Quarantined Masses Shopping With Bitcoin (BTC) Amid COVID-19 Fears
Quarantine measures imposed by states the world over in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a surge in screen time use and online shopping among the masses. Interestingly, this has also had a bearing on the use of cryptocurrencies for online shopping leading to “unprecedented growth” for several crypto payment processors. This, according to a report by Coindesk, March 13, 2020.
Coronavirus Boosts Bitcoin Use
Declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has had a trickling down effect on the use of cryptocurrencies at large as according to recent data, the use of Bitcoin has skyrocketed as a result of people quarantined at home by states the world over.
Bitcoin rewards application Lolli states that its sales have doubled “from retailers supplying food and essentials such as Safeway and Vitacost.” Aubrey Strobel, Head of Communications, Lolli, told Coindesk:
“The majority of Lolli’s merchants are online. As a result, our sales have dramatically increased over the last couple of weeks as a reaction to the pandemic. We expect to see this continue over the next several weeks as people transition to a remote work schedule and prepare for COVID-19.”
For the uninitiated, Lolli is a Bitcoin-powered app that rewards users with BTC when they shop at supported merchants. Earlier this year, BTCManager reported how the app had inked partnerships with more than 950 merchants across the world in a bid to introduce the premier cryptocurrency to the masses.
Crypto Payments Blew Expectations
Similarly, Strike by Zap, a Lightning implementation that is still in beta, almost shut down after witnessing exorbitant payments in the form of cryptocurrencies from users. Jack Maller, CEO, Zap, said that the app’s wallet “crushed its all-time highs last week.”
“We were not prepared to do this much volume. I had to make emergency phone calls to our trading counterparties to make sure the app wouldn’t crash.”
“When bitcoin volatility is to the upside, maybe people increase their spending – people generating wealth have a tendency to spend it – but the reverse is usually not the case.”
At press time, per data from CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin is trading at $5,439 with a market cap of just above $99 million.