Age limits are nothing new. To purchase alcohol, obtain a driving license, join the military, or drop out of school, a certain age must be reached. Many arguments can be made as to why age limits exist. Some would argue that it’s common sense, that children are not mature enough to handle responsibility. Others would say that age limits are in place to prevent governments and private institutions from taking advantage of children.
So what about cryptocurrencies? The things mentioned above have existed for a long time, and thus everyone is familiar with how such subjects are managed. But cryptocurrencies do not share similar history; they are new and have yet to develop their own “customs,” so to speak. So, what exactly is the situation with age limits for investing in digital assets?
Are There Age Limits For Cryptocurrencies?
As cryptocurrencies are new inventions, it’s true that interacting with them requires experimentation and patience. Nevertheless, since cryptocurrencies are a financial tool, therefore, it’s not surprising to see they have mirrored common practices found in the traditional financial sector. In the context of age limits, that is exactly what the crypto community has done.
In investing, there is no age limit to invest; the same applies to purchasing cryptocurrencies – anyone can do it. But in order to open an account at an investment firm (a brokerage), a crypto exchange, or a regular bank, an individual must be 18; those 18 and under require parental consent. The reason behind this is that 18 is the legal age at which an individual can enter into a contract.
So, How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Cryptocurrency?
Let’s have a look at the international practices in the crypto industry. Many US-originated crypto exchanges allow users to open an account if they are 18 and above. Ages between 13 and 18 are eligible with parental consent, but anyone younger than 13 is ineligible. Many other top exchanges also require users to be 18.
Of course, there are concerns about how well-enforced these practices are. After all, placing the minimum age at 18 is a Western practice, mainly found in anglo-countries (United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, etc.), and thus is not found globally.
Furthermore, there are also ways around age limits, and there is no better example than Facebook. Facebook does not allow anyone under 13 on its platform, but everyone knows that people can lie about their age. But unlike Facebook, the financial sector, and to some degree, cryptocurrencies as well, have other security measures to prevent their policies from being breached.
Financial institutions can ask for social security numbers, emails, phone numbers, and addresses. But these practices are not commonly found in the crypto community.
Nevertheless, for those who are interested in getting into cryptocurrencies but are too young, or for parents looking to find investing accounts in crypto for their children, what are their options?
How to Invest in Crypto Under 18?
In the traditional financial world, there is something called a custodial account. A custodial account is an account at a financial institution such as a mutual fund company, a brokerage firm, or a bank where the adult (fiduciary) controls the account for the minor (beneficiary). This is most commonly experienced when a parent opens up a checking or savings account for their child to use for their first job.
What, then, is the crypto equivalent? One such example is UNest. UNest is a brokerage firm that specializes in crypto investment accounts for parents. By utilizing UNest, parents have easy and convenient control over their portfolios and can easily accept gifts from friends and family members. Read The Potential Of Cryptocurrency For Kids to find out more options.
Is the Age Limit for Cryptocurrency Important?
This topic is important because the crypto community is dominated by younger generations. Pew Research, for instance, reports in a survey that 43% of men aged 18 to 29 have invested in, traded, or used a cryptocurrency, while 19% of women of the same age range. Therefore, there is a genuine interest to ensure that the youth are not excluded because of their age, but this is not the only reason.
Today’s younger generations are facing specific financial problems. Inflation has caused the prices of housing, food, education, health care, and more to soar to heights that are adding unnecessary pressures on the younger generations’ incomes.
Furthermore, there are concerns about government and personal debts, unending government spending, war, and many other concerns. Cryptocurrencies, thus, are seen as a financial refuge in order to secure their money’s value from being further devalued, and also as an opportunity to engage in commerce with perceived superior money than, for instance, the US dollar, Euro, or the British Pound.
As we have seen there is a natural interest in age limits concerning cryptocurrencies, especially in response to the economic, political, and cultural problems the world currently faces. Thus, people will want to search for refuge. The good news is that there is no age limit to purchasing cryptocurrencies, and parents can start investment accounts in crypto as we have seen with UNest.