Like a stock, you can buy and hold Bitcoin as an investment. You can even now do so in special retirement accounts called Bitcoin IRAs.
No matter where you choose to hold your Bitcoin, people’s philosophies on how to invest it vary: Some buy and hold long term, some buy and aim to sell after a price rally, and others bet on its price decreasing. Bitcoin’s price over time has experienced big price swings, going as low as $5,165 and as high as $28,990 in 2020 alone.
“I think in some places, people might be using Bitcoin to pay for things, but the truth is that it’s an asset that looks like it’s going to be increasing in value relatively quickly for some time,” Marquez says. “So why would you sell something that’s going to be worth so much more next year than it is today? The majority of people that hold it are long-term investors.”
Consumers can also invest in a Bitcoin mutual fund by buying shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), though it’s currently only open to accredited investors who make at least $200,000 or have net worths of at least $1 million. This means the majority of Americans aren’t able to buy into it. In Canada, however, diversified Bitcoin investing is becoming more accessible. In February 2021, Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) started trading as the world’s first Bitcoin ETF, and the Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) has also been approved by the Ontario Securities Commission. American investors looking for Bitcoin or Bitcoin-like exposure may consider blockchain ETFs that invest in the technology underlying cryptocurrencies.
An important note, though: While crypto-based funds may add diversification to crypto holdings and decrease risk slightly, they do still carry substantially more risk and charge much higher fees than broad-based index funds with histories of steady returns. Investors looking to grow wealth steadily may opt for index-based mutual and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).