Five Bitcoin exchanges have reported a surge in new users as various countries tightened quarantine rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These exchanges – Bitfinex, Kraken, OKex, Luno, and Paxful – report new sign ups to be anywhere from 30% to 100% of their usual sign ups. Kraken also noted that it recorded a 300% increase in intermediate verifications as a large number of users want to deposit their fiat money immediately.
“With Western governments struggling to contain COVID-19 and forcing cities and nations into blanket quarantines, individuals feel an urgent need to get out of the centralized financial system,” explains Pierre Rochard, Bitcoin strategist for Kraken. Some industry experts also share Rochard’s sentiment.
However, Glassnode pointed out that while there has been a surge in Bitcoin exchange sign ups in March, there are also been an increase in the number of withdrawals among existing Bitcoin holders. The market research firm’s data indicates that BTC exchange balances fell further in March. Paxful even reported a 10% decrease in revenue despite 100% new sign ups in the same month.