Mercado Bitcoin – Is It Good?
Mercado Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Brazil. It is very popular there, in fact, Mercado Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency exchange to even offer Bitcoin in Brazil. The founder, Rodrigo Batista, has been active in the Bitcoin game since 2013 and has managed to make from Mercado Bitcoin not only the first but the most popular exchange in Brazil. With almost 1.5 million clients, Brazilians love to exchange their Reals for some crypto at the exchange every day.
But how good is Mercado Bitcoin? Is Mercado Bitcoin trustworthy? Is it only for Brazilians? And, most importantly, how does it stack up against other platforms?
What does Mercado Bitcoin provide?
Established in 2016, Mercado Bitcoin is one of the large players in the Brazilian market. On their home page, they even tell you how many Bitcoins they’ve exchanged in the past 24 hours. When we were reviewing the website, we were surprised to see from 150 to 200 BTC being trade daily.
And that’s just Bitcoin, they also support Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, XRP (Ripple) and they recently added Ethereum to the mix. However, the only fiat option is the Brazilian Real. That’s because Mercado Bitcoin focuses exclusively on its Brazilian users.
Despite this, Mercado Bitcoin has become the largest exchange in Latin America, trading around 4.5 billion Reals (over a billion dollars) in currencies in 2017 alone. That’s partially because of their technologies and security. According to a study by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) Mercado Bitcoin was among the 50 most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the world! Not bad for a platform that doesn’t even support US dollars.
The team behind Mercado Bitcoin seems to take security seriously, spending a lot of money in keeping funds safe. They have a very robust level of encryption with HTTPS communication and encrypted website activity. They also claim to hold a lot of funds in cold storage, although the meaning of “a lot” isn’t clear.
In an effort to keep customers safe, they can’t create an account with any email service, it has to be from one of the big ones (like Gmail). They are also required to create a PIN number and encouraged to follow Two-Step Authentication to keep their accounts safe. They even protect themselves from phishing websites by registering a safe word that appears at the top of every page to help you identify a copycat.
Mercado Bitcoin also offers a wallet service, which is quite convenient for when you’re trading casually. However, if you’re planning to hodl some crypto, remember to always use a separate crypto wallet.
Mercado Bitcoin is completely focused on Brazilian users. To trade in Mercado Bitcoin, you even have to prove you’re a Brazilian resident with an ID. If you’re not Brazilian, this exchange is not for you.
Mercado Bitcoin Rates and Buying Limits
Mercado Bitcoin may be competitive in a lot of areas but their fees are definitely not one of them. As most other exchanges there are separate fees for Makers and Takers.
Mercado Bitcoin fee: from 0.3% for Makets, 0.7% for Takers
These fees are definitely above the industry average. However, we’ve seen larger fees in other region-based exchanges since they lack the competition of international websites. There’s free deposit for cryptocurrencies and a 1.99% + R $ 2.00 for fiat deposits.
Your trading limits will also depend on your verification level. VIP account holders are able to use wire transfers and have larger trading limits than a regular account. To reach VIP level a user will need to send an official photo ID.
Mercado Bitcoin Pros
- Large and trustworthy exchange: Despite it being relatively recent, Mercado Bitcoin is definitely not a scam trying to steal your money, which is why it has had over a million clients so far.
- Android and iOs app: Mercado Bitcoin has a great app in the App Store and Play Store to kep track of your alt-coins and exchange on the go.
- Clear and simple fees: Although large, you always know what you’re paying.
Mercado Bitcoin Cons
- Not supported in the US (or anywhere else): If you’re not from Brazil you can’t use this platform.
- High fees: For Brazilians it may be easier to trade fiat for crypto in Mercado Bitcoin, but it won’t be cheaper.
- No live customer service: You can only contact them through an email from 7 AM to 11 PM during the week and 9 AM to 7 PM during the weekend.
Sign Up at Mercado Bitcoin
Is Mercado Bitcoin Good for Bitcoin?
As it usually happens, with Mercado Bitcoin you get the same thing you get when trading in a regional-focused exchange. There are a lot of easy purchasing options for locals and a sense of safety but also there are larger fees and no options for anonymous purchases or specialized alt-coins.
With no options for anyone outside of Brazil to exchange, Mercado Bitcoin is a great choice for Brazilian beginners, but not for anyone else. However, with their focus on security and the amount of orders on a daily basis, we really hope they soon open their doors to more markets, although we sure hope those rates go down before they do.