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If you are not yet investing in cryptocurrencies but are curious about the digital coin space, welcome to the crypto curious club. Gemini, one of the largest crypto brokers, estimates that 63% of Americans are crypto curious – a cohort that is more than four times the size of actual crypto investors.

A variety of reasons could keep potential investors away, including discomfort about investing in a relatively new asset class, warnings about fraud, hacks or scams, and wild price movements of digital parts. For some people, there’s also a more practical hurdle: the logistics don’t yet justify the move from crypto-curious to crypto-owner.

This is because cryptocurrencies are not yet available in the institutions where the majority of Americans currently invest, including workplace retirement accounts or many online brokerages. While Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade are among the brokers that allow clients to trade bitcoin futures, they have yet to embrace cryptocurrency trading themselves.

“I’m still shocked that more of them haven’t made it yet,” David Siemer, chief executive of Wave Financial, said of the biggest online brokers. Many of these firms are looking to embrace crypto trading — the fees are “ridiculously” higher than with stock trading, Siemer says, which helps brokerages. But it could take several months, at least, before that happens, he says.

Of the relatively rare options available to crypto investors who want to access a wide range of assets, Robinhood, TradeStation, and SoFi Invest may fit the bill. Here’s how they compare:

Robinhood: Free trade, but with a catch

Robinhood has moved the needle for the entire stock trading industry by offering zero commission on trades – a policy that also applies to cryptocurrencies. US-based investors can currently trade seven of the biggest cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, dogecoin, and litecoin. The catch is that unlike some crypto brokers (like Coinbase), Robinhood doesn’t offer a digital wallet or a way to move coins unless they’re sold in US dollars.

Beyond cryptocurrencies, Robinhood supports buying and selling stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and options contracts. Although trading is free, Robinhood makes money by routing orders to high-speed trading firms – a practice that has come under scrutiny as the company prepares for its initial public offering. (IPO) during the summer. Robinhood is a solid choice for both crypto and non-crypto investors, as it is on Bankrate’s lists of the best online brokers and the best brokers for crypto trading.

TradeStation: a way to earn interest, but fees apply

TradeStation offers direct cryptocurrency trading with its dedicated TradeStation Crypto platform. Crypto trading is not commission-free; clients must pay a 0.3% fee if their account balance falls below $100,000, although rates drop to 0.05% with more than $1 million invested. Only a handful of coins are available, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and litecoin. Tradestation offers commission-free traders on certain stocks, stock options and futures trades.

TradeStation does not offer a crypto wallet, although you can deposit and withdraw crypto. This broker also offers a rather unique feature that Gemini offers: you can earn interest on crypto holdings. For investors looking for a wide range of assets for their portfolio, TradeStation also offers stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options and futures, many of which are commission-free. of negotiation.

Overall, its encryption capabilities are strong. StockBrokers.com named TradeStation the best trading platform for bitcoin trading, and NerdWallet recognized TradeStation Securities as the winner of Best Online Broker 2022 for Trading Platform and Stock Research.

SoFi: More Coins, Less Track Record

While SoFi started out as a student loan and refinance company, it has since expanded into almost every facet of personal finance – although investing is still relatively new.

Of the three online brokers on this list, SoFi offers the most options for crypto investors with 30 coins including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dogecoin, and cardano. Crypto trading is not commission-free; customers must pay up to 1.25% on all crypto transactions. And like TradeStation, SoFi doesn’t offer a wallet to actually use the coins. Investors may want to start looking for alternatives to SoFi, however, after the company received regulatory approval in mid-January to become a national bank – approval that came with the caveat that it should not “ engage in any crypto-asset activity or service. “The deal is not yet done.

Beyond cryptos, SoFi Invest offers a wide range of options, including commission-free stock and ETF trading, IPO investing, a robo-advisor option and retirement accounts, not to mention other products like savings and checking accounts, loans (student, home and personal) and a credit card. SoFi Invest lands on The Motley Fool’s best lists for stock market debuts and cryptocurrencies.

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