Who would have imagined a year ago how different our lives would be in just 12 months? Without a doubt, last November will remain an important point in human history – the time when it all began. While “patient zero” has not yet been confirmed – if at all – we now know that it all started in China on November 17, 2019 when the first patient reportedly showed symptoms of a novel coronavirus disease called COVID-. 19, according to the South China Morning Post, with references to government data.
In January 2020, the city of Wuhan in central China suffered from the massively growing COVID-19 epidemic. According to a publication in, 41 admitted hospital patients were identified with laboratory confirmed cases The lancet. Just two months later, in March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. One by one, governments around the world closed their national borders, suspended public events and banned gatherings of people. Two terms were discovered in the conversation that were previously rarely used and have now been declared 2020 Words of the Year by the British Collins Dictionary: “Lockdown” and “Social Distancing”.
It is difficult to imagine which areas of our lives are not affected by these dramatic and tragic events. The number of confirmed worldwide cases exceeds 55 million.
Despite everything, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has also had a positive impact on the world. European conservatism, which has long relied on the traditional financial system, was challenged when the pandemic forced Europeans to switch to cashless payments and cryptocurrencies. Some say it even accelerated the global adoption of crypto and DLT-based business solutions around the world by changing people’s understanding of money.
Connected: What the COVID-19 pandemic means for blockchain and crypto
The COVID-19 outbreak, in particular, has fueled Bitcoin’s (BTC) safe-haven narrative as central banks print an estimated $ 15 trillion in incentives to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on the global economy. Amid rising inflation rates, people are turning to bitcoin as the next inflation hedge.
Connected: Not like before: The debut of digital currencies amid COVID-19
In the meantime, governments are initiating COVID-19 tracking programs on behalf of public health that raise serious concerns about data breaches and the tightening of centralization in the process. Governments have taken another step here to undermine civil autonomy through the development of digital currencies from the central bank, whose initiatives have been stepped up worldwide due to the COVID-19 crisis. While experts see the solution for protecting privacy in decentralized technologies, the question of decentralization that is too promising remains open.
Even so, the coronavirus outbreak has significantly changed the lives of all people and created the new normal that we now live by. Despite all the challenges that we have been facing economically, politically and socially since the beginning of the year, there is no doubt that the pandemic is driving digital innovation and driving humanity forward in technological development by 20 years.
It’s too early to say when it will all end as COVID-19 is getting faster and faster. Now, a year after Wuhan’s first case, Cointelegraph turned to experts in blockchain technology and the crypto room for their opinion on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry.
What impact did the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic have on the crypto space?
Asheesh Birla, General Manager of RippleNet:
“COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities for many people with no or no bank account, highlighting the gaps in our financial infrastructure where those with the least money pay the most – on average, the cost of shipping is $ 200 $ 14. Despite the pandemic, people still need to send money to family and friends overseas. As a result, remittances have continued to increase in some of the largest corridors. The corridor between the US and Mexico, for example, has seen a significant increase in remittances since the beginning of the pandemic. Mexico received $ 4.02 billion from overseas in March 2020, up 36% from March 2019. Ripple can help reduce the cost of wire transfers by using crypto and blockchain to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper and more reliable. Bitso, one of Mexico’s leading exchanges, handles nearly 10% of all remittance flows from the United States to Mexico through Ripple’s technology, which uses XRP as a bridge currency. At the same time, there is more interest in the space than ever as large companies like PayPal and Square place their bets on crypto and bring it into the mainstream. The validation of these companies has contributed to greater interest in the usefulness of cryptocurrencies and their ability to better serve their businesses and customers. “
Da Hongfei, Founder of Neo, Founder and CEO of OnChain:
“From my point of view, COVID-19 has not had a negative impact on the blockchain space. If anything, this has increased the demand for blockchain innovation and application. By exposing the weaknesses of our current paradigm, COVID-19 has also highlighted the urgent need for blockchain technology. For example, COVID-19 has highlighted the shortcomings of today’s centralized supply chain system, highlighting its fragility and lack of agility. By using the blockchain, we can build a decentralized supply chain with which products can be quickly identified and then sold based on the requirements of a specific area. Similarly, blockchain technology could also be used to track and track cases of infection more efficiently while protecting patient privacy. In fact, we are already seeing this shift to blockchain in a time of uncertainty – more and more institutions and people embrace Bitcoin as it is viewed as stable mainstream capital in these troubled times. I believe that COVID-19 has proven not only the need for a blockchain, but also a truly digital and smart economy. In the future, we must break away from our current paradigm in order to create a truly digitized and globalized world that has the flexibility, agility and efficiency to thrive and prosper. “
Mike Belshe, CEO at BitGo:
“The economic upheaval caused by our pandemic is changing attitudes and increasing interest in digital assets. COVID-19 has significantly accelerated global adoption and interest in crypto. It’s important to note that the determined efforts of companies like ours to build a secure, compliant foundation are enabling the influx of new crypto investors, including large institutional companies like investment banks and large custodians. Fortunately, we can handle the moment with all of the hard work we have put into building a new monetary system from the ground up over the past 10 years. Before COVID-19, most people didn’t pay as much attention to the economic factors that make Bitcoin relevant. In all honesty, they didn’t need that. When you get a return on the stock market, stick with what you know and don’t have to worry about learning anything new. But now everything has changed with the pandemic – fiscal policies around the globe are causing governments to wildly print money, reduce its value and cause inflation. Investors now understand that they need to be one step ahead. You ask a lot more questions and grasp the basis of Bitcoin’s thesis – that the scarcity of an asset is important. Digital assets are a hedge against inflation and a safe store of value. Investment leaders like Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckemiller and Bill Miller show that Bitcoin is an important part of any portfolio today. This year has brought so much uncertainty, but people are feeling empowered to educate themselves about what to do to get into crypto. All the building blocks are in place – compliance, custody, liquidity, portfolio management and wallet technology, and tax tools – giving investors the tools they need to invest in digital assets. “
Preston Byrne, Partner at Byrne & Storm, P.C .:
“The most noticeable impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on crypto was the validation of Crypto’s core thesis that our societies are fragile and that math, not men, is likely to provide a solid foundation for future social organization. Virtually every major economy relied on fiscal and monetary stimuli to stay afloat, heightened and broadened public perceptions of the weakness of fiat funds and institutions. “Crypto,” so named, is a variety of beliefs and areas of interest that range from hard money to censorship resistance to secure communication. These technologies are uniquely responsive to the social and corporate adjustment to stressors that made headlines over the past year, whether it’s “money printers going brr”, the ongoing exodus of big tech, or widespread urban social unrest acts. “
Tim Draper, Venture capitalist and well-known Bitcoin investor:
“Lots of people stuck in their homes have finally taken the time to set up a Bitcoin wallet, but the real impact of Covid was that the lockdown was devastating for many families and the government was printing $ 13 trillion to order trying to put a patch on it, it became clear that you’d rather hold Bitcoin than those watered down and watering down dollars. I assume the fiduciary duty now includes ownership of Bitcoin as a hedge against flooding and tampering with government currencies. “
These quotes have been edited and compressed.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the sole rights of the authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.