May has been an explosive month for cryptocurrency, with huge market crashes and the complete collapse of LUNA causing a massive downturn in average trading figures. To add to this news, Coinbase’s recent financial reporting release doesn’t shine favorably on the decentralized exchange.
With over 98 million verified users and billions in controlled assets, many thought of this institution as simply too big to fail. Yet, things aren’t looking good for Coinbase, with their recent announcement suggesting that they may soon have to file for bankruptcy.
To make matters worse, due to the lack of regulation within decentralized systems, if Coinbase fails, all of the money on the platform that was invested by users into cryptocurrency may also be hanging in peril. This could technically mean that millions of Coinbase users around the globe may lose access to all of the money they’ve invested in cryptocurrency.
A huge part of what’s causing this situation to spiral so quickly is the fact that the US government has not had to deal with a cryptocurrency exchange going bankrupt, meaning a whole plethora of financial and legal questions have begun to arise.
Commenting on this possibility, a Georgetown University law professor that specializes in bankruptcy, Adam Levitin, speculated, “What happens to a customer if an exchange files for bankruptcy?” Going on to answer his own question, “It ends very badly for customers.”
Levitin’s comments further add to the general sense of unknowing, with several experts all having different opinions. Although Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, said on Twitter that user’s funds would be safe, there is actually very little clarification around if this is true, and the extent to which users would be able to sell or transfer their funds if the whole exchange where to go bust.
This situation became even more drastic earlier in May, when Coinbase announced its first-quarter earnings for 2022, with over $430 million in losses and a monthly user drop of nearly 19%.
Following their earnings report, Coinbase stated that “the crypto assets we hold in custody on behalf of our customers could be subject to bankruptcy proceedings.” Much like Levitin speculated in April, this would mean that users become unsecured creditors, essentially losing any right to claim their own invested money if the company were to officially file for bankruptcy.
How Can I Secure My Cryptocurrency?
The world of cryptocurrency is (rather ironically, in this case) founded on the principles of ownership and moving beyond centralized systems. While this offers a huge range of benefits, it also means that cryptocurrency exchanges are not secured by the FDIC’s protection deposits. Normally, if a banking system were to fail, its users are protected for up to $250,000. This simply isn’t the case with crypto exchanges.
There are a range of personal wallets that users can turn to, transferring their exchange-centered wallets to a system where they will always have access. The vast majority of these wallets are accessed by using a browser extension, providing an easy way of accessing them when online.
However, many users that haven’t used a personal wallet before may find this process confusing, especially when trying to transfer their funds from an exchange. Equally, browser extensions are notoriously unsafe, as they lack a large amount of regulation that other platforms have to surpass.
Due to the mix of ease and providing a more secure way of holding your cryptocurrency, other services have arisen that aim to provide crypto-beginners with a more straightforward way of creating and using a personal wallet. Ambire is one of these.
By creating a web application, Ambire has none of the same security risks as a browser extension, providing users access to multiple networks like Ethereum, BSC, Avalanche, Polygon, and more without any hassle.
If you’re looking to rapidly transfer your cryptocurrency funds off major decentralized exchanges and onto a personal wallet, then services like these are by far the easiest way of doing so. Equally, once you’ve collected all of your cryptocurrency, NFTs, and other digital assets from across the different DEXs that you’re using, you’ll then have one go-to location where you can get an overview of everything.
Not only does getting a personal digital asset wallet ensure that your funds are safe if the DEX that you’re using goes bankrupt, but it also boosts the convenience of crypto and NFTs, having absolutely everything in one location.
While the decline of Coinbase is a point of worry for cryptocurrency investors, this event has also made investors around the globe realize that they need to be more careful about how and where they’re storing their digital assets. No matter how much someone has invested into cryptocurrency, if they’re doing that investing from a wallet hosted on a decentralized exchange, then their accounts will be treated as collateral of the service they use.
Those interested and invested in blockchain should take the case of Coinbase as a warning and start to take preventative measures to secure their investments. By opening up a personal wallet, you’ll be able to have complete ownership of any investments that you make, ensuring that your money stays in your wallet and in your control.