Even though the…memorable 2020 is behind us, 2021 so far hasn’t been any less hectic. The United States has been hit particularly hard, with political and economic turmoil briefly eclipsing the still out of control pandemic. But instead of adding to your daily stress levels, crypto users can recognize these current events as more reasons why Bitcoin is more important than ever. This is also why we’re excited to announce that Trezor Suite’s Buy feature now has even more options and competitive rates thanks to Mercuryo’s approval to operate in 50 US jurisdictions.
This partnership, previously only available to European users, now enables users in all US states except Hawaii and New York, as well as users in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico to purchase bitcoin at competitive rates using their Visa or MasterCard. Requiring only a one-time verification process, you can explore all Mercuryo has to offer right now in Trezor Suite and on Invity.io.
As with all of our partnerships, the integration of Mercuryo into Trezor Suite is based not just on a love of Bitcoin, but also on deeper, shared understandings. The first of these is that the current state of the world necessitates the crypto revolution, which is why we’ll be breaking down what the biggest stories in the US mean for your crypto and its security. Our companies also share an appreciation for slick interfaces and all-around good visuals, so we’ll treat you to original illustrations inspired by Mercuryo’s design philosophy throughout this article.
The most unavoidable story of this year is, of course, the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. Before this date, the Capitol building was taken for granted as was one of the most secure locations on the planet. Yet a loose collection of ideological groups was still able to coordinate enough — or simply take advantage of the right opportunities — to enter the literal halls of power.
Obviously this particular threat was reversed before much serious damage was done, but the very fact that the world’s sole superpower was threatened so directly does raise questions about its long-term stability — as well as the very idea of fiat currency. The US dollar, backed only by faith that the US government is indefinitely stable enough to support its value, is at serious risk when large parts of the country appear to have diminishing faith in the legitimacy of that government. The same is true as other fiat-reliant countries — Russia and India in particular — are rocked by anti-government protests. There is no better argument for long-term thinkers to continue building up a crypto fund.
But the January 6 insurrection isn’t just instructive of the importance of a decentralized monetary system: it’s also a lesson about the security of such a system. It stands to reason that if a government institution with essentially unlimited resources has gaps in its security, so too will private institutions like banks and custodial exchanges. The solution is obvious: keep your own crypto and your own keys under your own custody with the most trusted hardware wallet — Trezor. And when it comes to building up the funds you’re storing, non-custodial exchanges like Mercuryo are the only way to go.
Immediately following the events at the Capitol, social media companies took notice and began handing out bans to far-right personalities. Obviously Donald Trump’s Twitter was the most recognizable casualty, but 70,000 other accounts were also banned and entire platforms like Parler were shut down.
Whether you mourn these losses or not — after all, Twitter communities on the encrypted Telegram app have already been going strong for years — this is still a learning opportunity for crypto users. The fact is, you simply can’t control something you don’t own. If you’re completely reliant on a company or other third party, whether it’s Twitter, WhatsApp, or Coinbase, you’re subject to playing precisely by their rules, and your account could be locked or shut down at a moment’s notice.
The solution again comes back to custody: with Trezor, you hold your own keys and your own coins. Ditto for exchanges: non-custodial exchanges like Mercuryo simply process your payment then send your crypto directly to your wallet.
Though it may have been easy to overlook as the holidays, the Capitol insurrection, and the Biden transition all melded together, cryptocurrency regulations have also made news in recent weeks. In late December, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Ripple, the company behind the XRP token, alleging that XRP was an unregistered security.
Similarly, Janet Yellen, now the US Treasury Secretary, said in her confirmation hearing that crypto will be “a particular concern” for during the Biden administration, again relying on the debunked idea that Bitcoin is key to criminal and terrorist financing. The incoming administration also did not allow the Trump administration’s proposal for more rules surrounding enhanced recordkeeping for crypto exchanges and wallets to die a quiet death.
These possible legal actions are still in their early stages, so it’s hard to tell what precise effects they may have on US crypto users. But tackling regulations is the next step in the crypto life cycle and may well allow crypto to hit the mainstream and finally shake off any attempt to dismiss crypto as a bubble.
However the regulatory landscape may change in the near future, there’s a good reason why Trezor Suite is only integrating purchase providers like Mercuryo: they’re fully vetted by Invity on a regular basis, ensuring that they adhere to KYC and AML guidelines and you don’t run afoul when you are buying crypto.
The beginning of this year also saw Bitcoin rapidly peak to over $40,000 amid an exciting bull run after years of slow growth. But interestingly, after all-time highs across the crypto market, a correction has seen Bitcoin values settle fairly consistently to just over $30,000. Rising crypto prices are nice, of course, but this new higher plateau represents a significant change from the volatility Bitcoin has previously been known for.
Events unfolding in traditional markets over the past week also show an interesting and unfamiliar contrast to crypto’s newfound stability. The battle between retail and institutional stock investors playing out with GameStop, AMC, RobinHood, and various hedge funds has revealed that “safer” stock investments can also be subject to wild volatility.
Even more, when app users were blocked from trading or their stocks were sold out from under them, these stocks weren’t only volatile, they were, in the end, never theirs to begin with. This exposed the secret we all already knew: even when the people band together, in spaces anchored by institutions, it’s the institutions that hold the power. This is more proof that building up decentralized crypto assets regularly over time ensures that your funds are yours. Moreover, as hodling those assets pays off, keeping your holdings secure in a wallet only you control becomes only more important over time.
As 2021 slouches onward, it seems ever more foolhardy to try to predict precise events. But what does seem to be a given is that economic crises aren’t going anywhere soon.
Vaccine rollouts in the US are disorderly and slow. Stimulus bills, debt relief, and major legislation in general seem equally slow and subject to partisan bickering. Reopening the economy back to “normal” likely won’t happen until later in the year, if not even further in the future, and certainly not without fits and starts.
And amid all this bad news, it seems that crypto is more mainstream than ever — it’s not going anywhere. In fact, crypto is more important than ever as a source of cash, a way to grow your nest egg, or even as a lifeline. With the combined forces of Mercuryo’s new options for buying crypto in the US and Trezor’s standard of securing your assets, crypto may be the one bright spot in a year that’s off to a rocky start.