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How to Invest in Bitcoin

Thinking of investing in Bitcoin?

This post will outline some things you NEED to know before you buy.

We’re going to explain:

  • The basics of investing in bitcoin
  • Why it needs to be taken seriously
  • How to buy bitcoins (with credit card or bank account)
  • How to protect and properly secure your bitcoins if you do decide to invest

Quick Info – Top Exchanges

How to Purchase Bitcoins

Coinbase

Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) broker. They represent an easy and fast way for new users to purchase bitcoins. Coinbase supports customers in over 30 countries, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, and Australia.

Customers in the above-mentioned countries can purchase bitcoins by debit card, bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and more.

We may receive compensation when you use Coinbase. Please visit Coinbase for its exact pricing terms.

  • High liquidity and buying limits
  • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
  • “Instant Buy” option available with debit card
  • Purchases made with bank transfer can take up to 5 days to complete
  • Coinbase may track how and where you spend your bitcoins

Coinmama

Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card. They charge a 4.9%-5.9% (depends on volume) fee on each purchase.

Customers in Europe can also purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer for a lower fee.

Want to buy using Coinmama? This step-by-step guide will show you how to use Coinmama.

We may receive compensation when you use Coinmama. Please visit Coinmama for its exact pricing terms.

  • Works in almost all countries
  • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
  • Reliable and trusted broker
  • Some of the highest fees among credit/debit card bitcoin brokers

Bitpanda

Bitpanda is a Bitcoin broker based in Europe.

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They have high payment limits and low fees across their wide range of payment methods.

Bitpanda offers customers the option to buy bitcoins with credit card, debit card, SOFORT, Skrill, NETELLER, giropay, eps, SEPA, and Online Bank Transfer.

We may receive compensation when you use Bitpanda. Please visit Bitpanda for its exact pricing terms.

  • Some of the lowest fees for buying bitcoins with credit/debit card
  • Reliable and trusted broker
  • Fees aren’t shown openly on the site but instead included in the buying price

CEX.io Buy Bitcoin Read Review

CEX.io lets you buy bitcoin with a credit card, ACH bank transfer, SEPA transfer, cash, or AstroPay. Purchases made with a credit card give you access to your bitcoin immediately. CEX.io works in the United States, Europe, and certain countries in South America.

We may receive compensation when you use CEX.io. Please visit CEX.io for its exact pricing terms.

  • Support for many countries and regions
  • Low 0.2% trading fee
  • Established and trusted exchange
  • Verification process is extensive, requiring much personal information (including a photo) and incurring a long delay
  • GBP market lacks liquidity

Why Bitcoin is Gaining Traction

The world is becoming ever more reliant on the internet.

It is no surprise that Bitcoin, a secure, global, and digital currency has claimed the interest of investors.

Bitcoin is open to everyone and provides an exciting opportunity to delve into an entirely new asset class.

Investing in bitcoin may seem scary, but know that it takes time and effort to understand how Bitcoin works.

Note: Bitcoin with a capital “B” references Bitcoin the network or Bitcoin the payment system; bitcoin with a lowercase “b” references bitcoin as a currency or bitcoin the currency unit.

Why Invest in Bitcoin?

It seems silly to some people that one bitcoin can be worth hundreds of dollars.

What makes bitcoins valuable?

Bitcoins are scarce and useful.

Let’s look to gold as an example currency. There is a limited amount of gold on earth.

As new gold is mined, there is always less and less gold left and it becomes harder and more expensive to find and mine.

The same is true with Bitcoin.

There are only 21 million Bitcoin, and as time goes on, they become harder and harder to mine. Take a look at Bitcoin’s inflation rate and supply rate:

In addition to being scarce, bitcoins are useful.

Bitcoin’s sound monetary policy is one of its most important features. It’s possible to see when new bitcoins are created or how many bitcoins are in circulation.

Bitcoins can be sent from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world. No bank can block payments or close your account. Bitcoin is censorship resistant money.

Bitcoin makes cross border payments possible, and also provides an easy way for people to escape failed government monetary policy.

The internet made information global and easy to access. A sound, global currency like Bitcoin will have the same impact on finance and the global economy.

If you understand the potential impact of Bitcoin, it won’t be hard to hard to understand why investing in bitcoin may be a good idea.

Bitcoin’s Price

There is no official Bitcoin price. Bitcoin’s price is set by whatever people are willing to pay. Buy Bitcoin Worldwide’s is a good resource for the current and historical price.

Bitcoin’s price is generally shown as the cost of one bitcoin. However, exchanges will let you buy any amount, and you can buy less than one bitcoin. Below is a chart showing Bitcoin’s entire price history:

When is the right time to buy?

