Zharta: Instant NFT Loans Simplified

Zharta made a splash on the NFT lending scene in 2023, recording the highest-ever Fidenza-backed ETH loan and accumulating more than $1 million in lending volume.

What is Zharta? How is it different? And how do its loans work?

Find out in our Zharta starter guide.

Why Zharta?

The financialization of digital assets, particularly Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), has become a major trend in the past few years. The aggregate NFT lending market has seen over $2B in NFT lending and is on an uptrend.

In the lending scene, there are players who have been entrenched in the space since early 2021 as well as newcomers joining in 2023 looking to make an impact.

But to make an impact, newcomers usually have to offer differentiators to attract users.

This is an area Zharta has leaned into heavily. Zharta's primary differentiators from other lenders operating in the NFT space include:

  • No auto-liquidations: Pay back the loan and never worry about losing the NFT. There is no threshold in which the NFT would be liquidated and taken.
  • Owners retain NFT utility: Zharta has partnered with Delegate Cash to ensure the NFT owner is able to capture any utility offered (i.e. airdrops, event access, access to Discord servers, etc.) during the loan period as if they still held the NFT.
  • Customizable options based on need: Loan options are provided on a sliding scale of LTV and rates based on the borrowers' needs, from Degen (highest LTV, highest interest) to Normal to Farmer (lowest LTV, lowest interest).
  • Repay early, pay less: Even if loans have fixed duration, borrowers can repay early and pay interest in a pro-rata fashion; only the interest accrued has to be paid.
  • NFT bundling: Multiple NFTs can be bundled into a single loan, while maintaining those features above. This feature is particularly useful if you have multiple lower-value NFTs that, when combined, can support a larger loan.

Now that we have laid out its differentiators, let's back up and talk about what Zharta is.

What Is Zharta?

Zharta's mission is to "create an NFT Lending protocol with a non-custodial solution based on Lending Pools, AI price discovery models, and advanced risk modeling."

Zharta is a real-time, permissionless, peer-to-pool NFT loan platform that caters to both borrowers and lenders. It operates on smart contracts to offer instant liquidity against NFTs, thereby eliminating the need for outright sale. Zharta is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to anyone, regardless of their level of experience with DeFi or NFTs.

The platform offers a host of unique features designed to make the borrowing experience as seamless as possible. Borrowers have the option to bundle several NFTs into a single loan, which adds flexibility and could increase the total loan amount.

When you take out a loan, your NFTs used as collateral are held in a smart contract escrow. This means that the NFTs are held by the smart contract, and Zharta does not take custody of your assets.

The loans are also maturity-based, meaning you pay interest only for the duration of the loan term. Plus, Zharta offers full protection from liquidation during the term of the loan, further reducing the risk for borrowers. This means that even if the value of your NFT collateral drops, you won't be liquidated as long as you meet your repayment obligations.

Supported NFT collections span 37 projects across the PFP space and generative art. The list includes Fidenza, CryptoPunks, BAYC, Ringers, Gazers, Chromie Squiggles, MAYC, BAKC, Pudgy Penguins, Otherdeeds, Azuki, DeGods, Captainz, Doodles, Rektguy, Potatoz and more. See the full list here.

Pricing and Fees

One of the key differentiators for Zharta is its borrower-friendly fee structure. Unlike traditional financial institutions and some DeFi platforms, Zharta does not charge borrowers a fixed fee.

Along with no fixed fees, they also offer a "Pay-per-Day" system where borrowers are only charged for the interest accrued during the time of the loan. This approach reduces the cost for borrowers and makes the platform more accessible.

Let's take an example from the Zharta Loan Simulator. A 30-day loan on a floor Azuki NFT using Normie terms results in a 1.64% interest rate on a 10.1878 ETH loan (59.6% LTV), meaning the borrower owes 0.1675 ETH at the loan term. The daily rate is 0.05% or 0.0056 ETH. So if the borrower pays this loan back in 15 days vs 30 days, they pay only 0.084 ETH in interest vs 0.1675 ETH. The borrower pays per day.

The interest rate for each loan on Zharta is influenced by several factors. The primary considerations are the value and liquidity of the NFTs being used as collateral and the duration of the loan. As a result, borrowers have some influence over the interest rate they'll receive by adjusting these factors where possible.

Typical LTVs span 50% to 77.5% pending NFT collection and the loan period. APR range from 7.5% to 40%, also pending NFT collection and time frame.

Loans can be made in both ETH and USDC, though USDC loans fetch lower LTVs on average compared to their ETH counterparts.

How to Request a Loan

If you're an NFT owner and you're looking to leverage your assets, here's a detailed step-by-step guide on how to request a loan on Zharta:

  1. Visit the Zharta website. This is your gateway to unlocking liquidity from your NFT assets.

  2. Connect your wallet. To interact with Zharta's smart contracts and request a loan, you need to connect a wallet. This is a one-time process. The platform supports multiple wallet options, including MetaMask, a popular choice for many users in the DeFi and NFT space.

  3. Select the currency and period for your loan. Zharta provides you with various options to customize your loan according to your needs. Currently, the platform supports loans in ETH.

