Winter 2009

Peer-to-Peer Lending and Community Development Finance


Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks directly connect computer users online. Popular P2P platforms include eBay and Craigslist, for example, which have transformed the market for used consumer goods. Increasingly popular, however, are P2P lending sites that facilitate debt transactions by directly connecting borrowers and lenders on the Internet. In fact, since 2005, P2P lending sites have cropped up all over the world—Kiva, Micro- Place, Lending Club, and Prosper are a few examples. Currently a $647 million industry, online P2P lending is expected to grow to $5.8 billion by 2010.

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