Canadian start-up Ledn, which offers bitcoin-backed fiduciary loans, is now also offering dollar-linked DAI loans linking Bitcoin users to Ethereum's decentralized finance ecosystem.
Ledn co-founder Mauricio Di Bartolomeo, a Venezuelan expatriate, told CoinDesk that this new partnership with the developer of stablecoin, MakerDAO, was driven by customer demand.
Among the "thousands" of users, more than half of Ledn's users are in Latin America, Di Bartolomeo said. DAI is increasingly seen as an alternative to strictly regulated dollar transfers. In fact, this weekend, the Argentine central bank has banned civilians to buy only 200 US dollars a month, against 10 000 dollars previously.
"In Argentina, if you receive a bank transfer in USD, they convert it immediately into ARS (Argentine Nuevo peso) and you lose money," said Nadia Alvarez, head of commercial development of MakerDAO in Latin America, at CoinDesk. "We know that BTC traders do not want to sell their BTC, but they need cash for their daily expenses. That's why we think this is relevant for Latin America. "
Ledn is not the first company to notice that bitcoiners are keen to gain access to experimental lending products from the Ethereum community. The Silicon Valley startups belonging to the cross-channel working group are also working on a different solution to allow encapsulated bitcoin tokens directly on the ethereum blockchain.
In addition, later this month, Maker token holders, who run the stablecoin ecosystem, will vote on the opportunity to include bitcoin in the upcoming multi-collateral version of ICD. (Currently, DAI tokens are only manufactured by locking them into smart contracts that monitor the prices of the ether and automatically liquidate the guarantee of the ether if the price collapses. )
At the same time, Ledn will buy the etic backed DAI from over-the-counter traders and will manage the bitcoin retention of the borrowing customers. Mr. Di Bartolomeo said that Latin American customers had reported banking problems comparable to those of Argentina, although they are unique in each context. That's why they are turning to DAI. He added that Colombians made up 16% of the user base of Ledn, the largest demographic group in Latin America, followed by Venezuelans with 12%.
"Many users have indicated that they want to use stable parts like DAI to buy additional digital assets and others to access more financial services," he said.
Ledn users will soon be able to lock their bitcoin and use DAI at 750 merchants in Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, according to Alvarez of MakerDAO.
In addition to starting the loan, MakerDAO is collaborating with the Pundi X product vendor and considering installing point-of-sale devices throughout Latin America so that ICD users can use encryption directly for goods and services. . In addition, physical locations will allow a user from Argentina to send fiat or ICDs to Venezuela, for example with the Pundi X – esque Xcard debit card.
"The DAI loan (Ledn) gives bitcoiners the opportunity to enter the DeFi world, as well as all ecosystem projects," said Alvarez.
Mr. Di Bartolomeo told CoinDesk that he was eager to work with MakerDAO, precisely because they have "boots on the ground" where his customers live. Dozens of people attended DAI meetings in Mexico City, Bogotá and Buenos Aires in the past year. Worldwide, MakerDAO records currently show more than 60,000 DAI portfolio addresses in October 2019.
"Although our users have not yet told us explicitly that they spend DAI for their daily expenses, as they do with money," said Di Bartolomeo, "we expect that the Adoption of Stablecoin increases in the region as it solves important problems. problems for users. "
Disclosure: CoinDesk contributor Diana Aguilar is Ledn's director of digital content. She did not participate in the production of this story.
Team photo via Ledn. In the photo (from left to right): Anton Livaja, Adam Reeds, Mina Botrous, David Gamez, Carlos Ng and Mauricio Di Bartolomeo