Bitcoin and other altcoins have been making big headlines over the past few years, laced with stories about incredible gains and devastating losses. It’s the losses that are a hard pill to swallow. Many people ask, is Ethereum a good investment or Bitcoin? Let’s look at the top 10 reasons why you should not invest in Bitcoin and other cryptos. Remember, only invest what you can afford to lose.
Bitcoin and altcoins are very volatile, meaning that you could lose your shirt and your trousers if you buy high and sell low. In December 2017, Bitcoin hit its highest price at about $20,000. Fast forward to April 2018, when one Bitcoin is worth about $6,700, a 66.5 percent decrease in value. If you bought in the hype of December 2017, you would be out about $14,000 and for many people, that’s big money.
In many countries of the world, banks are backed by the government. In the US the FDIC will ensure your bank account up to $250,000. Many exchanges do not insure your funds in crypto. If they are hacked and your proceeds are lost, you just lost all your money, unless the exchange can reimburse affected users.
3. Value or lack thereof
Bitcoin and cryptos are not backed by anything except belief. But then again, fiat currencies are backed only by the belief in the government that controls it, but at least cash is accepted everywhere. Crytpo derives its so-called wealth from mathematic formulae that are only understood by few.
Crypto is still very new, especially to governments. They are not sure how to regulate it or how to tax it. In some countries, there is a call to have it banned. Imagine being vested heavily in crypto and then finding out it is banned. How can you get your money back? Will you face fines and penalties for owning it? It’s not safe to own in a country that is about to place a ban on crypto.
5. Environmentally unfriendly
The power required to run mining rigs draws so much electricity, that it has become an environmental issue, that consumes valuable resources, pollutes the earth and even disrupts time. In China, Bitcoin mining is estimated to use up to four gigawatts of electricity, equivalent to three nuclear reactors' production levels.
Nothing is worse than being scammed out of your hard-earned cash. Scams and Ponzi schemes abound on the Internet with fake exchanges, fake ICOs, and other ways to steal your money. Whatever seems like an amazing way to double, triple, or quadruple your money in a short time, it probably is. You might also face long withdrawal periods to get your gains out of a rigged system. These are all part of Bitcoin investment scams and should be avoided.
7. No understanding of what crypto is
Many people ask if they should invest in Ether because it is not Bitcoin. Yes, it has a different function other than a store of value, but what makes it different is that it has smart contracts which are fuel and executed by “gas” another sub-set currency of Ethereum. Confused yet? As the old adage goes, don’t invest in something you don’t understand. “Can I invest in Ethereum?” you might ask, and sure you can, but don’t do it unless you understand it. More about Ethereum.
8. Decentralization: who do you trust?
Would you give your money to some guy on the street, who is touting a Bitcoin investment plan? I doubt it. Then why would you place your money into a system that has no central authority to regulate the inner workings of your investment and where your money is going? Could a state-backed cryptocurrency be the answer?
9. Anonymous or not
While Bitcoin is supposed to be anonymous, wallets are transparent. For some types of sales, especially in real estate, your funds need to be verified, it is a bit tricky to do with Bitcoin. Also, the US government is working with a firm to try to identify the individuals who may owe capital gains taxes on sales of Bitcoin. If the government can find you, then the promise of anonymity is false. Better not to get caught up in this trap.
10. Use on the dark web
The dark web is a place where all sorts of online crime take place, such as selling drugs, information, human trafficking, etc. Since Bitcoin is an incorruptible ledger system, that coin could be traced back to illegal dealings and might connect you to a crime: dirty money in other words.