Here’s What Happens When You Click on a Spammy Cryptocurrency Ad

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As a sensible web user who enables Adblock, you probably don’t encounter many adverts while browsing. And on the rare occasions when you do, you’re smart enough to resist the clickbait’s overtures. But what would happen if you did click to discover “the next bitcoin”? Where would the experience lead you, and could you profit from this esoteric knowledge?
Also read: Research Paper Finds Transaction Patterns Can Degrade Zcash Privacy
I Clicked on a Spammy Cryptocurrency Ad and You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next
Like the homeless, cryptocurrency ads are all around but most people choose not to see them. To the majority of web users, they’re an inconvenience – a distraction to be stepped over when reading Forbes and Vice and similar sites that use clickbait ads to conclude each paragraph like punctuation. While browsing the web on mobile recently, I came across one such ad:

It’s likely you’ve seen this ad or one very similar to it in your travels, and have skipped over it without a second thought. Normally, that’s what I would have done too. But this time was different. Be it out of boredom, curiosity or a need to file a news story, I decided to click. What were these three cryptos that were “better than bitcoin”, and better in what way – faster? More decentralized? Greater network effects? And more importantly, would buying them make me stupidly rich? There was only one way to find out.

3 Cryptos That Are 10x Better Than Bitcoin
After clicking to discover which altcoins I should be buying “right now”, I was forced to enter my email address in return for being signed up to a newsletter called Coin Profits Daily. It would be delivered five times a week with “the most up-to-date information we have to offer on the world of cryptocurrencies”. I wasn’t interested in the newsletter: I just wanted to learn of those bitcoin-beating gems that my portfolio was crying out for.
A couple of clicks later and I found myself reading a PDF emphatically named “3 Cryptos That Are 10x Better Than Bitcoin”. I skimmed through the preamble about how to identify altcoins with potential – I was only interested in the money shot. What were these magical coins I’d never heard of? I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Beneath the heading “The 3 Best Altcoins to Invest in 2018”, I met my first bitcoin beater – monero. That’s right, the 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market cap and the world’s most famous privacy coin was an under the radar gem I should be snapping up.

Sell All Your Bitcoin and Buy This Instead
I like monero, but it’s not the sort of obscure altcoin I had in mind when I clicked on the ad. Thankfully, the remaining coins in the guide proved to be less obvious, even if their inclusion was every bit as baffling. According to Coin Profits Daily, the final two alts that are “10x better than bitcoin” are vertcoin and burst. Reasons stated for buying this pair include the fact that vertcoin’s Instagram followers are over 2,000 “and the account was just created”. Burst, meanwhile, “implements the best technologies available and creates a universal coin with the attributes of many different cryptos”. As a consequence, it is “commonly referred to as a 2.0 cryptocurrency”.

There is nothing inherently wrong with these coins, but bitcoin killers they are not. So there you go: clicking on spammy cryptocurrency ads probably won’t cause your private keys to be stolen or your data resold. But it will fill your inbox with emails about “under the radar” coins from 2017, and that’s reason enough to steer clear.
What sites do you think are worst for showing spammy cryptocurrency ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and markets.bitcoin.com.

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