The cryptocurrency market has experienced a boom in recent years, and with it, the popularity of peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Although most of these transactions go smoothly, there are some risks that users should be aware of.
In this interview, Criptoinforme meets with Ana Ojeda (@criptolawyer), an expert Blockchain and cryptocurrency lawyer, to discuss the risks associated with P2P transactions and how users can protect themselves against them. Ana will offer us her experience and wisdom on this topic to help us better understand the risks and avoid problems in our operations.
Interview: Risks of P2P cryptocurrency markets and how to take care of yourself by Ana Ojeda (@criptolawyer)
What are the main risks associated with P2P cryptocurrency transactions?
Ana Ojeda: Thanks to the entire cryptoreport team for the opportunity to talk about these important and sometimes forgotten topics in the ecosystem. It seems to me that there is more talk about the benefits or advantages of using bitcoin and other assets, such as decentralization, the possibility of saving, making cross-border payments and paying low commissions without the banks (occasionally) intervening, but it gives little publicity to the fact that this industry, like any other, is also plagued with risks to the user.
I would name as main:
The irreversibility of transactions carried out on a blockchain, for example: sending or receiving bitcoin or other assets, force us to be absolutely careful when sending money. Not having a bank behind or an entity to complain to when we make one of these mistakes, it requires a level of care or knowledge of “being our own bank” that not many users have. Recently and in the middle of the bank run due to the collapse of the SVB, a desperate user exchanged 2,000,000 USDC for 5 USDT. That case has generated a debate about whether the exchange protocol should help the user to recover the money for an inadvertent mistake.
Phishing, social engineering attack, ponzis or pyramid schemes that promise you a return of up to x100,000 for investing ridiculous amounts in a short time, generally using accounts of influential people.
What do we mean by “triangulation”?
When you do p2p you are sending or receiving money from people whose identity / profession and legality of the funds you do not know.
You don’t know if you are receiving or sending money to a person whose account is being investigated🚨
— Criptolawyer (@criptolawyer) February 28, 2023
How can a user protect himself against these risks when making P2P transactions?
Ana Ojeda: The risks when doing p2p transactions will always be there. There is no way to avoid them completely. But there are ways to mitigate them. This is because when we use open p2p exchanges such as binance or kucoin, we are trading with people whose identity and origin or destination of funds we do not know. I like to call it a Russian roulette. At some point almost by natural selection it will go wrong. And I am not saying this in order to scare anyone, but in order to generate awareness among users, it is important that they understand the product they are using. There will always be a level of risk associated with bank triangulations.
Some recommendations to mitigate:
Trading with verified traders (and even this is not enough to fully mitigate risk because we do not know the origin of your funds). Read the comments in the reputation section of the person with whom we are going to exchange our cryptocurrencies for fiat money. Do not release the cryptocurrencies without verifying that we have received the money in our bank or application. Have a closed list of frequent merchants with whom we transact. If we can do it with people we trust, even better. Always keep a record of our transactions. I recommend having them written down in a digital or physical document.
And obviously use the cryptolawyer disclaimer haha.
What would you recommend to a user who has been the victim of a scam in a P2P cryptocurrency transaction?
Ana Ojeda: Report to the support of the exchange or application you use and immediately proceed to report to the prosecutor’s office of the state where you are.
How can businesses and governments work together to protect users against the risks associated with P2P transactions?
Ana Ojeda: As we speak in this interview we are witnessing a bitter but historic moment, the FED has rescued in one way or another two banks closely related to the startup/fintech sector in the US and with this has saved thousands of jobs but above all years of technological progress. This moment is a clear example that fintech and crypto companies should not necessarily turn their backs on regulators.
To the companies: Do not be afraid of regulators, many act unaware of these new technologies, building bridges, educating them and including themselves in the processes of creating regulations helps a lot.
To the regulators: Think that if they create regulations that are favorable to companies that at the same time protect users, we will have a healthy ecosystem that will be reflected in important economic income for each country. It must be a win-win. Not a Versus.
In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with P2P cryptocurrency transactions. We greatly thank Ana Ojeda for sharing her experience and wisdom on this topic with us. We hope that our discussions will help users to better protect themselves and avoid problems when conducting P2P transactions.
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