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Seize the Opportunity: Invest in XRP for Retirement

Catch the Wave: XRP Opens a New Era of Crypto Retirement Investing

In the dynamic landscape of cryptocurrency, it’s time to consider a fresh opportunity: you can once again invest in XRP for retirement. A significant legal ruling paved the way for this exciting development. The verdict is a “landmark win” for Ripple Labs, Inc. in their lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Implications of the SEC Lawsuit Ruling on XRP

The SEC’s legal contention aimed to categorize XRP as a security, which would drastically limit its trading and investment potential. However, the recent victory for Ripple Labs dismissed such classification, creating waves in the cryptocurrency realm. This decision could have a profound impact on those who are eager to invest in XRP for their retirement portfolio.

Why XRP is a Valuable Addition to Your Retirement Portfolio

Renowned for its speed, scalability, and versatility, XRP is a potent digital asset that has been gaining popularity and recognition worldwide. The recent court ruling allows you to include XRP in your BitcoinIRA crypto retirement account, providing a chance to diversify your investment portfolio and potentially augment your retirement savings.

The BitcoinIRA Advantage with XRP

Investing in XRP through BitcoinIRA enables you to explore the potential of this increasingly adopted digital currency. As XRP continues to forge ahead, it represents a compelling choice for many crypto-savvy investors looking to strengthen their retirement savings.

How to Open a BitcoinIRA Account

Opening a BitcoinIRA account is a straightforward process that grants you the power to buy, sell, and swap a range of cryptocurrencies, including XRP. The platform features intuitive services, a wealth of educational resources, and superior customer support to guide you through your crypto investment journey. So, why wait? Open an account to invest in XRP for retirement today.

Cryptocurrency chart shown on a mobile device in the background, with a physical Bitcoin in the foreground.

How to Read Cryptocurrency Charts

Knowing how to read cryptocurrency charts is incredibly useful for traders to find opportunities in the market. Performing technical analysis doesn’t have to always be complicated — you can start by recognizing a few chart patterns for information. This article will walk you through how to read crypto charts so you can make informed trading decisions and track the direction of prices.

What are Cryptocurrency Candle Charts? 

A cryptocurrency candle chart shows the price movements of crypto over a time period. These price movements are displayed in the form of candles, which have a rectangular body shaped like a bar representing the opening and closing price, as well as a line indicating the low and high price of the day. Shading (like red or green) applied to the body of the candle indicates whether the close was higher than the open or vice versa.

Understanding Cryptocurrency Charts 

To understand crypto charts, you need to familiarize yourself with several trading terms. Here’s a rundown of some of them. 

Trading Pair

Cryptocurrencies that are traded for one another through an exchange are referred to as trading pairs. Because some cryptocurrencies may only be bought using other cryptocurrencies, trading pairs are useful in facilitating trading. A trading pair can provide access to other cryptocurrencies that cannot be bought directly with fiat money.

Current Price

Current price refers to the last traded price of a cryptocurrency. Because cryptocurrencies trade live 24 hours a day, the prices fluctuate. When you place a trade (buy or sell), chances are you may not buy at the last traded current price, but possibly slightly higher or lower depending on supply and demand. 


High/low price levels are the highest and lowest points a cryptocurrency trades within a specific time frame. Bear in mind that high/low varies across time frames. For example, the high in a one-minute chart would differ from the high in a weekly chart. 

24-Hour Volume

The 24-hour volume indicator measures the total volume of a cryptocurrency traded in the last 24 hours. Traders use this indicator to measure the market’s interest in a particular cryptocurrency. If the 24-hour volume is high, it indicates high interest in the cryptocurrency. A low 24-hour volume indicates low interest.

Unit of Time

This is the timeframe of trading activity on a cryptocurrency displayed on the chart. For example, a one-minute chart displays the price movements and actions of the cryptocurrency every minute. Likewise, a 15-minute chart displays the price movements of a cryptocurrency every 15 minutes. You can select and adjust the unit of time you want from as little as one minute to as much as a month.

Price Chart 

This shows the fluctuation in a cryptocurrency’s value over time. In a price chart, a candle or line is used to represent the price movement of a cryptocurrency over a period. The timeframe can also be adjusted depending on your trading strategy or technical analysis.

