- With the coronavirus showing no signs of letting up, and global markets responding accordingly, the search for safe haven assets intensifies.
- Investors seeking a hedge during intense economic uncertainty have turned to assets that are immunized to the worst of the global downturn.
- Libra competitor Saga’s enhancement of fiat onboarding, streamlining access to its stablecoin-like digital asset, has proven timely.
In an announcement on Feb 25, Saga revealed a direct fiat line to its stabilized digital currency, which is backed by a basket of fiat currencies. Payment provider Carbon has supplied the integration, enabling Saga’s SGA token to be purchased with Visa and MasterCard in more than 180 countries. The deal is a significant one, not only in opening the floodgates to broad adoption of SGA, but in providing a direct line to investors seeking safe haven assets.
Stocks Rocked by Coronavirus While Demand Grows for Safer Alternatives
The current mood of the global markets, as the coronavirus insidiously spreads, can be seen in the chart depicting the HUI Gold Miner Index versus the S&P 500. Gold has been reaching record highs, while stocks have plummeted as major companies have missed earning calls and lowered quarterly projections due to the decimation of China’s manufacturing heartland.
The S&P 500 is down 7% since last Wednesday, with President Trump’s assertion that the stock market is “starting to look very good” taken as pure hope, tweeted in a bid to halt the slide. In crypto terms, Trump’s message has been interpreted as an invocation to “buy the dip.”
The stock market selloff has been bad news for Wall Street, but a boon for alternative assets that are less exposed to the whims of the capricious global economy. Gold and precious metals have been the greatest beneficiaries, but digital assets have also held appeal. Saga’s monetary model qualifies it as such an asset, thanks to its fiat reserve that serves as a stabilizing mechanism. Derived from a basket of fiat currencies, Saga is less vulnerable to global affairs that can weaken national currencies. SGA is designed to grow gradually, acquiring intrinsic value and eventually divesting itself of the fiat reserves that have been used to bootstrap it.
Opening the Floodgates to Broader Crypto Adoption
The last 12 months have seen a slew of fiat on-ramps bolted onto the cryptoconomy, as businesses that operate in the blockchain industry seek to onboard the masses. A shortfall of fiat rails led to long delays in getting funds into the cryptosphere during the last bitcoin rally in 2017. When the next one occurs, exchanges and wallet providers will be better prepared.
In addition to projects such as Saga adding fiat on-ramps, crypto payment provider Simplex has added support for 15 fiat currencies and Binance has integrated scores of national currencies into its global exchange. As a result of these efforts, investors can now swap fiat for crypto quickly and at a far lower cost than was previously possible.
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