Bitcoin lending service providers can make a big impact on a global scale. A lot of unbanked people do not have access to basic financial services. Bitcoin can fill that gap nicely, assuming service providers take the necessary steps to combat fraud and other nefarious activities. BTCJam is a popular Bitcoin lending platform, but its reputation has taken a few hits over the past few years.
An Overview of BTCJam and its Problems
The concept of the BTCJam platform first appeared in a post on Bitcointalk in September of 2012. At that time, Bitcoin was not even close to its current popularity. BTCJam predates the Mt. Gox debacle and the Bitcoin “bubble” of 2013-2014. The American company wanted to provide a valuable service to make cryptocurrency a household name. This goal was too ambitious, and BTCJam never lived up to it.
BTCJam started off well. The company gained some initial transaction, and they were accepted into the 500 Startups accelerator program in 2013. Even seed capital was secured, which seemed to indicate a bright future for BTCJam. The company also received Series A funding in January of 2015.
All of the money was put to good use as well, as the company expanded across the globe. Over the course of the past few years, BTCJam saw over 100,000 users from over 200 countries sign up for the service. They also serviced over 15,000 loans. All of this makes it seem like the company was on track to accomplish its main goals. However, that is not how things worked out in the end and the company has been plagued with platform issues for nearly as long as it existed.
BTCJam suffered from a large portion of its issued loans not being repaid by customers. Their identity verification seemed robust enough that BTCJam had enough information to prosecute nefarious users and pursue collections. It does not appear they ever did this on a large scale. Failure to pursue fraudulent activity strained tensions between the company and the majority of its users.
To make this situation even worse, the platform dealt with a significant decline in available loan offers. Clearly, the negative reputation the company has built up began to take its toll. Finally, BTCJam was hacked and ultimately forced to shut down its service altogether. A sad ending to the Bitcoin lending platform, but given all of its issues over the years, shutting down seems to be the only option. A business only deserves to be a business if it can succeed. This is the hard truth of the private sector.
There is still a big demand for Bitcoin lending services. However, providing a viable service is a different matter altogether. BTCJam felt they took the necessary precautions, but they vastly underestimated the potential issues which could arise. Finding a popular Bitcoin lending service is virtually impossible these days. It always requires relying on a third-party, which is not something most people will feel comfortable with.