After the year-long bear market of 2018, bitcoin lending has emerged as a growth market. As the bearish sentiment refuses to fade in the new year, lending services are on a sustained growth path.
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Hodlers Have Bills to Pay, Shorters Need Coins
Those holding digital assets are refusing to sell, hoping for a bounce off of 2018 levels. But they have bills to pay and are increasingly doing so by lending their bitcoin and other cryptos.
But who to? Short traders. There is significant demand from investors who remain bearish on the sector and borrow coins to short sell. The bitcoin lending market, as a consequence, continues to see strength, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Bitcoin Lending Companies Growing
BlockFi has seen substantial customer growth since June, 2018, with ten customers for every one it had back then. Aave, which owns online crypto-lending marketplace ETHLend, is planning to enter the U.S. market soon.
Genesis Trading and Genesis Capital, barely a year old, allows institutional investors to borrow crypto with U.S. dollars. Those investors would then either be able to short sell the digital assets or hold them for profit if they were bullish. Per CEO Michael Moro:
“We’ve been profitable from day one. We’ve certainly proven that there is market demand, that there’s product fit and that it’s time to invest even more in this side of the business.”
The cost of borrowing bitcoin from Genesis is around ten percent per year.
Salt Lending, which provides a tokenized platform offering crypto asset backed fiat loans, continues to perform strongly. Salt has been under SEC investigation following its ICO, yet continues to operate. According to CEO Zac Prince:
“From a consumer perspective, we will start to look like a diversified fintech company–that started with loans. Similar to a company like SoFi, who started as just a student lender and expanded to mortgages, wealth management, and now deposit accounts.”
In an interview at TNABC Miami 2018 in March, the membership-based lending platform’s cofounder Caleb Slade told Bitsonline:
“SALT … lets its members borrow cash — deposited straight into their bank account — using their bitcoin, ethereum, and other blockchain assets as collateral to secure their loan.”
Some Things Still Thrive in Bear Markets
Anyone can make money in a bull market. The growth in crypto lending services shows that sentiment in any direction can be profitable for the enterprising company and savvy traders.
Have your say. Is crypto lending a good thing for the industry?
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