The Delaware-based company BTCLend, LLC, is taking peer-to-peer (P2P) lending to a whole new level. Launched Jan. 18 2015, BTCLend is the first and only lending site to use collateral, achieving the investors dream - a safe investment.
The company says anyone in the world can receive a loan and create their own terms, using their new match-up platform. While traditional bank loans are based on a credit score, BTCLend has their own credit rating system based on reputation and collateral.
Carmelo Milian, BTCLend co-owner, told Paycoins.biz:
“We are the first BTC lending company to use collateral. Our goal is to clean up the cryptocurrency lending industry.”
From miner to bitcoin entrepreneur
Carmelo, originally from Puerto Rico, had his share of experiences in the crypto lending industry before he and his partners created BTCLend:
“I first started buying home miners…they were so loud and big, and weren’t that profitable. My wife said, ‘It’s me or the miners!’. So then I tried cloud mining with ZenCloud. I wanted more hashpower so I started getting loans at peer based lending sites…They were very shady. It was like the wild wild west…some of the lenders’ profiles were half-dressed women. I said to myself, if I invest who knows if I would get my coins back? So that’s when our company decided to partner with Josh Garza (of GAW Miners) using ZenCloud miners as collateral for people to get loans.”
A New Lending Era
Crypto investors have long asked, is it possible to get a guaranteed a high return? These investments have proven a risky venture - the same goes for cryptocurrency lending. Peer-to-peer lending without collateral used to be the only way until now. Cryptocurrency loans can also boast some of the highest ROIs for investors. Investors can choose loans with up to 15% interest.
BTCLend’s Credit Rating System
BTCLend uses a credit rating system that is a choose-your-own-risk-level approach for investors to gauge each loan listing. Borrower Credit Ratings are based on the amount of verified user information they provide, past repayment behavior, number of open credit lines, frequency of loans, and number of late payments. Only A and A+ loans are backed by collateral.
Hashtalk reputation is another factor that can affect the Credit Rating score. This parameter has been put into place to help weed out possible scammers. It helps to show a person’s reputation and that they are in fact a real person. This also gives precedence to Hashtalk members. Not only do you have the Credit Rating system on your side, you have real communication with borrowers.
The Safety Net
What happens if a borrower defaults on their loan? BTCLend will take action to recover the investor’s money. If the borrower is unresponsive, their account is closed and BTCLend sells the hashlets used for collateral in the marketplace. BTC is then repaid to the investors.
Loans Made Easy
At BTCLend, borrowers set their own interest rates when they apply for a loan. (The minimum APR finance rate
starts at 6.5%.) There is no limit to how much you can borrow - it is up to the lender to accept these terms. Loan repayments can be repaid in up to one year.
Anyone can get a loan even if they’re not a ZenCloud hashlet owner. By connecting your ZenCloud account to the BTCLend platform and using hashlets as collateral, this improves your rating as well as the likelihood of getting a loan.
Just how fast can you get a loan?
According to Carmelo, once you have been matched with the investor it takes less than 2 hours. He says the length of time to get matched up depends on how many investors it takes to fund your loan amount. There can be multiple investors to fulfill your total loan amount. It’s really a matter of how appealing your loan listing is to them.
Both borrowers and investors must follow these requirements to be eligible: 18 years of age, provide drivers license or passport, proof of income, and proof of address.
What can BTCLend loans be used for?
Loans can be used to pay for practically anything - a start up business, to pay off medical bills, or to re-finance your debt. Mr. Milian stresses, “It is none of our business what you do with your loan.”
But looking ahead, is it possible for cryptocurrency loans to expand to long-term repayments? Will you be able to get a loan someday for a mortgage or an auto loans? I think the answer is yes.
A Commitment to Integrity
Carmelo also expresses he and his company’s desire to maintain BTCLend’s integrity. When companies are taking off, often they must choose between performance vs. scaling up too soon for higher profits.
“We have been offered many partnerships with different cloud mining services, but we are a boot-strap business that wants to grow at a pace that keeps our goals in tact. We will partner with other cloud mining services in the future that we can trust.”
The Future of Cryptocurrency Loans
There is no doubt, the increased demand for cryptocurrency will help bring cryptocurrency mainstream more quickly. The driving force of these loans are not just because obtaining loans from banks is strenuous, the demand for a stronger currency continues to grow. During the interview, I asked Carmelo what he felt was leading the trend in cryptocurrency loans. He believes that the falling dollar and other fiat currencies are the main reason cryptocurrency is becoming more popular. He also relates the trend in cryptocurrency lending to the excessive bank and loan fees : “Why move money from country to country, giving half to a bank when you can save money transfer charges?… [Cryptocurrency loans] have no compound interest.”
The Future of BTCLend
I asked Carmelo about future developments planned for BTCLend, such as adding other cryptocurrencies. He explained that soon you will be will be able to use Paycoin in addition to BTC. Other coins relevant in the market are a possibility as well as fiat currencies. Paypal income verification is also in sight. This feature will add yet another hurdle for potential scammers.
By the end of 2017, BTCLend will probably have funded millions of dollars in loans to people in countless countries, enabling people to do what they could not have using tradional loan officers. The current market demand for cryptocurrency loans will only increase as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Paycoin keep gaining momentum.
I could really see Carmelo’s passion behind BTCLend. He enthusiastically shared with me one of the company’s
future endeavors- bringing more accountability to scammers and their companies. They plan to create a business
model around building class action lawsuits against scammers where people can make reports and team up to