Risky, bitcoin? The latest cryptocurrency converts are well positioned to find out: their wallet lost 15% of its value between January and early April alone … as much as those who bet on the CAC 40. It must be said that the market why not there is nothing balanced about 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 in fact held by … 0.01% of wallets. The famous “whales”, which can make and break courses.
To make matters worse, the industry’s first capitalization has now been joined by nearly 15,000 other virtual currencies, such as Ethereum or Solana. “95% are empty shells and do not care,” warns Paul Bourceret, commercial director of the broker Coinhouse. Like Shiba Inu, devoid of any technological foundation, but which was worth almost 12 billion euros in total at the end of February. Finally, I’m not sure if bitcoin is a safe haven, or even can protect your savings from inflation: in recent weeks its price has in fact fallen, following the major American technology stocks, listed on the Nasdaq.
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But going its own way would mean forgetting a little too quickly the enormous potential of this virtual currency market, which 8% of French people have already tested, according to a study by KPMG for Adan (Association for the development of digital assets). And which is now also attracting institutional investors. On February 28 alone, the leading cryptocurrency posted a flash gain of $ 5,000. “From the start, an investor who kept his bitcoins for at least three years was necessarily a winner,” adds Paul Bourceret.
Even though the cryptocurrency, created in 2009, has a longer history than its peers, it’s best to play it safe. “You should only invest the money you don’t need,” warns Stanislas Barthelemi, a consultant with Blockchain Partner, a subsidiary of KPMG. And this, within an overall limit of 5 to 10% of your assets. Also be sure to diversify your bet by purchasing other types of digital chips.
Because investing in a cryptocurrency is a bet on the value of its blockchain, this technology that allows, through a dematerialized block chain, to store and transmit information in a transparent, secure and decentralized way. However, like any innovation, this one can end up losing momentum or even being supplanted by another.
Take Ethereum, which has become bitcoin’s main competitor, with 10-20% of the total cryptocurrency capitalization. Created in 2015, it is based like bitcoin on a “proof of work” system, which causes computers around the world to run at full speed to solve a complex mathematical equation first, enabling transaction validation and pocketing a cryptocurrency reward. .
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In saturation phase, this protocol now allows only slow and expensive exchanges … It is, of course, undergoing modernization, but it is facing competition from Solana, a blockchain that is based on the “proof of stake”, so only the users with the most tokens get the right to validate transactions. Much faster and cheaper, this protocol now caters to many developers. And Solana was, at the end of February, the only cryptocurrency clearly on the rise in our panel, in six months as well as in a year.
Also, don’t hesitate to use techniques that can limit the extreme variations of these different tokens, sometimes during the same day. “For example, investing over time, small amounts each month,” advises Stanislas Barthelemi. He also looks at the side of “stablecoins”, these cryptocurrencies pegged 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 convert your capital to these tokens, without having to recover all your capital. And then you only take the exchange risk between the reference currency and the euro.
Finally, you will need to choose the right broker. Priority, in this context, to brokers who have obtained PSAN (digital asset service provider) status from the AMF (Financial Markets Authority), such as StackinSat, Bitstack, or the industry pioneer, Coinhouse. This label guarantees that the “honesty and competence” of the operators have been verified and that the site complies with the legislation on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
Only the most informed, on the other hand, will embark on specialized exchange platforms, such as Paymium and Bitpanda, registered with the AMF in France, or Coinbase and Kraken, this time regulated in the United States. And remember to analyze all the costs: this is how Coinhouse charges 2.99% for the financing of the account by wire transfer, but 3.49% when the credit card is used.