Although PNC cannot assist with obtaining cryptocurrency, we would like you to consider these points. 

Whether through proactive research or casual interest, it’s likely you are aware of cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that relies on encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, all of which occurs both outside and independent of a central bank.

With growing frequency we receive requests from clients about what they should know about cryptocurrencies and whether and how they should act in this space. We acknowledge an emerging desire — and, perhaps, future need — for our clients to obtain cryptocurrency for any number of reasons.

However, there are risks to acquiring, holding and using this new currency. 

Educate Yourself

  • Before obtaining cryptocurrency, gain an understanding of what it is, how it works and how it differs from traditional currency types. Consult your legal counsel, accountant and other advisors regarding your specific situation and familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that are applicable to cryptocurrency.
  • It’s important to know that, unlike other currency types, cryptocurrency is not liquid, and price and rate fluctuations can be volatile and can mirror or coincide with traditional market fluctuations. 
  • Be mindful that, once obtained, cryptocurrency may amount to a company asset — one that’s changing value may be difficult to calculate for purposes of balance sheet reporting.  

Protect Yourself

Only do business with known, reputable markets. These markets should require identification and provide tracking for accounting and tax purposes.

  • Secure your password and store it in a safe location. If you lose your password, you lose your cryptocurrency. There is no option to recover. 
  • Consider maintaining your wallets off-network and in encrypted back-ups; doing so prevents your cryptocurrency from being lost due to a single hardware failure.
  • Maintaining multiple wallets, with limited funds in each, can help limit risk. Since cryptocurrency can be lost in a variety of ways, including the corruption of the crypto wallet, theft, or even merely mistyping an address, keeping small amounts across multiple crypto wallets distributes the risk of a single, catastrophic loss.
  • If you are investing in cryptocurrency on a personal level, consider including your wallet’s location and the location of the password in your estate. People may invest in cryptocurrency to build wealth, all of which will be lost if no one but you knows your password.
  • Lastly, if ever pressed to use cryptocurrency to make ransom payments or payment for other illicit activity, immediately contact law enforcement. According to the FBI, making such payments only emboldens the adversary.  

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