In addition to peer-to-peer trading and exchange, many crypto projects have opened to other financial possibilities including crypto lending. Some crypto lending platforms offer crypto loans only, some fiat against crypto collateral only, while others offer both possibilities.
Most crypto lending platforms basically connect borrowers to a network of lender registered on the platform. For these ones, borrowers receive their cryptocurrencies back when the borrower pays back the loan. Again, for most of the platforms, the loans are backed by assets such as real estate. In a good number of platforms, however, users are allowed to take loans backed by Bitcoin capital or other altcoins.
It depends on what your interest in these platforms is: For lenders, it could be an opportunity to make an interest for your money by lending it out to other people, and for borrowers it can be time to avoid the pressure to sell cryptocurrencies when you do not want. For instance, a borrower might have a need for making real-world expenditures but do not want to sell their cryptocurrency holdings because this may mean they lose the potential gains from the digital asset holdings (foreseen profits from cryptocurrency sales).
Thus most crypto loan platforms tend to solve the illiquidity problem by bringing more liquidity into the markets.
Below are some of the most popular lending coins.
BeeLend connects borrowers and lenders in various countries around the world, allowing them to transact loans directly among themselves through enforceable agreements.
It comprises of BeeLend verified investors who fund the loans from verified borrowers and borrowers can repay the loans in regular monthly basis.
With the platform, users can also fund these loans using Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies as desired, simply by amending their contracts. However, platform fees is only payable through fiat currencies.
Bitbond, which connects borrowers and lenders on a peer-to-peer basis, allows you to borrow up to $25,000 USD starting for as low as 1% monthly, and works on the Bitcoin blockchain.
It provides loans to eBay and Amazon sellers and online businesses for a duration ranging from 6 weeks to 12 months and is available in many countries around the world.
With the platform, you are also able to earn a 13 percent interest with Bitcoin lending although it can go to as high as 20 percent. Investors can put their money into USD and EUR denominated loans
The platform now has over 100,000 happy borrowers and lenders (8,000 lenders). The borrowers credit checked by Bitbond.
Bitfinex exchange supports both fiat and crypto lending. Lending on the platform has been happening since 2016.
The exchange also provides a service called Margin Funding where users can provide funding in the form of multiple currencies to Bitfinex traders. Like Coincheck and other platforms, users can determine their own return rate, duration, and amount.
In both cases, you can earn daily passive income by lending USD or crypto depending on the price and trade volume at a given time.
The process is simple: create an account, deposit and choose the currency you want to add, send funds to the funding wallet address (or send to exchange wallet and trade your coins for USD), set up for passive income (select the amount you want to lend, the lending period, desired interest rate) and then activate. After a while, the amount appears in the “Margin funding currently provided” area and you can expect the interest.
The margin funding interest is paid to the person providing the funds: for instance, if a trader borrows USD to long BTC, he pays the funding cost to the provider in the equivalent value of USD at the agreed upon USD funding rate.
If a trader borrows BTC to short BTC, he or she pays the funding cost to provider in the equivalent value of BTC at the agreed upon BTC funding rate.
BlockFi, a New York City–based startup, is also offering users the option of borrowing money against their Bitcoin and Ether holding in 35 U.S. states.
Borrowers can then make monthly interest-only payments in dollars or crypto. If the value of crypto increases, it is theirs kept in a storage until the loan is repaid in full. They are planning to add a possibility for users to withdraw USD in case value of crypto assets increase. Otherwise, they might need to add more collateral to your account to maintain a minimum LTV ratio in case the crypto value goes down.
There are various benefits for institutional borrowers on the platform, including access to fiat liquidity to support day-to-day business operations, third-party verification and auditing of crypto asset holdings. They can also make large crypto-backed investments in other markets.
Their interest rate is around 12 percent. The initial loan duration is 12 months and loan-to-value is 35 percent.
Celcius just raised $50 million in an ICO. It facilitates lending fiat for crypto holdings as collateral and users can lend low interest loans in dollars. It is a good platform for those looking for fiat to spend on daily expenses, for instance, where crypto is not accepted. This is while avoiding to sell the crypto and paying expensive credit card debts.
