Cryptocurrencies are the first alternative to the traditional banking system, and have powerful advantages over previous payment methods and traditional classes of assets. Think of them as Money 2.0. -- a new kind of cash that is native to the internet, which gives it the potential to be the fastest, easiest, cheapest, safest, and most universal way to exchange value that the world has ever seen.
Cryptocurrencies can be used to buy goods or services or held as part of an investment strategy
, but they can’t be manipulated by any central authority, simply because there isn’t one. No matter what happens to a government, your cryptocurrency will remain secure.
Digital currencies provide equality of opportunity
, regardless of where you were born or where you live. As long as you have a smartphone or another internet-connected device, you have the same crypto access as everyone else.
Cryptocurrencies create unique opportunities for expanding people’s economic freedom around the world. Digital currencies’ essential borderlessness facilitates free trade, even in countries with tight government controls over citizens’ finances. In places where inflation is a key problem, cryptocurrencies can provide an alternative to dysfunctional fiat currencies for savings and payments.
As part of a broader investment strategy, crypto can be approached in a wide variety of ways. One approach is to buy and hold something like bitcoin, which has gone from virtually worthless in 2009 to thousands of dollars a coin today.
Another would be a more active strategy, buying and selling cryptocurrencies that experience volatility.
Bitcoin is currently the most valuable cryptocurrency
as measured by market cap. It’s also the most popular and the best-known. The current price of bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos, Bitcoin Cash and other major cryptos can be found here
One option for crypto-curious investors looking to minimize risk is USD Coin
, which is pegged 1:1 to the value of the U.S. dollar. It offers the benefits of crypto, including the ability to transfer money internationally quickly and cheaply, with the stability of a traditional currency. Coinbase customers that hold USDC earn rewards, making it an appealing alternative to a traditional savings account.
Digital currencies provide equality of opportunity, regardless of where you were born or where you live.
Online exchanges like Coinbase have made buying and selling cryptocurrencies easy, secure, and rewarding.
It only takes a few minutes to create a secure account, and you can buy cryptocurrency using your debit card or bank account.
You can buy as little (or as much) crypto as you want, since you can buy fractional coins. For example, you can buy $25.00 worth of bitcoin.
Many digital currencies, including USD Coin and Tezos, offer holders rewards just for having them.
On Coinbase, you can earn 1% APY on USD Coin
— that’s much higher than most traditional savings accounts.
You can also earn up to 5% APY when you stake Tezos on Coinbase. Learn more
about Tezos staking rewards.
Unlike stocks or bonds, you can easily transfer your cryptocurrency to anyone else or use it to pay for goods and services.
Millions of people hold bitcoin and other digital currencies as part of their investment portfolios.
USD Coin is an example of a cryptocurrency called stablecoins. You can think of these as crypto dollars—they’re designed to minimize volatility and maximize utility. Stablecoins offer some of the best attributes of cryptocurrency (seamless global transactions, security, and privacy) with the valuation stability of fiat currencies.
Stablecoins do this by pegging their value to an external factor, typically a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar or a commodity like gold.
As a result, their valuations are less likely to shift dramatically from day to day. That stability can increase their utility for everyday use as money, because both buyers and merchants can be confident that the value of their transaction will remain relatively consistent over a longer timeframe.
They can also work as a safe and stable way to save money, like a traditional savings account.
Experts often talk about the ways crypto can provide solutions to the shortcomings of our current financial system. High fees, identity theft, and extreme economic inequality are an unfortunate part of our current financial system and they’re also things cryptocurrencies have the potential to address. The technology that powers digital currencies also has wide-ranging potential beyond the financial industry, from revolutionizing supply chains to building the new, decentralized internet.
How Does Cryptocurrency Work?