Those who work in the finance sector need to keep abreast of all the trends in the markets, especially if you’re in the market for a new job. Not having any insight regarding these trends could lose you the ideal position, as you should expect them to come up in an interview. And cryptocurrency is definitely a hot topic as of late.

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are electronic currencies that can be traded on the internet in exchange for goods and services. The value of these currencies is highly volatile. Bitcoin, for example, was trading at $20,000 at the end of 2017, but it’s value fell to $7,000 in the following four months.

So is it a reliable, safe investment? It’s true that all investments have a certain amount of risk, which is why it’s so important to understand what one is investing in. With so much buzz around cryptocurrency, it’s even more essential to know the basics of this new market.

Here are some things about cryptocurrency that you should be prepared to discuss during your job search.

Electronic Money, Electronic Threats

Most of our lives exist on the internet now. From baking information, to our addresses, to our shopping habits, we entrust the internet with a lot of information. And cryptocurrency is yet another thing that relies on the internet, which makes it vulnerable to hacking.

Hackers can gain access to a digital wallet containing an investor’s Bitcoin and transfer it to themselves, robbing the victim of thousands of dollars in moments. They can also use the information the Bitcoin was originally purchased with to buy even more Bitcoin fraudulently.

There are ways to protect these digital wallets, such as digital keys. But people often use simple passwords, which are easy for hackers to bypass. A much safe option is to put your cryptocurrency in “cold storage.” This means that your investment is held offline.

Investors should also be aware of phishing scams, much like the ones that have existed for years. But instead of emails asking for money or information, these phishing schemes attempt to drain cryptocurrency from their victims. Staying alert and aware can help mitigate this risk.

And whenever personal information is exchanged, investors need to be wary. Though trading cryptocurrency like Bitcoin does not require the transfer of information, some third parties such as currency exchanges do. This is a key distinction to note when discussing the issue with potential employers.

Regulation and Fraud

Because these cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular and increasing in value, more than just hackers are setting their sites on the market. And this will only increase as the market grows.

A risk that you should feel confident speaking about is the lack of regulation surrounding cryptocurrency. Because there is no real regulation in place keeping the cryptocurrency market in check, fraudulent sellers are taking advantage. The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has flagged and shut down some allegedly fraudulent companies for selling cryptocurrency with nonexistent value. But even if this happens, it is rare that investors will get their money back.

Exchanges are required to register with the SEC, but that is the extent of the oversight. Because regulators have not decided whether to treat cryptocurrency as a commodity or as equity, this is really all the SEC can do right now. Even if a company is offering a legitimate cryptocurrency, they could still be operating in ways that manipulate the value of the currency and scam the investor. Ponzi schemes are also something to look out for in this space.

Some major banks have even blocked people from using their credit cards to invest in this industry because of the risk. Knowing that bit of trivia could really impress a potential employer in an interview.

Risky, and Maybe Too Early

In the end, this is an appealing market because of the newness and value. Bitcoin is by far the most popular, with a market cap of $158.7 billion.

Because of the high risk and minimal regulation, it may remain a gamble for now. But with time, cryptocurrency could become a worthy investment for any portfolio.

Using these points to speak intelligently about cryptocurrency could make quite an impact when you’re in the middle of a job search. Whether you can discuss the topic in a networking forum or an interview, those around you should be aware that you’re on top of the trends in the market. Study up even more on cryptocurrency to ensure that you’re off the job market and in your ideal position soon.

If you’re looking to expand your career in finance and want to show your newly gained knowledge off, take a look at our job listings. If you choose to apply, one of our expert consultants will be in touch with relevant opportunities.