Crypto Personalities: Alex Mashinsky – Celsius Network

Crypto Personalities: Alex Mashinsky – Celsius Network


  • Alex Mashinsky, a tech entrepreneur, played a pivotal role in the crypto and tech industry, founding Celsius Network.
  • He began his career with innovations such as VoiceSmart and early work on Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP).
  • Celsius Network, established in 2017, offered competitive interest rates for crypto lending.
  • Mashinsky’s leadership was marred by controversies, including a $10 million withdrawal and Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2022, leading to legal challenges.


Mashinsky was born in 1965 in Ukraine. His family obtained permission to leave the country in the 1970s and later moved to Israel. From an early age, he was a tinkerer, like his father, and would tap into and use public phone lines in Israel. Mashinsky attended a few universities where he majored in electrical engineering but did not graduate. He later served in the Israeli Army. At the end of the 1980s, he left Israel and moved to the United States. Alex Mashinsky is an Israeli-American entrepreneur and corporate leader who is active in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. He founded the infamous Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending platform that experienced a bankruptcy filing on July 13, 2022.

1990 – 2015

In the early 1990s, Mashinsky founded VoiceSmart, a pioneering company that provided telecommunications switches for traditional voice and Voice over IP call routing. He was also a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) developer. In the early 1990s, he founded VoiceSmart, one of the first to offer computer-based VOIP phone service. By 1993, Mashinsky had realized the potential for a commodity market for international telephone capacity. In 2004, he created GroundLink, a service designed for on-demand limousine and car bookings via computer or smartphone. Additionally, Mashinsky founded Q-Wireless, which later merged into Transit Wireless. Between 2014 and 2015, he assumed the role of CEO at Novatel.

2017 – 2021

In 2017, Alex Mashinsky established Celsius Network, a digital asset borrowing and lending platform catering to assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and various cryptocurrencies. The platform encouraged users to break free from traditional banking systems and offered attractive interest rates, soaring as high as 18.6% on cryptocurrency deposits. During his tenure as CEO, Mashinsky hosted a weekly YouTube livestream called “Ask Mashinsky Anything,” where he responded to queries about Celsius. He became recognizable for donning T-shirts displaying the slogan “Banks are not your friends” for his candid critique of underperforming businesses, even his own, and headline-grabbing endeavors, like an incident attempting to deface a branch of Chase Bank. In late 2021, Mashinsky assumed control of Celsius’s trading strategy. 

2022 – 2023

In May 2022, Mashinsky made a $10 million withdrawal from Celsius, coinciding with customers’ substantial exodus of assets. What followed was the company plunging into bankruptcy. On July 13, 2022, just one month after suspending customer withdrawals, Celsius filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Subsequently, Mashinsky tendered his resignation as Celsius CEO on September 27, 2022, and was succeeded by Chris Ferraro, the former CFO of Celsius. In July 2023, Alex Mashinsky was arrested and pleaded not guilty to securities fraud, commodities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to manipulate the price of CEL (Celsius token). The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission also filed lawsuits against both the Celsius company and individual executives. The company settled, but the executives, including Mashinsky, haven’t yet.

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