How to Invest in Cryptocurrency From Ireland

  • By: Walter Dunphy ACCA
  • Date: April 10, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When you are first researching how to invest in cryptocurrency in Ireland it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. There are many different types of crypto investors. You have individuals who just want to speculate on the price of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and Dogecoin. Then you also have individuals who want to immerse themselves in areas such as Defi and NFTs.

In this blog post, we will cover all of the different options available in Ireland to invest in crypto and explain the pros and cons of each. Please consider the risks of volatile assets such as cryptocurrencies before you invest.

1. Cryptocurrency Exchanges

When starting to invest in cryptocurrency, the most obvious choice for many is to sign up for an account with a dedicated crypto exchange. These exchanges are like onramps between the traditional finance world and growing parallel crypto world.

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons going with a cryptocurrency exchange:

Pros Cons
Larger choice of Altcoins Your investments are not insured
You can send crypto to your own wallet and control your own crypto security Some exchanges have banking issues that make it difficult to withdraw funds
You can use your crypto – send to Defi protocols, buy NFTs and other growing use cases. Exchanges that do not comply with Anti money laundering laws may face fines and bans
Earn interest on your crypto Beginners be overwhelmed with wallets and addresses etc

When you go with a cryptocurrency exchange you will have a huge choice of crypto assets to choose from. The main benefit of buying your crypto on a dedicated crypto exchange is that you can take custody of the asset by transferring the crypto you buy from the exchange to your own personal wallet. This will allow you to really use your crypto as you please – whether its paying for something, earning interest in Defi, staking or buying NFTs.

When you are choosing a cryptocurrency exchange to sign up to, you will need to make sure they are complying with AML laws in Ireland (do they have a KYC process) and that they accept SEPA deposits and withdrawals so you can easily access your cash when the time is right.

Below is a list of some of the exchanges that are available for Irish customers to use to buy cryptocurrencies:

  • Coinbase
  • Gemini
  • Bitstamp
  • Binance
  • Kraken

2. Stock Brokerages

Many brokerages that we use to trade stocks and ETFs have now been getting in on the crypto game, offering clients the ability to invest on their platforms.

Pros Cons
Suitable for beginners with no crypto knowledge Most brokerages don’t allow you to take your crypto from the trading
You can get exposure to price You don’t have control of the security of your assets
You don’t have to worry about bank transfer issues Assets often not covered by regular investor protection schemes

When you buy cryptocurrency on a regular stock trading brokerage you don’t really own the asset, you won’t be able to use it, earn interest or send it to a private wallet in the majority of cases. You essentially just get exposure to the price movements of the asset. This may be enough for many beginners who don’t want to get too deep into the crypto space.

Below is a list of trading brokerages that also offer clients cryptocurrency investing:

  • Etoro
  • Revolut
  • BUX Zero
  • Interactive Brokers

3. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) & Exchange Traded Products (ETPs)

There are a growing number of ETFs/ETPs that track the performance of individual cryptocurrencies and baskets of cryptocurrencies.

Here are some examples of products available on Degiro:

  • 21XH – 21Shares Crypto Basket Index ETP
  • WBLC – WisdomTree Crypto Market
  • ALTC – WisdonTree Crypto Altcoins
  • Wisdom Tree Crypto Mega Cap Equal Weight

For example, the WisdomTree Crypto Market ETP hold the below ratio of of crypto assets.

WBLC Holdings

The advantage here maybe that you can buy a product one simple product that gives you a wide exposure to the crypto market – reducing the risk through diversification.

A word of caution is needed also with these ETPs, its very important to read into the detail of how these products are set up. The do have high management fees of roughly 1.5% which are charged annually.

Also, as these products are physically backed by crypto – it is important to check how the issuer keeps custody of the crypto and what your rights are if there was ever to be hacked.

4. Stocks of Crypto Companies

If you don’t feel confident in investing directly in digital assets such as Bitcoin then another option is to invest in publicly traded that are either involved in the cryptocurrency or else hold crypto in their treasury.

The major benefit to this way of investing is you still can benefit from the growth of crypto (to a limited degree) and your investments will be insured up to a certain level. There is certainly much less risk that investing in crypto assets directly.

Here are some examples:

  • Coinbase
  • Riot Blockchain
  • MicroStrategy
  • Square
  • Overstock

Final Thoughts

Your choice from these alternatives will depend on your own preferences. There are great learnings and possibilities of using your crypto when you buy directly from a crypto exchange, but that needs be be balanced against what you really want to get out of it.

If you are someone who is only concerned with price then maybe buying crypto from a broker like Revolut isn’t a bad option, although the choice will be more limited.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice.

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