Does eTrade Have Crypto: Best Guide on Getting Exposure

Published: December 6, 2023 | Last Updated: December 14, 2023

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

eTrade does not allow you to invest in cryptocurrencies directly. Unlike other brokerage accounts and crypto exchanges, you cannot buy and hold digital currencies in a wallet. However, you can get indirect exposure to cryptocurrency coins by investing in eTrade’s crypto-related securities. In this guide, I will walk you through the options you have to gain exposure to digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and I will show you some alternative platforms you could use to buy crypto directly. 

does etrade have crypto

What cryptos can I get exposure to on eTrade?

ETrade offers the following securities

1. Trusts

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is an investment product offered by Grayscale Investments, allowing investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price movements without directly owning or managing the cryptocurrency. GBTC is structured as a trust, with each share representing a certain amount of Bitcoin held by the trust and traded on over-the-counter markets.

Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE)

The Grayscale Ethereum Trust offers exposure to the Ethereum blockchain’s ETH token. Ethereum is the second largest blockchain in terms of market cap after Bitcoin. Its main innovation was that it allowed developers to build apps on top of it. You have stuff lending and borrowing apps, exchange apps, yield aggregator apps, and much more. 

Other popular crypto trusts you can invest in on eTrade are:

2. Publicly traded crypto mining companies

RIOT stock

Riot Blockchain, Inc. is a publicly-traded company that focuses on mining Bitcoin. It is one of the largest mining companies worldwide. Bitcoin mining companies use powerful data processing machines called ASICs to solve computationally challenging cryptographic problems. When they succeed they are rewarded in newly minted Bitcoin and fees. There are economies of scale to mining Bitcoin and usually, these companies are so large that they can negotiate power grid contracts. 

Another mining company whose stock you can invest in on eTrade is Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (MARA)

3. Publicly traded companies that invest in crypto

MicroStrategy Incorporated (MSTR)

MSTR is a publicly traded data analytics company that became famous after it started investing a large proportion of its treasury in Bitcoin. According to Coingecko MSTR holds 174530 bitcoin valued at more than $7Bn at the time of writing while MSTR’s market cap is valued at $7.9Bn. Many see holding MSTR as equivalent to holding 

MSTR price vs BTC

4. Companies that sell crypto

Paypal (PYPL)

PayPal is a widely used online payment platform that facilitates transactions, allowing users to send and receive money, make online purchases, and manage their finances securely.

In 2021 PayPal started allowing its users to buy and sell crypto. 

Coinbase (COIN)

Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges and the only one that is publicly traded.

Block, Inc. (SQ)

Formerly known as Square is the company founded by Jack Dorsey the founder of Twitter and a well-known Bitcoin fan. One of Block’s apps, Cash-app accepts and facilitates crypto payments. 

Silvergate Capital Corporation (SI)

This is the now infamous bank that recently collapsed. Silvergate was the main banking platform for digital asset companies in the United States

5. ETFs

There are a bunch of exchange-traded funds that invest in crypto-related assets usually companies involved in digital assets or in futures or a combination of the two.

Crypto Futures products

Crypto companies

Other

Alternatives to eTrade for investing in crypto

To invest in crypto you have two main options. Either you use an online brokerage similar to eTrade that allows you to buy crypto OR you use a crypto exchange.

Online brokers

The benefit of using an online broker is that you can manage all your financial products in one place: crypto, ETFs, stocks, mutual funds, etc. The drawback is that they offer a limited selection of cryptocurrencies compared to exchanges and it is harder to move your virtual currencies elsewhere. 

Popular brokerages that offer crypto are 

  • eToro a popular online trading platform for both crypto and traditional assets
  • Robinhood offers easier access to Gen Z and millennials and is the only broker that offers its users a wallet. On Robinhood, you can find popular coins such as BTC, ETH, Dogecoin, and more. 
  • Webull, one of the best brokers, offers 4 cryptos: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
  • Interactive Brokers, one of the largest trading platforms which now allows their users to invest in 4 cryptos including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Similarly to Etrade traditional brokers such as Charles Schwab and  TD Ameritrade only offer indirect exposure. 

Cryptocurrency exchanges

The benefit of cryptocurrency trading platforms is that you have a wider selection of cryptocurrency investments to choose from and direct access to coins and tokens.

Also, once you purchase your crypto assets you can move them onto a crypto wallet where only you have access to the private keys of that wallet. This means that if an exchange were to go bankrupt you would avoid losing your investment. Exchanges that are popular with active traders are 

  • Coinbase
  • Kraken
  • Binance
  • Gemini

to name a few of the most popular ones on the crypto market today.

About eTrade

ETRADE is an online financial services platform that provides brokerage, investment, and banking services, allowing users to trade stocks, bonds, options and other related products, and manage various investment accounts. The e-trade platform became a part of Morgan Stanley in 2020 and offers a range of tools and resources for both individual and institutional investors. 

Setting up an e-trade account is easy. All you need to do is provide and verify your personal information. The platform accepts debit cards and credit cards as well as ACH transfers. Users can access their account via the desktop of e-Trade’s mobile app. 

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Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.