Latin American blockchain startup Ripio (formerly BitPagos) launched the ICO token-presale for its global lending network on Tuesday.
The company, which has been operating in the crypto finance space since 2013, established a blockchain credit service last year and earned a spot in the finals at TechCrunch Disrupt. Ripio has attracted notable venture capital investors, including Tim Draper, Pantera Capital, and Overstock’s Medici Ventures.
Now, the startup aims to bring enhanced transparency to the global lending markets through the launch of the Ripio Credit Network (RCN). The goal of the RCN is to democratize the credit lending process by removing geographic and bureaucratic barriers inherent to the conventional banking and lending system.
“Within our longstanding road to financial inclusion, Ripio Credit Network aims to create a decentralized and trustworthy global network that can make it possible for many ideas and projects all over the world come to fruition,” explains Sebastian Serrano, CEO and co-founder of Ripio International.
The RCN will employ Ethereum smart contracts to establish a decentralized platform where lenders and borrowers can connect in a trustless manner. Because the transactions will take place outside of the legacy banking system, Ripio expects management fees to be greatly reduced, enabling borrowers in emerging markets to attain loans with much lower interest rates than would otherwise be available.
What separates RCN from other peer-to-peer lending platforms is the introduction of co-signing agents. According to Ripio, the cosigner neutralizes the lender’s risk by managing the debt in the borrower’s home country and collecting the debt in the case of default.
According to the RCN roadmap, the network will launch in April 2018. The company is distributing RCN tokens–the platform’s native currency–through an initial coin offering (ICO) that will begin in October. However, the company is also holding a public presale, which started on September 19.
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