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.

Key Terms
A Crypto Primer: Currencies, Commodities, Tokens
Digital room with padlock and word blockchain.
Explaining the Crypto in Cryptocurrency
How Cryptocurrencies Impact Estate Planning
How Do Cryptocurrency Mining Pools Work?
Bitcoins, illustration
What's the Environmental Impact of Cryptocurrency?
Person handing someone a digital cash award and pen
Proof-of-Stake (PoS)
HODL Definition
Bitcoin cash and Bitcoin gold
What Is Cryptocurrency Cold Storage?
6 Private Cryptocurrencies
Does Your Financial Advisor Speak Crypto?
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)
How to Give Cryptocurrency as a Gift
How to Protect Your Business’ Digital Assets
How to Give NFTs as a Gift
Gemini vs. Coinbase
Gemini vs. Coinbase: Which Should You Choose?
Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro: Which Should You Choose?
Cryptocurrency Hard Forks vs. Airdrops: What's the Difference?
Mining Pool Definition
Kraken vs Coinbase
Kraken vs. Coinbase: Which Should You Choose?
A bitcoin token on a laptop
What Is a Crypto Token?
Cryptocurrency ETF Definition
Global financial access
Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
Why Is Cryptocurrency Trading Popular In South Korea?
A collection of physical representations of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
GPU Usage in Cryptocurrency Mining
Crypto Tourism
What Are Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
What Are the Legal Risks to Cryptocurrency Investors?
Ross Ulbricht
Who Is Ross Ulbricht?
Digital Money Transection
Digital Money Definition
What is a crypto regulatory sandbox?
A close-up, 3D, multilayered bitcoin sign standing on a golden cube
What Are Cryptocurrency Futures?
Convertible Virtual Currency Definition
Cryptographic Hash Functions Definition
What is a Cryptocurrency Public Ledger?
bitcoin and laptop
What Is a Crypto Airdrop?
A 3D rendering of Cardano cryptocurrency coins.
Cardano (ADA) Definition
Getty Images
How to Invest in Digital Assets
Woman looking at her phone
Five Things to Know About Investing in Crypto
Woman looking at market on her phone
How to Make Cryptocurrency a Part of Your Portfolio
Top Cryptocurrency Myths
What Is Complementary Currency?
Hand of person tracking cryptocurrency prices on a handheld screen.
How to Buy Baby Doge Coin
Ethereum coin representation
Staked Ether
Hand of person tracking cryptocurrency prices on a handheld screen.
How to Buy Kishu Inu (KISHU)
Asian man in glasses with a laptop, trading cryptocurrencies
Sushi (SUSHI) Definition
A photo of connected computers sending network traffic
Storj (STORJ) Definition and Use Cases
High Angle View Of Coins With Ethereum Text On Table
What Is ERC-20?
Tether (USDT)
A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency
Gas (Ethereum)
Cryptocurrencies Rally After First Quarter Slump
What Is Ethereum?
What Is Stablecoin?
How Do You Mine Litecoin (LTC)?
How Do I Buy Ethereum?
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
What Is Shitcoin?
What Is Dogecoin?
Of pet shiba inu
Shiba Inu (SHIB) Definition
Bitcoins on blue binary code background
What Is Binance Coin (BNB)?
What Is OneCoin?
What Is Stellar?