Since it is peer-to-peer, they allow you to earn from your crypto by lending it, instead of having it all sit on a cold wallet, freezing :). With this platform, a lender will simply deposit their crypto assets, lend and expect an interest of up to 9 percent. Therefore, you can expect to earn from your crypto holdings same way you earn on your bank savings.
Those financial institutions that want to short crypto can use the service too. The company takes up to 50% cash deposits and charging them interest when they hedge. They can simply borrow crypto and short as much as possible.
For borrowers, the interest rate of borrowing dollars against crypto holdings, is below 10%.
This category of lending services lend cryptocurrencies as compared to the above that lend fiat for crypto or other kind of collateral. Already, many exchanges do lend Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies with a target to get profits.
Coincheck is Japanese-based and has been lending cryptocurrencies for quite some time now. Lenders can lend cryptocurrencies and earn an interest rate of 5 percent on the platform. Although they concentrate on Bitcoin lending, they plan to also support lending for additional currencies including Monero, Factom, Augur, Ether, and XRP.
It is a great channel for those with spare crypto they are not using at any time. Anyone who wants to earn the interest by lending their Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies for a given period will first make a lending application, then agree to a smart contract, and make the deposit.
The company returns the loans together with annual percentage rate on top of it when the loan period ends.
CoinLoan is a platform that connects lenders and borrowers on a peer-to-peer platform and allows lenders to provide fiat loans to borrowers against the latter's crypto holdings. Basically, a borrower will deposit crypto in their account, then apply and get a loan up to 70 percent of the market value.
They get their crypto collateral once the amount is paid back in full.
On the other hand, lenders on the platform will deposit fiat funds that are to be made available to borrowers and then they get their money back plus interest when the loan is repaid by the borrower.
The process works by way of smart contracts.
The platform is international and the minimum loan amount goes for as low as $50 and the maximum is limited only by the borrower's and lender's budget.
For borrowers, in addition to keeping their crypto assets by avoiding to sell, they get virtual cards with the support of Apple Pay/Samsung Pay and plastic debit cards. The amount borrowed can be withdrawn via a bank transfer or to any bank card.
Credible Friends is a peer-to-peer app that allows borrowers to borrow Bitcoins from friends. It works on iOS and Android. The lenders can get back their funds when borrowers settle the amount. Users can add friends by connecting through social media, importing contacts from your phone, or sending email invites. Thus, you can introduce them to Bitcoin easily.
For loan transactions, they are instantaneous.
Those borrowing pay a 25% APR interest on loans borrowed using the average daily balance method. Lenders receive 60% of all interest and fees. Therefore, lenders can earn as high as 13 percent lending to other peers. These charges are applied monthly and amount is paid to lenders as borrowers pay. The minimum repayment period is monthly and the loan incurs fees when not paid in time.
Borrowers can also negotiate with lenders to pay them back in their desired method.
EthLend facilitates connection between lenders and borrowers who can connect and negotiate everything as managed by smart contracts, from interest rate to duration of the loan. The loan is backed by Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens.
With this platform, a borrower pledges pre-approved ERC-20 tokens on the platform as a guarantee to repay the loan. Lenders can check the type of collateral (coin or token offered for collateral) in the smart contracts, out of the over 90 supported digital tokens. The platform offers a minimum loan length or duration of 30 days.
The platform has own token -- LEND tokens -- used to access various discounts on fees charged to use the platform. Those who pay with LEND get 25% discount on deployment fees on ETHLend.
A lender can make a Collateral Call when the value of collateral drops to equal that of Loan Value + Accrued Interest, or whenever the lender is unable to repay the loan. In this case, the borrower can protect against Collateral Call by paying of installment and effectively lowering down the Liquidation Price (amount at which the Collateral Call becomes available) on the loan. Another alternative is to add more collateral, an exercise known as collateral refilling.
However, the value of collateral can increase, and in that case, a borrower can choose to withdraw part of the collateral from the loan smart contract.
Currently, they just launched the Kogia platform (Alpha phase) which has a premium feature. This feature allows users a 1 head start in funding of the loan request. You can unlock this with 500 LEND tokens and access the privilege for 30 days.
