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Bitcoin startup Bitbond receives BaFin license
Bitbond, a global peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform, has announced that it has become the first blockchain-based financial services provider to be licensed by German financial regulator BaFin, as reported by CoinReport.
Founded in 2013, the Germany-based startup connects small business owners who need a loan with investors and uses the bitcoin blockchain for payment processing. The BaFin license will enable Bitbond to be active independently of banks, as well as geographically autonomous.
“With our own BaFin licence that allows us to conduct asset brokerage Bitbond is active independently of banks. This provides us with a significant efficiency advantage. Other FinTech startups normally rent a licence and by that are bound regionally”, Radoslav Albrecht, founder and CEO of Bitbond, said in a statement. “We are proud to be one of the first regulated financial services providers in the entire blockchain space. This creates legal security with investors on our platform and shows, that Germany is a good location for innovative and globally active financial services providers.”
Previous to starting Bitbond, founder and Albrecht worked at Deutsche Bank London and consulting firm Roland Berger.
Bitbond leverages bitcoin as a technology and payment network to create the first global market for small business loans. Investors investing in small businesses through Bitbond get attractive interest rates. It has users from over 120 countries and has originated over 1,400 loans to date.
According to CoinReport, most of Bitbond’s borrowers are online sellers who run a shop on sites like eBay or Amazon. The borrowers use the funds for inventory and working capital financing. Bitbond conducts a credit check based on the revenue data of the merchants.
In 2014, the startup raised €200,000 in seed funding round led by early-stage investment firm Point Nine Capital. This was followed by an angel funding round of €600,000 in 2015, which brought Bitbond's raised capital to a total of €800,000.