Cryptocurrencies – digital tokens known as cryptos for short – have investors in the grip of a gold rush fever, with billions being traded every day. Prices fluctuate wildly, making them high-risk investments. But could a more stable, less volatile crypto persuade us to think of digital moneyless as a speculative investment and more as a mainstream “smart” currency?
There are now more than 1,500 cryptos – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin to name just a few – being traded on about 190 exchanges around the world.
Prices have soared and crashed alarmingly. In 2017 the price of a bitcoin rocketed to nearly £15,000 before losing two-thirds of its value in just a few months. It’s currently worth about £5,000.
This volatility may be a speculative trader’s friend, but it has reinforced cryptos’ reputation for being high-risk investments for the adrenalin-fuelled “get rich quick” brigade.
Crypto fundraising schemes, known as Initial Coin Offerings, have alarmed regulators around the world.
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