NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS) -- The State of Tennessee is adding its voice to the growing chorus of concern about so-called crypto-currencies.
The Bitcoin market is now valued at an estimated 700-billion dollars worldwide and is giving rise to the birth of similar crypto-currencies such as Litecoin.
Kevin Walters with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance says Tennesseans need to know there are no protections in these markets.
"It's unregulated, there is no real backing for cryptocurrency, there's no bank, there's no guarantee, so at this point what we're doing is just trying to help people understand the risks associated with them."
Walters says the state so far has had no reports of anyone being scammed, but when it does happen there won’t be much recourse. Cryptocurrencies are not insured by a central bank or government authority and they can’t be exchanged for other commodities.
"If someone were scammed in a cryptocurrency scam, there wouldn't be anything that we could do about it because your money would disappear, essentially."
The State of Tennessee isn’t alone in sounding the alarm. This past week the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission also noted that it won’t be able to help consumers who are scammed in the Crypto marketplace.
Cryptocurrencies do have some advantages, including no delay in payments between parties. Also, traditional fees associated with credit card merchants and other money transfers are reduced or eliminated.