Former Goldman Sachs Executive Director Joins Crypto Startup as CEO
Former Goldman Sachs Executive Priyanka Lilaramani has become a new CEO at Malta-based startup which enables short-term cash advances in fiat currencies, made available through a unique prepaid Mastercard or Visa card.
Priyanka Lilaramani, former Goldman Sachs Executive Director, has recently joined HOLD, a Maltese crypto startup, as a new CEO, HOLD announced on its Medium blog on May 2. Priyanka Lilaramani was a Director at Goldman Sachs for more than 10 years. In 2017, she was listed in the UK’s Innovate Finance FinTech Powerlist.
“The power and potential of blockchain as a technology, and cryptocurrencies as an application is undeniable. It speaks to the power of people at scale and re-establishes how great causes are achieved.” Lilaramani commented following her appointment.
HOLD, which is based in Malta and operates a technology center in Porto, Portugal, is building a platform that creates a financial marketplace where crypto investors can get instant cash against cryptocurrency collateral. It will credit the cash advance on Mastercard or Visa credit cards, accepted at more than 45 mln retailers and 3 mln ATMs worldwide.
According to the company, the cash advances will not require bank-like credit checks. Instead, they will simply hold cryptocurrencies as collateral, advancing up to 65 percent of the value of their crypto holdings. The advances are capped at $15,000 or 10,000 euros/pound sterling. With the help of this instant cash, investors can manage their monthly spending and plan the sale of their digital currencies when prices are more favorable.
Platform fees and rate spreads
Borrowers are required to keep HOLD tokens in a dedicated wallet for as long as they are requesting cash advances, with a minimum of 6 months. The terms, typically, are for up to three months. Borrowers are charged an pro-rated interest rate of 8 percent p.a., plus a platform fee of 3 percent that goes to HOLD. The loans can be renewed subject to platform fees and availability. The Mastercard and Visa cards offer 1 percent cashback in the form of HOLD tokens.
Cash advances require a Know Your Customer verification process and can easily done via a smartphone app. The company says lenders on the platform earn between 4.5 percent and 7.5 percent per annum by providing fiat currencies in the system, with the spread going to HOLD.
Technology platform to match lenders and borrowers
Typically, lenders will bring fiat currency into the system, and not sell crypto holdings. Consequently, the lending levels on the platform will not impact the price of cryptocurrencies, preserving the integrity of an independent market-driven pricing system governing all cryptocurrencies.
A so-called Trading Oracle, together with a proprietary algorithm, drives the HOLD platform. It matches borrowers and lenders, while also evaluating the value of holdings. The algorithm also monitors market conditions to identify cash advances at risk of being liquidated, warning both borrowers and lenders. When triggered, the system will automatically liquidate holdings and close off positions.
Pre-sale of tokens set for May 4
According to the company’s Medium blog, HOLD has raised more than $6.1 mln from the private sale of its tokens, based on the ERC20, and has scheduled a pre-sale from May 4 to May 31.
For its initial coin offering, HOLD has set a hard cap of $11.3 mln, with the soft cap of $3.5 mln already achieved from the private sale. HOLD plans to cap supply of its tokens at 1.3 bln, with one HOLD token worth 0.00004 ETH.
HOLD will also have a token buyback program to increase the overall liquidity, and a quarterly token burn to decrease supply. The presale will start tomorrow and the company offers a 20 percent bonus limited to the first 24 hours of its pre-sale.
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