Can Bitcoin Be Held in an IRA

can bitcoin be held in an ira

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Ben

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that has been growing in popularity over the last few years. More and more people invest their retirement funds into Bitcoin as an alternative to traditional stocks or bonds. Can Bitcoin be held in an IRA? The response to this query depends on whether you’re talking about bitcoin in general or bitcoins specifically; IRAs can hold either type of bitcoin but not both at the same time.

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Bitcoin as an IRA Investment: What You Should Know

A Bitcoin IRA is also called a self-directed IRA. A self-directed individual retirement account is one where you can invest in things that are not usually found in IRAs, like real estate, precious metals, and cryptocurrency. A lot of people are using self-directed IRAs. And there are many different types of things you can buy with them.

Investing in Bitcoin can be good for your retirement. You can make more money when it is worth a lot of money, and you also know what it will be worth now because you invested in it before. But there is a risk that Bitcoin will not work well or that you will lose all the money because of bad investments.

How to Hold Bitcoin in an IRA

It is easy to add Bitcoins to your self-directed IRA. You open a new account. Then you roll over or transfer money into it. Finally, you order Bitcoin shares for your account by sending in the form that tells the company where to send them.

The process of buying bitcoins for yourself using a Self-Directed IRA is quick and easy – all that’s required are: setting up an eSign application on a secure website like TurboTax Online Services, funding them via rollover/transfer funds – OR even instructing your custodian to transfer directly after depositing at their institution.

How to Get Tax Protection of an IRA

Regardless if it is an IRA or not, there are ways to protect your money from being taxed by government agencies through retirement plans and investments.

Find a Custodian to Administer the IRA

That’s not to say all custodians are created equal. Roughly dozen companies currently licensed by the IRS are available, and some have better reputations—as well as more experience with certain investment categories—than others, so it pays to do your homework before making a decision.

With a standard IRA, your investment options are usually restricted to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. If you want different investment choices like real estate and precious metals, you should invest with a self-directed IRA.

Open an Account with an IRA Custodian

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) allow investments in most types of securities. An individual retirement account offers options like the self-directed IRA to invest in alternatives such as real estate or precious metals. There are different investment options with the same tax benefits. The only catch is that you have to find a custodian to handle these accounts. They are not easy to find.

Self-directed IRAs give people more options to invest. They can choose things that could get a higher return. Some investments are tax lien certificates, private placement securities, gold, and even restaurant franchises.

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Risks in Holding Bitcoin in a Self-directed IRA

All investments have risks. Possible issues also exist with Bitcoin IRAs like:

Prohibited Transactions

One potential mistake is neglecting the “no self-dealing” rule, which means that you can’t borrow money from your IRA, sell the property to it, or do other interactions. If the IRS finds out, the money from your account will be considered taxable. You will owe a penalty because you tried to save some money.


Self-directed IRS fees are many and steep, such as $250 or more if you want to move your IRA to a new custodian. Different investment companies have different fee structures. Some might charge more, and some might charge less.

Lack Of Liquidity

When you have a self-directed IRA and invest in something, it can be hard to get your money out of it. Maybe if you need the money for an emergency, you will need to find someone who wants to buy your investment. This can also be an issue for people who have traditional IRAs. The problem is that when someone has a traditional IRA, they will need to take out money at the age of 72.

Lack Of Transparency

The Securities and Exchange Commission warns people that self-directed IRA promoters sometimes record the buying price, or the purchase price plus anticipated returns, as the valuation. But that figure is not the actual amount you’ll get for your asset.


Fraudsters have used self-directed IRAs to help them with their schemes. They might say that the IRA custodian has approved of the investment, but this is not true. This is because the custodian does not evaluate or approve investments in a self-directed IRA or its promoters.

Concentrated Portfolios

Proponents of self-directed IRAs say that they can invest in things outside of what mainstream investors do. That’s good because it will make their investment diversified. This type of IRA has the same problems as other IRAs when it comes to diversity.

Keeping Your Bitcoins

We keep money in a physical wallet. Bitcoins are also stored in a digital wallet. The wallet can be web-based or hardware-based. The wallet can also live on a mobile device, on your computer desktop, or you can print out the private keys and addresses for access on paper.

Below, we will explore the ways in which you can store bitcoin safely.

Cold Wallet

A cold wallet is a tool that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be stored in. If you do this, you will reduce the chance of these being taken by hackers. Cold storage is less suited than other methods of protection, so often, a certain amount is stored online for a related use, while the proportion of the money is put on a cold storage device. This makes it uncomplicated to access coins for everyday use. Cold wallets are used when you want to stop people from accessing your money. A popular cold wallet is a Trezor.

Hot Wallets

Hot wallets are connected to the internet. People who hold digital items often have both hot and cold wallets. Hot wallets are for when you want to buy something quickly. Cold wallets are for when you want your money safe.

It is easier to do cryptocurrency transactions with a hot wallet. You are already connected to the internet, so it is easy. However, you are more likely to get stolen if you use a hot wallet instead of a cold wallet.

Hot wallets are used for people who hold Bitcoin or other cryptos. They can be located on mobile devices, computers, or online. For example, you may have a hot wallet on an exchange where you trade cryptocurrencies.

The Legality of Owning Bitcoin in a Retirement Account

You might have noticed that in a traditional retirement account—such as the one you might have through your employer—there are no options for doing something as bold as trading in Bitcoin. This is because you need to have a self-directed account. It cannot be easy to invest in real estate if you do not have an account that lets you do this. To set up the account, follow the rules and regulations of retirement accounts.

Bitcoin is a type of currency that has different requirements, like security and safety. This means that it can cost more to use it in an IRA account. IRAs that work with cryptocurrency need to also let the IRS know when it happens. It might end up costing investors more money.

Some companies are offering discounts to people who want to buy into cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin IRA and BitIRA have offered discounts for customers. Even with a discount, though, it can be risky to put your money in something that is not stable and where there are scams.

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Bitcoin IRAs are more complicated than your typical retirement funds. You’ll need to do a lot of research when choosing the right cryptocurrency, as well as figuring out which provider offers an IRA that will work for you in particular.

Many young investors are now considering diversifying their retirement plans by including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. There’s no uncertainty that the rise of cryptocurrencies may help you retire sooner, but its volatility could age you along the way. All in all, Bitcoin IRA is a good last-minute source of tax benefits and hedge against inflation if done right!

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