Hoseki aims to provide a framework for bitcoin holders looking to leverage their BTC.
Hoseki, an app used to attest to a user’s digital asset holdings without storing the assets itself as a custodian, has formed a partnership with Ledn, the Canada-based crypto lending platform that’s testing a bitcoin-backed mortgage product.
After emerging from stealth mode at this year’s Bitcoin Miami conference, Hoseki is working with Ledn, which raised $70 million late last year, to provide bitcoin holders with “proof-of-assets” services. The approach is similar to industry-grade proof-of-reserves for custodians, something seen as a vehicle for establishing trust in a market that has often lacked it.
Hoseki is seeking to build a framework that allows people to express ownership in bitcoin, said the startup’s CEO, Sam Abbassi. He compared owning digital assets to owning property on the American frontier in the Old West.
“If I have my bitcoin on a Trezor (a digital wallet), there isn’t really an easy way for me to express ownership of that to a counterparty, if I’m trying to get a mortgage, for example,” Abbassi said in an interview, adding:
“I can maybe take a screenshot, but it’s very imperfect. I can also move it to an exchange, potentially, and export a statement. But those statements aren’t standardized; they’re missing some of the information that underwriters, brokers and lenders want.”
It could be said Hoseki is providing a layer of institutional-grade tooling for personal wallets. Bitcoin natively enforces its own property rights, as Abbassi points out, and so the idea is to place a simple wrapper around that, rather than creating complex abstractions, he said.
Ledn is at the test stage with its bitcoin mortgage product (a similar service was recently announced by Figure), which Abbassi sees as “low-hanging fruit.” He said the Hoseki alpha product will be out at the end of May or early June and a number of partnerships with bitcoin companies are lined up.
“The mortgage use case is our go-to market,” Abbassi said. “It’s a very real problem that people have today, and something that I went through personally, and a lot of my friends have gone through. So we thought that was the most palpable thing to launch with.”