Crypto Lender Becomes First Credit Shop to Expand on Solana

Crypto capital marketplace Maple Finance has expanded to Solana in a bid to capture ongoing growth and utilize low transaction fees


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key takeaways

  • The move will allow projects involving DAOs and NFTs, among others, to earn higher interest yields in Circle’s USDC stablecoin via Solana
  • X-Margin, a platform that privately monitors the real-time risk of borrowers, has become the first pool delegate

Crypto capital marketplace Maple Finance said it has become the first undercollateralized lending protocol to expand on the Solana blockchain.

Maple’s product primarily targets institutional lenders, including individuals, aiming to allocate otherwise “idle” capital to a “diversified” liquidity pool, according to a statement Monday. The protocol also said it has become the only multichain capital markets solution in the industry.

Following its recent, fast expansion onto the Ethereum blockchain, Maple said it was hoping to capture a portion of the “massive financing needs” of the Solana ecosystem. Mounting ether gas fees (fees to power network transactions), as well as Solana’s high number of big-money investors, have helped drive Maple’s expansion to seek alternatives, it said.

“Solana has a vibrant ecosystem of decentralized autonomous organizations, non-fungible token projects and whales which hold significant Solana USDC (USDC-SPL),” Quinn Barry, head of Maple Solana, told Blockworks. “By bringing Maple to Solana, we are enabling these projects to earn a high risk-adjusted yield on their native USDC-SPL without having to use bridges or centralized exchanges.”

Coinciding with its launch on Solana, the first pool delegate to tag along is a platform that uses confidential computing and cryptographic proofs to privately monitor the real-time risk of borrowers known as X-Margin. The delegate is expected to manage an initial pool of $45 million denominated in Circle’s USDC stablecoin on Solana and open to deposits of $5 million.

Pool delegates in decentralized finance (DeFi) act as gatekeepers for lending, including screening new borrowers and managing the balance of a given pool.

Capital diverted to a pool is syndicated and issued as loans to Solana-native corporate borrowers, which so far include FTX parent Alameda Research, crypto trading firm Nibbio and investment firm Nascent, which will utilize the funding to scale their operations.

Maple acquired decentralized finance lending protocol Avari in January in a bid to expedite the company’s Solana’s launch, while scooping up a team of Stanford engineers, including Barry and Jeffrey Hu.

“Maple proved to be a critical infrastructure provider to not only blockchain companies but increasingly traditional institutions entering the space,” Maple CEO Sidney Powell said. “Building the first multi-chain capital markets solution will, in turn, attract higher quality lenders and borrowers.”

Powell told Blockworks last month that Maple is targeting $5 billion in loans by the end of the year. 

About $3 billion is projected to come from Maple’s existing business, while $1 billion would come from its Maple Solana offering. The remaining projected $1 billion is expected to come from institutional lending to miners.

Asked whether Maple had plans to expand across other chains, Barry said his team was focused on bringing its product to Solana as well as Ethereum.

“We view Maple as a chain-agnostic offering and wanted to skate where the puck is heading by bringing Maple to the fast-growing Solana ecosystem,” Barry said. “However, we are always evaluating new opportunities and have long-term plans to continue expanding horizontally cross-chain.”

Ben Strack contributed reporting.

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