Seasoned investors in cryptocurrency may take their understanding of the industry for granted, but it remains a complex topic for rookies to get to grips with. Even veteran traders can fall foul of risks in the world of bitcoin, so it is especially important for new consumers to take plenty of time to research cryptocurrency platforms before registration.
A more secure way of trading
Cryptocurrencies have been designed with the intention of giving users an extra degree of security in comparison with more traditional currencies. Blockchain technology’s method of operation makes it difficult for hackers to interfere with financial transactions, while a typical two-step authentication process on crypto transfers helps to verify the identity of the individuals involved.
This level of defence could deter more casual hackers, while even the more skilled intruders may struggle to work their way around the security checks. Yet no defence can be entirely impenetrable, while there is always a level of risk surrounding financial transactions. Whether you’re sending money between online banks or depositing funds in person, there is always a chance that the process could go awry.
The potential risks of cryptocurrency investing were made clear by a recent situation in Colorado, where an individual and their firm defrauded American investors out of thousands of dollars of investments. Venture Capital Investments Ltd encouraged US residents to trade bitcoin foreign exchange contracts, among other assets, through a commodity pool, before misusing those funds for private gain.
The level of strategy that went into the scheme ensured that its participants were wholly unaware of its duplicitous nature, with erroneous financial credentials and doctored account statements leading these investors to believe that they were part of a legitimate commodity pool. Sometimes these signs are hard to spot even for a seasoned cryptocurrency trader, while beginners are naturally more susceptible to these traps.
The value of regulatory bodies
This is where the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) intervened, with the American regulatory body filing a civil enforcement action against Venture Capital. Part of the CFTC’s case against Venture is a claim for financial restitution to the defrauded investors, as well as a permanent trading ban for the implicated individuals.
The understanding that regulatory bodies will clamp down on fraudsters and claim compensation for wrongdoings should be reassuring for prospective cryptocurrency traders. Particularly for something as intangible as trading in digital coins, it is encouraging to know that there are real-world consequences against those who seek to take advantage of the system.
Managing the risks
There are some risks upon signing up to cryptocurrency exchanges which are fully avoidable, so consumers can minimize the danger of losing out when making a financial transaction. The easiest way for consumers to reduce the risks of making payments with digital coins is to perform their due diligence on the various cryptocurrency platforms.
It is widely advised by market experts that consumers take the following factors into account before signing up to a cryptocurrency exchange.
Ensure that your cryptocurrency exchange comes under the jurisdiction of the relevant regulatory body in the nation within which you are based. For example, bitcoin exchanges in the United States are expected to comply with the regulations of the CFTC, as their jurisdiction comes into effect when a digital coin is traded as a commodity.
This is particularly relevant to the case of Venture Capital Investments Ltd in Colorado, where part of the CFTC’s case against the firm was based on a failure to register before their operation. That violated the Commodity Exchange Act, so ensure that any cryptocurrency exchanges or firms fully comply with all regulatory needs.
Only access cryptocurrency exchanges with an https website address and a two-factor authentication process every time you log in. These provide a degree of confidence that your chosen platform will protect your data. Other tools, like cold storage of customer deposits, would also work in a site’s favour.
A site that fails on regulation and online security is also unlikely to pass the test for transparency, but you should ensure that you take the time to ensure that your chosen cryptocurrency exchange has contactable details and a registered address. Reading online reviews is also a useful way to gauge the experience of fellow users, as the consensus of the crypto community is instructive in helping you determine which exchanges are the most trustworthy.
There are also several other factors that will come into play. Before signing up with exchange and trading in digital coins, prospective investors should develop an understanding of the liquidity of the exchanges and an appreciation of the potential fluctuations of bitcoin markets. However, the security of your personal information and, of course, your money is of paramount importance when it comes to cryptocurrency trading.
Fortunately, the mechanisms of cryptocurrency transactions bring traders a greater level of security than many other financial methods. By ensuring that full research is undertaken before signing up to a cryptocurrency exchange, new traders can minimize the risk of losing their money. Even if unscrupulous individuals do take command, it is useful to know that regulatory bodies like the CFTC will intervene and claim retribution as they did so in Colorado.