Will Bitcoin Crash in 2018?
At the beginning of 2017, one Bitcoin was worth less than $1,000 (£745). As the year comes to a close, the digital currency has topped $17,000 (£12,760) and is expected to keep climbing. Congratulations to anyone who mined Bitcoin or bought in when it was worth much less; and commiserations to everyone else who missed this trend (including us!).
But will Bitcoin continue its march into the mainstream? Right now, it looks unlikely. While plenty of fortunes are being made–and lost – on Bitcoin, it’s still nowhere nearer to replacing cash.
Indeed, the fluctuating value has made it nigh on impossible to use for actually purchasing anything; online games platform Steam has stopped accepting Bitcoin because it’s simply too much trouble. So while Bitcoin may be filling bank accounts, it’s not actually helping to build the decentralized currency system its designers and early supporters had hoped.
It’s impossible to predict what this volatile currency will do next, but expect plenty of drama!
How safe is it to use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin? Will Bitcoin Crash in 2018?
Cryptocurrencies work in much the same way as e-payment systems such as PayPal, which means they are vulnerable to the same problems. However, the operating principles specific to cryptocurrencies can make these problems more likely to occur, and there are also risks unique to cryptocurrencies.
One common problem is plain, ordinary theft. Let’s say you’re transferring money to a friend. You copy his wallet address accurately, but malware replaces the address in the clipboard with another one, redirecting your payment.
Not every user is vigilant enough to doublecheck an address after copying it, especially if the address is a long jumble of characters. Or take phishing, for another example. As with ordinary e-money, users can be tricked into visiting a phishing website where they
upload their crypto wallets and enter a password.
Of course, a traditional bank or payment systems are also vulnerable to cybercriminals – but with a traditional system, there is a good chance that you can cancel the transfer. If you’re the victim of cryptocurrency theft, you may as well complain to the United
Nations. What happens in Bitcoin stays in Bitcoin.
Another problem is the loss or theft of a wallet. Most users store their cryptocurrency wallet files on their computers, which means they can be stolen using malware or lost if the hard drive crashes.
Fort his reason, more knowledgeable users make hard copies of their secret key and buy a USB hardware wallet.
Traditional internet banking tends to impose greater security measures, such as two-factor authentication and confirmation of transactions using SMS with one-time-use
passwords, to further protect customers.
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