Why get a loan on BTCJam.com?

There are many great reasons to get a loan from BTCJam:

  • Low interest rates
  • Fast and Easy Online Process
  • Available Globally
  • Secure and Confidential

Why do we have low interest rates?

Through our global peer-to-peer lending platform, we have capital from investors in developed nations who are happy with lower returns than most local banks who have high interest rates set by the national banks in most of the developing world

Most developing countries need to attract capital from foreign investors to develop their infrastructure. To be competitive and since there is quite bit of risk involved, they have to offer quite high interest rates to those investors. Since the treasuries they are selling can also be bought by their local national banks, the interest rate banks are giving to consumers are higher as well, since they need to have a similar or higher internal rate of return on consumer lending in order to justify the investment of time and capital.

But with our peer to peer lending platform, as long as we can create a better return/risk ratio for lenders than other alternatives they have access to, we will be able to offer loans to borrowers in those countries at rates that in many cases are much lower than what they can get at their existing banks.

Additionally we screen our borrowers very thoroughly through our innovative, global credit scoring algorithms. Since we are able to predict the likelihood of default pretty well, lenders have confidence and are happy with lower interest rates, since they know the risk they are getting when investing.

Why do we have little bureaucracy?

We do everything online and our innovative credit scoring algorithm can assess your credit score within seconds of your application.

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Traditional banks have to ask you a whole bunch of questions about you before someone in an office decides whether you are ‘credit-worthy’ or not. We also ask some questions, but since we are doing everything online and including information about you from your various profiles on the web, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Paypal, Ebay etc, we can automate a lot of that process and do instant credit scoring based on the information you give us.

Can I get a loan if I am in (INSERT MY COUNTRY HERE) ?

The answer is a resounding YES! By using bitcoin, the community can fund people from literally any country, including Antarctica!

How is my information protected?

We don’t share any personal information about you with lenders or anyone else. We reserve the right to do so in cases required by law or if you specifically give us permission to do that.

Ready to get a loan on BTCJam? Start here

Or read: Is BTCJam right for me?

What is the process of getting a loan on BTCJam?

Getting a loan on BTCJam is a very straight forward process.

Here is how it works:

1. Verify your identity

Verifying your identity is the initial step in applying for a loan at BTCJam. We will ask for your photo ID, address verification, income verification, banking conformation, social network ids, personal references, your Paypal account, and your Ebay account.  The more complete your profile is, the more trust you gain in BTCJam and, thus, the more likely your loan will be funded.

Make sure to use high quality photos/scans, so that our verification team can easily read all the important information from your passport, your income stubs etc.

Do I need to have all of these social networking accounts?

You don’t need all of the items listed above. HOWEVER, our credit score algorithm will likely give you a low rating if you have only a few items verified. The minimum verification we require is your identity and address, but beware, your interest and APR will be extremely high. The more legitimate and trustworthy you appear, the more likely you will get funded on good terms.

How long does the verification process take?

1-2 business days after you have submitted your documents.

2. Describe your loan and decide the terms

Go through our easy loan creation process. Here you can describe why you need the loan and how you will repay it. You can also set the terms: length of the loan, interest rate you want to pay, and frequency of payments.

After that, all you have to do is to hit Publish and you’re all set!

3. Watch investors fund your loan and get the money!

This is the fun part. Watch as investors come in to fund your loan. Of course it helps to tell friends and family about this, as they can increase the speed at which your loan gets funded and it increases social verification for investors.

As soon as the listing has been funded by at least 70%, you can activate the listing! This binds you to the terms you defined in the loan listing in step two.

The best part: The bitcoins are instantly available in your account.

So are you ready to get a loan? Click here to get started!

I need a loan. Is BTCJam right for me?

At BTCJam, we want to make sure that borrowers and lenders are having a good experience with using our service. Lenders are trusting borrowers with their bitcoins and if they are not paid back, the whole P2P lending system does not work properly. We came up with a few helping questions that borrowers should ask themselves before taking out a loan.

 

Before you post a loan, you should ask yourselves the following questions:

How will I pay back this loan?

Do you have regular income to pay back this loan? Do you have any assets such as: stocks, a vehicle, or something else that you could sell in case you are able to pay back?

