Crypto Week in Review: Stimulus Bill Ignites the Debate Over Digital Dollars

This is a guest post from Voyager, a crypto brokerage firm with a commission-free trading app.

Market Snapshot

This week, Bitcoin (BTC) broke away from the traditional market, remaining in positive territory as the S&P lost close to 3%.

Top Gainers (7-day):

Quant Network (QNT) +42%

Numeraire (NMR) +25.4%

Maker (MKR) +12.6%

Monero (XMR) +12%

XRP (XRP) +9.2%

as of 11:02 pm (EST) on 3/28/20

Digital Dollar for Stimulus Package

On Wednesday, the United States passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief stimulus package that includes stipends of up to $1,200 for qualifying Americans. As the government mulled over the best way to get money to an estimated 125 million people, the need for a digital dollar became the topic of conversation.

The House Financial Services Committee mentioned the concept of a digital dollar in an early version of the bill that began to circulate this week, leading many to speculate that the U.S. had joined the likes of China and Sweden in the race to create a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

In the final version, lawmakers excluded the digital dollar and instead announced plans to make direct deposits to the bank accounts people used to receive tax returns in 2018 and 2019. For those without bank accounts or direct deposit, a check will be sent in the mail.

The proposed plan to distribute stipends immediately raised red flags. For starters, millions of Americans don’t have bank accounts and therefore fall into the group that will receive their checks in the mail, which could take several weeks. The delay poses a threat to Americans hit hardest by the coronavirus fallout, who need financial support immediately.

If the infrastructure to distribute a digitized dollar existed, Americans could receive their funds securely and near-instantly without having to leave their homes. Companies like HyperLedger, which is working to build CBDCs on the Ethereum blockchain, are up for the challenge and have reportedly accelerated their efforts to meet the projected needs of governments around the globe.

Unfortunately, a digital dollar won’t be the hero of this stimulus package, but hopefully, this crisis will inspire a new wave of blockchain innovation in America.

1 in 4 trading Firms Have Adopted Crypto

A report from the derivatives analysis firm Acuiti found that institutional interest in crypto is growing. The study surveyed 86 “senior executives from the buy-side, sell-side, and proprietary trading groups specialized in traditional derivatives trading, clearing and execution,” and found that 26% had adopted crypto in some form.

Of the firms that do not currently support crypto assets, 45% are planning on revisiting the idea within the next six months, and 97% of firms indicated a willingness to reconsider their decision within two years.

Across all markets surveyed, client demand for digital assets outpaced the willingness of firms to offer crypto trading products. At Voyager, we’ve also seen demand increase, with 2.6x more customers buying than selling despite volatile market conditions.

The United States of Crypto

Where do crypto-lovers live? A new study from CoinTracker found that the city of Ashburn, Virginia, has more cryptocurrency users per capita than anywhere else in the United States, followed by Redmond, Washington, in second place.

San Francisco took the crown for the highest number of total holders and is also home to the wealthiest of the crypto community. According to the report, the average SF user has more than $55,000 in their crypto portfolio. Following close behind the neighboring cities of Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and San Mateo.

Of all the cities surveyed, more than 50% of cryptocurrency users hold Bitcoin, and nearly 30% Ethereum.


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The original Voyager post can be found here. You can earn $25 in BTC by signing up for the Voyager app and trading $100 (or use code SLUDGE25).

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