Growr: a global, decentralized, open and fair lending protocol
This document presents a summary of our whitepaper. The complete document is available at: https://www.peseta.xyz/growr-whitepaper.pdf
Growr is a decentralized protocol for providing open access to peer-to-peer lending services, in which institutional and individual investors can fund lending pools according to their risk/reward appetite, and borrowers can apply for and receive unsecured loans (loans without collateral).
The Growr protocol incentivizes good financial health – that is, improving financial literacy and behaviors that lead to better life situation and ultimately, to financial independence. Financial health metrics are combined with other off-chain and on-chain data to create a new type of decentralized identity that we call the Self-sovereign Financial Identity. It contains verified credential from different sources and is presented in front of the lending pools to assert creditworthiness.
By building Growr, our team is addressing grand global challenges such as access to financial services at fair conditions, gender inequality and bad financial health.
Who is profiting from this situation? The lending institutions enjoy a profitable 7-trillion market3, with revenues increasing between 5 and 15% each year. Figure 1 is a diagram that illustrates the current lending ecosystem.
Financial health is an important factor in our daily life. However, bad financial health is plaguing the world. More than half of the global population is living paycheck-to-paycheck without any savings1. In addition, almost 2 billion adults in the world do not have access to financial services2 or if they do, they receive loans at a very high interest rate.
In the same time, even people who have savings in cash or in a bank account are not save. On the one side, macroeconomic events, such as high inflation, are literally “eating their money” and the other side, they are not able to acknowledge the disruptive change that is happening to the financial system.
Who is profiting from this situation? The lending institutions enjoy a profitable 7-trillion market3, with revenues increasing between 5 and 15% each year.
Enter Growr. A bridge to a new global environment where people around the world are empowered to improve their lifestyle and benefit from the latest financial technologies.
During the Bitcoin Bankathon 2021, we are particularly focused on empowerment of women and merchants. We care especially for vulnerable populations such as victims of violence and micro merchants from poor communities, to whom we aim to provide support using digital tools and mentor network.
Growr address the problems stated above with the following components:
- Growr DAO – a decentralized autonomous organization for transformative empowerment of people around the world in achieving more in their lives through better financial health
- Growr open lending protocol – a decentralized architecture for funding and consuming loans on top of the Bitcoin network
- Peseta application – a simple and secure way for consumers and merchants to easily apply and obtain fair loans at low interest rates
You can find an overview of the protocol architecture in the attached diagram.
The described ecosystem above aims at transferring value from the centralized institutions back to the people.
- Borrowers will get easy access to fair loans and gradually receive better conditions for positive behavior and improved financial health.
- Investors will keep the value of their savings by converting them to crypto and receiving a profit.
- Contributors will get fair rewards based on their performance and the behavior of the borrowers.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We launched Peseta as a first step in our journey to inspire a financial health revolution.
We aim at building a fully decentralized architecture for funding and consuming loans on top of the Bitcoin network.
We are building Smart contracts on the RSK chain that match supply and demand on the Growr peer-to-peer platform, matching investors to borrowers with their preferred risk profile, based on data from the Open Banking Project API.
We are building a Peseta mobile application to provide borrowers with the access to the smart contracts, and storing securely on-device the self-sovereign financial identity of the user.
We are building a bridge to the Lightning network to empower users and merchants to easily collaborate on top of Bitcoin network. We utilize a technique called submarine swap than enables payments directly from an RSK account to a merchant using any Lightning Network clients.
As next steps, we plan to:
- Building Oracles connecting various third-party off-chain data sources and indexing on-chain credit history to generate tamper proof credit score.
- Establishing a DAO to govern the protocol, allocate work to the community of contributors and reward them according to their role and contribution.
Challenges we ran into
- Designing the credit risk scoring based on the available data.
- Designing the architecture and implementing the RSK smart contracts.
What we learned
- Creating submarine swaps between RSK and the Lightning Network, which the standard payment rails in El Salvador.
What's next for Growr On-chain
We plan to develop the Growr protocol and the DAO in 3 waves:
- Local launch of Peseta in El Salvador, with the potential to reach 1.15M people (based on population of 6.5M with 70% unbanked and 51% internet native and assuming 50% microloan potential users)
- Regional expansion with partnerships (microlenders, telecos, merchants/retailers in LatAm and potentially SEE), aiming to reach 120M users out of population of 662M with 72% internet natives and 50% unbanked or underserved.
- Global expansion powered by the Growr DAO, aiming to reach 640M+ of users out of 7.8B population with 51% internet natives and 32% unbanked or underserved.