Peer-to-peer lending has existed for thousands of years. If you have ever loaned money to a friend, then you have participated in it. But it is only in the last few years that it has moved beyond just the exchange of money between friends and family. Today, peer-to-peer lending is becoming a big new industry that is independent of the traditional financial system. But before we delve into this topic let's get some clarity. What exactly do we mean today by peer-to-peer lending?