Trading Volume

This indicator shows the volume of a cryptocurrency that has been traded within a specified timeframe. It is usually displayed in bars and correlates with the pattern on the price chart. Long bars indicate high trading volumes compared to other periods, while short bars indicate lower trading volumes. A green bar indicates a price increase, while a red bar indicates a price drop. 

How to Read Crypto Chart Trends and Indicators

The ability to read a crypto chart is essential to trading profitably. To do this effectively, you need to be able to recognize trends and use chart indicators. 

Crypto Chart Indicators

Crypto chart indicators give you clues about how the market is trading a particular cryptocurrency. Traders use chart indicators to visualize the price action of a cryptocurrency, enabling them to determine the best way to trade. Here are some indicators that can help when reading crypto charts.

Moving Averages

A moving average is the average price of a cryptocurrency over a set period. Because they show the average price of an asset over time, moving averages filter out short-term fluctuations. As a result, moving averages help identify overall trends and establish key support and resistance levels that can determine entry and exit points.  

Support and Resistance Level

Support and resistance are price levels on a chart that indicate a cluster of buying or selling, often appearing to limit the price range.  

Supports are usually price levels with a concentration of buy orders. The price of the cryptocurrency may drop until it reaches support levels and regularly rebound from those levels. Support levels can be entry points for traders. Resistance levels are conversely the levels with a high concentration of sellers (or sell orders). Traders usually use resistance levels to determine their exit points.

These zones may be technical or psychological. Technical support and resistance zones are those that are established by chart patterns and trend lines. Psychological zones are those that are influenced by human emotion, such as round numbers, 52-week highs and all-time highs and lows.

Crypto Chart Patterns

Chart patterns are distinct shapes within a price chart that are formed based on the trading activity of an asset within a certain timeframe. Chart patterns give an indication of what the price may do next based on its previous activity. These appear in cryptocurrency charts and offer specific insight.

Shooting Star 

A shooting star is a candlestick pattern that forms when the price of the security opens, rises significantly, but then closes near the open price. It is usually regarded as a sign of bearish reversal by traders because the closing price ends up converging toward its lower opening price. This usually suggests that sellers (bears) have taken over, and prices of the asset may drop.


A hammer is a candlestick pattern that occurs when an asset trades significantly lower than its opening but rises to near the opening price. The candlestick forms a hammer-like shape in which the lower wick (the line beneath the candle) is longer than the size of the candle body. Because the asset’s price fell below its opening price but later rebounded, buyers regained control. Hammers are regarded as a bullish reversal candlestick pattern.

Head and Shoulders 

Head and shoulders is a candlestick pattern that indicates a trend reversal. There is a peak (shoulder), then a higher peak (head) that is followed by a lower peak (shoulder). Traders use the head and shoulders to predict a shift from a bullish pattern to a bearish pattern. Head and shoulders patterns can also form in an inverted position signaling a shift in trend from bearish to bullish.


A wedge occurs when the price range (distance between high and low prices within a certain time frame) shrinks and becomes narrower. When trend lines are drawn above and below the price range, they converge into an arrow shape. Traders use wedges to spot a reversal or continuation of price action.

Learn Charting For Crypto (cryptocurrency charts)

Crypto trading is fast-paced, and any type of edge is useful. Through the use of technical indicators, it is possible to recognize trends and patterns in price charts. However, no single chart pattern can always accurately predict the direction of prices. To get the best out of your chart reading, try to use a combination of different indicators. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good indicator for crypto?

A good indicator for crypto is using a combination of indicators, although they aren’t guaranteed to predict price action. 

How do you analyze cryptocurrency before buying?

You can analyze cryptocurrency before buying by looking for support and resistance levels and reviewing technical indicators. You can also consider crypto project fundamentals and relevant news events.

Where can I find a crypto chart?

There are a number of advanced charting tools that exist. The BitcoinIRA desktop and mobile app contains pricing information and charts users can take advantage of.

A folding card displaying the text "Retirement Planning" and financial graphs and imagery. Used to head a blog article about crypto retirement planning.

Planning for the Realities of Retirement (and How Crypto Can Help)

Retirement has never been easy, yet has remained attainable for Americans willing and able to carry out the savings, responsibility, and consistency required to execute a sound investment strategy over years (and decades). This results in, ideally, comfortable twilight years with a minimal drop-off in lifestyle, and the continued ability to carefully manage the dollar value of investment with income distribution for the remainder of life.

