Het Laatste Nieuws 11/06/2020
The lockdown has given the popularity of crypto coins such as bitcoin a helping hand. After the madness of the end of 2017, the engine had slightly come to a standstill, but recently the number of new digital wallets has skyrocketed again.
The story is reminiscent of the figures that online stock brokers have already revealed. While stock markets took a hit, up to eight times more new accounts were opened by new investors than during the same period in 2019. People with some savings are taking the bull by the horns now that they can buy the same companies at significantly lower prices than at the beginning of this year. And maybe they were a bit bored too.
"When people are at home, they become more active online" is the same message that you hear at the Dutch crypto platform LiteBit. With more than 600,000 users in the Netherlands, it dares to call itself the largest there, and with 36,000 Belgians on board, the company will not be a dwarf here either. If it manages to maintain this momentum, the number of Belgian customers will double this year. Then it comes close to an online broker such as BinckBank, which started moving to Belgium since 2006. The number of Belgian transactions during the lockdown was a fifth (20%) higher than last year, and LiteBit speaks of a "positive effect" of the corona virus.
Especially young people
The value of bitcoin, for example, halved at the start of the crisis to less than $ 5,000 a few days before the Belgian lockdown started. Meanwhile, the value in ordinary coins has almost completely recovered. That illustrates how a 100% increase is necessary to make up for a previous 50% decrease. Listed shares fell quickly, but not so quickly. The lowest point was also more shallow - in many countries the low point was 40% below the peak - and was only reached about ten days later than on the crypto market. This was followed by a spectacular recovery, but most stock market indices are still 5 to 10% below the level of mid-February. Stocks from sectors hardest hit by the economic downturn are still worth a lot less. Anyone who was not afraid of a wild ride on the crypto market has been proved right for the time being.
"The number of Belgian transactions during the lockdown was one fifth higher than last year"
LiteBit certainly notices that many customers invest for quick profit. These are usually customers under the age of 30, which is why the company gets more calls from them when things are briefly going wrong. They also risk proportionately more of their savings.
Anyone who has a full bitcoin in their digital wallet could sell it for $ 10,000 yesterday, equivalent to EUR 8,800. The price of the most famous crypto coin peaked above $ 19,000 in December 2017, but fell to $ 15,000 in the two days that followed.