On Thursday, BitLendingClub confirmed that it will be terminating its P2P Bitcoin lending platform in 2017. The announcement was made in a blog post confirming the details of an earlier email that had sparked a flurry of rumors throughout the day. BitLendingClub cited regulatory pressure as the reason for the planned shutdown, but assured its users that the platform will continue to provide “minimal functionality” for existing users so that current loans can be repaid and funds can be withdrawn. Restrictions on functionality are expected to begin as early as next week.
The BitLendingClub team explained the decision by noting, “that’s the reality of operating a business in the Bitcoin ecosystem. There are regulatory pressures, which make business extremely difficult and we have always done everything possible to be compliant with regulators. Given that we’ve reached the point where it is no longer feasible to run the platform and be compliant, we have decided to terminate the platform.”
Once the platform restrictions begin, registrations, loan requests, and most other functions be disabled. According to the announcement, the current plan is for the service to completely end by August of 2017, with the platform continuing to operate for an additional 30 days after the last loan is settled. That 30-day period will provide users the time they need to ensure that all funds are withdrawn from the platform.