It’s difficult to visit any news site without seeing some mention of cryptocurrency. Most people sit there and simply think, nope, crypto’s way too much risk for me. And they’d be right. Crypto is an incredibly volatile asset, but, there’s a “safer” way to invest in it.
An investment in blockchain ETFs (blockchain is the technology cryptocurrencies run through) is a great way to diversify your portfolio. It’s also an excellent way to participate in the growth of this emerging technology while limiting your exposure to the potential risk that comes with cryptocurrencies and other ICOs.
In this article, I will discuss how investing in blockchain ETFs works, as well as the best ways for you to invest today.
A step-by-step guide on how to invest in blockchain ETFs
If you decide to purchase a blockchain ETF, it’s a good idea to make sure you are buying one with an established track record of returns. Below, I’ve outlined a basic, step-by-step guide to investing in blockchain ETFs.
1. Open a brokerage account
To invest in a blockchain ETF, the first thing you need to do is open a brokerage account. If you already have one, that’s great. Otherwise, head on over to your preferred broker and open an account with them. Just make sure that you take note of any fees that the account charges.
You’ll also want to ensure they sell the specific blockchain ETF you’re looking to invest in. It’s important to remember that every brokerage account is different. Some may offer special promotions or have discounts on certain fees for new customers. You’ll want to consider this when choosing your broker.
2. Determine the amount you want to invest
Once you’ve opened a brokerage account, you should determine how much you’re willing to invest. Remember that a blockchain ETF is typically priced based on the total value of assets it holds. This means that if a share is worth $100 and an ETF has 100 shares, then each individual share would be worth $1.
It pays to do some research into what type of blockchain ETFs other investors are investing in and how much they’ve invested – this will give you a sense of where a good starting point is.
Public, for instance, allows you to track and follow other people’s investments. So, you can follow someone who knows the blockchain space and replicate their investments if you wanted.
Whatever you decide, make sure you don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. While blockchain ETFs may be “safer” than buying something like cryptocurrency directly, there’s still the potential for risk.
3. Find the ticker symbol of the blockchain ETF you want to buy
Okay, now you’ve figured out where you’re going to invest and how much you’re going to invest. So it’s time to search for the specific blockchain ETF you want to buy.
The first step is to find the ticker symbol of the blockchain ETF you’re looking for. This will be a short three- or four-letter abbreviation representing the fund and its corresponding company – it’s typically listed in small print at the top left corner of your screen. It looks like this: BLOK, for the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF, if that’s one you’re interested in.
A quick Google search for “blockchain ETFs” should give you a list of some out there – so do your due diligence, and find one that looks the most appealing to you.
Once you’ve found it on your screen in front of you, look for a small box that says “symbol” or “ticker symbol.” It should be right under the fund’s name. Copy this string of letters into your browser by highlighting them with the cursor as selected, then paste it into your brokerage’s search bar.
4. Place an order for that ETF
Once you’ve located the blockchain ETF you want to invest in, it’s time to place an order. You have a few different options for order types when buying a blockchain ETF:
- Market order – Market order is an order to buy or sell a security at the current best price available in the market.
- Limit order – A limit order is an instruction to buy or sell a security at the specified price below or above the current market price.
- Stop limit order – When you place stop and limit orders together, they work as one large trade with two parts: first, if the price reaches your set “stop” point, it will execute your “limit” instructions.
Do whatever makes the most sense for you and your investment goals, but don’t worry about the differences too much. The key here is to get invested in a blockchain ETF.
5. Set up automatic contributions and investments (if you can)
By now, you’ve hopefully invested in a blockchain ETF. But you’ll want to keep the momentum going. To do that, set up an automatic investment plan.
You can automate your investments so that when you set a new goal, say buying a house or saving for retirement, every week or month, the predetermined amount gets invested in blockchain ETFs on your behalf- and you never have to worry about it again.
This is also one of those things where doing something simple now could save you from some major hassles later. Because, before long, blockchain will be everywhere.
What is a blockchain ETF?
An investment in a blockchain ETF is an indirect way to invest in the technology’s underlying infrastructure and protocols which currently power cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but will soon be used for much more than just finance.
Right now, you can’t purchase a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency ETF in the U.S., so if you want to invest in blockchain ETFs, they’re best suited as a long-term investment.
The investments are decentralized and transparent, making them immune not just to manipulation but also to fraud. As a result, blockchain technology provides some of the greatest opportunities for investors who don’t have much time to delve into individual companies or venture capitalist firms with different levels of risk.
Two of the most popular blockchain ETFs are the Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF (BLCN) and the Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN). Both of these ETFs track stocks that are involved in the implementation of blockchain technology.
The Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF is made up of companies like:
- Bank Of America.
The Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF focuses on emerging startups rather than established firms and includes a wider range of investments as well.
Where to buy a blockchain ETF
If you want to buy a blockchain ETF, you can do so through your brokerage account or a robo-advisor.
The easiest way to invest in blockchain ETFs is by using online investment platforms such as E*TRADE.
E*TRADE offers access to specific funds that you couldn’t otherwise buy on exchanges like the Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF and the Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol.
Many robo-advisors, such as Betterment, also offer access to blockchain ETFs in some of their portfolio options.
If you have a brokerage account with Robinhood or TD Ameritrade, then they may also provide investment funds that include blockchain ETFs within them. Regardless of the platform you are using, buying a blockchain ETF is the easiest way to invest in blockchain.
Benefits vs. risks of buying blockchain ETFs
There are many risks and benefits to investing in blockchain ETFs. But, first, let’s start with the benefits.
Benefits of investing in blockchain ETFs
- They have a low cost. The biggest benefit of investing in blockchain ETFs is the low cost. You can invest as little or as much as you want, and it’ll all be allocated to your chosen stocks automatically by a fund manager, who will take care of everything for you.
- ETFs are often less risky. There’s also very little risk involved with investing in these types of funds because they are highly diversified.
- No minimum amount required most of the time. Another great aspect about them is that there’s no minimum amount required – so even if you only have $20 to spare, that could still make an impact. Finally, one last big upside is getting exposure to many different companies just from one company investment.
Risks of investing in blockchain ETFs
- Less consistency. First, you will not get the same consistency as investing in a more traditional fund, like an S&P index fund, for instance. This is because blockchain ETFs (along with crypto) may sometimes move irrationally.
- More unknowns. It’s hard to know what companies you’re specifically invested in, so if there is an issue with one company and it causes a domino effect, then your investment might take a hit. For this, I recommend doing deep research on the ETF and seeing which companies it holds and how they’re positioned in blockchain technology.
- Higher fees than other ETFs. Finally, the fees can be slightly higher than other ETFs on the market because of how they work. They also have no minimum amount required, which could end up costing you even more money.
Blockchain ETFs are an exciting new way to invest in blockchain technology while also mitigating your overall level of risk. If you’ve been hesitant to jump into this space because you’re unsure where and how to buy Bitcoin, or if you don’t understand the difference between Ethereum and Ripple, now is a good time to learn more about these types of investments before it’s too late. Always research before jumping into any type of investment.