P2P lending projects are gaining popularity in the financial sector. The technology of the distributed ledger allows for using lending services without attracting traditional financial intermediaries in the form of banks. Instead, users can borrow or lend through specialized platforms, which accelerate the process, make it cheaper and safer, and do not require users to provide credit history information. We reviewed the most promising platforms that completely change the lending process through distributed ledger technology.
The SALT Lending platform was launched in 2016. It allows users to pledge their own crypto assets to obtain loans in fiat currencies. As soon as the user pays off the loan, the crypto assets are returned to the account. Borrowers pay interest rates in accordance with an agreement concluded with the lender. Lenders, in turn, receive income from interest rates, a convenient platform infrastructure, and a high level of security. To date, the capitalization of the SALT Lending platform is $154 million, and the SALT token rate is $2.31.
The platform is built on the basis of the Ethereum blockchain with ERC20 Salt tokens, and each borrowing uses smart contracts, which guarantees automatic payments to all parties to the transaction. To use the services of the SALT Lending platform, all users need to register and buy Salt tokens. When applying for a loan, the user falls under the control of the KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regulations.
Lenders publish their terms on which they are ready to lend. And borrowers choose the most convenient options for them. Lenders provide money that will be blocked until the borrower provides their crypto assets in the form of collateral. Monthly, borrowers pay commission fees until the loan is repaid. Once the lender receives their money back, the smart contract releases the crypto assets that are returned to the borrower.
The platform provides three levels of membership, each of which has its own conditions. The more Salt tokens a user has, the more flexible the conditions will be.
ETHLend is a decentralized P2P application (DApp) based on Ethereum for lenders and borrowers. The application works through smart contracts and internal LEND tokens and allows users to decide on what terms the transaction will be carried out.
To obtain a loan, borrowers must provide ERC20 compatible tokens or domains of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), access to which will be regulated through smart contracts. At the moment, only borrowers can leave requests for a loan, indicating the conditions necessary to conclude a deal. Next, lenders choose favorable conditions for themselves. If the borrower repays the debt, the lender receives the funds back. If the borrower cannot repay the debt, the lender receives the collateral specified in the smart contract.
ETHLend uses the Bloom protocol, which broadcasts the borrower's credit rating on the blockchain. The main purpose of the protocol is to increase the credibility of crypto market players and build a credit history for each borrower on the blockchain. Thanks to Bloom, lenders can assess risks on their own, and borrowers use it as a tool to maintain a loan agreement.
Bitbond is a German mutual loan fund on blockchain. Bitbond was launched in July 2013 as an intermediary platform between lenders and borrowers. Unlike other platforms, Bitbond works on the Bitcoin blockchain, and therefore all transactions are concluded in the cryptocurrency of this network.
On the Bitbond platform, borrowers like small businesses, for example, can get a loan of up to $10,000. The creditworthiness of borrowers is assessed using their transaction history on e-commerce services, such as eBay, Amazon, or Debitoor. The Bitbond team assesses the borrower's ability to repay the loan, considering the borrower's income and customer feedback. Loans to platform users are provided by individual and institutional investors who receive profit at the expense of interest rates paid by the borrower.
In 2016, the Bitbond project was granted the license of the German financial regulator (BaFin) and is today one of the few completely independent and regulated financial services providers on blockchain.
This year, a group of banks led by the Swiss Credit Suisse plans to launch a blockchain-based platform for syndicated lending, a form of the loan that is provided to the borrower by at least two lenders participating in a single loan agreement. The group of banks includes well-known financial organizations such as Barclays, BBVA, Danske Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, State Street Corporation, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Eaton Vance Management. A technology audit will be undertaken by R3, an international consortium of financial companies involved in the development of the use of the blockchain technology in the financial system.
At this stage, the project is under development; however, it is already known that the project will involve a pool of lenders that will provide capital for individual borrowers. To do this, the platform will be launched that is currently being developed by Synaps. Smart contracts will be launched on the blockchain platform that will speed up the process of concluding transactions and make the platform attractive for future creditors.
The project participants hope that the blockchain will not only reduce the time it takes to enter into syndicated loan deals but also significantly reduce costs for all parties, providing new lending opportunities for the market.
Another financial crypto startup is the Jibrel Network. The first of its kind platform allows users to store, send, receive, and exchange tokenized financial assets from the real world, that is currencies, stocks, bonds, ownership, and so on. Despite the fact that the final version of the Jibrel Network is still in development, the project has already collected more than $30 million during the ICO, which ended in January this year. The future platform has received funding from both private investors and funds, such as TaaS Fund, Tech Squared, and Aurora Partners.
The Jibrel Network project was designed to provide the crypto market with the ability to use regulated, safe, and insured assets. The platform will be launched on the basis of the Ethereum blockchain system, and its users will receive the ERC20-standardized CryDRs (CryptoDepository Receipts) smart tokens for each digitized unit. Thus, thanks to the CryDRs tokens, users will be able to tone assets from the real world and carry out transactions with them on the Jibrel blockchain. The platform will work in accordance with AML/KYC standards.
Initially, the Jibrel Network will support six fiat currencies and provide access to two market instruments; however, over time, the list of services will grow significantly.