Two bitcoin companies have made the Fox Business list of the thirty hottest fintech startups, highlighting the growing acceptance of bitcoin in mainstream financial markets.
BTCjam is a pioneering bitcoin peer-to-peer lending company that is aimed at serving the needs of borrowers in the developing country who are unable to borrow from traditional lenders without running afoul of predatory lending practices, and which do not have a national credit scoring system similar to that in the US.
BTCjam functions as an online marketplace that matches bitcoin holders with those seeking secure loans. Lenders can earn interest of as much as 19.3 percent on the loans they provide. As of end-2014, BTCjam has already facilitated some $10 billion in bitcoin loans and has over 100,000 users from all over the world.
It has also developed an online credit scoring system that allows borrowers to build a credit profile that would qualify them for loans. Borrowers can improve their scores by ensuring that their personal information as well as their social accounts are verified and through credit activity on the site.
Epiphyte is a provider of software solutions that allow traditional financial services companies to integrate their systems with cryptofinancial networks. The company was one of the winners of the Innotribe Startup Challenge, which was held on October 2014, and took home a $50,000 prize.
The Epiphyte software allows companies to convert local currencies to bitcoin, make secure international transfers and then cashes the bitcoin out in the currency of the receiving country. The transfers are made for a fraction of what traditional money transfer companies charge, using bitcoin exchanges such as BitPay and Coinbase, which shoulder the currency risk. In addition, the integration is made using SWIFT and other traditional protocols. The company is set to roll out a pilot implementation of the software in 2015.
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