Bitbond, the global marketplace lending platform for small business loans, uses cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to bypass Swift’s rapid translation system to quickly and inexpensively provide money around the world.
“Traditional remittances are relatively expensive due to fees for currency exchange and can take up to several days”, said Albrecht in his office in the upscale Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg.
“With Bitbond, payments work no matter where customers are. Through the Internet it’s very, very fast, and the fees are low”, he added.
Clients keep loans in digital tokens, such as Bitcoin, only for a few seconds or minutes, until they are transferred back to the currency of the country where they want to receive funds, avoiding fluctuations in exchange rates.
Bitcoin was used as collateral for loans, but never as a way of transferring a loan in foreign currency at the international level.
The service Albrecht is popular with customers, as it launched the company in 2013. His office employs 24 people from 12 countries who manage loans for 100 customers for about $1 million a month.
According to Albrecht, most customers are small business owners or freelancers who can now use the online bank to transfer loans anywhere in the world using Bitcoin. The loans are relatively small and do not exceed $50,000. In 2016, Bitbond was officially licensed as a bank and since then has acquired many investors.
Accepting Bitcoin was quick in Germany. According to Bitnodes, it tracks only the U.S., which tracks the location of all bitcoin nodes that transmit data about new transactions.