With the US now imposing travel restrictions to most of Europe due to the covid-19, the crypto industry has been hit hard.
In the United States, President Trump today announced new travel restrictions in response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Commander-in-Chief signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in the U.S.
These countries include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The United Kingdom is exempt.
Meanwhile, India announced that it would suspend visas for most foreign visitors arriving between 13 March and 15 April, and close the country’s land border with Myanmar. Air India has already cancelled flights to Italy and South Korea, the two countries outside China most affected by the outbreak.
Other countries, from Australia to Saudi Arabia, are also considering tightening travel restrictions.
Travel interruptions since the beginning of the outbreak
Travel and tourism around the world has seen a huge decline in numbers since the first reported outbreak of coronavirus in China in December. The Blockchain community has not been spared, and the first disruptions to the industry began when the virus first spread from Wuhan.
Chinese government officials extended the nation’s biggest holiday, Lunar New Year, which annually causes one of the largest internal migrations in the country. Many workers in China’s crypto industry were unable to return to business immediately, and the price of Bitcoin may have suffered as a result.
The imposition of travel restrictions, which were intended to stop the spread of the disease, were only the first of a long list of consequences of the outbreak.
Crypto conferences have been cancelled or postponed
The crypto conferences in Asia were the first to see the effects of COVID-19. TOKEN2049, a major cryptology event held annually in Hong Kong, was originally scheduled for mid-March 2020. It will now take place on 7-8 October 2020. Hong Kong 2020 Block Chain Week, also scheduled for March, was pushed to September.
While some event organisers hope that travel restrictions will be lifted by the end of 2020, others are not so optimistic. Italy’s next EDCON has been cancelled, and no new dates have been announced for South Korea’s Nitron Summit in 2020.
With the new measures taken by the United States, major crypto conferences on both sides of the Atlantic may soon announce postponements or complete cancellations. India’s Crypto Bulls Roadshow, which originally planned to speak at Consensus 2020 in New York, has not released a statement at this time. However, they are likely to face challenges both when leaving India and when entering the US.
Cryptoconference participant diagnosed with coronavirus
While the restrictions may seem severe for members of the crypto community, health experts say they are necessary to protect the sick and elderly, who are most at risk from VIDOC-19.
ETHLondon hackathon attendees from February 28 to March 1 realized their potential exposure to the pandemic when Zhen Yu Yong (Zen) tweeted on March 11 that he had been diagnosed with a coronavirus. Zen, who is the co-founder of TorusLabs, was present both in London and at the Ethereum Community Conference March 3-5 in Paris.
Massive sale of cryptocurrency due to travel restrictions
Uncertainty over what measures officials will impose in response to the coronavirus outbreak may be what is leading to the charge behind a series of major cryptocurrency sales. On February 26, the price of Bitcoin fell by nearly 6% after $150 million of the cryptocurrency was liquidated at BitMEX.