Top 6 alternative currencies to invest in beyond Bitcoin

Top 6 alternative currencies to invest in beyond Bitcoin

We’ve all heard of Bitcoin, the world’s iconic cryptocurrency, and how it’s endured booms, busts and bubbles. However, Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto game in town. New altcoins are springing up all the time, each promising to bring something unique to the table.

While investing your money in a term deposit could earn you interest at a fixed rate over time, investing some of your wealth in higher-risk assets, like cryptocurrencies, could potentially see you earn higher returns over a shorter term... though there's also a higher chance of experiencing losses.

Here are six alternatives to Bitcoin that could be worth considering if you’re interested in investing in crypto.

Please note – every investment is a risk. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Before investing in cryptocurrencies, equities, or any other assets, consider seeking financial advice to determine the best options for your financial situation and goals. 

Ethereum

In the crypto world, Ethereum is often considered the number two altcoin behind Bitcoin. It shares many of the same features and benefits, but one of its main points of difference is how it uses its blockchain (the ‘blocks’ of financial data that are cryptographically secured using unique codes that tie each block to the next, creating a chain).

While Bitcoin mainly uses its blockchain for cryptocurrency purposes, Ethereum’s blockchain has been designed from the ground up to operate as a decentralised network for applications. One prominent example is smart contracts – programs built into the blockchain that trigger certain actions when predefined conditions are met. These could potentially eliminate the need for third parties to administer contracts, such as conveyancers in the real estate and mortgage industries.

Ripple and Litecoin

Many people are interested in cryptocoins as investment assets, but they can still be used as currency. That said, it’s much harder to pay for petrol at the servo with Bitcoin than it is with a few twenty dollar banknotes. 

Ripple is a cryptocoin that has been designed to be faster and less expensive to exchange, so it can be used to conduct a variety of transactions – mostly large exchanges between banks, businesses and similar financial institutions.

Litecoin follows similar principles to Ripple but is more intended for faster and simpler peer to peer currency exchanges, such as money changing hands between individuals.

It's also important to note that at the time of writing, Ripple is going through some legal issues with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. It remains to be seen how this could affect Ripple, and your investment plans, in the future. 

Chainlink

We mentioned earlier how blockchain-based smart contracts could help to automatically facilitate financial exchanges when certain conditions are met. But what about scenarios that depend on events occurring outside of the blockchain?

Chainlink is another cryptocurrency designed to facilitate smart contracts, similarly to Ethereum, but with one key difference – it can link its blockchain to external data sources to create more detailed and complex smart contracts.

For example, Chainlink could potentially monitor an internet service provider to keep track of how often its service are used and/or when outages occur, and automatically adjust customer billing accordingly.

Tether

We’ve all heard the stories of decentralised, unregulated cryptocurrencies enjoying meteoric booms and cataclysmic busts. Sometimes all it takes is a tweet from the likes of Elon Musk to send a coin’s value rocketing skyward or plunging off a cliff. While this volatility makes cryptocurrency attractive to some investors chasing high rewards from high risks, this instability could put off investors who are less keen on potentially losing everything.

Tether is a “stablecoin”, whose value is linked to the US dollar. While this means it’s less likely to see sudden spikes in value like other cryptocoins, it may be a more attractive prospect for people looking to play a longer game. It could also be used as an all-digital medium for more traditional currency trading.  

Polkadot

Polkadot is a Parachain, or ‘blockchain of blockchains’ – a cryptocurrency that uses multiple blockchains to help enhance its potential, a bit like how a high-end personal computer uses multiple CPUs and graphics cards to help improve its performance.

By allowing multiple blockchains to smoothly and quickly interact with one another, Polkadot could potentially see multiple smart contracts working together to facilitate increasingly complex operations, both in the finance space and beyond.

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Learn more about term deposits

Are term deposit accounts subject to capital gains tax?

The tax you pay on a profit generated by a term deposit is not classified as capital gains tax (CGT). CGT applies to an asset (or investment), such as real estate or shares, where you either make a capital gain or a capital loss.

Interest earned on a term deposit is considered income though, and would need to be included in your annual income tax return.

The interest can be declared in the year the investment matures, or for the financial year it was credited to your account.

