BlockFi Expands Lending Services To The International Stage
BlockFi, a blockchain-based platform backed by Galaxy Capital, is taking its lending services to the global market.
The primary objective of BlockFi is to provide incremental liquidity for clients in the cryptocurrency space. Recently, the company expanded its customer service team to onboard Spanish and Mandarin speakers. In Q3 2018, half of the traffic on the BlockFi website came from users residing outside the US. These foreigners were also responsible for 33% of loan applications on the platform.
In a recent interview with the Bitcoin Magazine, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said that,
“The company felt the need to go global after establishing a strong footing in the US. The global services will adhere to US international business regulations.”
Zac admitted that the firm had to comply with certain laws before going international. He further added that,
“BlockFi services are available in all countries that are sanctioned to trade with the US.”
BlockFi was established last year with the support of Galaxy Capital, a venture capital firm owned by Mike Novogratz. Galaxy Capital injected $52.5 million into the project, which has also received funding from PJC and ConsenSys Ventures. BlockFi allows users to lend any amount between $2,000 and $100,000. The loans are collateralized by digital assets, and the interest rates vary from 8% to 12%, depending on the borrowed amount. The acceptable cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin Litecoin, Ethereum, and Gemini USD (GUSD).
According to Zac, BlockFi had been contemplating over expanding into the international market for some time. However, the company was hindered by the lack of manpower d resources to execute this vision. Zac mentioned that the integration of stablecoins such as GUSD has accelerated the realization of this goal. This is because they ease international payments by eliminating the need for using traditional banking systems. These traditional systems are costlier due to currency conversions and high remittance fees.
The support for Spanish speakers was encouraged by the growing interest in cryptocurrencies in South America. In this region, many people, especially the unbanked population, are turning to cryptocurrencies as an alternative to hyperinflated and devalued fiat money. Also, cryptos are better for remittance and offer more privacy.
Lastly, Ac revealed that BlockFi has received many applications from Argentina and Brazil. Zac believes that the high numbers are caused by the unaffordable lending options in such countries due to high interest rates. BlockFi enables citizens of the affected countries to access loans quickly and affordably.