By Teggy Altankhuyag, COO and Co-Director, Coinfloor

Crypto is money’s Wild West: a new land of enormous opportunity where there are plenty of cowboys but far too few good guys.

And just like the Old West, newcomers are the most vulnerable to being ripped off. While lots of people are enthusiastic about money’s new frontier, they are easy targets for cowboys who have endless ways to empty their pockets. .

Cowboys of the crypto industry come in countless shapes and sizes, from your regular fraudsters to shady exchanges and unworthy altcoins. In the Wild West, if you caught someone cheating at cards you could challenge them to a duel. In crypto, there’s no comeback: you lose it all.

If there’s anything holding back widespread Bitcoin adoption, it’s not the currency itself. When it comes to technical maturity and community support, no coin comes close. It’s the outlaws who pose the problem.

 
Who can you trust?

If crypto is so full of cowboys, how can first-timers work out who they can trust and who they should avoid?

This is a matter of personal judgement. Coinfloor will never tell you who you should and shouldn’t trust with your coins. Instead, we urge everyone to read as widely as possible before taking the plunge. In money’s Wild West, it’s not a six-shooter you need: knowledge is your most powerful weapon.

To gain consumers’ trust, our industry as a whole needs to make a much greater effort to clean up our own town and put the cowboys out of business. We need more good guys demonstrating best practices and providing honest educational resources aimed at making life simpler and safer for everybody.

 
The good, the bad, and the ugly

We believe that Bitcoin has the power to change the world. This revolution won’t happen while the industry remains a Wild West where the unsuspecting are easy prey for those who just want to make money off them.

Getting our train on the right track shouldn’t be difficult. First, our industry needs to give customers clear guidance that helps them navigate this new world, and distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly players in the market.

Second, we must be honest and admit that not all coins are created equal. Bitcoin is the only crypto with the technical maturity, resilience and stability to be a realistic store of value. When people try to hype up altcoins that don’t have a hope of succeeding, they are only preventing their targets from getting on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Last but not least, exchanges should promote the ideals of Bitcoin ─ ”be your own bank” and “don’t trust, verify” ─ by highlighting the importance of learning to safely self custody as well as regularly proving they are solvent and that they always hold their customers’ coins.

We are proud to have held these principles from the very beginning. Because we’ve always believed that Bitcoin can only ever fulfil its potential if people can trust in our industry. If we can establish good faith through transparency, honesty, straight-talking and a commitment to educate the customer – that is how the West will be won.

Image Credit – The blog post image is from Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.