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How to give the gift of crypto this holiday season

December 16, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

The end of December is fast approaching, which means that your true love might be thinking of sending you some crypto. 

One in five Americans already owns some form of cryptocurrency, and digital assets like Bitcoin, NFTs, and land in the metaverse are expected to expand even more in the future. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that one in 10 Americans is planning to gift crypto to a loved one this holiday season, according to a survey by BlockFi, a crypto exchange. If you want to give some crypto gifts this year, but you aren’t exactly an expert just yet, read on.

Who wants crypto? 

Well, a lot of young people. Also a lot of middle class, college-educated people. And not everyone wants the same cryptocurrency. Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to hope for Dogecoin over Ethereum, while men are more likely to want Ethereum over Bitcoin, according to BlockFi. Make sure that the person you’re buying for actually wants what you’re giving.   

Pick the right gift

It may feel difficult to know the best cryptocurrency to gift, especially given how widely values fluctuate. If you’re a beginner, it might be best to stick to the most well-known cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, although currently undergoing major losses, is still the most popular cryptocurrency, and some experts predict it will reach sky-high values in the coming years. However, it has also been widely criticized for its environmental impacts and market sensitivity. One Bitcoin is currently worth around $47,000, but you can choose the amount of USD you want to convert into the currency, and buy just a fraction of a coin. 

Ether, the second most popular cryptocurrency, has undergone enormous growth recently and has investors excited because of its potential applications for decentralized finance. One Ether token is worth around $3,700 right now, but again, you can choose how much of your fiat currency you want converted to Ether for your gift. 

And if you’re giving to a fan of dogs or memes, you could consider Dogecoin or Shiba Inu coin. While the meme coins started off as an internet joke, the power of their fan base, which includes billionaire Mark Cuban, has previously brought up its value by significant percentages. 

What about NFTs?

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are one-of-a-kind digital assets ranging from artwork to music that can be bought or sold online. These might be the right pick for your more creative loved ones. Artists and businesses have made NFTs for everything from the COVID-19 virus to Dolce & Gabbana jackets. NFTs have of course sold for exorbitant prices over the past year (who could forget an NFT from the artist Beeple that sold for $69 million earlier this year?), but you can also find affordable ones. 

If you’re looking to send your loved one an NFT, look to marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, and Nifty Gateway. NFTs can cost as little as $10, but be wary of high transaction fees when checking out (up to hundreds of dollars). You and your recipient will each need a crypto wallet for your NFT gift, which can be sold for a higher value later if the owner so chooses. 

But how do you literally give crypto? 

One way to do it is with a wallet. 

A popular crypto wallet is Exodus, which can be downloaded via app or on your desktop. Your wallet will hold your cryptocurrency and allow you to send and receive money.

Then you can send digital currency through a crypto exchange. Platforms like Coinbase and Gemini are crypto exchanges that allow you to send crypto to any email address for a small fee. 

There are now other ways to send crypto without going through an exchange. Cash App, a peer-to-peer payment app, just announced the rollout of a new feature where users can send Bitcoin and traditional stocks to others without going through a crypto exchange. If you go this route, you don’t need to set up a crypto wallet to send Bitcoin. In fact, you don’t even need to directly buy Bitcoin to gift it. The feature allows users to send the crypto through their USD balance or debit card. However, Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency offered right now. 

Companies are still working on new ways for users to send each other crypto. Digital trading app Robinhood is launching a feature this month that will allow users to gift each other cryptocurrency, and PayPal has publicly stated that it is working on helping users transfer crypto to each other, instead of just buying and selling on their own.  

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