Happy Cinco de Mayo from BTCjam!

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We at BTCjam have a lot to celebrate this Cinco de Mayo.  Just a few weeks ago, we announced our partnership with Volabit and we are now the easiest way to borrow bitcoin in Mexico.  Just link your Volabit wallet to BTCjam and you’re ready to begin borrowing or lending bitcoins with BTCjam.  That’s it!  It’s just that easy.

volabitWe’re also celebrating with a Cinco de Mayo fiesta here at BTCjam HQ.  We’ve got tacos, burritos, chips and salsa and of course what Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without enchiladas.  We’ve had a few of them too.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo your way!  Tell us how you celebrate in the comments.  And remember, if you need a bitcoin loan, borrow on BTCjam!  If you want to invest, invest on BTCjam!

BTCjam partners with Volabit to bring bitcoin loans to Mexico

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Hola Jammers! We’ve got great news this morning… BTCjam is partnering with the leading Mexican Bitcoin exchange Volabit to bring our users from Mexico a superior Bitcoin experience.  Volabit users can now transfer funds and activate automatic payments all from BTCjam.com!  Lending bitcoin and gaining returns has never been easier, and Volabit users can now transfer their bitcoins to BTCjam without ever leaving the site. Together Volabit and BTCjam make borrowing and investing bitcoin in Mexico simple!

  • You can withdraw bitcoin seamlessly from Volabit without leaving BTCjam
  • Your automatic payments can withdraw from your Volabit wallet to make a payment
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BTCjam and Volabit have partnered to make borrowing bitcoin in Mexico easier than ever.

BTCjam CEO Celso Pitta said, “I’m thrilled about our Volabit partnership.  Volabit integration will make BTCjam much easier to use for our customers in Mexico.”  Hannah Kim, Co-Founder of Volabit agrees, saying “BTCjam is one of the most exciting companies in Bitcoin and we’re delighted for how our new partnership makes bitcoin borrowing and lending easier for our customers.”

“Volabit integration will make BTCjam much easier to use for our customers in Mexico.” – BTCjam CEO, Celso Pitta

Get detailed instructions on how to connect your Volabit Wallet to BTCjam on the BTCjam Blog!  Once you have connected your Volabit wallet, you can easily transfer bitcoin to BTCjam and make automatic payments on your loan.  It’s just that easy.

Attention Bitcoin Wallet providers, we are looking to integrate additional wallets! Please contact us at partner@btcjam.com if you would like to partner with BTCjam.

About BTCjam BTCjam is the global leader in peer-to-peer lending using Bitcoin, and the first to offer a proprietary credit score to its users.  BTCjam’s disruptive credit model is changing the way borrowers and investors connect, providing a new path to financial freedom for users from more than 200 countries around the world. BTCjam promotes lending without borders, where people can borrow and lend bitcoins, without having to worry about banks and other intermediaries. Transactions are instantaneous, hassle free, and supported by an engaged, trusting global community.

About Volabit Volabit is the fastest and safest way to buy and sell Bitcoin in Mexico.  Founded in 2014, Volabit has more than 4,000 users and they have converted more than 24,000,000 pesos into Bitcoin. Volabit received venture funding from the Bitcoin Opportunity Corp and has been described as the “Coinbase of Mexico”. Check out Volabit at https://www.volabit.com

How to Link your Volabit Wallet to BTCjam

At BTCjam, we are very excited about our new partnership with Mexican bitcoin exchange, Volabit.  Here are some simple instructions on how to link your BTCjam account to your Volabit wallet:

Log in to the BTCjam website at https://btcjam.com/

1. Navigate to the arrow by your user name, in the upper right hand corner, click Settings
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2. Click Credit Rating
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3. Click Wallets & Exchanges
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4. Click Volabit

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5. Click Authorize to allow BTCjam to use your account.
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That’s it!  Your Volabit account is now linked with your BTCjam account.
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To add funds from your connected Volabit wallet
1. Click on the arrow at the top center of the page near your Bitcoin balance.
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2. then click Add Funds
3. From the Add Funds popup window, simply click the
“Add funds from Volabit” button at the bottom of the window:

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4. Simply enter how much you would like to transfer from Volabit, enter your 2FA code (if you have 2FA enabled) and click “Transfer from Volabit” to transfer your funds.
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And you’re all set! Thank you for reading BTCjam’s tutorial on how to link your Volabit Wallet to BTCjam.  Remember you can now use your linked wallet for transferring funds or even making automatic payments on your BTCjam loan.  Thanks to Volabit for partnering with BTCjam.
If you need a bitcoin loan, borrow on BTCjam!  If you want to invest, invest on BTCjam!

Opportunities for Bitcoin in Indonesia

In 2005 I spent three months in Jakarta, Indonesia, teaching at a school for disadvantaged children. The school, established by the Dilts Foundation, provided among other things, education to street kids and other children who did have access to a traditional educational system.

