After a record-breaking year, the value of Bitcoin has surged to over $60,000. With yesterday’s initial public offering of Coinbase valued at $86 billion, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong dubbed it “a landmark moment for the crypto space.”
For those who weren’t so quick on the buck to get in early, cryptocurrencies now seem like an investment that will be impossible to ignore.
Crypto is a new concept, let alone investment, that is incendiary at best. Some supporters and early investors have an almost religious allegiance to its progression, while others, from the likes of Janet Yellen to Warren Buffett, have cautioned against jumping in with both feet.
A lot is happening, and very quickly, in the crypto world — so how does the average investor fit in?
First things first. Crypto is a new and relatively volatile asset. Currency volatility means prices fluctuate up or down quickly relative to other currencies. Volatility does not always imply risk, but volatility is still volatility, and you must have the right stomach for large price swings.
For example, if you invested in Binance Coin yesterday, you would have seen a roughly 12% increase in your investment. However, its volatility is 9%, according to CryptoVolatility, a site that tracks crypto prices and volatility. To put it into perspective, the world’s top five currencies tend to hover around less than 1% volatility. If you were in Universe, another crypto coin, you would’ve jumped 1.75% withstanding a whopping 60% volatility.
If you’re not ready to buy Bitcoin itself just yet, exchange-traded funds and index funds are great alternatives for easing into the crypto world. Bitcoin ETFs mimic digital currency prices and eliminate the need for crypto account wallets. You simply buy into the ETF and have exposure to the market, but your personal information is given to the fund you’re investing in, not the crypto platform account. Also, there are fund managers managing these accounts, whereas with a trading platform, you do the trading yourself. You can find ETFs through traditional and online investment brokerages as well as trading apps.
You can even start putting crypto assets into your retirement accounts. Platforms like iTrustCapital allow investors to add Bitcoin to a qualifying IRA — or even a 401(k), if the plan allows it — for a small fee.
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