BTCJam welcomes Computer Science and Applied Mathematics Expert

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Greetings Jammers!

We’ve got more great news today. Join us in welcoming David Xi, an incredibly talented engineer to the team here at BTCJam. David has a very impressive background with a B.A. in Mathematics from Sichuan University, a Master’s in Applied Mathematics also from Sichuan University, a PhD in Computer Science from Korea University and did his Post Doctoral work at the University of Waterloo.

With ten years industry experience in the related fields and strong academic research background in the data mining, machine learning, pattern recognition, David is “elated to join the team at BTCJam.” David is very familiar with big data systems, having worked with similar systems for the past few years. He believes his previous work should line up perfectly with the work he will be doing at BTCJam.

 “We are thrilled to add David to our team at BTCJam.  David’s wealth of knowledge and impressive mathematics and computer science background will no doubt be invaluable at BTCJam as we continue to improve our product.”, said Celso Pitta, CEO of BTCJam

David believes that BTCJam’s unique credit scoring system could revolutionize the global credit system, and is very excited to join BTCJam on our mission to extend access to credit, worldwide.  With David’s impressive background in software engineering and mathematics, he is a real asset to BTCJam and will definitely be putting those advanced math skills to work.

Until Next Time… Keep on Jamming!

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

BTCJam hires Anti-Fraud Expert from Lending Club

Howdy Jammers!

We’ve got great news at Jam headquarters today.  We’ve got a brand new Jammer!  Anti-fraud expert Marisela Zaragoza has joined the BTCJam team.  Marisela has more than five years of experience in anti-fraud, having worked previously at Lending Club, Montecito Bank & Trust and she received a degree in Criminal Justice from Santa Barbara City College.

Marisela is “thrilled to join the team at BTCJam” and she believes that there are “many exciting opportunities for the future in bitcoin peer to peer lending” and that “peer to peer lending could change the world by expanding fair access to affordable credit worldwide.”

WelcomeMariselaMarisela is an expert in customer relations and while at Lending Club, she used her Criminal Justice background to verify customers and evaluate identification documents. Marisela is a major fraud deterrent and we believe her arrival will usher in a new era in anti-fraud at BTCJam.

“Based on Marisela’s impressive experience at Lending Club, we believe her analytical abilities, criminal justice background and attention to detail will further expand BTCJam’s fraud department.” said Celso Pitta, CEO of BTCJam.

And for all those reasons and more, we’re super excited to have her here at BTCJam. Welcome Marisela, to BTCJam!

Until Next Time… Keep on Jamming!

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

Five New Currencies added to BTCJam

New Local Currencies Added

BTCJam now supports loans in BTC, USD, Brazilian Real (BRL), Mexican Peso (MXN), Indian Rupee (INR), Russian Ruble (RUB), and Euro (EUR)

 

Howdy Jammers!

Today we are proud to announce five new currency options on BTCJam. In addition to US Dollar linked loans (and of course Bitcoin), BTCJam is now offering loans in denominated in:

  • brazil Brazilian Real (BRL)
  • mex Mexican Pesos (MXN)
  • Russian_Federation Russian Rubles (RUB)
  • india Indian Rupees (INR)
  • euflag Euros (EUR)  

The addition of local currencies simplifies the loan process for borrowers, allowing them to match the loan with their income.

Investors also benefit from having loans denominated in other currencies, allowing them to diversify their investments globally. For example, investors can offset losses from local economic crises by funding loans in foreign currencies. Investors are also able to reduce the beta of their portfolios, adjusting portfolio volatility against local economic crises.

Funding your loan in your local currency makes borrowing on BTCJam easier than ever before.

 

It is important to mention that investors must understand that they are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations versus their own currency. Meaning that if the borrower’s currency devalues, that devaluing may negatively impact the loan’s return. Of course, the opposite is also true: if the foreign currency gains value against the investor’s local currency, then the loan would get an exceptional return.

We’ve been working on this for a while now, and we’re excited to bring you the option of using these currencies on BTCJam.  As you know, our team is always working on new ways to improve our user experience.  Do you have an idea on how BTCJam can get better?  Send it to us at support@btcjam.com!

Until Next Time… Keep on Jamming!

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

BTCJam, Bitcoin Loans and Batman Save Christmas!

Jamie first heard about BTCjam from a friend and they talked the possibilities of getting a loan in bitcoin, but eventually they forgot about it. Jamie didn’t have very much experience with bitcoin so she wasn’t too confident about how to exchange bitcoin for cash, but a year later she decided to take a second look.

Jamie was suffering through some tough times in Christmas of 2014. She wasn’t sure how she was going to raise the money to make Christmas happen for her little one when her friend reminded her of BTCjam and bitcoin lending. Jamie and her friend worked quickly to set up her account and confirm her identity.

