More than 40 cryptocurrency-related companies will share the USD 18 million. The loan is part of the Paycheck Protection Program.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) granted around USD 18 million to more than 40 cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies, as part of its campaign to fight COVID-19.
The initiative stems from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which the Trump administration created. This program seeks to help companies pay their employees during the economic crisis that COVID-19 has caused.
The SBA released data on more than 660,000 companies that received loans. It detailed the companies and the loans, specifying the amount of money that they received and the bank that assigned it.
Among cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies is development firm Ethereum ConsenSys, which received between USD 5 million and USD 10 million from the Signature Bank. Zcash developers Electric Coin Company received between USD 350,000 and USD 1 million from Newtek Small Business Finance.
Bittrex, a US cryptocurrency exchange, received between USD 1 million and USD 2 million from Celtic Bank. The analytics firm Messari received between USD 150,000 and 350,000 from the Silicon Valley Bank. ShapeShift, a cryptocurrency exchange platform received between USD 1 million and USD 2 million from the Signature Bank.
The United States Incentivizes Cryptocurrency Companies
IOHK USA LLC, developers of Cardano, received between USD 350,000 and USD 1 million from the Bank of America. MyCrypto and MyEtherWallet, creators of the most widely used cryptocurrency wallets on Ethereum, received between USD 150,000 and USD 350,000 from JPMorgan Chase Bank and Customers Bank, respectively.
Athena Bitcoin, creators of Bitcoin ATMs distributed in Argentina and Colombia, received between USD 150,000 and USD 350,000 from Citizens National Bank. Factom received between USD 150,000 and USD 350,000 from the Silicon Valley Bank. Civic Technologies received between USD 350,000 and USD 1 million from First Republic Bank.
Nebulous, developers of Siacoin, received between USD 150,000 and USD 350,000 from Needham Bank. The exchange Circle received between USD 1 million and USD 2 million from Silicon Valley Bank.
The action that the US government took is a measure to stop dismissals due to the economic situation that the country is undergoing, amid the COVID-19 quarantine. About 44 million US citizens have already applied for unemployment benefits since last March.
Loans to blockchain-related startup loans may give rise to controversy. Libertarian trends in the cryptocurrency industry may have led users to distrust governments and banks.
Last May, US debt exceeded USD 25 trillion due to the crisis that COVID-19 has caused. The US Treasury Department updated the balance to about USD 25,057,924,023,406.80. To counter the effects of possible economic depression in the country, the Treasury Department had USD 3 trillion available for the quarter from April to June.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have increasingly become important worldwide, especially amid the COVID-19 quarantine that is affecting humanity. This has led the US Small Business Administration to grant companies related to these sectors so that they can help fight this disease.
By Alexander Salazar