A while ago you decided to buy bitcoins, not only because cryptocurrency seemed as an exciting idea, but also because you were looking for investment opportunities. Now that you have found a secure way to store your bitcoins and can comfortably navigate through bitcoin exchanges, you may be asking yourself, what next? The good news is, there are various ways you can invest your bitcoins such as cloud mining, margin lending on exchanges, and investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs).
In this article, you will be introduced to one of the best ways to invest your bitcoins, which is bitcoin peer-to-peer lending using Bitbond.
What is Peer-to-Peer Lending?
Peer-to-peer lending refers to individuals lending to other individuals or small businesses via an online peer-to-peer lending platform. This allows individuals and small businesses who struggle to secure a bank loan to receive funding and allows private investors to lend money for a high-interest return. Peer-to-peer lending returns are higher than those of government bonds, for example, as individuals and small businesses have a higher credit risk and are, therefore, more likely to default.
Bitbond is the first and leading peer-to-peer lending platform using the digital currency bitcoin. That means that small investors from around the world can engage in peer-to-peer lending without needing a bank account.
If you believe that the price of bitcoin will continue to appreciate and you want to earn interest income on your bitcoins, then bitcoin peer-to-peer lending is an excellent investment opportunity.
How to Invest in Peer-to-peer Loans using Bitcoin
To invest in peer-to-peer loans you simply sign up to the Bitbond platform, deposit bitcoins into your Bitbond wallet and then browse through the available investment opportunities. Once you have identified the borrowers you want to lend to you invest your bitcoins into these loans. As soon as the loan has been fully funded your investment in that loan is finalised and you will start receiving monthly repayments with interest until your loan matures.
Different borrowers have different risk classifications, time horizons, and interest rates. That allows you to adjust your levels of risk to the levels of returns you are seeking.
Your loan repayments will go straight into your Bitbond bitcoin wallet and you can then reinvest those funds or send them to a bitcoin exchange to exchange them back into fiat currency.
Diversifying your Lending
Investing in bitcoin peer-to-peer lending using Bitbond has a number of advantages. Key among them is the decentralized nature of bitcoin, which is not beholden to any country like other global currencies are. Therefore, this means whether you invest in someone from the United Kingdom, or Kenya you don’t have to worry about currency conversion rates.
Diversification is key when it comes to peer-to-peer lending. To reduce the overall default risk of your peer-to-peer loan portfolio, it is important that you spread you investable income across several loans. That way, if one borrower defaults, your overall loss is limited due to your diversification. Bitbond allows users to make investments as low as 0.01 BTC. This makes it possible for every user to diversify their lending portfolio across continents, people, and credit ratings. This, in turn, lessens the risk of borrower defaults.
A key feature about bitcoin peer-to-peer lending is the low fees involved for both lenders and borrowers. In the case of Bitbond, there are no charges incurred by the lender for investing or registration. A lender on Bitbond can expect to get returns on his investment without having to fork out money to cover the associated loan expenses.
In addition, Bitbond has one of the lowest origination fees you can find anywhere. The fees range from 1%-3%, the former being the smallest term loans and the latter, the longest term loan. Also, the minimum amount a borrower can loan is BTC 0.01. The maximum limit depends on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.
Lenders can evaluate borrower’s business information
Unlike conventional P2P sites, lenders on Bitbond can learn more about borrowers through social media or by engaging them directly via the platform. Most borrowers on Bitbond are online entrepreneurs who sell products on large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon or eBay. You will find their social media and e-commerce accounts linked so that you can get a very good idea of who you will be lending to.
This means a lender can check out the borrower’s eBay page and read the customer feedback, which can help him decide whether or not to fund a project. Such stories are more reliable compared to the number of Facebook and Twitter followers a borrower possesses. Most traditional peer-to-peer lending platforms do not have this feature.
Higher Returns Than Other P2P Lenders
In 2015, US-based peer-to-peer Prosper recorded $14 billion in returns and an average interest rate of 6.87%, while its largest competitor, Lending Club, has an average interest rate of between 6%-8%. However, these returns pale in comparison to the to 13% average APR that you can generate on bitcoin peer-to-peer loans on the Bitbond platform.
Bitcoin P2P lending offers you one of the best ways to grow your money, as bitcoin usage continues to increase and new developments in the blockchain are creating more opportunities. Platforms such as Bitbond, do not have any hidden fees and offer competitive returns on your loans, thereby making P2P lending an excellent way for you to earn passive income regardless of where you are in the world.
If you want to start earning passive investment income through bitcoin peer-to-peer lending, sign up to Bitbond today and get started!
Retired NBA Player Allegedly Scammed Ghanaian Company Out of $825,000 in Bitcoin
Retired NBA player, Isaac Edward Austin, has allegedly scammed a Ghanaian Company out of $825,000 in bitcoin (BTC). The money was reportedly acquired with the promise of investing it in a bitcoin automated trading programme.
