BTCJam is both the largest and the most controversial of the BTC based lending platforms. Much of the controversy surrounds trust issues in the platform. Some of Jam's shortcomings have led investors to believe that they care about posting loans and generating fees more than they care about protecting those that invest in loans on their platform.
Even those like me who believe their shortcomings are due to being overwhelmed with pressure to perform for their equity investors, it is clear that they have things to work on to improve themselves and trust in them and their platform. In Jam's defense, 6 years ago, Prosper and Lending Club were both in a relatively similar place. Prosper had to refile with the SEC and enter a quiet period with no new business, starting in October 2008 and had to rebuild slowly to their trusted status achieved today. Lending Club did the same thing 6 months earlier in April 2008 and only in October 2008 were they allowed to resume business after SEC approval. Many thought neither would survive instead of learning and growing to become the most trusted platforms (and largest) in the entire marketplace lending industry.
Maybe Jam will get through these growing pains. They have made 2 very important strategic hires that show me they understand that they need to improve their operation and their relationship with those that lend on their platform.
5 days ago, Jam announced that they hired Thomas Hunt, twitter handle @madbitcoins, of Bitcoin Media to be their new Community Manager. Thomas is a veteran in the BTC world with Mad Bitcoins and the Bitcoin Talk Show and is a welcome addition in an area of need for Jam. Jam needs to better engage with its community and, if nothing else, Hunt's hire will ensure that there is more engagement. Hunt's already proven advocacy for BTC will be a nice plus for Jam too. I'm looking forward to talking with him.
New Board Member
Just yesterday, Jam announced that they hired the Bitcoin Foundation's Executive Director, Patrick Murck to join their board. For those who don't know, the Bitcoin Foundation is a non-profit group whose goal is to protect, utilize, standardize and grow Bitcoin's underlying technology. Murck has been the Executive Director since October and is considered one of the leading attorneys in the Crypto area of the law. Previously, he had been the general counsel for the Foundation. His expertise will be invaluable to Jam and its users as they try to grow and navigate the legal and regulatory environment for years to come.
BTCJam has made some excellent strategic moves in the last week to tighten up their operations and show that they know they have areas where they are falling short. I hope Patrick and Thomas get integrated quickly and that their positive impact on the platform will be seen sooner, rather than later.