Describe the company (the elevator pitch)
Unchained Capital is a new kind of financial services company. We lend cash to long-term crypto holders who need liquidity but don’t want to sell their coin.
We believe that crypto investors should have the opportunity to avail themselves of proven financial instruments. Today we’re focused on offering Bitcoin and Ethereum backed $USD cash loans at friendly interest rates, for up to 2 years.
You shouldn’t have to pay membership fees or buy a new token to start leveraging your crypto assets as collateral. Unchained dispenses with these complexities. We offer competitive rates, unparalleled security, and a clear, transparent path to increased liquidity without capital gains.
Friends don’t let friends sell coin.
— Unchained Capital (@unchainedcap) December 29, 2017
How are you different?
We are the only company making bitcoin-backed loans. We’ve been making loans to a pilot group over the course of this year, and we’ve worked more intimately with more customers over more time than anyone in the space.
Beyond that, from our previous companies we have the technological and security expertise to really scale this operation.
Why will you do well?
Not only are we the only company in this space actually making loans, but we’re very focused on melding proven financial instruments with the awesome potential of digital assets. Blockchains and cryptocurrencies are new assets that exist relatively divorced from traditional markets and spatio-temporal realities. Yet they are still controlled by people, so trust is paramount. One of the most beautiful things about this ecosystem is that it exists on a fine balance of trust. We intuitively appreciate and understand that, which is why we take a high-touch, accessible and transparent approach to lending.
Where are you based?
Austin, Texas, USA
When was the company launched?
We’ve launched on November 28th. To start we’ll take Bitcoin as collateral, but by the end of this year we will begin accepting Ethereum as well. We’ll be expanding our offering by introducing a number of financial instruments on a rolling basis.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
Most of our pilot clients have become repeat customers: they appreciate our hands-on, consultative approach and, most importantly, value the freedom of liquidity while having the ability to maintain their long-term holdings in crypto.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
Our customers are people who purchased bitcoin years ago and have seen substantial gains, but are frustrated that they can’t derive any value without selling. Their coin isn’t doing anything for them: it’s not paying dividends, helping them buy a home or enter a new line of business (if they’re holding it as a company). They feel constrained and want the freedom of liquidity so that they can leverage this asset while maintaining their long position on bitcoin (and soon Ethereum).
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
Our best advice is to prepare for a long haul!
Tell us about your team?
We (Joe Kelly, CEO, and Dhruv Bansal, CSO) are serial entrepreneurs and technologists who also co-founded our previous company, InfoChimps, while we were both at the University of Texas. InfoChimps is a data technology provider and was acquired by CSC in 2013.
What are your plans for the future?
We’ve gotten great feedback from our early clients, and our next step will be to expand our lending offerings so we can offer a range of lending products. Right now what we’re offering is a term loan. We see this evolving into a real line of credit model.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
We love our hardware wallets! Ledger, Trezor, doesn’t matter – we love the security and control they offer.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
We really wish a laundry–folding robot existed.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
We’re not just starting UC because we think it will be a great business. We want to solve a problem that we’ve had personally: we too were frustrated that traditional financial instruments weren’t available to the crypto market and wanted to be able to do more with our assets.
How do people get in touch with you?