P2P Giant Dianrong is Preparing for Full Blockchain Integration

The newly appointed chief financial officer of P2P lending platform Dianrong has some big plans for blockchain.

Already, Dianrong has co-founded a blockchain lending platform called Chained Finance; now, less than a week after the firm hired IPO expert Yawen Cui, he has revealed comprehensive plans to swap over much of the startup’s services to a blockchain.

In a statement provided to CoinDesk, the former CFO of AliSports said his new employer’s focus on transparency and compliance made it a natural fit for widespread use of the technology.

Cui said:

“We are integrating blockchain technology across our entire platform, where appropriate, to further enhance transparency and security for our borrowers and lenders.”

Founded in 2012 by Lending Club co-founder Soul Htite, the Shanghai-based company has raised $219m venture capital from Standard Chartered, Cross Pacific Capital Partners and others to help put non-bank lenders in touch with borrowers.

By January of this year, Dianrong had released a statement showing that 3.62 million investors had originated a total of ¥16.2bn in loans last year alone, a 148% increase over the previous year, and its fourth year of growth.

Then, last month the firm revealed it had joined Taiwan-based Foxconn to launch Chained Finance, a blockchain trade finance platform built using technology from the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project.

While Cui didn’t provide details about Dianrong’s blockchain efforts, the firm’s website details plans for what the company calls ‘D-Chain’, an ethereum-based solution designed to facilitate tamper-proof loan contracts, donations to charity and credit management.

Dianrong d-chain

Blockchain IPO?

Cui’s hire is notable in that it comes after, not only one of Dianrong’s most profitable years according to voluntarily disclosed numbers, but during a time when a public offering has long been planned.

IPO talk around Dianrong goes back at least to 2015 when The Wall Street Journal reported that Htite had set his sights on a $500m public offering. His last P2P firm, Lending Club, is currently valued at $2.32bn.

In June 2016, Htite spoke again of going public, this time to the South China Morning Post. At that time, he said he was open to going public in either China or the US, and set the target IPO timeline for two years.

While Cui didn’t comment on the matter in his statement to CoinDesk, he expressed his confidence in the technology, saying:

“Blockchain is revolutionizing the finance industry.”

Image of Soul Htite via Dianrong

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