When times are tough — as in the pandemic — enterprising human nature goes into overdrive. People seek out alternative ways to make money. That could be one of the reasons why cryptocurrencies skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years, driven in part by large numbers of people sitting at home wondering how to beat low-interest rates and rising inflation.
Where there’s cash, however, there are also criminals. Bad actors are experts in human behavior and see building momentum and increased crypto traffic as a huge opportunity, knowing that many newer investors may not do their homework. Investors might not apply the same level of scrutiny to crypto as they would their pensions or other investments, and there’s not a lot of regulatory oversight globally. So, a simple splash page or message on a forum can quickly lead a lot of new investors to fall into scams.
We’ve also seen an increased proliferation of scams connected to the pandemic such as pretending to sell fraudulent medicines, vaccines or testing, or offer business loans and grants, for instance, have a crypto element, and law enforcement is having to turn on a dime to react to these new threats. That, in turn, creates a growing headache for policymakers tasked with protecting consumers. We also hear loud and clear from the crypto industry that regulation often feels behind the curve and not fit for purpose.
What’s needed is better education. Better education at every level, from teaching and educating law enforcement to policymakers and regulators. Knowledge sharing across the crypto ecosystem to…