Bitcoin Investment Scam
Through the Isaac Edward Austin (IEA) and Tudor Trust, Austin reportedly masqueraded as a trustee with the ability to help a Ghanaian company make a profit on a bitcoin investment. The two parties signed a contract on July 3, 2019. This contract is among other documents that have been shared on mynewsgh.com indicating the scam took place.
The company sent to a bitcoin investment at a strike price of $11,000 per bitcoin, totaling to $825,000, to Austin expecting to receive back the original investment plus profits. However, Austin failed to make the payment at the close of trading as per the agreement.
A victim of Austin’s scam shared his experience as follows: “He will take your BTC and you will never get your investment back or your returns. On the day of payment, he will tell you story after story filled with lies of issues why the BTC could not be delivered on the day of payment. From him having a heart attack, to the coin being sent to the wrong wallet, to him being in a queue at the bank, to him waiting for the trade to conclude, to the funds being held by the bank. Week after week after week of unresolved issues even when he has confirmed the day before that all is set 1000 percent to deliver and conclude the transaction. He is a fraudster of the highest order. Stay away from him. We have all the proof – contracts, letters, and messages.”
One of the other documents mynewsgh.com obtained is a letter sent to Austin notifying him of his failure to meet the agreed terms of the contract. The Ghanaian company expected their money back on the same day they signed the contract with Austin. The funds expected should have been 75 BTC going for a strike price of $11,000.
In the letter, the company gave Austin 48 hours to pay them their money – failure to which they were going to take legal action.
Is the Scammer an Imposter?
According to the documents shared on Ghana Web, the bitcoin scammer’s date of birth and height is similar to the former NBA player, Isaac Edward “Ike” Austin as indicated on Wikipedia. So, could this be a case of a retired basketball player turning into a scammer or is someone impersonating him? The answer to this question is unclear.
This LinkedIn profile of an Isaac Austin, who has been the Finance Director and Trustee of Tudor Trust and Finance Society LLC since June 2012, does not seem authentic. Although this profile has some similarities to the former NBA player’s personal information as written on Wikipedia, the years he attended Arizona State do not coincide.
Furthermore, the profile on LinkedIn says Isaac Austin took a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences for one year which is not the usual study period for a degree course. There is also no mention of the former NBA player being a trustee of IEA and Tudor Trust.
The upturn of the crypto market experienced in mid-2019 appears to have spurred scammers into action. This scam comes after another bitcoin investment deal in Nairobi went wrong between December 2018 and May 2019.
That said, these scam stories are a lesson to potential bitcoin investors that they are better off managing their own investments as opposed to handing funds to someone to manage them. If the Ghanaian company had carried out thorough research, perhaps they would have noticed the obvious red flags.
The Golix Controversy: Has the African Exchange “Exit Scammed” Users And Investors?
Prior to May 2018, Zimbabwe-based bitcoin exchange Golix was bullish about its future prospects. The startup claimed it had raised $32 million from a token sale and had plans to set up operations in several other African countries. However, more than a year later, the digital asset exchange has had a reversal of fortunes and, after its forced shutdown in Zimbabwe, some of Golix’s former clients are struggling to get their funds reimbursed despite promises and frantic efforts to recover these.
Former Golix users now point to possible embezzlement of funds by Golix executives while one investor in the startup blames the hostile operating environment as the reason for the company’s general failure.
Tawanda Kembo was the chief executive officer (CEO) of Golix when it was shut down in Zimbabwe. Bitcoin Africa reached out to him to get his side of the story but he had not responded to our questions at the time of publishing.
However, Bitcoin Africa still managed to contact Taurai Chinyamakubvu, an individual who says he was an investor in the company. Chinyamakubvu claimed he is not aware if client funds had been reimbursed or not since he was not involved in the day to day affairs of the crypto startup.
“On funds, you can check with the CEO, he was doing the day to day stuff. I was just an investor,” Chinyamakubvu pushed back when asked if they had recovered client funds that were reportedly locked in banks.
In May 2018, Zimbabwe’s central bank issued a directive that forbade financial institutions from dealing with crypto exchanges. According to Golix, this led to banks blocking access to client funds and the company from using the financial system.
Central Bank Defiance And Crypto Adoption
When asked why Golix had not resumed operations following a High Court ruling that set aside the central bank order, Chinyamakubvu suggested that Golix’s Zimbabwe operations remain hamstrung by the central bank’s reluctance to lift the order.
“They (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) did not lift the order they sent to banks. So no bank wants to defy a regulator. But that said, you muddy the water once, that’s enough to change its colour for a while,” he stated.
Chinyamakubvu is convinced that the central bank’s apparent defiance of a court ruling continues to hinder the growth of the crypto space in a country that should be embracing privately-issued cryptocurrencies.
Zimbabwe has been plagued by hyperinflation for the past two decades, which is spurred on by a volatile fiat currency. Critics point to the central bank’s penchant for unrestrained printing of money as the main cause of the country’s currency troubles.
