Major U.S. Mortgage Lender Ditches Crypto Payments
Market Musings

Major U.S. Mortgage Lender Ditches Crypto Payments

3 months ago

Just six transactions were completed using crypto during a trial period spanning September and October, amid signs there was a lack of appetite among borrowers.

Major U.S. Mortgage Lender Ditches Crypto Payments

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One of America’s biggest mortgage lenders has stopped allowing repayments to be made using cryptocurrencies. 

United Wholesale Mortgage had unveiled the plans during the summer — making it the first to market with such an offering. 

But in a news release, the company said just six transactions had been completed using crypto during a trial period spanning September and October.

Leaving the door open to the service returning at some point in future, UVM’s president Mat Ishbia said: 

“We’re proud to be the first mortgage lender to successfully pilot this technology and further demonstrate that we’re innovating for the long term. As we said last quarter, we were going to look into accepting cryptocurrency and test it to see if it’s a faster, easier and cheaper solution and thanks to our innovative technology team members, the transactions were successful. Due to the current combination of incremental costs and regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space we’ve concluded we aren’t going to extend beyond a pilot at this time.”

UVM described the experiment as a “test-and-learn process” that will ensure the company is prepared once there is higher demand for crypto transactions — and the firm vowed to continue monitoring digital assets and blockchain technology. 

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A Lack of Demand

Speaking to CNBC, Ishbia explained that the company experimented with payments in Bitcoin, Ether and Dogecoin. But although borrowers thought that the concept was “cool,” he added: 

“There was not enough demand at the end of the day to really push the envelope too hard.” 

Even though Bitcoin was designed to be a means of payment — with El Salvador becoming the first country to embrace it as legal tender — the cryptocurrency is perceived by many as a more effective store of value.

Volatility also means that those who use BTC to pay off their mortgage could face a lot of uncertainty.