Huobi has launched a service allowing users to mortgage their bitcoins in return for Chinese yuan (CNY) loans to purchase real shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The platform, Caimao, allows investors disappointed with the recent slump in bitcoin price to put that value to use in an asset class that has grown 125% in the past year.
Customers will use the Caimao platform to deposit their bitcoins and also buy and sell individual shares of their choice. They can borrow up to 60% of the BTC deposit value.
Funds for borrowing are supplied by a third-party provider.
The move takes some pressure off exchanges like Huobi, as Chinese investors cash in their coins to try their luck on the more bullish Shanghai Composite Index.
Loans are offered on a daily (0.1% interest per day) and monthly (1.2–1.7% interest per month) basis. Customers could theoretically take out loans for six months to a year if they expected returns to exceed the interest owed, though Huobi anticipates it will be more attractive to short-term traders.
At completion of the loan’s term, the customer pays back the borrowed amount plus interest, and then withdraws the initial BTC