What’s Microfinancing Doing in Blockchain Space?
With 139 million clients and a credit portfolio of USD 114 billion in 2017, microfinance has reaffirmed its position as a key tool in the financial inclusion of marginalized populations.
The global microfinance market is anticipated to witness steady growth over the forecast period (2017 to 2025). This growth can be attributed to the rapid rise in the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Developing markets will drive expansion, a trend expected to continue until (and perhaps beyond) 2022, by which point the IMF expects annual growth for this group to have reached 5%.
The beauty of blockchain is that it’s steadily making its way through communities and now seeking to engage 1.7 Billion unbanked productive individuals through making funds accessible to micro, small and medium enterprises.
By using blockchain technology for microfinancing, AssetStream will create a layer of trust and security between borrowers and lenders. It is a new paradigm of the finance business to connect with the individual lender while enabling new source of finances for small enterprises to fuel the global economic growth anywhere, anytime.
Why is AST (AssetStream Token) bound to be mainstream?
Microfinance is not only another asset class but also a powerful contributor to the alleviation of global poverty. By maximizing their social and financial performance and preserving a focus on the low-income clients they were created to serve, AssetStream taps an attractive and underserved market opportunity and intersects with their specialized expertise.
AssetStream will develop the ecosystem that delivers services not only to lenders and borrowers but also to agencies that choose to partner up with it. AssetStream funds will be financed from the purchase of AST tokens.
Within the AssetStream ecosystem, AST will represent a value of 0.01 USD to promote stability. Outside the AssetStream platform, AST prices will be subjected to a fair market value reflected on the secondary exchanges.
Own Rating Criteria
AssetStream will create their own rating criteria and it will be divided into a personal loan and business loan. Lenders will sift through available “Loan Contracts” manually and can opt for the automatic system through AssetStream autonomous matching system.
AssetStream will scrutinize all credit ratings for SMEs as the loan will comprise of a higher amount. These are some of its features:
- The manual method for lending consists of a lender handpicking a loan application from the platform.
- In an automated lending process, the lender sets up a certain criterion for his ideal loan and the system will find projects that match and are in the fundraising phase.
- Examples of criteria are minimum credit rating of the borrower, minimum interest rate, maximum duration of the loan, maximum lend out the amount.
- Automated matching is not yet available. It is still under development
- The credit rating of small and medium enterprises will always be done manually but for individual borrowers, it will happen automatically.
- If individual borrowers are not satisfied with their credit rating, they can choose a manual credit rating. This manual credit rating will have a fee in ASD token.
Where is the competition?
Investors can expect small businesses to continue to operate in such a way as to maximize the achievement of both financial and social returns. Social return on investment in microfinance helps reduce poverty and increase economic opportunities for the poor.
Microfinance is not a panacea for poverty. However, in concert with other interventions in areas such as health, education, infrastructure, market access, and a functioning and responsive government, microfinance can play an important supporting role in helping poor families around the world create more secure and rewarding lives for themselves and their communities.
What’s On the Horizon
Small scale producers who may be using only hand tools to make furniture, metalworking or small scale food production will see their daily output increase permanently not by 10% or even 50% but by many times after purchasing simple pieces of equipment like electric saws, sanders or larger stoves and ovens.
At the same time, for such producers, the cost of the equipment and therefore, the interest burden, can be an insignificant part of their total expenses.
Up until the turn of the century, financial institutions did not see value in serving those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. They couldn’t see how 1.7B people could translate into meaningful profits. But AssetStream is ahead of its time. On the blockchain.
AssetStream recently signed an MOU with Max Property Group (MPG), an international property investment company. Max Crowdfund is a crowdfunding platform and together with AssetStream, projects on massive numbers of their communities to support direct integration of their blockchain platforms.
250+Million members applauded as the English learning platform English Forward entered into an MOU with AssetStream to access microfinance resources for its teachers and learners community.
About the Author: Karnika E. Yashwant (KEY) is a multi-awarded CEO of a dozen brands. He has been advising blockchain projects since 2013. Disclaimer: The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of NewsBTC.