Is Crypto A Risky Investment?


In the fast-paced world of finance, few topics have sparked debate and intrigue like cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are known for their extreme volatility, with prices often fluctuating wildly within short periods. To illustrate this volatility, in November 2021, the price of Bitcoin plunged over 16% in just a few hours, completely wiping out over $200 billion from the entire crypto market capitalization. Additionally, in May 2021, the price of Ethereum dropped by over 35% in a single day.

The dramatic price swings highlight the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies, which can be attributed to factors such as sensitivity to news and market sentiment or their speculative nature. Despite being high-risk investments, it also creates opportunities for significant gains for investors and provides an alternative investment option outside of traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds.

Risks Associated with Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new asset class, and the market is pretty small compared to traditional markets.

Market Volatility

Market volatility in cryptocurrencies refers to how quickly and significantly the value of cryptocurrencies can change. This volatility is driven by several factors like the lack of regulation and speculation that are unique to the crypto market. Unlike traditional financial markets, the crypto market trades 24/7, reacting instantly to global news and events. Low market liquidity means even the smallest of trades can impact prices dramatically. Large trades by “whales” or major holders can also create dramatic price swings.

While volatility is seen as a risk, industries like e-commerce, online casinos, as well as the online video gaming industry have adopted crypto and are thriving. For instance, cryptocurrencies provide several benefits over traditional payment methods, such as faster transaction speeds, cross-border payments, and lower transaction fees. Crypto expert Sergio Zammit from Crypto News explains how several Solana casino sites benefit from lower transaction costs due to the efficiency of the Solana blockchain. This translates into lower transaction fees for players, leading to possible extra winnings for them. So, while crypto is known to be volatile, it has benefits like quick transactions, low fees, and enhanced anonymity that have made it a popular payment method in various industries, regardless of its known price fluctuations.

Speculative Nature

One of the main reasons why crypto prices can change on a dime is speculation and market sentiment. Unlike traditional assets that are based on fundamentals like revenue or earnings, crypto prices are mainly driven by investor perception and future expectations. Positive news tends to lead to excessive buying and hype around a cryptocurrency, whereas negative news can trigger panic selling.

The market is also greatly influenced by the psychology and emotions of retail investors, who are prone to fear, uncertainty, and FOMO (the fear of missing out). This can amplify the impact of speculation and sentiment on price movements.

Regulatory Uncertainty

The crypto market is largely unregulated, with inconsistent oversight and practices across different countries, jurisdictions, and exchanges. This lack of regulation can increase the risk of fraud, market manipulation, and potential security breaches. There is also uncertainty surrounding existing laws and future regulations and how this could potentially impact the use, trading, and taxation of cryptocurrencies. Any regulatory changes could significantly impact market stability and accessibility, which can affect investor confidence.

Security Concerns

Crypto exchanges, wallets, and the underlying blockchain technology are vulnerable to theft, hacking, and cybersecurity threats. For instance, major exchanges like Bithumb and Coincheck have suffered massive hacks that have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, individual investors face risks of losing funds if their private keys are compromised or if they make technical mistakes in managing their crypto wallets. Unlike traditional institutions like banks, there is no insurance or protection for lost or stolen cryptocurrencies.

Market Manipulation

The decentralized and unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency market makes it susceptible to market manipulation tactics like pump-and-dump schemes. This deliberate use of deceptive strategies to artificially inflate or deflate prices can cause the prices to crash leaving investors with losses. Additionally, the presence of “whales” can manipulate prices by placing large buy or sell orders to create artificial price movements. Tactics like spoofing and top hunting can cause significant risks to investors.

The Benefits of Cryptocurrency Investments

Despite the volatility and risk, cryptocurrencies can be highly profitable investments.

High Returns

While cryptocurrencies can be extremely volatile, they have also yielded substantial returns, often outperforming traditional financial assets. For example, in 2010 Bitcoin was virtually worthless, but by late 2017, it surged to nearly $20,000 per coin and long-term holders have seen significant returns on their investment. This potential is driven by several factors, making the crypto market attractive for investors.

  • Early adoption and growth potential: Cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology and this technology evolves and gains broader adoption, early inventors in successful crypto projects could potentially see significant gains.
  • Disruptive potential: Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have the potential to disrupt traditional and established sectors like finance and supply chain. Investing in projects that successfully implement these innovations could potentially yield substantial returns.

Inflation Hedge

Many cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Solana, and Ethereum have a fixed or predictable supply schedule. The limited supply is seen as a potential hedge against inflation, as the growth of money supply typically outpaces the growth of cryptocurrency supply, potentially driving up prices. Additionally, cryptocurrencies have shown a low correlation with other asset classes like stocks or commodities. Including cryptocurrencies in your investment portfolio serves as a stable store of value and can act as a hedge against inflation.


Cryptocurrencies can provide portfolio diversification and represent a new and emerging asset class that has unique characteristics. Within the crypto space itself, there are countless opportunities to diversify by investing in different types of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, DeFi tokens, stablecoins, and meme coins. These different crypto assets have different use cases, underlying technologies, and market drivers.

Additionally, the blockchain and crypto industry is being applied to various sectors like finance, video gaming, crypto casinos, and healthcare. Investing in different crypto projects and platforms focused on different industries provides sector diversification within a crypto portfolio.

Technological Innovations

Investors are drawn to the underlying technologies of cryptocurrency like blockchain technology. There is potential for this blockchain to disrupt various industries as well as create new economic opportunities, which makes crypto investments a way to participate in this tech revolution.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

A key benefit of cryptocurrencies is that they can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. This financial inclusion and accessibility is very appealing, particularly in areas with underdeveloped banking infrastructures.

Reducing the Risks

To minimize risks effectively, research and due diligence are a must, with no exceptions.

  • Treat cryptocurrencies as a speculative asset class and limit exposure, since it is considered volatile and trading them can be risky.
  • Diversify your investment portfolio to avoid overexposure to any single cryptocurrency.
  • Secure storage and personal key management are critical. Storing your assets on a centralized exchange can come with a few risks. Transfer crypto assets to cold storage devices to reduce some of the risk.
  • Understand the risk and the technology you are taking on since crypto is considered a high-risk asset class.
  • Risk management strategies are essential in the volatile crypto market. Implementing stop-loss orders can help protect your investments by automatically selling assets when they reach a certain price, effectively reducing potential losses.


While the crypto market is characterized by extreme price volatility, investing in cryptocurrencies can be profitable and will depend on your risk tolerance, investment goals, and ability to navigate the unpredictable and uncertain crypto market. A balanced and diversified approach is best, limiting exposure to a small portion of your overall investment portfolio to manage the risks.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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