Independent news and information for the global blockchain and cryptocurrency community

Expert Insight

If I purchase a token or coin is my money protected?

With the boom of the e-commerce industry and online transactions, customer satisfaction guarantees have become all the rage in a marketplace that seeks to reward consumers with the right mix of speed, efficiency, risk minimisation and overall convenience. 

Is your money protected? No it is not. Like with any new technology, many people are naturally slow to respond to change.  While it took time to ease sceptics into the world of online purchases, digitally-focused companies have built trust with consumers by following through on their promises, doing what they say they’re going to do and correcting matters with top-notch customer service if things go astray.

As companies continue to go extra lengths to ensure customer happiness, many of us have come to expect policies that protect our purchases and give us a method of recourse if we feel cheated, wronged and/or unsatisfied with a product or service for any reason.  Is it safe to assume that your money is protected in an everyday transaction?  In certain situations, maybe. Oftentimes, there are rules, laws and/or policies that are on your side as a consumer.  In the uncharted territories of cryptocurrencies and ICOS, however, absolutely not.  It’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting into, but this should be heavily emphasised in cryptocurrency transactions; take action to protect yourself with smart, educated decision making.

Is my money protected in an ICO?

Before purchasing a token or coin through an ICO, there are probably many questions going through your head.  Some of these are basic investment questions:  What exactly am I buying?  Is this a sound investment?  These answers can be a bit subjective, but it’s still relatively simple to get a good read on a blockchain project if you put in the time, do the research and go with your gut feeling.  Typically, investors at least have a basic idea of a coin or token’s general usefulness and direction before throwing large sums of money down.

It would behove these same stakeholders to know the details about whether or not their money is protected in the event that the given blockchain project doesn’t carry out their carefully-stated plans.  But this is stuff that’s in the fine print, and digesting that can be difficult.  In fact, however, it might not even be there at all. That’s because your money usually isn’t protected in the slightest.  Cryptocurrency investing is risky business.  Theoretically, a lot of start-ups could take your well-intentioned investment money and disappear off into the darkness.  Cryptocurrency investments, unless otherwise stated, aren’t covered by any compensation schemes or subject to any protections like other common investments.

In short, be prepared to lose any and all money you have sitting in cryptocurrency tokens and/or coins.  The level of protection is that low. Yes, it’s a huge risk, but there’s also the potential for an even greater reward.  Companies have reputations to uphold, and that alone And it’s that reward that has cryptocurrency investors frothing at the mouth, coming back over and over—even after being scammed and watching hard-earned investment money disappear slowly but surely.

If you feel you’ve found a genuine money-protection policy for poor investments, be sceptical. If it’s for real, and you’re 100% certain of it, consider yourself lucky.  If not, be leery and cautious, but you’re not completely out of luck.

Thankfully, many individuals have reputations to uphold and strong incentives to produce quality products and services with the funds their projects have raised.  Your best protection can be publicised identities of team members.  Aim to invest in projects without an overwhelming aura of mystery.  First off, if public figures decide to take off with your money, you want to be able to track them down.  But they’re probably also cheating other investors.  As such, you can expect public outcry to deter this type of behaviour.  If that’s not enough, there are always general laws, morals and ethics to rely on.  Call me naïve, but I like to believe other people are genuinely good, kind-hearted and well-intentioned.

Blockchain technology is some pretty transformative stuff, so the right team paired with the right idea can go a long way.  In cryptocurrency investing, your money may not be protected, per se, but you can rest a little bit easier when you’ve placed your faith in a team and vision that you wholeheartedly believe in. Even more so, you’re far less likely to be kept up at night when the money on the line is money you can afford to lose and live without.  Don’t rely on money protection policies to save yourself from financial heartbreak and hasty decisions; such policies are few and far between.

 

Recent Guides

What is proof of work?

Proof of work is a consensus protocol used by bitcoin and many other cryptos to validate the transactions that occur in their networks. While we’ll be reading about this...

By - June 8, 2018

What is a token?

A token is simply a cryptocurrency built on top of an existing blockchainYou’d go into the venue, and you’d exchange cash for a token that you could use for...

By - June 4, 2018