Bitbond, a Berlin-based bitcoin P2P lending platform recently announced it is the first such platform to obtain a license – from Germany’s financial regulator BaFin.
“With our own BaFin licence that allows us to conduct asset brokerage Bitbond is active independently of banks. This provides us with a significant efficiency advantage. Other FinTech startups normally rent a licence and by that are bound regionally”, Radoslav Albrecht, founder and CEO of Bitbond, said in a statement, quoted by EconoTimes. “We are proud to be one of the first regulated financial services providers in the entire blockchain space”
In a more recent interview for the site Crowdfund Insider, Albrecht said that after obtaining the BaFin license – a process that took three years – Bitbond will introduce the Euro as a base currency and will turn its attention to creating a secondary market for investors to buy and sell notes on the platform.
Furthermore, Albrecht added, Bitbond is planning to bring larger institutional investors onto the platform in 2017 in order to scale more efficiently.
Bitbond was launched in 2013. The platform offers P2P loans in bitcoin of up to $10 000 with interest rate starting at 7.7% and terms between six weeks and five years. The site operates globally and its main client base are online sellers who seek to fund their inventory. Bitbond offers interest of up to 13% for lenders and 0% fees. Most loans on Bitbond are funded by retail and institutional investors from Germany, Northern America and the United Kingdom.
Bitbond has clients in 120 countries and, according to Albrecht, is popular in the Philippines, India, Germany and the US. It is also gaining traction in Brazil, Spain, the US and Canada.
Bitbond is by far not the only bitcoin P2P lending platform, nor is the first, neither is the largest. Among the largest and oldest ones is BTCJam, which was established in 2012 and has more than 100 000 users and a volume of over $13 million. Another bitcoin P2P lending platform is BitLendingClub.