The initial coin ecosystem is now home to so many different lending platforms that it can be extremely difficult to determine which are genuine and which are little more than elaborate Ponzi schemes. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offers a wide range of applications that, due to the advent of smart contracts, also include the ability to significantly disrupt the lending industry.
Determining whether a lending-focused initial coin offering is legitimate, however, can be complicated. There are many recent initial coin offerings that do truly offer peer to peer lending, but there are also just as many that simply use the term “lending” to hide what is little more than a high yield investment program.
Meridian, however, is a recently concluded initial coin offering focused on the lending market that appears to be legitimate and extremely promising. The Meridian platform is focused on delivering simple loans and digital collateral, and offers a straightforward and easy to understand model that is free from the red flags that plague other crypto lending platforms.
Meridian is about to launch their initial coin offering, so in this article we’ll assess the Meridian platform and find out what made it so successful and help you assess whether it’s worth using in future.
What Is Meridian?
Meridian is, put simply, a digital asset that is designed to be used in tandem with Bitcoin. Users of the Meridian platform will use Meridian tokens to secure loans paid in Bitcoin and for completing repayments, these users will receive financial incentives and bonuses.
The Meridian platform appears to address one of the primary issues that peer to peer lending platforms suffer from- the fact that they are unsecured. The unsecured nature of most blockchain based lending platforms exposes lenders to unnecessary risk, and leaves them with no recourse should a borrower fail to make repayments.
The Meridian platform works in an extremely simple manner. Users are able to submit a request for a loan, and are then provided with a unique set of terms that vary on the repayment history of the borrower. After approval, borrowers will be required to submit capital in the form of Meridian tokens.
After this collateral is deposited, the borrower is provided with the loan capital in the form of Bitcoin, and begins making repayments. Once the loan is repaid, borrowers boost their value as a borrower and are then able to secure higher loans in future.
The primary benefit of the Meridian platform is to make international finance available to individuals and businesses around the world regardless of geographic location. An entrepreneur in Singapore, for example, would be hard pressed to prove his credit worthiness in the current finance and lending paradigm.
While it’s possible to work around this issue with the use of collateral, it’s not possible for an individual to use assets such as real estate, this is unfortunately not feasible across international borders. Richard Ochieze, the founder of the Meridian platform, has commented on the far-reaching implications of collateral-backed internet-based loans:
“We want to bring the international loans market into the digital age in a way that opens things up for individuals based in the most far-flung corners of the world and allows them easy access to loans.”
The Meridian platform provides borrowers seeking alternative finance with a solid solution, and allows lenders seeking to capitalize on the blockchain revolution with a method of lending that is far lower in risk than other alternative finance platforms. Ochieze has detailed that the platform is set to limit itself to simple loans only, and doesn’t have any plans for expanding into other aspects of lending:
“Meridians link to our bitcoin loans service is not just one that is suggested or implied, it is one that we want to build in to the Meridian infrastructure in an inseparable way. The Meridian Proposal is not one of grandeur and excess. We don’t have a huge list of futuristic applications that we are pledging to spawn into existence. But there is one simple and specific service that we want to deliver extraordinarily well; the distribution of Bitcoin loans.”
The Meridian ICO
The Meridican ICO is now complete, and raised just over 47 BTC from around 250 participants, a modest response that the development team aims to leverage into a fully-functional platform launch.
The Meridian ICO Conclusion
The Meridican platform is still under development and should launch in the first quarter of 2018. Once live, however, Meridian could possibly revolutionize the way in which internet-based or blockchain-based loans operate and are executed.