Les criptomonedes són monedes digitals o virtuals encriptades per tal d’assegurar les transaccions financeres. La primera que es va crear i la més coneguda és el Bitcoin. L'Agència Catalana del Consum ens explica els seus riscos, què fer abans i després de comprar-les i com pots assessorar-te.

Image of cryptocurrencies
Image of cryptocurrencies. License: BY-SA.

risks

  • Both the technology and the operation of the market are difficult to understand . There is often little information and this is not adequate to understand the product.
  • Cryptocurrencies do not have protection mechanisms such as the Deposit Guarantee Fund or the Investment Guarantee Fund, nor is there a central bank that backs cryptocurrencies and this makes it difficult to protect yourself in case something goes wrong.
  • Both its value and its performance can experience significant variations, it is therefore a high-risk investment and you can lose everything invested in it.
  • It is a very active and continuously evolving sector . Prices go up and down quickly.
  • The anonymity facilities make it a target for criminals .

Before the purchase

  • Assess whether you understand how these products work and what risks you are taking by trading these assets.
  • Be cautious and be wary of ads that guarantee to make a lot of money in total safety and in a short time.
  • Think carefully before using platforms that guarantee you profits by using automatic calculations. Irresponsible use can make you lose all your money.
  • Be suspicious if you do not have clear information about the origin and contact details of the company promoting the investment.
  • Consider how trustworthy the person or legal entity behind the transaction is, as they are the ones who must reimburse you if you want to get your crypto transaction money back.
  • If the provider of these services is not located in a European Union country, the resolution of any conflict that arises could be costly and fall outside the scope of competence of the Catalan or state authorities.
  • Be very careful with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) . Confirm that the team making them and who sells them actually exist and take a good look at the technical documents they offer.

After purchase

  • Do not access links from untrusted sources that come to you via email, text messages or social media. You may be a victim of fraud, scams, operational errors or cybercrime.
  • All transactions you make with cryptocurrencies, including gifts and exchanges, must be declared . In addition, they must be included in the income statement.
  • If you want to use cryptocurrencies in a business transaction, consider other means of payment such as credit cards or bank transfers that are controlled by official financial institutions. You will avoid unnecessary risks and you will be able to file a claim if you have any problems with the purchase.
  • It is also important to take maximum precautions against errors or computer attacks; as well as verify the download platforms of these assets in order to avoid fraud or computer viruses. It is recommended to use private connections or anonymous browsing, to guarantee our privacy.
  • The anonymity facilities that cryptocurrencies can provide make them a target for cybercriminals, since in the case of stealing credentials or private keys, they can redirect you to addresses that make it difficult or impossible to recover them.

Where you can get advice and/or complain

Cryptocurrencies are a complex and high-risk product so we advise you not to contract or sign anything you do not understand. To resolve any doubts, you can use their inquiry form or contact a consumer organization/association .