Bitcoin-based P2P Lending Platform BitLendingClub Shuts Down

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BitLendingClub (not to be confused with Lending Club) has shut down their bitcoin-based p2p lending platform, citing regulatory pressure. A message posted on their website says, “over the last year or so, the regulatory pressures has been increasing to the point that it is no longer feasible to maintain the operation of the platform. We are regretfully announcing that we will have to begin terminating the services effective immediately.”

BitLendingClub received a $200,000 seed investment from European VC fund LAUNCHub just two years ago. The company changed its name to LoanBase in September 2015 but then changed it back only a few months ago.

This was no small experiment either. Kiril Gantchev, BitLendingClub’s CEO, claims on his LinkedIn profile that the company made more than 10,000 loans worth more than $8 million dollars, originating from 90 countries. The company’s website claims an average APR of 192% and a default rate of nearly 12%.

In March however, the company stopped lending to people in several countries including Iran, Ireland and Nigeria due to elevated fraudulent activity.

It’s unclear what “regulatory pressures” caused them to shut down but the company appears to have been operating from San Francisco despite originally incorporating in Bulgaria. A search for a California lending license connected to them yielded no results. After the US, the country with the 2nd most borrowers on the platform was Venezuela followed by Brazil, the UK and India.

“Investors should understand the risks involved when making bitcoin loans,” their website warned. “The main risks are default and failure to collect.” they added.

Last modified: December 2, 2016

Category: Bitcoin, p2p lending

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