7 Reasons Americans Aren't Buying Crypto
by Maurie Backman | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on June 6, 2021
Interest in cryptocurrency is picking up, but here's why some people are staying away.
There's no such thing as a risk-free investment. When you open a brokerage account and fill it with stocks, you run the risk that their value will decline over time.
Similarly, cryptocurrency carries its share of risk. Not only is it a fairly new investment, but its future is pretty uncertain. In spite of that, over 50 million Americans are likely to buy cryptocurrency in the next year, according to a new research study by The Ascent.
But still, some people don't seem ready to add cryptocurrency to their portfolios. Here are seven reasons why investors are staying away.
1. "I don't know what to do with it"
Not knowing what to do with cryptocurrency is a big reason a lot of people are avoiding it. These days, a limited number of merchants will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. But many people who purchase cryptocurrency don't do it as a backup means of paying for things. Instead, they buy crypto to make money by selling it at a profit, the same way you'd buy a stock and potentially cash it out at a higher price.
2. "I don't understand how to buy it"
The good news is that some of the same brokerages you use to buy stocks will also allow you to invest in cryptocurrency. They will also provide resources to help you understand how to invest in crypto. You can also check out this list of cryptocurrency exchanges and apps if you're interested in owning some.
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3. "I've never heard of it"
As a general rule, it's a bad idea to invest in something you don't understand. So if you've never heard of cryptocurrency, you probably shouldn't buy it. That said, there are plenty of resources to help you learn more about crypto. To start, check out the following:
4. "I think it's a bad investment"
If you're convinced that cryptocurrency is a poor investment choice, then it probably should not have a place in your portfolio. But before you make that call, make sure you've really read up on cryptocurrency. And also, you may not want to lob all digital currencies into the same category. There's a difference between buying Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies versus a lesser-known coin that hasn't been around as long.
5. "It's too expensive"
Just as stock prices can fluctuate, so too can the value of different cryptocurrencies. If you're really interested in dabbling in this space, just follow the news. Cryptocurrency tends to move wildly, and if you wait until prices drop and snag a currency like Bitcoin on the dip, it may fit within your investing budget.
6. "I'm waiting for more people to start using it"
As mentioned earlier, a lot of people don't buy cryptocurrency to use it -- they buy it in the hopes of selling it at a profit. If you're waiting to reach a point where paying for groceries with Bitcoin or another digital currency is as common as whipping out cash or a credit card, then you may end up waiting a long time.
7. "I feel like it's too late"
Without a crystal ball, it's impossible to determine how much growth cryptocurrency will eventually enjoy. As such, you shouldn't assume that it's too late to get in on the action. There are plenty of stocks out there whose share prices are now substantially higher than they were five or 10 years ago but are still a solid buy nonetheless. We don't know what the future holds for cryptocurrency, but if you're interested in buying it, the fact that you're a touch late to the party shouldn't necessarily stop you.
Is cryptocurrency a good investment? There's no easy way to answer that question. But if you've stayed away from it for any of the above reasons, then it pays to at least do some digging and make sure that's the right call. You may find that cryptocurrency is wrong for you and that you're better off sticking with stocks. But make sure you've done your research before coming to that conclusion.
About the Author
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.