- 1 What is Peer-to-Peer Lending?
- 2 P2P Loans: Risky Business?
- 3 How Cryptocurrencies Address this Risk
- 4 What is MyConstant?
- 5 MyConstant’s Products and Benefits
- 6 1. MyConstant Instant Access
- 7 2. Crypto-Backed Loans
- 8 3. Crypto Lend
- 9 Borrowing on MyConstant
- 10 Does MyConstant Have Memberships?
- 11 Which Coins Does MyConstant Support?
- 12 What is Prime Trust?
- 13 How to Deposit Money on MyConstant
- 14 Additional Benefits from MyConstant
- 15 MyConstant’s Investors Vouch for its Credibility
- 16 MyConstant Offers Incentives for Signing Up and Referring Friends
- 17 Earn Cash Prizes for Demoing New Features with Badges
- 18 Risks of Investing with MyConstant
- 19 Why I Will Continue Using MyConstant to Diversify My Portfolio
What is Peer-to-Peer Lending?
In its simplest form, peer-to-peer lending allows individuals to lend to one another, removing the bank or financial institution from the picture.
In 2005, the first P2P platform Zopa launched in the United Kingdom. Since then, this industry has disrupted the lending market significantly as players like LendingClub, Prosper, UpStart, Peerform and many more originated billions worth of loans.
Much like Napster did to music downloads, P2P lending connects one borrower with several individual investors directly.
This removes any one investor from shouldering the full risk of the loan’s performance and allows for significant diversification with much lower capital commitments.
The peer-to-peer lending platforms in this space connect borrowers with investors in exchange for an origination fee. Few hold onto the loans themselves, pushing the full credit risk onto the individual investors.
Many platforms pre-screen borrowers based on financial criteria (e.g., credit, income, assets, etc.) and offer them a rate based on the screening results.
If approved, this loan then gets floated by investors who can then choose to invest based on the advertised loan terms. If sufficient investor interest exists as the platform priced the loan, it will execute and become a legally-enforceable debt instrument.
Typically, the P2P platforms control the rates and terms of the underwriting and funding, as well as determining the creditworthiness of the borrower. Ultimately, investors need to show interest in funding the loan or else it does not originate.
P2P Loans: Risky Business?
While P2P lending has disrupted the traditional loan industry, not all P2P lending has returned investors great returns. Many platforms have seen a significantly higher level of defaults on loans, causing many investors to demand higher rates in exchange for the greater risk.
Many platforms only offer unsecured loans, meaning the borrower places no collateral as a pledge for repaying the loan.
All things equal, secured loans carry less risk than unsecured because the lender has the legal right to claim the collateral and sell it to offset the investment loss should a loan default.
However, P2P platforms attempt to capture this default risk by pricing loans in less-creditworthy tiers, offering risk-adjusted returns to investors.
Though, to a certain point, borrowers will not accept borrowing at such high rates, leading to insufficient volume on the platform to sustain the company.
Others have called P2P lending a significant risk because it circumvents the traditional financial system, extending credit to borrowers who otherwise might not have the financial wherewithal to repay the loans borrowed.
As a result, many investors have lost their investments made on these platforms.
Because of this, any interested P2P lending investor should fully understand the risks involved with these products. They can carry significant risk and put your capital at a chance of partial or complete loss.
How Cryptocurrencies Address this Risk
One unique application cryptocurrencies can fix comes in the peer-to-peer lending space. These modern assets carry an inherent value so long as individuals perceive them to hold value.
Bitcoin, the most-widely known cryptocurrency, carries no dependency on any other source for its value beyond the commonly-held belief it holds value and can exchange in equivalent value for other goods and services.
The cryptocurrency resides on a digital ledger, called the blockchain, which tracks transactions secured by millions of computers globally. This dynamic holds true for all other cryptocurrencies as well, giving crypto uniquely-qualified abilities to support P2P lending.
In fact, using crypto to secure a P2P loan has a familiar concept with how you originate a traditional mortgage. You pledge your cryptocurrency as collateral against a loan, upon which you relinquish if you become unable to repay your debt.
