In response to the economic collapse triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act to provide direct stimulus payments to Americans. The first payment was issued in April 2020 and amounted to $1,200 per qualifying taxpayer.
While most Americans used this money to get them through a rough time, spending it on necessities such as food and rent, others were able to take that money and invest it. The depths of the pandemic, and the subsequent crawl back to recovery, coincided with a boom in the prices of many cryptocurrencies. Although buying crypto with your stimulus payment likely would not have been the advice of your financial advisor, here is what you would have earned had you made that lucky choice starting back in April 2020.
Price as of Dec. 17, 2021: $46,232.92
Current approximate value of stimulus investment: $7,176
As the original and best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin may have been your first choice as a crypto investment had you made that decision in April 2020. At the time, the crypto was trading at about $6,623. That amounts to about a 598% return on your investment in 20 months, pretty staggering compared to the S&P 500’s return of about 66% over that same time period.
If you managed to pull out at Bitcoin’s all-time high of $68,990.90, set in November 2021, you could have turned your $1,200 into about $11,292, for a return closer to 950%.
Price as of Dec. 17: $3,888.25
Current approximate value of stimulus investment: $27,036
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a total value of $461 billion, roughly half that of Bitcoin. However, some pundits envision Ethereum taking the crown away from Bitcoin, due in part to the energy-efficient “Ethereum 2.0” launching in 2022.
In any event, putting your stimulus money into Ethereum back in April 2020 would have been a prescient move, as the crypto significantly outperformed market leader Bitcoin over that time period. Ethereum traded at $172.58 at the time the first stimulus checks went out, returning about 2,153% since.
Ethereum (ETH): What It Is, What It’s Worth and Should You Be Investing?
Price as of Dec. 17: $0.17
Current approximate value of stimulus investment: $102,000
Dogecoin is the poster child for the speculative frenzy that dominates the cryptocurrency market. The coin itself was created as a joke in 2013, capitalizing on a popular meme at the time involving the logo of a Shiba Inu dog.
However, the coin essentially did nothing until online message boards began lighting up, touting the coin as “the next GameStop.” GameStop was at the forefront of the so-called “meme stock” movement that had catapulted the company’s shares up as much as 400% in a single week in January 2021 and 733% YTD as of Dec. 17.
Dogecoin’s return has been even more impressive, as the crypto could have been had for as little as $0.0020 in April 2020, at the time of the first stimulus check. If you had converted your entire stimulus check into Dogecoin at the time, you could have bought a nice round 600,000 Dogecoins. The subsequent 8,400% move in DOGE could have turned a four-digit stimulus check into a princely six-digit sum.
Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Price as of Dec. 17, 2021: $0.00003120
Current approximate value of stimulus investment: $26,742,857
Shiba Inu is another cryptocurrency created in the vein of Dogecoin. In other words, it was a whimsical crypto with a cute dog as its logo, and it drove investors into a buying frenzy.
Shiba Inu didn’t exist in April 2020, but if you had waited just a bit and bought on July 31, 2020, you would have paid a minuscule $0.0000000014 per coin. A $1,200 investment, therefore, would have netted you 857,142,857,142.8571 coins.
At the still incredibly low price of $0.00003120 per coin, you’d nonetheless have ended up with the astronomical figure of $26,742,857.14. Yes, a speculative $1,200 investment in Shiba Inu at the outset could have transformed you into a millionaire 26 times over — and that’s even after the massive 63% selloff from the coin’s all-time high of $0.000086, set in October 2021.
More From GOBankingRates
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Much You Would Have If You Invested Your Stimulus Money in Cryptocurrency