The Litecoin Foundation is putting its capital to work, lending at interest through another cryptocurrency program.
The Foundation has tapped the Celsius Network, a blockchain-based crypto lending program, to become its preferred crypto wallet, Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky told CoinDesk.
As part of the deal, the Foundation will allocate an undisclosed portion of its treasury to the Network. LTC holders can receive up to 10.53% annually back on their crypto holdings and dollar loans as low as 4.95 percent as well.
Mashinsky said the endorsement by the Foundation validates the platform, which claims to give back up to 80 percent of its revenue to depositors.
“Litecoin being the first foundation to work with us and endorse us is a real milestone. It’s a huge event,” Mashinsky said. “That’s the first time I can say that the general community is recognizing Celsius for the utility it provides.”
Raising $50 million in a 2018 initial coin offering, Celsius has completed over $2 billion in loans in 2019, held $350 million annually in customer deposits, and issued over $3.5 million in interest.
Crypto custodian BitGo told CoinDesk they held some $1 billion in Celsius-based crypto deposits this past year, almost double the amount locked away in decentralized finance protocols according to DeFi Pulse.
The primary non-profit tasked to maintain the cryptocurrencies codebase, the Foundation has been actively seeking partnerships this past year. Notable additions have included the Miami Dolphins, and now, the Celsius Network.
The Foundation’s financials came under scrutiny last quarter following disclosures concerning employee pay during Q1. Litecoin creator and Foundation managing director Charlie Lee told CoinDesk at the time he would continue to fund the Foundation until financially stable.
Lee told CoinDesk the interest-bearing deposits were the onus for signing up with Celsius, particularly for LTC holders.
“We’ve chosen Celsius as the LF’s preferred interest bearing wallet as we are always interested in helping LTC holders take advantage of new use cases for their holdings. What better way to show our confidence in the product than by allocating a portion of the LF’s treasury.”
“At this time, we have no immediate lending or borrowing plans,” Lee said at the time. “As our relationship with Celsius evolves we are certainly open to exploring new opportunities.”
Charlie Lee image via CoinDesk archives