Make a detailed repayment plan, on paper or in Excel, where you calculate exactly when you will get your salary, when you have to pay rent, food, etc and also when your BTCJam installments are due.

How much interest can I afford to pay?

Make sure you plan ahead. You will have to pay back the principal plus interest. Don’t go with too high of an interest just to get funded quickly. Use an interest rate that you can realistically pay back with your resources. Also don’t go too low or otherwise investors will consider you an unattractive investment.

Do I have an easy way to convert bitcoin into my local currency and back?

Once your loan is funded, you will receive your bitcoin on BTCJam. Now you need to convert the bitcoin into your local currency so you can purchase whatever you need the loan for. Check if there is an exchange in your country so you are able to withdraw the loan for your own use.

Here is a list of all Bitcoin exchanges around

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade#Currency_exchanges

Once you have honestly about those questions and you have decided that BTCJam is right for you, create your loan listing and get funded!

How BTCJam handles Transaction Malleability

The recent statement by Mt. Gox claiming that transaction malleability needed to be fixed before Mt. Gox could resume bitcoin withdrawals has left many wondering whether there is a fatal technical flaw with Bitcoin.  Gavin Andersen and many others were quick to point out that this has been known about since 2011, is not an issue, and that there are ways to easily address this for exchanges and wallets.

At BTCJam, we have put a lot of thought into how we handle security. We have been highly conscious about security from the day BTCJam was first started. The way we implement transaction verifications makes us absolutely secure against an attack similar to Mt. Gox.

For the technically inclined, we store the set of addresses, timestamp and amount. Unlike the Transaction ID this can not be changed or duplicated by third parties.

We have a very experienced team who handles millions of credit card transactions per day. For us, security is absolutely paramount. We will keep a vigilant eye on security and make sure our customers can enjoy all the benefits of bitcoin without having to worry about investing or storing their coins with us.

Don’t have an account yet? Sign up with BTCJam–the first and largest P2P Lending Platform!

The 3 Rules of Peer to Peer Lending for Investors

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In our previous articles, we explained why lending through BTCJam is such a great idea and how this enables a really great return/risk ratio.

Now let’s look at how you actually apply those principles when making a loan on BTCJam.com.

Rule #1 Diversification: Make at least 50 to 100 investments.

Why is diversification so important?

Here’s a blog post showing the benefits from diversifying on Lending Club:

Try to look at it from a risk perspective. You want to invest in a way so that you minimise Systemic Risk. To make an extreme example: Giving all your money to one single person has a huge ‘systemic’ risk. Fate is unpredictable: From unemployment to an extreme case of death, everything is possible, and your money will be gone.
It would also suboptiomal to invest exclusively in people who want to buy homes in a single country. House prices are linked together by market forces. So if for example if the interest rates raise dramatically (which can happen by a single decision taken by the country’s central bank), then suddenly it becomes much harder for everyone but the wealthy people to buy houses, and prices are likely to suffer, reducing the ability of homeowners to refinance their mortgage and thus the ability to repay outstanding debts etc. Remember what happened with the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007-2008.

The big advantage we have here at BTCJam is that we operate on a global level. So we can offer much better protection against systemic risks than for example a Lending Club, who only offers to invest in the USA. Of course international markets are also linked together, but for example the correlation between Indonesia’s GDP Growth and the US GDP Growth is R=-0.09 for the time period of 1961-2008. (Source: http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2575&context=commpapers)

So if a big crisis hits the USA and many people with loans lose their jobs, your loans in Indonesia likely won’t be affected.

If you invest in many small loans with good borrowers across different verticals and geographies, it is statistically unlikely that more than just a small percentage default. As long as less loans default than the average interest rate you are getting, you will come out ahead in your investing.

Assuming you invest the same amount in every listing, your return can be calculated as follows:

Actual Return = (1-Default_Rate)*AVG(Interest_Rate)

So let’s say you invest $10,000 with 100 loans that all run for 1 year and with an average interest rate of 30% per year. That means that by the end of the year would get the invested $10,000 and $3,000 of interest back. Now let’s say that 10 of those 100 default and don’t pay back anything. Then you’ve lost $1000 of your investments (plus $300 of interest you didn’t collect). But at the end of the year you still have $12,000 to your name, which is a healthy 20% rate of return.

