DEBITUM Network, a peer-to-peer platform that enables worldwide investors to fund short-term loans to small businesses using blockchain technology, has now launched.
The Lithuania-based start-up said on Tuesday that it has launched with an investment portfolio of €500,000 (£450,414) and is scheduled to roll out in 15 countries by 2019.
The new platform, called Abra 1.0, uses blockchain technology to power its internal processes, using its Ethereum-based DEB token. Loans are delivered using traditional fiat currency.
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As Peer2Peer Finance News reported last month, Debitum Network’s core premise is that it will offer a faster source of finance than traditional banks, with decisions made in as little as an hour. It will provide loans between €10,000 and €1m, with terms ranging from two to six months.
Investors can expect annual returns of 10 to 15 per cent.
“Debitum’s platform represents a significant milestone in tackling a serious global problem,” the firm said.
“According to recent World Bank figures, some 70 per cent of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) worldwide are unable to secure the funding they need from traditional banks.
“Bureaucratic processes, cumbersome regulation and risk-averse lending have seen the conventional banking industry increasingly unable to address the needs of SMEs for flexible, short-term lending – leading to a boom in alternative finance options that is expected to top $90bn by 2020.”