Some American taxpayers invested their stimulus check into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and they have been pleased by the results. According to a report by The Next Web, the price of Bitcoin has risen by nearly $3,000 since the first stimulus check was issued, meaning that those who bought some early on have turned a profit. Still, skeptics remain wary of this burgeoning online market.
The U.S. government issued the first big round of stimulus checks in mid-April, granting eligible taxpayers up to $1,200 each to help deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus. At the time, Bitcoin was reportedly trading for about $6,600. Now, the price is over $9,200, meaning that those who spent their entire stimulus check on 0.179 Bitcoin (BTC) saw the value rise from $1,200 to over $1,650. From the looks of it, many people did take this route and reap the rewards.
The cryptocurrency exchanges saw a considerable spike in Bitcoin sales when the stimulus checks began going out. For out-of-work Americans, the tests were essential to pay for housing, bills and supplies, yet for some, it was money to experiment with. Many were also desperate for a quick way to make more cash, not wanting to fall victim to the ensuing economic downturn.
One teasing Twitter account is even bragging about the continued rise in value. Each day, a user named "Bitcoin Stimulus" tweets the value of 0.179 BTC, showing what taxpayers would have if they had invested it.
Still, it is worth noting that, for most people, the stimulus check was not a luxury. According to a report by MarketPlace.org, more Americans used this payment for essential goods than did in 2001 or 2008 — the last two times the government has issued emergency relief payments. By and large, coronavirus stimulus checks went to overdue bills, rent, mortgages or household goods.
The data is in: people are using their cash assistance payments to keep a roof over their head or put food on the table.— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) May 23, 2020
This is why I continue to fight for putting money directly in the hands of hard-working Americans. #EMPAhttps://t.co/VSlpXhwuNH
It's also worth noting that Bitcoin is not always a surefire investment, nor are other forms of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin itself is likely past the prime of its value, having hit a peak value of $20,000 in December of 2017. While some financial experts claim to have an understanding of the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, it remains a confusing prospect for many people.
Some cryptocurrency advocates — including lawmakers — have called for the Treasury Department to adopt blockchain technology to send the next round of stimulus checks directly to Americans. They argue that this will streamline the process and ensure everyone gets the vital funds they need. Though critics say, this is the wrong time to adopt a radical new technology.