Crypto lender BlockFi is rolling out support for the gemini dollar (GUSD) stablecoin, claiming an expected initial annual percentage yield (APY) of 6.2 percent for non-U.S. customers.
Founded in late 2017, BlockFi is a U.S.-based startup company that issues loans backed by various cryptocurrencies to its users. This practice allows users to generate cash flow without having to permanently sell off particular cryptocurrencies. With the service, investors collateralize the loans with their cryptocurrency holdings and earn interest on these loans.
BlockFi’s recent integration of GUSD is an extension of its already working relationship with Gemini’s services.
“We’ve been working with Gemini as a partner for their custody solution for close to two years,” BlockFi’s founder and CEO Zac Prince told Bitcoin Magazine. “When they launched Gemini Dollar we were immediately interested in bringing it onto the BlockFi platform. The integration process was relatively easy to set up into our dashboard flow.”
Starting with bitcoin and ether, BlockFi has been working to expand its repertoire of available crypto assets for quite some time. Declaring support for litecoin in April 2018, the company also announced its intention to add GUSD to the lineup at the time.
Prince added that this expansion accomplishes two major goals for the future of BlockFi itself.
“The first is as a diversifier of our lending capital which could reduce USD borrowing rates for our clients,” he explained. “The second is that it creates an opportunity for us to work with clients who don’t own crypto yet, but are interested in earning dollar denominated interest from a U.S.-based fintech company.”
Prince suggested that customers “might see bitcoin or other crypto assets being used as ramps into a digital dollar financial ecosystem” if a strong enough demand for the practice materializes.
He also noted that the biggest challenge BlockFi faced with this integration was related to regulation and where GUSD or other stablecoins fit into existing U.S. regulatory frameworks.
“As a result,” he said, “we are not making GUSD in the interest account available in the U.S. market at launch, but expect to have it available in the U.S. before the end of the year.”
In the future, Prince said that the company plans to rollout support for other stablecoins and expects “a variety of financial and payment applications to leverage them.” BlockFi is “very bullish on stablecoins in general and especially reputable, dollar-backed stablecoins like GUSD,” Prince concluded.
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.