As many parts of the world prepare to go into lockdown to prevent the community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic, chances are reasonably high that stock markets around the world may temporarily close within the next few days.
The question now obviously is, if that happens, what will be the likely impact on Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market? That, and more, on today’s crypto news roundup for March 22.
Bitcoin May Be the ‘Last Asset Standing’
News media around the world has been reporting that a shutdown of stock markets may be on the table in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a market that never sleeps, the cryptocurrency market is unlikely to have any such issue.
For cryptocurrency traders, this has been a defining feature that sets it apart from any other financial market. This also means that it may survive any shutdowns caused by the coronavirus.
Bitcoin Gets a Boost in Venezuela as Bank Branches Close Down
Earlier this week, President Nicolas Maduro instated a country-wide quarantine to slow the spread of the virus in Venezuela. Now, reports are emerging that physical bank branches in the country have been shuttered, which has led to a spike in digital asset trading. Several first-hand reports on crypto Twitter have confirmed this.
Bitfinex is Removing Dozens of Trading Pairs
In a recent announcement, the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange revealed plans to remove 87 trading pairs. This will be done to ‘optimize the trading experience’ due to these pairs presumably being illiquid.
Could Central Bank Digital Currencies Replace Fiat?
Cryptocurrencies are defying the age-old monopoly of central banks on issuing currency. Threatened with the prospect of digital tokens replacing fiat currency, central banks are now exploring the idea of a central bank-issued digital currency. What does it mean for the future of fiat and cash-based transactions?
‘No Limit’ on Stimulus Spending
With the economic fallout from the lockdowns becoming more severe, major institutions are now claiming that the economic stimulus should essentially have no cap. For example, Bank of America’s top economist Michelle Meyer recently commented that there should be no upper bound for the size of stimulus as the government prepares a policy response in the wake of the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.