Interview Radoslav Albretch – CEO & Founder Bitbond
Radoslav Albrecht, Radko for short, graduate in economics in 2009. He works hard and tenaciously, giving all of himself to Improve his product and bring it to people. After years at the helm of a bootstrapped startup, today that effort begins to bear fruit. Founder and CEO of Bitbond, a global platform from peer to peern loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
What is Bitbond?
Bitbond is a global peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform. We provide affordable small business loans while lenders earn profitable interest rates. Since Bitbond works exclusively with the digital currency bitcoin, neither the borrower nor the lender need a bank account to participate in our global loan market.
Bitbond’s mission is to make investing and financing globally accessible.
What is the first message you’d let someone who wants to use Bitbond?
This depends very much on the user. If he or she is planning to become a borrower on Bitbond, I would advise them to read up on bitcoin and make sure they understand the basics of exchanging bitcoin online.
If on the other hand, the user wants to lend via Bitbond, I would tell them to invest small amounts frequently, and to diversify their investments as much as possible.
Whenever I meet someone totally unfamiliar with Bitbond however, I simply try to encourage them to give it a shot.
Since the idea arises, how long it takes to develop Bitbond? How has it evolved?
I first had the idea for Bitbond in early 2013. By June of that year, Bitbond was founded. It took two years of gradual development before things took off in May of 2015, as we received €600,000 from our latest angel funding round.
The €200,000 we raised in August 2014 should also be mentioned here as a pivotal point in Bitbond’s development. Without Investors like Point Nine Capital things would have been a lot tougher.
In terms of features, the introduction of exchange rate pegged loans and the affiliate program have definitely been huge milestones for us. That being said, we manage to pass smaller milestones everyday as our product keeps improving incrementally.
With an economic system like this, do you think the best source of financing for an entrepreneur is a P2P loan?
I think that 2015 proved the efficacy of p2p loans and established this once alternative way of financing, firmly within the mainstream. Personally, I think that p2p loans are doubtlessly the best way for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the funding they need to grow.
And I am clearly not the only one who thinks so. The US and UK industry heavyweights are originating billions of dollars in loans every year, showing the huge power behind marketplaces such as Bitbond.
Additionally, I think bitcoin peer to peer lending platforms represent the next step in the evolution of this burgeoning industry. Making financing and investments available to everyone, regardless of location, is one of the great opportunities bitcoin has provided for us.
How do you see the future of Bitcoin in Europe?
I think the future of bitcoin in Europe is bright. My optimism stems from the progressive legislation we have seen from the European Union and the continually increasing bitcoin adoption throughout Germany and the rest of Europe.
The European Court of Justice ruling bitcoin to be exempt from VAT in November 2015, was a huge win for the European bitcoin community and a good omen for things to come.
Another source of optimism is the increasing adoption of bitcoin throughout the world. I think the more transactions happen on the blockchain, and the more people engage with bitcoin, the higher the chances of a bright future for the cryptocurrency.
The number of bitcoin transactions has nearly doubled in the past year alone, to ~170,000 per day. This is a great sign of bitcoins enduring strength and promise for the future.
Over $ 400,000 loan with 26,000 users and is only the beginning. Now that the Spanish market is looming, what goals aim to achieve?
It is true that we have come a long way in a relatively short time. However, there are still plenty of features and milestones we are striving to reach in the near future. In terms of loan volume, cracking the $500,000 mark is the next major task we are working towards.
In terms of features, we hope to provide an even slicker application process for borrowers, while providing our investors with even more sophisticated tools.
Specifically, this includes updating and automating our credit scoring system, as well as providing investors with a secondary market on which they can trade bonds.
Can you explain the service offered in Spain?
Because Bitbond is a truly international platform, the basic services we provide for Spanish borrowers and lenders is the same as in Argentina, Australia and Kenya. A cool exception to this however, is the ability of those in the Euro zone to buy their bitcoins directly through a partner which is integrated in our platform.
This means that borrowers and lenders located in Spain do not have to rely on a bitcoin exchange to buy the bitcoins they need to repay their loans or invest.
This is an incredible feature, and is actually significantly cheaper than most conventional bitcoin exchanges out there today.
Also you can read the interview in Spanish lenguaje: