How to Decide Whether to Invest in Bitcoin or Ether or another

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?