Can Cryptocurrency Go Negative? | SoFi

Cryptocurrency may be a virtual currency, but its value can never go negative. In short : The prize of a cryptocurrency can not be worth less than $ 0 .
That said, the crypto grocery store is volatile and it ’ s possible for investors themselves to lose considerable amounts of money, particularly if they use higher-risk strategies such as short-change sell and gross profit trading, as these can potentially result in significant losses equally well as gains .
sol, can cryptocurrency go negative ? not in the technical sense, but an investor ’ s explanation could end up in the red if they don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate fully understand the risks of this fast-moving market. Keep read to learn more.

Can Cryptocurrencies Go Negative? An Investigation

Cryptocurrency trade is one of the more volatile investment strategies, which is part of the attraction for bad traders. The largely unregulated crypto market can manifest huge profits for some, but cause severe losses for others .
As an example : In 2021 alone, bitcoin ( BTC ) saw a depleted of about $ 29,000 in July, and reached a criminal record high of about $ 67,000 in November. By January of 2022, however, BTC had plunged to about $ 35,000 — off closely 50 % from the acme in November 2021. While that ’ s barely one model of how volatile a single cryptocurrency can be, this type of variation is coarse among most forms of crypto .
Is it possible then that crypto can go damaging ? The short answer is no, though your investment account can .

The Short Answer

As mentioned earlier, no asset, virtual or not, can ever be worth less than zero. That includes property, security, or currency. So the lowest price crypto can ever reach is $ 0 .
however, that doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate guarantee a bitcoin investor will not see losses from investing in cryptocurrency .

The Long Answer

The long answer is more complex. It is possible for an investor ’ mho crypto account to fall into negative territory, specially if they open a short position or craft using a margin report — two strategies that involve leverage, i.e. debt .
Using leverage means an investor opens a margin explanation and borrows funds from their broker-dealer to buy securities in the hope that the price will go up ( or down, in the lawsuit of light sell ), and they will make a profit .
By using allowance funds, loaned to them at a certain matter to rate, investors can typically purchase greater amounts of a security than they could using only cash. thus, if the security appreciates beyond the purchase price ( and the amount of concern charged in the margin bill ), the investor could see a substantial amplification, pay back what they owe, and pocket the rest .
here ’ s the rub, though : If the monetary value of the asset drops below the purchase price, the investor would be on the hook for all the money they lost plus the interest owed on the money they borrowed. ( More on allowance trade below. )

Can You Lose Cryptocurrency Investments?

unfortunately yes, you can lose cryptocurrency — but not because a coin ’ s prize can sink thus depleted that it ’ second subaqueous. Rather, cryptocurrencies themselves are vulnerable to being hacked, and sometimes crypto literally gets lost, thanks to human error .
There are two factors to understand here : how the blockchain works, and how crypto wallets work .

What Happens When the Blockchain Is Hacked?

Blockchain engineering, which emerged with the establish of Bitcoin in 2009, is a decentralize vane of computers that basically allows for the creation and deal of assorted types of crypto. typically, each class of crypto ( e.g. bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, adenosine deaminase, polka point ) exists on its own blockchain .
Because most cryptocurrencies are decentralized, they don ’ triiodothyronine require a third base party like a depository financial institution or government agency to verify buy, sell, crypto payments, and other transactions. besides, most forms of cryptocurrency are not regulated by the government or a body like the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ), although that may change .
In effect, it ’ s the people who own the crypto who monitor the platforms and each early .
That kind of self-policing works good, until it doesn ’ triiodothyronine — and there have been some long-familiar instances where a blockchain or crypto exchange was penetrated by hackers who stole millions of coins. In some cases, the hackers managed to fraudulently “ mint ” extra coins ( screen of like digital counterfeit ) .
unfortunately, individual traders can ’ t do much about these vulnerabilities, but crypto platforms continue to evolve new ways to keep investor ’ sulfur crypto secure .

