Updated on March 30, 2023
If there is anything Gen Z’s has taught the world, it is the fact that it’s never too early to accumulate wealth. Regardless of whether you are referring to Instagram influencers or child prodigies, thousands of stories of young people earning significant amounts fill this generation’s ‘rugs to riches’ stories. Consequently, parents all over the world are taking matters into their own hands and introducing their children to the world of money-making early. This is a parent’s guide to opening a crypto account for their child. We’ll also look at how to keep your kids investing responsibly after you teach them the ropes.
Introduction to cryptocurrency
Before we dive into ‘A parent’s guide to opening a crypto account for their child,’ let’s get the basics out of the way. When it comes to kids and cryptocurrency, there is a lot to consider, but first, here’s a definition of a crypto account. A cryptocurrency account, also popularly known as a crypto account or digital wallet, is basically a storage service that enables individuals to store, manage, and send digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. These accounts are usually created and managed through a cryptocurrency exchange or some other digital wallet provider.
During the process of opening a crypto account, you’re provided with a public address and a private key. This public address is basically a group of characters you can share with others in order to receive digital assets. Similarly, the private key is a secret code you use to access and manage the account.
While investing in cryptocurrency, users can typically deposit cryptocurrencies to their accounts by simply sending them to their public addresses. With your crypto account, you can also trade with other users by sending digital assets from your account to another public address. A few accounts also enable you to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies directly within the platform. This makes it possible to manage many accounts from one location.
Some crypto accounts are not only limited to basic storage and transaction capabilities but also go a step further and offer advanced features such as multi-signature support and hardware wallet integration.
How to open a crypto account for your child
Regardless of whether you’re a long-standing crypto enthusiast or simply want to teach your child the ropes of how to invest in crypto, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible for kids to own cryptocurrency. In ‘A Parent’s Guide to Opening a Crypto Account for Their Child’, we’ll demystify all the doubts surrounding this topic.
Technically, kids can own cryptocurrency. However, they can’t just open a crypto account and start investing for themselves. You can open a crypto account for your child if it’s opened as a custodial account, joint account, or any other account that allows kids to earn crypto without directly buying themselves.
However, as a parent, you can open a crypto account for your child, and here’s how;
Type of cryptocurrency account
The first step in opening a cryptocurrency account for your child is to determine what type of account you want to open. You have to choose between a custodial account, a Joint brokerage account, or other accounts. Let’s take a brief look at each one of them;
These accounts usually hold the same securities as traditional brokerage accounts, such as stocks or mutual funds. However, a key difference lies in the fact that these accounts don’t permit highly risky investments such as derivatives or futures. Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts make it possible for investments in real estate and other types of investments to be made on behalf of minors.
Additionally, custodial accounts carry all major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Although adults are the primary decision-makers for custodial accounts, the assets held therein belong to beneficiaries. Once the kid reaches the age of maturity, the accounts can be transferred to them.
Joint brokerage account
These are often co-owned by spouses but can be repurposed to be jointly owned by a child and their legal guardian. In this case, the minor would appear on the account title jointly with their parent. Consequently, both parties have an equal say as far as investment decisions go.
This type of arrangement can best be achieved using a multi-signature currency wallet. It’s a wallet that necessitates two or more private keys to sign and send a transaction.
A wide range of accounts and apps make it possible for your child to buy, sell and even earn their own cryptocurrencies.
Review account features
Different accounts carry varying costs depending on the financial institution you sign up to. When opening an account, make sure you pay attention to opening fees, monthly charges, and transaction prices each time you make a trade. High fees will cut into your profits; therefore, you should look for an account with low fees. However, there is also a tradeoff between features and account costs, so you should weigh the two and decide which matters most to you.
Before signing up for an account, check to ensure that the cryptocurrency your kid is most enthusiastic about is included on the list. Although the most popular cryptocurrencies will be included on most accounts, there are some lesser-known cryptos that might be overlooked.
Depending on the type of account you sign up for, you might also decide to invest in other traditional investments alongside your crypto. Accounts that permit other investments like stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds are a great way to give your child a holistic investment education.
Another factor you should consider when setting up a crypto account for your child is whether it is a hot or cold wallet. Hot wallets for cryptocurrency are readily connected to the internet. The key advantage of hot wallets is their ease of use because you don’t have to switch online and offline to conduct transactions.
However, hot wallets have the disadvantage of being less secure than cold wallets. Cold wallets are held on hardware like a USB stick and are not connected to the internet. This makes it virtually impossible to hack them.
This step requires that you provide some basic information and identification to verify both your identity and that of your child. This process can vary depending on where you open the account. However, it usually requires a government-issued ID and proof of address, at the very least.
