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Could bitcoin help prevent financial fraud among the elderly?

As baby boomers reach retirement age, more
focus shifts to their finances and whether or not they are prepared for their
golden years. Almost one-third of the baby boomers have nothing saved
in retirement plans in preparation for when they leave the workforce, leaving
many futures financially uncertain.

One reason for this is that this generation is
more prone to falling for investment scams like pyramid and Ponzi schemes. This
type of fraud can cripple retirement efforts, which is especially troublesome
for folks who fall for such scams during attempts to build up their nest egg
for retirement. Fortunately, progress is being made in financial technology to
offer protections for this demographic in the form of Bitcoin and other
blockchain applications.

Bitcoin is poised to become a new global
currency in the coming years due to the fact that over 50% of Bitcoin users are based outside the U.S.,
while China and the E.U. are more than willing to usher in a new global
currency to take on the U.S. dollar. The benefits of a decentralized currency
like Bitcoin is that transactions made with it are tax-free, bitcoins are
easily transferred across the globe, and banks cannot use a person’s saved
bitcoins for their own investments. This is good news for older generations
worried about fraud, as this decentralized currency is good for removing
intermediaries that could potentially take advantage of older generations.

However, even as finances move towards a
technologically driven future, fraudsters will continue to do their best to
find ways to take advantage. As mobile banking and online sales continue to
grow in popularity, there will be a decline in POS fraud and a rise in fraud related
to the digital transactions. Banks will have to stay one step ahead of
fraudsters in the coming years, ensuring that their online banking applications
are incredibly secure in order to maintain dominance in the financial sector
over alternatives like Bitcoin.

If banks fail to stay on top of financial
security, they might lose the trust of baby boomers, opening up opportunities
for cryptocurrency and blockchain to completely disrupt the banking industry.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications like Bitcoin might eventually
outright replace many of the functions the banks are now integral to. For
instance, trade finance, payments and settlements, and even loans and lines of
credit might soon be offered outside of the banking institutions we know today
due to these new financial technologies.

Many seniors can be defrauded even without
engaging in fraudulent investment opportunities, falling prey to scams that
target the elderly, or even simply having their online banking information
compromised. Retirement-aged adults that have found themselves in nursing homes
are often the target of financial abuse through malicious individuals in the
nursing home itself.

Employees can cash or deposit checks without the knowledge or
permission
of the individual, forge signatures on
financial documents if they are unable to coerce the person into signing
themselves, or even engage in outright identity theft. This type of financial
fraud is far more common than anyone would like, and a decentralized currency
that cannot be easily accessed through traditional banking such as Bitcoin can
provide a level of protection for those in these situations.

Even if an elderly individual is receiving
care at home from a trustworthy geriatric nurse practitioner, they may still be
at risk of finding themselves financially defrauded. Telephone scammers or even
family members may take advantage of older individuals, operating under the
assumption that they must have money squirreled away somewhere. The simple fact
is that older Americans are at a higher risk of being defrauded or financially
abused in general.

While seniors should educate themselves on the best way to detect and avoid fraud, such
as by ensuring that all transactions conducted online are through legitimate
websites and every step is taken to ensure data security on mobile apps,
switching a good amount of their savings into Bitcoin is a solid way to prevent
fraud from occurring. While Bitcoin can be seen as a volatile currency, it has
proven itself over the years to be a solid and secure investment. Bitcoin and
other cryptocurrencies may very well be one of the safer ways anyone,
especially the elderly, can save their hard-earned money.

Due to an epidemic of attacks using bots,
banks are predicted to fall prey to many high-profile data breaches in the coming years.
However, Bitcoin can offer up a solution to these problems through its innate
safety due to its decentralized status and security measures such as random
number generation, hashing, and signatures.

By 2020, 77% of fintech institutions are expected to
adopt blockchain applications which will act as a digital ledger for Bitcoin
transactions. This is because blockchain and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are
extremely attractive because they offer up transparent safety and security when
it comes to transactions. The benefits of Bitcoin in preventing fraud for the
elderly now will only become more pronounced in the years ahead.

Fintech institutions are beginning to rely
more heavily on blockchain applications due to the rising popularity of Bitcoin
and cryptocurrencies across the board. What was once considered a niche
currency reserved for the tech-savvy has become something that literally anyone
can partake in. Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin can improve efficiency in financial
institutions while simultaneously resolving identity theft issues and thus fraud
for the financially at-risk populations in the U.S., namely those of retirement
age.

Times are quickly changing, and while adopting
Bitcoin as a primary currency can seem a bit scary — especially to those who
are already wary of advanced technology — it is a wise decision. Bitcoin is
quickly becoming a fully fledged and internationally accepted form of currency,
and its inherent safety should be appealing to those that are at risk of
financial fraud. While fraud will always be a problem, Bitcoin adds a level of
protection that should not be ignored.

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Source: banklesstimes.com
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