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What to Invest in Instead of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies sell a promising narrative: here is a unit of exchange that will put an end to human reliance on banks and centralisation. However, in the 12 years since the first cryptocurrency was introduced, people have yet to create a viable way to make cryptocurrencies work as actual currencies. Bitcoin transaction fees can go upwards of £15 (and that’s on the low side), and the rate changes from day to day. Ethereum gas fees can range between £20 and £65. Not to mention the fact that keeping the blockchain running requires having the same electricity output as a small country.

Very few businesses today accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Their main use today is as investment vehicles that can be sold for profit. In fact, it was the headline-making profits the first investors made that put cryptocurrencies on the map. However, since cryptocurrencies are not backed by any real assets, their value hinges exclusively on how useful people think they’re going to be in the future. Bad publicity can lead to major price drops, which have caused the number of Bitcoin millionaires to drop by 24.6%.

The possibility of generating high returns comes at the cost of energy inefficiency, high transaction fees, and a high risk of loss. If you don’t want to put your capital at risk, there are many safer ways to grow your wealth. Below, we’ll go over the different investment vehicles aspiring investors can look into.

Trading fiat currencies in the forex market is far less risky than trading cryptocurrencies, since the market’s high liquidity makes it very easy to cash out. Risk in forex trading stems mostly from bad leverage deals, not from the volatility of the actual assets being traded. Most forex trading platforms also come with risk management tools. The free trading demo account on FXCM lets new investors use virtual money to test out their trading strategies under live market conditions. This way, aspiring traders can get hands-on experience without putting real capital at stake.

Dividend Stocks
The main problem with cryptocurrencies is that they are not backed by any underlying asset. Stocks, on the other hand, can still perform well even if the company they represent gets bad press. A company’s cash flow, valuation, and performance can keep prices up even when public opinion is low. Wealth manager Chris Chisolm also points out that stocks are safer because they are more established. Cryptocurrencies are still at risk of being regulated out of usability or existence.

And when you buy a dividend stock, you’ll be able to see returns even without selling, since the company you invest in will give you a fraction of their income based on the number of shares you own.

Investors can lower their risk even further by placing capital in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are passively managed asset bundles that can contain stocks, bonds, or commodities. These assets are selected based on an index. ETFs track the performance of these indices and distribute profits to investors. Because ETFs contain a diverse range of assets, good performance from one asset can compensate for bad performance from another, thus reducing the risk of major losses.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are companies that manage income-producing real estate assets, including properties and mortgages. Investors can trade shares of REITs and earn income from dividends. These dividends come from rent or interest paid on REIT properties and mortgages. Though REITs don’t promise high capital appreciation, the dividends they distribute can give investors a steady stream of income.

Though cryptocurrencies offered high returns for those that invested early on, these profits aren’t a guarantee of their current and future performance. Individuals that want to grow their wealth can choose safer investment vehicles, such as dividend stocks, forex, ETFs, and REITs.