Quarantini, (Fintech) and Chill?
By now, you will very likely have been impacted by Coronavirus in one way shape…unless of course, you are one of the 14 people currently partaking in Big Brother in Germany.
According to the latest information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it’s known to its friends, has infected in the region of 200,000 worldwide, and this number has begun to significantly rise from the beginning of March across the UK with nearly 600 new cases announced this week already.
From being charged £20 for hand sanitiser to wider bans on travel and meetings, coronavirus is directly effecting both consumers and businesses. This quickening domino effect will soon reach the financial technology industry, if it hasn’t already. For example, stock markets have been highly volatile in the past few weeks. In fact, the FTSE 100 dropped 10.8% last Thursday afternoon, which brought it to its lowest point since 2012, and this is likely to make stock market investors, both individual and institutional, very nervous or hesitant in investing. Fintech firms in the payment sector will be hit hard as the impact of expected fall in transactions – at all levels of the economy - will mean less fees collected and, due to the virus curtailing global business and consequentially the need to send digital payments, we can expect transactions across all networks to fall. Moreover, according to Digital Commerce, 47% of retailers polled said they expect revenue to take a significant hit because of the virus.
One of the slightly more controversial products of COVID-19, which has come to light, is the new evolution of a Cryptocurrency named: CoronaCoin. This bitcoin-rival, bragged as “world’s first crypto backed by death” has been made from mostly European anonymous developers, all bar one, named Sunny Kemp. This coin allows traders to gamble on the current coronavirus pandemic. This works by the cryptocurrency’s supply being based on the world’s population, the tokens diminish every 48 hours and as such, the value is based on how many new cases have been reported, either people falling ill, or dying.
Largely, the response to this cryptocurrency seems to be that this is amoral, something straight out of an episode of Black Mirror, with a few people from Twitter branding this as ‘tasteless’, and as one particular Reddit user put it ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’.
However, when questioned whether Kemp thinks this particular token is morbid and/or tasteless he reverted to WHO where he stated that there are currently active pandemic bonds and asked ‘how is that any different?’ In addition, Kemp has also claimed that Red Cross will receive a monthly donation of around 20% of the supply, with the assistance of a cryptocurrency payment processor.
If, unlike Kemp and friends, you do not plan to spend your time in self-isolation on investing in a coin that is currently worth less than $0.01 then another way of enjoying quarantine is by making Quarantinis. To do so, all you need is: (1) Martini shaker, vodka (or gin), lemon, and honey. The alcohol kills the germs and the local honey and lemon boost your immunity.
So, remember to wash your hands, keep safe, distribute toilet paper, enjoy a delicious Quarantini and keep up with FinTech Connect for regular FinTech news.