Coronavirus Stimulus Consumer Payments
In the last week of March, legislation was passed to send cash payments directly to individuals to help them during the worst economic crises we have ever faced. IRS.gov is stating, “No action needed by most people at this time.”
The good news for most taxpayers is they will automatically get this stimulus. The U.S. government began making direct payments to some Americans’ bank accounts on April 10 and will continue to do so into next week. Mobile banking startup Current is reporting that some accounts have received the stimulus payments from the IRS as of Friday afternoon. You can keep up with IRS updates here.
The bad news for folks without direct deposit is they may not get checks until after August.
Earn Extra Cash from Home with Gig-economy Jobs
As layoffs continue, some Americans are turning to gig work for quick money. Video game coaching is in demand. A millennial based in Vancouver, started offering virtual coaching services two years ago for popular online video games Overwatch and Fortnite.
- Here Are 11 Side Gigs You Can Do While Social Distancing
- Overwatch Legendary Item Included with Twitch Prime
Some Auto Insurance Customers Getting Money Back
Many car insurers are refunding hundreds of millions of dollars to policyholders. As Americans hunker down at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, insurance companies have noted a drop in reported accidents. Companies are seeing savings as people are driving less and filing fewer claims. Allstate, American Family, and State Farm have announced they are returning those savings to consumers in the form of refunds and lower premiums in April and May.
- State Farm’s total brings amount pledged by top 10 sellers of personal car insurance to more than $7 billion
Activate New 5% Credit Card Cash Back Categories
The start of quarter 2 has many credit card companies switching to new cash back categories as of April 1. Two of my favorite cash back credit cards in my wallet are the Chase Freedom and Discover IT credit cards.
With Chase Freedom, you can now earn 5% cash back at grocery stores, fitness club & gym memberships, and select streaming services on up to $1,500 in combined purchases from April 1 - June 30, 2020. I don’t know about your budget, but for the next three months, I will easily be maximizing the grocery store category during this lockdown.
Discover card’s 5% cashback bonus categories are gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs from the beginning of April until the end of June, on up to $1,500 in purchases.
As a reminder, with both the Chase Freedom and the Discover credit cards you need to log into your account and activate these offers.
I hardly ever spend the cash back earned from my credit cards and always pay off my card balances in full every month. Also, I always pass on the gift card options payout. Personally, I prefer to apply the cash back earned from credit cards into savings and investing options.
- Get a $50 statement credit after you apply for a Discover credit card and make your first purchase within 3 months
- Earn $200 cash back by opening a Chase Freedom credit card after spending $500 in three months
Only 9 of the World’s Top 100 Billionaires have Become Richer During the Pandemic
Nearly all of the 100 tycoons lost more than $400 billion during the period from January 31 to March 31, 2020. The nine that didn’t are all Chinese. It’s hard to imagine so much wealth vanishing in such a short amount of time. However, Wall Street billionaire Bill Ackman struck a more positive tone in a series of tweets recently. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is advising its wealthy clients to return to equities and prefers U.S. stocks to offer the best returns after the virus lockdowns end.
- Let Billionaires and Hedge Funds Get 'Wiped Out,' Says Bitcoin Bull
- $30 Million Stock Dump Proves Warren Buffett Is Bracing for a Market Crash
Bogle Had a Point on International Stocks
Vanguard's founder John Bogle didn't see the need for them, and the markets haven't shown reason to suggest he was wrong.
John Rekenthaler, "Whenever U.S. equity-fund shareholders have needed the protection, their international funds have worsened their problems, not fixed them."
The Only Black Swans with William Bernstein
Ben Carlson recently spoke with investment advisor and author William Bernstein about the pandemic and deep risk. Bernstein puts the current crash into perspective with history's worst crises.
BAT Available for Trading on Gemini Very Soon
Brave, the open-source pay-to-surf browser, will soon have more options for trading its signature token. Gemini announced they would soon support trading for Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT). Users will be able to deposit BAT into Gemini accounts starting on April 24th, 2020.
“BAT is the sixth digital asset available for trading on the Gemini platform, joining bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and Zcash.”
- Download Brave the Next-Generation Browser with Unmatched Privacy & Earn BAT
- Earn $40 of free Cryptocurrency on Coinbase by learning about the following coins by using my invite links: Orchid $12, EOS $10, Stellar $10, and BAT $8.
Crypto Firms Targeted by Lawsuits
The suits named dozens of parties including BiBox, KuCoin, BitMEX, Block.one (EOS), Tron Foundation (TRX) and many others.
The lawsuit alleges that these firms have sold unlicensed securities without broker-dealer licensing and engaged in market manipulation.
Crypto Was Meant to Democratize Finance, And It's Finally About To
Through the revolutionary blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin, the digital coin was meant to even the financial playing field, eliminate intermediaries such as banks, and maybe even replace fiat altogether.
What is happening, though, is that traditional capital markets are beginning to incorporate blockchain technology and digital assets, and the coronavirus pandemic only hastens the process.
Current Jobs Available in Cryptocurrency
There are many jobs available in the crypto industry ranging from positions in web development to management to UI/UX Designer and much more.
Bitcoin Fund listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
3iQ, a Canadian asset manager has received approval from the local watchdog to list a bitcoin-tied fund “The Bitcoin (BTC) Fund” on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). The fund recently listed 5,000,000 shares on the TSX at $10 per share. The fund’s shareholders will be exposed to the movements of bitcoin’s price over time.
Amazon to Delay Prime Day Event Due to Coronavirus
Amazon, blaming cloud risks, is planning to postpone its summer shopping Prime event. The big shopping promotion, which normally starts in July, will be delayed to at least August and could lead to a $100 - $300 million hit for the e-commerce giant.
Instacart Adds More Flexible Delivery Options As Customers Struggle to Place Orders
The Instacart app has seen a 300 percent increase in order volume in the past week, according to the company. The strained grocery delivery app is rolling out two new features to app users to try to process more deliveries at a faster rate, the company announced.
How AI Influences eCommerce Business
Artificial Intelligence(AI) is leaving its footprint on every sector. Go anywhere today and you will find the adoption of AI in eCommerce.
- Learn Unity: Three months of complimentary access to Unity Learn Premium.
- National Emergency Library: Free Digitized Book Access During Pandemic
- Free Online Courses at edX - Over 2,500 courses from 140 top institutions. edX has free cryptocurrency and blockchain courses and programs.
- Demand for Bitcoin online courses explodes by 300%
- HBO to stream 500 hours of programming for free
- 90-day free trial for Quibi - Watch movie-quality shows designed for your phone.
- Roku offers a free month of premium channels amid coronavirus outbreak
- Prime Video Channels - Join with 30 Day Free Trial
- Sling TV offers 7 days of free live TV streaming, no credit card required
Other Things I'm Reading
- Will the economy go back to “normal”
- Wanted: People who know a half century-old computer language so states can process unemployment claims
- Gold may soon soar to a record 2000 says analyst we borrowed from the future and there is not enough economy to pay it down
- Five Projects Laying the Crypto Foundations in Africa
- How Blockchain Tech Can Make Coronavirus Relief More Effective
- There’s a Work-From-Home ETF Coming and Its Ticker is WFH
- Central Bank Digital Currencies May Arrive Within 3 Years
- China Will ‘Undoubtedly’ Pursue Digital Yuan, Central Bank Says
- Blockchain Gaming, Messaging Apps See User Growth Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns