Crypto is not quick money. Some know it. Others are learning it the hard way. There have always been concerns around lack of regulations on crypto and the inclination of youngsters towards it, without realising the consequences. A prime example of this is the recent Squid Game crypto scam where investors lost millions of dollars. One of the most watched Netflix shows across the globe, had a crypto coin named after it within days. It was bought and sold online, giving nearly 3000 per cent returns in three days. Where did it come from? Who created it? Did the makers of the show back it? Nobody bothered to check.
The crypto token crashed to zero after the token developers did the rug pull. This is the kind of scam where token creators leave the market along with the investors’ money. The website and social media handles of crypto were non-functional within hours. Investors lost more than Rs 25 crore. All of their money turned zero in less than five minutes.
All of us are repeatedly warned about fake cryptocurrencies. We are told to be careful before investing. But, how does one separate a scam from a legitimate coin when an equal number of people are willing to invest in both? Here are a few red flags you should look for –
Trends don’t make money
Hundreds of new crypto-coins are created every single day. That’s largely because this market is still unregulated, which means anyone with internet access can make their cryptocurrency. Most of these new coins are based on social media trends. Now, what you need to understand is that these coins are at the risk of dying as soon as the trend settles. In most cases, their creators will not be serious about the coin. So, avoid investing in any currency that has popped out of nowhere.
Do a thorough background check
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been around for a decade and have stood the test of time. Their founders and teams are continuously working behind the scenes to make them better. That’s not the case with all cryptocurrencies. For example, Dogecoin creators abandoned it years ago. So, you need to do a thorough background check to understand the history of any cryptocurrency and also its sustainability.
Check the website carefully
A major red flag in the case of most cryptocurrencies is their website. Any fake coin would have a recently created website with possible errors in its URL. These can be fundamental errors or grammatical errors. Even the content on the website may have some weird spelling mistakes. This should ring an alarm to your ears. You can do a similar check on the social media platforms of the coin. If the coin is fake, it may not have a social media handle or the account will not be functional.
Don’t trust every communication
WhatsApp messages and emails are the easiest way to target potential investors. Several people have complained of being added to crypto-related WhatsApp groups if they show interest in cryptocurrencies on the internet. Most of these groups and emails promise easy investment options and great returns. But, none of them are reliable. Even if you don’t want to miss out on the crypto craze and want to take a punt on any coins, try to invest in reliable and established platforms only.
Opt for sustainability, not overnight growth
Youngsters are looking at crypto as a way to exponentially grow their money overnight. No investment tool can do that. The focus should be on sustainable growth which can only be achieved through long term options like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple etc. The alt coins or meme coins are often pumped by social media posts or tweets but are also at higher risk of crashing.
Honestly, at this point, no one knows where this crypto frenzy will go. It could be the future. It could turn out to be a bubble all of us are living in. The chances are equal. One must ensure that they are not lured by these traps till proper regulations come into place. Crypto is not a social media trend, meme or joke, it is a proper investment tool and should be treated like one.