- Over 75 cryptocurrency companies borrowed more than $30 million in government aid to help stave off the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
- The PPP initiative was designed to help companies keep staff on as the economy constricted
- Some have questioned the ideology of crypto companies relying on government assistance
Cryptocurrency companies took over $30 million in payroll loans due to the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 75 companies applying for relief. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrower details were released by the US Treasury on Tuesday, identifying which companies had applied for the PPP and how much they had borrowed. The biggest crypto borrower was ConsenSys who received up to $10 million in April, while Justin Sun’s Rainberry Inc, Blockfolio, and Bittrex were also forced to borrow money to keep operations going.
Cryptocurrency Companies Borrow Millions to Keep Staff
The PPP was developed by the Trump administration as a way for businesses to continue to pay their employees as the pandemic worsened and began to hit the economy. The scheme was designed to prevent layoffs where possible, but around 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since March nevertheless.
Blockchain provider ConsenSys borrowed between $5 million and $10 million, making it the biggest borrower in the cryptocurrency sphere, with Bittrex borrowing $1-2 million and Rainberry Inc., the Justin Sun-owned company which changed its name from BitTorrent in 2018, borrowing between $2 million and $5 million. Other cryptocurrency sector borrowers include Zcash owner Electric Coin Company, Polychain Capital, and portfolio tracker Blockfolio.
Handouts Illustrate Crypto’s Evolution from Cypherpunk Age
The reliance of cryptocurrency companies on government handouts would seem to be somewhat at odds with the libertarian anti-government stance of the creators of cryptocurrency back in the 1990s, but this is the nature of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space in the 2020s. Times have changed since the efforts of the cypherpunks, and while they no doubt paved the way for what we have now, the ethos of the space has moved to one of compliance with authorities and an effort to spread engagement and usage of blockchain and crypto products.