Crypto has too many villains right now and needs more heroes | OPINION | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


“So, what’s going to happen to crypto now?”. That’s a common question I am hearing these days. People’s faith in one of the most coveted technologies of the 21st century is dwindling and it’s going to be a while till the sun shines again on ‘cryptoland’. At least that’s what many experts are saying.

How crypto got here is a long story and you can have a look at my detailed report about it here . As an avid believer in blockchain tech, I have invested in the fundamentals and am in this for the long run, but somehow the sentiment around this space has been so negative recently that one can’t help but think: “Am I going to lose my money?”.

Headlines like: “Crypto needs to be banned”, “Top crypto exchange files for bankruptcy” and “ Hackers steal millions in crypto” have done nothing but added fuel to the fire.

Face it, the crypto universe has a lot of villains right now who’re trying to eradicate its existence from the face of the earth. Can you imagine if the power of money fell into the hands of the people? It’d be like yielding an Infinity Stone. And you know that Thanos, in this case, the governments and institutions that control money, would not like that at all.

So, am I the only one who feels that crypto needs more heroes right now?

Let’s regulate the duck out of this.

Crypto till November last year was on a vertiginous climb to supremacy. The $100,000 mark wasn’t far and most crypto enthusiasts were rooting for it. Then crypto had a fall and even the king’s horses had a tough time putting it back together.

Crypto is seeing its worst days and villain number 1, i.e regulation, has a strong chokehold around its neck. While the European Union was once considered the ‘Wild West’ for crypto, it is now shaping up to become a more regulated landscape for crypto investors and businesses. The new rules in the EU mandate crypto stakeholders to acquire licenses to operate in the country with stablecoin issuers informed to hold reserves in case of another Terra-like calamity.

Reports about the UK and US looking to regulate crypto are flooding the internet, leaving the community in a frenzy. I mean, the whole idea behind the creation of crypto was a decentralised, unregulated economic system but regulation changes that.

While China has banned crypto totally, Russia has passed a law that prohibits crypto and NFTs to be used as payment for goods and services. To add to this, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested prohibiting crypto in India, citing the “destabilising effect of cryptocurrencies on the monetary and fiscal stability of a country”.

Currently, banks control the flow of money and the longer crypto stays in the system the more threat it poses to these financial institutions. Though the Finance Minister of India has said that there needs to be “significant global collaboration” for India to prohibit crypto, it’s worrisome for the community that the RBI has suggested prohibiting crypto completely.

I just want to remind you that crypto isn’t a small change anymore you can kill easily. This is a trillion-dollar ecosystem now.

I just want to be clear that I am not against regulations. Like many experts have said before, a regulated structure can ensure that a mishap like the Terra LUNA calamity doesn’t happen again. If regulation is put in place, it should not stifle technology and its growth, but rather protect investors while keeping a check on bad actors.

However, technology has commanded the reputation of finding a way to thrive. Just like the good people of Jurassic Park couldn’t keep the dinosaurs from multiplying, a crypto ban would not stop its flow.

If not legally, businesses will take their transactions underground and that will lead to an increase in the black market trade. So, I feel that we need to come up with a holistic approach that doesn’t lead to a blanket ban on crypto but also doesn’t make it a breeding ground for malicious activities.

THE ‘BAD’ PARADISE

I recently read a story about a couple who allegedly stole around 119,000 Bitcoin which today values around $2.6 billion. That’s a lot of money. Hackers have been haunting the tech space since the 1970s and everything today that is connected to the internet can be hacked.

There are some crypto exchanges today with lesser market caps. With new technologies, there’s always the risk of bad actors plaguing the platform and crypto hasn’t been spared either. According to Comparitech.com, the total crypto stolen to date amounts to more than $33 billion!

That’s more than the GDP of some of the lesser-developed countries. Since the technology is still in the development stage, hackers are looking for vulnerabilities in crypto platforms and exchanges to exploit them.

A steadfast approach and robust cyber infrastructure are the only way to keep hackers at bay and you need to be more vigilant with your crypto. Educate yourself about ways to store your crypto offline (read about cold wallets) and stay away from questionable emails and promotions online that guarantee free crypto. They are all malware!

But hang on! Hackers aren’t the only hard-nosed nefarious habitants of the crypto world. Some also use the platform to carry out illegal trade and Bitcoin has often been referred to as the ‘Darknet currency’. Trading in illegal weapons, drugs and ransom from malware attacks are often exchanged in crypto. Due to the anonymity cryptocurrencies offer, it’s almost impossible to track where the money is going.

This is one of the primary reasons that governments across the world are playing hardball with crypto. But here’s my counterargument: even when crypto didn’t exist, illegal weapons were being sold in the black market, drugs were being smuggled across borders and unaccounted money was finding its way into the system through various nefarious channels.

This is why we need to stop demonising crypto as the ‘smuggler’s currency’ and work towards making the technology more secure rather than find flaws and castigate it.

BECAUSE OF THE ‘BEAR’?

In the past 6 months, three major crypto exchanges have filed for bankruptcy and God knows what perils the smaller exchanges would have had to face in these dark times. Inflation, the negative sentiment around crypto and the overall bear market have painted a red picture across exchanges with most of the cryptos registering record lows.

Though there isn’t a single factor to blame for crypto’s despondent predicament, many analysts and pundits believe this is just one of those downs that crypto has suffered in the past. Let’s hope it’s true, at least for their sake.

Crypto’s esoteric nature is what makes it difficult to believe in it which is why more education is needed in this sector. Albeit, the crypto guild and enthusiasts have been trying to beguile the non-believers, I still feel it’ll be a while till people in general start warming up to the idea of crypto as a currency they can use to trade.

The market will recover eventually and there is the possibility that crypto will once again find itself among the most-coveted assets in people’s financial portfolios. However, as I have always said, crypto is a volatile asset class and one should analyse the risks of investing in this space.

I am not saying that crypto will supplant regular currency, but it will find a way to co-exist with paper money just enough to ensure that the technology thrives and has the opportunity to grow.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR HEROES

Undoubtedly there is ambivalence about the future of crypto, but there will always be proponents of the technology who will back it unconditionally. Elon Musk has been very vocal about his support for DogeCoin and even countries like El Salvador and the Central African Republic have declared Bitcoin as a legal tender.

Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of one of the largest crypto exchanges, FTX, recently rescued two crypto lending firms, Voyager and BlockFi, from bankruptcy just to keep the industry strong, which is a testament that there are people who are ready to believe in this technology and are willing to fight it out till the end.

Crypto’s second-half prognosis of 2022-23 might be relatively better than how the year kicked off or it might just completely die (highly unlikely).

For the technology to nurture and survive, I believe it needs more heroes to come forth and talk about its fundamentals and educate people about blockchain technology. Technology is still in its nascent stage and a deep understanding of it is needed. Because at the moment we have enough who are propagating a false narrative and spreading rumours about crypto.

Regulation in a more constructive manner will help re-establish people’s faith in this sector and who knows, we may see cryptocurrency return to its glory days again, maybe even more.

[Disclaimer: All of the information in this opinion piece is for educational purposes only and is not investment or financial advice. We suggest you do your own research before making any investment decisions. Cryptocurrencies are volatile and high-risk in nature. Don’t invest more than what you can afford to lose. India Today will not be liable for any loss incurred if you refer to this article for details on crypto or any other form of investment.]

— ENDS —



Original Source link

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ninety − = eighty four