Bitcoin was one of the most valued assets in the world in 2019, jumping from $ 3,729 to $ 7,300, a 96% gain. In reais, the cryptocurrency’s price more than doubled, from R $ 14,476 to R $ 29,542. It is difficult that this expressive gain does not at least attract the attention of the investor. Experts say you can win with virtual currency, but you need to be careful not to fall for scams and to minimize the risk of bitcoin devaluing.
From heaven to hell
The problem with cryptocurrency, investment advisers say, is that it is very unstable. To give you an idea, bitcoin was already worth almost R $ 70,000 in December 2017. Just over a year later, in February 2019, it was worth R $ 10,000. Because of strong fluctuations, bitcoin should account for a very limited slice in an investment portfolio, from 1% to 5%, said Bruno Ramos de Sousa, legal and compliance director at asset manager Hashdex.
Even with such a small slice, care needs to be doubled. The two main threats to the security of those applying in this market are cyber attacks and the use of bitcoin as bait for criminals to apply old scams.
Escape from those who promise quick enrichment
Stay away from any company that promises to get rich quick or magic formulas to get rich quickly. The risk of a coup is enormous, experts say. “In most cases – not to say in 100% of cases – these offers are nothing but bait for the famous financial pyramids”, stated Revoredo .
How to buy?
Directly: The investor buys from a cryptocurrency broker, known as an exchange, or from someone else. In the latter case, the transaction is similar to a bank transfer using TED or DOC. Those who are going to buy must access their wallet and inform the address of the wallet where the bitcoins will go. Whoever is going to sell sends the coin to the buyer’s wallet. The transaction is verified by the network, and the buyer receives the cryptocurrency in his wallet.
Indirectly: Applicator seeks professional management. For example, buying shares in a national fund that invests in crypto assets through funds abroad. The fund must be from abroad because, in Brazil, the CVM (Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, the market’s regulatory body) does not yet consider bitcoin an asset.
Look for information about the broker .
A tip is to check if there is a padlock in your browser’s address bar when accessing the company’s website. This is the certificate that guarantees secure and encrypted communication between your computer and that of the broker. Cybercriminals can even fake the certificate, but generally a good browser detects when that happens .
Broker charges fees
Have you concluded that the broker is reliable? It’s time to compare rates and choose the exchange that charges less. Brokers usually make some payment methods available for you to buy bitcoin, but they charge a fee for that. Payment via debit or credit cards can cost 4% to 5% per transaction. Bank transfers may be cheaper, but they are slower. Another fee is the negotiation fee, charged on each transaction. If you buy $ 1,000 in bitcoin, and the trading fee is 1%, you will pay $ 10 to the broker.
How to save
Those who buy bitcoin indirectly, via funds, do not have to worry about storing virtual currency. In that case, the investor bought a share of the fund, not bitcoin itself. But this is an important concern for anyone who buys directly from someone or a broker. When this happens, the investor himself is responsible for taking care of his cryptocurrencies.
To access the wallet, you need to use the security key, which is nothing more than a password, like the ones that exist to protect email or bank accounts. “Bitcoins represent money in the form of data. The customer needs to protect the data to protect its resources,” said Safiri Felix, executive director of Abcripto (Brazilian Association of Cryptoeconomics), an entity that represents brokers and other companies in this market. There are two ways to store bitcoins:
Digital wallets: Custody service offered by platforms that trade bitcoins. It is worth checking the fees charged – at several brokers, this is a free service.
Hardware wallet: It is nothing more than a “pendrive” with security mechanisms. With each transaction, you transfer the bitcoins from the platform to that device. As it goes offline, without an internet connection, it is not subject to hacker attacks. On the other hand, it is a small object, which can be forgotten, lost or damaged. If you choose this alternative, always have a “backup” .