Bitcoin broke into the consciousness of the general public in 2017. In March of that year, the price surpassed its then-all-time-high of USD 1,342. By December 17, 2017, the price was USD 19,783, up 1,824% from January 1, 2017.
About a year later, on December 7, 2018, the price had dropped to below USD 3,300, a 76% drop from the prior December. But by then, many investors (especially younger ones) were seemingly hooked. And, over the past year, the upside volatility has returned. On July 27, 2020, the price for Bitcoin had recovered the value lost in the COVID-19-related crash and was selling at USD 10,944. It hit a new all-time high above USD 64,000 on April 14, 2021.
But purchasing Bitcoin directly is not as easy as purchasing stocks. It requires establishing an account with an exchange, many of which charge relatively high commissions on cryptocurrency purchases. It is also necessary for a person to decide what kind of wallet to use to store their Bitcoin. And, there is that pesky problem of passwords. There is no “forgot password” option for cryptocurrency wallets. If one forgets their password, the Bitcoin is lost. By some estimates, about 20% of Bitcoin - valued at hundreds of billions of dollars - has been lost due to lost wallets or forgotten passwords. Thus, the idea of using a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which will greatly simplify the process of investing in Bitcoin.
Article first published in the New York Law Journal, April, 20 2021.