Though economists report that the Great Recession is over, consumer lending has been slow to recover. According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, demand for consumer lending in the years following the Great Recession was higher in relation to lending demand at the beginning of the recession than it was for the 2001 recession.
However, the amount of available credit has been notably depressed. For those without the excellent credit needed for traditional lending who find themselves in need of a car loan, loans for schooling, business funding, or a new mortgage, there may be few options available.
Since digital currencies are disrupting the financial world, it makes sense that lending ICOs have emerged. While peer-to-peer and non-traditional borrowing existed prior to the invention of the blockchain, altcoins provide a way to offer lending in a democratic, decentralized way.
Here is a look at some of the top altcoin lending platforms currently available.
|Name||Description||Ease of Use||Minimum Loan Amount||Collateral Required||Customer Service||Score|
|SALT||Salt Lending is one of the oldest blockchain based bitcoin lenders. It has its own cryptocurrency called SALT which is used to purchase a membership to the platform, allowing users to access the loan platform. Loans are given based on bitcoin and other altcoin deposits and the collateral ranges from 30% to 70%. Interest rates can be as low as 5.99%. Lenders are required to be Accredited Investors under SEC regulations, as well as to be able to pass a SALT Lending Sustainability test.||5||$5,000||4||5||4|
|Unchained Capital||Unchained was founded by people who believe that cryptocurrencies have the potential to change the world, but only if they're useful. These folks decided to build financial products for long-term crypto-investors to get more value from their assets today and in the future. That led to the Unchained lending platform, which is unique since it allows users to maintain control of their bitcoin private keys. Using a cold storage vault and multi-sig technology, any coins stored at Unchained remain as secure as possible and completely in control of the owner.||4||$10,000||4||5||3.5|
|EthLend||EthLend connects lenders and borrowers and allows them to negotiate any type of loan and have it managed by an Ethereum smart contract. It's important to note that the platform supports 180 different digital tokens besides Ethereum, including Bitcoin. Loan durations through EthLend are from 0 days to 12 months. Annual interest rates can be as low as 3%.|
EthLend also has a cryptocurrency called LEND. It can be used to access additional services on the platform and to receive discounts on fees and decrease collateral requirements.
|BitBond||Bitbond is peer-to-peer lending that works on the bitcoin blockchain and allows users to borrow as much as $25,000. The target borrowers are small business, particularly online ecommerce businesses such as Shopify store owners, Amazon sellers, and eBay sellers. Loan durations of 6 weeks to 12 months are available to many countries across the globe.|
Investors are able to make up to 20% annual interest and borrowers are able to get funds in either Euro or USD. The platform claims over 135,000 users.
|Bitfinex||Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange, but since 2016 it's given users the ability to lend both fiat and digital assets to others through its Margin Funding program. The Bitfinex margin funding market provides a secure way to earn interest on fiat and digital assets by providing funding to traders wanting to trade with leverage. Users can offer funding across a wide range of currencies and assets, at the rate and duration of their choice. In addition to this, users can use the Auto-Renew feature to renew offers automatically upon expiry.||5||$50||4||4||4.5|
|Poloniex||Poloniex is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. In addition to its exchange and margin services, it also allows its traders to lend their coins to others, setting the interest rate and duration of the loan. The feature is only available outside the U.S. Because the lending is being done to cover margin positions on the enchange, lenders could face more risk here, especially in volatile markets. Margin maintentence levels are quite low, exposing lenders to the threat of a default.||4||$0||4||2||3.8|
|Money Token||Money Token is a decentralized exchange which is also providing loans for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It also has its own cryptocurrency, the IMT, which can be used to get discounts on the platform and VIP services. Like other similar platforms, fiat currency is loaned against crypto collateral. One unique feature is loans are charged no interest if the value of your collateral is lower at the conclusion of the loan than it was when the loan is taken.||3||$100||3||4||3.8|
|NEXO||Nexo is backed by European fintech company Credissimo and specializes in instant loans and lines of credit based on crypto deposits. One of the superior features of Nexo is instant availablity of fiat after crypto is deposited. Users also appreciate the Nexo debit card and the ability to deposit directly to a bank account. This means assets can be spent immediately. The platform works with over 20 cryptocurrencies in addition to bitcoin, and loans can be made in over 45 different fiat currencies.||4||$0||3||5||4.3|
|BlockFi||BlockFi allows users to earn interest of up to 6% annually on their bitcoin and Ethereum. Borrowers can make payments in either crypto or fiat currencies and loans are available to residents of most countries worldwide.||4||$0||4||5||4.5|
|CoinLoan||CoinLoan is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, where lenders are able to deposit fiat currency to accrue interest, while borrowers deposit cryptocurrency and then take out loans in fiat. Collateral levels can be as low as 5% and there is no maximum loan amount. The CoinLoan platform is available globally for both lenders and borrowers.||5||$100||5||5||5|
|Lending Block||Through one exchange, lenders and borrowers of digital assets have access to securities lending in the crypto markets. Details of all loans are shown on the Lendingblock order book. Built for institutional investors, Lendingblock enables hedge funds, exchanges, asset managers, traders, miners, and market makers to find liquidity, generate additional yield, facilitate arbitrage strategies, settle shorts, and capture directional views of market participants. Lendingblock supports bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) Litecoin (LTC) & Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for use as either principal or collateral.||3||$40,000||3||5||3|
|Lendo||Lendo is a new blockchain-based platform that enables regulated lenders to provide loans secured by crypto assets as collateral that are stored in LendoÛªs high security Crypto Vault. Lendo will expand the personal loans market while also offering members of the Lendo community network a range of additional services, such as a crypto wallet, a credit card, and a crypto trading exchange, leading to a complete cryptobanking ecosystem. Currently the platform is in alpha testing and is expected to go live in the summer of 2019.||3||$100||4||5||4.3|
|Nebeus||Nebeus matches borrowers and lenders. A borrower requests a loan amount or can respond to lender offers of loans. Interest rates are a bit high, up to 8.25%, but Nebeus allows for loans of up to 36 months. The platform also provides a rank to borrowers, making it easier for borrowers in good standing to secure additional loans.||3||$50||4||4||4|
|Kambo||Kambo thinks you shouldn't ever sell your cryptocurrencies, and so they offer loans against the value of your cryptocurrency. They are a global company, with offices in 18 countries around the world. They are a bit more restrictive than other similar bitcoin lenders, with a $1,000 minimum and loans over $10,000 requiring review and approval. The annual interest rate is 14% and if the LTV rises above 80%, they may liqudate collateral to cover the shortage.||4||$1,000||4||5||4|
|Celcius||Celcius allows users to take low interest loans in fiat, or to store cryptocurrencies and earn interest rates of more than 7% annually. Started in July 2018, it's already handed out over $600 million in loans. Celcius charges no origination or closing fees, no penalties, no early termination fees, and no default fees. The platform has not liquidated or repossessed a single loan since launching.||5||$0||4||5||4.8|
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