With a traditional mortgage, the bank seizes your home and sells it to repay the outstanding loan balance.
The P2P lender assesses the market value of your pledged cryptocurrency and issues a loan with some minimum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) against your collateral.
In the event your collateral drops below some minimum threshold, the loan becomes under-collateralized, triggering the company to liquidate the capital (cryptocurrency in this case) to protect the capital lent by the investor.
The secured nature of loans on the MyConstant platform provides greater financial security for investors as compared to other best P2P lending sites for investors which only issue unsecured loans.
Related: Cryptocurrency Statistics that Show Crypto’s Gone Mainstream
What is MyConstant?
An international group of developers launched MyConstant in January 2019 with the intent of building a stablecoin, or cryptocurrencies which avoid the wild volatility seen in the space by pegging at a one-to-one ratio to some stable asset.
In MyConstant’s case, their stablecoin, CONST, pegged to the U.S. dollar, widely seen as the world’s reserve currency. This would enable low-cost, near-instantaneous international transfers between a multitude of different currencies.
However, after quickly wishing to accomplish more than merely acting as a payments vehicle, the company pivoted toward offering secured P2P loans, an area they saw ripe for disruption.
This new endeavor launched in May 2019 and has originated millions of dollars worth of loans since.
Most recently, the company originated $15.8m in loans in the second quarter of 2020 and continues to see outsized loan and investor demand.
MyConstant’s Products and Benefits
For a quick overview of MyConstant’s products, have a look at the chart below. You will see three primary products with their applicable details. The service also offers borrowers to pledge their crypto as collateral to back loans for their financing needs.
Below, I will dive into the details of each as well as provide real examples of how my money has performed on the platform in the time I’ve used the service. Afterward, I will discuss the Borrowing product and other features, reviews and thoughts.
1. MyConstant Instant Access
- 4% APY, compounded and paid every second
- No fees
- Anytime withdrawals
- Minimum investment just $10
- No maximum investment limit
The 4% APY product, called MyConstant Instant Access, allows you to deposit money online with the platform and earn interest as you would a savings account.
However, of explicit note here, this account does not provide FDIC insurance coverage like a typical savings account carries.
This product acts as a non-insured deposit account which earns you interest by offering liquidity for the platform. As mentioned below, all deposits made into MyConstant go into the Instant Access product by default unless you choose to place the funds with Prime Trust.
At deposit, all funds convert to the company’s proprietary stablecoin, CONST.
Instant Access allows you to withdraw money at any time for free, no fees or account minimums need to be maintained for this product. In exchange, you can expect to receive a 4% APY on deposits.
Personally, I’ve invested over $8,000 in the Instant Access account since the beginning of 2020 and really enjoy the ease with which you can deposit money and begin earning interest.
I see the account as a flexible alternative investment option which offers 50x greater interest than the national average savings account as of July 2021.
As a note on why some deposits were never received, see the changes below to how MyConstant accepts deposits. They had issues accepting deposits greater than $2,000 per day, causing me issues having the transactions get processed appropriately.
2. Crypto-Backed Loans
- Up to 6-9% APR
- Flexible terms 1-6 months
- No fees
- Minimum investment $50
- No maximum investment
The higher-yielding product, called “Crypto-Backed”, allows you to make secured, P2P loans to borrowers willing to commit collateral to back the loan. This product pays APRs up to 6.5% on fixed terms of 30, 90, or 180 days. These loans pay APRs of 6.0%, 6.25% and 6.5%, respectively.
When you invest in Crypto-backed loans, your money funds a lending pool from which borrowers can get loans in return for paying interest. In order for borrowers to tap this pool of funds, they must put up collateral equal to 100-200% of the loan amount.
To secure the loan, the collateral consists of cryptocurrency. In the event the borrower defaults on the loan or their collateral falls in value to a specified threshold, Constant sells the cryptocurrency and repays the investors who placed money in the investment pool.
