A Lincolnshire man has warned people to be careful and do their research before investing in cryptocurrency, after he lost £3,000 on his credit card.

Craig E, an NHS worker in his 20s, first became interested in the stock market and the viral craze of cryptocurrency when seeing a social media frenzy about virtual currencies and the power platforms hold over the stock market.

Cryptocurrency is a digital means of exchange that operates without the backing of an authority, such as a bank or government.

They are entirely online, sort of like virtual tokens, and all transactions are noted on something called blockchain technology, a type of database that is essentially a public forum of all crypto transactions.

READ MORE: What Is Cryptocurrency? An article by Forbes

Upon entering the world of cryptocurrency, Craig was influenced by the work of social media platform Reddit, whose users had pushed the growth of a meme-based cryptocurrency known as Dogecoin.

Dogecoin was created as a joke, but after backing from Elon Musk, the price soared. | Photo: Adobe Stock Image

“I wouldn’t have gotten in to crypto, or at least alt coins, if it hadn’t been for the virility of them,” Craig said.

“Dogecoin has drawn lots of attention, and it’s kind of a gateway for those who are bored and want to make a quick buck.

“I am sure many people have made a lot of money, but there’s also lots of people, like myself, who have lost money, and never really had the chance to make it.”

Craig had naturally been drawn to Bitcoin as a choice of currency, but the large value (1 Bitcoin is worth over £41,000) put him off, so he instead opted for a cheaper alternative in Safemoon.

Craig bought BNB, a form of cryptocurrency, transferred it to an online wallet and exchanged it for other tokens.

After putting small amounts of money into Safemoon, he saw instant results and his investment’s value soared four times within days.

He was told by other users that the figure would only rise, and upon believing them, Craig was encouraged to use his credit card as it would “easily double and pay back the very next day.”

With that in mind, Craig bought £4,000 worth of the tokens on Safemoon, but his story did not have a fairytale ending.

The very next day, his investment was worthless. This is either due to people quickly selling to drop the price, or the liquidity being taken away, also known as rug pulling.

Craig managed to salvage £1,500 from his initial investment, but the rest disappeared.

He acknowledges that he maybe wasn’t as prepared as he should have been, but also likens the cryptocurrency community to that of a Ponzi scheme.

“You are encouraged in the Telegram groups for the coins to shill – encourage more people to invest and drive the price up, but in reality if that happens, those who were in earlier sell to recoup losses or make profit. It does almost feel like a Ponzi scheme.

“A lot of it is my own fault, I should have known better than to risk money I didn’t have, and I should have been more cautious and did research with my potential investments.

“But the prevalence on social media, the echo chambers, and even the attention in mainstream media outlet, lulled me in to a sense of security, and I thought I would be in, double my money overnight, and get out.”

Craig urged people not to end up like him, and to do their research before investing.

“I wouldn’t suggest people to not invest in stocks or cryptocurrency, but to fully evaluate the potential investment, do research in to them, and be sure that you’re investing something you believe in and if you’re a casual investor, invest in something for the ‘long term’ growth it could offer.

“For cryptocurrency, stay to centralised exchanges, like Binance, and don’t put any serious money in to cryptocurrency that are a joke (and again, do your research).

“Finally, never invest money you couldn’t afford to lose. I did, and it’s devastating. I’ve learnt the lesson the hard way, don’t follow my footsteps.”

A delivery driver in Scunthorpe said it was “a dream come true” to win a brand new Land Rover and £120,000 cash in a £2.50 online raffle competition.

Mark Todd, 53, won the grand prize after taking part in a spot the ball-style competition put on by online company BOTB.

Mark won a top of the range 400 horsepower Land Rover Defender worth £70,000, and if that wasn’t enough he also won £120,000 in cash.

He was informed of his victory by Christian Williams from BOTB, who filmed his reaction live.

Upon realising he had won not just the car but also the money, Mark jokingly said: “Wow, my Mrs is gonna love me forever now!”

Incredibly, Mark said that his wife Sue had predicted his win with a dream just days before, in which they won a car and a house in a random competition.

Mark said: “I can’t believe it, this is literally a dream come true!

“I’ve got an old Land Rover Discovery at the moment but it’s 20 years old, so I definitely need a new one.

“I’ve also just started a new job about a month ago and it’s a longer commute for me so I wanted a hybrid car to do my bit for the environment. This one is perfect!”

Mark has said he will be putting the prize money towards a deposit on a house, as well as a massive caravan and some “proper teeth”.

“I’ve been waiting to have some dental work but because of the pandemic it’s been pushed back and back so I’ll definitely be using some of it to sort my teeth out.”

Christian, who passed the good news onto Mark, said he was delighted for him.

“He seems like such a lovely guy and this car is going to be life-changing for him.

“He’s proof that dreams can actually come true – literally in Mark and Sue’s case. Massive congratulations again Mark!”

BOTB give away huge prizes regularly, including two cars every week as well as a lifestyle prize.

New CCTV and a well-being hub for people seeking help are among the improvements at the Humber Bridge as the footpaths and cycleways reopened on Thursday.

They had been closed for more than a month in an emergency move after six people, including a teenage girl from Willerby near Hull, lost their lives at the bridge between March 3 and April 3 this year.

New CCTV has been installed and the paths on either side of the bridge will be open between 5am and 9pm every day. Pedestrians and cyclists who intend to cross must also register with the bridge board beforehand, according to Labour MP Emma Hardy.

Specially trained mental health volunteers will patrol the area and the new well-being hub in the country park will provide a place for people to seek help.

Staff from Lincolnshire charity Bearded Fishermen will walk over the bridge to support people during the evenings between 7.30 to 9.30pm.

Hull and East Yorkshire MIND will be working in the hub and also going around the park talking to people.

It is estimated that over 200 people were reported to have jumped or fallen from the bridge, with only five survivors, in the first 26 years since its opening.

The father of a young man who lost his life previously said more needed to be done to prevent suicides in the area, but closing the footpath was not the answer.

Almost 10,000 people signed a petition to improve safety measures at the bridge. Those who backed the campaign called for more physical safety measures such as barriers.

Cycle UK Has also been campaigning for action over the closure of the bridge to pedestrians and cyclists since it was closed in April.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK head of campaigns, said: “For over a month the Humber Bridge has been closed to all pedestrians and anyone cycling save for those commuter cyclists who managed to get through a cumbersome registration process, so a partial reopening tomorrow is welcome progress.

“But the tragic loss of life along the bridge has been a chronic problem for over a decade, requiring investment in long term infrastructure and intervention measures, whilst banning people on foot or a bike from crossing the bridge was only ever a kneejerk reaction which didn’t address the causes or long-term solutions.

“Cycling UK hopes that the Humber Bridge Board will at last recognise the importance of maintaining cycle and pedestrian access while improving suicide prevention measures, and if they must have a registration system for people to cross, make it simple, easily accessible, with registration and other restrictions being time-limited rather than permanent.”

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