Its decline seemed to happen just as quickly as its rise. Stories of people being scammed in Binary Options began popping up in the news. Regulators moved to heavily restrict or outright ban the controversial form of trading. Then the weak brands started disappearing and many of the larger trading platforms which had branched off into Binary reversed course. Soon only a few dedicated operators remained.
For some of us involved in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency affiliate programs, it kind of feels like deja vu. Bitcoin is being cracked down on by regulators. Its being called a "scam" in the headlines. And recently, its value is taking a nosedive. Bitcoin's exchange rate for US Dollars has decreased by over 60% in the past 6 months, and most other cryptocurrencies have seen even bigger declines.
Is Bitcoin's value going to crash all the way to nothing? Is it destined to disappear like Binary Options?
Firstly, Binary Options never disappeared. It's still around and there is actually more demand for it than what's available. I regularly get emails asking about it. Why, you might ask, are there people looking for Binary Options when they should know that the odds are stacked against them? The same reason that people play slots or the lottery. They like it! Despite the long odds, if the platform is legit, there is guaranteed excitement and a chance to win big.
Binary Options was never the scam. Yes, it does resemble gambling more than investing, but does that matter? If it's clearly presented that way and the player knows what they are getting into then there's nothing wrong. The problem was that bad actors used Binary Options as a vehicle to con people. These scammers would make unsolicited phone calls, introduce the concept of Binary Options, and then offer to manage an account for anyone who stayed on the line. Unbeknownst to the victim, the scammer was working for the Binary Options site and would inevitably lose on purpose. They set up call centers and conned people on a massive scale.
Regulators decided to ban Binary Options rather than tackle the actual issue because it was an easy solution, and there wasn't a lot of push-back against it. The number of operators, affiliates, and winning players were far outnumbered by the losers and victims. Those who had been scammed for thousands of dollars wanted blood and, in many countries, they got it.
Bitcoin is different. While some folks have gambled and speculated on its price, it was not created for that reason. Bitcoin was invented to be a fairer and more transparent version of money than fiat currency. It came about in 2009, before Binary Options began. It has had several crashes over its existence. It has survived many years of strict regulators and slanderous headlines.
So far, none of the cryptocurrency exchanges I promote have disappeared. They earn their revenue through collecting trading fees and not by the price of Bitcoin going up. As an affiliate I'm paid a percentage of that revenue from the clients that I refer. I expect these companies to be able to handle a major decline in Bitcoin like we are seeing.
Could scammers bring down Bitcoin the same way that they did Binary Options? It's unlikely because, as mentioned, Bitcoin is much more mature now than Binary Options was during its collapse. I heard a lot more about Bitcoin scams a few years ago than I do these days. Plus, Bitcoin and (at least some of) the other cryptocurrencies were created with better intentions than Binary Options; it's about improving money itself and not just "making" it.
I've never given up on Binary Options. I continue to hold out hope that it will make a comeback and vindicate those of us who promoted it in good faith. I also thought it was fun to trade from time to time! If not, then at the very least I hope that Bitcoin will not suffer the same fate. It's a great innovation and the Internet needs it.