Cryptocurrency exchanges aren’t seeing a much anticipated surge in bitcoin (BTC) purchases by retail customers using the $1,400 stimulus checks they received from the U.S. government as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
The news might come as a disappointment to bitcoin bulls who speculated the latest round of “stimmy checks” might push up bitcoin prices past $60,000 or beyond. The cryptocurrency is down 11% this week after slipping 2.8% last week. It is changing hands at press time around $51,300.
The checks are still being distributed, so it might be too early to call the hyped-up episode a dud. But that’s what it looks like so far. The Japanese brokerage firm Mizuho relied on a survey to estimate earlier this month that some $40 billion of the latest round of direct stimulus checks could be spent on bitcoin and stocks.
“While it is too early to comment on the amount of money coming to our platform from the recent stimulus, we’d note that during the previous stimulus fundings, we saw significant deposits with like amounts to the individual stimulus checks,” Steve Ehrlich, CEO of Voyager, a U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, told CoinDesk in an email sent by a spokesperson.
An earlier round of stimulus resulted in a spike in deposits that were exactly the same amount as the $1,200 stimulus check at the time, according to an April 2020 tweet by Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S.