Cryptocurrencies have become a hot financial topic. With their growing prominence in investment circles, it’s crucial to think about safety. Any potential investor needs to know whether products like ethereum represent real investment opportunities or whether they should be considered dangerous frauds, in the same category as pyramid schemes.
The answer is complicated. No, ethereum itself isn’t a scam. Like other cryptocurrencies, it has been gaining attention as a potential alternative to traditional national currencies.
However, investing in ethereum (and in any cryptocurrency) comes with potential risk. These risks should be understood ahead of time. No one should purchase ethereum without appreciating the possibility that it could decline in value.
Beyond this, there are cryptocurrency scams to worry about. These aren’t inherent to ethereum or any other legitimate crypto. But just like there are bitcoin scams, there are ethereum scams. Investors should stay wary.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum counts among a long list of cryptocurrencies. It falls into the same basic category as bitcoin or any other digital currencies.
The differences between the various cryptos can be hard to explain. In traditional currencies, the usual designation is based on the issuing authority. The U.S. dollar comes from the U.S. government. The Japanese yen comes from the Japanese government. And so on.
To some extent, the same holds for digital currencies. They are different because they come from another source. In this way, they have a kind of Coke vs. Pepsi quality.
But there are deeper variances as well. Each digital currency has a different underlying technology. In the case of ethereum, the platform goes beyond the currency itself. The blockchain-based system includes software and a programming language.
How to Spot Cryptocurrency Scams
Ethereum is one of the most well-established cryptocurrencies. That means the product itself is no more dangerous than the other competitors in the field. That is, as long as you know what you’re doing.
It feels like only a few years when digital currencies represented a niche topic, known only to fintech enthusiasts and international smugglers. Now, mainstream services like PayPal offer crypto options, and you can find crypto ATMs at random gas stations.
Still, cryptocurrency scams have become a problem. Some estimates put the losses at more than $4 billion per year. To avoid these pitfalls, you need to know how to protect yourself.
In many ways, this just means using investing best practices. In the old days, someone might try to sell you swampland in Florida; and in the 2020s, they will trick you into purchasing phony crypto.
Here are some tips to follow, as laid out by the federal regulators:
Don’t Fall for the Hype: Everyone wants big investment returns. And cryptos have seen some booms lately. However, be careful about “too good to be true” situations.
Do Your Homework: Understand the world of cryptocurrencies before you invest.
Be Careful of Unsolicited Approaches: Don’t respond to unsolicited emails, texts, or DMs. These are likely scams. If you’re interested in the world of digital currency, seek out reputable advice.
Blackmail and Other Extortion: Criminals like crypto transactions because they are hard to trace and are usually not reversible. As a result, blackmail and extortion attempts often involve a request for ransom in the form of cryptocurrencies. Authorities advise that you involve the police before paying. That way, you can get guidance through the trauma.
Understand the Cryptocurrency Risks
Ethereum is no more a pyramid scheme than bitcoin or baseball cards. However, that doesn’t mean it represents a safe investment. You should always conduct research before risking your money and understand the potential losses that could happen.
At the same time, be aware of the potential of cryptocurrency scams. They happen to the tune of billions of dollars per year. By taking the proper precautions, though, you can prevent losing your money to one of these con artists.