Bitcoin market in Brazil – slowly spreading

Abstract: my experience trying to buy Bitcoins in Brazil and some references on where to buy’em without having to resort to expensive bank transfers — use them at your own risk.

About six months ago the Bitcoin slowly started entering mainstream journals headlines. It has been around for years, but the buzz on this technology started getting louder and it caught my attention. I decided to buy some Bitcoins, just in case it would get traction in the coming years, but I wanted cheap options that wouldn’t involve sending my money internationally through expensive banks mechanisms.

At the time, few options were available, one was Mercado Bitcoin, but I had the misfortune of finding it around March 2013,  just before it got hacked and all operations were suspended. Today this website is already back on, but I was disappointed a missed the big BTC rally.

As there were no easy alternatives, it meant that there are probably important things to happen in this market. Other options I found were

  • Bitcoin-OTC – over the counter trades in which users are free to negotiate how they want to proceed their exchanges. It’s well organized, has an order book and a web of trust in which users are rated. Negotiations takes place in a mIRC channel on FreeNode.
  • Local Bitcoins – provides a trading environment between users. It has a nice escrow system in which the website is the trusted third party that holds and releases the Bitcoins while the trade occurs. It is also the last instance judge in case of dispute between users.

Another alternative that worked for some time was BitInstant, in which you could transfer money to a brazilian bank and it would credit directly into a MtGox account. But since a few months ago, it stopped working in Brazil.

Just today I found two new websites that I haven’t yet tried out (use at your own risk), but it could be a sign the at last Bitcoin is entering brazilian territory:

Considering the trend that some places are considering it a legal tender, Brazil could follow suit (as usual) their peers. This would be great news for the currency in this part of the world.