It was hard to believe that merely a week after signing up for BTCjam, Jamie would have a fully funded loan for to spend on her child’s Christmas Presents and she didn’t even have to promote it! All thanks to the BTCjam investor community.

All that Jamie’s son wanted for Christmas was Batman toys and he got a ton of them! It took him hours to open his gifts because he wanted to open them one at a time and play with each one. Jamie said it literally took him all day to open his presents. It was a nearly perfect Christmas. Thanks to the support of the BTCjam community.

In the months that followed, Jamie made good on her loan and paid it back in full. Jamie is now a known and trusted borrower in the BTCjam community.

Jamie looks forward to a long and beneficial relationship with BTCjam and if all goes well with this blog post, Jamie will soon be convincing her mother to join BTCjam as well. Let’s hope it all goes well! Thanks Jamie for sharing your story with us and thanks for borrowing…. with BTCjam.

Until Next Time…. Keep on Jamming!

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

BTCJam Launches a New Feature: Refinancing Loans!

Howdy Jammers!

We’re really excited to tell you about a new feature developed by our hard working Jam Engineers.  Without any further ado, we’d like to announce that BTCJam users will now be able to Refinance their loans — right here on BTCJam!

Having trouble paying back a loan?  Refinance your loan on BTCJam today!

Q: What is refinancing?

A: Refinancing is a way for borrowers to restructure their current debt under different terms.

Q: How does BTCJam’s refinancing work?  

A: If the borrower chooses to refinance a loan, the new loan amount will be set to guarantee the repayment of this loan.  A refinance loan is a special type of loan that cannot be activated by the borrower.  The funds raised for this loan are sent directly to the investors of the previous loan.

Q: Can I refinance my loan?

A: Yes, any borrower with an outstanding loan can attempt to refinance their loan.

Q: What do you mean attempt?

A: The refinancing process is much like the process for funding your original loan.  Investors will decide whether or not to fund your refinancing based upon the completeness of your profile, the diligence you show in describing your loan, how you intend to pay it back, the reasons for your refinancing, and of course, our proprietary credit score.

Q:  What happens if my refinancing attempt is successful?

A:  If your refinancing loan reaches a point when the sum of investments is enough to repay the original loan, your loan will automatically activate and the investors of your previous loan will be repaid.

Q: What happens if my refinancing attempt is unsuccessful?

A: You can attempt to refinance again, perhaps with more favorable rates for investors, but if the investors choose not to fund you two times in a row, perhaps it’s time to continue paying off the original loan.

Thanks for reading about our new feature, Refinancing Loans on BTCJam.  We hope you like it.  If you have any questions or suggestions for a new feature or anything about BTCJam, we’d love to hear from you at support@BTCJam.com.

Until Next Time….    Keep on Jamming!

Having trouble paying back your debt?  Refinance your loan today with BTCJam!

Patrick Murck joins BTCJam’s Board of Advisors

Patrick-09-PressKitBus-copyPatrick Murck joins BTCJam’s Board of Advisors
Global Leader in Peer to Peer Lending adds Bitcoin Legal Expert

San Francisco, CA – BTCJam (http://BTCJam.com) announced today that Patrick Murck, Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation has joined BTCJam’s Board of Advisors to advance their goal of providing crowdfunded bitcoin loans worldwide.

Patrick has an impressive legal background that includes representing the Bitcoin Foundation as General Counsel, testifying before Congress about digital currencies and his current position as the Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation.  Patrick was also recently named one of America’s Top 50 Outstanding General Counsel by the National Law Journal.

Patrick’s Bitcoin expertise makes him an ideal member of BTCJam’s Board of Advisors.  With Patrick’s help BTCJam will accomplish their goal of empowering people to achieve their dreams through peer to peer lending.  Patrick comments “I’m honored to be invited to join the Board of Advisors for BTCJam, one of the most exciting companies powered by bitcoin. BTCJam is creating new on-ramps for people the world over to join the emerging digital economy, not the least is their unique credit scoring algorithm. This ability to extend credit even in countries that lack a credit scoring system will be critical to bringing modern financial services to new and often overlooked markets. It will be my pleasure to assist the BTCJam team in achieving their mission.”

Celso Pitta, CEO of BTCJam said “We are incredibly fortunate to have Patrick joining BTCJam’s Board of Advisors.  Patrick’s legal expertise and Bitcoin knowledge are absolutely essential to our mission of expanding access to fairly priced credit everywhere.”

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.

Contact
BTCJam
Celso Pitta, CEO
celso@btcjam.com

San Francisco’s First Bitcoin Retail Store

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Bitcoin ATM in Nakamoto’s Store

20Mission is welcoming the return of an old friend in a new form. The longtime coworking space and former home to Purse.io, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, is launching the opening of Nakamoto’s electronics. Nakamoto’s is the city’s, and potentially, the world’s first Bitcoin centric retail space where customers will receive eye opening discounts on all products for purchasing in Bitcoin. Think along the lines of 10% off Amazon 100% of the time.

