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Crypto Lending

Source: xkcd

We revisit the theme of crypto lending today, something we have covered earlier, here and here. The crypto lending aspect of DeFi/Open Finance is one of the fastest growing in the crypto ecosystem. Until a year ago, crypto lending was a relatively nascent space with just a handful of crypto startups offering off-chain loans against crypto collateral (mostly BTC). The borrowers back then were mostly long-term crypto holders who needed short-term fiat cash without having to give up the ownership of cryptocurrency. However, two things have changed in the past year

-The emergence of various US dollar pegged stablecoin projectsincluding such as  Circle, Paxos and DAI. DAI from MakerDAO is especially interesting, as we have noted earlier.
-Decentralized on-chain lending protocols on Ethereum such as Compound and Dharma have emerged in recent months, in addition to a range of cryptocurrencies (Stablecoins as well as ERC20 tokens) that can be lent out to borrowers.

MakerDAO is the frontrunner in on-chain lending with over $90 million disbursed in loans so far. The use cases for on-chain loans have also evolved with a majority of DAI borrowers from MakerDAO using the proceeds to gain leveraged exposure to the underlying collateral.The interesting aspect however is the disparity in product offerings on various lending platforms (both on-chain and off-chain). This makes sense as the market is still very much in its infancy. Centralized crypto lending startups are promising higher interest rates in a bid to attract more users to their platforms, or perhaps because centralized lenders, like centralized exchanges, are vulnerable to hacks and need to compensate borrowers for that additional risk. Besides DAI, Compound and Dharma are the upcoming crypto lending protocols offering crypto loans in ETH, DAI and other ERC20 tokens.

Source: loanscan.io

Meanwhile in Crypto Wonderland….

“Bitstamp Receives BitLicense” Bitstamp, one of Europe’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is looking to expand its U.S. operations, having just been issued New York’s latest virtual currency license. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) awarded Bitstamp the 19th BitLicense Tuesday, allowing the exchange to offer bitcoin, litecoin, bitcoin cash, ether and XRP trading pairs to the state’s residents. Bitstamp first applied for the license in June 2015, when NYDFS created the state’s landmark law. The exchange was among the first set of 22 applicants for the license.

“Facebook’s $1B Crypto Play” Crypto entrepreneur and hedge fund manager Jeremy Gardner says Facebook’s impending cryptocurrency is not a threat to the bitcoin community. In fact, he believes it’s a huge positive for crypto. Speaking at the ELEV8 conference. It comes as New York Times journalist Nathanial Popper revealed that Facebook is seeking $1 billion in venture capital to fund its cryptocurrency project.

“A16z Invets in Celo” Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund and Polychain Capital have reportedly made an investment in cryptocurrency payment startup Celo, adding to the already impressive list of backers that includes Jack Dorsey, Reid Hoffman and Arianna Simpson. According to the announcement, a16z crypto has purchased $15 million worth of Celo Gold and Polychain Capital has purchased $10 million, on top of a number of unnamed institutions across the Americas, EMEA and Europe that bring the total amount raised to $30 million. The startup has two tokens, Celo Gold, which has a fixed supply, and the Celo Dollar, which is a USD-pegged stablecoin. Much like Maker’s (MKR) relationship with Dai (DAI), Celo Gold tokens help control the circulation of Celo Dollar tokens, keeping the value pegged to a dollar.

“China Mulling Over A Crypto Mining Ban”China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining in the country, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector. China is the world’s largest market for computer hardware designed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, even though such activities previously fell under a regulatory grey area. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Monday it was seeking public opinions on a revised list of industries it wants toencourage, restrict or eliminate.

Crypto Twitter Pick

What We’re Reading / Listening To

The importance of converting speculators into users by Tony Sheng
Grin: A More Private, Lighter Bitcoin featuring Daniel Lehnberg and Michael Cordnor

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