As with any market, nothing is for sure.

Throughout its history, Bitcoin has generally increased in value at a very fast pace, followed by a slow, steady downfall until it stabilizes.

Use tools like Bitcoin Wisdom or Cryptowatch to analyze charts and understand Bitcoin’s price history.

Bitcoin is global and not affected by any single country’s financial situation or stability.

For example, speculation about the Chinese Yuan devaluating has, in the past, caused more demand from China, which also pulled up the exchange rate on U.S. and Europe based exchanges.

Global chaos is generally seen as beneficial to Bitcoin’s price since Bitcoin is apolitical and sits outside the control or influence of any particulate government.

When thinking about how economics and politics will affect Bitcoin’s price, it’s important to think on a global scale and not just about what’s happening in a single country.

Quick Info – Top Exchanges

How to Invest in Bitcoins and Where to Buy

The difficulty of buying bitcoins depends on your country. Developed countries have more options and more liquidity.

Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin broker and available in the United States, UK, Canada, Singapore, and most of Europe.

You can use our exchange finder to find a place to buy bitcoins in your country.

How to Secure Bitcoins

As with anything valuable, hackers, thieves, and scammers will all be after your bitcoins, so securing your bitcoins is necessary.

If you’re serious about investing in bitcoin and see yourself buying a significant amount, we recommend using Bitcoin wallets that were built with security in mind.

  • Ledger Nano X – Ledger is a Bitcoin security company that offers a wide range of secure Bitcoin storage devices. We currently see the Ledger Nano X as Ledger’s most secure wallet. Read more about the Ledger Nano X.
  • TREZOR – TREZOR is a hardware wallet that was built to secure bitcoins. It generates your Bitcoin private keys offline. Read more about TREZOR.

Bitcoins should only be kept in wallets that you control.

If you leave $5,000 worth of gold coins with a friend, your friend could easily run off with your coins and you might not see them again.

Because Bitcoin is on the internet, they are even easier to steal and much harder to return and trace. Bitcoin itself is secure, but bitcoins are only as secure as the wallet storing them.

Investing in bitcoin is no joke, and securing your investment should be your top priority.

Should you Invest in Bitcoin Mining?

The Bitcoin mining industry has grown at a rapid pace.

Mining, which could once be done on the average home computer is now only done profitably in specialized data centers.

These datacenters are warehouses, filled with computers built for the sole purpose of mining Bitcoin. Today, it costs millions of dollars to even start a profitable mining operation.

Bitcoin miners are no longer a profitable investment for new Bitcoin users.

If you want a small miner to play around with mining, go for it. But don’t treat your home mining operation as an investment or expect to get a return.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to understand how Bitcoin works before investing any money.

Bitcoin is still new and it can take months to understand the true impact Bitcoin can have on the world.

Take some time to understand Bitcoin, how it works, how to secure bitcoins, and about how Bitcoin differs from fiat money.

The above information should not be taken as investment advice. It is for general knowledge purposes only. You should do your own research before buying any bitcoins.

Investment scams

Protect yourself from investment scams

Page reading time: 6 minutes

Be suspicious of anyone that offers you easy money. Scammers are skilled at convincing you that the investment is real, the returns are high and the risks are low. But there’s always a catch.

How to spot an investment scam

There are three main types of investment scams:

  • The investment offer is completely fake.
  • The investment exists, but the money you give the scammer doesn’t go towards that investment.
  • The scammer says they represent a well-known investment company – but they’re lying.

In any case, the money you ‘invest’ goes straight into the scammer’s bank account and not towards any real investment.

How scammers get you to invest

To get you to give them your money, a scammer may tell you they’re offering:

  • high and quick returns or sometimes tax-free benefits
  • share, mortgage, real estate or virtual currency investments, ‘high return’ schemes, option trading or foreign currency trading
  • an opportunity with no risk or low risk, because you will:
    • be able to sell anytime
    • get a refund for non-performance
    • have insured or ‘guaranteed’ transactions
    • be able to swap one investment for another
  • inside information, the opportunity to invest before a public float or discounts for early bird investors

Warning signs of investment scams

The investment offer may be a scam if the person:

  • does not have an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or says they don’t need one
  • rings you repeatedly, keeps you on the phone, or emails you a lot
  • says you need to make a quick decision or you’ll miss out on the deal
  • offers you professional-looking prospectuses, brochures, share certificates or receipts, but their prospectus isn’t registered with ASIC

If you spot any of these signs, hang up the phone or delete the email. If you manage to record any of the scammer’s details, report them to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Tactics used by investment scammers

Some of the common tactics scammers use to trick you into investing:

COVID-19 phishing scams

A scammer may try to steal your information using ‘investment opportunities’ to make your money back from sharemarket losses. The scammer may pretend to be someone you know, like your fund manager or your financial adviser. They may contact you by email, phone or text, or on social media.

