It is now one year since the launch of Lendingblock 2.0, our retail platform. It has been a year of highs and lows, with many things to be proud of, as well as some significant setbacks and challenges along the way.
On the positive side
- On October 1st, we launched our new retail platform, after completing a landmark software licensing deal of our institutional platform to Eqonex;
- We saw very strong growth in users and assets under management for the first half of the year in particular, with over 8000 users;
- In December, we introduced exchange trading functionality to the platform, allowing our users to buy and sell LND directly on the platform;
- Our LND award program has given away over 107 million LND (to date) to platform users over 12 months; and
- Most importantly, we survived the implosion of the crypto lending and yield market by resisting the unchecked rush to uncollateralised lending that inevitably led to the demise of some of the largest and most high profile names in our market;
- Over the summer, we have invested in our Alex Halamins to become a developer and who, with time, will be able to contribute to the technical capabilities of the lending and borrowing platform.
On the negative side
- We tragically lost our colleague Andrew Levene to Covid at Christmas in 2021. Andrew was not only an important part of the LB family, but a dedicated family man, and a good and loyal friend;
- Our ability to invest in continued product enhancements and marketing was severely impacted by an ongoing non-payment default by our largest industry creditor;
- Our referral program was the target of concerted, co-ordinated, and possibly criminal exploitation by a minority of bad actors who continue to give the broader crypto community a bad name;
- The broader macro economy has seen a significant rise inflation and interest rates, meaning that the rate gaps between USD and USD-based stable coins has closed, with a resulting slow-down of funds into the crypto yield markets, exacerbated by the increased awareness of the risks some lenders were taking to attract business with unrealistically high yields;
- Extended crypto winter has impacted the broader crypto market, where prices, trading volumes, and poor overall sentiment has seen our growth slowdown in the second half of the year.
- We remain very positive about the value of borrowing and lending within the crypto economy, particularly for stable coins and the most highly traded blue chip assets. However, the critical importance of effective risk management has become very clear to all, with firms who did not meet or understand the required standards paying the price, and to an extent spoiling the market for those that did. This means that recovering trust will take time, and that the recovery of the market will be slow. We have always viewed this business as a marathon not a sprint, and remain committed to the journey through the ups and downs ahead.
Crypto winters are a time for reflection, consolidation and development of the crucial infrastructure which will propel and sustain the next bull market. Lendingblock intends to play a key part in the next market cycle and we look forward to what our next year will bring.