Users See 'Buying Opportunity' in Coronavirus Market Downturn, Says

Retail interest in cryptocurrencies is growing as COVID-19 shakes markets and central banks take drastic steps to steady the global economy, the firm says.

AccessTimeIconMar 25, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:22 a.m. UTC

Even as markets were shaken by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, exchange and payment provider says interest in cryptocurrencies reached an all-time high.

CEO and co-founder Kris Marszalek told CoinDesk that transaction volumes on more than doubled between December and February, with app downloads also hitting all-time highs. "We saw a million users on our platform last September, and we continue to grow on a monthly basis in double-digit terms," he said.

Based in Hong Kong, provides app-based trading services as well as crypto payment solutions through a Visa-powered bank card. When it was known as Monaco, the company raised a total of $26.7 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017. It changed its name to after purchasing the domain name for a reported $10 million in 2018.

Marszalek says the recent robust growth could be a response to the radical steps central banks are taking to stabilize financial markets. In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the Federal Reserve on Monday launched quantitative easing (QE) with scope to purchase an unlimited amount of Treasury bills and mortgage-backed securities to prop up the U.S. financial system.

"People are very interested in crypto in this challenging time," Marszalek said, adding that digital assets could offer investors an independent store of value and a possible hedge against the possible side-effects of QE.

Retail investors continued to use the platform even when the market tanked less than two weeks, he added: "People view this as a buying opportunity."

Other platforms, too, experienced runaway volumes in recent weeks. Brian Norton, COO of MyEtherWallet, said there were now more people buying ether (ETH) on its platform than ever before. “We have never seen these numbers, not even during the big crash in winter 2018," he added.

Binance.US CEO Catherine Coley said her firm had had "unprecedented trading volumes" with a particular interest in stablecoins and bitcoin (BTC). "Bitcoin’s recent jump while the rest of the market tumbles proves that unlike traditional companies, Bitcoin can and will survive without bailouts," she said.

While would not disclose precise numbers, a spokesperson said March 2020 saw record trading volumes on the platform at levels three times higher than in December 2019.

"Crypto was built for a crisis like this," said Marszalek. "February was a record month, and March looks to be even better."


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