• A fintech company named Milo is introducing what is billed as the world’s first crypto mortgage.
  • He says his low-interest 30-year U.S. crypto mortgage allows qualified borrowers to hold their bitcoin and buy real estate.
  • The loans were granted in an early access phase, with the product expected to be available to most applicants early this year.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 things before the opening bell.

A fintech company is rolling out what it calls the world’s first crypto-mortgage through which borrowers obtain loans secured by bitcoins to buy real estate – combining the relatively new asset with one of the most established to create wealth in America.

The company, Milo, said its 30-year low-interest U.S. crypto mortgage will allow potential borrowers to pledge their bitcoin to purchase property and qualify to fund 100% of the purchase without any down payment. in dollars required. The loans were granted in an early access phase, with the product expected to be available to most applicants in early 2022.

“I think this product is a real game-changer for many, many people. It accomplishes a lot of aspects of what this consumer wants, which is to continue to hold their bitcoin and be able to branch out and buy real estate – a another fantastic wealth-creating asset,” Milo CEO Josip Rupena told Insider in an interview.

The crypto lending industry is already taking shape, as the cryptocurrency market marked a remarkable year in 2021 when it briefly topped a $3 trillion valuation for the first time. Crypto-secured loans are secured loans that use bitcoin and other digital assets as collateral.

Milo said his crypto mortgage already has a “large” waiting list, highlighting crypto investors’ appetite to expand their wealth-building activities into housing as well as their reluctance to give up their bitcoin to fund such purchases.

A photo of Josip Rupena, founder and CEO of fintech Milo.

Josip Rupena is the founder and CEO of fintech Milo

Milo


It can be “very difficult for [crypto holders] to qualify for a mortgage, as the existing framework with banks and other lenders does not consider this crypto wealth. That means they have to look for other ways to buy real estate,” Rupena said. “Once they sell their bitcoin or crypto, it creates unintended consequences of having to make gains and tax consequences,” he said.

“And at the same time, the biggest concern for them is the opportunity cost of having bitcoin and digital assets exist. We’ve seen that over time it rises and appreciates, and appreciated,” he said. “It’s different for someone who has crypto than someone who lives in the conventional dollarized world. They really don’t want to sell their crypto.”

If the purchase price of a property is $500,000, a potential Milo borrower should commit, through a third party custodian, at least $500,000. Rupena said she will guarantee the borrower, review various data points and perform due diligence on ownership, title and all other aspects of an ongoing transaction.

“This bitcoin will allow us to get comfortable with the consumer so that we can give them this loan. At the same time, they will continue to own the bitcoin throughout the transaction,” Rupena said. Milo aims to expand the product to allow borrowers to pledge other cryptocurrencies.

Like other crypto loans, the Milo Crypto Mortgage has a margin call component.

“If the crypto drops by a certain amount…they could be subject to it. But they have the ability to engage more to mitigate those factors,” Rupena said. He said the trades are structured to minimize the impact of the price


volatility

.

An Approved Lender, Milo started in 2018 and is used to dealing with niche clients, as he has particularly focused on clients living outside of the United States. Rupena said the idea of ​​a crypto mortgage in the US started because international clients who held digital assets were asking for such a product.

He said credit checks are part of the lending process for US domestic borrowers. “For international customers, [as] they don’t have credit, we’ve found alternative ways to sign up without credit…and then that’s just one more data point for us.”

Milo’s other mortgage products for foreign nationals have generated millions of dollars in loans, with applicants from at least 63 countries, he added.

The crypto mortgage market could be worth tens of billions of dollars, Rupena estimated.

“We know that there are billions of dollars of existing loans outstanding that are secured by crypto, by the number of buyers there. So we think that at a minimum, this is a multi-billion opportunity. dollars, if not more, and it could be bigger given the size of real estate as an asset class,” he said.