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Nexo is a blockchain-based lending platform that offers users instant cryptocurrency-backed loans. Users deposit an accepted token — such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) or XRP (XRP) — as collateral to receive a loan in the form of a fiat currency or stablecoin.
Nexo has a native token, NEXO, that when locked in the platform grants users benefits such as discounts on interest accumulated on loans and the opportunity to receive interest payments on funds deposited. Token holders also receive dividends from Nexo's profits.
The project was first announced in December 2017, and it launched in April 2018.
Nexo was founded by a team of finance professionals and crypto enthusiasts, who turned to blockchain to create the crypto equivalent to a service well established in traditional finance, but hitherto non-existent in digital finance— borrowing against the value of your assets while retaining ownership. In 2018, the team launched the Nexo platform, offering the world’s first crypto credit lines that allowed digital asset holders to obtain fiat and stablecoin loans against their cryptocurrency, and thus setting the foundations of the crypto lending niche.
The collective behind Nexo has a combined experience of over 30 years in financial services, including non-crypto lending, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, and hedge funds, with Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev additionally contributing with experience in Finance Law and in KYC and AML solutions.
Trenchev, who has acted as the public face of Nexo’s leadership, has a track record in advocating for wider blockchain and crypto adoption, notably serving as member of parliament in Bulgaria’s National Assembly from 2015 to 2017, where he promoted the implementation of blockchain solutions for e-government services, as well as frequently commenting on crypto and digital finance-related current events to mainstream media, including Bloomberg, The Independent, and CNBC.
Nexo currently services over a million users across 200+ jurisdictions, managing over $4 billion in assets. The company currently has 150 employees, with its management based in London.
According to its whitepaper, Nexo is the first-ever provider of instant cryptocurrency-backed loans and it intends to solve inefficiencies in the lending market. Its automated lending process uses smart contracts and an oracle on the Ethereum blockchain to manage loans. After a user transfers cryptocurrency to a Nexo-controlled wallet, the oracle establishes the loan and the user is instantly allocated the funds. When the user makes a deposit in order to repay the loan, the oracle returns the cryptocurrency and records the transaction on the blockchain. Smart contracts are used to power NEXO and to record user balances.
Nexo is marketed to individual and institutional investors, cryptocurrency companies, exchanges, miners and others who want liquidity from their assets. The company makes a profit from the interest accumulated on loans, and it also offers institutional lending and consulting services.
Nexo seeks to build a user base of clients that continue to use the platform and remain invested in NEXO. As such, the company announced a loyalty program that rewards those who keep NEXO in their accounts, giving them preferential interest rates on loans and higher yields on savings. Nexo also distributes 30% of its profits to NEXO token holders in the form of dividends.
Nexo has a fixed supply of 1 billion tokens. Of this amount, the supply was allocated in the following manner:
While Nexo initially planned to have a public presale and main token sale, it later canceled its public sales due to an overwhelming amount of interest from investors in its private sale.
In October 2020, the company announced that it was launching a "Nexonomics" initiative to drive its tokenomics and increase the value of NEXO. The company subsequently revealed that it would buy back $12 million worth of NEXO.
Nexo is a privately owned company and, as such, is responsible for the security of its networks and user funds. Nexo stores its digital assets with BitGo, a crypto-asset custodian that keeps tokens in cold storage wallets and is covered by a $100 million insurance policy. In November 2019, Nexo reported that it was ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified after being audited by RINA and the Consortium for IT Software Quality.
Its native token, NEXO, is an ERC-20 token issued on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that any on-chain NEXO transactions are validated and secured by the Ethereum mainnet using its Ethash proof-of-work consensus algorithm. Miners compete among each other to add new blocks to the blockchain, and a majority of all nodes in the network must validate a record for it to be posted.
Upon its launch, Nexo reported that its token had been "fully audited." In November 2019, the smart contracts were independently audited by Castillo Network, which found no critical security issues.