How to choose a cryptocurrency (and crypto platform)

Gene Selby

Table of Contents The two titans…and everyone elseIn summarySo you want indirect exposure, huh?Just keep in mind… We know, we know: Cryptocurrencies are bewildering. And if you are in the sector to get some of a single, earning a option can be utterly frustrating. After all, there are much more […]

We know, we know: Cryptocurrencies are bewildering. And if you are in the sector to get some of a single, earning a option can be utterly frustrating. After all, there are much more than 10,000 cryptos to opt for from. Most of those people are ngmi, as they say—not gonna make it. (That is to say: buggy, meme-y, or scammy, just like your economical advisor warned you.)

But not all of them! Even in the novel entire world of crypto, there are blue-chip alternatives worthy of your thought. If you’re not place off by the essential strategy of investing your tricky-attained fiat on faux web dollars, well, browse on.

The two titans

Two cryptos stand head and shoulders over the rest, representing approximately 70% of the total sector: Bitcoin and Ether. These two property are as productive, secure, and established as a cryptocurrency can be, and are entitled to consideration as the 1st two assets you dive into. 

Bitcoin (BTC)

Produced in 2009, Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency and maintains a dominant market share of about 50 percent the industry. Bitcoin is often identified as “digital gold” for its utility as a retail outlet-of-price asset. (Translation: It’s the most likely one to retain its value, however don’t fail to remember we’re speaking about crypto below.) Bitcoin is a electronic form of income that can be sent worldwide for a little transaction rate and is nearly extremely hard to hack. And, of class, it is a tough-capped asset: there will only at any time be 21 million Bitcoin in circulation by design and style.

Ether (ETH)

Ether—also in some cases known as Ethereum immediately after the identify of its corresponding platform—is the 2nd-biggest digital asset, representing approximately 20% of the crypto sector. Conceived in 2013, the project launched into the entire world two a long time afterwards with the promise that its system would be much easier for software package engineers to build on. Mainly because of its programmable mother nature, Ethereum can do extra than just deliver, get, and store cryptocurrencies it is a electronic market exactly where you can come across financial solutions, engage in game titles, and interact with applications. Ethereum eventually powers a community of decentralized crypto organizations that anyone can use and no one can take down. 

…and everyone else

Trying to get crypto expense alternatives outside of Bitcoin and Ethereum is no distinctive than any other sort of experimental bet—in exchange for upping your threat profile significantly, you could give your portfolio exposure to bleeding-edge engineering that could dominate the industry in the long run.

Dumpster fireplace or shrewd guess? Only time will convey to. But right here are a few spots you should really keep an eye on.

Blockchain competition

Bitcoin and Ethereum pioneered a new sort of general public ledger know-how called blockchain, which facilitates direct possession, irreversible transactions, and all of the goodness needed for these types of transactions. 

But BTC’s and ETH’s results has bred more than a handful of rivals.

Illustrations: Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL)

Governance tokens

Crypto firms running on Ethereum (or other blockchains) are known as “dapps”—short for decentralized applications—by individuals in the know. A lot of of these projects release governance tokens, which enable holders to vote on conclusions concerning the protocol. 

Illustrations: Uniswap (UNI), Aave (AAVE), Maker (MKR)

Infrastructure tokens 

“Web 3.0” is the time period people use to explain a imprecise, new Web paradigm that depends on some mixture of blockchain, media, and decentralized finance. To function, Net 3. necessitates infrastructure in the sort of tech companies that can leverage and retail store data and make connections across chains.

Examples: Chainlink (Website link), The Graph (GRT), Filecoin (FIL)

The most effective of the relaxation

  • Trade tokens: Binance (BNB), FTX (FTT), (CRO)
  • OGs: Bitcoin Dollars (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP)
  • Payment tokens: Litecoin (LTC), Terra (LUNA), Stellar (XLM)
  • NFTs: Axie Infinity (AXS), Stream (Circulation), Decentraland (MANA)

In summary

In the crypto planet, Bitcoin and Ether are the GOATs. But if you’re wanting into what quite a few persons would connect with “altcoins,” there are a lot of paths to choose. So do your possess investigate. Know that investing in cryptocurrencies—any of them—is risky, particularly in comparison to regular investment decision vehicles. These property are new, inclined to bugs, and incredibly unstable. (Never say we didn’t alert you.)

