Bitcoin is a virtual currency which has been around since 2009 . Unlike other “fiat” currencies like the US Dollar and the Euro, bitcoin does not exist in paper or coin form .
During 2020 and the first weeks of 2021 the value of Bitcoin has rocketed as demand for it increases.
At the start of 2020 one Bitcoin was worth around $8000. By Dec 27th 2020 it had risen to be worth $28,000. On Jan 9th 2021 it went over the $40,000 mark for the first time after doubling in value in less than a month. At January 16th Bitcoin was still around $36,000 USD.
The price of Bitcoin hit a previous high of $19,850 in mid-December 2017 , but then tumbled rapidly, falling to below $12,000 within days. Its value has shifted unpredictably ever since, with frequent wild drops and recoveries.
Investment strategists at JP Morgan put out a note to clients in early January 2021 , suggesting that Bitcoin may ultimately reach $146,000 over the long term.
In November 2020 , a top City firm Ruffer Investment sank 2.7 per cent of its portfolio into bitcoin, £550 million.
The chief global strategist of Morgan Stanley Investment Management has even suggested bitcoin could replace the US Dollar as a global reserve currency.
But there are still many sceptics that dismiss it. They still expect Bitcoin to turn out to be one of history’s most over-hyped bubbles. They could be right, they could be wrong.
Buying Bitcoin in Ireland
Etoro and Bitcoin
Etoro is on online trading platform where you can trade in stocks , CFDs and also Cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can also be transferred from the eToro platform to the eToro Wallet.
When buying cryptocurrencies on eToro, the only trading fees charged are the spreads – eg. 0.75% on Bitcoin and 1.9% on Ethereum.
Bitcoin can also be purchased fractionally, so you don’t need to buy a full Bitcoin to own some. For example, if Bitcoin’s price was $40,000, you could purchase 0.01 Bitcoin for $400.
Etoro only allows trades in US dollars – which means any Euro deposits have to be converted to dollars. They charge a 0.5% conversion fee from Euro to dollars on deposit and again on withdrawal from US Dollars to Euro. Etoro asks for a minimum deposit of $200 . Etoro is one of the only exchanges supporting PayPal deposits.
We believe that it is possible to deposit US Dollars using a debit card from N26. The exchange rate used by N26 will be the standard Mastercard rate with no extra fees . It should also be possible to withdraw US dollars from Etoro to the N26 card to avoid the 0.5% fee – but we are not 100% certain of this.
As with all investments – there is a risk of loss when investing in Bitcoin.
Coinbase was set up in San Francisco in 2012 and now has more than 30 million users . Coinbase allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Their EU HQ is in Dublin and Coinbase Ireland Limited is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an electronic money institution (fiat currencies).
Coinbase does not charge a fee to use its wallet service but there are fees when you buy and sell. Credit and debit card purchases are charged a 3.99% fee and bank transfers are charged a 1.49% fee in Europe.
Coinbase also charges a spread of about 0.50% for cryptocurrency purchases and cryptocurrency sales.
As with Etoro – on Coinbase you don’t need to buy a whole Bitcoin. you can buy in increments as little as 2 Euros.
Coinbase is probably ideal for an investor that is just getting started in the cryptocurrency space and that wants to buy Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies as easily as possible to hold them for the long-term.
You can link your bank account, credit or debit card, or PayPal account to deposit and withdraw with coinbase.
Coinbase is backed by Spanish bank BBVA and the New York Stock Exchange and it was the first crypto company to become a principal member of Visa.
Bitcoin Trackers on DEGIRO
If you want a way to invest in the value of Bitcoin – but without actually owning any or worrying about virtual wallets – you can buy shares in a Bitcoin tracker from a stockbroker.
The cheapest way to do this is online with an established stockbroker such as DEGIRO.
There are some ETNs (Exchange-traded Notes) that track Bitcoin listed below:
Bitcoin Tracker One (COINXBT)
BitcoinTracker Euro (COINXBE).
COINXBT was the first synthetic tracking investment product to be approved by regulators and listed on a major exchange. (Nasdaq).
All of these are classed as high-risk investments with risk of loss .
DEGIRO’s low fees make this type of bitcoin investment very affordable.
These trackers give investors exposure to Bitcoin without the overhead of managing the security and custody of private keys.
Revolut and Bitcoin
Revolut customers can buy, hold and sell Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies – but you cannot transfer cryptocurrencies in or out of Revolut or spend them.
So if you want an easy way to invest in actual Bitcoin and speculate on the price – Revolut is another option. (Again – there is a risk of loss)
Bitcoin can be purchased fractionally, so you don’t need to buy a full Bitcoin to own some. For example, if Bitcoin’s price is $10,000, you can purchase 0.01 Bitcoin for $100.
See more about it on the Revolut Website
The exchange rate on Revolut for cryptocurrencies is 2.5% for Standard users and 1.5% for Premium and Metal users.
Revolut uses third party custodians to look after your crypto for you, but you own it. It is free to join Revolut. All Crypto purchases are carried out in US Dollars.