Did you make a Bitcoin bet with your stimulus check? Here’s how it’s paying off

May 17, 2021, 4:19 PM UTC

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.

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