Most Popular
Did you make a Bitcoin bet with your stimulus check? Here’s how it’s paying off
May 17, 2021 9:19 AM PDT
Play video on original page
Our mission to make business better is fueled by readers like you. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.
When the third round of $1,400 stimulus checks began to roll out in mid-March, millions of Americans said they planned to capitalize on the explosive growth of cryptocurrencies. For those who bet on Bitcoin, though, things aren’t looking so rosy these days.
A Mizuho Securities survey taken right as the third-round payments were approved found that nearly two in five check recipients planned to use some portion of their stimulus payments to invest—and Bitcoin was overwhelmingly the preferred vehicle, with roughly 60% saying that’s where they would sink the cash.
On March 17, 90 million people received their stimulus checks via direct deposit. Had they immediately sunk that money in Bitcoin that day, that investment would now be worth just $1,058 today.
Even if they’d cashed out on April 15, when Bitcoin was at its peak, they’d have walked away with just $114 in gains.
Other cryptocurrency investors wouldn’t have been immune to the volatility of late either, but they’d still be better off financially.
A $1,400 investment in Ethereum on March 17 would now be worth nearly $2,595. (At its peak, it was worth $3,186.)
And if you’d bet on Dogecoin with your stimulus check, that $1,400 would be worth (brace yourself) $11,730 today—and would have surged as high as $17,391.
Of course, gambling a stimulus payment wasn’t an option for even more Americans, who were struggling to pay their mortgage or other critical bills. And those who did cash in on Ethereum or Dogecoin would right now be worrying about their looming tax bills, as the IRS has made it clear that it is targeting crypto investors who don’t pay taxes on their gains.
More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:
Subscribe to The Ledger for expert weekly analysis on fintech’s big stories, delivered free to your inbox.
Related Articles
Will stimulus checks take Bitcoin even higher? One analyst thinks so
March 17, 2021
Bitcoin bombs below $40,000, erasing all gains since Tesla announced its massive crypto bet
May 19, 2021
Bitcoin must stay above this level for Elon Musk’s bet to be in the black
May 19, 2021
Why the Bitcoin and Ethereum selloff is actually good for Coinbase
May 19, 2021
Bitcoin is rallying as global banking regulators signal rising acceptance of crypto
June 10, 2021
Executive Travel
The Ledger
Energy & Environment
Customer Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Customer Service Portal
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
Commercial Services
FORTUNE Knowledge Group
FORTUNE Branded Content
Fortune Data Store
Fortune Conferences
About Us
About Us
Work at Fortune
Behavioral Advertising Notice
Terms and Conditions
© 2020 Fortune Media IP Limited. All Rights Reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy | CA Notice at Collection and Privacy Notice | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Ad Choices 
FORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited, registered in the U.S. and other countries. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions:​.
S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.
InternationalAsia has the world’s most advanced digital currencies. Here’s where each one standsHAIKOU, CHINA - MAY 08: Staff members work at e-CNY booth of China Construction Bank during the first China International Consumer Products Expo at Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center. InternationalAustralia is so isolated even citizens can’t easily enter. For the next year, it’s happy to stay that wayMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 07: An International traveller is seen carrying their luggage off the bus as they enter hotel quarantine guarded by police and Hotel quarantine workers in full PPE on December 07, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. International flights have resumed into Melbourne as Victoria's COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions continue to ease. Mask-wearing is now only mandatory in indoor shopping centres and public transport, including rideshares and taxis, but relaxed in other settings. Victorians must still carry a mask with them at all times and wear it when a physical distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, but mask use is encouraged, but not mandatory, in other situations. Cafes, restaurants and pubs can double their patron numbers to a maximum of one person per 2 sq m and nightclubs can reopen from midnight. People are able to have up to 30 visitors at home, while outdoor gatherings can now have up to 100 people. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)FinanceA strategy session at 40,000 feet: How Southwest Airlines used the pandemic to outmaneuver the majors