You Can Lose Crypto When You Lose Your Keys

then there ’ s the unfortunate impact of homo error .
When you buy crypto you become the sole owner of the cryptanalytic drawstring of numbers and letters that comprise the individual key that gives you, and only you, access to your cryptocurrency. You can not buy, sell, or trade your crypto without the private keys .
unfortunately, some people have just lost the secret keys to their own crypto — effectively losing all their coins. A study done in January 2021, for example, found that about 20 % of the existing 18.5 million bitcoin has been lost or is inaccessible .
then, while the unregulated nature of crypto platforms and exchanges may allow for some independence and anonymity, the downside is that there are fewer legal guardrails to protect ordinary investors. The cash in your traditional check or savings score is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( FDIC ) up to $ 250,000, but that ’ s not always the case with crypto exchanges .
Some crypto exchanges may store your crypto offline to keep it secure. Others may offer FDIC auspices for the cash in your custodial explanation, up to $ 250,000, but terms vary from commute to exchange. Often it falls to investors to suss out how secure their crypto is — and decide how much gamble they ’ re comfortable with. According to, exchanges lose $ 2.7 million every day on modal .
Some exchanges are more fasten than others. The better ones use valid HTTPS certificates ; dependable passwords with two-factor authentication ( 2FA ) ; cold repositing where crypto is secured offline rather than held in a hot wallet accessible on a computer or mobile device ; and whitelisted IP and withdrawal addresses so that funds can merely be withdrawn by approve addresses .
The best line of defense against hackers is to use a secret crypto wallet and to back it up .

Can You Lose More Than You Put In?

We ’ ve established that the value of crypto can never fall below zero. But investors can lose money on crypto investments and see a damaging libra depending on their investing scheme. How ? By over-leveraging. Two situations where this can occur are short betray and buy on gross profit .

Margin and Leverage Risks and Possible Benefits

To margin craft, a crypto drug user will put down a certain share of the gross profit position they want to open, and borrow money from an rally to cover the rest. ( Depending on the crypto exchange, margin trading may or may not be allowed, and margin terms may vary. )
If the price of the security rises, the trader makes money. however, if the monetary value drops, and the exchange requires a certain borrowing proportion or margin balance, the buyer will have to deposit more money. In some cases, the exchange may mechanically sell the investor ’ s assets to cover the difference — this is known as a margin call .
The United States is cracking down on margin trading so that only qualified investors with plenty of capital can access these accounts. Investors besides have the option of limiting their losses with crypto futures contracts. Futures contracts can protect short and hanker positions because speculators can besides buy the opposite option condense.

Pros and Cons of Buying on Margin
Pros Cons
Profitable opening positions compared to other asset vehicles Higher risk of losses if prices drop
Profits are possible in a bear market if you sell short on margin Losses could theoretically exceed committed assets
Investors have more buying power, which means they can purchase additional securities and diversify their portfolios. Interest is charged on borrowed amounts

Short Selling Crypto: Risks and Possible Benefits

To short sell, investors borrow crypto at current market price, sell it, and then hope to buy it back at a lower price, making a profit. Of course, if the monetary value of the asset being sold unretentive continues to rise, the electric potential loss is inexhaustible. The higher the price goes, the more the investor will lose. As with any bad scheme, there are besides benefits to shorting crypto .

Pros Cons
Opening positions could be more profitable High risk
Profits are possible in a bear market Losses could theoretically exceed committed assets
Because positions are short term, there is limited risk It requires a margin account, which comes with fees and interest charges
Short positions can reduce a portfolio’s volatility Rapid price spikes, or short squeezes, can add risk
Borrowing crypto could be difficult

Tips on Preventing Crypto Losses

The crypto marketplace is fickle without a doubt. so, the judicious crypto investor does what they can to reduce photograph and understate losses. Three ways to do this are :
• Realize losses to offset gains. ( note that the wash sale predominate does not apply to crypto, which makes this strategy easier. )
• Set up a trading scheme with entry and die points and stick to it. Some investors use hold on losses as a fundamental risk mitigator .
• last, crypto futures trading allows traders to use leverage to hedge the market .

