How would you like to borrow some bitcoin? If you are a fan of the idea, BitLendingClub has exactly what you need. BitLendingClub(BLC), is a P2P bitcoin lending platform, which allows borrowers to select specific loans that match their loan duration and interest rate conditions. BLC operates on the “Dutch Auction” principle, where lenders may set a starting interest rate for certain loans, but the loans are only lent out when the interest rate drops to a level acceptable by potential borrowers. Borrowers have the option of setting their own interest rates, and have the ability to reject potential offers from lenders, if they do not believe they are receiving a competitive interest rate.
Lending digital currency to unknown parties can be a very risky proposition, BLC uses the services of Jumio, which verifies the authenticity of identifying documents submitted by potential borrowers. BLC only charges fees on loans that have been repaid, which speaks volumes about the integrity and business ethics of the the people behind the BitLendingClub. The unique fee structure, allows BLC to separate itself from other competitors such as BTCJam.
Kiril Gantchev, Co-founder and CEO of BLC, sees the unique fee structure as a necessary risk that will pay off in the long run, as bad borrowers are gradually weeded out of the system. Gantchev, believes that the P2P lending space can only grow in the presence of respectable borrowers, if that requirement is not fulfilled, the P2P lending business will not last very long.
For a company that launched in May of 2014, BitLendingClub currently boasts some pretty impressive figures; a 7.81% default rate; 1160 verified users; 4044 loans repaid; 12.42% average interest rate. In March of this year, BLC implemented some new protection mechanisms to lower the loan default rate, by placing a credit limit on all new borrowers. The new requirements place borrowing limits tailored according to every borrower’s annual income: the higher the income, the higher the credit limit.
“We believe that creating an effective default prevention is the foundation of a well-functioning lending community.”
Several financial institutions in the United States have been caught red-handed on many occasions when it comes to discriminatory lending practices. Gantchev, sees digital currency P2P lending: as a force for good, in an industry that is rife with discriminatory practices and policies. If P2P bitcoin lending can take root across the world, existing money lending businesses will be disrupted in a major way.
In October of 2014, European VC investors from LAUNCHub invested €200,000 in BitLendingClub, which allowed BLC to relocate its headquarters to San Francisco. LAUNCHub, a Bulgarian-based seed fund established in 2012, has invested in numerous startups in Eastern Europe. In February of this year, BitLendingClub entered the Boost VC accelerator program in Tribe 5, and will present its new offerings during a demo day on May 7.