Andrew Lee, the CEO of Purse.io, is excited to bring Bitcoin to the public. The lack of everyday practical use and application for Bitcoin was a driving factor in the concept for a physical retail location. Nakamoto’s is a direct extension of the Purse.io idea in brick and mortar form.

“It is a great way to onboard new users with goods and products that they can pick up and physically touch. We’ll have a BTM (Bitcoin ATM) on site so if you don’t have Bitcoin and only have cash you can purchase Bitcoin and take your discount on the spot.”

What better way to stay in the Bitcoin community than to have the retail store primarily backed by the Bitcoin community itself? While other avenues like Kickstarter were considered it was important enough to support the bitcoin community and use one of their own. Majority of the funding came from loans that were funded on the BTCJam peer-to-peer lending platform by BTCJam investors and Bitcoin enthusiasts alike. Andrew already had experienced the platform as an investor in loans himself so it was something he and his associates were familiar with.

IMG_2995

Prices at Nakamoto’s store are up to 20% cheaper than normal retail rates

“BTCJam was not only a great way to raise money but awareness through the social attraction of the platform.”

During the funding process, Andrew and his associates were able to discuss the plans for the loan with their investors, bringing awareness to the Nakamoto project.

“San Francisco needs a killer Bitcoin merchant and store. Despite what the rest of the world thinks, there are very few practical merchants that accept bitcoin in the Bay Area.”

20Mission, once the the legendary home to Blockchain.info, Purse, 37Coins, Tradehill and Piper Wallet is the epicenter of Bitcoin in Silicon Valley and the meeting spot for San Francisco’s first Bitcoin meetups. Tonight Nakamoto’s will be hosting a mixer and pre launch party for the Bitcoin community at the 20Mission location starting at 7pm. The public grand opening will be Friday, February 6th. San Francisco and possibly the world will have it’s first retail store where Bitcoin is the primary currency.

IMG_3001

Looking to have your next idea funded? What are you waiting for? Head over to BTCJam and apply for a loan today.

– Jarrett Carlston BTCJam Team

No More “E” Loans

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 5.01.52 PM

As you may know BTCJam sets interest rates for borrowers based on creditworthiness that we uniquely calculate through statistical analysis with our credit scoring algorithm – this practice is called risk-based pricing. After careful consideration, we have determined that allowing borrower’s with an “E” grade is too risky for investors.

The repayment rate is very low for E’s because the borrower has not supplied enough information about themselves in order to be scored accurately. We do not display the ROI for E’s on our stats page; however, our internal calculations have concluded that the repayment is around 30% which we consider to be too dangerous for our investors.

E grade borrowers will be encouraged to verify more documents and connect accounts. We have a plethora of external accounts that can be connected that we use analysis on, and will most likely help them to be able to create a loan.

If you are an E borrower, improve your score now.

Understanding Bitcoin Transactions

Seven months ago I joined BTCJam as Lead Backend Engineer, and I must confess at the time my knowledge about bitcoin was very limited. All I knew was that it was a digital money people use to buy funny stuff, right?

For the past few months I have been reading and learning a lot, and although I am no expert yet, many people including my friends consider me to be a “bitcoin master.” Some of the question they always ask me are, “‘what are all that bitcoin transactions we see on blockchain.info?’ ‘Why do I see a lot of addresses on the left side (inputs) and several others on the right side (outputs)?’ ‘Why is there a seemingly random transfer to a weird address along with the amount that I actually transferred?’ and  ‘What about the transactions where I see hundreds of addresses on the right side?'”

If you ever thought of these things and you are not quite sure what is happening, then you are in the right place! In this blogpost I will try to explain as smoothly as possible what my “google-fu” has enabled me to learn about the magical world of bitcoin transactions.

To begin, let’s say you are selling products using bitcoins. You give your receiving address (address-A1) to the buyer, and he sends you 0.1BTC for a funny hat he just bought. Later, he wants a funny dinosaur costume and sends you 0.2BTC for it. Then another customer buys a water gun, but since you want to keep track of who paid what, you create another address in your wallet (address-A2) and your customer sends 0.4BTC to this address.