However, as Wayne Gretzky Michael Scott famously stated: You pass up 100% of the pictures you do not acquire.



Ok, you’ve made a decision to spend….some sum of income. You have go through our earlier mentioned guide three or 4 times, you’ve manufactured your preference(s), you’re emotion good about diving into crypto.

Now what? Where do you in fact go and acquire the stuff? Glad you requested.

Crypto-native platforms

There is an array of cryptocurrency exchanges in the US that present varying degrees of the similar service. 

In this article are some of the top options by investing quantity, for every CoinMarketCap, and their claim to fame:

  • Coinbase (thriving 2021 IPO)
  • Kraken (an OG) 
  • Binance.US (very low charges)
  • Gemini (the Winklevoss twins)
  • FTX.US (leverage investing)
  • (cell app)
  • Kucoin (300+ coins)

For the normal investor, differentiating among these exchanges is tough. Each and every comes with its personal hazards. But commit hrs exploring the “best cryptocurrency exchange lists” and the previously mentioned 7 are most probably to occur up time and time once again, in some get or a further.

How do you get started out? The process will very likely go as follows:

  1. Indicator up
  2. Verification (also recognised as “KYC AML,” for “know your customer” identification verification and “anti-revenue laundering” regulatory ways)
  3. Connect your bank account
  4. Buy crypto for .5% to 2% payment
  5. Keep crypto on the platform or shift it to “hot” (Online-related) or “cold” (disconnected) storage

And that’s it! You’re off to the races.

Acquainted fintech friends

A couple conventional finance (ahem, “TradFi”) apps allow you to order crypto, albeit with ordinarily less diverse offerings. All those include:

  • PayPal 
  • CashApp
  • Robinhood
  • Venmo (which is owned by PayPal)
  • eToro

Though most crypto-native exchanges offer you 50 or additional cryptocurrencies to decide on from, these platforms deliver, at most, 17 tokens to pick from. And outside the house of CashApp, you can not move your investments off these platforms. 

So you want indirect exposure, huh?

Let’s say you are an investor with knowledge and you do not want to go via the trouble of handling your own cryptocurrency trades. Are there alternatives out there to you? In a phrase, certainly.


Grayscale Investments is the largest digital asset manager in the world, with far more than $30 billion in total assets underneath administration, or AUM. The New York Town corporation currently offers 15 distinct solutions, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi cash. 

But the barrier to entry is superior. Eligibility for Grayscale goods is restricted to accredited investors—and most people do not make the $200,000 per 12 months necessary for these a title.


In 2017, the CFTC (that’s the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US company that regulates derivatives markets) approved Bitcoin for futures contracts, paving the way for an astounding array of products. In 2020, the CFTC did the identical for Ethereum futures contracts. 

You can trade crypto futures by way of:

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Bakkt

Crypto stocks

There are various cryptocurrency providers with publicly-traded shares that you can get your palms on.


  • Coinbase (COIN) — the perfectly-acknowledged crypto exchange
  • MicroStrategy (MSTR) — a business enterprise companies corporation and primary Bitcoin trader
  • Silvergate Bank (SI) — a digital asset financial institution
  • Marathon Digital (MARA) — a top Bitcoin miner

Just keep in mind…

Phony world wide web money—pardon, cryptocurrencies—is a trillion-dollar asset class marrying finance and engineering in methods under no circumstances right before witnessed in both sector. It also remains extremely volatile. 

But in a entire world becoming eaten alive by software, the attract of grabbing some digital gold amid the rush is simple. It is not tough to get started off. First pick out your crypto, then pick out your system. And in the immortal phrases of Ice Dice: Look at on your own ahead of you wreck on your own.

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