Rule #2 Be aware of risk and high interest rates

If someone offers an interest rate that is way higher than what everybody else is offering, maybe they are looking to get a lot of money quickly and disappear, or they are bad financial planners and won’t actually be able to repay you with this high interest rate. We try to filter out as many bad apples as we can, but at the end you are still taking a risk on every loan you invest in.

Does that mean you should never invest in loans with high interest rates? No of course not. It simply means you should not put all your money into ultra high interest, high risk loans. Put some money into low interest, more safe loans, and some in riskier, more high return loans. Again, the key word is Diversification.

Rule #3 Understand the borrower

We try to make as much information available about each borrower. So that you as an investor can accurately assess what kind of person you are lending to and how likely they are to repay. So spend the few minutes to go through all the data on the profile and make an educated guess. Is this person trustworthy? Do they have a way to repay me, even if their business plan does not work out?

We hope this guide gave you some understanding of the benefits of peer to peer lending and what you can do to increase your returns and lower your risk.

We are always open to questions or feedback. Please let us know at support@btcjam.com.

You should probably check out the newest listings here!

How to Lend with BTCJam

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What percentage of my portfolio should I allocate to peer to peer lending?

Ultimately only you can know this answer. You should ask yourself

  1. How much risk am I willing to take?
  2. How risky are my other investments?
  3. Can you survive without this money for the next 3-12 months?

The nice thing about peer to peer loans is that they are much less dependent on the overall economic climate  than other investments in general and specifically on interest rate changes than bonds for example. They have a very low correlation (R=0.014) with the S&P 500 returns of the last 5 years. (Source)

What if I suddenly need the money?

We offer a Notes Marketplace where you can sell your notes if you need the money ahead of the repayment date. However, you will likely be offering a discount on the outstanding amount if you want someone to buy it quickly.

Which loans should I invest in?

One of the core things we do at BTCJam is to assess risk. We use more than 50 data points about borrowers before we give them a credit rating. For example, we use info such as: Income, Credit Score, Social Networking Data, E-Bay Feedback scores and then apply machine learning on our repayment rates to figure out who is a credible borrower. Loans rated with an A are more likely to be repaid than those with a B, which are more likely than those with a C, and so on.

Even an individual with an excellent credit score is human and the unexpected, like sickness or job loss can happen. So we strongly discourage putting all of your investments in one or just a few people.

If you diversify your investments well, you will enjoy high returns and low risk. Lenders on our platform are averaging 19% returns per year!

This leads us to the 3 rules of peer to peer lending

Also, you should probably check out the newest listings here!

Why invest with BTCJam?

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Welcome to BTCJam! We are excited that you are joining our great community and that you want to help other people realise their dreams while making solid returns on your investments.

How is Peer to Peer Lending better than other types of money lending?

At BTCJam, we really believe in Peer to Peer Lending, which allows investors to invest directly into borrowers in a very transparent way. This brings three core advantages:

  1. Low fees. The platform usually takes a low, around 1% transaction fee for checking credit/income/address and making the connection possible. This helps make great rates and great returns possible.
  2. Great Rates Since lenders decide who gets funded, the market will adjust interest rates in a way that borrowers will most likely receive the lowest possible interest rates they can get (otherwise they would leave for another service) and investors will get a high return/risk ratio (otherwise they would invest their money in other opportunities offering better return/risk ratio).
  3. Diversification Investing in peer to peer loans offers a very strong diversification from the stock market, as evidenced in this Seeking Alpha article: It summarises: “In this regards, and considering the affordable diversification, low correlation to the Stock Market and above-average returns, even after considering defaults, Peer Lending remain an attractive alternative asset.”

Why invest with BTCJam specifically?

There are many great reasons to be investing with BTCJam. On top of the ones listed above, BTCJam offers

  • Even Better Returns. Check the returns of our best investors on our leaderboard!
  • Even Lower Risk through extensive geographic diversification. We are the only site that operates globally!
  • Help People in economically underdeveloped regions getting a credit for the first time and starting a new business or even new life!

Better Returns

Most developing countries need to attract capital from foreign investors to develop their infrastructure. To be competitive and since there is quite  bit of risk involved, they have to offer quite high interest rates to those investors. Since the treasuries they are selling can also be bought by their local national banks, the interest rate banks are giving to consumers are higher as well, since they need to have a similar or higher internal rate of return on consumer lending in order to justify the investment of time and capital.

