Buying cryptocurrencies is like pinning a donkey’s tail

My Solana is pumping ‘isn’t a phrase you’d expect to hear at the school gates, but last year the playground chat was filled with cryptocurrency speculation. Parents were piling up, gossip about PTA power travel and rising house prices forgotten, for stories of big wins in the crypto wild west.

And this was not in a private school in the stockbrokers belt, but in a regular state primary school in the Southwest, albeit in a relatively affluent area. At secondary schools, apparently, it’s teenage students who trade cryptocurrencies, as they once traded football cards.

After spending the small hours scanning larger screens to fill out my morning market reports, the phones were pushed to the door of the classroom, showing the rapid rise of coins and tokens.

Had these cryptocurrency novices done some research on what they were buying? Rarely. They were funneling their money into top-earning coins and tokens, led by superstar pundits on social media.

While their children played with imaginary lightsabers, these parents showed the full force of FOMO. The fear of getting lost was strong in them. My pleas to stop, watch and listen to the Financial Conduct Authority’s warnings went unheard. My attempts to get them to consider less risky investments have largely been ignored. Only one friend cashed before the accident which, when he arrived, was spectacular.

There are expectations that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be reborn again, like a phoenix from the ashes of this latest crash and burn. There are hopes that just like the dot com boom, the survivors could be the technology stars of the future.

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But equally favored for the odds Reach for the moon was defeated at Ascot, they might equally disappoint. It is often said that investing in cryptocurrencies is like supporting a horse. But unlike horse racing, which has a history dating back centuries, the rules of the cryptocurrency game have yet to be written.

Regulators around the world have not decided how to control digital currencies and what role stable currencies and central bank digital currencies will play. Until they do, speculating in cryptocurrencies is more like pinning a donkey’s tail.

Regulators must get a move on and try to remove the blindfold that is leaving so many cryptocurrency holders in a dark alley of despair when losses mount.

In 2021, around 2.3 million Brits held some form of cryptocurrency, and a frightening 14% of holders had gone into debt to speculate.

Big City rumors tried to grab the megaphone to warn crowds of speculators, and particular anger was reserved for celebrity endorsements. When the head of the Financial Conduct Authority spends his time keeping up with the Kardashians, it’s clear that the collision between celebrities and cryptocurrencies is causing concern.

(Ms. Khardashian West along with Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr are among those who have been sued in the United States for allegedly misrepresentation promoting the EthereumMax cryptocurrency.)

Outgoing FCA president Charles Randall reserved a portion of his speech for reality star Kim, saying his Instagram story linking a cryptocurrency may have been the “largest-audience financial promotion in history.”

There were concerns that speculation had reached such a level last year, that a cryptographic time bomb was ticking. Unregulated crypto assets increased from $ 16 billion in 2016 to $ 2.3 trillion in October.

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But the collapse wiped out over $ 1 trillion from the value of Bitcoin and other currencies.

Government plans to make the UK an investment hub for cryptocurrencies and its innovations are also rejected. Ministers have high hopes of making the UK tax system more competitive to encourage further development of the cryptocurrency market.

But if the highly experienced management consultants who advise big companies on how to operate in this brave new world still don’t understand the rules of engagement, how ordinary bettors are expected to protect themselves from further financial damage.

As long as cryptocurrencies are no less a gamble, investors should treat this currency speculation with caution and only dabble at the edge of any wallet, with money they are willing to lose.

But if parents want to talk about interest rates, inflation and the impact on businesses, mine is a cappuccino with cinnamon. But it will have to be quick, as those screens are beckoning.

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