Alternative currencies are at the heart of a young and exciting new industry—and as a result, they've gotten a lot of media attention. As you can imagine, some of that attention has been negative. We'd like to step back here and give a couple of those issues some sorely-needed perspective.
Since cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous, it's inevitable that some less-than-scrupulous characters will use them for illegal activities. There are several articles out there that discuss how digital currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin have been used for drug trading and money laundering. Do we really need to point out that could happen with any financial tool you can name? Let's take a look:
These articles seem to overlook that all types of currency have been used illegally throughout human history. Mob bosses like Al Capone and John Gotti laundered untold millions of dollars, and used a lot of that money for illegal purposes. British loyalists during the American Revolution destroyed new American currency to devalue it. Even back in Merrie Olde England, Robin Hood raided the royal treasury and distributed it among the poor. (Okay, it's true he's considered a hero, but under royal law it was illegal.) Our point? Don't condemn digital currency overall just because a few bad apples are putting it to bad use. It's nothing new, nor is it unique to cryptocurrency.
You'll see articles that discuss the active cryptocurrency markets, and how some rise and fall rapidly. Turn the electronic page, and you'll find accounts of thefts of large amounts of digital currency from individuals and coin exchanges. These articles all seem to jump to the conclusion that the industry is “unstable,” and advise against investing in digital currency. We'd like to point out that at five years of age, the alternative currency market it far too young to have people dismiss it with any authority. There's often a thin line between “analysis” and “overreaction.”
Next Introductory Topic: Spotting Misinformation and Rumors