Crypto Lender Nexo Now Allows Retail Investors To Use PAX Gold (PAXG) As Collateral

Renowned crypto lending firm Nexo has opened up the possibility of retail investors to use PAX Gold (PAXG) as a collateral option against loans. The firm had previously launched a pilot scheme on the same but the services were only available to institutional investors only. The pilot saw a high demand for the gold-backed credit lines and the firm has decided to extend the service to retail investors.

The announcement signifies that collateralized borrowing backed by high-grade gold can be extended to everyone and not only the rich.

PAX Gold token was introduced in September last year and is entirely backed by as well as redeemable for actual gold which is currently kept in Brink’s vaults. Every token is backed by ‘fine troy ounce of London Good Delivery Gold’ that allows the user to own gold which is a safe-haven asset. Tokenization adds to the convenience of the safe-haven asset.

During the pilot phase, there was a high demand for its gold-backed credit among the institutional customers such that the firm had to invest an extra $5 million in PAXG to satisfy the investors demand.

The expanded scheme that will rope in the retail customers will enable everyone to take advantage of gold-backed PAXG assets using it as collateral within the Nexo platform.

According to Nexo co-founder, gold backed PAXG is highly relevant more so during high volatility times like currently and majority of retail clients have been seeking for such a service. He explained:

“Especially in high-volatility times, as in the present, gold is sought after by many of our retail clients and we have worked towards reflecting their wishes.”

The crypto loans sector has been growing rapidly in the recent past as the majority of crypto owners or holders are looking to use their assets as collateral as opposed to liquidating them.

Nexo enjoys the backing of Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder, and was able to raise $52.5 million during a private token sale back in 2018.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Cred Teams Up With NBA Star Spencer Dinwiddie To Offer 10% Interest On Crypto Loans

Crypto lending and borrowing firm, Cred, has signed an agreement with NBA Brooklyn Nets basketball star and tech entrepreneur Spencer Dinwiddie to enhance crypto lending. Cred rolled out a new post on their website to encourage Dinwiddie’s fans to start using their current holdings to earn interest.

As per the partnership, Cred will allow clients to make money by using stablecoins as well as other crypto-assets. The users will earn a 10% annual interest as per the advert. The users will also access lending services by collateralizing their crypto assets.

The new deal specifically targets Dinwiddie’s fans by allowing them to earn money from their stablecoins. Dinwiddie praised the deal saying that he will use the opportunity to create awareness about crypto and blockchain among his fans. He stated:

“This partnership comes at a critical time, where I can educate my fans on the power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain while they earn interest on their digital assets.”

The partnership will require the users to lock their assets in Cred platform for about six months. However, interests will be paid on a monthly basis in the form of fiat or crypto.

Part of the proceeds from the partnership will be given to Dinwiddie Family Foundation that offers college scholarships to disadvantaged youths in the society.

Although Dinwiddie has made his name in the basketball space, he is also actively involved in the blockchain and crypto space. The NBA star launched the Dream Fan Shares which is a tokenization initiative developed on Ethereum in September last year. The initiative aims at introducing ‘Professional Athlete Investment Tokens’ that allows accredited investors to buy securities linked to an athlete’s success.

As per the project, Dinwiddie’s contract was set to be the inaugural security but the NBA was reluctant to approve the idea, however, the status of the project remains unclear to date.

While the partnership with Cred may look strange, it is a huge boost for the NBA star whose belief in the crypto world has never been in doubt if his Twitter activity is anything to go by.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

DeFi Platform Aave, Formally ETHLend, Adds USDT Support For Borrowing and Lending

Tether (USDT) has today became available on the non-custodial lending platform that used to be known as ETHLend and nowadays is named Aave.

By market cap, the USDT stablecoin seems to signal its move into the decentralized finance (DeFi) Ethereum (ETH). On March 10, Aave announced that it’s developing its USDRT offer of USDC, DAI, sUSD and TUSD stablecoins.

What Are Aave’s Plans for the Future?