This also applies if you roll over your investment into a new term; you are still required to declare the interest earned at the rollover date (whatever financial year that falls in).

What is a term deposit account in a bank?

A term deposit account in a bank is a type of investment where you lock away a portion of your savings for a fixed period in return for earning a set amount of interest.

Opening a term deposit account in a bank is a safe way to earn a stable return on your investment of cash.

Term deposit accounts can be a good way to give your savings an extra boost without the need to actively watch or manage your funds during the term of the deposit.

Term deposit accounts in a bank are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and there’s very little risk that you could lose your money.

If you make a term deposit of up to $250,000 with an authorised deposit-taking institution, it’s guaranteed by the Australian government, which means there’s virtually no risk of losing your money and you’re guaranteed return.

Interest rates vary depending on the length of the term, the amount you deposit and the bank you choose.

What rates offered by Citibank on business term deposits?

Citibank’s business term deposits rates vary based on how long you invest. The bank offers short-term deposits for one, three, six, nine, and 12 months. You can also invest for longer terms between two and five years. The minimum investment is $10,000, and the maximum investment is $2 million.

Can you add money to a term deposit?

When you open a term deposit, you agree to lock your money away for a set period and earn a fixed amount of interest during that period.

Where everyday transaction accounts give you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw funds as frequently as you like, term deposits trade flexibility for higher interest rates.

Once your funds are deposited in a term deposit, they’re fixed for the length of the term, meaning you can’t add additional funds midway through the term.

When the term deposit matures, you may have the option to add additional funds and roll the funds over for another term, or you may choose to withdraw the money at that point.

If you have extra funds to invest, you could consider opening an additional short term deposit account or a high-interest savings account.

It’s worth noting that you can withdraw the funds midway through the term, but a penalty is likely to apply.

Are term deposits safe?

Term deposits can be a great way to build your savings, but before you invest, you might have one important question. Are term deposits safe?

When it comes to investing your money, you can choose between high-risk and low-risk options. High-risk options tend to have a better potential payout, but you also risk earning no profit at all or even losing your original investment.

Low-risk options tend to earn less profit than high-risk options, but they’re also safer, with little to no risk of losing money. Term deposits fall into the low-risk category.

Term deposits are safe because they’re low-risk, but they’re also protected by the Australian government’s Financial Claims Scheme. This government guarantee will insure your deposit for up to $250,000 per person, per institution, meaning that even if the bank collapses, the government will reimburse you for your deposit.

How safe is a term deposit?

You may have heard that a term deposit is a type of investment, different to a traditional savings account. All investment comes with inherent risk, so it’s important to know how safe a term deposit is before committing.

Term deposits offer a fixed interest rate which is guaranteed, so you do not have to worry about rising or falling interest rates when investing. You can add up how much interest you will earn over your fixed term, and this will be paid into your account per the conditions of your term deposit.

Term deposits with authorised deposit-taking institutions are also guaranteed for up to $250,000 by the Financial Claims Scheme, so you don’t have to worry about the bank collapsing either.

The only inherent risk of a term deposit is if you may need to break it early. If this happens, you will need to pay a breakage fee and possibly sacrifice some of your interest as a penalty. But if you know you can invest a certain amount of money for a fixed period of time, you can rest assured that a term deposit is a safe investment option.

How do term deposits work?

Term deposits are flexible, low-risk, and earn you interest over time. But before you apply to open a term deposit, you might be wondering: how do term deposits work?

A term deposit is an agreement you make with a financial institution. This agreement will specify a certain amount of money that you will give the bank for a certain amount of time. In return, you’ll earn a fixed amount of interest on your deposit throughout your term.

Term deposits work as an exchange between a financial institution and an individual. You can think of your term deposit as a loan to the bank. Because you’ve loaned the bank your money, they’re willing to pay you interest on your deposit.

Can I open a NAB foreign currency term deposit?

If you are looking to bank some funds in a foreign currency and earn interest, you could consider a NAB foreign currency term deposit. The NAB foreign currency term deposit gives you a fixed interest rate for your chosen term but is only available for amounts equivalent to $100,000 (in your chosen currency) or more. 