See further details here:
Kambo also offers cash loans against blockchain assets as collateral. It is part of GK Group, an established fintech group. The group has offices currently across 18-countries and a total workforce of over 1,000 people.
Users provide information for on-boarding, after which they verify email and mobile phone, then specify their loan amount to apply, and deposit crypto to the Kambo wallet. They then apply to receive 50% of your blockchain assets market value into their bank account.
The loan is repaid (with fiat or crypto) at any time they want (although the loan is offered for 12 months with possibility for renewal) before they can receive their crypto back. Kambo's early bird special APR is 14%.
Lending Block lets hedge funds, investors, market makers and traders access crypto to crypto asset loans from individuals or institutions who want to earn an additional income by lending cryptocurrencies.
The loans are over-collateralised through an equivalent digital currency asset. The LTVs are monitored continually for depreciation and default.
The platform has an internal exchange for cryptocurrencies.
The company raised $10m in April ICO and uses LND token as fuel for the lending engine. The platform is now in a closed user group testing phase.
Lendo is a new entry and hopes to have a fully functional global lending platform starting April 2019. It will also let approved lenders give loans to borrowers against crypto holdings as collateral. It also packs other services including debit cards, crypto wallet and merchant system and an exchange.
The UK lenders are regulated by FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
It brings onboard instant loan application confirmation.
Once the borrower application is approved, they can access funds at any ATM using the Lendo debit card.
MoneyToken provides crypto-backed loans, stablecoin MTC and a decentralized exchange service. They just raised $37,189,195 in a recent ICO.
It offers loans against crypto assets and thus allows you to stop selling your crypto holdings for a future benefit. You can borrow borrow liquid funds instantly collateralized with more volatile assets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. You will receive the crypto back on repaying the loan even if the value is up.
It uses tech called Amanda, an Artificial Intelligence Assistant, to act as a loan assistant, analyst of clients' activity such as loan awarding and repayment in order to generate predicative actions for future additional financial services, tracking collateral performance, and thus helps remove the need for middlemen and managers.
The platform is based on smart contracts. The platform also works for miners who can avoid cash flow issues or invest in more equipment without losing the currently mined coins. It can also help those holding an ICO to access cash without red tapes, and help exchanges meet extra cash needs while hedging exchange risks and leveraging crypto assets.
Nebeus, which is a platform to sell and buy Bitcoins and exchange crypto, provides fiat loans against Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings for a low interest rate of 20 % and with an average turnaround time of 24 hours. Users can also apply and get loans in cryptocurrencies, for which no KYC is needful.
Lenders simply make an offer for loan and the borrower receives an email on the same offer. On the other hand, borrowers can "take a loan" although they can also make a loan offer by clicking on the "request a loan" button.
A borrower can either get a loan that carries a fixed amount from a single investor or they can participate in taking a loan provided by multiple investors to a single borrower (known as crowdfunding).
Borrowers are able to access loans that require single payment at the end of loan period or those that require annuity repayment (monthly repayment in equal installments), and loans with differential repayment models where after a monthly repayment is made, the amount repaid is deducted from the remaining debt and then interest applied to the remaining debt.
Lenders can also check the borrower’s solvency via a rank that calculates from his or her activity and accuracy (how often the borrower uses the services of the platform and repays the loans in time).
Users willing to become borrowers have to start with a 10 ranking points earned by confirming their identity after signup.
Nexo is powered by Credissimo, a publicly listed European FinTech company specializing in instant loans, bill payment services, and e-commerce financing. It allows users to access fiat loans against they crypto holdings, and they can spend the money through their Nexo Credit Card or from their own bank accounts.
To get a loan, a user provides the collateral by transferring the crypto assets to their Nexo wallet and the loan limit is set up instantly after the system confirms the relevant blockchain information.
The user can then get loan in the preferred currency, to their bank account. Those repaying loans using the NEXO token (which is a US SEC-compliant asset-backed token) receive a special discount on interest rates.
Their platform is now live and works for PC and Android. It has a community of more than 60,000 users. The company has a cryptocurrency known as Nexo.
Othera is based out of Sydney, NSW. and connects loan originators and investors in addition to their online marketplace for these users.
The company basically provides a platform to increase transparency between loan originators, investors and regulators. Lenders are able to put loans on the blockchain, digitize and tokenize them so they can trade them with investors on an exchange like securitized loans.