While millions of Americans still retire yearly, it has become apparent that the current economic and fiscal climate introduces new challenges for those seeking a picturesque post-work life, and that these challenges are cross-generational. High inflation, volatile markets, and rising interest rates (not to mention the associated scarcity and cost of credit) have rendered the current decade’s approach to retirement undoubtedly more complicated, and less “autopilot” than many would like.

The Current State of Retirement

In its most recent Retirement Survey & Insights Report, Goldman Sachs Asset Management uncovered a number of illuminating (and in some cases concerning) insights regarding the capability of typical Americans, be it Generation X, Baby Boomers, or Millennials, to save for and achieve a comfortable retirement. Immediately notable is the discovery that 51% of current retirees stated they live on below half of their pre-retirement income; this pairs snugly with expert analysis concluding that in many cases, up to 70% of pre-retirement income is required to achieve comfortable retirement. If today’s retirees have to save half their income in order to make post-work life viable, what does that say for the chances of working individuals and the challenges they face tomorrow?

The report provided further insights. Outside of current retirees, a substantial portion of Generation X reported being “stressed” when it comes to managing retirement, with 51% responding they are behind schedule with their savings. While certainly achievable, the schedule and margin for error in saving for retirement through purely traditional means has become so narrow, that mishaps, life events such as health costs, or any unexpected significant expense can often stand to delay, or even derail, retirement goals.

It’s known that inflation reached as high as 6% and beyond in the wake of COVID-19, but some independent research groups estimate, using traditional or deprecated CPI calculations from the 80s and 90s rather than the hedonically adjusted or otherwise tweaked current measurement, that inflation post-COVID-19 may have even breached 10%, and approached 15%. If the performance of your investments can’t pass muster in comparison, retirement becomes more difficult.

How Crypto Can Help You Retire (Retirement Planning)

Thankfully new problems bring new solutions, and the response on the part of technologists and innovators to bank failures and money-supply expansion (both in 2008 and now) has been the creation of decentralized, immutable, and relevantly, high-performing cryptographically secure currencies and digital assets, known as cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s staggering lifetime returns are no secret at this point, and investors want to know  – how can crypto help aspiring retirees ? Both the retired and the still-saving face modern challenges that impede their ability to generate income, be it inflationary pressures, healthcare costs, or even potential reductions to Social Security (which, according to the earlier-cited alternative statistics, in real terms occur each and every year).

While investors can’t turn back time and invest in Bitcoin from day one, they can leverage this powerful asset class in their favor by combining its high-performance and modern advantages with tried-and-true retirement tools such as self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Currently, we may sit at the tail-end of the “winter” phase of the crypto market cycle – Bitcoin stands just below 60% off its record highs, while altcoins average between 70% and 90% down.

What was dismissed by some as untenable volatility during 2022 has, once again, reliably transformed into opportunity for all investors, seeking retirement or otherwise, to transcend high inflation and contemporary fiscal challenges. A recent BitcoinIRA survey found that investors remain bullish on cryptocurrencies; 51% of survey respondents are considering investing in crypto as part of their retirement portfolio, while 27% have already invested.

While speculating on new levels an investment may reach is no-doubt risky, instead dollar-cost averaging into proven crypto assets that stand to achieve significant appreciation merely by returning to prior levels in an upcoming bull cycle is a different concept entirely. Extraordinary challenges call for extraordinary strategy, and providers like BitcoinIRA can help those striving for retirement invest in cutting-edge, historically performant digital assets using tried-and-true, safe, and proven retirement vehicles.

Bitcoin $30k: the important price milestone for Bitcoin, $30,000, is shown in large text on an orange background, with an image or a rocket.

Bullish BTC Charges Toward $30K as Macro Tides Turn

Despite strong year-to-date price appreciation over 77% and a mid-April $30k peak for Bitcoin after the frosty crypto winter of 2022, BTC and general crypto-wide performance has broadly lagged since late March of this year. That may be all about to change on the tail of recent Federal Reserve rate hikes, a projected friendlier macro environment, and current events that play squarely to the inherent strengths of the world’s #1 cryptocurrency.