  4. Use the slider to select the loan amount. Zharta offers flexibility in terms of loan amounts. You can decide how much you want to borrow based on the value of your NFT collateral and your liquidity needs.

  5. After choosing your loan amount, you'll need to select your collateral. Zharta offers two options for this:

    • Auto-select: If you toggle auto-select on, Zharta will automatically suggest the assets you should use as collateral based on their value. You can deselect any suggested assets that you don't want to use.

    • Manual selection: If you prefer to choose your collateral, toggle auto-select off. You can then manually select the assets you want to collateralize. The platform will adjust the amount you can loan based on the total value of the selected assets.

  6. Once you've selected your collateral, review the loan details. Make sure the loan amount, interest rate, and repayment schedule align with your expectations. If you're satisfied with the terms, approve the quote to submit your loan request.

  7. Upon completion of the loan, you can see and manage your loan via the dashboard on the Zharta website. Here, you'll see a comprehensive view of your account, including your loan requests, outstanding loans, and repayment schedules.

Remember to pay close attention to the terms of the loan and make sure you are aware of the repayment schedule. Defaulting on your loan could lead to the liquidation of your NFT collateral. 

But even in the case of default, Zharta does offer one last borrower-friendly option in a grace period.

In the scenario where you do not pay the loan off before the due date, your NFT collateral enters a 48-hour grace period during which you can still repay the loan along with a penalty fee to get your NFTs back. After this period, the NFTs are offered to the lenders in your pool. If the NFTs are not sold within 48 hours, they are sold to a third party at the current market price.

A Real-World Zharta Loan Example

Enter Lucky Trader's own Tyler Warner, who tested the Zharta protocol with his own Pudgy Penguin.

What immediately jumped out to me when using Zharta was all of the options I had as the borrower.

I could select options from Degen to Normal to Farmer.

I could toggle the duration bar and see what my interest payments would be.

It was very nice to be presented with these options up front, allowing me to customize my loan on my own terms. And every change I made was instantly reflected in the Summary portion of the page, making it very easy to see how certain loan parameter changes impacted my bottom line.

I had the option to delegate my wallet and retain NFT utility (which I love) but didn't opt in for this loan example, mostly because I'm not expecting any Pudgy utility any time soon. But I would absolutely use this on other types of assets, and I've personally held NFTs in loans that received airdrops during the lending period so I understand firsthand the pain this entails.

I ended up toggling to a custom 15-day period using the Farmer conditions (I could have gone up to 90 days). This resulted in a 1.84 loan amount with just 0.0113 ETH in interest due (0.62% APY on a 42.5% LTV loan).

Once I had terms I was comfortable with and was ready to take my loan, it was done in just seconds and with a few clicks. I had the eth in my wallet instantly at the time of completion (side note, I loved that it was in eth and not weth, saving me a swap).

Post-loan, I had the option to enter my email to get updates on my loan, which I opted in for (I’m happy to give up an email address to get a reminder of my loan coming due).

I could then navigate to my dashboard and see my loan, for ongoing management until I pay it off.

Overall, the user experience was as good as any I have executed in the NFT lending space. The LTVs were fair and consistent with the industry, and the interest rates were also in line if not less than Zharta's competitors. The only downside that jumped out to me was the LTV range, which can be higher on other protocols (typically peer-to-peer), but it's an understandable tradeoff with the low-interest rates provided here (higher LTV typically comes with higher rates). My lending experience was great and I would use Zharta again.

The Zharta Team

The team behind Zharta (@ZhartaFinance) is all doxxed in an effort to promote trust and accountability. 

The 3 Lisbon-based co-founders include Nuno Cortesao (@NCortesao), Diogo Pires (@0xPirex) and Pedro Granate (@PGraniton).

Nuno is the co-founder and CEO, Diogo is the co-founder and CTO, and Pedro is the co-founder and COO.

Each has unique experience across major companies spanning blockchain and digital technology, with Nuno serving as the Head of Blockchain at Accenture Portugal, Diogo working at AppCoins and Mercedes-Benz in blockchain lead roles, and Pedro spending time in a Senior Project Manager role at Bosch.

The team encourages those interested in learning more to join their Discord and jump into the community of 6,000+ members.


As the NFT market continues to evolve and grow, the demand for financial products and services tailored to digital assets is increasing. Zharta is a newcomer but a growing presence in this larger shift, providing a platform that empowers NFT owners to unlock liquidity from their assets without selling them.

Zharta is positioned as a borrower-friendly protocol and is committed to foster the growth and vitality of the ecosystem, assisting holders in unlocking liquidity from their NFTs in the safest and easiest way possible. Users and the user experience are front and center and the core of Zharta's business.

Whether you're an NFT enthusiast or a casual holder, understanding how Zharta works can help you get the most value from your NFTs. Always remember to do your own research, understand the risks involved, and make informed decisions when interacting with DeFi platforms.

Happy borrowing!

For those with questions or looking to learn more, feel free to reach out to the founders on Twitter or on Discord (linked above in the Team section).

Disclaimer: Zharta is a Lucky Trader partner.