Cryptocurrency has been thrust into the mainstream in recent years thanks to its high-profile hype, trading volume, and even adoption as legal tender in a growing number of countries.

However, there are still many who believe cryptocurrency is too risky, rife with scammers, and overall too shady for the average consumer to handle.

Is there some truth to these beliefs, and how can crypto be made more secure and consumer-friendly for average citizens? Those questions and more are what this article aims to address.

Storing and Accessing Crypto is Consumer-Unfriendly

People interested in cryptocurrency may be turned off by storage methods. When you hold cryptocurrency, it is a digital asset stored on a hardware-based or web-based wallet, with a few options for mobile wallets also available. These wallets contain private keys that control access to funds.

There have been stories of people losing USB drives containing their private keys to millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies as a result of drive failure, or theft.

However, the fintech industry has aggressively ramped up security and protocol layers to combat these types of vulnerabilities. Swyftx, for example, considered the best Ethereum wallet for the Australian market, uses several layers of security such as offline asset storage, multi-factor authentication protocols, and private signing keys.

There are many crypto wallet platforms, which have advanced wallet protection due to competition and regulation. Some other popular crypto wallet platforms include:

  • Coinbase
  • Electrum
  • Mycelium
  • Ledger Nano X
  • Exodus

One of the most common types of criticisms leveled at cryptocurrency is the belief that it’s used primarily by criminals and has no place in mainstream commerce.

There is a bit of truth to this in the early days of cryptocurrency. As a decentralized, tech-focused initiative, cryptocurrencies carried a strong appeal to anonymous hackers and criminals.

Illegal Marketplaces

The dark web market known as Silk Road was launched in 2011, allowing users to anonymously purchase drugs, firearms, child pornography, and other illegal items, all using Bitcoin as the currency of choice.

While the Silk Road was shut down in 2013, and its creator sentenced to life in prison, there are still many illicit dark web marketplaces running, all using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to allow for anonymity of buyers and sellers.

Crypto is a Ponzi Scheme

Cryptocurrency itself has also been accused of being a massive Ponzi scheme, whereby early investors are paid with new cryptocurrency purchased by new investors and used to pay off previous investors.

This is an on-going debate within crypto communities, with many arguments on whether or not cryptocurrency fits the exact criteria for a Ponzi scheme.

Crypto is Full of Scammers and Hackers

Another common criticism leveled at cryptocurrency is that it is rife with scammers and other nefarious types of traders and users. For example, take a look at the comments section of any Twitter post by Elon Musk, one of the most vocal crypto-enthusiasts in the world.

Often, one can find a flood of scam-bots offering links to various scams and fraudulent investment opportunities – something Elon Musk has pointed out during his on-going Twitter acquisition.

Cryptocurrency can be Used for Shady Purposes, but So Can Fiat

At the end of the day, nearly all of the criticisms leveled against cryptocurrency can also be leveled against fiat currency. While the anonymity of cryptocurrency may enable criminals just a little more easily, fiat currency is still used by criminals worldwide.

As governments and financial institutions continue to evolve regulatory frameworks, cryptocurrency will become much more accepted in the mainstream economy.

As it stands, there is no legal obstacle for cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. In the meantime, cryptocurrency transactions are now reported on publicly available public blockchains.

So at the end of the day, cryptocurrency itself isn’t shady – but people are. And addressing that boils down to government intervention, ironically, in a digital asset created to eschew the control of centralized authorities.