Marco Verch/Flickr
Health + Tech /15 Mar 2019
03.15.19

The Top Rockstars of Cryptocurrencies & Nanocrimes

Looking for your name? Sorry, there are no “rockstars” in cryptocurrencies! There are no experts either, even though some have been touted by conferences as experts and “rockstars.”

The industry is moving so fast if you read up about it six months ago and are claiming to be an expert – you aren’t. If you read up about it three months ago and are claiming to be an expert – you still aren’t. If you think you “learned it all,” you didn’t. Things change daily.

After speaking at the Cloud Expo on November 13th last year in New York, I came to the conclusion many people do not realize how fast this industry is changing. Many people in the audience thought there were still 1,600 different cryptocoins after hearing others speak at other conferences and webinars. The reality is, there are over 2,100 different coins supported by different variations of the blockchain technologies.

Just think, if a “rockstar” can’t get the number of current cryptocurrencies on the market right, how good are they at explaining the more complex principles of the crypto concept and all the liabilities?

Let’s get Serious and Pragmatic

Many early speculators have looked at the Bitcoin craze as a fast way to make money.

“You must get in on it while it is just started!”

“You need to jump in fast! Get in on the first wave and make a million in a year – don’t be the last to invest!”

It was truly hyped that way up until the crash. Since then, reality has settled in as well as steep volatility.

The reality is, it’s more likely you probably missed the window for any “big killing,” but are just in time to get killed yourself financially with your last-minute investment to join up. Also, as with every online application, there is a good possibility there will be scams going on with various approaches to steal Bitcoins as well as sell you phony ones.

Stop the Kramdenizing.

If you are old enough, you remember Ralph Kramden, the bus driver in the 1950s TV series, The Honeymooners, who always had a “get-rich-quick” scheme to “Make a Million Dollars.” He was constantly looking to radically change his economic status and always fell for these schemes and always lost. Funny, it seems like many people have not gotten away from that over 60 years later. Stop Kramdenizing your life away.

Are cryptocurrencies nothing more than a digital vehicle for nanocrime?

Nanocrimes on the Rise

Bitcoins and other digital cryptocurrencies have recently regained some credibility and are starting to see some upgrades in value. There are now over 2,100 various cryptocurrencies in some sort of circulation to invest in, but don’t count on many of them surviving.

As it stands today, 44% of ICOs (initial coin offerings) do not make it past being in existence after four months. That is a lot of coins and a lot of lost investments. In another study, they say 80% of the cryptocoins are scams.

Whether you are a millennial with heavy student loans or a baby boomer trying to build up that nest egg you never had a chance to build, those are not good numbers to bet your life savings on.

Even in the latest ransomware sent to you by hackers demanding money, the hacker holding you hostage (or he claims to be) is wanting to be paid in a Bitcoin account. Why? It’s anonymous and there are no audit trails.

The government should be able to put a complete stop to that if they know who the account belongs to. The way the blockchain is set up, it gives the hacker anonymity. This is why cryptocurrencies will never be accepted until full audit trails are available and a decent regulatory framework defines safeguards which just are not there today.

Ransomware with a Bitcoin account is not the only thing you need to be aware of.

If you are just an average computer user, you need to understand about cryptojacking and its ability to hijack your computer to help calculate and solve problems to “mine” a coin.

Forget ransomware, this type of malware comes in to steal your processor’s resources. You are not even aware of it unless you have special software with capabilities that go beyond the typical anti-virus software which most people install.

Keep doing a lot of research, before you put any money down and be ready to lose it all if you made the wrong choice. There is real risk out there and you better ensure the ability to retrieve your money from any cryptocurrency you invest in.

In a very recent development related to the lack of liquidity for the retrieval of funds, a founder of a Canadian cryptocurrency unexpectedly died and left no way to retrieve his money as well as others from the cryptocoin (Quadriga) that he founded. His wife does not have the password for the laptop which supposedly had the key for the cryptocoin and access to its transactions and where a reserve fund is located. About $140,000,000 of coins is missing and the company claims it owes another $190,000,000 that 115,000 “investors” had transactions with.

Those who invested in it are trying to figure out how they can retrieve their money out of the coin and due to the lack of liquidity and audit trail, it has all wound up in court in Nova Scotia, Canada. All the information was encrypted and it does not seem like there is enough of an audit trail to provide a clear picture as to what the current status is.

And after this assessment, I won’t sign off as the Crypto Master, Crypto Rockstar, or Crypto God. I know better.

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