Bitcoin exchanges most overlooked risk

The use of bitcoin and exchanges (fiat to btc/altcoin) has awaken the controversy around topics like hacking, fraud, technical breakdown, to mention some. The events have proven that these areas must be taken care of in detail.

It has become a kind of luxury to discuss which exchanges provide the best service,  are the most user friendly, speedy and competitive on their fees.

BUT, one of the highest risk factors is often forgotten. The external risk attached to  the authorities that define the rules of the game also known as  “compliance”.

Source: Blog
Source: Blog

Record-breaking fines issued by regulators worldwide, notably in the US and UK, dominated the financial services landscape the last few years, with many Bitcoin exchanges closing for trade owing to non-compliance with regulatory requirements or exorbitant licencing related fees, making inviable to hold the exchange day to day operations. In other words many of these businesses were destroyed, with job positions and money lost.

As a consequence, the shutdown of these exchanges created a lot of stress on customers. This included businesses scrambling for alternatives in order to safeguard their continuing operation, often in need of taking their funds out in cash over a short time period. Then, when trying to deposit the funds cash to another bank, a new problem occurs: Cash Deposits. Large cash transactions are in practise now criminalized at least in the western world. You could easily end up with a lot of cash at home or in your office.

Crypto currency exchanges shouldn’t overlook at this issue, as in some regions complying with the rules and regulations could become a never ending wheel. If the exchange is based in Europe or the US, Canada, or Australia, they could be surprised after they have adopted and complied the best they can.

Bitcoin exchanges use banks, which carry very much of the same risks as the risk related to the authorities.

Our research has identified 10 major well known banks in Europe and the US that we think will fail over the next few years. The users, and that includes the exchanges using these banks are of course at high risk as well.  The debt problem of the western world was never solved.

Where to choose and/or base a bitcoin exchange?

We think some select countries in Asia and Latin America are the best due to the rising social mood trending in these regions over the coming decade. It is hard to believe, but regulations might even be relaxed in these regions the coming years, giving exchanges a brighter future.

Geir Solem
Cryptor Trust Inc.