Buying Bitcoin ETFs in 2024

Zac McClure
ByZac McClure, MBAReviewed byAlex MilesUpdated on February 13, 2024 · minute read
VerifiedExpert verified

TokenTax content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. We do not accept money from third party sites, so we can give you the most unbiased and accurate information possible.

  • Bitcoin ETFs offer a convenient way to invest in Bitcoin without the complexities of ownership, providing added liquidity and regulatory oversight.

  • While Bitcoin ETFs may offer tax advantages such as deferring taxes on gains until retirement, investors must usually pay taxes on gains, which will typically vary based on holding duration and applicable tax laws.

What's a Bitcoin ETF?

A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is an investment vehicle that allows investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without directly owning the cryptocurrency. Essentially, a Bitcoin ETF holds Bitcoin on its investors' behalf and issues shares representing ownership of those assets. These ETFs can be traded on traditional stock exchanges, which makes them accessible to a wide range of investors who may not have experience with cryptocurrency exchanges.

Why invest in a Bitcoin ETF?

Investing in a Bitcoin ETF offers several advantages. Firstly, it eliminates the need for investors to manage the complexities of owning and storing Bitcoin, such as dealing with private keys, wallets, and security measures. Additionally, Bitcoin ETFs often offer added liquidity and regulatory oversight, providing investors with a greater sense of security than investing directly in cryptocurrency. 

However, it's important to note that while a Bitcoin ETF may track the price of Bitcoin, it may only partially replicate its performance due to factors such as fees and tracking errors.

Is it smart to buy Bitcoin ETFs?

Investing in Bitcoin ETFs can be a smart move for investors who want exposure to Bitcoin's potential upside without the complexities and risks associated with owning the cryptocurrency directly. By choosing a Bitcoin ETF, investors can gain exposure to Bitcoin's price movements through a regulated and familiar investment vehicle, which may offer added liquidity and security compared to investing in Bitcoin directly.

One of the primary benefits of investing in a Bitcoin ETF is the convenience and accessibility it offers. Unlike investing in Bitcoin directly, which requires setting up a cryptocurrency wallet and managing security measures, investing in a Bitcoin ETF can be done through a traditional brokerage account. This accessibility makes it easier for a broader range of investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin, potentially increasing demand for Bitcoin ETFs and driving up their value over time.

Pros of buying Bitcoin ETFs

  • Convenience: Bitcoin ETFs offer a simple way for investors to get exposure to Bitcoin without the need to manage the cryptocurrency themselves.

  • Liquidity: ETFs provide liquidity to the Bitcoin market, potentially reducing price volatility and making it easier for investors to buy and sell shares.

  • Regulatory oversight: Bitcoin ETFs are subject to regulation and oversight, which provides investors a level of protection not always available on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Cons of buying Bitcoin ETFs

  • Crypto volatility: Bitcoin ETFs are still subject to the volatility of the crypto market, which can result in significant price fluctuations.

  • Regulatory uncertainty: While Bitcoin ETFs are regulated investment vehicles, there is still regulatory uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency market as a whole. You’ll want to research and understand the regulations and tax implications of crypto in your region before investing. When in doubt, consult with a crypto tax professional.

  • Security risks: The custody of underlying Bitcoins by third-party entities introduces security risks, as the assets are vulnerable to hacking and theft.

What does a Bitcoin ETF mean for investors?

Investors can now access Bitcoin through spot Bitcoin ETFs, which provide a regulated and convenient investment vehicle. These ETFs offer a way to invest in Bitcoin without directly holding the cryptocurrency, potentially reducing risk and increasing accessibility.

Tax regulations on Bitcoin ETFs

Bitcoin ETFs tax implications will vary depending on factors such as holding duration and applicable tax laws. Generally, investors must pay taxes on gains from Bitcoin ETFs, with different tax rates applying to short-term and long-term capital gains.

Additionally, investing in a Bitcoin ETF may offer tax advantages compared to investing in Bitcoin directly. For example, investors might hold Bitcoin ETF shares in tax-advantaged accounts such as IRAs, potentially allowing them to defer taxes on any gains until retirement. However, investors should consult with a professional crypto tax advisor to understand the tax implications of investing in a Bitcoin ETF based on their circumstances.

Buying Bitcoin ETFs FAQs

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about buying Bitcoin ETFs.

Is Bitcoin ETF a good investment?

Buying Bitcoin ETFs may be a solid option for investors who want exposure to Bitcoin without directly holding the cryptocurrency. However, it's essential to consider the risks and perform thorough research before investing. Always do your own research before undertaking any crypto investment, whether directly or through an ETF.

Where to buy Bitcoin ETF for beginners?

Spot Bitcoin ETFs are available from credible online brokerages such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity, making them accessible to beginners. It's crucial to analyze fees, management, and other factors before choosing a platform to buy Bitcoin ETFs.

How much will a Bitcoin ETF cost?

The cost to buy a spot Bitcoin ETF includes fees charged by the ETF issuer and the brokerage platform. Investors should consider these costs when investing in Bitcoin ETFs.

To stay up to date on the latest, follow TokenTax on Twitter @tokentax.

Zac McClure
Zac McClureCo-Founder & CEO at TokenTax
Zac co-founded TokenTax after his career in international finance and accounting at JPMorgan, Imprint Capital and Bain. He has worked in more than half-dozen countries and received his MBA from the UPenn Wharton School.
Alex Miles
Reviewed byAlex MilesCo-Founder at TokenTax
Prior to TokenTax, Alex worked as a Product Designer at Dropbox and before that Readmill (acquired by Dropbox). He holds a BS in Digital Information Design - Interactive Media from Winthrop University.

Get a personalized crypto tax consultation.

Complete our questionaire and we'll evaluate your situation — for free.

Let’s get started.

Check out our plans and pricing to find out which solution best meets your needs.

Review plans