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Is this the best way to play the Bitcoin price?

Cryptocurrencies are one of the hottest investments around at the moment and Bitcoin is the most popular and heavily traded digital asset. However, buying and selling this crypto asset isn’t easy.

Transaction costs 

If you want to trade the Bitcoin price, you first have to open an account with a digital exchange, which can take a few days. You will also have to pay commission on any deal, as well as currency translation costs. Some sites have minimum charges of $15 per deal.

These aren’t the only issues you might face if you try to trade the Bitcoin price. I’ve heard of transactions being held up for days and the price moving substantially in the meantime. In the worst cases, some traders have lost 50% of their investments just through market movements and trading fees. That’s not to mention the risks of theft and fraud. Tens of millions of dollars of Bitcoins have already been lost to theft this year alone. 

So, if you want to play the Bitcoin price, buying the currency might not be the best way to do it. Instead, I think you could be better off investing in a company that has exposure to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. 

Crypto companies

There’s a handful of companies that have exposure to cryptocurrency, most of which are listed in the US, although there’s one or two listed in London. One of these is KR1.

Listed on London’s NEX Exchange, KR1 bills itself as Europe’s leading publicly-listed investment company focused on blockchain and decentralised technologies. This business is tiny, with a market-cap of less than £10m and relatively illiquid, so it’s not suitable for everyone. 

Nvidia might be a better option. It’s greatly profited from the outburst of cryptocurrency popularity as a lot of miners use products from Nvidia for Bitcoin mining. Wall Street estimates that demand for these processors has translated into more than $1.5bn of extra income for Nvidia over the past few years.

The company is listed in the US, so you’ll need a US brokerage account (or UK account that has access to US shares) to invest. But with a market capitalisation of nearly $10bn and other income streams as well as crypto, it could be worth the extra effort if you want to play the Bitcoin price. 

Easier to value

These are just two of a handful of companies I think could be good ways to play the Bitcoin price. The added bonus of investing in a business with Bitcoin links rather than the cryptocurrency itself is that it’s easier to value companies.

As Bitcoin has no underlying cash flows, it is only worth as much as someone else is willing to pay, which can mean the price is volatile. Companies such as Nvidia don’t have this problem they’re always generating cash from sales, and have valuable intellectual property worth billions of dollars. 

That being said, here at the Motley Fool, we believe investors should always make investing decisions with a long-term outlook, and not chase trends. With this being the case, a better all-round investment might be a simple FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 tracker fund as this will give you a portfolio of international stocks diversified across many sectors and industries, plus a more reliable return to help you get rich slowly. 

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Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.