There’s plenty of great gifts to buy this holiday season, but there’s only one that will get your family talking: Bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency has had a breakthrough 2017. Once entirely the purview of the seedier parts of the internet, Bitcoin in particular has become a mainstream phenomenon thanks primarily to what can only be called an explosion in price. As a Google search term, it’s soundly beating other widely searched things like “Kardashians.”
Chances are, however, your parents or cousins or neighbors don’t own any. They probably keep hearing about it and wondering what it is … and whether they’re missing out on the next big thing by not buying some.
That’s what makes Bitcoin the best gag gift of 2017 — it’s like a combination of a lottery ticket and that hot new toy nobody seems to be able to get. And here’s the best part: you don’t have to spend a ton of money on it. Bitcoin can be bought in just about whatever amount you want.
Our resident cryptocurrency expert Stan Schroeder put together an exhaustive guide on how to buy Bitcoin. That said, here’s how to give it as a gift:
Get the actual bitcoin
First things first. Decide on how much you want to spend. Bitcoin was around $18,800 as of Monday morning, so $50 will get you about 0.003 BTC. (This is part of the fun part of Bitcoin as a gag gift. Merry Christmas! Here’s 0.3 percent of a Bitcoin.)
The easiest way to do this is to download the app of one of the major exchanges. Coinbase has emerged as a leader thanks to its relatively simple user interface. Coinbase also lets you easily send Bitcoin to people through email, though they probably will have to set up an account before you can officially transfer it to them.
Get something fun to go along with it
You can’t just say “hey, I got you some Bitcoin.” There’s no fun in that. You have to get something fun to go along with the bitcoin you’re gifting.
There’s a variety of things on the internet that people have developed to aid in gifting Bitcoin. Since this is a gag gift, something along the lines of some chocolate coins and a card should do the trick.
Get ready to talk
This is a gift that comes at the cost of having to explain to much of your family just what Bitcoin is. We’ve got you covered there. Chances are someone is going to go “are you guys seeing all this stuff about Bitcoin?” anyway, so it’s worth being prepared.
Issue a warning
Here’s the downside of this gift. Bitcoin’s run is like few things we’ve ever seen before. Plenty of financial experts are warning that it’s showing all the signs of a bubble — one that could easily pop.
You should stress that this is an investment. You’re essentially handing them a digital lottery ticket for the fun of it. If they really want to look at Bitcoin as an investment, they need to do a lot of due diligence and be very aware of just how much the value of Bitcoin has grown in just a year. (Didn’t meant to be such a downer there, but that needed to be said.)
Overall, don’t overthink this too much. The point of this gift is to have some fun and generate discussion.
And if you think it’s too risky, just buy them some lottery tickets.