On Wednesday the Fed signaled its commitment to shrinking inflation with yet another 25 basis-point rise to the federal funds rate. Despite this, as is often the case, markets at least in-part took the action not as a marker of continued economic challenge, but instead as a harbinger of an inevitable pivot to avert recession. As a result, crypto rose slightly, and stocks, banking sector aside, dipped then recovered to avoid any particularly significant decline.

The market interpretation is not entirely unfounded – CME Group’s FedWatch probabilities indicator agrees, suggesting “no change” as the most likely state of rates for June and July, followed by a 75% chance of slashing in September. This would conveniently occur when approximately six to eight months remain before the renowned Bitcoin halving event, a historical signal of eye-watering crypto bull runs to come. These tend to last approximately 18 months and culminate with blowoff tops, memes (already begun), and NFT mania of epic proportion.

Of course, such charges are always led and must be affirmed by Bitcoin, the asset to which all crypto liquidity is tied, and thus by which all digital currency price action is guided, whether we like it or not. Thankfully, beyond just reverse-psychology interpretation of Federal Reserve behavior, recent news of bank failures that spooks traditional markets simply emboldens Bitcoin’s entire raison d’etre. Beyond broad investor sentiment, there remains no technical reason why a decentralized, trustless, and peer-to-peer store of value is required to move in price alongside its polar opposite. In fact, when it comes to the dollar, Bitcoin’s tendency has been to do just the reverse.

When banks become illiquid or fail, but rate hikes and credit squeezes mean money printing can’t save the day, Bitcoin remains 100% backed by computational power and the perpetual hard energy (approximately 127 TWh yearly) required to mine it. From a broad view, it doesn’t particularly matter what the news cycle throws at Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention, as price has historically and consistently followed hash rate, and the mathematics and incentives of the Bitcoin protocol ensure this phenomenon can continue.

If 2008-like events continue to unfold with regard to the banking sector, investors and holders of currency in general may have a decision to make. Who do you trust – financial institutions stuck holding government debt, the government itself with its steadfast but limited FDIC, or the ability to hold an asset that requires you trust nobody at all? While proclamations of an imminently failing U.S. dollar may often be hyperbolic, the history and average lifespan of fiat currency is clear, suggesting at the very least, USD and some of its modern brethren may be living on borrowed time.

Bitcoin reaching $30k this market cycle has been described as a key battle line, and once this resistance becomes support, most signs suggest Bitcoin will proceed to do what it has always done. As the saying goes to describe the Bitcoin network’s unconcern for the ongoing mania of current events: tick-tock, next block.

Graphics and images visualizing the results of a crypto outlook survey, including investor sentiment

BitcoinIRA Survey Finds Investors Bullish on Crypto

New crypto outlook survey captures American excitement for cryptocurrency despite challenges

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2023– BitcoinIRA, the world’s first and most trusted* digital asset IRA technology platform, today released results of their new survey polling participants on their investing preferences and market outlook on cryptocurrency.

In sum, the survey found that investor sentiment remains bullish on digital assets despite volatile market action and events. Crypto investors largely speculate prices will rise, and continue to bank on crypto to hedge against inflation and increasing social security concerns. More than half see crypto as a legitimate and trailblazing asset class, and more than half agree that crypto regulation makes digital investments more attractive.

Key takeaways on crypto sentiment include:

  • Excitement Factor: 72% of respondents would suggest their family or friends buy cryptocurrency. 32% report they look forward to traditional financial institutions adopting digital assets in the future and 30% are excited about crypto IRAs.
  • Digital Asset Outlook: 51% of those surveyed think crypto is a legitimate and trailblazing asset class and 56% agree that Bitcoin is a hedge against inflation.
  • Bullish on Regulation: 54% of respondents agree that crypto regulation makes digital investments more attractive.
  • Saving for Retirement: 51% of survey respondents are considering investing in cryptocurrency as part of their retirement portfolio, while 27% have already invested.

Key takeaways on reasons to invest and crypto price projections include:

  • Motivation for Crypto Investing: Respondents are interested in crypto because they speculate prices will go up (59%), they want to diversify their portfolios (43%), catch up on retirement (36%), and avoid inflation (23%), among other reasons. 25% are concerned social security may run out, a 59% increase over BitcoinIRA’s May 2022 survey.
  • Bitcoin’s Price Prediction: 48% of the respondents believe Bitcoin’s price will be $25,000 – $49,000 at its high in 2023, and 21% believe it will be $50,000 – $75,000 (the all-time high). Reflecting the crypto markets, price projections have lowered since the company’s last survey.
  • Bitcoin Remains King: 69% of respondents select Bitcoin as their top crypto choice. Ethereum was the #1 most requested altcoin for crypto investing (18%). Alternative coins exclude Bitcoin.

