Skip to Content
Special Report

Cryptocurrency in 2021

Digital currencies are immensely popular. Here’s what investors need to know.

Cryptocurrencies in 2021 are like Beanie Babies in the mid-1990s: of high interest among a wide variety of people. Many are watching from the sidelines for what’s next or only dipping a toe in. Others, however, think they’ll hit pay dirt if they buy the right crypto at the right time. Is Bitcoin the best crypto to buy today? What about Litecoin? Or Ethereum?

Of course, only time will tell whether today’s interest in all things crypto is a speculative fad or whether crypto really can be a viable, emerging asset class for an investor’s tool kit. But either way, digital currencies are likely here to stay, at least in some form.

“Based on the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency by financial institutions and regulators, there are signs that it might be around for a while,” says sector director Kris Inton.

In this special report, Morningstar’s researchers, portfolio specialists, and analysts demystify the crypto craze by answering a few key questions: What is cryptocurrency and how does it work? Should I add cryptocurrency to my portfolio, and if yes, how? Do my funds already own crypto, and is that good or bad?

The Basics

Crypto What? 
The how, what, and why of cryptocurrency.

Considering Crypto? Here’s What to Think About
As the investment world goes crazy for crypto, Morningstar Investment Management’s Dan Kemp explains what to consider before putting it in your portfolio.

A Basic Glossary of Terms for Crypto Newbies
Crypto can be incredibly complicated, but understanding the basic terminology is a good place to start.

Cryptocurrencies and Your Portfolio

Does Your Portfolio Need Bitcoin?
Maybe, but keep it to a minimum.

The Conventional Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin
Is the currency worth owning?

How a Little Bitcoin Can Change Your 60/40 Portfolio a Lot
After bitcoin's recent slide, it may be tempting to buy the dip. Here's what to consider when thinking about adding it to a balanced portfolio.

The Promise and Peril of Ethereum
Ethereum has the potential to revolutionize the entire financial landscape, but its native cryptocurrency is a high-risk investment asset.

The Promise and Peril of Ethereum Part II
The cryptocurrency has generated massive gains at times, but extreme volatility will likely rule it out for many conventional investors.

Who Wants Cryptocurrency in Their Retirement Plan?
Most people remain hesitant, but there's a small crypto-curious contingent.

Cryptocurrencies and Funds

Are Crypto ETFs Coming? 
The SEC continues to sort out its regulatory concerns.

Are Cryptocurrencies Lurking in Your Funds? 
Here’s who has dipped a toe in the crypto pool.

Bitcoin Could Spread to More Fixed-Income Funds 
It’s most likely to appear in more-aggressive strategies, so mind your manager’s approach.

Push into Crypto Triggers Downgrade for This Fund 
Big changes diminish the appeal of Emerald Banking and Finance.

For Advisors

Understanding Regulation on Cryptocurrency 
Contrary to popular belief, there is more substantial regulatory clarity for cryptoassets than many advisors think.

Cryptocurrency: How Advisors Can Get Up to Speed
Education and resources so your clients don't end up knowing more than you.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.