Cryptocurrency is one of the hottest topics in today’s business sector. The first and most well-known cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin went from something only computer geeks and hackers talked about to a global phenomenon that’s transformed how the entire world views money.
As of November 2017, a single Bitcoin was worth more than $10,000, with the currency’s total market capitalization at roughly $158 billion. Bitcoin’s explosive success spawned a legion of other coins, known as “altcoins,” such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple, and the global market value for all cryptocurrency is currently more than $300 billion.
With such huge amounts of money transitioning into the world of cryptocurrency, it’s no wonder entrepreneurs are flocking to it, whether they’re using it to conduct business transactions, raise funds for their startup, or as an investment vehicle. However, because it’s largely unregulated, involves extremely complex technology, and offers significant anonymity, the cryptocurrency market has also become a haven for cyber criminals.
The brief history of cryptocurrency is littered with stories of people losing major money through hacking, along with a variety of other traps and scams. As with any new technology, the key to safety when dealing with cryptocurrency is education. While business owners should do their own research before dipping their toes into the “crypto” waters, this article discusses four of the most common scams to look out for and how to know whether investing in or using cryptocurrency is right for you and your business or family.