• Bitcoin high so far at USD 8,404
  • Congressmen urge US Treasury to use blockchain in Covid-19 fund distributions
  • Bitcoin small investors rapidly growing with 0.1 BTC addresses hitting all-time high

Bitcoin is surging above USD 8,000 after momentarily touching a high of USD 8,404 (CoinDesk) as this piece is being written at 4:00 pm London (3 pm UTC) , after already threatening towards that level yesterday.

Ethereum is enjoying the ride, now trading above USD 200 on a 6-week high, while Ripple is the best earner in the top 5, making over 10% gains in the past 24 hours to make 22.5 cents.

As we set sights on a bullish run up to the Bitcoin reward halving event, we see bullishness from US politics as well, with a recent letter written by 11 members of Congress urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to consider using blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) as secure “new mechanisms” to send cash transparently and fast, ensuring funding liquidity in implementing the Federal CARES Act distributions for the Covid-19 crisis.

Led by Congressman Darren Soto (D-Fla) and dated last week but only publicly shared yesterday, the letter is also signed by Tom Emmer (R-Minn), David Schweikert (R-Ariz), Ro Khanna (D-Calif), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Ted Budd (R-NC), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Bill Posey (R-Fla) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) as well as Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S. Virgin Islands).

The letter reads:

“We understand your primary mission is to deliver urgent and necessary assistance to America’s small businesses and working families. As the pandemic continues to impact the economy, we look forward to supporting the Administration’s efforts to get American small businesses running while also prioritizing health, safety, and proper oversight.”

It then goes on to say that the Treasure should take further steps to improve its efforts, pointing to emerging technology like blockchain that can help “distribute and track relief programs”, ensuring that only America can retain its technological advantage but also that relief is given out quickly to those individuals and small businesses who need it most. It even says that China already has used blockchain system as an example of how countries worldwide are doing so.

Soto is also the Congressional Blockchain Caucus co-chair and revealed to CoinDesk that he sought the advice of developers, entrepreneurs and other members of the caucus to write the letter. He believes that DLT is superior in security and, when joined with artificial intelligence (AI), can better manage data transparently and effectively. He explained:

“It works so well in hand with artificial intelligence and it’s not subject to hacking or changes once you have that fixed ledger down.”

Even if the US doesn’t pick up on blockchain fast enough, the rest of the industry won’t care, especially not Bitcoin. According to fresh data from analysts Glassnode, there is growing evidence that the numbers of small Bitcoin investors are now multiplying rapidly, with much of that growth happening right in the USA.

This is seen from the number of Bitcoin addresses holding at least 0.1 Bitcoin, which has now climbed to over 3 million addresses. Right now, this means an address owning over USD 800 worth of Bitcoin. In fact, more interestingly, these numbers took on an exponential rate in mid-February, right about the time when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told regulators than the US Federal Reserve would not have the strength or resources to battle the coming recession.

Of course, it is not easy to deduce anything out of activity on the market from metrics happening on-chain so a single user could be holding Bitcoin wallets with several addresses, so there is almost certain to be multiple counting in these numbers, although Glassnode does say that this number actually dipped a lot in early 2018, after the incredible run that saw Bitcoin touch an all-time high near USD 20,000.

Several US-based Bitcoin investment services do agree that smaller Bitcoin investors are growing at a faster rate, though, with Los Angeles investment firm Swan Bitcoin claiming they’ve seen a higher onboarding of customers saving more than USD 300 a month on average in Bitcoin. Its CTO and co-founder Yan Pritzker even says:

“[some are] measuring well into the thousands… [recently] a number of Swan customers started raising their [bitcoin] purchase plans.”

San Francisco brokerage River Financial also is witnessing growing investors putting in up to thousands of dollars worth into Bitcoin. CEO and founder Alexander Leishman says:

“The number of orders on our platform doubled in mid-March, and it has since sustained a significantly elevated rate. Many of our clients have directly told me that they are buying bitcoin because the government is printing so much money. A lot of these people are buying bitcoin for the first time.”

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