Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are digital currencies not backed by real assets or tangible securities. They are traded between consenting parties with no broker and tracked on digital ledgers.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you get cryptocurrency?
    Any investor can purchase cryptocurrency from popular crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, apps such as Cash App, or through brokers. Another popular way to invest in cryptocurrencies is through financial derivatives, such as CME's Bitcoin futures, or through other instruments, such as Bitcoin trusts and Bitcoin ETFs.
  • What is Bitcoin?

    Bitcoin is the most well-known digital currency created in January 2009, after the concept was published in a white paper by the mysterious and pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at large are touted to lower transaction fees when compared to traditional online payment methods, and unlike traditional government-issued currencies, it is operated by a decentralized authority.

  • What is Ethereum?
    Ethereum is a blockchain-based crypto platform that is best known for its digital currency called Ether, or ETH. Ethereum is second in market value only to Bitcoin, according to CoinMarketCap data. While the maximum number of bitcoins in circulation is limited at 21 million, the amount of Ether that can be created is unlimited, which is one of the main differences that investors should know.
  • How do I buy Ethereum

    One of the first steps to buying cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin is to identify a platform for trading the digital currencies. Some of the top platforms including Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, Gemini, Binance, and Bitfinex, which all offer Ethereum to buy and sell. Ether is also backed by many Fortune 500 companies, spurring investor interest.

  • What is an ICO?

    Investors looking to add new cryptocurrencies to their portfolios often look for an initial coin offering (ICO), the crypto variation on an initial public offering (IPO). Like an IPO, a company seeking to raise money can create a new coin or service to launch an ICO as a way to raise funds. Investors in turn can buy the initial coin offering to own the new token, but should be aware of potential fraud within the industry, which is monitored by the SEC for potential abuse.

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Investopedia / Alison Czinkota

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