Which Is Better: Crypto Or Stocks?

Stocks and cryptocurrency are two very distinct types of investment vehicles. While both are liquid assets that belong in your speculative portfolio, that’s where the similarities stop. These are two quite distinct kinds of securities that should be kept in separate portions of your portfolio. This is a quick rundown of the two sorts of securities. A financial adviser can assist you in determining if one or both of these investments are appropriate for your portfolio.

What Are Stocks and How Do They Work?

Stocks are the ownership stakes of a publicly traded corporation. Each share of stock you purchase gives you a percentage stake in the firm. This ownership is proportional to the amount of shares issued by a corporation.

Assume that XYZ Corp. sells 50 shares of stock in exchange for 50 percent of its ownership. If you purchase one of these shares of stock, you will own 1% of XYZ Corp. (While rare, it is possible to purchase a corporation merely by acquiring enough of its shares if it has released more than half of its ownership in the form of stock.)

An investor may profit by selling his or her stock to other investors. The difference between what you spent for the item and what you earn when you sell it is known as capital gains. Aside from that, the advantages of holding shares are totally dependent on the firm in question. Stocks may also increase in value through delivering dividends to their shareholders, voting power held by shareholders, and other ownership rights. In terms of how (or whether) it handles problems like dividends and shareholder voting rights, each firm is unique.

What Are Cryptocurrencies and How Do They Work?

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that exists only on the internet. This implies it doesn’t have a physical component and only exists as records in an online ledger that track ownership. This is in contrast to the US dollar, which has both a physical and a digital component (you can withdraw and hold a dollar note) (you can own a dollar as nothing more than an entry in your bank account recording that ownership). A cryptocurrency’s individual unit is referred to as a token, much as a stock’s individual unit is referred to as a share.

There are two types of cryptocurrencies. Some, like as the well-known Bitcoin, are designed to be used only as currencies. They exist only for the purpose of trading, buying, and selling. Others, like as Ethereum, are classified as “utility tokens.” Although utility tokens are supposed to be purchased, sold, and exchanged, they are used as part of a more complicated piece of software.

There are thousands of distinct cryptocurrencies in circulation at the time of writing.

Important distinctions

There are significant distinctions between investing in cryptocurrencies and investing in equities for an individual. It is crucial to note, however, that this article is just a basic introduction to the subject. People have written reams on the nature of crypto vs. stock investing.

However, the following are some of the most significant differences:


Thousands of investing possibilities exist in both stocks and cryptocurrency. The combined listings of the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ provided more than 6,000 possible firms to invest in at the time of writing. Various cryptocurrency exchanges are also offering between 10,000 and 12,000 possible cryptos. (This figure is subject to change.)

These marketplaces, however, are not always as diversified as they look. Bitcoin accounts for between 55 percent and 70 percent of the total cryptocurrency market at any one moment. This market is dominated by a single asset in a manner that is unheard of on stock markets, where practically any firm may be a potentially profitable investment.

Stock markets, on the other hand, should not take pride in this distinctiveness. While no one stock dominates its market, the FAANG stocks have several characteristics. These five firms (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) account for nearly one-fifth of the S&P 500. Although it does not have the same level of domination as Bitcoin, investors should be mindful of similar market capture tendencies.


Cryptocurrency purchases by ordinary people

Cryptocurrency is perhaps the most volatile asset you can invest in. This is true of individual assets as well as the market as a whole. Crypto is a roller coaster, whether you bought Bitcoin or an altcoin (slang for basically every other asset on the cryptocurrency market). Within a single day, assets might increase in value and suddenly lose it all. To be true, some investors may earn a fortune this way, but many more lose their shirts.

Individual equities are nearly usually less volatile than bitcoin, but they are not inherently stable. In fact, before bitcoin, shares in a single firm were often regarded as the most volatile assets available. Despite the unpredictable nature of individual assets, the stock market as a whole is rather steady and predictable. It progresses slowly in general, to the point that major movements in the stock market as a whole make the headlines.

An S&P 500 index fund is typically a safe pick if you want a steady asset. Individual stocks are a fantastic alternative if you desire a speculative asset. If you’re looking for a very volatile asset, crypto may help.

