Have you been the victim of a bitcoin scam? Don’t let it happen again. Here are 6 ways to recognize reputable bitcoin companies and avoid bitcoin scams.
It can take years to become a successful and reputable company and since bitcoin is such a new space, many scams have surfaced. When bitcoin companies seem to spring up by the hour, who can you trust? From virtual currency exchanges to mining equipment manufacturers, mobile apps, and digital wallets, it can be quite disconcerting and hard to distinguish the good guys from the bitcoin bandits. Don’t be duped! Here are the six signs of a reputable Bitcoin company.
#1 TRANSPARENCY & HONESTY
The anonymity and decentralization associated with bitcoin often makes it difficult to find companies that provide transparency and who will ultimately stand behind the products or services you intend to purchase from them.
As with any company, its always best to purchase from companies who remain upfront and honest about their products and services, how they plan to deliver, timing of delivery (where necessary) and instructions or support for recourse. Some information may be proprietary but in general, be wary of a bitcoin consultant or business unwilling to be transparent about who they are and how they conduct business.
#2 RESPECTED INDUSTRY EXPERTS
Ideally, it’s best to work with bitcoin experts at a company that’s considered a respected authority in the the bitcoin space and/or those with an established industry profile. Whenever possible always look up the CEO or owner of the company and do a do your research.
Look for Bitcoin companies that have been feature in top bitcoin news sources such as Bitcoin Magazine, Coindesk, TGB, and Bitcorati, whose founders have been keynote speakers at major bitcoin conferences and events around the world. Check to see if the business and/or members of the business are a part of the Bitcoin Foundation– this can show a good faith effort to be open, transparent, dedicated to solid business practices. A sign of a good bitcoin company is one that is willing to share information and maintains a good reputation in the industry. Bitcoin transactions can be anonymous but bitcoin businesses should not!
#3 REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
It’s easy for an unscrupulous bitcoin company to over promise and under deliver while taking a huge chunk of your cash or bitcoins for little or nothing in return. Being realistic can save you from being burned. In the cases with mining equipment makers, if the company huge (unreasonable) hashing power rates or an ROI that is significantly higher than competitors, ask them how they’re able to deliver on the promise and asked to see the tech specs of their products independently verified or tested. If circumstantial evidence isn’t enough always do you own research. Is what they are stating even possible? As the age old saying goes, if it’s too good to be true it probably is.
#4 REVIEWS & RATINGS
As with almost everything today, reviews and ratings can be found scattered about online. Look around and you’ll likely find written testimonials about bitcoin business and their products online. Soon, Bitcorati.com will launch a global directory and rating system with community and professional reviews for bitcoin business and merchants. For now a simple Google search could turn up a great deal of info. Check out forums such as beta.bitcorati.com, bitcointalk.org, bitcoinforum.org, or reddit.com/r/bitcoin for the latest community feedback and insightful reviews on anything related to crypto-currencies and bitcoin.
#5 CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT
Customer service and support is a must in any business and even more important for bitcoin companies who already deal with a tremendous amount of skepticism. Internet companies were the same way in the 1990’s we’d expected to see it with something as revolutionary as bitcoin. Being able to contact someone at the company in the case of a problem is crucial. Bitcoin business with prompt and courteous customer service are business you can trust. They should at least provide a support email address and respond within 48 hours.
#6 DON’T BE A GUINEA PIG
Bitcoin users are often a very passionate and excited group of people, but patience is a virtue and it is well rewarded. Especially if the product is new to market. Let beta testers get their hands on it first and work out the bugs. Unless you’ve met the founders of the business or get early access through a referral, its probably best to play it safe and wait. Even if you pay a little extra for a product or service after the fact, potential shipping delays, backorders and potential security flaws in their systems might not worth being an early adopter.