5-10 years ago, the financial services market was almost completely controlled by banks and microfinance organizations. With the development of information technology and the penetration of the Internet, the situation has changed. Now there is a huge variety of fintech startups and online services that provide financial help.
The rapid growth of cryptocurrency capitalization in recent years and the attraction of worldwide attention to it provoked the emergence and development of Internet services, the key idea of which was financial operations with digital assets.
Lending in Bitcoin appeared 5 years ago. The service quickly gained popularity, but, as usual, a number of difficulties arose. Identifying customers was more difficult than obtaining a loan in a regular bank. And the number of scammers who did not want to repay loans was only increasing.
Who gives loans in Bitcoin?
Almost one hundred percent of cases we are talking about are P2P lending. Bitcoins are not issued by a bank or a financial institution, but by an individual — a usual cryptocurrency holder. The intermediary in the form of a bank is absent, and the intermediate link connecting a borrower and a lender is the online lending service. It allows the borrower to apply for a loan, to which one or more lenders can respond.
The borrower's solvency assessment is based on the system of internal credit ratings. A high rating reduces the risk of loan defaults. The rating shows the level of trust in the system. It directly affects the percentage and the number of people willing to borrow Bitcoin.
Reasons why Bitcoin lending has become so popular:
No need to license the credit business. There are neither licenses nor checks.
Ability to take out a loan in another country.
Transparent conditions specified in the smart contract.
Quick transfers without a fee.
We created a list of top 10 crypto borrowing websites, where one can take out a loan in Bitcoin or other coins.
LendaBit.com is a company that offers cryptocurrency holders to lend money or get loans. The service has a high level of security since digital assets are used as a deposit. With LendaBit, you can borrow USDT almost at once.
The platform was created to simplify the process of getting loans for borrowers. They can ask for a loan or choose one of the proposals and immediately see the terms of the provided loans. As a result, the capital of investors grows.
To start working with LendaBit you have to register and proceed through the verification stage. After obtaining the address of the LendaBit wallet, you should deposit digital assets on your account. After the user chooses favorable conditions for him, he instantly receives money. The platform uses USDT (1 USDT = $1).
LendaBit has the obligatory AML / KYC requirements and provides its online P2P services in lots of countries, with the exception only of a few ones. The platform links cryptocurrency market participants with financial services and gives a chance for borrowers to quickly get loans with cryptographic protection and affordable conditions from lenders.
Biterest is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency company for crediting fiat money on the security of Bitcoin. According to the founders, they worked on the release of this platform for almost one year, and in September 2017 launched a demo version of the project.
At the moment, Biterest is among the most used peer-to-peer lending platforms along with LendaBit, YouHodler, BTCPOP, and other companies.
How does the service work?
You place an offer for a loan and set your conditions - the amount, the rate, the time, and the method of receiving payment.
To guarantee the execution of your application, you transfer the quantity of collateral to the Bitcoin transit address. Until the loan repayment, no one, including Biterest, can use your BTC.
The lender approves your application and sends you the money at the specified details.
You either return the money during the loan period or not if it becomes unprofitable for you.
Annual rate from 6%.
Minimum loan period - 1 day.
The minimum loan amount is equivalent to 0.0025 BTC.
Commission for obtaining a loan through the lender statement - 0%.
Getting a loan in Fiat and cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple).
Support of PayPal, WebMoney, QIWI Wallet, and Yandex.Money.
Celsius Network is a blockchain-based borrowing and lending platform, offering a suite of rewarding financial services for crypto holders. By depositing coins into the Celsius Network mobile wallet, users can earn up to 10.13% APR on their crypto assets or use their coins as collateral to get a USD or stablecoin loan at rates as low as 4.95%.
How does it work?
- Download the Celsius Network app (available on iOS and Android) and complete KYC
- Deposit coins into your Celsius wallet
- Start earning up to 10% APR or use coins as collateral to apply for a loan
Celsius Network currently supports interest income for 17 different digital assets and accepts collateral for crypto-backed loans in BTC, ETH, XRP, BTG, and BCH.
Celsius also has its own native utility token, CEL, which acts as a membership token providing users with even greater rewards (i.e. higher rates for interest income and lower rates for USD and coin loans).
- Interest paid out weekly
- No minimum deposit
- No fees or penalties
- No lockups
Celsius Network is all about scale and mass adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Their mission is to leverage cryptocurrency as a means to disrupt the modern banking infrastructure and create a new system that acts in the best interest of the depositors rather than the shareholders.
