The recent rapid rise of various cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, has been driven by a flood of money and interest from “ordinary” investors. According to experts though, the cryptocurrency-investment-scape might not be the best arena for n00bs to cut their teeth.
As reported by Yahoo News, Perianne Boring, President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said “If you don’t have a basic understanding of what you’re getting involved with, then it’s probably not the best time for you to engage.”
“Today, it’s really more appropriate for a more sophisticated investor,” Boring added.
In other words, leave cryptocurrency investing to the pros.
The Chamber of Digital Commerce is a trade group representing the blockchain industry, which undergirds bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. Some people, especially computer programmers and other tech-savvy individuals, understand blockchain, but many others don’t. These “many others” are the folks who have been investing in cryptocurrencies, presumably hoping for a quick financial windfall.
According to Yahoo News, Boring and other industry officials worry that unexpected investor losses or other setbacks could create negativity around this technology and related currencies. This may then lead to backlash and over-regulation, stunting blockchain industry growth and development.
“We are in a very nascent time in this ecosystem,” Boring said, per Yahoo News. “We currently have a very fragmented regulatory regime. The rules to the road are pretty complicated from a consumer perspective.”
There are different ways to invest in the blockchain, each with different levels of risk. For instance, investors can purchase cryptocurrencies on exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken. There are also initial coin offerings, which are basically when startups funded by investors issue tokens that people can buy. Like any other sort of early-in investment, these tokens (essentially, shares) may or may not end up having value in the future.
Amid the rush to crytocurrencies and blockchain, all elements of which are rapidly developing and evolving, scams and failures seem certain. According to Yahoo News, some analysts are likening the flocking-to happening today to the internet right before the dot-com crash in 2000.
“I think [the] analogy to the Internet is right on, in the sense that there will be an economic shakeout,” attorney Grant Fondo said, Per Yahoo News. “You hear these stories about people putting all their money behind one person or one project. That’s just a bad idea.”
Especially when, according to the same experts, “ordinary” investors don’t really understand what they are doing.
Boring said people investing in cryptocurrencies need to know what they are dealing with. “That increased level of opportunity,” she says, “also brings about an increased amount of responsibility on the individual consumer.”
Still, industry insiders – pros — remain confident enough to put their own money in cryptocurrencies. “I have more money in cryptocurrencies than in any formal retirement savings account out there,” Boring said. “I’m all in.”
Are you a pro? Or, will you do what a pro says?