Diginex Limited, recently rebranded as EQONEX Group, a digital assets financial services company, has announced the launch of its institutional crypto lending platform, EQONEX Lending, and the execution of its first crypto loan to a European crypto native institution.
The launch of the platform follows a licensing agreement with Lendingblock, a lending platform for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, under which EQONEX has integrated Lendingblock’s lending exchange technology.
EQONEX Lending brings a uniquely safe and transparent offering to the market, capable of transforming the institutional crypto lending landscape. By providing a lending exchange with an open order book, its approach differs from many other crypto lending transactions which are currently undertaken on an over-the-counter (OTC) basis with little transparency over rates – a practice that stifles competition and impedes efficient markets.
The new approach enables institutional lenders and borrowers to interact directly via a lending exchange. The open order book allows exchange participants to view market rates being offered, and establishes market-competitive terms for collateralised transactions, bringing much-needed rate transparency to the market. In addition to exchange-based lending, EQONEX will also offer an OTC lending service, with prevailing rates visible on the platform.
EQONEX Lending will also provide an automated workflow that manages the entire loan lifecycle, eliminating settlement risk, actively managing collateral to protect the lender from default risk and substantially reducing the operational risks normally associated with manual loan processing. The increasingly prominent risks associated with re-hypothecation are also eliminated as collateral assets are held in fully segregated storage in our FCA registered custodian.
Following a soft launch last month, EQONEX Lending has successfully originated and completed its first transaction, providing a Bitcoin (BTC) loan backed by USDC collateral. The platform has already developed a pipeline of loans to institutional counterparties, denominated principally in USDC, backed by collateral in BTC and Ethereum. The loans will service the fast-growing lending market, providing efficient financing for a wide range of institutions including funds, market makers, proprietary trading firms and crypto-specific firms such as miners.
The crypto borrowing and lending market has increased tenfold over the past 12 months. In 2020, crypto-backed loan volumes grew to well over $10 billion from just $1 billion in 2019, driven by increased investment activity from institutions. Much of this is conducted through a small number of custodial lenders. EQONEX Lending enables market participants to lend and borrow with EQONEX, but also directly with a broad range of other counterparties.
The EQONEX Lending platform seamlessly integrates with the rest of the EQONEX ecosystem including digital custodian Digivault, which provides fully segregated custody for loan collateral from the lending platform. Digivault recently received approval from the UK Financial Conduct Authority to register as a custodian wallet provider under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information of the Payer) Regulations. EQONEX Lending will also be integrated into the crypto exchange EQONEX to provide borrowing and lending services to both retail and institutional investors.
Richard Byworth, CEO at Diginex, said: “The crypto lending market is set to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry in the coming months and years, as institutions look to manage their capital efficiently. Lendingblock’s technology is proven to provide state of the art settlement, collateral management capabilities, and transparent pricing. EQONEX Lending will be the only platform that provides the ability to view the whole loan book, allowing clients to have the full flexibility to set their own financial terms.”
Head of EQONEX Lending, Charlie Beach added: “We’re very excited to have launched what we think will be a transformational product for the institutional lending market, enabling a broad range of companies to come together across a safe and transparent venue that combines proven capital markets financial concepts with blockchain technology.”