But with peer to peer lending, as long as we can create a better return/risk ratio for lenders than other alternatives they have access to, we will be able to offer loans to borrowers in those countries at rates, that in many cases are much lower than what they can get at their existing banks.

Lower Risk

Since successful lenders are spreading their investments across many different borrowers across many different geographic and economic regions, they face a very low correlation of default between the rates.

Read more in our article How to Diversify we explain more in depth why the risk is lower and how our model allows investors to diversify really nicely.

Helping People: Socially conscious investing with BTCJam

Did you know that borrowing money can be a serious challenge depending on your credit situation or if the need of it is immediate? Around the globe, good people who can afford paying the cost of money, need to borrow it but can’t do so immediately. There are many roadblocks, the main ones being a high level of bureaucracy and incredibly high interest rates.

For example, in Brazil, if you have outstanding credit card debt, you are paying almost 200% APR (yes. two hundred percent).(Source: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr13149.pdf )

In many other countries around the world, people are facing similarly harsh conditions to get credit at reasonable rates.

The concept of peer-to-peer lending is already, by itself, a more democratic way to loan money. But, unfortunately, since we have countries and currencies boundaries, current peer-to-peer lending platforms don’t reach people located in developing countries or the poor people who happen to not have a great credit score yet. People who need it the most. With BTCJam we offer you the possibility to work with Bitcoin, so can take, together, this real first step to credit access around the globe.

We all know how necessary and, why not, fun, it is to make a profit. However, our conscience never allows us to forget about our responsibility to build a new and better world. How does it sound to actually help, solving people’s financials problems and at the same time you are getting paid for it?

It is possible. It’s already happening here at BTCJam.com.

Check out the newest listings we have for you on BTCJam.com

Minimum Withdrawn Amount Reduced

Dear Users,

Due to the recent strong increase in Bitcoin valuation, we have reduced the minimal amount you can withdraw to ฿0.001.

Also be reminded that BTCJam doesn’t charge any fees for deposit/ withdrawals, but reserves it for the mining fees when it’s applicable.

Best Regards,

BTCJam Customer Support Team

Bitcoin Loans and Currency Risk

Welcome to the BTCJam blog! We are always thinking about ways to provide information to help you make better decisions about your investment. We will be publishing a variety of information to share what’s on our minds with you and, of course we would love to know what’s on yours! We would like to disclaim that we are not claiming to be experts on the topics discussed here, but we would like to open the channel to have relevant and, hopefully, intelligent discussions. Also, if you are an expert on the topic discussed, please help us out by enriching the conversation! That said, the topic of the day is currency risk.

 Even though Bitcoin is a worldwide non-centralized currency, most of us still make a living earning regular (government/central bank issued) currencies, such as dollars, euros, rupees, etc… Hence, currency risk is something that is still on our minds (we say still in hopes that this problem will be in the past soon!).

 As most of you know, at BTCJam you can index your loan in USD, EUR, CAD or RUB (as of yet!), using bitcoins as a payment method; avoiding the bitcoin currency risk and that’s when the “regular” currency risk kicks in. Meaning: if you are applying for a loan and you want to index your payment in USD dollars, and your earnings are in another currency, you must take into account the risk of exchanging one currency to another. The market uses hedging tools to avoid currency risk exposure, and we hope to offer hedging options to you very soon; however we still don’t.  Hence, we believe that providing information on how currencies have been behaving could be useful. At least statistically, you can calculate the probability of your currency varying against the US dollar and incorporate that percentage into your payout offer.

We created an excel sheet (download it here) with the currencies most used in our platform (BRL, EUR, GPB, CAD and RUB) and their accumulated two month variation against the US dollar (we use two months because it’s the average loan term at BTCJam). The database comes with data from the past five years (daily rates), and in the “Currencies Analysis” tab we accumulated the changes to calculate the variance, the mean, the standard deviation and the min-max changes within a two month period.  Taking the average % change and the standard deviation into consideration when you are planning your payments will help you to account for the historical risk your currency have against the US Dollar. Please note that we are not dealing with futures market, it’s just historical data.

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We hope this information is useful and we would love to hear your thoughts and questions.

We are going to change the world, one bitcoin loan at a time!

Yours,

BTCJam Team