One of the oldest and largest digital assets custodians, BitGo, has decided to start lending out Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to big investors.
The announcement was made on Thursday. BitGo was founded in 2013 by Mike Belshe, its current CEO. The lending service started being tested a few months back, already racking up around $150 million in open loans. Nick Carmi, BitGo’s head of finance stated,
“We started our lending with BTC, and very rapidly expanded into other cryptocurrencies such as ETH, LTC, BSH, DASH, stablecoin and fiat. Bitgo’s lending services can support over 15 different coins. All of our loans are collateralized, some at above 100% and others at below depending on the coins, the term and the counterparty credit.”
Cryptocurrency Lenders Work Much Like Traditional Banks
Cryptocurrency lenders have the same business model with traditional banks. They take assets from depositors, pay an interest for those assets and after offer loans with a higher interest rate. In the situation in which the borrower fails to pay, the lenders can seize the collateral. BitGo’s newest decision to lend BTC comes because lenders have reported a great runaway growth in comparison with traditional banks. Nick Carmi added,
“We are not interested in a high-volume, low-margin business; we are building deep relationships with our clients to drive value for them and to create a long term, sustainable business.”
Most BitGo Loans Denominated in BTC
Until now, most of the BitGo’s loans are being denominated in BTC. According to the company’s official website, Belshe was a self-custodian had even offered his custody services to other tech investors back in 2010, by securing digital coins on a laptop he was keeping online under his couch. Since the industry is bombarded with reports of scams, hacks and regulatory problems, the safekeeping of cryptocurrency assets has become a very important priority for the biggest investors.
BitGo Planning to Buy Harbor
The prices for BTC almost doubled last year, now being up 22% ever since 2020 started. This is in contrast with the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, the large US stocks’ benchmark, which went down 4.3% this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, after climbing 29% last year.
In February, BitGo said it’s planning to buy Harbor, the blockchain-based startup known for its failed efforts of tokenizing $20 million of shares in 2019, in a high-rise building from South Carolina. On Thursday, Belshe said his company is melding Wall Street’s way of work with what the Silicon Valley has to offer in terms of tech innovation.