To the best of my knowledge, there’s no bank lending in bitcoins, yet, which surprises me. Now that Bitcoin has stabilized to circa USD $100, I think it could be reasonable for an institution to start lending in this currency. By using Bitcoins instead of a national currency, the number of potential lenders goes way up than the number of banks in most countries, and the interest rates could potentially be way lower.
I thought of a way to make it even less risky for a potential lender to someone they don’t know in a remote country: they could ask the potential client to ask for a loan in their national currency to a big, recognized bank. The bank would do the job of assessing the client’s capability of payment, do the background checking, etc. and lend (in national currency) the amount they believe the client is capable of paying off, in the selected time period.
This amount would be transferred (via the traditional banking system) to the Bitcoin bank, and the documents for the loan would be scanned and faxed/e-mailed as well (with validated-transaltion attached, of course). The Bitcoin bank could then take the risk-assessment of the local bank at face-value, return aprox. 95% of the amount transferred in the very same national currency to the client so it can pay the loan to the bank almost immediately (thus paying a very small amount in interest to the local bank) and then loan 90% of the original amount but in Bitcoins – at hopefully a lower interest rate. Of course, the difference in the amounts plus the interest would be the profit.
In effect, grabbing the money from a recognized, traditional institution would be a way of saying “hey, look, other guys think I’m worthy of a credit up to aprox. this amount for this time-period”. I for one would be happy to give it a try, taking a loan on Bitcoins!
Could this be feasible?