Bitcoin, cryptocurrency | Homeland Security Newswire

CryptocurrencyRead this before you invest in cryptocurrency

Published 21 May 2018

We’ve all heard the headline stories about cryptocurrencies – they’re millionaire-makers and dream-destroyers. They’re part of a decentralized market that supports criminal activity, yada yada yada. But how do you separate facts from fiction? Here are six cryptocurrency myths you need to get on top of.

We’ve all heard the headline stories about cryptocurrencies – they’re millionaire-makers and dream-destroyers. They’re part of a decentralized market that supports criminal activity, yada yada yada. But how do you separate facts from fiction? Here are six cryptocurrency myths you need to get on top of.

Decentralized market = always a good thing
UTS says that one of the key selling points for cryptocurrencies is that they’re not under the thumb of major financial institutions – and in countries with unstable financial systems (like these African countries), or spiraling inflation (like in Venezuela), cryptocurrency can present an opportunity to circumvent traditional methods of getting, spending and exchanging money. But it also faces some pretty significant challenges as day-to-day tender – it’s not widely accepted as a form of payment, and the crazy price fluctuations associated with the major currencies can make them pretty volatile when it comes to everyday transactions. Some of the coins also come with pretty hefty transaction fees, which just adds to the complexity of using Bitcoin to buy your milk. 

It’s easy to keep your digital currency secure
In short, there are two basic ways to store your cryptocurrency. The first is set up your own digital wallet (there are lots of different types), which requires a public and a private security code to access (just don’t lose your codes, like this guy did). While setting up a digital wallet can be a fiddly process, it should be impossible for someone guess your codes once you’ve done it – but be warned: hackers have lots of other tricks up their sleeves to get their hands on your loot. Don’t want to DIY? The other option is to stash your fortune with a third-party digital currency exchange – but even these can be vulnerable to some pretty major hacks. In Japan, Coinbase lost $660 million worth of NEM earlier this year, while CoinDash was swindled out of $13 million in Ether in 2017 – and these are just two examples from a painfully long list.