BTCjam Can Help You Consolidate Debt

Note: This is the English translated version of a blog post originally directed to  our growing  Brazilian community. If you speak Portuguese, check out our original post.

I’m in debt, what can I do?


My last article described how BTCjam generally works and provided some tips to help you get a loan with us. Now let’s get into more detail about how BTCjam can be a useful tool to help you consolidate your debts at lower interest rates.

This subject is increasingly relevant given that Brazil has some of the highest interest rates in the world. In fact, Brazil currently holds the record for the highest interest on credit cards in the world.

Current interest rates in Brazil

Based on a study conducted by Proteste that included 108 credit cards from 12 financial institutions, a regular Brazilian paid in July 2015 on average an interest rate of 378.76% for their credit card debt. The runner-up in this disastrous ranking is Colombia with 62.51%. In other words, Brazilian credit cards charge more than five times the interest charged in Colombia, and more than nine times the amount charged by the country in third place–Peru.

In Brazil, credit cards charge 14% per month while in the United States it is only 14% per year! With the average American income being five times higher than that of Brazil’s, the disparity in interest rates is shocking.

It’s not just credit card interest that is high in Brazil; overdraft interest is also exorbitant. According to Procon São Paulo, the average interest rate charged by banks on overdraft is reaching 11.49% per month – the highest in 10 years. Even the other kinds of loans, that are usually cheaper exceed the average of 6% per month.

Why are interest rates in Brazil so high?

Several economists have analyzed this question and the answer is not conclusive. There are many elements that make up the interest that is charged to the consumer, but we can summarize them as four main factors: the bank’s profit margin, tax, competition and default.

For those who are curious, I will explain the following:

  • Profit margin: Banks, like any business, have shareholders who invest in the company in exchange for a return. Banks seek profit to remunerate such shareholders with dividends.
  • Taxes: Governments not only tax the citizens, but also companies. The more banks are taxed, the more interest they charge. The Brazilian government is known to be a bloated machine that finances its expenses by charging high taxes.
  • Competition: The five largest Brazilian banks control 80% of the credit. Cases like this where there is low competition do not incentivize price drops (e.g. interest rate drops). Banks are protected by legislation and financial demands that drive away startups seeking innovative solutions to improve services for consumers.
  • Default: As a rule, the more defaults, the greater the interest. There is no national credit system in Brazil like in the US, so generally Brazilians pay higher interest rates to cover the defaulters’ failure to pay. This creates a vicious cycle since increasing interest rates generates more defaults, and more defaults create higher interest rates… BTCjam has developed its own credit system so that people pay fair interest rates that are in accordance with their ability to pay. Learn more about how BTCjam works.

The concept of debt consolidation

Raise your hand if you never entered the overdraft! I have definitely overdrafted my bank account in the past. I remember looking at my statement day after day, and to see the growing debt was distressing to say the least (just a note: Brazilian banks charges interest on a daily basis). I clearly remember a trip to Miami where I got carried away with the low prices. I ended up spending more than I could afford and when the bill came around, I could not pay it off so I paid the minimum balance. The following month I had to pay 14% on the debt I procured!

Sometimes an initial debt generates a snowball of  people getting another loan to pay the initial one. The result: people end up putting too much of their income towards the repayment installments that follow. To help people get out of this vicious cycle, one of the solutions is to exchange the most expensive debts (those that charge high interest rates) for a cheaper debt (with lower interest rates). This operation is called Debt Consolidation.

Debt consolidation is the solution to paying less interest

Instead of paying 14% per month on a credit card or 10% on overdraft, it can be preferable to borrow at BTCjam where borrowers pay an average of 6% per month!

For example, by consolidating a debt of $5,000 with 14% interest per month in 12 installments to a debt at 6% interest per month could save you $280 per month, or $3,400 in total. Recalling that the original debt was only $5000 (i.e. consolidating your debt) allows you to save 64% on the original debt!

Conclusion (TL;DR)

I hope you benefited from this introduction to the concept of Debt Consolidation for those who did not know, and from the explanation of how BTCjam helps people repay their debt with lower interest rates than banks or credit card companies.

Do not waste time; get a loan now on BTCjam and see how we can be of great help in paying your debt by saving on interest. If you know someone with debt, recommend BTCjam.