Source of Profit

You may benefit from stocks in one of two ways. To begin, you may profit from capital gains by selling your stock to another investor for a higher price than you purchased. Second, if the corporation behind the stock decides to pay dividends, you may hold the shares and receive dividends.

A firm may purchase back its own shares from time to time, resulting in a more secure kind of capital gains.

Capital gains are the only way to earn from bitcoin. While utility tokens provide a complex set of technological solutions, the only way to convert any crypto into cash is to sell it to another investor. (Furthermore, after almost a decade of industry growth, no utility token has transformed its software into a viable product as of this writing.)

As a result, cryptocurrency is a little more speculative than equities. At the end of the day, a pure cryptocurrency is only worth what the next investor is prepared to pay for it. That value is not influenced or stabilised by any underlying asset. As a result, cryptos are solely subjected to technical scrutiny. Stocks, on the other hand, are backed by a tangible asset in the form of the corporation. This allows fundamental examination of a stock’s value to take place, since you can assess what the underlying firm is worth independent of market conditions.

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Regulation & Trading

Stocks, like other securities, are among the most strictly regulated assets available for trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regularly oversees public shares, as well as the markets on which they are traded.

The majority of equities are traded on a few big, controlled exchanges. The New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ, for example, handle almost all stock dealings in the United States. At any one moment, a stock will only be listed on one exchange. While it is possible to trade shares privately, this is uncommon and usually reserved for unlisted or “penny” companies.

There is currently no centralised exchange system for cryptocurrencies. Instead, a network of hundreds (if not thousands) of tiny exchanges maintained by independent organisations allows people to trade cryptocurrencies among themselves. There are no genuinely dominating firms in this industry, despite the fact that a few more prominent bitcoin exchanges dominate coverage.

Cryptocurrency is transferred between people in this way. Unlike the institutionalised stock market system, where shares are sold via a third party known as a clearing house, cryptocurrency is traded directly between the buyer and seller. (Note: Due to the fast-paced nature of the industry, this may change.)

While many proponents of bitcoin claim that the technology underlying it has rendered clearing houses obsolete, this is not the case. A clearing house acts as a connective tissue between buyers and sellers. This aids in the establishment of precise market pricing for each item. Because bitcoin lacks a clearing house function, those who wish to exchange currencies must discover each other on an ad hoc basis. It also implies that bitcoin has no centralised price mechanism. While investors have published market prices to serve as a reference, the price of each transaction will ultimately be determined by the market and the traders involved.

As a result, cryptocurrencies are less liquid than equities. While high-volume cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum don’t have this issue, it takes longer to trade the hundreds of lesser-known cryptocurrencies, and values for such assets are more volatile.


Cryptocurrency is still mostly uncontrolled, with regulatory authorities like as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service deciding how to regulate it. This has resulted in an increase in the number of prospective assets for investors to consider, which is great for aggressive portfolios.

It has, however, come at a price. According to estimates, almost a third of all new cryptocurrencies on the market are fake in some fashion. The majority of them are either classic pump-and-dump scams or cash grabs for an item that will never be released.

In this industry, investors have also been bitten by lax enforcement of current restrictions. Popular voices in the crypto community have been known to influence the price of specific assets with a single tweet or Reddit post. This kind of activity is uncommon on the stock market since it is a criminal to do so with a regulated asset.

Final Thoughts

Background information about the digital blockchain

So, which asset should you put your money into? Cryptocurrency is a volatile, boom-and-bust asset that has sparked a lot of interest in a short period of time. If you’re interested, invest only the most speculative portion of your portfolio, money you’re willing to lose. Individual stocks are tied to the success of an underlying corporation, which determines the price of the stock. These are still hazardous and volatile investments, but not nearly as much as cryptocurrency.

Stock market index funds are a good choice for investors searching for a balance of growth and risk control. These may not have the same potential for profit as cryptos or equities, but they also do not have the same hazards.

Investing Advice

How do you strike a balance between crypto’s wild ride (but possibly high-performing) assets and more traditional stock investments? It doesn’t have to be difficult to find a skilled financial counsellor. Smart Assets free tool connects you with up to three local financial advisers, and you may interview them for free to choose which one is best for you. Start looking for a financial adviser today if you’re ready to attain your financial objectives.

Use Smart Assets free investing calculator to get a solid sense of how your assets will perform over time.

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