I have invested over $2,000 in the Crypto-backed loans product so far in 2020. The interest earned has done well to increase my overall interest income and will serve as an outlet I use going forward.
The high yields, combined with the secured nature of the loans, give me comfort knowing my money will have safeguards in place to protect my principal.
I have used the auto-reinvest feature to ensure my money stays invested in the product, earning me more interest. I have not experienced any issues with matching my investments to available loans automatically, minimizing downtime on how long my money stays invested and compounds.
You have the option of prematurely ending your loan if you should have a need for withdrawing your cash. However, to date, no investors have lost money on the platform due to the secured nature of the loans and the protections MyConstant puts in place.
Therefore, the reason for ending the loan early likely stems from a liquidity event on the part of the investor (you).
This product carries a great amount of appeal because it comes equipped with flexible terms and up to 3x the interest of a CD. Several other investors agree and think the Crypto-backed product offers a reliable alternative investment in challenging times.
Because all lending done on the platform comes backed by cryptocurrencies worth 100-200% of the loan amount, the risk of loss due to borrower default is lower than unsecured P2P lending platforms.
MyConstant carefully selects which cryptocurrencies it accepts as collateral to ensure they can be sold at a moment’s notice in a liquid marketplace. MyConstant’s lending model has not failed them yet, with no investor losses since launching in early 2019.
- Defaults: The default rate came in ~6% in 2019. To be clear, this simply means borrowers didn’t repay on time – investors still got their principal and earned interest.
- Non-performing loans as a percentage of pool assets: MyConstant doesn’t have any non-performing loans as of 6/1/2020. If a borrower defaults or their collateral value falls to threshold, Constant immediately sells the collateral to repay investors and guard against loss.
- Creditworthiness of borrowers using the pooled funds: MyConstant doesn’t assess the creditworthiness of borrowers because they don’t need to. All lending is over-collateralized by having 100-200% of loan value backed by cryptocurrency collateral.
- Industries targeted for these loan products: MyConstant’s products work best for investors seeking consistent returns on a collateral-backed product, those who want a better return on their savings, or who want to diversify into secured lending.
Finally, one very important item to note about MyConstant is its investor returns track record: No investors have lost their principal since MyConstant launched in early 2019.
3. Crypto Lend
- Pays 9% APY on BTC, ETH, and BNB.
- Interest compounded and paid every second.
- Unlimited free withdrawals.
- No minimum investment.
- Available worldwide (non-US currencies converted to USD).
MyConstant offers a third product, called Crypto Lend. This allows for anytime-withdrawals on their investment account for cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Lend allows you to earn interest on crypto of 9% APY on Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Binance Coin (BNB) by supplying liquidity to lending pools and exchanges.
Like MyConstant Instant Access and Crypto-Backed discussed above, your interest compounds (and gets paid) every second in the same cryptocurrency you use to invest. Further, Crypto Lend provides liquidity by allowing you to withdraw anytime for free.
For this product, MyConstant caps investments at $3,000,000 to ensure it can cover investor losses in cases where it or its partners default. This provides additional certainty for funds you invest with Crypto Lend.
Borrowing on MyConstant
One advantage provided by MyConstant’s over-collateralization for borrowers comes from the ability to borrow without a credit check. MyConstant offers quick borrowing ability against crypto collateral, much as they do for their crypto lend matching process.
To receive a loan from MyConstant, interested borrowers submit the amount, term, and desired loan proceeds source (USD or crypto). From there, they deposit collateral to secure the loan. Borrowers can combine different cryptocurrencies to meet the minimum accepted collateral value.
After this point, borrowers may withdraw the loan amount in fiat or stablecoins. MyConstant safely stores your collateral with BitGo Trust Company, a qualified custodian focused solely on digital assets.
The company carries $100,000,000 worth of insurance (in USD) and supports over 100 coins and tokens through MyConstant.
You may repay the loan at any time in fiat, stablecoins or crypto to receive your collateral from escrow. At this point, you may withdraw the collateral to your wallet of choice or use the crypto for securing another loan.