After all, a true friend does not let a friend struggle.

How to apply for a loan on BTCjam, a practical guide

Note: This is the English translated version of a blog post originally directed to our Brazilian community. If you speak Portuguese, check out our original post.

Hello fellow Brazilians!

I would like to use this post to explain what we do in BTCjam and how we can help the Brazilian people in this difficult time of the economy. Our mission is to provide affordable credit for people around the world. We believe that especially now with such high interest rates (with overdraft rates reaching 300% per year) we can indeed make a difference in personal finance and Brazilian families.

Before diving into how we work, just a brief intro on the company itself. BTCjam is a company based in San Francisco, California, founded in 2012 by the Brazilian Celso Pitta Cardoso (no relation to the former mayor of Sao Paulo!). We received two contributions from Venture Capitalists in Silicon Valley, including funds that invest in many unicorns companies such as Uber, Netflix, Dropbox and Lending Club, as well as Bitcoin companies like Coinbase and Xapo.

We have two keys to the success of our model: Bitcoin and our Credit Scoring algorithm. Bitcoin is important because it is the way we engage in over a hundred countries with lower cost and increased speed of transfer. Today, we serve loans in more than 120 countries and by only using bitcoin we have a lean cost structure, which translates into lower interest rates charged to those who make loans through us.

Do I need to know about Bitcoin?

You may wonder what is bitcoin and need to understand the subject to get a personal loan with us, right? You can rest assured, you do not have to be an expert, since we have partners around the world that help borrowers to convert bitcoins into Reais or your local currency simply.

And how is the interest rate?

In the United States, generally, those who pay their bills on time pay lower interest rates on loans. That means, if you pay your car loan on time each month, you will probably have a lower interest rate than your friend, that has late payments showing up month after month.This system is super fair and benefits those who pay their bills on time, unlike it is in Brazil where people complying with their obligations end up supporting the “deadbeats” because everyone pays the same interest rate. I’m sad to say we in Brazil, have the world’s highest interest rates – debt on credit cards can reach 400% a year (compared to less than 20% in the US, only for purposes of comparison).

To calculate the interest rate, we look at hundreds of factors such as salary and other traditional sources but mostly alternative sources such as data coming from Facebook, LinkedIn, Free Market, Gmail, etc. Based on this mountain of data we can calculate the probability of repayment of anyone in the world, provide a credit note (from A+ to D-), and then based on this credit rating, determine the appropriate interest rate. Our interest begins at 2.2% per month to A+ borrowers and on average are around 6% per month for most who make a loan with us.

Once you receive your credit rating, you are allowed to apply for a loan on the platform. This loan is published for worldwide lenders to analyze and decide whether to fund it or not. Perhaps you’ve heard of some crowdfunding platform like Kickante in Brazil or the US Kickstarter. Our operation is similar: people create loan applications that are funded by dozens of other people, each putting a little until it reaches the total amount requested.

Now that you already know in general how we work, we think it is worth knowing also how best to use our system. Following is a brief practical guide to help.

Practical Guide to how to apply for a loan on BTCjam:

1) Always use truthful data. We use advanced data verification techniques, and if you use false information we’ll find out and you will be penalized on your credit note or even be banned from the platform. This also applies to those who create accounts on other services only to use them for the purposes of registration. So if you’ve never used LinkedIn for example, you should not create an account just to provide it to us. It’s better just to not have such an account linked (no pun intended!).

2) Connect the maximum possible accounts as they have tangible impact on the rate you pay, ie your interest.

3) Ask for references – acquaintances write about you on the site. Tip: This also helps you potentially lower the interest rate.

4) Once you receive your credit rate, create your loan application and describe it in detail: reporting to need money (eg pay off an overdraft), how you will afford to pay the loan back and contingency plan if everything goes wrong (have some asset that you can quickly sell to get money to pay the lenders who funded your request). TIP: lists with details, usually receive faster investment.

5) Reply comments from investors quickly so that they are safer to invest in you.TIP: we notify you via email when commenting on his list.

These are basic tips for you to get your loan funded quickly through our platform. We are very happy to finally offer Brazilians a fairer approach – the way people in developed countries get their loans.