The program I participated in was called “Children of Tomorrow.” Besides teaching the children English, our mission was to provide them the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. This enabled them to instill positive change and advancement in their lives.

Teaching through the program was a truly unique and life-changing experience. I was overwhelmed by the happiness of the local people. Although their lives were so challenging and difficult, I was touched by their generosity despite the limited resources they had. I realized that by growing up in a developed country I took for granted things like running water, toilets, and three meals a day.

These children and their families, like almost 80% of the population in Indonesia, had never been to a bank or had access to a bank account. Banking and other financial services are not readily available to the majority of the population. There are various reasons for the high percentage of under-banked in Indonesia.

First, Indonesia is a cash-economy. In Indonesia, they live by the mantra “Cash is King.” It is very much a part of the culture to receive, spend, and save money in cash. In Indonesia, most restaurants, stores, and institutions only accept cash as a form of payment. Even if you have a credit card, many places will not take it.

Another significant reason why people rely heavily on cash is that for many people, financial services are too expensive. With an average monthly income of $200, disposable resources are limited and financial services are not a large priority. Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 13,000 islands; on most islands the banking infrastructure is barely developed. For most banks, it is not profitable for them to establish branches, ATMs, and other services. This leave a significant part of the population without access to banks and other financial services.

A statement often made is that bitcoin can change and improve lives of the under banked. These people have a need for a service that facilitates small transactions in a cost effective manner. Additionally, bitcoin acts as a solution to hold value safely through a provider they trust.

Although the vast majority of the under banked are not very tech savvy and do not have easy access to internet, many have mobile phones. In Indonesia, 84% of the population owns a mobile phone; by developing mobile solutions using the bitcoin protocol, financial services can suddenly become very accessible for these people.

In the past few months, bitcoin has slowly, but steadily gained traction in Indonesia. In December 2013, the first bitcoin exchange opened, bitcoin.co.id. There are several entrepreneurs developing bitcoin applications and services for merchants that have started accepting bitcoin.

BTCJam has seen a tremendous growth of users from Indonesia: more than 1000% in the last three months! Most users from Indonesia on BTCJam are borrowers who take out loans for business activities. Some of these busiesses are even bitcoin related! Borrowers can use loans to buy mining hardware or to trade on LocalBitcoins. These BTCJam users are contributing to the bitcoin ecosystem in Indonesia and they provide liquidity to the local market.

The opportunities for bitcoin in Indonesia are immense: with a population of 240 million, where 80% is under banked, bitcoin can have a significant impact on the lives of at least 190 million people. The “Children of Tomorrow” at the Dilts Foundation and their families showed me how the banking system in Indonesia does not serve the needs of the majority of the population. I believe that bitcoin can increase the opportunities of Indonesians and people in other developing countries by satisfying their financing needs and necessities.

image – Isabelle de Clercq 

Peer-to-Peer Lending Will Change Developing Countries

Scenario: You are a middle-aged labor worker in Sao Paulo, Brazil making minimum wage which is about $310 a month. Your wife has just given birth to your second child meanwhile living expenses have been depleted and you are in debt with one of your two credit cards from paying for medical operation and basic needs. You are faced with paying almost 200% APR on this debt, and your loan application to banks have been denied because of your negative credit rating.

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Unfortunately this is common situation in many developing countries. Hard-working individuals are financially trapped, tricked into accumulating more debt by payday loan providers, and they rarely triumph over these barriers, which prevent them from living a stable life.

People in Developing Countries need of solution that will:

  • Provide reasonable, equal opportunity interest rates
  • Have an easy application
  • Use a payment protocol that can transcend borders
  • Be transparent and efficient
  • Empower the individual

This is what peer-to-peer to lending powered by Bitcoin does.

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Taking out a loan on BTCJam is as easy as a few clicks; simply submit your identity documents to prove you are a real person. When creating a loan, you are given a suggested interest rate determined by the credit scoring algorithm; however, you may choose whichever rate works best for you. This effective and labor-saving process permits anyone to get a loan from the comfort of their own home regardless of origin, financial history, and state determined credit rating. Anyone with internet access has the opportunity to get a loan without going through unnecessary intermediaries.

With peer-to-peer lending using Bitcoin, entrepreneurs from developing countries are able to take out loans that they would not otherwise have access to and put the funds towards their ventures. For example, Gaston Azzollini, an Argentine borrower on BTCJam’s platform, has taken out a series of loans to put towards his various businesses in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina. One of them is the restaurant Lo De Elvio where all BTCJammers are welcome to dine at a discounted rate.

Economies of local communities are being funded on a macro-level because of Bitcoin. BTCJam’s peer-to-peer lending platform is helping to strengthen the economies of developing countries while providing 24/7 nondiscriminatory access for consumer loans.

Plant your seed of Bitcoin today.

Photos of Gaston and his restraunt Lo De Elvio in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina

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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