With the platform, permissioned investors and regulators can view the credit quality of the loans and perform due diligence more accurately.
Lenders are able to build transparency, reduce risk and open up the flow of warehouse funds. The lenders can then show their loan books to warehouse facilities for warehouse funders to measure the risk more effectively.
Poloniex is also a popular cryptocurrency exchange and has been offering crypto lending services and margin trading for quite a few years now. It supports a number of cryptocurrencies in its lending program including Bitcoin, Ether, Doge, Dash, Litecoin, and others. However, unlike Bitfinex, there is no option for fiat lending on the Poloniex platform.
The kind of lending is peer-to-peer margin lending, meaning users can lend crypto to margin traders on the platform. The traders will be using their existing Poloniex account balances as collateral to borrow crypto.
A borrower will simply place a margin order and buys crypto using borrowed funds from other users. This means the user may have three accounts: exchange, margin, and lending. The margin account holds collateral funds to secure any loans used in margin trading while the lending account holds the funds they wish to lend other users for an interest.
Lenders can expect some profit by lending out their money to other users. They basically do this by accessing the Lending tab and, from My Balances box, selecting the coin they wish to offer for loan to others. Then they can transfer funds (which can be done using the "Quick Transfer" link in the offer box) to the lending account to offer them. Lenders select the daily interest rate they expect, amount, duration and the click auto-renew if they wish to offer the funds again at that same rate and terms.
SALT Lending has its own ERC20 SALT tokens (each set at $25) which a user needs to purchase in order to become a member. Membership fee is annual tiered based on the amount of loan, starting from 1 SALT membership that covers a loan of up to $10,000 and up to 100 SALT covering $1 million but there are different tiers in between.
Borrowers need to deposit Bitcoin or other blockchain-based assets as collateral in order to access loans. They then apply for a loan provided by other peers or a network of lenders on the platform. The application is approved same day and amount deposited into the borrower's bank account.
The interest rates vary between 10 percent and 15 percent. Besides, the loans are covered by the platform insurance.
So far, the platform has serviced $40+ million in loans, across 14 lendable jurisdictions worldwide and is serving more than 64,000 platform users according to their website.
For lenders, you need to be Accredited Investors under Regulation D of 17 CFR § 230.501 et seq and pass the SALT Lending Suitability Test to invest. After this, you can invest US dollars directly with registered investment advisors and access loans via an actively managed portfolio. There are off-shore parallel investment entities with multiple national currency investment options for non-US based investors.
The second option for investors is to participate in loans that carry defined loan terms on separate accounts also managed by investment advisors. The third option is to participate as a Broker-Dealer or Registered Institutional account and purchase loans. See further details here.
Unchained Capital is similar to SALT lending platform but lenders and businesses in United States can take loans against their Bitcoin and Ether holdings.
With Unchained Capital, a user opens an account on the website and then fills out an application form, which can be processed in under a day. On approval, the money is wired to the bank account of the borrower who should then start off his or her monthly interest-only payments later. They use the CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index to calculate the loan-to-value ratios and collateralization for Bitcoin. The CME index derives price data from Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken crypto exchanges.
To determine loan-to-value ratios and collateralization, the company uses the Gemini ETHUSD rate determined by buyers and sellers on the exchange.
The borrower needs to add more collateral or make a principal payment if the current value of crypto holdings (collateral) drops by 25%. If the value goes down by 45 percent, the company can reposes the collateral and sell it to recover the loan. However, if the price of the coin increases, there are partial returns of collateral provided upon request once the collateral:principal ratio exceeds 250% (equivalent to 40% loan-to-value).
Finally, if the borrower pays back the loan, his or her cryptocurrency collateral is returned to an address of their choosing.
A $10,000 loan for 2 years costs $2,500 with $100 in monthly interest payments and one payment of $10,000 due at maturity with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 12.63%. Their interest rates typically range from 12-18% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) but vary by location, loan size, and other parameters. Additionally, one can borrow loan for from 3 months to 60 months duration.
Others letting users borrow Bitcoins include BTCPop, which is a P2P loan platform that also has an exchange for digital assets.