Welcome to the club! (and if you are not a member yet, check your rate now)


Guia Prático de como pegar emprestado no BTCjam

Note: This blog post is directed to our Brazilian community. But feel free to read our English version if you want 😉

nada de figa pra fazer empréstimo no BTCjam

Chega de torcer pra pegar seu empréstimo – confira nosso Guia abaixo

Olá conterrâneos!

Gostaria de usar esse post para explicar o que fazemos no BTCjam e como podemos ajudar o povo brasileiro nesse momento tão difícil da economia. Nossa missão é oferecer crédito acessível para pessoas ao redor do mundo. Acreditamos que principalmente agora com essa alta de juros (com cheque especial chegando a 300% ao ano) possamos de fato fazer diferença nas finanças pessoais e das famílias brasileiras.

Antes de explicar como funcionamos, acho importante falar um pouco sobre nós. O BTCjam é uma empresa sediada em São Francisco, Califórnia, fundada em 2012 pelo brasileiro Celso Cardoso Pitta (nenhum parentesco com o ex-prefeito de São Paulo!). Recebemos dois aportes de capital de fundos de investimento do Vale do Silício, entre eles fundos que investiram no Uber, Netflix, Dropbox e no Lending Club –  empresa líder de empréstimo online dos EUA – além de empresas de Bitcoin do porte do Coinbase e Xapo.

Temos dois alicerces no nosso sistema atual, são eles Bitcoin e nosso algoritmo de Crédito Positivo.  Bitcoin é importante pois foi a forma que nós encontramos para atuar em centenas de países com menor custo e com rapidez nas transferências. Hoje, já servimos empréstimos em mais de 120 países e somente usando bitcoin é que podemos ter uma estrutura de custos enxuta, o que se traduz em menores juros cobrados de quem faz empréstimo conosco.

Eu preciso saber sobre Bitcoin?

Você pode se perguntar o que é bitcoin e se precisa entender sobre o assunto para pegar um empréstimo pessoal conosco, não é? Pode ficar tranquilo, você não precisa ser nenhum especialista, já que temos parceiros ao redor do mundo que ajudam os tomadores de empréstimo a converter bitcoins em Reais ou sua moeda local de forma simples.

E como são os juros?

Mas voltando aos alicerces do nosso sistema, quero falar sobre  como calculamos quanto de juros cada pessoa terá que pagar. Veja só, nos Estados Unidos, normalmente quem paga as contas em dia paga juros menores. Isto é, se você paga o financiamento do seu carro em dia, por exemplo, quando for pegar emprestado com o banco para outro motivo vai pagar juros menores que seu amigo que vem atrasando seus pagamentos mês atrás de mês. Esse sistema é super justo e beneficia quem paga as contas em dia, diferente de como é no Brasil onde as pessoas cumpridoras das suas obrigações suportam os “caloteiros”, já que todo mundo paga a mesma taxa de juros. Diga-se de passagem, no Brasil temos os maiores juros do mundo – dívida com cartão de crédito chega a 400% ao ano (contra menos de 20% nos EUA, só para título de comparação).

Para calcularmos as taxas de juros, olhamos centenas de fatores como salário e outras fontes tradicionais mas principalmente fontes alternativas tais como dados advindos do Facebook, LinkedIn, Mercado Livre, Gmail, etc. Com base nessa montanha de dados podemos calcular a probabilidade de repagamento de qualquer pessoa no mundo, dar uma Nota de Crédito (que vai de A+ até D-) e, então, com base nessa Nota de Crédito, cobrar juros compatíveis. Nossos juros começam em 2,2% ao mês para tomadores A+ e na média são em torno de 6% ao mês para quem for fazer um empréstimo conosco.

Depois que você recebe sua Nota de Crédito, você está autorizado a solicitar um empréstimo na plataforma. Esse empréstimo é publicado para que investidores do mundo inteiro o analisem e decidam se querem financiá-lo ou não. Talvez você já tenha ouvido falar de alguma plataforma de crowdfunding como a Kickante no Brasil ou o Kickstarter nos EUA. Nosso funcionamento é semelhante: pessoas criam pedidos de empréstimo que são financiados por dezenas de outras pessoas, cada um colocando um pouco até que chegue no total solicitado.

Agora que você já sabe em linhas gerais como funcionamos, acho que vale a pena saber também qual a melhor maneira de usar nosso sistema.