“Although the crypto community has been tested by recent events, investors have a renewed enthusiasm for digital assets,” said Chris Kline, Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of BitcoinIRA. “Americans believe that strengthening crypto regulations will benefit us. Crypto investors continue to see digital assets as a key instrument in retirement portfolio diversification, as well as a hedge against inflation and mounting concerns about social security. BitcoinIRA is excited to be a part of the solution for Americans seeking alternative assets for their savings.”


The crypto outlook survey was sent in February 2023 to a randomized group of individuals. 445 respondents participated. Individuals did not receive compensation or likewise for their participation in the survey.

Individuals interested in adding cryptocurrencies to their IRA or 401(k) can visit or call 866-333-4307.

About BitcoinIRA

BitcoinIRA, available at, is the world’s first and most trusted* digital asset IRA technology platform that allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies for their self-directed retirement accounts.

Users can set up a qualified digital asset IRA, transfer funds from an existing IRA custodian, execute self-trades in real-time 24/7 through a US-based exchange, and store funds in an industry-leading multi-signature digital wallet from BitGo.* BitcoinIRA has processed billions in transactions and has over 170,000 users with more than 3,500 5-star user reviews. The platform has been featured extensively in the media, with coverage in Forbes, CNBC, CoinDesk, and The Wall Street Journal, among other leading publications.

BitcoinIRA is a financial services technology provider, and as such, is not a financial adviser, cryptocurrency exchange, custodian, wallet provider, initial coin offering (ICO), or money transmitter. BitcoinIRA is privately funded and based in Las Vegas.

Learn more about BitcoinIRA at or call 866-333-4307.

*Cryptocurrencies are very speculative and involve a high degree of risk. See risk disclosures at

Media contact: [email protected]

Portraits of speakers from BitcoinIRA, Digital Trust, and BitGo are displayed beneath the crypto security webinar title "Crypto Security: What Investors Need to Know

BitcoinIRA, Digital Trust, and BitGo Announce Educational Webinar on Crypto Security

Finance executives host a panel presenting key insights on crypto custody for investors in 2023

LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2023 —  BitcoinIRA, the world’s first and most trusted digital asset IRA technology platform, today announced an upcoming webinar titled “Crypto Security – What Investors Need to Know: A Conversation with BitGo, BitcoinIRA, and Digital Trust” held virtually on April 20, 2023, at 11 AM PT.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from experts in alternative and traditional asset custody as they discuss a savvy investor’s most crucial questions. The seasoned panel of financial executives has over 60 years of combined experience, and includes BitcoinIRA COO Rick Synrod, BitGo Director of Institutional Sales Steve Scott, and Maryann Bullion, Digital Trust General Counsel and CCO. Adam Sporn, U.S. Head of Institutional Sales at BitGo will moderate.

The panel will answer audience members’ questions and discuss:

  • Why holding your own keys is not a one-size-fits-all solution
  • Moving beyond self-custody, what qualified custodians can offer crypto investors
  • What we can learn from recent events (Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, FTX, and others) over the past 12 months

“Long-term cryptocurrency investors need custody solutions that not only protect their retirement savings, but also safeguard their assets with the most advanced technology on the market,” said Bullion. “This panel brings together BitGo, BitcoinIRA, and Digital Trust, partners who provide technology and custody services, to give investors new insights on this trending topic, including key factors to consider when looking at crypto security.”

“Digital asset investors today can choose custodial solutions that meet a wide range of unique needs and use cases,” explains Synrod. “The old adage ‘not your keys, not your coins’ can fall short because self-custody is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it might not be a viable solution at all in some situations. Many prefer the practicality of storing their assets with a regulated, qualified custodian that offers cold storage custody and multi-signature wallet management.”

“BitGo, BitcoinIRA, and Digital Trust’s partnership sets the industry standard in multi-signature technology and security, offering investors peace of mind,” said Scott. “Recent events underscore the importance of security in the crypto industry, and this webinar will educate investors on the protection and insurance that regulated custody can provide. We are looking forward to addressing investor’s concerns and educating crypto enthusiasts on their options.”

