Outlier Ventures Ltd, Europe’s first blockchain-focused incubator has launched an Uphold (formerly known as Bitrserve)-based decentralized peer-to-peer lending application called MoneyCircles, to allow underbanked and underserved individuals to access loans with greater flexibility.
Similar to alternative blockchain platforms like Sia, MoneyCircles issues smart contracts to verify and authenticate identities and settlements directly on the platform.
The smart contacts can be written by independent “circle groups” on the platform, creating a trust score-based relationship between lenders and borrowers on its payment network.
“Circles can be connected up to external data sets including social media or traditional credit scoring through the use of ‘oracles’, a method of giving smart contracts access to information in the outside world in a decentralised manner,” explains the MoneyCircles team.
Furthermore, the utilization of smart contracts eliminates any need for intermediaries or middlemen to intervene in the settlement between lenders and borrowers on the platform. Since all transactions and agreements are recorded onto the transparent ledger of MoneyCircles, its users do not need an auditor or a third party escrow service provider to overlook the contract.
In Europe, especially in the UK, there are millions of people that have no access to credit and are trapped in low-interest savings accounts. MoneyCircles aims to allow savers and lenders to build a positive relationship with financial institutions by reconciling these two parts of the market.
‘Whilst everyone talks about the disruptive powers of blockchains, and they very much have the potential to disrupt even the disrupters, we believe they’re more a platform for collaborative, perhaps more reformative, innovation with established industries and incumbents’,” says Outlier Ventures founder Jamie Burke.