San Francisco-based blockchain lending firm Dharma Labs has raised $7 million from big investors including Coinbase Ventures, as the company confirmed to CryptoNewspeople on Feb. 5.

According to crypto news outlet The Block Crypto, Dharma Labs is planning to use the raised capital mostly for its Lever product, a platform providing instant margin loans for cryptocurrency traders and high-volume investors.

Max Bronstein, head of the Dharma Labs marketing team, reportedly claimed that Lever represents a decentralized smart contract alternative to Genesis Global Trading. Genesis, a Bitcoin (BTC) over-the-counter (OTC) trading firm that was the first New York-based to acquire a BitLicense, has recently revealed it processed $1.114 billion in loans last year.

Bronstein stated that Lever would facilitate peer-to-peer crypto lending by allowing two parties of a loan to be discoverable, as well as eliminating the role of the middleman by putting trust on blockchain. He explained:

“Investors can take out loans against a number of different assets in sheer minutes, counter-party risk can be eliminated by smart contracts, borrowers can freely move their principal anywhere they’d like, and most importantly, all of this can be done at almost half of the cost offered by traditional lenders.”

According to the article, the Series A funding round was led by venture capital firm Green Visor Capital, while other investors included Polychain Capital, Passport Capital and Y Combinator.

The crypto lending industry has continued to grow in 2018, with crypto lending firm BlockFi having recorded a tenfold increase in revenue over the second half of 2018.

In January, Business Insider reported that Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital is planning to raise at least $250 million to offer loans to crypto-related firms.

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