As an investor, you have many options, especially since the market has added cryptocurrency. If you’re entering the stocks vs crypto debate, know that they oppose each other regarding their structure – one has real-world value while the other is digital. They’re also volatile, but crypto’s swings can be more drastic.
Stocks are ownership shares in publicly traded companies, while digital coins are tokens that represent the value of decentralised digital networks. The latter is mostly software, while stocks are equity.
Both present opportunities and risks, so let’s see how the time-honoured stock portfolio compares to crypto investments.
A quick review of stocks
Stocks are long-standing assets and can bring short- or long-term returns, whereas cryptocurrency is viewed as a viable alternative to more traditional assets.
The first distinction to grasp when you decide what to invest in is that a share of stock is a percentage of ownership in a brick-and-mortar business. The stock represents a portion of a fully operational company and is priced according to the business’s value. At the same time, cryptocurrencies are entirely virtual, affecting how you trade them and their real-world viability.
A quick review of cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies are virtual assets produced and kept electronically using blockchain technology. The critical distinction between these and stocks is that cryptos have nothing to do with any company, as they’re created or validated by miners and validators on the blockchain. And because crypto is volatile, most types aren’t currencies in the traditional sense. Their real-world worth as a method of acquiring goods and services is increasing as more companies introduce cryptographic payment methods into their payment strategy.
The value of a digital coin is determined by many factors, like its supply and demand. In other situations, it also expresses belief in the underlying technology that supports the money or a specific innovation that a particular crypto represents.
Cryptocurrency vs stocks
Cryptocurrency and stocks differ considerably. You need a brokerage account if you want to buy stock, and you’ll have to provide personal details like your name and address. The same goes for cryptocurrency, anyway, only with a crypto exchange. Such measures provide a level of security in the event of fraud or identity theft.
Cryptocurrency provides greater privacy but less security. You store your digital currencies in a crypto wallet, which can be totally electronic or on a USB drive. Because of the anonymity, there may be additional dangers, like forgetting your password and losing access to your account, misplacing your USB drive and losing your crypto, or losing crypto to hackers.
Stock exchanges, like the ones on Wall Street, have operated in some form or another for over three centuries. On the other hand, cryptocurrency exchanges weren’t popular back then because digital coins are relatively new, with Bitcoin (the first cryptocurrency in use) being created in 2009.
Stock exchanges are user-friendly; some allow you to simulate trading stocks to see if the investment suits you. On the other hand, crypto exchanges are widely available and make trading very easy. After registering on an exchange and checking the Bitcoin price today, decide on what trading strategy you want to adopt. Bitcoin (BTC) is the leading cryptocurrency, and while crypto began with Bitcoin, that doesn’t mean it has to end with it. Take some moments to check the value of other trending cryptos, like Ethereum and BNB, to figure out if you should diversify beyond BTC. Remember that charts aren’t indicative of where the currency’s value will be in the future because they only show the past performance of a digital currency.
The ability to trade
Liquidity is the ability to trade your assets, and investors usually consider stocks highly liquid because there are many active traders in this market. With crypto, it’s another story. Digital coins’ liquidity differs according to their type; for example, Bitcoin’s larger trading volume makes it more liquid than most of its counterparts. This means more investors are willing to buy your BTC if you want to sell, and vice-versa. Besides being liquid, stocks and cryptocurrencies are also volatile. Both assets can increase or decrease in value; it is practically impossible to gauge the market to determine the optimal moment to purchase or sell.
Because past performance is no guarantee of future returns and public companies are required to make their financials public, you can use various sources of information to make safe decisions before buying shares.
On the other hand, crypto is more likely to suffer abrupt, extreme price fluctuations, often without warning. This is why your crypto stock can bring significant winnings over time or, depending on the amount, overnight. The same goes for sudden losses.
You may be required to pay commissions and transaction costs when you buy and sell a stock, which can reduce your profits. Investors who purchase stock must pay fees to cover the fund’s operating costs. You may pay more if you’re trading through a brokerage account. However, stocks and crypto don’t differ significantly in trading costs because crypto exchanges may also request fees. Yet, it would help if you didn’t base your decisions on their fees. Instead, choose the most popular crypto exchange because you’ll keep your mind at ease knowing your money is safe. a
Be aware that there are also “gas fees” or the expenses taken by a network for certain blockchain transactions. These costs vary greatly depending on the type of cryptocurrency.
You can’t get shares whenever you want, like when you buy crypto.
Usually, you can buy shares during business hours, Monday through Friday. By contrast, you can get Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, or any other digital currency available anytime you want. Cryptocurrency’s 24/7 availability is one of the reasons why these assets are so volatile.
The decision between investing in crypto vs equities lies in the benefits and drawbacks of each and your risk tolerance and trading strategy. With cryptocurrency, you can make big profits, have the opportunity to invest in new coins, and make online, anonymous payments.
With stocks, on the other hand, you get to perform in a regulated market and own assets with intrinsic value.