The Aave platform allows its users to borrow and lend coins at a specified interest rate. It can be accessed only with an Ethereum account, even if it supports many options, the mobile and browser wallets included. When it comes to borrowing with Aave, this can be done either by flash loans or by providing a collateral. The first option doesn’t require any collateral, seeing the loan doesn’t exist in the eventuality of not being repaid.

Flash Loans Make Sense Only as Far as Trading Cryptocurrencies Goes

As Tether said, flash loans are great when it comes to taking advantage of liquidation opportunities and on-chain arbitrage, also when it comes to moving trading positions on DeFi platforms, which means they only make sense as far as trading cryptocurrencies goes. Their loan figures change according to the dynamics of the market. USDT had an APY rate of over 12% on Tuesday, soon after it has been launched on Aave.

The Risks Involved with DeFi

As far as the interest rates provided by DeFi in lending go, these seem very lucrative, especially if compared with the rest of the existing investment tools available. Governments from all over the world are brining interest rates below the inflation rate of 1 to 2%, whereas the stock market is showing more and more that it became exhausted. Strong yields indicate higher risks, especially since the most recent DeFi hacks involving flash loans have exposed the most important vulnerabilities in the crypto space.

Is USDT Used for Most DeFi Protocols?

Most DeFi protocols use the Maker (MKR) DAI that involves higher risks, even if its yield is high. In spite of the many controversies surrounding it, USDT has managed to stand the test of time as far as the DeFi protocols go. It has low interest rates because everyone trusts it and also because it has nothing to do with traditional finance.

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Author: Oana Ularu

BitGo Rolls Out Lending Services to Institutional Investors; 15 Digital Assets Supported

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.

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Author: Oana Ularu

DeFi App Celsius Partners With Simplex to Integrate Fiat Onramp To Buy Crypto Direct

The UK-based crypto lending firm Celsius Network has just closed a partnership with Simplex so that it can offer in-app crypto purchases, an announcement from February 18 says.

More and more crypto business from all over the world are trying to integrate into their operations the fiat onramp options for their customers to jump into crypto more easily. Simplex is very popular for being a fiat-to-crypto payments provider, especially since it services exchanges like Binance and now it will unlock direct crypto purchases for the users of the Celsius app.

Celsius Clients Will Be Able to Buy BTC and ETH via Credit or Debit Cards

The partnership enables Celsius clients to buy cryptocurrencies such as the Bitcoin (BTC) or the Ether (ETH) just by using their credit or debit cards. Just like other fiat onramps powered by Simplex, the feature supports payments made with via Visa and Mastercard.

Aside from making in-app crypto purchases possible, the partnership will greatly cut the costs of unloading BTC on the Celsius platform. This means transaction fees will be reduced by 50% and the credit or debit card crypto purchases will only charge 3.5%.

The US Dollar Accepted as the Only Currency

When it will be launched, the Celsius platform will accept only the US dollar as a new payment option, says a Celsius spokesperson. More than this, the monthly crypto purchases will have to remain at under $20,000. Simplex was founded back in 2014 as a crypto-enabled payment processor. On February 14, it has unlocked another 15 fiat currencies for Visa and Mastercard payments on Binance.

In the past, Simplex was also providing its services to OKCoin and KuCoin. The Celsius Network reached at the end of 2019 the total crypt loan origination of $4.25 billion.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Crypto Lender BlockFi Secures $30M Series B To Bring In More Institutional Customers

BlockFi, a crypto lending startup based in New Jersey has raised $30 million in the just concluded Series B funding which was led by Peter Thiel’s startup, Valar Ventures.

As reported by CoinDesk, BlockFi stated on Thursday the fresh funding is meant to allow the startup to expand in its products portfolio as well as in its presence in the world. Zac Prince the firm’s CEO stated,

“Our Series B quickly follows our Series A six months earlier, which is a testament to the rapid growth we’ve been experiencing these past few months across revenue and user acquisition. Our main focus this year is expanding our products to the crypto-curious. We are determined to build out financial products that make crypto easy to use by the mainstream audience. We’re working towards a future where mobile banking is available to consumers on a global scale, leveraging crypto as payment rails.”

