Against the backdrop of the domestic banking crisis and the potential for a U.S. debt default, some investors are now exploring crypto as a potential safe haven asset to weather the economic storm. Such thinking would have been unimaginable just six months ago, when the common consensus was that "crypto winter" would extend into much of 2023.

But are any cryptos really safe to buy right now? And, if so, which ones should investors be thinking about adding to their portfolios this month?


First up is Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), which is regaining its status as "digital gold" in the minds of many investors due to all the uncertainty in the market today. The correlation between Bitcoin and gold has been surging in recent months, and the growing consensus is that Bitcoin is probably the safest crypto to invest in right now. Of course, "safest" is a relative term, because we all know how risky and volatile Bitcoin can be. Last year, for example, the value of Bitcoin plummeted by nearly 65%. 

But one factor in Bitcoin's favor is its long track record, which has made it a favorite of both retail and institutional investors. Bitcoin, which was created back in 2013, has survived several different market crashes over the past decade, and has emerged stronger each time. Bitcoin continues to offer tremendous upside potential, based on the pace of its international adoption as both a form of payment and a store of value. 

In fact, Cathie Wood of Ark Invest has modeled the long-term growth potential of this crypto and concluded that Bitcoin could soar past the $1.48 million price mark by 2030. Less aggressive estimates have Bitcoin hitting the $100,000 mark by the end of 2024. Thus, from my perspective, Bitcoin offers the optimal blend of risk and reward of any top cryptocurrency.


Next up is Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), which is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, trailing only Bitcoin. Ethereum offers investors a well-diversified ecosystem, with exposure to every key segment of the blockchain and crypto world. This includes non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), and blockchain gaming. Thus, by holding Ethereum, you are diversifying away some of the risk of holding crypto in your portfolio. 

Stack of gold crypto coins.

Image source: Getty Images.

Most impressively, Ethereum continues to upgrade its blockchain, ensuring that it remains the premier Layer 1 blockchain in the world. Last year, for example, Ethereum completed The Merge. This technological upgrade helped to make Ethereum faster, more efficient, and more scalable. And it prepared Ethereum for the next wave of growth in the blockchain world. And then, in March of this year, Ethereum came through again with Shapella (also known as "Shanghai"), another major upgrade to secure its status as a premier blockchain. 

And Ethereum shows no signs of stopping with future updates. Its founder, Vitalik Buterin, has already given investors a detailed roadmap for what's coming next in 2023 and 2024. The goal is to make Ethereum the highest-throughput, fastest, and most scalable blockchain in the world.


For the third pick, I would have to go with Solana (CRYPTO: SOL), an Ethereum competitor with an $8.15 billion market cap. This is one of the few blockchain projects with the potential to outperform both Bitcoin and Ethereum this year. Year to date, Solana is already up 107%, which is more than Bitcoin (65%) and Ethereum (53%).

While some might argue that this remarkable rebound in Solana is nothing more than a dead cat bounce after the FTX (CRYPTO: FTT) meltdown last year, there are several key steps that Solana has taken in 2023 that have me very optimistic about its future. One of these is the recent launch of Saga, the first-ever mobile phone by a major blockchain network. The Android-powered Saga has been described as a "crypto phone" due to its integration of crypto-friendly features. This mobile phone could be the key to Solana gaining a key foothold in the Web3 market, where Solana is preparing other initiatives.

Which crypto to buy first?

If there's one cryptocurrency to buy first this month, it's Bitcoin. As noted above, this is the one crypto that offers the optimal blend of risk and reward. This is an especially important consideration, given the economic headwinds swirling around the market right now. Thus far, at least, Bitcoin has proven to be a safe haven asset worth holding at a time when America's regional banks seem to be failing on a frequent basis.

But if you're really looking to outperform the market, that's when it's time to explore the altcoins that are much smaller (and hence, much riskier) than either Bitcoin or Ethereum. My personal pick is Solana, which has already skyrocketed to triple-digit gains in 2023. Solana comes with its share of drawbacks -- such as continued concerns about network stability -- but is a blockchain that I think is building a long-term future in the crypto world.