Signs of a phishing scam:

  • The email address doesn’t match the company name (also look for hotmail, gmail or outlook in the address).
  • There are spelling mistakes or the information doesn’t make sense.
  • You’re asked to update or confirm your personal details.
  • You’re asked for immediate payment.

Don’t click on any links. Delete the email or message straight away.

Directing you to a fake website

Scammers use sophisticated websites and issue fake online press releases that make false claims of outstanding corporate performance. They may provide some victims with logins to view fake investment balances and growing returns.

Stopping you pulling out of the deal

If you try to pull out of the deal, scammers may try to:

  • swap your current investment for another one
  • convince you that your investment will increase in value soon

Scammers may threaten you with prosecution or hefty fees to keep you from pulling out of the deal.

Using social media to approach you or your friends

Scammers may message you, advertise or send you a ‘friend’ request.

They may pose as someone you know or are connected to. If you ‘friend’ them they get access to your profile information. They can also send you offers to invest and make quick money.

Scammers may use your information to impersonate you. They may create a fake social media account to approach people in your friends list. See identity theft for more information.

Artificially inflating the share price

Scammers buy shares in a small company at a low price. They then send out false tips about the company having great prospects. As more people invest, the share price rises. The scammers sell their shares at the peak of the price rise, then the share price falls and the shareholders are left holding them at the reduced value.

Passing your call along the line

Investment scammers use a team of less experienced staff to make the initial call. The junior staff follow a tight script to check your interest. If you take the bait, they hand you over to a more senior person, called a ‘closer’. Closers are extremely skilful sales agents and their job is to make you feel compelled to close the deal and send your money.

Calling or emailing you persistently

Investment scammers may call or email you persistenly. They may keep you on a phone call for a long time, insisting you’ll miss out if you don’t take up their offer right away. They will not take no for an answer and will ask you about your worries to reassure you. As long as they can keep you talking or emailing, you haven’t really said no.

Operating from overseas

Many investment scammers operate from overseas or offer foreign investments, because their activities are illegal in Australia. Overseas scammers target Australians because ASIC does not have international jurisdiction to prosecute them.

How to check an investment is real

Simple research to make sure an investment is legitimate could save you from losing money to a scam.

1. Ask questions and request information

Check the legitimacy of the person offering the investment by asking them:

  • What is your name and what company do you represent?
  • Who owns your company?
  • Does your company have an AFS licence and what is the licence number?
  • What is your address?
  • Is your investing prospectus registered with ASIC?

If they try to avoid answering these questions, their investment offer is probably a scam. Hang up the phone, do not respond to the email. Stop dealing with the person or delete and block them if it’s through social media.

But, even if they can answer these questions, it doesn’t always mean the investment is legitimate.

2. Do your own research on the company

Don’t rely only on the information the person gives you to make your decision. Don’t be pressured to make a quick decision you could regret later.

Take these steps to do your own research — check:

  • ASIC’s OFFERlist database — See if the company has lodged a prospectus with ASIC.
  • Publicly listed phone directories — Check whether the address and contact details are correct.
  • ASIC Connect’s professional register search — Check the company has an AFS licence or Australian credit licence.
  • Our list of companies you should not deal with — Make sure the company name is not on our list.
  • International Organization of Securities Commission’s (IOSCO) investor alerts — Make sure the company is not named.
  • Our list of fake regulators and exchanges — Check if the investment offer mentions one.

If you invest through overseas companies and something goes wrong, you won’t be able to get help. A lower risk option is to invest overseas through licensed companies based in Australia.

Protect yourself from investment scams

Make sure you don’t fall victim to an investment scam:

  • Always get independent financial advice before you invest
  • Do your own checks on any investment opportunity to make sure it’s real.
  • Remember the common signs and tactics so you can spot an investment scam.
  • Don’t accept a message or friend request on social media from someone you don’t know.
  • Make sure your privacy settings are up to date on your social media accounts.
  • Be wary of random or unexpected contact, particularly if you have replied to something on a website or social media platform.

If you think you have been the victim of an investment scam, you should:

  • Report it to ASIC or your report it to your local police.
  • Stop sending money to the company.
  • Be wary of falling for a secondary scam or offers to recover your money.
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