A little Background to COVID-19

As far back as 167 days ago[1], the SARS CoV2 has been unleashing terror on humanity. From its original roots in the Chinese city of Wuhan, COVID-19 has inexorably spread to the nooks and crannies of geographies lived thereon by humans on planet Earth. The Chinese virus – as Donald Trump often refers to it – continues to leave in its trail quite a significant amount of casualties, ranging from death to economic woes such as bankruptcy and national recessions, amongst other challenges.

How does this relate to cryptocurrencies? Well, the simple answer is that COVID-19 is all out to disrupt – change the ways, lifestyle, and everything relating to humans, cryptocurrencies not excluded. The pandemic is actively rejigging and changing how humans hitherto related to cryptocurrencies, as it brings to the fore the inevitability or unavoidability of change in narratives. You’ll come to understand more in a sec.

The COVID-19 and Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies: Much Touted Hygienic Measures

Even if we agree to tentatively take eyes off the filth that comes with money made unethically, one truth still stands tall – money is literarily so dirty. Yes, those banknotes we all carry about in our pockets and wallets to be used in the exchange of goods and services. So, because of the cotton materials used in making them, it becomes easier for them to gather filth and microbes. Money changes hands in banks, homes, restaurants and every other place you can think of, touching every surface that there is, as well as collecting, carrying, and transferring pathogens from one person to the other. And, it’s not like this much-sought but germ-infested payment means receives intermittent scrub downs as we do for other germ-infested mediums and surfaces such as water closet units.

As if the above isn’t enough, that which even makes the situation nastier is that when persons infected with COVID-19 touch surfaces, they easily pass on the virus to such surfaces – banknotes inclusive. So, if an asymptomatic or asymptomatic person gives you a thousand Naira banknote and you collect it, your risk of getting infected rises to 90%. In societies like Nigeria where there still exists a preference for banknote exchanges in day-to-day commerce, you can imagine the huge number of people that would have contracted the virus through banknotes alone.

This reality accounts for why the People’s Bank of China encouraged a switch to electronic payments as at the time the virus raged mercilessly in Wuhan, China. Even when China finally managed to weed out the virus – while the rest of the world continued to suffer unabatedly – the country suspended the outflow of banknotes from major infected cities for at least 14 days. During that time the notes are sterilized with ultraviolet light and heat to destroy whatever COVID-19 pathogen may still be stuck on them.

Now, for the rest of the world still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, cryptocurrencies adoption and usage is a veritable means for inhibiting or limiting bank notes-related spread of the near-fatal virus. This way, we can limit the danger of people coming into contact with the notes that carry the virus.

One Step Forward, Multiple Backward

At this point, you must already be fantasizing about how valuable cryptocurrencies must be now and how crypto traders must be smiling to the bank. Of course, we all know that the mass adoption and trading of a product brings with it higher profitability for dealers of such currency – especially those who bought it when the cost price was so low.

Unfortunately, that is nowhere near reality. Holders of the popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, have been counting their woes since the novel virus went on a global rampage. Within the few months that the virus has induced a global shutdown of economic activities and a recession seems to be in the offing, Bitcoin has suffered record – level price falls.

Now, the reason for this intermittent and groundbreaking fall is not unrelated to the reality of this uncertain time. In times like this, people are driven by fear and therefore try as much to move away from investing in risky assets. And we all know that pandemic or no pandemic, Bitcoin is prominent for its price instability. It can, therefore, be said that bitcoin magnets have managed to sell off their bitcoin assets all at once to invest in stable assets such as gold.

Just as well, many small-scale bitcoin owners that invest in Bitcoin as side hustles, have had to sell off their bitcoin units to buy extra supplies –  such as food, medical products – and have liquid cash at hand with which they can cover day-to-day expenses since the varying lockdown measures in most countries have prevented much of the working population from working and making money.

The Probable Bullish Outlook – Going Forward

Now, this author is no prophet of doom, but if this pandemic drags on for far too long, cryptocurrencies may take precedence over electronic transactions denominated in domestic, national currencies.

The above is feasible because, whereas many countries are depleting their financial resources to fight the pandemic through social intervention measures and viral fighting funds, no meaningful economic activity is ongoing to replenish the huge amount that is being expended.

It’s thus safe to say that when this pandemic becomes history, many countries would most likely plunge into financial crises as the worth of national currencies take significant hits. Citizens would by that time lose faith in their national currencies, and most reasonably resort to cryptocurrencies as a store of their money. And this isn’t theoretical or armchair reasoning – it has once played out like that in the past.

In 2013, Cyprus experienced a significant financial crisis that disillusioned its citizens. With the domestic currency having failed them, citizens turned to cryptocurrencies for succor. Astonishingly, bitcoin trading went as high as 87% within that period.

It also played out in Turkey in the year 2018 when the Turkish currency, the Lira, steadily spiraled down in value. Cryptocurrency trading at that time rose to unprecedented levels in the Middle Eastern country.

In Venezuela too, the cryptocurrency adoption as at the time the oil-producing country went into its 2019 financial crisis, was pretty much unheard of in history. Despite the free fall of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency at that time, Venezuelans saw the coin as a much better and superior store of value to the hyper dash inflated domestic currency –the Bolivar.

So, God help humanity be able to recover as soon as possible in the aftermath of this pandemic or national currencies may start to make the ground-breaking hits that would pave way for global crypto adoption than humanity has ever seen.

For crypto-pessimists who’d rather hedge their bet on humanity’s switch to gold rather than crypto, let’s hope your precious stone comes in handy when you need to complete seamless transnational transactions.

Playing Your Part in the Fight Against the Common Enemy

Despite the many scientific unknowns regarding COVID-19, some facts still hold true. These agreed truths are what we all should focus on while we leave science to figure out the unknowns.

Like it’s been severally submitted in books, the observance of the trio of body, social, and environmental hygiene by individuals go a long way in inhibiting the further spread of the virus. It is important that we all adhere to these many medical recommendations, and work together to save humanity from the common enemy.

Bottom Line

In all, no one has and no one would be able to perfectly predict how these would turn out. Cryptocurrencies were created and destined to save the world from recessions – such as the one that is, unfortunately, lying in wait for most countries when this all ends. It looks like that destiny would unfold sooner than the later that we all thought it would take. Now’s perhaps the time for you to do that research and make that investment in the cryptocurrency of your choice.

[1] The virus broke out in Wuhan around the 12th of December, 2019 –according to Wuhan Municipal Authority-   but was only reported to the WHO on 31st December, 2019

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