How did it all start?
After the banking crisis of 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper that gave birth to a decentralized currency not regulated by a central authority in the Bitcoin, and the most revolutionary technology of the 21st century in the blockchain technology.
The Bitcoin has inspired the release of other cryptocurrencies and digital currencies including the BnB, Eth, LTC, AE just to name a few.
Cryptocurrencies are complicated, especially for new users, they are lightly regulated, highly volatile and there is not enough information out there to enlighten people wishing to venture into this, scammers taking advantage of this.
Like everywhere else, scammers will always be quick to take advantage of naivety to steal from unsuspecting newbies.
How to identify scammers;
- The promise of making quick money
This involves scammers enticing you to `invest’ a certain amount of money to be making a huge chunk of it every day/week/month
- New traders without verifications
Scammers create new accounts and take advantage of the one trade allowed before having to verify your identification to take advantage of unsuspecting traders
- Paying to join a `mining network’
You have probably already seen people put out adverts where you are asked to contribute amount Y to join their mining network and make Z amount every day/week/month
- Sending you links(malware) to help them recover `locked assets’
Scammers often send you links and malware that they use to try to get a backdoor entry into your wallet especially if you do not have a double-step verification
- Fake bitcoin exchanges
These are platforms that purport to be crypto exchange platforms but in real sense are not, it is always advisable to use trusted wallets and platforms
Doing your own research and knowing why you are venturing into cryptocurrencies goes a long way in helping you avoid being scammed, for newbies, I would advise you DYOR before venturing into crypto, treat them as an alternative currency at the beginning and build from there.
You can accumulate Bitcoins through;
- Buying them from exchange platforms eg Binance/paxful/localbitcoins
- Accepting them as payments for goods and services using platforms eg Bitlipa
To make money in this space you can choose to venture into;
- P2P Trading
- Buying dips and hodling
- Trading on exchange platforms
Trading may include buying at lower margins and selling at higher ones or the more complex trading at platforms eg Binance.
For newcomers, buying during dips and holding onto your assets until the value goes up is the most advisable way, always make sure you are buying from legit traders and platforms, applications eg Bitlipa have made acquiring crypto easier as all you have to do is load fiat on your wallet and exchange directly for a cryptocurrency of your choice, thus eliminating the risk of a scammer stealing your hard-earned money.
Lending includes you availing your assets to traders with buyers but no crypto and sharing the profits with them
Mining, a process of verifying and adding transaction records to the bitcoin’s public ledger called the blockchain, is complex and not as profitable as once was.
How to safely secure your assets
- Keep secret your private keys/pin
- Use 2-factor authentication
- Use safe and recommended wallets eg Localbitcoins and Bitlipa
Cryptocurrencies can be used as
- A store of value
- For direct digital payments
- As digital gold
There are more cunning ways of being scammed on p2p exchange platforms which include a buyer purporting to have settled a payment and pressuring you to release the Bitcoins from the escrow lest they give you an untrustworthy review, others include someone convincing a naïve but interested guy to send them, for example, $6000 in exchange for 1 btc and then ghosting with your money.
It is imperative you DYOR and take your time when venturing into this space so that you know what exactly you are getting into and what exactly you want, by eradicating scammers, we help build trust thus a wider adoption of this disruptive currency.
Do you own any Bitcoin yourself? Don’t be too late to the party