NAB accepts deposits in a range of foreign currencies and interest is calculated daily. The maximum term of the deposit is 365 days and NAB does not charge a monthly fee for foreign currency term deposits. 

If you live in Australia, you can get more details by calling 1800 865 155. If you are outside the country, you can email investorFX@nab.com.au for more information. 

How often do term deposit rates change?

One of the advantages of a term deposit is that this type of investment enjoys a fixed interest rate. This means that the interest rate that you have signed up for will not change during the period of your term deposit, regardless of rising or falling market interest rates.

However, it is important to be aware of the end of your term deposit. Once your term ends, whether this is in three months or three years, many banks will default to rolling over your deposit into a new term, sometimes with a lower interest rate. Once your term deposit rolls over, you will then be locked into this new fixed interest rate for another term.

Make sure to use the grace period at the end of your term to your advantage. Shop around for a competitive interest rate and reinvest your money accordingly.

Can I negotiate a fixed term deposit rate with the bank?

“Can I negotiate a fixed term deposit rate with the bank?” you may be wondering.

Many banks welcome negotiation when it comes to term deposit rates, especially with deposits of over $100,000. Even if your deposit is lower than $100,000, it may be worth a discussion with your bank.

Negotiating with your bank could secure you a higher fixed rate, which will earn you extra interest over your term. You may also discover bonuses or special offers you can acquire through your bank.

Securing the highest interest rate possible is the key to making the most of your term deposit. You may have compared deposits online or discussed your options with a financial adviser, but you also might be wondering about negotiation in order to get a better rate.

Are term deposits worth it?

Ultimately, whether term deposits will work for you will depend on your particular financial needs.

Term deposits can be a great way to get your money working for you. By locking it away and forgetting about it for a period of time, it can earn interest for you. If you have the interest paid on a regular basis, rather than at maturity, you can either have some extra spending money or you can reinvest it into the term deposit to compound.

Of course, locking your money in a term deposit means you cannot access it for the length of the term, without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. This can remove the temptation to spend the money, while it also earns interest.

Which bank has the best term deposit rates?

If you’ve been shopping around for a term deposit, you might be wondering which bank has the best term deposit rates.

Term deposit rates will generally be affected by the amount you choose to deposit and whether you opt for a short or long term deposit.

Longer term deposits tend to have higher interest rates than shorter terms. The trade-off for earning a higher interest rate on your term deposit is that you can’t access your funds for the duration of the term deposit.

When comparing which bank has the best term deposit rates, it pays to do your research and compare how your funds will fare over the short and long term.

Unlike home loans or savings accounts which give you the option of fixed or variable rates, term deposits are always fixed, which means you get a guaranteed amount of interest over the term of the deposit.

What are the deposit rates offered by St. George?

If you’re looking to invest your spare business cash, St. George Bank has a variety of term deposit options. You can choose from terms between one month and five years. St. George Bank business term deposit rates vary depending on the duration. 

You can open an account for $1000 to a maximum amount of $2,000,000. You can also opt to receive the interest amount either in your St. George Bank account or another bank account, either by cheque or direct credit.

On maturity, you can automatically rollover the term deposit or close the account. You also can close the account before maturity, however, you’ll need to give 31 days’ notice to the bank.

What are Bendigo Bank’s business term deposit rates?

Bendigo Bank offers businesses two types of term deposits - Standard and Gold. You can open a Standard term deposit by investing at least the specified minimum amount for a flexible investment period ranging up to five years. A Gold term deposit requires a larger minimum investment over a fixed term, which is currently one year.

However, you can’t add funds to a Standard term deposit after the first seven days, and any withdrawals before the review date need to be done on request. If you’ve opened a Gold term deposit, you can add more funds over the year, but withdrawals may be restricted just as with a standard term deposit.

A Standard term deposit’s interest rate depends on the amount deposited, the frequency of compounding interest, and the deposit term. Further, this interest rate may apply irrespective of how often interest is compounded. On the other hand, Gold term deposits usually offer a flat interest rate no matter how large or small the deposit, with the interest likely compounded every quarter. 

To find out about Bendigo Bank’s current business term deposit rates, visit the banks’ website.