People Are Using Stimulus Checks to Buy Bitcoin
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has published on social media a chart showing a large spike in buys and/or deposits that are of exactly $1,200 on the cryptocurrency exchanges.
The chart implies that U.S. citizens are using their stimulus checks, distributed as part of a $2 trillion CARES Act, to buy cryptocurrency. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started distributing $290 billion in direct cash payments within the past week as part of the stimulus bill.
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) April 16, 2020
The IRS determines eligibility and check amounts by looking at a household’s adjusted gross income using its 2019 tax return. If it hasn’t yet been filed, it uses the 2018 tax return to determine the size of a household’s stimulus check.
Single filers who have an adjusted gross income below $75,000 receive a $1,200 payment, while married couples with an income below $150,000 will receive a $2,400 check. The U.S. government is also paying $500 per qualifying child under age 17.
The data is backed by accounts on social media, where users claim they’ll be using their stimulus checks to buy the flagship cryptocurrency. On Twitter, responding to a poll, users showed interest in using the stimulus check in the crypto space.
Will you spend any of your $1,200 check to buy crypto?
— Alex Svanevik (@ASvanevik) April 15, 2020
It’s worth noting that Armstrong’s data points to direct buys and deposits of exactly $1,200, meaning those who used their entire stimulus check to buy bitcoin. As such, it doesn’t reflect the amount of cryptocurrency that may have been bought with a portion of the $1,200.
Moreover, BTC could have been bought with the check elsewhere as well. Square’s Cash App, for example, allows users to route their stimulus check to BTC almost directly, as the funds can be received via the Cash app.
The stimulus checks were sent as a measure to support the economy amid the coronavirus-induced slowdown.