Bitstamp, one of the world's oldest crypto exchanges, today announced a new lending service across European markets, as well as in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
The exchange's lending product offers daily rewards and up to 4.4% APY, with no specific lock-up period. Lending is available for large-cap coins like bitcoin and ether, as well as Circle's USDC and Tether's USDT. Other cryptocurrencies available include XRP, BCH, LINK, LTC, and APE. Select customers have quietly been live on the platform since March.
Bitstamp has partnered with Tesseract, a Finnish lending firm that also offers a white-label platform. Borrowers on Tesseract's platform must provide 100% collateral for stablecoin loans. The partnership uses a different legal entity to keep customer loans and assets separate from Tesseract's other partners.
The product is only available in certain European countries — including France, Ireland, Italy, and Spain among others — as well as Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates. It is not available in the U.K. or U.S.
Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, CEO of Bitstamp, said the exchange is "one of the most regulated" in crypto. The addition of a lending service to the platform will enable customers to "benefit from the evolution of crypto in a reliable and secure way," he added.
"We're re-building crypto lending from the ground up — shifting from the often opaque and mysterious world of crypto lending to being radically transparent and accessible."
Bitstamp will run monthly lending performance reports as part of a push for more accessible lending. The reports will provide users with data and insights into product performance and risk. Metrics include lending portfolio performance and concentration, borrower risk profiles and collateral levels.
The exchange's move into lending comes ten months after crypto lender Celsius's collapse. The firm has since filed for bankruptcy, with CEO and co-founder Alex Mashinsky stepping down. In the intervening period, the crypto lending sector has suffered a host of casualties, with BlockFi filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November following the collapse of FTX.
Unsurprisingly, the regulatory environment in the U.S. has harshened. European markets continue to be seen as more welcoming by contrast, however, as noted by RockawayX's Chief Growth Officer Samantha Bohbot on The Scoop this week.
Bitstamp's spot market volume fell over the last twelve months to $6.34 billion in March from $7.45 billion a year ago. At its peak in May 2021, the exchange clocked $39 billion in spot market volume, according to data from The Block Research.
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