Let's face it: Investing money in stocks can be intimidating -- and investing money in cryptocurrencies, especially now, can be even scarier. But this doesn't mean that people shouldn't try learning about potential opportunities. 

In fact, when asset prices are under pressure, like they generally have been in 2022, it might actually be the best time to invest. And there is one cryptocurrency that rises above the rest, possessing the least risk of other digital assets, while still having enormous upside. 

If you have $5,000 that you're ready to invest, look no further than Bitcoin (BTC 0.52%). Now might be the best time to buy it. 

Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency 

Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency, which is important given that there are now over 20,000 digital assets out there. Bitcoin is a fully digital, peer-to-peer cash system that doesn't need any central authority or intermediaries for it to function. This is in stark contrast to the current financial system. 

It's not an accident that Bitcoin was created on the heels of the Great Recession, when big banks were getting bailed out with massive liquidity packages. The pseudonymous founder(s), called Satoshi Nakamoto, was certainly motivated by what was going on in the economy at the time, particularly when it comes to government intervention in financial markets. Bitcoin's ultimate goal is to help build a more equitable monetary system, open to everyone and free from any manipulation. 

Despite its gut-wrenching volatility, Bitcoin has produced a remarkable return of more than 20,000% since May 2013. This not only crushes the total return of the S&P 500, but it has to be the single best-performing mainstream financial asset during that time frame. 

Bitcoin benefits from a growing ecosystem 

Unsurprisingly, that kind of monster return attracts financial speculation, which has characterized the entire crypto market so far. Consequently, Bitcoin's main use case today is as a store of value, or a "digital gold."

As of this writing, Bitcoin's market cap is just north of $400 billion, compared to the estimated value of gold worldwide of $12 trillion. However, it's worthwhile to point out that Bitcoin is divisible, transactable, portable, and more secure than gold. Plus, the supply of Bitcoin is absolutely finite. 

There still needs to be a substantial amount of ownership interest from investors for Bitcoin to approach gold's value. Enterprises like Robinhood Markets and Coinbase make it easier for investors to buy Bitcoin. Digital payments giant PayPal has a feature called "checkout with crypto" that lets users make purchases with digital assets. 

Additionally, a business like Block, led by Bitcoin enthusiast Jack Dorsey, has repositioned itself to focus more on the top cryptocurrency's development. For example, TBD is a segment of Block that is trying to build a decentralized exchange for Bitcoin. And Spiral, another organization within Block, funds developers who are working on things like Bitcoin wallets and the Lightning Network. 

Then there are traditional financial institutions that are opening the floodgates to their clientele to access Bitcoin. BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, recently said it would partner with Coinbase to let users of its Aladdin investment platform directly buy Bitcoin. 

The ever-expanding ecosystem of financial tools and infrastructure should support reduced friction and greater adoption of Bitcoin as a store of value over time.  

Bitcoin is an alternative to the current money system 

Bitcoin's greatest potential lies in it becoming a completely new form of money that is free from government control. Many people in emerging economies, who are facing hyperinflation and corrupt regimes, would much rather want to own a decentralized, global digital currency that no one controls. 

Here in the U.S., the situation doesn't look good. Four-decade-high inflation and continued federal borrowing may lead to a depreciating dollar, making  Bitcoin more attractive to hold. 

Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, along with Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, have both publicly stated that they have no intention of following in China's footsteps and banning Bitcoin. The stance by these two powerful figures is a bullish sign for the top digital asset. 

With $5,000 to invest, it's a smart idea to take a look at Bitcoin. That dollar sum could be worth many multiples a decade from now.