bitcoin, DAI and 18 other crypto assets, and loan volume has surged.The custody provider BitGo confirmed to CoinDesk it has received more than $1 billion worth of crypto deposits from Celsius over the past year.“Our job is to maximize the return as much as possible, the yield, and we do that by lending out the [deposited] coins,” Mashinsky said. “Half of our business is with exchanges and the other half is with hedge funds…

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