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Market Update

Does Your Portfolio Need Bitcoin?

Maybe, but keep it to minimum.

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Bitcoin investors have been on a wild ride lately. After dropping about 74% in 2018, the digital currency nearly doubled in price in 2019, and then nearly quadrupled during 2020. Trading volumes have also skyrocketed as individual investors have embraced cryptocurrencies through commission-free trading platforms such as Robinhood.

Originally conceived as a digital, encrypted alternative to traditional currencies controlled by central banks, bitcoin has also been attracting more interest from mainstream investors. For example, BlackRock recently added prospectus language giving three of its mutual funds the flexibility to invest in bitcoin futures. In late 2020, insurance provider MassMutual purchased $100 million in bitcoin in late 2020 for its investment portfolio. And in recent months, several high-profile institutional investors--including Miller Value Partners’ Bill Miller, BlackRock’s Rick Rieder, and Tudor Investment’s Paul Tudor Jones--have touted bitcoin as long-term investment with significant upside potential, even after its previous surge.

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Amy C. Arnott does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.