Cryptocurrency can be purchased on peer-to-peer networks and cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase and Bitfinex. Keep an eye out for fees, though, as some of these exchanges charge what can be prohibitively high costs on small crypto purchases. Coinbase, for instance, charges a fee of 0.5% of your purchase plus a flat fee of $0.99 to $2.99 depending on the size of your transaction.
according to Forbes, More recently, the investing app Robinhood started offering the ability to buy several of the top cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, without the fees of many of the major exchanges. “It was once fairly difficult but now it’s relatively easy, even for crypto novices,” Zeiler says. “An exchange like Coinbase caters to non-technical folks. It’s very easy to set up an account there and link it to a bank account.”
But keep in mind that buying individual cryptocurrencies is a little like buying individual stocks. Since you’re putting all of your money into one security, you take on more risk than if you spread it out over hundreds or thousands, like you could with a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF). Unfortunately, crypto funds are currently in short supply.
There is a Bitcoin mutual fund—the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), but it is currently only open to accredited investors, meaning most Americans aren’t eligible to buy into it. There are no Bitcoin or crypto ETFs; however, there are blockchain ETFs.
If you want exposure to the crypto market, you might invest in individual stocks of crypto companies. “As far as crypto-oriented stocks go, Coinbase is expected to have an IPO sometime in 2021,” Zeiler says. “There are also a few Bitcoin mining stocks such as Hive Blockchain (HIVE). If you want some crypto exposure with less risk, you can invest in big companies that are adopting blockchain technology, such as IBM, Bank of America and Microsoft.”
Coinbase is one popular cryptocurrency trading exchange where you can create both a wallet and buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Also, a growing number of online brokers offer cryptocurrencies, such as eToro, Tradestation and Sofi Active Investing. Robinhood offers free cryptocurrency trades (Robinhood Crypto is available in most, but not all, U.S. states).