For more information and to register for the webinar, please visit the webinar registration page.

About BitcoinIRA

BitcoinIRA, available at, is the world’s first and most trusted digital asset IRA technology platform that allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies* for their self-directed retirement accounts.

Users can set up a qualified digital asset IRA, transfer funds from an existing IRA custodian, execute self-trades in real-time 24/7 through a US-based exchange, and store funds in an industry-leading multi-signature digital wallet from BitGo.

Since its founding in 2016, BitcoinIRA has processed billions in transactions and has over 170,000 users with more than 3,500 5-star user reviews. The platform has been featured extensively in the media, with coverage in Forbes, CNBC, CoinDesk, and The Wall Street Journal, among other leading publications.

BitcoinIRA is a financial services technology provider, and as such, is not a financial adviser, cryptocurrency exchange, custodian, wallet provider, initial coin offering (ICO), or money transmitter. BitcoinIRA is privately funded and based in Las Vegas.

Learn more about BitcoinIRA at or call 866-333-4307.

*Cryptocurrencies are very speculative and involve a high degree of risk. See risk disclosures at

About Digital Trust

Digital Trust, the trust company for a digital era, offers a technology-driven approach to self-directed retirement accounts. Founded in 2021, the company delivers solutions for the custodial and financial services sector, including self-directed IRAs, checkbook IRAs, as well as support for investment assets ranging from cryptocurrency, real estate, precious metals, LLC, private equity, and other alternative assets.

Delivering digital custody solutions in an analog investment world, Digital Trust provides a straightforward approach to help individuals achieve their retirement goals. They’re evolving what it means to have a self-directed IRA, and believe in eliminating barriers and opening retirement possibilities through a wide range of asset and trust administration services. Digital Trust is a licensed trust custodian based in Las Vegas. For more information, please visit

About BitGo

BitGo provides the most secure and scalable wallet solutions for the digital asset economy, offering regulated custody, staking and trading, and core infrastructure to investors and builders alike. Founded in 2013 — the early days of crypto — BitGo pioneered the multi-signature wallet and later built TSS to improve upon other companies’ MPC offerings. Between multisig and MPC TSS, BitGo offers the safest technology on the market and safeguards over 700 tokens across a wide variety of blockchains. Over the years, BitGo has expanded from offering wallets into providing a full-suite solution that lets clients hold assets safely and then put them to work. BitGo launched BitGo Trust Company in 2018, providing fully regulated, qualified cold storage to complement BitGo Inc.’s hot wallet solution.

In 2020, BitGo launched BitGo Prime, which allows its clients to trade, borrow, and lend digital assets. Moreover, BitGo also provides access to DeFi, staking, NFT wallets, and beyond, and serves as the world’s sole custodian for WBTC (Wrapped Bitcoin). BitGo is the leader in digital asset security, custody, and liquidity, providing the operational backbone for more than 1,500 institutional clients in over 50 countries — a list that includes many regulated entities and the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms. BitGo also processes approximately 20% of all global Bitcoin transactions by value. For more information, please visit

Media contact: [email protected]

: Bitcoin IRA Chief Operations Officer, Rick Synrod, is pictured with the caption “Crypto Custody Q&A.”

Crypto Markets, Custody & Security: Who You Trust Matters

BitcoinIRA’s Chief Operations Officer, Rick Synrod, offers his executive insights on today’s hot topics in cryptocurrency, from recent market turmoil to crypto custody and security. Synrod recaps what our industry can learn from last year’s events, and what investors should consider when deciding if and how to participate in the digital asset ecosystem going forward.

Why have crypto security and custody been in the spotlight recently?

2022 was a tumultuous year for financial markets with growth-oriented sectors like tech, emerging markets, and especially digital assets getting hit the hardest. Domestic and global macro environments faced significant challenges including record high inflation, rising interest rates, ongoing supply chain constraints left over from COVID-19 shutdowns, international political tensions, and global energy supply shortages resulting from the Ukraine-Russian war to name a few. While these headwinds had impacts across most asset classes, the digital asset ecosystem experienced several upheaval events of its own, including the major collapses of Terra (LUNA), Three Arrows Capital, Voyager, Celsius, and the once second-largest global exchange, FTX. However, these events, like the others before them, allow our industry to learn, grow, and adapt – spotlighting the importance of security, transparency, and the need for smart regulation.