The Series B round was led by Valar Ventures, a brainchild of Peter Thiel and also included the participation of notable return investors such as Morgan Creek Digital, Avon Ventures, CMT Digital, PJC, Winklevoss Capital and Akuna Capital. New investors included numerous firms such as Island Ventures, Arrington XRP Capital, Kenetic Capital, HashKey Capital among others.

The investment by HashKey Capital is important to BlockFi as it will enable the firm to easily debut in Singapore in the near future, Prince revealed. According to Prince, although the firm has been actively serving its clients in Singapore and its environs, this would mark its inaugural physical presence in the region.

Prince also explained that BlockFi is expecting to draw lots of institutional clients in the Asia-Pacific areas as there are many mining firms, crypto exchanges, asset managers as well as market makers in the region. Once the firm translates its services and products into local dialects, it is hopeful of drawing in high retail clients from the region.

The firm has already set its goals for the first two quarters of the year. It plans to create a mobile app as well as the capability to send fiat wire transfers in the first quarter. The firm also plans to begin providing Automated Clearing House (ACH) money transfers in the second quarter of this year.

The raised funds will also be used to increase the number of Blockfi’s team from the current 75 to 150 before the end of the year, Prince stated.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Celsius to Implement Compounding Interest on Cryptocurrencies Deposited in Its Wallet

Borrowing and crypto lending platform Celsius’s Founder, Alex Mashinsky announced, that starting February 1st, they will begin applying compound interest for their customer’s wallets.

The news came in a Twitter AMA (Ask Me Anything), with some other updates also mentioned. It seems the Celsius community had asked for the compounding interest. By implementing it, Celsius will compete with BlockFi and other traditional financial services. This is what the firm said in a recent announcement that was sent to Cointelegraph:

“You asked for it, and we delivered! Starting February 1, interest income on crypto deposits will officially be COMPOUNDING! That’s right – all the coins in your wallet will now be earning interest on interest!”

Other Updates

As said before, the AMA announced many other updates like the ability for lending against EOS tokens, revamped loyalty tiers and collaboration with Korbit, the South Korea-based crypto exchange. Also, users have been told they can now earn as much as 8.1% APR if they deposit their first Bitcoin (BTC).

Celsius Developed Faster than Other Crypto Lenders

The Celsius Network has developed into the fastest, when compared with other crypto lenders, having a little over two billion in coin loans in their beginning, only to double this sum to $4.25 billion by November 2019. Platforms for crypto lending are continuing to be more and more popular because they allowed customers an opportunity to receive interest for deposited assets, not to mention they enable tokens to be used as collateral against stablecoin and cash loans.

The interest rates offered by Celsius on deposits are for many cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ether (ETH), Dash (DASH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), EOS, and ZCash (ZEC), not to mention they also have higher interest rates for a few of their stablecoins.

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Author: Oana Ularu

BlockFi To Cut Rates For ‘Tier 1’ BTC And ETH Lenders While Boosting ‘Tier 2’ Starting Feb 1

  • BlockFi announced changes in its Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) lending yields starting Feb. 1.
  • Changes follow the increasing price and interest in the crypto assets.

An official announcement from BlockFi, a cryptocurrency startup that allows users to lend and earn interest on digital assets, stated the company will reduce the overall interest paid to lenders of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) starting February 1.

The changes come at a time the crypto market is experiencing tremendous growth as Bitcoin soared past $8,000 and ETH rocketed past $150, at the start of the year. According to the CEO of BlockFi, Zac Prince, the changes are set to accommodate the changes in market sentiments and price across the market. A growth in value means the lending demand is expected to hike effectively bringing the yield down. Zac said,

“As market conditions change, particularly price sentiment, this has an effect on the prices in the crypto borrowing market which is a big driver of rates that BlockFi can offer to our clients.”

BlockFi implements new yields for BTC and ETH

The report stated new rates for both BTC and ETH, the former witnessing its yield drop from 6.2% for Tier 2 (loaning up to 5 BTC) to 5.1% for its Tier 1 customers, those borrowing up to 10 BTC. The new rates will see the latter crypto cut its lending yield by 0.6% from 4.2 percent for Tier 1 customers, those borrowing up to 1000 ETH to 3.6 percent for those loaning up to 500 ETH (Tier 2).