HODL Finance is a European company that provides loans on the security of on-demand assets and serves cryptocurrency owners worldwide. HODL Finance was launched by a successful P2P platform Savy. Created in 2014, the platform currently works in 33 EU countries.
Service creators believe that blockchain and cryptocurrency are the main components of the digital economy. They are sure that cryptocurrency assets represent real value. When using the service, the fiat currency or cryptocurrency is used as a deposit. The system calculates the loan amount that can be provided, and the amount of collateral that must be paid. Then you choose the refund period, use the money received, and then repay the loan and get back your coins.
BTCPOP provides Bitcoin lending for several years, eliminating the need for credit scores. The company is based in the UK.
Coins of clients are stored in offline storage, a so-called cold wallet. The company offers 5% to account holders only for depositing Bitcoins in their accounts, while multiple loans are issued at 15%. In addition, BTCPOP offers individual loans: from 0.01 BTC to 500 BTC with the ability to set your own interest limit and repayments per month. Account-holders are offered the opportunity to invest in a project through an IPO. There is also a referral system. Moreover, the platform funds business ideas, eliminating the need for an ICO.
BTCPOP also provides exchange services, so that users can exchange cryptocurrency for other assets. At the same time, the company does not support fiat currency exchange.
It is a company that uses blockchain technologies for providing loans. SALT (Secured Automated Lending Platform) allows borrowing money for digital assets.
SALT Lending principle of work
The main advantage of SALT lies in its proprietary feature, the so-called credits supported by the blockchain. In essence, these are simple loans, which you transfer to your Bitcoin address as collateral in return for traditional currencies. Unlike a traditional mortgage or auto loans, one can use blockchain loans for any individual or institutional purposes.
In order to begin using SALT Lending, customers have to pay a participation fee. There are 3 levels:
A higher level gives the ability to borrow more money, more variety of currencies and extra flexible loan conditions. Also, representatives of higher levels have much more benefits comparing to users of basic levels, such as early access to new products, the ability to obtain credit/debit cards, manage a portfolio, etc.
Recently, the company declared the reorganization of its system of levels. Users can still take loans, but now in this way, it is not necessary to use the SALT token. However, if you leave SALT as collateral, you will get a loan on the best terms.
To register, you should provide personal data, such as first and last name, valid email and place of birth. SALT users should also proceed through the regulation of KYC (“know your customer”) and AML (“anti-money laundering”), so be ready to provide passport information.
Unlike traditional financial institutions, SALT never asks for your credit rating. Instead of that, the company uses cryptographic security, determining your credit on the basis of this condition.
Lenders begin the lending process by publishing the terms for which they are ready to issue a loan. At the same time, borrowers look through many options and determine the most appropriate.
When a loan is selected, the lenders provide funds, and borrowers leave the collateral with a smart contract. After that funds are sent straight to the borrower's account.
After that, you pay the monthly payments in accordance with the conditions of the loan. Once the loan is fully repaid, SALT discharges your security deposit and returns the smart contract to its owner.
The platform developers have enough experience in the blockchain sphere, and the project advisor is one of the leaders in its industry – Erik Voorhees. He created ShapeShift, one of the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges.
Kiva is an open ecosystem where lenders from different countries come together to create chances for borrowers, as well as make their contribution to Kiva’s poverty reduction mission. The project operates in more than 80 countries on 5 continents. It has many partners, and although most of them are microfinance institutions, they can also be schools, NGOs, or public enterprises. They all have one common aim: the desire to make better the lives of people through safe and equitable access to credit.
The company provides loans in cryptocurrency only to those users who really need them and at the same time do not have access to financial services. The percentage of loan repayment is quite high – 96.9%, which for the cryptocurrency is more than a good indicator. Typically, such loans are issued to finance agriculture, education, or creative projects.
Bitbond is one of the oldest P2P platforms for Bitcoin lending. With the help of blockchain, the company connects creditworthy borrowers with individual and institutional investors. Also, it has many positive feedbacks from its clients.
Bitbond was launched by Radoslav Albrecht in 2013 and wants to be the first loan site for P2P lending to small businesses. It is located in Germany and works in more than 120 countries.
Since its launch, more than 90,000 users from 120 countries have joined the platform, and 1,700 (1.4 million euros) have been granted. Thanks to innovations in the field of payments and borrowing, Bitbond provides financial services to those ones who really need them.
To get a loan, you just need to create an account and go through the verification procedure.
Bitbond uses Bitcoin’s blockchain to process payments and, having received the German financial regulator's license (BaFin) in October 2016, is one of the few fully regulated financial service providers in this branch.
