While many crypto holders around the world are practicing self-quarantine and other measures to limit social contact, some are turning to the adult industry for comfort.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, cryptocurrency payment processor CoinGate reported an increase in purchases from adult stores in March over activity in February. Sites like ManyVids had a 17% increase in their cart sizes. Other adult stores reported a 36% increase in turnover.
Most of these merchants are based in Europe, where measures are in place to limit people from leaving their homes and many retail businesses are closed. However, crypto shoppers are making their purchases around the world. Those who used LiveJasmin in March came from the United States, India, Philippines, Germany, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Italy, all of which have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus.
What people are investing in during the crisis
In March, the number of daily transactions of Bitcoin (BTC) fell by roughly 100,000, rivaling the activity during the "crypto winter," when the price of the cryptocurrency dropped to around $3,000 in December 2018.
However, like investors in blockchain gaming and adult services, crypto holders on Coingate have actually increased activity for Forex during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some merchants on the payment gateway reporting an increase as large as 240% in turnover compared to pre-quarantine times. Meanwhile, BTC payments grew by 13%, Ethereum (ETH) payments by 14%, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payments by 12%.
Coingate comments on what this type of activity means for the future of crypto:
“...people might start using cryptocurrencies more often, especially when traditional markets show that they can be much more volatile than Bitcoin. And that is definitely a positive sign for crypto adoption.”
Spending and transactions down on Visa
Before terms like self-isolation and social distancing became mainstream, the northern hemisphere was preparing for spring and summer travel plans, with credit cards used to book flights, hotels, and tours.
In the United States, Visa has taken a hit during the pandemic, with the credit card company predicting only single-digit percentage revenue growth — in contrast to the Q1 2019 double-digit growth — for Q2 after a sharp drop in activity during March.
There is also a lack of online spending for travel-related services with a number of flights worldwide being cut. With many people facing an uncertain economic future, the tendency has been to hold on to their crypto and other savings.