It’s okay to opt out of the crypto revolution
Bigger players haven’t figured out peer-to-peer crypto either. PayPal and Venmo (which PayPal owns) have claimed to support crypto since early 2021. But a closer look at their services reveals that though the platforms allow US customers to buy, sell, or trade crypto—invest, basically—they can’t pay for purchases or send crypto to other users. If “the future of money is here,” as Coinbase claims on its website, apparently there’s not much regular people can do with money in the future.
Despite the fact that it’s difficult to spend cryptocurrency, it’s still pretty easy to lose it, and as the industry grows, so do the losses. Without the protections set up in traditional financial systems (such as the Know Your Customer, or KYC, protocols that require identity verification for financial transactions), fraudsters cost crypto investors—mostly individuals like the targets of all those ads—more than $14 billion last year, almost twice the amount lost the previous year. The losses keep mounting. In late March, for example, Sky Mavis reported that a hacker had stolen cryptocurrency then valued at $625 million from the blockchain behind its pay-to-play game AxieInfinity.
Even if their wallets are not hacked or their crypto assets liquidated, individuals face risk from the extreme volatility of crypto markets; Bitcoin’s value dropped more than 20% in a single day multiple times in just the past six months.