After the account is set up, the next step is to deposit funds into the account. These can be deposited either as cash or another cryptocurrency. Since the purpose of the account is to help or teach your child, you could set up recurring deposits.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the cryptocurrency industry, it is important to remember that requirements might vary in the future. Consequently, it would help if you strived to keep up with the latest developments in the industry.
Legal considerations when opening a crypto account for your child
Typically, parents and guardians interested in opening a crypto account for their child often ask: Are there any legal considerations when opening a crypto account for your child? As far as crypto regulation goes, you should be aware of a few important legal aspects.
One thing you must keep tabs on is your tax liability. Cryptocurrency is legally treated as property. Consequently, all transactions involving buying, selling, or trading crypto are subject to capital gains taxes. Therefore, if your child profits from trading cryptocurrency, they might be required to pay taxes on their income.
As a result, it is a good idea to consult a tax professional to understand your child’s tax obligations and ensure any income or loss is properly reported.
Another legal factor to keep track of is money laundering. It is well-known that cryptocurrency is often used to fund illegal activities. As a result, governments worldwide now implement strict anti-money laundering laws to fight this. Therefore, when investing cryptocurrency with minors, it is imperative that the account is compliant with these regulations and that there are enough security protocols to prevent misuse of the account.
Security laws also apply to crypto assets; therefore, you should ascertain whether a particular cryptocurrency is regarded as a security. If so, then you should be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to it.
Age and location of a minor
When it comes to the legal considerations to consider when opening a crypto account for your child, their age and location are one of the most important. Some countries have stricter laws protecting minors, and therefore it’s important to comply completely.
Although you might have parental control of a crypto account, you should still know the laws governing cryptocurrency trading or ownership by a minor in your country.
How to choose the right crypto service brokerage for your kid’s needs
Choosing the right crypto brokerage for your child’s investment needs is essential to protect them and ensure their success in the digital asset market. Here are some factors to keep in mind during this process:
Regulation and compliance
When selecting the best crypto brokerage service for your kid’s investment needs, you must ensure that the brokerage selected is registered and regulated by a reputable financial authority. The brokerage must be in compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. With these in place, your child’s assets will be protected from illegal use by unknown parties.
Digital assets are highly susceptible to hacking which is why security takes paramount importance. Therefore, you should only consider secure exchange platforms with robust measures in place to ensure the safety of your child’s assets. Important features to look out for include two-factor authentication and multi-signature wallets.
The platform you select should be easy to use and understand. Many child-friendly exchanges can make the experience fun for your child. This is especially true for children who might have yet to gain prior experience investing and therefore need an easily understandable user interface.
The apparent purpose of the account is to introduce your child to crypto investing and teach them the ropes while they’re still young. Therefore, you should select a brokerage that offers educational resources such as tutorials, guides, and market analysis in order to help your child keep up with the fast-paced world of crypto investing.
The fees charged by a brokerage are an important factor to keep in mind. High fees can eat into your earnings. You should compare fees charged by different brokerages to find the one with the most competitive rates.
Custodial vs. Non-custodial
Before selecting a brokerage account for your kid’s crypto investment needs, you should choose between a custodial or non-custodial account. A custodial account is a type of account in which the parent or guardian holds the account’s private key and controls the account. On the other hand, a non-custodial account is one where ownership and control are with the child.
Although a custodial account is more straightforward to set-up, you must remember that ownership and control will eventually have to be transferred to the child once they reach maturity.
The financial markets have been riddled with the most scandalous cases of financial fraud. The cryptocurrency market is no different. In fact, some say it’s even more prone to theft and fraudulent cases. Therefore, before selecting a crypto brokerage, check out its reputation in the market. Look for signs of legitimacy, great client reviews, and industry longevity. Although these steps are by no means exhaustive or foolproof, they can at least weed out the most obvious fraudsters.
Tips for teaching cryptocurrency to children
A parent’s guide to opening a crypto account for their child would not be complete without some handy tips. Now that you’ve selected a brokerage for your child’s cryptocurrency investing and even opened an account. The next step is to explain the world of cryptocurrency to your little one. Here’s how parents can go about explaining cryptocurrency investing and trading to children – Tips for Parents.
Back to basics
Think of your child’s investment education like all other standard education they receive. It starts with the basics of a concept and then builds into wider applications in the real world. The same holds true for cryptocurrency.
When considering cryptocurrency education for children, start by explaining the basic concept of digital assets and how they can be used in place of regular currency. Try your best to use simple language and examples they can readily grasp. Also, use real-world examples to draw parallels between traditional money and cryptocurrency.
The fact that children learn faster and easier when images accompany text is not a secret. Using pictures and videos, you can easily teach kids about money management and launch into cryptocurrency investing.
