Celsius Dips Into DeFi, Delegating $30M in ETH on Maple Finance

Celsius is getting its feet wet in decentralized finance lending and will leverage Maple Finance’s infrastructure rails to do it


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Celsius has tapped capital marketplace Maple Finance’s rails for the management and issuance of DeFi loans
  • Loans will be assessed based on a borrowers credit score, profitability and the strength of their balance sheet

Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius is dipping its toes into DeFi by becoming the first centralized finance institution to deploy its services on capital marketplace Maple Finance.

By utilizing Maple’s DeFi (decentralized finance) infrastructure, Celsius will issue and manage under-collateralized loans as a delegate from a pool of $30 million in wrapped ether (WETH), according to a press release on Thursday. Wrapped tokens represent cryptos from other blockchains and are worth the same as the original. Pool delegates within Maple oversee lending pools and assess borrowers in exchange for a fee.

“The partnership came together naturally after we chatted in Q4, 2021,” Daniel Kim, Maple’s head of capital markets, told Blockworks. He added that the companies’ missions and areas of expertise were closely aligned.

“It only took a few conversations to realize Celsius as a pool delegator was an idea worth exploring.”

Daniel Kim; Source: LinkedIn

Maple Finance provides tooling and smart contract kits to businesses, such as Celsius, as well as access to turnkey solutions for loan origination, loan management and real-time performance reporting.

“This…shows the next growth in crypto where [centralized finance] and DeFi platforms are working together,” Kim added. “It helps us achieve our goal to establish Maple as the dominant institutional capital network in crypto.”

Loans will be assessed on the basis of the borrower’s profitability, balance sheet strength and credit history. Celsius said it plans to scale the number of borrowers and loans issued in the coming year as it continues to fund “fast-growing” crypto institutions. Celsius joins BlockTower, Orthogonal Trading and Maven 11 as pool delegates.

The DeFi protocol claims its pool delegate model is “unique” because it enables businesses and credit funds to grab a hold of its rails to operate as lenders within the nascent DeFi sector.

“Maple’s lending infrastructure means we can move quickly and securely into this space,” said Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky.

“Celsius will draw on its deep experience in underwriting and look forward to welcoming new borrowers this year and beyond.”

More than $760 million in crypto loans have originated on the protocol following its launch in May 2021, with over $650 million in total value locked, according to data by provider DeFi Llama. Maple said it aims to hit a $5 billion loan volume target by year’s end by matching customer demand and exploring new markets.

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