Berlin-based bitcoin peer-to-peer lending startup Bitbond is celebrating a milestone for their business. The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin has granted Bitbond, as the first blockchain-based financial services company, the license to engage in small business financing in Germany, as well as globally, independently of banks.
Bitbond offers the opportunity for small businesses around the globe to receive access to affordable loans while lenders earn profitable interest rates. Since Bitbond lending works exclusively with bitcoin, neither the borrower nor the lender requires a bank account, which makes Bitbond especially attractive to for borrowers in under-banked communities. Bitbond has originated over 1,400 bitcoin-based loans since its launch in 2013 and boasts a wide user base, hailing from over 120 countries.
On obtaining the BaFin license, Bitbond founder and CEO Radoslav Albrecht said that Bitbond can now operate independently of banks, which provides the company with a “significant efficiency advantage” over other fintech startups that are required to rent a license and are, therefore, bound regionally in terms where they can conduct their business.
“Our own license helps us to fulfill our mission, which is to make financing and investing globally accessible. We are proud to be one of the first regulated financial services providers in the entire blockchain space. This creates legal security with investors on our platform and shows, that Germany is a good location for innovative and globally active financial services providers.”
Bitbond currently offers loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs globally, of up to $10,000. A large proportion of borrowers are comprised of online sellers with e-commerce ventures on platforms, such as Amazon and eBay, for which Bitbond offers specific loans. An example would be Bitbond’s Amazon Loans that provide “quick and affordable working capital” for Amazon businesses to grow.
Bitbond assesses e-commerce sellers’ creditworthiness by allowing them to connect their e-commerce account (at eBay, Amazon, or Debitoor, for example) with their own custom platform to allow its credit assessment team to view the borrower’s revenue data and their customer feedback. The better the feedback and the revenue numbers, the lower the interest rate will be for the borrower.
Bitbond is currently the leading bitcoin-based peer-to-peer lending platform. Now that it has become a fully licensed financial institution, it will be interesting to see what role Bitbond will play in the development of a global bitcoin peer-to-peer lending market.