Blockchain: It's where you can buy Bitcoin, digital pictures of Bored Apes, and—for a brief time—Teslas.

Also: houses.

USDC.Homes, a company that partners with mortgage lenders and brokers to facilitate crypto home loans, has completed its first sale via DeFi lending protocol Teller.

The new owner took out a $500,000 USDC stablecoin mortgage on an Austin, Texas, condo valued at $680,000.


Teller is calling it the "first unsecured DeFi mortgage;" the borrower didn't put up collateral (though he did make a down payment in USDC) but won the loan on the strength of his credit score.

Moreover, Teller says that all of the loan transactions took place on-chain via Polygon's Ethereum sidechain for making transactions faster and cheaper.

Unpacking crypto mortgages

The upside of crypto mortgages is that those who hold a lot of digital assets don't need to liquidate their holdings to buy a home—which would trigger capital gains taxes.

Decentralized finance loans–which enable people to lend and borrow via a computer program without using a bank or other intermediary—have typically required collateral. This means that to get a loan in crypto, you have to first deposit a certain amount. If the price of the cryptocurrency drops too much, the protocol can then cash out your deposit to avoid a loss.


Teller, by contrast, specializes in no-collateral lending by mingling on-chain lending with off-chain data, such as credit reports.

To Teller founder and CEO Ryan Berkun, it blends the best of both worlds: "This innovative mortgage loan market, built on the Teller protocol, integrates a mainstream user experience with the digital asset backend infrastructure of DeFi."

USDC.Homes has plans to expand beyond Austin to all of Texas and, eventually, the rest of the U.S.

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