3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency, once an obscure corner of the financial world, is going mainstream.
It made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 19 in a ProShares exchange-traded fund tied to bitcoin futures. Artists are making millions selling "tokenized" digital works. And crypto exchanges are advertising on prime-time TV alongside banks and insurers.
But individual investors considering crypto are likely to encounter a world different from what they've seen in traditional finance. Prices can fluctuate wildly amid rapid trading in assets backed only by blocks of computer code.
Despite the complexity, experts following the sector say the approach to investing in cryptocurrency isn't so different from other investments that have a high-risk profile: Don't invest money you can't afford to lose, make sure you've got your other financial bases covered and remain patient.
"Most of the information that people come across is about crypto trading. It's about how to buy the next hot crypto. It's about how to identify the next coin that's going to the moon," says Steve Larsen, a certified financial planner in Washington state. "Crypto investing is very different. It's about buying something that has some fundamentals that you think are going to have value over the long term."