Celsius will stop offering its crypto interest accounts to US users at the end of this week.
Per an April 11 announcement, the crypto lender will transition new deposits from US users to custody accounts. Critically, those accounts will not pay interest, unless their owners are accredited investors.
Existing deposits will, however, continue to pay normal interest. As of today, those interest rates on offer go as high as 18%, with stablecoins paying over 7% returns.
The move happens as Celsius, as well as competitors like BlockFi and Nexo, have faced increasing scrutiny from US securities regulators. The New York Attorney General sent letters to firms offering crypto interest accounts in October. Nexo, which is not based in the United States, cut off new US accounts from earning interest back in February.
Regulators say that by offering interest accounts that resemble bank accounts but without the FDIC insurance required of banks, crypto interest accounts are actually securities. Lenders like Celsius respond by pointing to the minuscule returns offered by the average US savings account as a problem they have managed to solve.