Recently there has been a spread of Bitcoin clones, starting with Namecoin and following with other newer clones. There is a chance these coins will appreciate relative to Bitcoin.

Is there an easy way for a Bitcoin holder to automatically diversify his holding among the different crypto currencies, similar to holding an index fund or ETF instead of purchasing individual stocks?

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Sidestepping the comments about whether or not Namecoin is a fork or a separate project or whether bitcoin is an investment or a currency, I'll address the direct question asked: Is there a way to easily and automatically purchase several crypto-currencies at once? Not at present time, no.

Bitcoin (and its forks) is a very young project, though, and I'm sure there was a stock exchange before DJIA or S&P existed. Give us time and it's very likely that something of the sort will be created - especially now that the demand has been made publicly known.

Namecoin is not really a BitCoin fork. It is intended to work like DNS, not like a currency. As to the other "forks" I would highly recommend you not take seriously digital currencies which lack the community backing of bitcoins, and are not heavily feature-differentiated from them, until or unless they prove themselves popular and reliable. Even bitcoins themselves hardly meet this criteria, so that should give you an idea of how seriously "IXCoin" and such should be taken.

But the broader problem here is that you seem to be approaching bitcoins as an investment. Bitcoins are not an investment vehicle--they are a currency. There is no need to "diversify your holdings" because bitcoin is not a holding--it's just money. If you don't need it to store your wealth or exchange it for something else, you're looking in the wrong place.

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    You're quite welcome to disagree, but that's a matter of speculative economics and has nothing to with BitCoin (and this site) itself. BitCoin is a free, open-source project to create a currency. The fact that you think this currency is for some reason a good investment is your own business, and people reading this question need to realise that BitCoin is not designed as an investment vehicle. – eMansipater Aug 30 '11 at 23:27
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    A key factor in Bitcoin's design was the limited supply of coin, a feature that was put in largely to attract early adopters who will think Bitcoin will appreciate in value. This is by design, not accidental. – ripper234 Aug 30 '11 at 23:29
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    True enough, let's stop it here. – ripper234 Aug 30 '11 at 23:38
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    This is not an answer to the question. The question you raise should be addressed here – nealmcb Aug 31 '11 at 5:30
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    Either way, people finding this question on a Bitcoin Q&A site need to hear the points I've made, as this is a common misconception that is somewhat implicit in the question. If the question were edited to something like "Is there any easy way to obtain units of the BitCoin forks/clones?" I would happy change or remove my answer. – eMansipater Aug 31 '11 at 14:58

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