Government stimulus payments sent out during the COVID-19 pandemic were intended to provide a financial lifeline to Americans who needed help paying the bills. The money wasn’t intended to be invested — especially in something as volatile as cryptocurrency. But if you did have the foresight to put your stimulus checks into dogecoin alone, you might be $56,000 richer right now.
That’s the return you would have gotten by investing the maximum stimulus payments into doge, according to a new analysis from Benzinga. You would also have gotten decent (if smaller) returns by putting your stimulus money into bitcoin and ethereum.
First, a refresher course on the three rounds of COVID-19 stimulus payments.
The 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Act, enacted in March 2020, approved the distribution of stimulus payments that paid out up to $1,200 to eligible adults and $500 more for those with qualifying children, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
That was followed by the Tax Relief Act of 2020 in December of that year. It authorized additional payments of up to $600 per adult for eligible individuals and up to $600 for each qualifying child under age 17.
A few months later, in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided stimulus payments of up to $1,400 for eligible individuals or $2,800 for married couples filing jointly, plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent, including adult dependents.
Most of that money was spent on essentials by Americans who needed financial help weathering the pandemic. But suppose you had put the money into crypto instead. Here’s how Benzinga analyzed the return you would have gotten by putting the maximum in stimulus payments to individuals — $1,200, $600 and $1,400, for a total of $3,200 — into bitcoin, dogecoin and ethereum.
- Bitcoin: Bitcoin traded at $6,926 on April 11, 2020; $27,370 on Dec. 29, 2020; and $57,996 on March 12, 2021. If you had put $3,200 from the stimulus checks into bitcoin you would have been able to purchase a total of 0.219 BTC. Based on a recent bitcoin price of $27,719.72, that $3,200 would now be worth $6,070.62.
- Dogecoin: Dogecoin traded at $0.0020 on April 11, 2020; $0.0046 on Dec. 29, 2020; and $0.0570 on March 12, 2021. Had you put all $3,200 from the stimulus checks into dogecoin, you could have bought 754,996 DOGE. Based on a recent dogecoin price of $0.07243, that $3,200 would now be worth $56,043.35.
- Ethereum: Ethereum traded at $161.17 on April 11, 2020; $737.95 on Dec. 29, 2020; and $1,839.50 on March 12, 2021. Had you put the $3,200 stimulus total into ethereum, you would have been able to purchase 9.02 ETH. Based on a recent price of $1,905.18, that $3,200 investment would now be worth $17,184.72.
Now, suppose you had taken a morediversified strategy and put money into all three cryptos. Splitting the $3,200 into equal investments of the three on the respective stimulus payout days would have given you 0.0731 BTC, 251,665 DOGE and 3 ETH. Those three cryptos would be worth about $26,000 today based on equal investments from the three stimulus checks, according to Benzinga.
Those are very good returns, considering crypto’s wild roller-coaster ride over the past couple of years. As GOBankingRates previously reported, the crypto market suffered a major crash last year due to a combination of soaring inflation, rising interest rates and a general loss of confidence in cryptocurrencies.
The market has recovered somewhat in recent months, though prices for individual cryptos remain low compared to their peaks. Now might be a good time to buy — if you have a high tolerance for risk.
John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.
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