Guia Prático de como solicitar um empréstimo no BTCjam:

1)   Sempre use dados verídicos. Nós usamos avançadas técnicas de confirmação de dados e se você usar informações falsas nós vamos descobrir e você será penalizado na sua Nota de Crédito ou mesmo será banido da plataforma. Isso vale também para quem cria contas em serviços somente para usa-los no cadastro. Portanto, se você nunca usou o LinkedIn por exemplo, não deve criar uma conta só pra nos informar. É melhor simplesmente não informar essa conta.

2)   Conecte o máximo de contas possíveis já que elas tem impacto tangível na taxa que você pagará, ou seja, seu juros.

3)   Peça para seus conhecidos escreverem  referências sobre você no site. Dica: Isso também pode te ajudar diminuir a taxa de juros.

4)   Depois de receber sua nota de crédito, crie seu pedido de empréstimo e descreva-o com detalhes: informando para que precisa de dinheiro (ex: quitar o cheque especial), de que forma terá recursos para pagar o empréstimo de volta e o plano de contingência caso dê tudo errado (tem algum bem que pode vender rapidamente para conseguir dinheiro para pagar quem financiou seu pedido).
DICA: Listas com mais detalhes, normalmente recebem investimento mais rápido

5)   Responda os comentários dos investidores com rapidez para que eles fiquem mais seguros em investir em você.
Dica: Te avisaremos por email sempre que comentarem na sua listagem.

Essas são dicas básicas para que você aumente as chances de conseguir seu empréstimo rapidamente através da nossa plataforma (sem precisar ficar torcendo como nosso amigo lá em cima!).

Ficamos muito felizes de oferecer finalmente no Brasil uma forma mais justa e mais parecida como as pessoas de países desenvolvidos fazem para pegar empréstimos.

Seja bem vindo ao clube! (e se você ainda não é membro, simule um empréstimo conosco)


How to use Authy (Two Factor Authentication) with BTCjam



btcjam authy

With phishing attacks (fake emails) on the rise and keyloggers (programs that record everything you type) spreading like wildfire, it’s clear that a strong password is not enough.  That’s why we implemented Two Factor Authentication (2FA or TFA) on BTCjam.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA) allows you to log in to your account with your password and a code generated by your mobile phone (hence the Two, in Two Factor).  By logging in with your password and a code from your phone you make it much harder for hackers to take over your account.

Previously on BTCjam Blog we discussed how to setup Two Factor Authentication on your BTCjam account using Google Authenticator. We also recommended activating 2FA on your Gmail account so that hackers cannot take over your email and reset your passwords. Today we’re proud to announce that BTCjam is now offering Authy support as well as Google Authenticator.

Authy is an alternative to Google Authenticator.  It works on any site that uses Google Authenticator, but if you switch phones Authy makes it easy to move to your new phone simply by logging in with your username and password.  It is slightly less secure than Google Authenticator, because if a hacker gets your username and password they get all your keys, but it is easier to use.

Here are some brief instructions on how to setup Authy with BTCjam:

– First you’ll need to verify your phone with BTCjam:

1. In Settings -> Security, click Verify My Phone:

Verify Phone - Security   BTCJam   BTCJam

2. Enter your mobile phone number:

Personal loans and Online Investing   Peer to Peer Bitcoin Lending

3. Enter the Secret Code sent to your phone via text message:

secret code Personal loans and Online Investing   Peer to Peer Bitcoin Lending

Once you’ve verified your phone with BTCjam, here’s how to setup Authy with BTCjJam:

  1. Log into your BTCjam account and Navigate to Settings -> Security


2. If you have already 2FA activated with Google Authenticator you will need to turn it off.

(if you have not used 2FA before, skip this step.)
  1. Uncheck the box that says “Two Factor Authentication”.
  2. Enter your 2FA code at the bottom of the page in the “Two Factor Authentication” box.


3. Click Settings -> Security, Setup Two Factor Authentication


4. Install the Authy app on your phone (from the App Store, or Google Play store)


5. Scan the QR Code with Authy (touch “+ Add Account”)

Authy Link Security   BTCJam   BTCJam

That’s it!  You can now use Authy instead of Google Authenticator to access BTCjam!

