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Please don’t buy bitcoin with your credit card

November 29th, 2017 at 4:29 PM
Bitcoin credit card exchange

At the time of writing, the price of one Bitcoin is floating around $10,000, down a whopping $1,000 from earlier today. It’s up around 1,000 percent from where it was a year ago, and so it’s natural that people are piling on board the crypto bandwagon. But please, for the love of sanity and intelligent investing, don’t buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

This isn’t some theoretical plea: “Bitcoin credit card” and “Buy Bitcoin with credit card” are trending hard on Google right now, with the spike in interest closely linked to the recent price spike. This is, to put it mildly, not a good thing. 

Bitcoin is already the fastest-growing bubble to hit the tech world, at least according to most conventional definitions of a “bubble.” The one thing that can make a bubble worse? Leverage, aka using debt to buy an investment (let’s just pretend Bitcoin is an investment here for a second), with the hope of generating enough return to pay off your debt and pocket the proceeds. Leverage can generate bigger profits than just using your own money to buy something, but it also multiplies the risk. Too much leverage is, broadly speaking, one of the reasons the 2007 housing market crash was so bad.

But Bitcoin is riskier than most other potential investments, because you’re not really doing anything. You’re buying into belief in the value of a currency backed by nothing — no banks, no governments, no property. Cryptocurrency advocates will tell you that’s why it’s so great; personal-finance experts will tell you it’s an awesomely fast way to lose all your money.

So yes, you can buy Bitcoin with a credit card. A quick Google search will show there’s 50 different exchanges out there vying to take your fiat currency and turn it into a very long string of numbers. Just don’t be surprised if it all ends in tears.




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