There are few things that are perfect. The smile of your first love excluded, just about everything else has its ups and downs. Did you know bacon routinely ranks as one of the most agreed-upon “great foods” by both men and women? It's true. In polls and studies, females and males of all ages tend to agree that bacon is a wonderful and delicious food.
This obviously discounts vegetarians, vegans and those who don't eat meat for religious or cultural reasons. This nearly worldwide acceptance of bacon as a favored food does not mean there are any negatives associated with eating it. The consumption of too much animal protein has been linked with higher rates of cancer and heart disease, for instance. So, bacon is just one reminder that the greatest things can have their downsides as well.
The same is true with cryptocurrencies. Virtual dollars are extremely attractive for a lot of reasons. They are also as scary as Michael Myers on Halloween, in some ways. Let's take a look at the few of the major pros and cons of cryptocurrencies.
- The possibility exists for massive returns. Using cryptocurrencies simply for trading on the open market can be extremely lucrative. Just $1 invested in bitcoins four years ago is worth more than $400 today (November 2017).
- Cryptocurrencies allow for increased liquidity. Since there are no intermediaries or third parties to deal with, you can sell your cryptocurrencies quickly, allowing you to rapidly cash out of a positive or negative position.
- Raising capital for a business is streamlined, direct and quick. There is no worrying about having to change directions or experiencing regulatory hurdles that can slow down the development of venture capital like there are with the traditional capital procurement methods.
- Extreme volatility can crash your investment in a very short period. This same characteristic of cryptocurrencies which could make you wealthy can also break you in just a few days, and just a few hours in some instances.
- A cryptocurrency is only as reliable or viable as its network of users. If the owners of a particular cryptocurrency become disenchanted and they stop getting involved, that lack of network engagement can kill a digital currency overnight.
- Even though blockchain technology protects the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, as long as humans are involved, the potential for mismanagement and downright fraud will always be a consideration. Cryptocurrencies are only as trustworthy as the people that develop them.
Cryptocurrencies change every day. Some of those changes will be good, and some not so good. Since there is no regulating body which governs virtual currencies, speculative investors, as well as businesses using initial coin launches (ICOs) to raise capital, both need to approach cryptocurrencies cautiously and perform their due diligence.