Bitstamp Rolls Out Crypto Lending in Europe, UAE — US Has to Wait

Girl waiting and looking at Bitstamp crypto.

Bitstamp is making its foray into crypto lending, starting with select markets that offer more lenient regulatory policies than the US, the company announced Thursday.

Bitstamp is now offering yields on lended crypto, ranging from 1.5% APY on XRP and 4.4% on USDC and tether (USDT). The interest income is paid out in various cryptocurrencies of the investor’s choice, the company said.

The products are available to customers in France, Italy, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, among other regions. Users in the US and UK cannot currently access Bitstamp’s lending services.

“We acknowledge the risks associated with lending your crypto, that’s why we have built crypto lending from the ground up for enhanced security so you can lend your crypto with increased confidence,” Bitstamp said in a statement.

In an effort to promote transparency, Bitstamp said it will be sharing a monthly performance report to include borrower risk profiles, collateral levels and more. The firm has not yet released its first report.

The yields are comparable to other lending programs based outside the US. Bybit, which currently blocks US IP addresses, offers 1.8% yield on bitcoin (BTC). And 5.5% on USDT, with flexible staking periods.

Options for lending and staking for retail investors in the US have dwindled as regulatory pressures increased. US-based exchange Kraken recently settled with the SEC for $30 million over its staking product.

Coinbase is still offering its Earn product, where users can generate 1.5% APY on USDC and more than 6% on Cosmos. But regulators appear to be cracking down on the service.

The publicly-traded exchange was issued a Wells notice late last month over concerns regulators have with its Earn. Wallet and prime brokerage offerings. The SEC has not yet released an enforcement action, which succeeds a Wells notice.

“We are confident in the legality of our assets and services, and if needed, we welcome a legal process to provide the clarity we have been advocating for and to demonstrate that the SEC simply has not been fair or reasonable when it comes to its engagement on digital assets.” Coinbase said when the notice was issued. “Rest assured, Coinbase products and services continue to operate as usual — today’s news does not require any changes to our current products or services.”