As for the process of funding the loan, investors and borrowers must match and then the funds transfer to the borrower. At that point, the borrowers must begin paying interest immediately.
Borrowers pay a 1% matching fee on all loans. If the borrower repays the loan early, they must still pay 50% of the remaining interest due for the remaining term.
This occurs before 75% of the loan term has elapsed. If more than 75% has elapsed, the borrower must repay 100% of the interest owed during the term of the loan. Should the borrower repay late, MyConstant assesses a late fee equivalent to 10% of the total interest due.
This occurs if the borrower repays the loan within 24-72 hours of the deadline.
As for risk levels on issued loans, MyConstant places certain thresholds to ensure investor protection. Specifically, all loans must maintain a 66% LTV ratio (resulting in a 150% overcollateralization rate).
To illustrate, if a borrower attempts to take out a loan of $10,000 USD, they will first need to deposit $15,000 worth of collateral into their MyConstant account.
In the event the value of their pledged collateral falls to 110% of the loan’s value plus interest to date, MyConstant automatically liquidates this crypto and returns the proceeds to the investors.
Does MyConstant Have Memberships?
In the past, MyConstant wanted to encourage further usage and experimentation of its product. Therefore, it introduced a Membership system, whereby power users receive rewards for transacting large volumes in short amounts of time on the platform.
As you can see below, Constant previously offered three tiers to their members: Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
As you transact greater volumes on the platform, you could move into a higher tier, unlocking additional features and earnings potential.
When you reached each tier initially, this triggers a $50 bonus payment, higher referral earnings commissions, and discounted interest rates on loans (or 1% premium rate on investments).
Based on the image above, to qualify for the lowest tier in the rewards program, you needed to invest or borrow $25,000 on MyConstant in a 180-day period.
Because the service based these membership tiers on transaction volume, you could theoretically achieve these thresholds on a smaller amount of money you reinvested constantly.
Should you wish to hit the Gold membership tier, you could invest $4,167 six times in 180 days. This will cross the $25,000 mark, triggering the benefits at that tier.
MyConstant does not currently offer memberships at this time.
Which Coins Does MyConstant Support?
MyConstant supports more than 71 coins and tokens on its platform:
BAT, BEAM, BNB, BND, BNT, BTC, BTT, CELR, CVC, DCR, DGD, DGX, ELF, ENG, ENJ, ETC, ETH, FET, FTM (ERC20/BEP2), GNT, GTO, HOT, HT, ICX, IOST, IOTX, KCS, KNC, LRC, MANA, MATIC, MCO, MIOTA, MITH, MTA, MTL, NANO, NAS, NEO, NPXS, NULS, OKB, OMG, ONE, ONT, POWR, PPT, QKC, REN, REP, STORJ, TOMO, USDT, VET, WAN, WTC, XLM, XNT, XRP, XTZ, XZC, and ZRX.
What is Prime Trust?
For MyConstant’s users, they can fund loans from interested borrowers on the MyConstant platform. By default, your deposited funds go into the Instant Access product, the company’s compounding interest account.
Should you wish to place your funds in a non-compounding account, your deposit resides with Prime Trust, a licensed, insured custodian. Like LendingClub, who uses Strata Trust, MyConstant allows a third-party to handle your deposit funds.
For these funds, MyConstant never retains control of these funds if you choose not to invest in Instant Access or their other lending products.
For more information on Prime Trust, they are a chartered and regulated trust company overseen by the Nevada Financial Institutions Division.
Because the company has regulatory supervision from this state body, the financial institution carries Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance up to $130,000,000.
How to Deposit Money on MyConstant
The service recently upgraded to a more powerful and secure deposit money online process using the low-cost ACH processor, Plaid. This replaced the clunky and inefficient deposit system in place prior.
Previously, I needed to navigate a few options before settling on using CapitalOne’s Zelle money transfer. This required two steps, first initiating the deposit in the MyConstant dashboard and then separately using the CapitalOne Zelle app to transfer the money.