The Golix investor called the central bank’s decision to shut down the crypto exchange ‘retrogressive’.
Ironically, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently announced the setting up of a committee to study financial technologies such as bitcoin. The regulator now says it wants to come up with what it calls a “National Fintech Strategy.”
Disappeared Client Funds
Bitcoin Africa also reached out to former Golix clients as it tried to establish what happened with their funds. Some did not respond but a few did – although they requested anonymity. One lady, in particular, expressed exasperation with the way Golix has been handling the issue.
“I do not know about others but I still have not been reimbursed. Tawanda (CEO of Golix) has made several promises to settle but nothing has happened,” claimed the lady who preferred to remain anonymous.
She further explained that currently there is nothing noteworthy happening but promised to reveal more details as and when they become known.
Kembo on the Run?
Following the central bank decision to stifle cryptocurrency trading, some crypto traders have gone on to create informal trading platforms using social media networks like Whatsapp, Telegram, and Facebook.
Bitcoin Africa was also able to get access to one such Whatsapp chat group feed wherein clients are discussing strategies of recovering funds from Golix. In a discussion that occurred in July 2019, one member of the group asks fellow members to furnish her with information that includes Kembo’s personal identification number or even a vehicle registration number. This could then be used to help a hired tracing agent to locate him.
It is apparent from the discussions that Kembo has made several promises – including re-payment plans – to reimburse but nothing has happened to date. Adding intrigue to the controversy, this client claims Tawanda told them he had lost the key to the cold storage wallet. Thus, he could not access the bitcoin.
Keys to a crypto wallet are essentially a passcode that grants access to funds and without them, the funds are lost and cannot be recovered.
In the meantime, another post on the same thread suggests that Chinyamakubvu was being disingenuous when he expressed ignorance about the status of client funds. In the post, another member insists that prior to the central bank order, Golix was asked to remove all funds before accounts were closed.
The anonymous member was referring to a part of the central bank circular to banks which states the following:
“Exit any existing relationships with virtual currency exchanges within sixty days of the date of this Circular and proceed to liquidate and restitute existing account balances.”
This central bank circular was issued on May 11, 2018, and Golix seemingly had enough time to exit from banks as well as to reimburse clients.
No Consumer Protection
The anonymous member suggests that since this did not happen, the issue should now be treated as a criminal case.
It is apparent from the rest of the discussion that members were aware of the risks involved with crypto businesses. The central bank had warned the public of risks of dealing with cryptocurrencies and associated businesses prior to Golix’s demise.
Zimbabwe does not have consumer protection laws that specifically deal cryptocurrencies and those dealing with such digital currencies do so at own risk, a point clearly articulated by the central bank circular. Perhaps it is with this in mind that some Golix clients are now pursuing fraud charges against Golix executives.
Lack of legal protection is another factor inhibiting the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies but that may yet change as the central bank is now having a change of heart.
Bitcoin Africa will continue to follow the events surrounding the alleged exit scam of Golix and update our readers when new information surfaces.
Alleged Con Man Taken to Court in Kenya Over Fake Bitcoin Deal
A man is reportedly facing charges in a Nairobi court after allegedly swindling an accountant out of 375,000 Kenyan shillings (KES) in a fake bitcoin deal. The accused, Patrick Kamau, allegedly committed the fraud on several dates between December 2018 and May 2019.
Bitcoin Investment Deal Goes Sour
Kamau reportedly promised to open a forex trading account for the complainant and invest in forex bitcoin through BNB Forex. Benjamin Mugoya entered into the deal with the hope of making crypto trading profits after a friend introduced him to Kamau. The accused posed as a sales representative for BNB Forex in Kenya.
To open the forex trading account, Kamau asked Mugoya to wire KES400,000 to his bank account. However, after receiving a total payment of KES375,000 on May 22, Kamau switched off his phone.
In addition to this payment, Mugoya had sent Kamau KES50,000 in two installments in December 2018 and January 2019.
This is not the first bitcoin-related case that has been heard in a Nairobi court. In 2017, three bitcoin traders were charged with allegedly stealing KES10.2 million from I&M bank and Mpesa. The case involved a purchase of bitcoin from the traders using stolen money.
The case against Kamau has been scheduled for 22 February 2020. The accused was released on a cash bail of KES150,000 or a bond of KES200,000.
Unregulated Crypto Space
Mugoya could be one of many victims that have fallen prey to fake bitcoin investments despite the Central Bank of Kenya’s warning against investing in bitcoin.
The Bank’s Governor, Patrick Njoroge, has been vocal about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies such as fraud. In 2018, the Governor ordered Kenyan banks to refrain from making crypto transactions or engaging with entities transacting in virtual currencies.
The unregulated crypto space in Kenya means that victims of crypto fraud are unprotected, thereby, preventing them from recovering their funds. However, with sufficient evidence, Mugoya could obtain justice from the Kenyan court system.
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