Losses and Taxes

Crypto gains are taxable, but the taxes that apply depend on whether the gains are treated as investment gains, income, or profit from the sale of a property .
But there are some rules that can help with losses. Losses and gains in the crypto marketplace can be solid. But there is an top to the downside — as of early February 2022, the lave sale rule doesn ’ thyroxine lend oneself to crypto ( although there is a bowel movement to change that, so be sure to check if you think wash sale terms may apply to you ) .
According to the SEC, a wash sale occurs when a trader sells or trades a security at a loss and buys a “ well identical ” livestock or security, or acquires a shrink or option to do sol, within 30 days .
The loophole is that crypto is not technically considered a “ security, ” it ’ s considered property. Crypto investors can sell crypto for a personnel casualty, use that personnel casualty to reduce or eliminate capital gains tax on winning investments, and besides buy back the crypto they sold and avoid missing out on a subsequent rally in price .
Let ’ s say a bitcoin investor incurs a $ 20,000 loss in one year but then sells another crypto and realizes a $ 20,000 addition. The bitcoin passing would cancel the capital profit, and the investor could besides buy up bitcoin at its abject price. A stock investor who incurred a loss could not buy back banal they had sold in the same direction because of the wash sale rule .

Stop Losses

many traders use check loss orders to reduce their exposure. A check loss regulate allows the investor to mechanically buy or sell once the price of an asset, like bitcoin, touches a pin down price, i.e. the intercept price. This limits losses or locks in profits on a long or short-change position .
For example, setting a stop-loss holy order for 15 % below the buy price would limit losses to 15 %. The advantage of stop-loss orders is that they can prevent investors from making decisions based on emotion. The best traders choose submission and exit points and stick to their design .


Crypto futures trade is another room to limit losses in cryptocurrency trade. similar to commodity futures trade, the trader does not need to own the crypto assets. rather, the trader only takes risks on the price changes .
For exemplar, let ’ s say a trader enters a bitcoin futures position at $ 50,000 each. They take a long position. When the futures contract expires, if the bitcoin futures price settles at $ 55,000 for each contract, the trader receives a net income of $ 5,000 from the commute .
Crypto traders besides use leverage in crypto futures deal, which is capital efficient. For example, one bitcoin might cost $ 50,000. A futures contract would allow a trader to open a position with only a fraction of that price, possibly $ 5,000 worth of bitcoin .

Alternatives to Crypto Investing

Crypto is probably the most explosive asset there is, and few alternatives have the same level of risk. thus finding ways to diversify your holdings may help manage risk .
The obvious alternatives to crypto investing are stocks, bonds, and valued metals. ETFs and common funds may besides offer some options for diversification. Fine art, jewelry, and other collectibles are an exercise of alternative investments for those with a endowment for selecting those kinds of valuables .


While cryptocurrency can never go negative in the true feel, it is possible that traders can lose money, peculiarly if they use strategies like allowance deal or futures contracts .
wise investors can choose hazard moderation strategies like arrest losses and hedge .
last, yield in mind that cryptocurrency is largely an unregulated asset class, and the ways to make money using crypto are calm evolving. still, fudge crypto schemes are prevailing. According to the Federal Trade Commission, from October 2020 to May 2021, some 7,000 people reported compound losses of more than $ 80 million total, with an average loss of $ 1,900. thus, buyer beware applies here. Investors can protect themselves by signing up with a reputable trade chopine and explore potentially profitable ways to invest in crypto .

Buying Crypto With SoFi

however, cryptocurrencies are a growing commercialize and can provide numerous opportunities for investors. Whether you ’ re a founder or a season crypto investor, you can open an on-line brokerage house account with SoFi Invest® and start buying cryptocurrency from dozens of different coins with arsenic little as $ 10.

Photo accredit : iStock/Dilok Klaisataporn
SoFi Invest®
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