Can You Buy Crypto with Charles Schwab?

The short answer is no. Investors do not have the ability to buy real cryptocurrencies through Charles Schwab. Their platform only offers crypto derivative products like ETFs, Crypto Trusts and Crypto-related stocks like Coinbase or Microstrategy.

We recommend avoiding investing in crypto derivatives because they pose additional risks including custodial risks and management risks as seen in the recent collapse of Genesis and Grayscale. Another disadvantage is that it is typically more expensive to buy derivative products compared to buying the underlying assets like BTC, ETH or SOL.

Charles Schwab Crypto Stocks

How to Buy Cryptocurrency with a Schwab Alternative

The best way to buy cryptocurrencies in the United States with a Charles Schwab alternative is through a FinCEN regulated broker. With this method, investors can deposit US Dollars (USD) via Bank/ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card and other methods to safely invest in digital assets.

We recommend Uphold over alternatives like Coinbase because they offer lower fees, tighter spreads, more crypto assets and better staking options. They are a regulated exchange in the US and have audited proof-of-reserves highlighting that customer funds are always held 1:1. You can get started in minutes with this simple guide:

  1. Sign up with Uphold and complete your identity and KYC verification.
  2. Connect your USD Bank account or Debit/Credit Card to deposit US Dollars.
  3. Search for the crypto asset you want to buy on the Uphold platform (250+ available).
  4. Input the amount of USD you want to invest and select 'Buy'.
Schwab Alternative

Why are Crypto ETFs and Trusts Risky on Charles Schwab?

Crypto ETFs and trusts on traditional brokerage platforms like Charles Schwab are considered riskier than buying the underlying crypto assets for several reasons:

  1. Complexity: ETFs and trusts are complex financial products that can be difficult for some investors to understand. When you buy the underlying crypto assets directly, you have full control over your investment and a clear understanding of what you own.
  2. Higher fees: ETFs and trusts typically come with higher fees than buying the underlying crypto assets directly. These fees can eat into your returns over time and reduce your overall investment returns.
  3. Lack of control: When you invest in an ETF or trust, you are entrusting the fund manager to make decisions on your behalf. This can lead to a lack of control over your investment and a lack of transparency in the fund's decision-making process.
  4. Counterparty risk: ETFs and trusts involve a counterparty risk, meaning that if the fund manager or the trust issuer goes bankrupt you may lose your investments. This is not the case when you buy the underlying crypto assets directly.

Overall, investing in crypto ETFs and trusts is considered to be riskier than buying the underlying crypto assets directly, because of the added layers of complexity and lack of control. It's important to conduct proper research, consulting with a financial advisor and be aware of the risks before investing in any crypto ETFs & Trusts.

Bottom Line

Charles Schwab does not currently offer the ability to buy and sell real cryptocurrencies, but you can invest in crypto derivatives such as ETFs & Trusts. Please note that these products involve additional risk and complexity and may not be suitable for all investors.

Instead, we recommend using a regulated FinCEN broker like Uphold to securely buy, sell and store crypto assets. With Uphold, you can deposit US dollars via Bank/ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card or other payment methods to buy BTC, ETH and over 250+ digital assets with low fees and tight spreads.