The Big Interview

Celsius’ Alex Mashinsky to banks: This is war!

Celsius Network CEO and Founder Alex Mashinsky claims banks have declared war against his credit coin platform because they "are greedy and see Celsius as a rival that will swoop profits from under them. Bankers need to start drastically reducing the cost of their services, or their empires will collapse".

Coin Rivet: Tell us about yourself and how Celsius came into being.

AM: I was born in Ukraine and came to the United States at the start of the internet revolution. In 1996, I was involved in the creation of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) which came to disrupt the business model of telephone companies offering free international telephone calls. Celsius is the evolution of VoIP to MoIP (Money over Internet Protocol). So, this is about taking free banking services to the two thirds of the global population that currently have no access to banking systems.

Coin Rivet: What compelled you to launch Celsius?

AM: The next wave of the internet is to remove the high costs of banking caused primarily by greedy middle people. Celsius will enable everyone to access banking without those onerous fees. I believe governments or financial institutions shouldn’t be the only ones who decide who gets or receive money. Banks are blocking commerce.

Coin Rivet: What benefits does Celsius offer its users?

AM: Our app is already available to anybody around the world, enabling them to deposit and withdraw assets. The can earn interest on crypto assets when they are lent out and they can borrow up to 30% of their crypto assets in dollars.

Coin Rivet: There’s hype around cryptocurrency, but also great concern that cryptocurrencies have no backing or real value. How can their minds be put at ease?

AM: It’s important for everyone to know that the dollar is not worth anything. It has no value as well as all other currencies controlled by governments, because they print out notes and mint coins arbitrarily, flooding economies with printed money that has no actual asset backing.

The dollar is backed by an economy that is by far the most in-debt in the world. Each person in the US owes about $62,000 dollars and every household in the country, about $160,000, which means that each dollar is worth minus $60,000, but people continue to trade with it instead of seeing the far bettter benefits of dealing with crypto.

Coin Rivet: Will cryptocurrency make its way further into societies?

AM: Undoubtedly, cryptocurrency will change the way business is done for ever. That is my vision and this is the aim we have with Celsius. But it won’t be easy. It took VoIP over 10 years to reach one billion users. You think, gosh, it’s free, why isn’t everybody using the system? But, yes, cryptocurrencies will make their way into routine and daily use. But it is already an irreversible process … people will soon understand that banks are ripping them off.

Coin Rivet: How long before this happens?

AM: Well, it’s difficult to predict. However, I believe that the cryptocurrency revolution will be sparked by the next global economic crisis, which is already long overdue. The next recession will happen in about three years. It will be a bonds or stock market bubble burst. And then the next wave of adoption will begin. Everybody already wants credit and they want interest on their savings. Celsius, for instance, already offers credit at half the cost of banks and interest on savings five times greater than any financial institution.

Coin Rivet: What have been the highlights and biggest challenges thus far for Celsius?

AM: Creating a community to benefit from removing banks entirely out of the picture in order to pass on the savings and benefits to the people. We are pleased to have 25,000 registered Celsius users in the two weeks since we launched the app. We have a new improved version coming out in the next few days.

We realise today we have the bits and pieces to make our plan happen. We received $50 million in funding for our project from 15,000 people around the globe who believe this to be a community of people for the good of the people. Our challenge is to continue fencing off obstacles that JPMorgan, Citi Group and Bank of America are placing so that we don’t succeed.

Coin Rivet: What was the best question a) an investor and b) a customer has asked of you concerning either the market or the company itself?

AM: An investor asked me whether their $100 was going to be used for what I said it would. Of course, the answer is factually yes. One customer asked what Celsius would do with profits and the answer is that they will be reinvested to benefit the people.

Coin Rivet: How do you feel about regulation?

AM: Regulation is good and it’s bad. We need it to allow technology to continue flourishing but not to continue protecting banks and other financial institutions. Regulation has to be for the good of the people.

Coin Rivet: Do you believe blockchain will be widely adopted by businesses, institutions and governments around the world?

AM: Yes. For example, Dubai will be completely blockchain-based by 2020. Others will follow and must follow if they don’t want to fall behind. Blockchain will be adopted much sooner than crypto. Although governments will be cautious as they won’t be so quick to implement technology that will eliminate the need for them.

Coin Rivet: Do you feel blockchain and crypto can end poverty and corruption and increase equality?

AM: Definitely yes, equality. I don’t see it ending poverty or corruption. People need to care for others for this to happen and I don’t feel we’re there yet.

Coin Rivet: Is there anything you’d like to add?

AM: This is war! It’s the war of decentralisation against centralisation. I’m a soldier carrying the flag of decentralisation for the good of the people, so I’ll likely be the first to be shot. This is a call for action. Buy a wallet today and experiment with it so that you become familiar with the benefits. Once you see the benefits, you’ll convince others as well.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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