Wallet Users Can Now Borrow Against Their Crypto Holdings

203, the cryptocurrency wallet and exchange provider, will now let users borrow against their holdings.

The firm announced its new “Borrow” service on Tuesday, saying that it will offer loans in U.S. dollar-denominated stablecoins against holdings of bitcoin (BTC) held in the Blockchain Wallet. Open to wallet holders worldwide, loans are available immediately after collateral is made available, the firm said.

While it didn’t specify which stablecoins loans would be paid out in, Blockchain added the dollar-pegged PAX token to its wallet last year.

The new Borrow product comes after Blockchain opened an institutional lending desk in August 2019 – a service that climbed from $10 million in originations in its first month to $10 million by November, the firm said.

“Institutional and retail investors have the same financial goals – grow wealth and manage risks – but the tools at their disposal are vastly different,” said Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain. “Now, with our suite of trading products and Borrow, retail users can trade like the big guys without selling the crypto they’ve stockpiled or leaving their Wallet.”

Lending has become a fast-growing sector in the cryptocurrency industry, with Blockchain rivals like Binance having already launched similar services. Crypto firms Babel and BitGo announced they had outstanding loans of $380 million and $150 million, respectively, in March.

Investors are eyeing the potential of the crypto lending space, too, with bitcoin and ether (ETH) loans firm BlockFi having raised over $48 million in two funding rounds in 2019 and 2020.

Blockchain previously provided only its wallet (now with a claimed 46 million-plus downloads) and blockchain data streams, but launched an crypto exchange service called The Pit last July.

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