A Canadian fintech company says that consumer interest in digital assets, and in particular Bitcoin (BTC), has continued to grow, even in an extended bear market. Many are buying bitcoin as a store of value.
Jean Amiouny, CEO of Shakepay, says that customers are still buying and selling bitcoin on their platform. This appears to indicate that the level of cryptocurrency trading does not depend on price per se, as it was largely unaffected by the recent market downturn. “Our volume of transactions and revenues have seen double-digit growth, month-over-month,” he said. “We are very excited to see that even though the Bitcoin price is down from last year’s all-time highs, customer interest in Bitcoin continues to grow.”
Shakepay, which also provides exchange and OTC services in Canada, today announced the release of its new ‘Change’ feature. Customers can buy a small amount of bitcoin by rounding-up fiat payments. Cards linked to a Shakepay account can automatically buy bitcoin from the exchange and store it in a wallet.
Amiouny, who founded Shakepay in 2015, says that many buy bitcoin as a store of value, rather than as a speculative punt. By incremental top-ups, Change allows consumers to slowly increase their holdings.“We want to keep making this easier and more frictionless for our customers, many of which buy bitcoin week-after-week for the purpose of long-term holding,” Amiouny explained.
Last year’s bull run, when the market peaked at over $800bn, was largely fuelled by a sudden surge of retail investor interest in initial coin offerings (ICOs). More than $5bn was raised in 2017, predominantly in ether (ETH), to fund startups. The ICO market dried up mid-way through the year, as disillusionment and regulatory concerns took their tole.
There are forecasts for a return to crowdfunding with security token offerings (STOs); some estimates are as high as $3bn by the end of 2019. The news today, however, suggests this is not where the market is moving.
Cryptocurrencies come with unique characteristics and independent influencing factors. Fiat currencies may not be entirely trusted, after a decade of quantitative easing has put them in a precarious position. By buying bitcoin, investors effectively hedge their position. Small purchases, such as those used with Shakepay Change, allows consumers to create a position without losing too much in a bear market.
The author is invested in BTC, which is mentioned in this article.