Participatory . . . lending?
The Web 2.0 revolution has brought user participation to a new level. Thanks to sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, and the newly announced Media Predict, mere mortals can create and judge content previously controlled by large media companies.
Prosper.com and Kiva.org both connect borrowers directly with lenders, without bank intermediaries. Prosper allows users to solicit lenders by posting their need and fully explaining their situation. They can then borrow from (or lend to) multiple individuals, at various dollar amounts and interest rates. Taking a similar approach, Kiva puts a slightly more philanthropic spin on participatory lending: it facilitates microlending. You can make small loans to entrepreneurs in developing nations, where access to credit is difficult to come by.
What do you think? Would you borrow/lend on such a site? Should banks be afraid?