Cryptocurrencies and NFTs Are a Buyer Beware Market

Mon, 02 May 2022 06:00:00 GMT
Scientific American - Technology

Scams and volatility plague this market, and the Biden administration is still trying to decide...

Last year 16 percent of Americans claimed to have speculated in cryptocurrencies based on blockchain technology, and this year's Super Bowl broadcast included several ads for crypto markets.

Even as their cheerleaders encourage others to dabble in cryptocurrencies, their worth remains dubious.

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether, can be used to pay for goods much like legal tender, except that exchanges are recorded via blockchain.

Crypto exchanges allow people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies the way investors trade stocks.

Unlike stocks cryptocurrencies do not derive their value from a tangible object or company and cannot be guaranteed by a trusted authority.

As a result, cryptocurrency speculation can be extremely volatile.

This anonymity, as well as freedom from official oversight, has made cryptocurrencies popular among ransomware hackers.

In 2021 scammers nabbed $14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are not minted by a government; instead many must be "Mined" by members of the decentralized network performing computing tasks to help validate transactions of that particular cryptocurrency.

Like cryptocurrencies NFTs' value can vary wildly.

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