Investing in bitcoin risks

Blockchain in particular has become the new buzzword in financial media, with crypto-currencies, Initial Coin Offerings ICOs and tokens coming a close second. The protocols for the Bitcoin Network permit the creation of a limited number of bitcoins not to exceed 21 million.

Top Ten Risks for the Crypto-Currency Investor: A View from the Cayman Islands

Accordingly, other competing cryptocurrencies have been developed, such as Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. As cryptocurrency networks do not rely on governmental authorities or financial institutions to create, transmit or determine the value of digital currencies, users may acquire and trade digital currencies without the involvement of intermediaries. However, numerous third-party service providers have appeared, to facilitate transactions and converting digital currencies to or from fiat currency.

Cryptocurrencies and related trading platforms and exchanges have experienced an extremely high rate of growth during the past years.

What are the risks of trading cryptocurrencies | Learn cryptocurrency trading | CMC Markets

Top 10 Risk Factors Specific to Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Successfully investing or trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies requires technical skill and at least a basic knowledge of how Blockchain works. Below we set out some of the most significant issues that investors should be aware of in this new and rapidly changing industry.

Loss or Destruction of the Private Key Bitcoins and this applies to other cryptocurrencies are stored in a digital wallet and are controllable only by the possessor of both the public key and the private key relating to the digital wallet in which the bitcoins are held, both of which are unique.

If the private key is lost, destroyed or otherwise compromised, an investor may be unable to access the bitcoins held in the related digital wallet which will essentially be lost.

Top Ten Risks for the Crypto-Currency Investor: A View from the Cayman Islands -

If the private key is acquired by a third party, then this third party may be able to gain access to the bitcoins. Other Cyber-Security Risks Including Malicious Activity Trading platforms and third-party service providers may be vulnerable to hacking or other malicious activities.

Also, if one or more malicious actor s obtain control of sufficient consensus nodes on the Bitcoin Network or other means of alteration, then a Blockchain may be altered. Risks Associated with Peer-to-Peer Transactions Digital currencies can be traded on numerous online platforms, through third party service providers and as peer-to-peer transactions between parties.

The Main Risks Of Investing In Bitcoin

Many marketplaces simply bring together counterparties without providing any clearing or intermediary services and investing in investing in bitcoin risks risks being regulated. In such a case, all risks such as double-selling remain between the parties directly involved in the transaction. Other Risks Related investing in bitcoin risks Trading Platforms and Exchanges Digital currency trading platforms, largely unregulated and providing only limited transparency with respect to their operations, have come under increasing scrutiny due to cases of fraud, business failure or security breaches, where investors could not be compensated for losses suffered.

Although one does not need a trading platform or an exchange to trade bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies, such platforms are often used to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency, or to trade one cryptocurrency for another.

For a relatively small investing in bitcoin risks of digital currencies in the retail and commercial marketplace, online investing in bitcoin risks have investing in bitcoin risks a large trading activity by speculators seeking to profit from the short-term or long-term holding of digital currencies.

Most cryptocurrencies are not backed by a central bank, a national or international organization, or assets or other credit, and their value is strictly determined by the value that market participants place on them through their transactions, which means that loss of confidence may bring about a collapse of trading activities and an abrupt drop in value.

Regulations Preventing or Restricting Trading of Digital Currencies There are significant inconsistencies among various regulators with respect to the legal status of digital currencies.

investing in bitcoin risks

Regulators are also concerned that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be used by criminals and terrorist organizations. In the future, certain countries may restrict the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use digital currencies.

How Much of a Risk Is Investing in Bitcoin?

Currency-Conversion Risks Policies or interruptions in the deposit or withdrawal of fiat currency into or out of the trading platforms may impact the ability of certain investors to convert.

For example, when two of the largest trading platforms in China stopped margin lending and withdrawals in February and started implementing stricter anti-money laundering policies following discussions with Chinese authorities, this immediately triggered a decrease in pricing and trading volume.

investing in bitcoin risks

Taxation of Digital Currencies For investors in cryptocurrencies, it should be noted that there is substantial uncertainty with respect to the tax treatment of an investment in digital currencies. Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies may be considered assets in certain jurisdictions and currency in others. Sales or value-added taxes may be imposed on purchases and sales of digital currencies.

What are the risks of trading cryptocurrencies?

The investors, based on their home jurisdiction, may require specific tax advice on a regular basis to ensure the tax treatment of their investments in digital currencies.

Slow-Down of Network For bitcoins, mining is the process by which bitcoins are created and transactions verified. Miners which are successful in adding a block to the Blockchain are automatically awarded bitcoins plus transaction fees for transactions recorded.

However, if the rewards for solving blocks and transaction fees are not sufficiently high, or if a high volume of transactions occur at the same time, the Blockchain may experience a slow-down. A slow-down is also possible for other cryptocurrencies, if the number of transactions on the blockchain is very high.

investing in bitcoin risks

For example, inEthereum experienced a permanent fork in its Blockchain that resulted in two versions of its digital currency, Ethereum ETH and Ethereum Classic ETCwhich trade very differently. Very recently, Investing in bitcoin risks also experienced its first fork, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash BCCa new cryptocurrency.

The Top 10 Risks Of Bitcoin Investing (And How To Avoid Them)

Regulation of Cayman Funds Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Investors may also choose to invest in a fund trading exclusively or as part of a more diversified portfolio investing in bitcoin risks cryptocurrencies, which would be in a better position to avoid or better manage some of the risks above.

In the case of Cayman open-ended funds, the Funds Law specifically sets out that the offering materials shall describe the equity interests offered in all material respects, and contain such other information as is necessary to enable a prospective investor in the fund to make an informed decision as to whether or not to subscribe for or purchase the equity interests.

Whether governed by the Funds Law or not, investment funds should disclose to investors all the material terms of their offering including risk factors to be considered in order to avoid potential lawsuits based on, among other things, breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, or negligent misstatements at common law. Although for the moment the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority CIMA has not yet issued any guidance honest binary options real reviews digital assets, it is expected that CIMA would have a position similar to the one adopted in the United States by the Securities and Exchange Commission SECwhich very recently clarified that securities laws generally apply to offerings of tokens, Initial Coin Offerings ICOs and other digital assets based on the underlying economics of a transaction, irrespective of the technology used and irrespective of whether the investments are made in fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies.

Investing in Bitcoin: Opportunities and Risks

Copyright Loeb Smith Attorneys Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed price action patterns on binary options as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication.

Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.