Genesis, a worldwide leader in over-the-counter digital currency trading and lending, continued to see sustained growth in its digital asset lending business in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The company announced in its results press release that it added more than $1 billion in new originations, breaking the record of $870 million set in the previous quarter. As of December 31, 2019, active loans outstanding stood at $545 million, up 21 percent from the previous quarter despite a significant decrease in Bitcoin price.
Since its launch in March 2018, Genesis facilitated nearly $4.3 billion in loans which made Q4 the best in company history.
Borrowings in U.S. dollars’ amount continued to grow and represented 37 percent of the total loan portfolio of the company in Q4 2019.
According to Graychain’s Crypto Credit Report, the overall lending value of crypto market was estimated to be worth $4.7 billion as of December 2019, as well as the number of crypto-loan platforms was rapidly increasing.
Although lenders have received only a cumulative interest of $86 million since 2018, demand for cryptocurrency loans is on the rise. More than 5,400 new loans were booked in Q1 2019, and a total of 18,500 in the second. Lending volume also rose, with lenders providing $64.8 million in first quarter loans and $159.3 million in second.
Major cryptocurrency lending firm BlockFi recently added support for Litecoin (LTC) and USD Coin (USDC), and crypto lending and borrowing platform Celsius announced it would implement compounding interest on cryptocurrencies deposited in its wallet.
Commenting on Bitcoin performance during the year, Genesis said:
“The demand for cash is driven by both arbitrage and leverage. For much of 2019, the near-dated bitcoin future has traded at a rich premium to the BTC spot price. This trend tends to arise in bullish markets as investors and traders believe the future price of bitcoin will be higher than current spot price.”