Educational Campaigns on the Possible Risks of Cryptocurrency Transactions

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While there have been significant cryptocurrency regulations and bans put in place by national governments around the world, very few regulators have put an emphasis on educational campaigns as a way to teach new investors about the potential risks of investing in crypto.

So who’s teaching about these risks? So far we have seen a variety of nonprofits, legal journal publications, and tax services publish information about the risks of purchasing cryptocurrency.

Let’s take a look at some of the current educational campaigns on the risks involved in cryptocurrency transactions and what strategies they’re giving to help people mitigate risk.

Hong Kong’s Official Efforts

Thus far, Hong Kong is leading the way in an effort to create an official, government-led cryptocurrency education campaign. On January 29, 2018, the Hong Kong government’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and the Investor Education Centre (IEC) launched a cryptocurrency education campaign that includes a series of videos, infographics, and articles on this website.

Articles and infographics on the site are written in English. Videos are produced in Cantonese.  The site offers a few succinct explanations of cryptocurrency and ICO investment risks. It also explains other FinTech terms like “P2P lending” and “equity crowdfunding”.

US Campaigns/Non-Profits

While the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have had several meetings discussing how the US government will govern cryptocurrency in the future, there are presently no official government educational campaigns on the risks of crypto. However, a few organizations have produced some educational materials.

Legal Publications

In January 2018, the New Jersey Law Journal released an article on what people should be aware of when investing in cryptocurrency. This article gives an unbiased, factual assessment of some of the previous hacks of top cryptos and gives reasons why some cryptos might or might not be good transaction decisions. It also explains some of the basic differences between top cryptos like BTC and ETH.

Advocacy Groups

Educational campaigns from Super PACs like Cryptocurrency Alliance are also becoming more popular. This Super PAC is committed to creating more public awareness surrounding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Cryptocurrency Alliance also seeks to “oppose legislation and political candidates who intend to regulate cryptocurrencies at the expense of consumer privacy”. According to the group’s website, 20+ people are now core members of this organization.

Universities/Online Courses

Universities are perhaps the biggest adopters of educational campaigns on cryptocurrencies to date. Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland, and a few other major universities in the US have added courses on cryptocurrency technology, economics, law, and other specific subjects.

While it’s difficult to say exactly how the blockchain technology and market trends of cryptocurrency will evolve, professors can generally guide students to develop sound investment principles and educate them on how to keep investments secure.

In addition, online learning platforms are also beginning to offer more courses related to blockchain and cryptocurrency. For example, Coursera offers a Princeton class on a wide range of topics about Bitcoin and various other cryptos.

What’s Next for Educational Campaigns?

Current educational campaigns on the risks of cryptocurrency transactions are still few and far between. While universities are likely to expand course offerings about blockchain and cryptocurrency, other segments of the population also need to learn more about how to make wiser cryptocurrency transaction decisions.

For the most part, HODLers and day traders alike have to find out about risks through their own research. Perhaps, one of the most important ways for newer investors to become more aware of potential risks is through using a combination of age-old investment advice (i.e. general principles associated with stock market investing) and self-education through research (i.e. learning about wallet storage, security measures, etc.)

Investors should remember classic advice like “don’t invest more than one can afford to lose” or “buy low, sell high.” However, they should also look for more resources which teach essential blockchain/cryptocurrency technology concepts.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to mature and newer investors begin to gain interest in the market, official educational campaigns will likely play a more important role in teaching people investment principles and technology concepts. For now, the educational gap for newer investors still remains rather large.

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