UWM to start accepting mortgage payments in crypto

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the second-largest mortgage lender in the US, is the latest mainstream company to embrace crypto. A report unveiled this news on August 17, referencing the company’s Q2 earnings call on August 16. Reportedly, the firm is looking to integrate crypto payments before the end of the year.

According to the report, UWM will be the first organization of its kind in the US to adopt crypto payments. Through this move, the company seeks to further its pioneering and innovative efforts by offering clients an option to pay their mortgage in digital currencies. The firm’s initial plan involves accepting Bitcoin (BTC). However, the company is looking to embrace Ethereum (ETH) before adding support for several other altcoins. 

Explaining this cautious approach, UWM’s CEO, Mat Ishbia said the company aims to walk before running in as much as it is bullish on crypto. Ishbia disclosed that UWM has already assessed the feasibility and requirements needed to start accepting crypto for mortgage payments. He added that UWM has been working hard to integrate a crypto payment option and that the service might go live as early as Q3, 2021.

Mounting regulatory pressure

UWM did not reveal whether it intends to hold the digital assets it receives. Nonetheless, its decision to embrace crypto payments comes as US financial watchdogs and policymakers continue intensifying scrutiny on crypto after the recent crash. For instance, the Senate recently passed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which requires crypto brokers to report crypto gains.

However, the bill’s definition of a broker is too broad, seeing as its wording states a broker is anyone that regularly provides any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person. According to crypto advocates, this definition might potentially target miners, developers, and stakers. Considering all these parties don’t have customers, they would lack access to the information needed to remain compliant.

Gary Gensler, the SEC’s Chair, also wrote a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying the agency needs more authority over the crypto sector. According to him, crypto investors lack adequate protection, seeing as both centralized and decentralized crypto trading platforms violate either securities, banking, or commodities laws. 

While the crypto crash forced regulators to come up with ways to regulate the industry, the market is currently recovering, with BTC trading above $50,000 for the first time in three months. 

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