• Bitcoin remains in a tight range today, with a lower high but higher low than yesterday
  • Lightning-compatible Bitcoin earning Fold shopping app has joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track
  • Crypto companies observe a rise in transactional volume despite poor global outlook for the economy

Bitcoin continues to show some surprising stability, relative to crypto, of course, trading mainly around USD 7,300 with a lower daily high of USD 7,399, but a surprisingly high low at USD 7,125, and at that, only for a few minutes before returning to the mean.

There is plenty of positive headlines today that could account for the optimism in the crypto markets, one of which involves the ever-popular Fold mobile app. The shopping app has been rewarding users with Bitcoin, also compatible with Lightning, is now the latest member of Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program.

The biggest takeaway from that will be its new ability to launch its own co-branded Visa card that will extend the use of Bitcoin rewards given for purchases made at participating retailers. Fold CEO Will Reeves revealed to Cointelegraph that Visa would be supporting Fold financially, taking a dedicated team to introduce the Visa cash-back rewards to the industry.

Participating merchants on the Fold app so far include Amazon, Starbucks, and Uber for which users need to integrate accounts with a credit card or Lightning wallet, which then lets them spend and earn cashback as Bitcoin.

Now, Visa as an integrated service allows Fold to offer their customers a crypto debit card, but Reeves says their offering will be unique. He explained:

“Other cards announced by major exchanges […] require you to spend your crypto triggering taxable events. Our card enables you to spend dollars and earn Bitcoin… as the Bitcoin is not being sold.”

Elsewhere in the crypto transaction industry, other players are reporting increased crypto transactional volumes across the board, despite the economic mood globally being somewhat dour on the back of productivity slowdown.

Crypto companies MoonPay and Wyre are just two who have noticed a boom in transaction numbers. Wyre director of institutional sales Jack Jia revealed:

“We’ve seen a huge spike in retail volume over the past few weeks… Initially there was a higher uptick in sell-side volume right before markets crashed. Then, we started maxing out of processing capacity 3 days in a row on the buy side, immediately following the price crash a few weeks ago.”

It has been nearly a month since the World Health Organization announced that the Covid-19 outbreaks had become a global pandemic, triggering a massive slide across all markets, traditional and alternative, on an event known as Black Thursday on 12 March 2020, and despite recoveries seen by gold, oil and even Bitcoin, most economists believe that we are due for even more misery.

But Bitcoin, after moving up almost 100% from its low of Black Thursday, and now weeks trading in consolidation, does appear to be detaching itself from a correlating pattern with traditional markets a mere several weeks ago. Jia said:

“Institutional investors have been getting more involved in crypto trading after 2017; when the traditional markets finally underwent a major correction in early March, everyone on Wall Street tried to get out of position, into USD, and that seems to have brought crypto markets down with it… In subsequent weeks, however, we are still seeing persistently higher volumes on the buy-side, mostly of Bitcoin, both from retail users and institutional OTC clients.”

Fiat-to-crypto marketplace MoonPay concurred, saying that March witnessed a significant uptick in customer numbers, raking in more than 80% increasing in crypto volumes and giving them a record month for them across exchanges, wallets, and Dapps.

MoonPay CEO Ivan Soto-Wright explained that this growth prompted them to bring in new resources to expand:

“With Nils Puhlmann joining as Interim CSO, we have a seasoned veteran who has built some of the strongest security teams at places like Twilio, Zynga and Electronic Arts, and we feel tremendously honored to have his guidance.”

 

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