By the end of the day, your wallet has a balance of 0.7BTC. That actually means you have three “unspent outputs” in your wallet: 0.1 + 0.2 BTC in address-A1 + 0.4 BTC in address-A2. Although all the bitcoins are yours, they are associated with different addresses.

w1

So what’s this “unspent output” you are seeing? It means from the three transactions that were made, your addresses were the output addresses of the transactions and you have not used those bitcoins (or outputs) in other transactions.
Now let’s see what happens when you decide to transfer 0.45 BTC to your friend’s address-F1 :

t001

Whoa! What was that? Why are there two inputs and two outputs in this transaction?
You always spend the “unspent outputs” – you can not simply subtract 0.45 from your wallet because the bitcoins are tied to the address they were sent to. Futhermore, you always spend the outputs as a whole – you can not break an unspent output into smaller pieces. What actually happens is that you send two of your unspent outputs (0.4 BTC that was in address-A2 and 0.1 BTC from address-A1) and then get back 0.05 BTC in form of “change” in a new automatically generated address (address-Ach). The outputs are, therefore, 0.45 to your friend’s address (address-F1) and 0.05 to yourself in the address-Ach.

Your balance is now 0.25 BTC (or you have a sum of 0.25 unspent output):

w02

The thing is that most bitcoin clients, like bitcoin-qt, do not show the change addresses in their standard interface, which is somewhat misleading to the user. Trust me! They are there.

Sometimes you can get a nice, round one-address-to-one transaction if the amount you are sending happens to match any of your unspent outputs. In this case, if you happened to send 0.2 or 0.05 BTC to another address, you would spend a whole and single “unspent output” and no change would be needed.

This is what your transaction would look like:

t002

Some of my friends often confused the “unspent outputs” with “unconfirmed transactions.” Remember that the unspent output is just BTC that is still sitting in one of you bitcoin addresses waiting to be used in the form of input in another transaction, while unconfirmed transactions are transactions that are not yet confirmed by the bitcoin network. On BTCJam, we use a minimum of 3 confirmations to make your bitcoins available for investment; this avoids exploits like transaction malleability.

Now, sometimes you are going to see things like this:

trans
You might ask the same question I asked when I first saw it:

“Oh my! what is that!?”

It is now clear why there can only be a few inputs for a transaction: those addresses just happened to hold a sum of unspent outputs that are now inputs . But what about hundreds of outputs?

What happens is that transaction fees are incurred in the transaction. Let’s use a mining pool as an example that makes daily payments to its members and they can not afford to make one transaction to each member every day. You would spend a lot of bitcoin in transactions fees. In order to avoid this, they make use of a not very well know feature of the bitcoin protocol, which is sending different amounts of bitcoins to different addresses in a single transaction. With this you can minimize the transaction fees – and that is the reason you see sometimes those transactions with lots and lots of output addresses (remember that some of them might also be “change” addresses).

Some of you might ask “I got the whole ‘change address’ thing… but why? Why can’t they just send the change back to the input address? Wouldn’t that make this simpler to understand?”
Well… yes, it would. And that’s the point – Maybe you don’t want it to be simple. Look at this transaction.

Can you tell if the sender is spending 1.32492124 BTC and receiving 0.001 BTC back or if he is spending 0.001 BTC and receiving 1.32492124 BTC back as change? You can’t! And you can’t tell which address is the receiving address and which is the change address, improving, thus, one of the main bitcoin features: anonymity. You cannot just dig through all bitcoin transactions of address “abcdab” and see how much it has spent and how much the users balance is; after a few bitcoin transactions the balance is dispersed between several receive addresses and change addresses.

Well, that’s all folks. I hope I have helped some of you figure out this often confusing aspect of bitcoin. If you have more questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to write in our comments section! I’ll do my best to answer your questions right away – or figure out the answer ASAP!

Demiam

The Stats Page

BTCJam is proud to release the first edition of the stats page!

Feel free to take a gander and play around. The keys at the bottom of each chart are filters!

Here is an in depth explanation:
We begin with the overview map of all loans that have been serviced on BTCJam by location.

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Top 5 Countries or Regions:

  • United States: 3,900
  • United Kingdom: 632
  • Brazil: 383
  • Canada: 350
  • Australia: 281

Honorable Mentions:

  • Kenya: 83
  • Indonesia: 211
  • India: 161
  • Argentina: 102
  • Turkey: 72

Below the map is a graph displaying the loan volume per month beginning January 2013 to August 2014.

The blue line shows the growth by loan amount in USD, please note that each loan is indexed to the current market rate of bitcoin at its activation.

The green bars reflect the total amount of loans per month.

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Total Investor Returns reflects the return on investment (ROI) from January 2014. If an investor had invested in every loan since then, this would the ROI by credit score.

The ROIs are broken down by the borrower’s credit score and include the defaults.

Here is an explanation for BitstampUSD loan types vs. Bitcoin loans.

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Loans by Credit Score shows the percentile of all active loans by credit score of each month starting January 2014. When you hover over, you can see the loan amount in USD (indexed to market rate of Bitcoin at loan’s activation).

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The Loan Purposes chart is a pie graph displaying all the different loan types.

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Thank you to all our borrowers and investors for making BTCJam the leading P2P Bitcoin lending platform!

Stay tuned for more updates and additions to the stats page 🙂