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Exploring the Dark Side of Bitcoin: Risks and Pitfalls

While many have become fascinated in Bitcoin, the famous Digital Cash that is shrugged off into the new world revolutionizing money for the people it is and equal parts it's other nefarious side you cannot leave without scrutiny. 

Due to the fact that Bitcoin is used in many illegal activities as well as there are plenty of scams and hacks due to it, Bitcoin comes with a lot more risks not only for investors but also users and overall society. 

In a recent in-depth guide by us, let us look at the dark side of Bitcoin, looking at all the dangers and pitfalls of what the world's most famous cryptocurrency carries with it.

Chapter 1: Illicit Activities and Money Laundering

Dark Web Markets

While Bitcoin has played a major role in serving as a payment method on multiple dark web markets, this use case is only limited to illegal transactions - that is, people using Bitcoin to pay for drugs, weapons, or stolen data. 

The fact that Bitcoin transactions exist in a pseudonymous environment makes it hard for law enforcement to follow the money across these platforms and quickly disable them for criminal behaviour.

Money Laundering

Bitcoin has been involved in money laundering activities as well--some people and criminal organizations use it to hide their dirty money, make untraceable cross-border fund transfers. 

Bitcoin transactions, though posted to a public ledger called the blockchain, are difficult to trace back to real identities, making it hard to enforce laws against laundering.

Chapter 2: Scams and Ponzi Schemes

Ponzi Schemes

Many ponzi schemes and investment scams exists in the name of Bitcoin, People tells investors that they will earn extremely high return and assure profit to investors with their bitcoin or fiat. 

Inevitably, these scams fall apart when the recruitment of new investors runs out of legs although they will take plenty of money with them while not a lot of options for remuneration.

Phishing and Hacking

Not only that, but users of Bitcoin may also be targeted by phishing and hacking attempts to steal their private keys or credentials, and use them to illicitly access their Bitcoin wallets or exchange accounts. 

Once hijacked, this can be used to steal or move the funds from any such wallets or accounts of the victim - and the result is a financial loss to the victim.

Chapter 3: Volatility and Speculative Trading

Price Volatility

As you may know, once of the first thing people say about Bitcoin is that the price is constantly changing, rapidly and in unpredictable manner. 

While the volatility of Bitcoin offers investors a chance to make profits, others view it as a risk and the uncertainty of pricing this asset as a challenge.

Speculative Trading

This volatility has attracted speculative trading, with a growing number of people buying and selling Bitcoin on a daily basis in order to capture short-term price movements. 

Risk Warning: Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high risk of loss, and may not be suitable for all investors.

Chapter 4: Regulatory and Legal Risks

Regulatory Uncertainty

Due to the uncertain regulatory landscape, Bitcoin has lived in, it resides in a gray area of regulation in most jurisdictions, with governing entities and regulators operating in an often contested, conflicting and contradictory range up to now, attempting to clear up and standardize how cryptocurrencies should be regulated. 

In the absence of regulatory clarity, those that invest or build businesses in the cryptocurrency ecosystem can be left without a clear understanding of how to comply with laws, exposing themselves to considerable risks of prosecution.

Government Intervention

The usage, exchange or mining activities of not only Bitcoin but all cryptocurrencies are also at risk due to government intervention and regulatory crackdowns. 

Because of the significant effect those interventions would have on Bitcoin prices and adoption, e.g. countries outright banning the trade or mining of cryptocurrencies - as is the case in China.

Chapter 5: Environmental Concerns

Energy Consumption

Bitcoin mining generates more energy consumption through the computational power necessary to solve the complex mathematical puzzles that reward the miners by creating new bitcoins and verifying the transactions that will be added to the blockchain. 

The obvious criticism is that Bitcoin is unsustainably consuming energy and leading to environmental ruin/ climate catastrophe.

Carbon Footprint

Bitcoin mining has also been criticized for having a carbon footprint with some estimates claiming that the energy use of the cryptocurrency leads to planet-warming emissions and ecological damage. 

With rising concerns about climate change, more and more people are critiquing Bitcoin's carbon footprint - amongst sceptics from inside and outside the world of cryptocurrency.

Conclusion

Bitcoin is praised for its potential to bring financial freedom and improve technology, but the currency is faced with obstacles as being associated with criminals and high highs and low lows in the market. 

If the society can harness it by addressing these challenges through education, awareness and responsible behaviour, we would be able to have more pros and lessen cons of Bitcoin on the society.

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