Health authorities are warning consumers to keep their wallets in cash.
Health authorities are urging people to take precautionary measures when they buy virtual currencies.
“People should be aware that they can lose money if they use virtual currencies and that you should keep a safe deposit box and make sure that you don’t lose money because you can’t use it or you don,t keep it,” Dr Paul Kelly, the chief medical officer for NSW Health, said.
The Health Ministry has issued advice on virtual currency.
“If you’re not in a good financial position, and your money is not in your wallet, you should consider using cash to make sure you’re still in a position to use your credit card and debit card,” Dr Kelly said.
He said the advice was not aimed at making people feel better or to be encouraging them to invest in virtual currencies as they were not a safe investment.
“We are saying it’s not a good idea to do this, it’s a bad idea, and people should take it seriously,” Dr Johnson said.
Virtual currency was the first technology to become mainstream and has since grown to become a huge money-making opportunity for many.
It has a market value of up to $US30 million ($33 million) and has soared since the launch of the cryptocurrency in 2015.
The digital currency is backed by an algorithm and a decentralized blockchain, where transactions are verified by an online network of users.
There is no central authority controlling the virtual currency and it does not contain any underlying value, unlike traditional currencies.
The National Health and Medical Research Council has warned against the “unhealthy use” of virtual currencies, which it says can have a “negative impact on public health and the economy”.
“These new digital currencies could pose a threat to public health because they allow the creation of counterfeit goods and transactions which can be used to generate illegitimate profits,” the report said.
“They could also be used by people to commit criminal offences, for example, money laundering, and are likely to be used in online transactions to conceal identity or obtain money.”
Virtual currencies are already available online and in stores such as Walmart and Amazon.