Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin: Cryptocurrency not ideal for long-term investment
03/13/2018 // David Williams // Views

Many people have fallen for the foolish notion that cryptocurrencies can serve as a great option for investing money. There are those who think the opposite, but cryptocurrency supporters are much more vocal. For this reason, one of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency community has spoken out against this view, saying in no uncertain terms that they are simply not ideal for long-term investment at all.

According to Vitalik Buterin, the Canadian-Russian researcher and programmer behind Ethereum, an open-source and public alternative to Bitcoin, it's just a bad idea all around to look at any cryptocurrency as worthy of buying into as a form of investment. And the main reason for this is that they are still very much in their infancy stage at the moment.

"Cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class and could drop to near-zero at any time," Buterin explained. "Don't put in more money than you can afford to lose." This is good advice that might just go unheard because of the still-unbelievable amounts of hype behind new and supposedly exciting cryptocurrency prospects.

For those who are looking to get more than what they put in as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned, Buterin recommends the good old-fashioned route. "If you're trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet," he said. And judging by the track record of these so-called traditional assets, he may be right on the money there as well.

Buterin's thoughts are no doubt fueled by his first-hand experience as the main man behind Ethereum, and how market forces have shown how extremely volatile it is in terms of pricing. Ethereum's pricing history illustrates this rather clearly. In November 2017, a single Ether coin was valued at $335. Then in January 2018, only three months later, its value went up to a little over $1,100 each. Finally, after just one more month in February 2018, the went back down to a little under $600 per piece. This is a clear indication of how volatile the standard cryptocurrencies are, and that if you had invested any amount of money in them sometime late last year, then you will have already lost your initial investment.


But even if you take away all the troubles that cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin have faced due solely to open market forces, there's still the matter of impending government regulation. Over the course of last year, players in the crypto space were allowed basically free reign, and it was a supremely wild ride with some winners and a whole lot of losers. All the activity surrounding Bitcoin and its ilk have attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who now keeps a close eye on things in the industry.

The SEC has been monitoring Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in particular, and so far they have identified many of them to be nothing more than blockchain-based Ponzi schemes aimed at unsuspecting cryptocurrency investors who are themselves looking to make a buck. As the SEC continues to do its job of policing the industry, it's unlikely that many fly-by-night operations will even ever truly fly again. That's going to be good for the industry as a whole, but whether or not that helps to stabilize things and turn crypto coins into worthwhile investments remains to be seen.

Find out how people are investing in cryptocurrencies the wrong way in

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