Lending Protocol Founders to Launch 'Neo-Bank' Offering Interest on USDC

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The founders of lending protocol Nuo are launching a "Neo-bank" to attract more retail users.

Varun Deshpande, Ratnesh Ray and Siddharth Verma - who launched the Nuo protocol in 2018 - are now launching a new digital banking platform called Juno.

Juno will be built on top of ethereum, rely on the Nuo protocol and is expected to launch in either February or March of 2020, Deshpande told CoinDesk.

The startup's flagship product will allow users to hold the dollar-pegged USDC stablecoin and earn a 5.5 percent annual interest rate.

In August, lending startup Dharma announced it would relaunch its services with stablecoin accounts that offer returns based on the Compound lending protocol.

Dharma's site currently advertises an interest rate of 7.7 percent.

Juno plans to launch initially in the U.S., Europe, Singapore and Japan.

Prior to this round, Nuo received investments of $500,000 from ConsenSys Labs and $250,000 from payments firm PayU. Deshpande explained that the platform will be able to offer its 5.5 percent yield from the interest it makes from short-term, crypto-collateralized loans - as well as loans for margin trading that it makes through Nuo.

Nuo currently has $25 million in deposits and $20 million in loans disbursed.

Deshpande says Juno's deposits will be insured by a price volatility insurance fund that Nuo is building and smart-contract insurance.