We hope that this tutorial will help you keep your accounts secure.  Remember that passwords are not enough.  Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is absolutely vital when dealing with financial information.  Whether you use Google Authenticator or Authy, it’s also important to keep your email secure as well:  Activating 2FA on your Gmail account can prevent hackers from taking over your email which can be used to reset all of your passwords.  Keep your accounts secure with Two Factor Authentication!

Until Next Time… Keep on Jamming!

If you need money, borrow bitcoins on BTCjam!  If you want high returns, invest on BTCjam!

Need a new PC for Video Editing?  Get a Bitcoin Loan on BTCjam!

shutterstock_184631579John heard of BTCjam way back when he got started with Bitcoin, but he’d never tried it.  At one point he and his business partner even considered using the platform to purchase mining equipment, but never got around to getting the loan.  But in December, John got into Cloud Mining in a big way, this led him back… to BTCjam.

John needed a loan to purchase a new PC for video editing.  John makes educational webinars, but needed to reduce his videos from 3 hour seminars to short 3-5 minute clips and to do that he was gonna need a new PC.  To get a loan for the new PC, John turned to BTCjam.

John was experienced in Bitcoin, but he’d never taken out a loan in Bitcoin before.  His first attempt was unsuccessful.  He created a 365 day loan with monthly payments and an interest rate of 2%. As John freely admits, “That was a mistake on my part, because the payment terms weren’t very enticing to investors.”  Not one to be easily discouraged, John tried again, this time creating a six month loan with weekly payments and an interest rate of 1%.  He knew the rate might shutterstock_185325812be low, but he wanted to achieve a balance between rewarding investors and keeping his own rates low.  It took about a week or so, but John’s loan funded successfully.

John received his Bitcoin almost instantly after the loan funded and purchased a new PC and video camera for his business.  He hasn’t edited the videos yet, but he says that his new PC is “pretty amazing” and he’s already had inquiries from customers about additional video work.  When asked if he would use BTCjam again, John said that “BTCjam is my favorite P2P site for borrowing money and I would definitely use shutterstock_14557777BTCjam again.”

Thanks John and thank you to the investors, we couldn’t do this without you.

Until Next Time….

Keep on Jamming!

If you need a bitcoin loan, borrow on BTCjam!  If you want to invest, invest on BTCjam!

Need a down payment for a new car?  Get a loan on BTCjam!

BTCJam Car Loan

Tony first heard about BTCjam at a Bitcoin Meetup group in Los Angeles.  He liked the idea of P2P Lending right away.  It reminded him of the “freedom philosophy” that excited him about Bitcoin in the first place.

Back in June of 2011, Tony’s friend sent him an article about “fake internet money”, but the more Tony read about Bitcoin, the less it seemed like a fake and the more it seemed like something that could transform the banking system.  Tony read everything he could about Bitcoin until one day it just clicked – and he’s been buying, spending and promoting Bitcoin ever since.

In July, Tony ran into trouble.  His old car suddenly broke down.  He needed a new car immediately to get to work and to see his new girlfriend and without one, Tony could lose his job and maybe even his girlfriend.  Tony knew what to do.  He turned to BTCjam and created a loan listing to borrow money for a nice down payment for a pre-owned car. With BTCjam’s low rates for borrowers, he would actually save money in the long run, by borrowing money for his down payment at a lower interest rate than most banks would have lended it to him.

Tony’s loan funded quickly.  His loan funded easily because he completed his BTCjam profile and received personal referrals from his friends.  He was diligent in responding to comments from investors and was honest about himself in his loan description.  He explained his plans to buy the car in detail and how he would pay his loan back.  Tony is an open book and we think it was key in helping investors confidently investing in his loan.

Once his loan funded, Tony had no problems converting the Bitcoin into dollars and withdrawing it for the down payment on his car.  Tony purchased a sporty dark blue 2013 Ford Focus hatchback, and he says it’s a lot of fun.  We can also confirm that it’s been nine months since he got his loan on BTCjam and Tony still has the car, the job and the girlfriend!  Way to go Tony.  Thanks for borrowing with BTCjam…  and thanks to the investors of BTCjam for funding Tony’s loan!

Until Next Time….  Keep on Jamming!

If you need bitcoin, borrow bitcoin on BTCjam!  If you want to invest, invest on BTCjam!