Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have no IRS (Internal Revenue Service) account designated specifically for them. When referencing a “Bitcoin IRA,” investors essentially hold an individual retirement account that holds digital currency or bitcoin as part of the investment portfolio. Review here for details on bitcoin IRAs.

The IRS stance is that bitcoin or cryptocurrencies included in retirement accounts equate to property. That means the coins are treated like stocks and bonds as far as being taxed. Those who choose to carry digital “tokens” as part of the holdings in their portfolios need to employ the services of a custodian, which is often a challenge finding custodial services that will accept an IRA consisting of bitcoin.

For those committed to adding these tokens in their IRA, there are fortunately self-directed accounts that are more forgiving of alternative assets, including physical assets like property which is how cryptocurrency is recognized. 

More companies and custodians choosing to specialize in helping investors with bitcoin IRAs are coming forward. Check out metal-res for some of the leaders in the industry. One advantage this option leaves is a layer of diversity which is incredibly important for a retirement portfolio.

What Is A Bitcoin IRA

Bitcoin often references as a virtual or digital currency. Still, it is a kind of cryptocurrency that is actually among the most popular and oldest of those with which you can invest or trade. The individual retirement account is the IRA option with bitcoin included in the portfolio.

While these accounts generally follow the bitcoin label, you also have the option for investments in other types of coins, including litecoin, ethereum, and bitcoin cash. The cryptocurrency cannot go into a traditional IRA with standard mutual funds, stocks, ETFs, or bonds. That’s why you need to set up a specific self-directed IRA (SDIRA) suited for alternative assets, including property like cryptocurrency, as designated by the IRS who offers less restrictive regulations with these iRA options.

Buying A Bitcoin IRA

Purchasing the self-directed IRAs that hold bitcoins is different in a few ways from a standard retirement account. ‘Self-directed’ means the account holder will be responsible for managing the Ira instead of a money manager or financial advisor. A traditional brokerage, financial institution or bank, or even an investment app will, in most instances, not handle these options.

Self-directed accounts are generally only available with companies that specialize in the assets you’re specifically interested in. If you prefer to open an IRA that carries bitcoins or cryptocurrency, you would need to employ the services of a custodian that will deal in and hold these types of currencies. 

In many cases, the custodial firms will provide an application and guide you through the conversion process. The accounts can use funding from rollovers from an existing IRA or other “tax-advantaged” plans. You also have the option of adding your own funds.

The field is relatively new, possibly proving challenging to find a custodian, with some platforms panning out as merely sales mediums. It’s vital to do your diligence to ensure you find a trusted, reputable custodian who can offer sufficient guidance, information, and education to lead you towards the most beneficial decision for your needs, storage, security, and future.

Are Bitcoin IRAs Safe

It’s vital to recognize, the ultimate responsibility for the safety of your IRA is in your hands as the owner of the account. The custodian will guide you through the process as the firm provides self-directed account services, particularly those in the very young bitcoin space. Still, they do not carry the same level of responsibility as a certified investment consultant, a traditional broker, or other financial institutions. Learn the challenges of holding these accounts at

These firms do not have regulatory authorities overseeing them, such as FINRA, nor are your funds returned if the firm fails, since none have insurance with SIPC. They further offer no fiduciary rules binding them to ensure your interest is primary. That means with a bitcoin IRA as with any self-directed account, you have sole responsibility for all decisions regarding the plan, and you take all the risks when investing.

While all investments offer an associated level of risk, there is an extra layer when taking a chance with bitcoin or self-directed options. That is since you are solely responsible for the account and all decisions that pertain to investing. 

Primarily important is ensuring that the custodian you work with has experience in the industry with a solid following and a sound reputation. The more years in the business the custodian has and the greater the reviews and testimonials, the more likely you’ll have a positive experience.

Final Thought

Bitcoin IRA is, in fact, a self-directed individual retirement account that holds bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a physical asset or property in a retirement portfolio. In order to obtain this asset, a client needs to research to find a trusted custodian with whom they can produce an application and be guided through the process of either converting funds from an existing IRA or other applicable fund or perhaps self-fund the contribution.

The thing to remember with these individual retirement account options is the owner is responsible for the account and all decisions associated, not the custodian. There’s no insurance if the custodian were to default, no regulating bodies, meaning this investment is as high-risk as an investment can get. But that doesn’t stop investors as these are becoming quite trendy and exceptionally popular.