After transferring the money with a unique reference code to link my deposit with the one initiated in MyConstant, I would receive a confirmation email from MyConstant saying my money had cleared.
While this accomplished the necessary transfer, the disconnected nature caused confusion and initially delayed my deposit into the service. However, in August 2020, they partnered with Plaid to make it easier, cheaper and safer to send money to and from your MyConstant account.
When transferring to MyConstant through Plaid, the service also gives instant credit to your Instant Access account (up to the amount you currently have on MyConstant plus $1,000).
While you cannot immediately move this money into other investments until your ACH arrives, it will start earning at 4% APY as soon as you click “send.”
Plaid ACH is currently only available to US bank accounts. Users also have the option of using wire transfers, but this can prove costly, especially for smaller amounts. Currently, all non-U.S. banks require wire transfers to fund your MyConstant account.
If you do qualify, however, Plaid does not assess fees and adds an additional layer of safety for your transfers.
Additional Benefits from MyConstant
- No fees (investing, depositing, transferring, and withdrawing are all FREE).
- 24/7 customer support across email, telephone, and social media.
- A vast library of investor resources to help get the most out of their platform.
- A fully-featured iOS and Android app.
- All fiat currencies accepted (though are converted to USD upon reaching the platform).
- Available worldwide.
MyConstant’s Investors Vouch for its Credibility
- MyConstant carries a 4.5 stars rating (out of 5) on Trustpilot (950+ reviews).
- MyConstant uses Prime Trust, an accredited US financial institution, for almost all cash management. This means MyConstant rarely takes ownership of your funds, reducing custodial risk to you.
- MyConstant has been featured as a recommended money app in many tech and finance news apps and publications, including Forbes, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Zero Hedge.
MyConstant Offers Incentives for Signing Up and Referring Friends
→ Free $2,000 trial bonus for new US customers who pass KYC
If you’re a US citizen who signs up and passes Know Your Customer (abbreviated KYC), you will receive a 15-day trial bonus of $4,000 to invest in Instant Access at 4% APY. (This promo only applies to individuals who sign up as of July 2021. MyConstant reserves the right to end this promotion at any time and without notice)
After 15 days, MyConstant will reclaim the $4,000, but you keep the interest. This gives you the opportunity to try the platform before committing any of your own money. This qualifies as one of the more generous sign up bonuses from companies offering investments.
→ Refer friends for a $10 bonus (US only) plus 10% of their Instant Access interest
MyConstant also offers a generous referral rewards program. For any U.S. citizen who signs up using your unique referral link, passes KYC, and deposits at least $10, you will earn a $10 bonus and 10% of their Instant Access interest in their first year of investing.
For example, if your friend earns $1,000 in their first year, you get $100 without lifting a finger. Truly one of the best passive income ideas that work as high yield investments.
→ $15 cash back for users who make a deposit of $1,000 or greater
MyConstant has also launched a new initiative to reward people who deposit at least $1,000 on the investment platform. In return for initiating a deposit worth $1,000 or more, they will credit you with a $15 bonus.
Earn Cash Prizes for Demoing New Features with Badges
MyConstant knows it has a significant number of features offered on the platform. Further, it offers a novel product which can require additional education to understand the risks involved.
As a result, they want to offer resources to make you aware of the several ways you can earn and save with their platform. To combat this knowledge gap and add an extra incentive to those who want to learn more about the platform, MyConstant decided to start a Badges program.
Not only do MyConstant badges allow you to earn cash prizes for trying new platform features, demoing the service and writing reviews on Trustpilot, among many other items, they also allow you to earn bragging rights.
Risks of Investing with MyConstant
Given the novel investment platform discussed at length in this review, I want to call out specific risks you should keep in mind should you decide to begin investing with MyConstant.