Despite the lower rates offered, Zac maintains the company still offers the most competitive rates in the field. He said,

“Our rates are still way ahead of alternative options and we remain the only retail-focused interest-earning platform.”

The lending yields for other cryptocurrencies including Litecoin (LTC) and Gemini Dollar (GUSD) remain unmoved.

The latest move seems to be a move towards larger crypto investment in the firm as the holding/lending yield were adjusted upwards for Tier 2 investors on both BTC and ETH. Tier 2 BTC lenders will receive a percentage bump from 2.2% as ETH lenders receive 1.5% bump to 2%.

At the end of 2019, BlockFi announced trading on the four cryptocurrencies offered with zero trading fees.

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Author: Lujan Odera

DeFi Lender Nexo Is Now Offering Instant Credit Lines for Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Nexo is one of the most successful crypto lenders on the market and has developed the BCH lending service in collaboration with Bitcoin.com. By making BCH-backed loans available on their platform, it enables BCH holders to take loans against their assets instead of having to sell when needing liquidity. This increases the utility of the asset and makes the BCH holding easier for the long term.

Nexo’s Interests Rates Added

The Nexo’s amazing interest rates starting at 5.9% APR plus the greatly tax-efficient service available in more than 40 fiat currencies and 200 jurisdictions have been added. This is what the Nexo’s managing partner, Antoni Trenchev, had to say about the Bitcoin.com partnership:

Providing exceptional crypto lending services worldwide is fundamental for Nexo, and an underlying part of realizing this goal is ensuring our platform supports a vast selection of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin cash, being one of the most widely used crypto assets, significantly increases Nexo’s addressable market. Together with bitcoin cash, Nexo is thriving in its mission to grow the utility and adoption of cryptocurrencies, and bring quality banking services to all corners of the world.”

Bitcoin.com is a promoter of the BCH adoption when it comes to peer-to-peer electronic money, wanting the BCH ecosystem to develop. This is what Stefan Rust, its CEO, said about the partnership with Nexo:

“More and more companies are seeing the ever-rising activity on many fronts around BCH and wish to take part in the action. It is great to see Nexo joining the foray with such interesting and compelling new financial services.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Nexo Crypto Lender Reduces its Rates on Immediate Credit Lines

The crypto lending institution recently announced that it has reduced interest rates on the prompt crypto credit lines.

Cheapest Rates on Blockchain Platform

On Oct. 22, a press release was published where Nexo announced they were reducing the interest rates on their credit line service. The reason why they came up with that objective is that the crypto lending company has secured cost-efficient and long-term financing. The immediate lending institution affirms that they are the only company that offers the lowest interest rates in blockchain’s ecosystem.

The crypto lines interest rates are reported to start at 5.9% and do not have any minimum repayment requirements. There are also no credit checks to go through. The loan coins and the service is available in over 200 jurisdictions.

Nexo enables digital asset holders to choose against a wide variety of digital coins like Ether, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, and other assets. The ownership of the borrowers’ assets does not change; they remain the sole owners.

Nexo reported in August that they had paid their users around $2,409,574.87 in dividends. That was an annual dividend yield of about 12.73%. The lending platform is estimated to have more than 250,000 users. Therefore, their dividend yield is reportedly higher than any other dividend-paying stock that is listed on the S&P 500 market index.

In August, Nexo unleashed a MasterCard that was branded cryptocurrency credit card. It is said that it is the first card on earth that allows crypto users to spend their cryptocurrency value without actually spending it.

Celsius Network: Biggest Competitor

According to Cointelegraph, a cryptocurrency borrowing and lending platform Celsius Network, Nexo’s chief rival, completed more than $2 billion in crypto loan origination. They have also received $300 million in deposits for the past 12 months.

Celsius has finalized more than 160,000 loan trades and has dispersed interest payments amounting to $3 million. According to the company, they are the number one growing lending institution in the world.

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Author: Daniel W