Make it relatable
Use relatable examples within your child’s immediate environment to better explain complex ideas about cryptocurrency. For instance, you can explain Bitcoin can be used to buy basic items online. Every example you use should be one your child can easily visualize and imagine within their environment.
The financial market is ruthless and doesn’t care whether you’re 6 or 60; you’ll either win or lose based on your trading strategy. The Cryptocurrency market is worse, so it is essential to prepare your child for this reality mentally. When introducing your child to crypto, be honest with them about the market’s volatility. Set realistic expectations for them and remind them to consider investment with a long-term perspective.
As far as child investing tips go, safety should be one of your primary concerns. Ensure that your child’s crypto is invested with a reputable brokerage firm. You should also explain to them the importance of keeping their private key safe and secret from everyone around them.
Make it fun
Games and other forms of interactive learning are a great way to explain complex topics to kids. Using these, you can make learning about cryptocurrency fun for your child. Numerous educational games and apps are available to help children learn different aspects of trading, like how to make transactions, track trades, and other important things.
Be an example
Children are known to mirror their parents and guardians. Your child is more likely to learn how to invest in cryptocurrency by watching how you invest and manage your account. Parents who are active investors are more likely to inspire the same habit in their children.
What Are the Potential Risks Involved with Cryptocurrency Investments for Children?
Although involving your child in cryptocurrency investing is laudable, you should also keep in mind that there are potential risks. Since this article is titled ‘A Parent’s Guide to Opening a Crypto Account for Their Child’, we have to explain the potential risks you might face. Here are risks you should be mindful of as you and your child navigate the world of crypto investing.
Cryptocurrency markets are widely known for their volatility. This essentially means that the value of your investment can fluctuate rapidly. Some investors view this as an advantage to secure massive wins in a short time. However, for risk-averse investors, this situation can spell nightmares. It is important that you understand this about crypto investments.
Lack of regulation
Cryptocurrency generally is a relatively new phenomenon and therefore lacks the level of regulation other financial markets are subjected to. Additionally, one of the key incentives for investing in crypto is its decentralized nature. This means the market is not under the control of any central governing authority or institution. This lack of regulation makes it challenging for parents and their children to grasp the real implications of participating in this market.
Hacks and scams
Similar to other online investments, cryptocurrency attracts hordes of hackers and scammers trying to get their hands on unsecured finances. The decentralized nature of the market also makes it harder to track fraudulent transactions or even theft. With this in mind, it is imperative that you teach your child to keep their security key safe at all costs.
Lack of understanding
Although there are numerous aids to help make investing in cryptocurrency easily understandable to children, some will still struggle to wrap their minds around the concept. For those with custodial accounts, this might not be a problem, especially since the account is only accessible to the child when they reach maturity. However, non-custodial accounts permit the child to have ownership and manage the account alongside their parent or guardian. This can prove highly risky if the child has yet to fully understand the concepts of investing in crypto.
Children might not necessarily have access to vast resources to trade with. This means that even small losses can significantly impact their portfolio. Whether a huge loss would negatively impact their perspective of crypto investment is a possibility which parents cannot rule out.
Trading cryptocurrency is in some forms comparable to gambling. This means children can become addicted to the process in the long run. Addiction to trading crypto is especially possible with the gamification of the trading process. Children love games and, therefore, can easily spend long hours trading their crypto.
To conclude ‘A Parent’s Guide to Opening a Crypto Account for Their Child’, let’s briefly recap important things to remember. Opening a crypto account for your child is a fantastic way to teach them the importance of managing their personal finances and investing. However, like all other life lessons, it’s important for parents to teach their kids about the risks involved with investing in cryptocurrency. When selecting the right crypto brokerage for your kids’ needs, you must pick a reputable broker whose portfolio includes the crypto your child is likely to be enthusiastic about.
As a parent, it is your duty to ensure your child’s investment is safe from fraud and theft by vetting all potential brokers. Additionally, be aware of the potential risks inherent in cryptocurrency investments for children. For instance, you should be mindful of market volatility, risk of hacks and theft, addiction, and other factors that could take the pleasure of investing away from your child’s experience. Finally, setting realistic expectations, planning your investment strategy, and regularly reviewing the investment are all great ways to ensure your child’s experience with investing is good and highly educational.
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can be used as a form of payment in place of regular currency. It is important to start by explaining the basics of cryptocurrency to children and use visual aids, relatable examples, and interactive learning activities to help them better understand the concept. It is also important to be honest with them about the market’s volatility, set safety rules, and be a good example.
How can I make cryptocurrency learning fun for my child?
Parents can make cryptocurrency learning fun for their child by breaking the concept down into simple, easy to understand terms, using visual aids, giving relatable examples, managing expectations, setting safety rules, and providing games and interactive learning. Additionally, parents can model the behavior they would like to see in their child by being active investors themselves.
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