BTCJam Brings Its Bitcoin-Based Lending Service To Emerging Markets

TechCrunch

Celso Cardoso Pitta Jr., the founder of the bitcoin-based peer-to-peer lending service BTCJam, has spent over a decade thinking about how to make it easier for borrowers to get loans in emerging markets. What emerged was San Francisco-based BTCJam, a startup that aims to connect wealthy lenders with borrowers in places like Brazil. It’s one of the first companies to apply bitcoin’s advantages as a cryptocurrency to markets where they can do the most good.

Borrowers in countries like Brazil have a hard time, Pitta says. The prospect of getting a loan in emerging markets can be terrifying. “Interest rates in developing countries are very very high,” says Pitta. “The average interest rate for the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China is 175 percent per year.”

Pitta cites stories of families who were forced to take out loans to pay for unexpected medical issues who are then forced deeper into…

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