If you have read any news or watched any news program over the last few months, you have certainly heard about Bitcoin by now, and how sharply the cryptocurrency has appreciated during the year.
Bitcoin, which was once viewed as simply a way people could buy and sell things anonymously such as drugs or porn online, has started to invade mainstream, and any company with exposure to the mania has enjoyed big gains during the year.
Bitcoin was trading under $1,000 a coin at the start of the year, but it currently sits at $16,650, an incredible jump in under 12 months. While the gains have been substantial, there is still a huge debate over the future of the new currency.
Those who believe Bitcoin is just a fad, or a major bubble, like to highlight stories of bitcoin theft, or point out that the currency is still not widely accepted at retailers, and even the fact that buying bitcoin can be a difficult process with long transaction times. They believe bitcoin is a huge bubble that can, and does, fluctuate wildly on any given day, and could one day easily give back huge chunks of its previous gains.
Bitcoin fans, like the idea that bitcoin is a dramatic shift away from traditional banking. Created in 2009, and transactions are anonymous, and require no middle man… aka, no banks. International payments and transfers are much easier than with traditional financial institutions, and fees are much lower as well.
No one knows just how high, or low, bitcoins will go, but the currency is moving into the mainstream, and the more it does so, the higher prices will go. If you are curious about bitcoin, but unsure how to get into the action, here are five publicly traded stocks that you can buy to add a little bitcoin exposure to your portfolio.