Without prioritization in terms of risk magnitude, some of the major items to highlight include:
- Currency risk. The loans originated on MyConstant may issue in a different foreign currency than how your Claim Purchase (legal term for pro-rata investment and stake of ownership in the loan) funds. In other words, you may invest with USD but the loan may issue in a different fiat currency. While the interest rate advertised on the loan for investors constitutes the net interest rate after the exchange rate effect, a significant depreciation of the underlying foreign currency against the USD might substantially impact the Loan Originator’s (MyConstant) ability to pay investors via the MyConstant platform. This occurs because the Loan Originator receives payments from the Borrower in foreign currencies and makes payments to investors in USD.
- Cryptocurrency risk. Likewise with standard currency risk, cryptocurrency risk stands as a major risk factor for investors interested in investing / borrowing on MyConstant’s platform. Cryptocurrencies carry significant risk and can produce substantial volatility on a daily, hourly, or even minute-by-minute basis. As such, the collateral offered by borrowers in exchange for receiving their secured loans can dramatically change in value. Despite MyConstant’s automatic liquidation should said collateral fall below 110% of the originated loan’s value, cryptocurrency exchange rates can deteriorate rapidly, causing difficulty to achieve the 110% threshold.
- Default risk. Following the two risks highlighted above, borrowers may not perform on originated loans, resulting in loss of invested capital if cryptocurrency collateral drops precipitously in value without notice. In this event, investors face risk of loss, potentially their entire investment.
- Security risk. Without detailing the many numerous means for which digital companies can be vulnerable to cyber security attacks, any company conducting business online or digitally can fall victim to data breaches, social engineering, or other means of security risk. This risk is not unique to MyConstant, as any business presents this type of risk. MyConstant’s risk profile may differ on account of country risk, currency risk, cryptocurrency risk, default risk, operational risk, and multi-layer counterparty risk. In other words, the combined risk of borrower default, loan originator default, and the other aforementioned risks.
Due to these risks, investors must exercise reasonable caution prior to making investment decisions. Further, they should take time to understand the products offered, types of loans originated, information asked to volunteer for KYC regulations, and consider their own risk and return objectives and thresholds. As with any other product mentioned on this site, users should conduct their own research before making investment decisions.
Why I Will Continue Using MyConstant to Diversify My Portfolio
After exploring MyConstant’s available products, I feel confident the platform can offer superior, risk-adjusted returns compared to savings accounts or alternative investments like LendingClub.
At the moment, I have a significant amount of cash held in savings accounts, bonds, or other low-risk investments to preserve liquidity in the event my wife and I choose to purchase a house this year or next.
Even with that, I plan to continue investing in MyConstant’s Crypto-backed loans product going forward. The added yield with relatively low risk appears attractive for holding a portion of my overall portfolio.
Traditionally, I invested a significant amount of money on the LendingClub platform to act as a powerful income-generating asset. The cash flow came in handy for diversifying my portfolio but the large time commitment that came from filtering loans and capturing alpha proved overly cumbersome.
As a result, I have let my loans mature over the last few years and have reinvested their proceeds elsewhere. Now, I think those dollars will roll into my MyConstant account and juice my negligible interest income.
While MyConstant will never represent the majority of my overall investment portfolio, I do think it will serve as a powerful alternative investment option. I especially think the secured nature of these loans provides added peace of mind.
With time, as the platform matures and the company underwrites more loans, we will have a greater sense for the true risk involved. LendingClub notes offered superior yields when properly selected. However, MyConstant’s secured feature makes the risk lower than LendingClub and thus one of my favorite passive income apps.
Further, the ability to withdraw funds or fund loans 180 days or less make the investment even more enticing. LendingClub only offers 36 and 60-month loans. They recently disbanded their secondary market platform, locking people who purchased notes in their primary market for the full loan term.
MyConstant avoids this by only offering short-term loans and also providing the investor with the ability to withdraw funds early.
The combined liquidity, risk mitigation and above-average yields make me recommend this as one of the best investments for young adults looking for another investment vehicle to earn a respectable return in a low rate environment.
If what you read in this review sounds interesting, consider opening an account with MyConstant and making your initial deposit. Learn more as you go and decide for yourself if this alternative investment platform makes sense for your portfolio.