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Bitcoin vs Mutual Funds: Where Should You Invest?

Updated on: Feb 3rd, 2022

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6 min read

Latest updates Clarification on proposed Section 115BBH in Budget 2022

1. Losses incurred from one virtual digital currency cannot be set-off against income from another digital currency.
2. Infrastructure cost incurred on mining crypto assets will not be treated as cost of acquisition.

Union Budget 2022 Outcome:

1. Income from transfer of virtual digital assets such as crypto, NFTs will be taxed at 30%.
2. No deduction, except the cost of acquisition, will be allowed while reporting income from transfer of digital assets.
3. Loss from digital assets cannot be set-off against any other income.
4. Gifting of digital assets will attract tax in the hands of receiver.Losses incurred from one virtual digital currency cannot be set-off against income from another digital currency.

A mutual fund is professionally managed and pools money from several investors to buy securities and assets. You may find mutual funds putting money in equity, fixed income instruments, or a mix of equity and debt, depending on the mutual fund’s investment objectives. 

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is created and stored electronically in a computer system. It is produced by people and businesses worldwide who use advanced computer software which solves mathematical problems. It uses peer-to-peer technology to make instant payments among people and companies. 

Bitcoins are decentralised cryptocurrencies that are not regulated by countries, governments or central banks. You have bitcoins powered by blockchain technology, where the blockchain is a public ledger that records all bitcoin transactions. You will find bitcoin miners creating new bitcoins by solving complex mathematical problems. 

Mutual Funds vs Bitcoins: Where to invest?

Bitcoins:

You may find bitcoins to be a speculative investment that is not backed by a physical commodity or precious metal such as gold. It is not pegged to a currency such as the US Dollar or backed by any commodity in simple terms. 

You will find bitcoins unregulated by governments or central banks. You have bitcoins deriving value from the trust placed in it by millions of people. It doesn’t have any underlying value.

Mutual Funds:

According to the investment objectives, mutual funds put money in equity, debt, gold, real estate, or a mix of both equity and debt. You will find mutual funds backed by securities, assets or precious commodities and managed by a fund manager. For instance, Gold Exchange Traded Funds or Gold ETFs are backed by physical gold.

Mutual funds are regulated by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), the country’s capital market regulator. It is also regulated by RBI, Stock Exchange, Ministry of Finance, Companies Act and Indian Trust Act. You may find mutual funds to be a regulated, transparent investment. 

Should you invest in mutual funds or bitcoins?

You may invest in mutual funds to achieve your financial goals based on risk tolerance. It is a well-regulated investment, and you may expect stable returns depending on the type of mutual fund scheme. You can invest in mutual funds if you seek an investment avenue where several investors pool funds and the fund manager manages your money. 

You could consider investing in mutual funds, depending on your investment horizon. You may invest in debt funds for the short and medium-term and equity funds for the long term. Invest in mutual funds, especially equity funds, if you want to invest in a company’s stocks. It makes you a part-owner of the firm.

Investing in mutual funds helps you put money in a tangible asset. It follows a stable investment strategy and invests across asset classes depending on the type of mutual fund. You will find mutual funds suitable for conservative and aggressive investors, depending on where it puts your money.

You may consider bitcoin to be a real currency only if widely accepted as legal tender. It must enable frictionless trading among people and businesses. You could invest in bitcoins for the long run only if it remains stable and doesn’t fluctuate wildly. However, you find that bitcoins are not legal tender, and their price rises or falls rapidly in a short time. Moreover, bitcoins are vulnerable to hackers.

You have bitcoins deriving value from speculation as only speculators are driving up prices. Moreover, you cannot convert bitcoins into rupees which defeats the purpose of putting money in them. In simple terms, you cannot buy a car, house or business using bitcoins. 

You must invest in mutual funds over bitcoins. It is a tangible investment backed by physical and financial assets, unlike bitcoins which derive value from speculation. Mutual funds are regulated by SEBI, the capital market regulator, and may offer stable returns over time. However, the price of bitcoins fluctuates wildly, making it a risky investment. In a nutshell, you must not invest in bitcoins unless it becomes legal tender and gets regulated in India. 

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Quick Summary

Updates on taxation of virtual digital currencies in Budget 2022 clarified. Comparison of mutual funds and bitcoins. Mutual funds are regulated, transparent investments offering stable returns. Bitcoins are speculative, unregulated, and not backed by physical assets. Advice to invest in mutual funds over bitcoins due to stability and regulation.

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