The days when Bitcoin was the only real option for investors looking to get into cryptocurrencies are long gone.
Ether, the second-largest currency, rose to a record as interest in so-called alt coins continues to surge. Dogecoin, the memecoin that started as a joke, is now worth nearly $90 billion.
In all, there are more than 7,000 coins currently tracked by CoinGecko, with a bewildering array of names (PancakeSwap, anyone?).
For most people it makes sense just to start with the top two: Bitcoin and Ether. Either would have been a relatively good investment so far in 2021 -- Bitcoin has about doubled, and Ether has more than quadrupled, compared with an 11% gain for the S&P 500.
So what do you need to know before deciding where to put your money?