Ledn First-Quarter Loans Top Record $690M as Lending Market Snaps Back

The majority of loans were issued to institutional market makers following U.S. approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

AccessTimeIconMay 9, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now
  • Ledn processed $690 million in loans in the first quarter, 84% of which were to institutions.
  • The firm has doubled its loan book since November 2022.
  • The rise was attributed to spot bitcoin ETF approval in the U.S.
  • Key Events You Shouldn't Miss at Consensus 2024
    02:13
    Key Events You Shouldn't Miss at Consensus 2024
  • What to Expect From Consensus 2024
    11:19
    What to Expect From Consensus 2024
  • Will Solana and Altcoins Dominate the Market Next?
    13:29
    Will Solana and Altcoins Dominate the Market Next?
  • What's Next for FIT21?
    07:15
    What's Next for FIT21?
  • Crypto lending firm Ledn processed more than $690 million in loans in the first quarter, its most successful quarter since the company's inception in 2018, almost five times the value of the previous three months.

    The vast majority, more than 84%, was directed to institutions, with demand ballooning after the approval of spot bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S. in January as several hundred million dollars worth of loans was issued to ETF market makers, Ledn said in a press release. In fourth-quarter 2023, the firm issued $140.3 million of loans, 90% of which went to institutional borrowers.

    "The first quarter of 2024 has set the tone for a promising year for Ledn, as we've not only doubled our loan book since November 2022 but have also solidified our leading position in the market by adapting to the increasing demand for digital asset financial products," CEO Adam Reeds said in a statement.

    The crypto lending sector imploded in 2022 alongside dwindling asset prices, spurring lenders including Celsius, BlockFi and Genesis to file for bankruptcy. Centralized lenders such as Ledn are only just starting to shake off negative sentiment left by their demise. Lending in decentralized finance (DeFi), meantime, continued to boom, with the likes of Aave accumulating $10 billion in total value locked (TVL).

    Among other centralized lenders, crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) said loans to institutional customers grew to $399 million in fourth-quarter 2023. That was before the ETF approvals. Ledn said it loaned $100 million to retail customers in the first quarter, $40 million of which was refinanced from the collapse of Celsius.

    In December the firm rolled out a crypto-backed loan product that allows customers to receive a loan by pledging crypto as collateral, which is then custodied by BitGo.

    Edited by Sheldon Reback.

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Oliver Knight

    Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.


    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.