by Dana Sitar | May 2, 2021
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Crypto is booming, and many investors who got in last year before the surge are seeing huge benefits.
Everybody's talking about cryptocurrency right now, and many wonder what their coins would be worth if they'd invested sooner. Digital currencies boomed in 2017 before peaking and falling dramatically in 2018.
We thought that crash could mark the passing of cryptocurrency's popularity. But interest increased again as economic uncertainty and other factors sparked a resurgence in 2020.
Investors are again keeping a close eye on digital currencies like Ethereum (ETH). Ethereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin, it's a decentralized digital currency -- which means it doesn't rely on a bank or financial institution. Ethereum expands on Bitcoin's blockchain capabilities, which is why lots of people increasingly see it as a viable long-term investment.
If you'd bought Ethereum at the beginning of the most recent surge, you've likely already made huge gains. Is it worth holding onto that investment?
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According to Coindesk historical data, a year ago (on April 12, 2020) Ethereum was worth $162.02 for one coin.
If you bought $100 worth of the currency, you'd have 0.62 ETH.
The price of Ethereum as I write this (April 12, 2021) is $2,144.42 for one coin.
That's more than 13 times the $162.02 it was a year ago -- about 1,300% growth.
Few investors who stocked up on Ethereum early in 2020 foresaw the boom we're experiencing now.
To calculate what any Ethereum you bought a year ago would be worth today, we'd need to multiply the amount of ETH you bought by the current value of one coin.
If you bought $100 worth of Ethereum in April 2020, your 0.62 ETH would be worth about $1,324 today.
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That's not quite the upgrade the earliest crypto investors have seen -- Ethereum has grown 30,000% since 2016. But it's objectively a comfortable return.
Like many other cryptocurrencies, the value of Ethereum has soared this year -- today's value is about double what it was in January of this year.
So does that make it a good investment?
That depends on whether you think it has underlying value. It's never a good investment if you plan to risk some money in the hope you'll get rich quickly. No investment is guaranteed to grow, let alone by 10x or 100x.
Crypto has shown some of the most surprising and headline-worthy returns since the earliest tech companies -- but the markets are volatile. Those jumps are matched by significant dips in value, and we don't have enough historical data to know whether the assets will stabilize and grow in the long term.
The idea of cryptocurrency is just over a decade old, and Ethereum has been around for less than six years. If you want to buy Ethereum, check out our top cryptocurrency exchanges for some reputable places to get it.
But if you were one of the investors who woke up to crypto in early 2020, your portfolio probably looks really good today. Whether you should sell and enjoy the spoils or hold on and hope for continued growth is completely up to you.
Crypto investing is best suited for money you're willing and able to lose -- because no one knows what the future holds in the short or long term.
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Dana Sitar has no position in any of the stocks or cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin.
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