Risky, bitcoin? The latest conversions to cryptocurrencies are well placed to find out: their portfolio lost 15% of its value alone between January and early April … just as much as those who bet on CAC 40. It must be said , that the market for there is nothing balanced by this digital token. According to a study by the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research), 27% of the 19 million bitcoins currently in circulation are actually owned by … 0.01% of wallets. The famous “whales” who can make and break paths.
To make matters worse, the first capitalization of the sector has now been joined by nearly 15,000 other virtual currencies, such as Ethereum or Solana. “95% of them are empty shells and are of no interest,” warns Paul Bourceret, commercial director of broker Coinhouse. Like Shiba Inu, devoid of any technological foundation, but which at the end of February was worth almost 12 billion euros. Finally, not sure that bitcoin is a safe haven or even can protect your savings from inflation: In recent weeks, the price has actually fallen, following the major US technology stocks listed on the Nasdaq.
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But going its own way would be a little too quick to forget the enormous potential of this virtual currency market, which 8% of French people have already tested, according to a study by the firm KPMG for Adan (Association for the Development of Digital Assets). ). And which now attracts even institutional investors. On February 28 alone, the major cryptocurrency recorded a $ 5,000 flash win. “From the start, an investor who has kept his bitcoins for at least three years has necessarily been a winner,” adds Paul Bourceret.
Although the cryptocurrency, created in 2009, has a longer history than its peers, it is better to play it safe. “You should only invest the money you do not need,” warns Stanislas Barthelemi, a consultant at Blockchain Partner, a subsidiary of KPMG. And this within a total limit of 5 to 10% of your assets. Also, make sure to diversify your efforts by acquiring other types of digital chips.
Because investing in a cryptocurrency is a bet on the value of its blockchain, this technology, which enables, via a dematerialized chain of blocks, to store and transfer information in a transparent, secure and decentralized way. But like any innovation, this one can end up losing momentum or even being displaced by another.
Take Ethereum, which has become bitcoin’s main competitor, with 10 to 20% of the total capitalization of cryptocurrencies. It was created in 2015 and, like bitcoin, relies on a “proof of work” system that makes computers around the world run at full speed to first solve a complex mathematical equation that allows transactions to be validated and cashed. a reward in cryptocurrency.
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In the saturation process, this protocol now allows only slow and expensive exchanges … It is of course being modernized, but faces competition from Solana, a blockchain that relies on “proof of stake”, whereby only users with the highest number of tokens wins the right to validate transactions. Much faster and cheaper, this protocol now appeals to many developers. And at the end of February, Solana was the only cryptocurrency that was clearly rising in our panel, both over six months and over a year.
Additionally, do not hesitate to use techniques that are likely to limit the extreme variations of these different tokens, sometimes during the same day. “For example, by investing over time, small amounts each month,” advises Stanislas Barthelemi. See also the page of “stablecoins”, these cryptocurrencies linked to physical currencies, such as the dollar. This is the case with Tether. In the event of a bitcoin crash, you will be able to switch your capital to these tokens without having to recover all of your capital. And then only take the currency risk between the reference currency and the euro.
Finally, it will be necessary to choose the right intermediary. Priority, in this area, to brokers who have obtained from the AMF (Financial Markets Authority) status as PSAN (service provider of digital assets), as StackinSat, Bitstack or the pioneer of the sector, Coinhouse. This label guarantees that the “honesty and competence” of the leaders has been verified and that the site complies with the law on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Only the most knowledgeable, on the other hand, will embark on specialized exchange platforms, such as Paymium and Bitpanda, registered with AMF in France, or Coinbase and Kraken, this time regulated in the United States. And remember to dissect all the costs: How Coinhouse charges 2.99% to fund the account by transfer, but 3.49% when the bank card is used.