ETHLend is a decentralized application (DAPP) based on the Ethereum blockchain, which provides secure, P2P lending on the basis of smart contracts. It seeks to democratize the lending procedure, getting rid of control from the traditional banking system and large financial bodies.
Unlike other blockchain applications, ETHLend gives borrowers and lenders a chance to tackle important issues of cooperation without the need for a third-party. In essence, it means that a lender and a buyer anywhere in the world can negotiate on their own terms and conditions.
Decentralization can solve many of the issues associated with a modern centralized system of loans.
We have come up with the main reasons why decentralizing loans makes sense:
Confidence: Thanks to decentralization, the need to trust your loan provider and counterparty has been eliminated. The collateral is blocked and monitored by smart contracts, which are visible on a public blockchain.
Clarity: You do not have to be an IT expert, because the Ethereum network provides easy registration, which is open to control. Every transaction is stored in the public blockchain and can be verified.
Connection: Using the Ethereum blockchain, ETHLend customers can connect with each other from anywhere in the world. Lending transactions are carried out from the Ethereum network, which is available throughout the world. Both borrowers and lenders without restrictions can gain access to a much wider range of credit liquidity.
Obtaining a loan with ETHLend
In order to ask for a loan, ETHLend clients should place ERC-20 compliant tokens or Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains as security.
Nowadays, only borrowers can ask for loan requests in ETHLend. To submit a request, a user must fill information about the cost of the loan, the percentage premium and the quantity of tokens required for the collateral. If the lender agrees to these terms and conditions, a loan agreement will be created.
There can be one of two scenarios from a loan contract:
The borrower repays the loan. Then the creditor earns the initial reward.
The borrower cannot repay the loan. Then the creditor receives collateral.
Creating a decentralized credit rating of borrowers
ETHLend is also planning to provide unsecured loans in the future. Unsecured loans are loans where a borrower does not provide collateral by default, and they are much riskier for the lender. To help lenders solve the problem of estimating the underlying risk of unsecured loans, ETHLend plans to create a decentralized credit rating for all its users.
To put it briefly, Ethlend borrowers will be able to earn a reputation over time, as they successfully repay loans. Each ETHLend borrower will have a decentralized credit rating, collected from several data sources. The primary source will be Credit Tokens (CRE), released by ETHLend itself.
Refinancing loans will allow ETHLend to introduce the concept of unsecured loans to users, as well as provide additional information for lenders.
In addition, ETHLend plans to provide users with the opportunity to transfer their decentralized credit ratings to other blockchains. Borrowers can then use the earned credit score for applications in different chains.
Perspectives of ETHLend
Thanks to the technologies and innovations that the ETHLend team is implementing, residents of even the poorest and most underdeveloped countries will be able to obtain loans. But, the development of this project will not be fast, because for the normal functioning of the project, a prepared ecosystem is needed, and this is still far away.
Nebeus is a cryptocurrency platform for P2P banking services with the capabilities of cryptocurrency and standard banking services, which allows customers to purchase, sell, store, transfer, lend and borrow funds in cryptocurrency. Nebeus today is already a successfully operating credit and trading platform with a multi-cryptocurrency wallet.
Within the platform, there are many personalized solutions for both individuals and legal entities. This includes your own wallet, which allows making various payments and carrying out the whole range of cryptocurrency operations, including the possibility of issuing P2P loans in cryptocurrency. Nebeus also has a trading platform with the option of trading, buying, and selling various cryptocurrencies, issuing debit and credit cards linked to an account. So holders can receive loans instantly and have instant access to funds.
It plans to add many other features, such as additional cold storage, creating multi-signature wallets, making regular payments, issuing gift cards, the possibility of mass payments, smart contracts, and many other useful options, which you can learn about in the white paper of the project. The Nebeus team is committed to developing a full-scale, blockchain-based, crypto financial ecosystem that will allow participants to create and consume financial products and services in a safe and user-friendly environment. The implementation of all the above plans of the founders of Nebeus will be possible thanks to the ICO mechanism. By attracting external funding, a foundation is created for the intensive growth of the platform’s capabilities.
Some tips on Bitcoin lending
Carefully check the profile of the borrower before lending him money.
Never lend money to those who do not pay their obligations.
Do not lend more than you are willing to lose.
Feel free to ask questions to the borrower.
Higher interest rates lead to higher risks.
Bitcoin has already changed our understanding of the use of finance. We no longer depend on bank systems that were outdated a hundred years ago.
Cryptocurrencies have stormed the financial world and disrupted the established procedure for transferring money, obtaining loans and other operations.