The following quote from Rick Synrod is displayed on a blue background: "Recent events spotlight the importance of security, transparency, and the need for smart regulation."

How would you summarize 2022 for digital assets?

With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to look back and proclaim that 2022 was both expected and necessary. Let me explain. If you would have told me at the beginning of last year that we would experience the collapse of a top 10 digital asset (LUNA), the downfall of such significant industry players as Three Arrows Capital, Voyager, BlockFi, and others, and the catastrophic collapse of one of the largest exchanges in the world, I would have told you that we should pack it all up and head home! However, looking back at what did unfold, we can begin to piece together what led to each of these events individually, as well as collectively. Setting aside fraud, as there appears to have been some elements of that intertwined, it is my belief that a lot of what happened last year was driven by a combination of lack of transparency, poor risk management, over-leverage, and general industry growing pains. Without diving deep into each of these, the summary takeaway is that 2022 taught us, and more importantly taught new entrants to our space, the right questions to ask, what answers to accept, and what our industry needs to address to truly achieve mass adoption. Also, the fact that the industry has survived the combination of these events in a single year tells me that the resilience of good actors, quality businesses, solid projects, and a belief in the future of finance far outweigh the impact of the inverse. As they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” – I do not think that could be any more applicable to our space.

What were some of the lessons learned for crypto investing last year?

For one, most people do not go through their daily lives thinking about “counterparty risk” – which is a term we use in finance to describe the risks inherent in working with, storing, accessing, executing, or otherwise being exposed in some way to another party in a financial transaction. In the realm of digital assets, counterparty risk is extremely important to understand, as was made exceedingly clear in many of the events that unfolded in 2022. The learnings that came out of the past 12 months are that ordinary investors are now increasingly starting to ask deeper questions about how assets are stored, if and how assets are lent, asset reserves, and look-throughs into contractual terms to better understand their counterparty risk.

Using FTX as an example, a lot of investors unknowingly exposed themselves to increased risk, simply by keeping their assets on the exchange. What investors learned in the wake of FTX’s collapse was how to better understand who controls their assets, how they are held, if they are backed one-to-one, and the important differences between holding assets on an exchange vs. a true custodial solution. For many people that have been in the industry for several years, conducting one’s own research becomes second nature. However, for some newcomers, these concepts are sometimes lessons learned. We have more work to do to help educate our industry, and 2022 will be a great teacher.

Is self-custody the only option for digital assets?

While this industry was born from the ideas of self-sovereignty, direct ownership, and individual financial control, concepts referred to collectively as “self-custody,” the reality is that it may not always be feasible or practical for every person or entity to self-custody their digital assets. For instance, there are specific laws and regulations that dictate what various account types, institutions, and corporations can and can’t hold, and how and where they must hold certain types of assets. For others, the ease and practicality of storing their assets with a transparent, regulated, qualified custodian that they can trust gives them much more comfort. Regardless of the reason, self-custody is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it might not be a viable solution at all in certain situations.

The adage not your keys, not your coins is often thrown around after events like those we experienced in 2022 to reinforce the ideology of self-custody. Unfortunately, it falls short in helping to better educate would-be investors that there are custodial solutions that meet a wide range of unique needs and use cases. While it is a great tag line, we would do better in helping to further advance the adoption of our industry by explaining the various types of custodial solutions and how to choose the best type of custody for an individual’s specific application.

The following quote from Rick Synrod is displayed on a blue background: "Self-custody is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it might not be a viable solution at all in certain situations."

How does BitcoinIRA think about custody and who you use as service providers?

Providing access to digital assets within our clients’ self-directed IRAs means that we must take the safety and security* of client assets seriously. Therefore, it goes without saying that this is by far our top priority.

Internally, we have robust operational controls, alongside a stringent risk-management framework that guides our business and decision making. BitcoinIRA’s dynamic team combines digital asset expertise, forward-thinking technology and application development, IRA domain knowledge, and legal and regulatory compliance, all working in tandem to provide industry-leading service while ensuring the protection of our clients and their assets every day. Fortunately, our team and processes are structured such that they kept us unexposed to the parties involved in the meltdowns we saw in 2022.

Separately, we are proud that BitGo serves as our primary digital asset custodian – offering safe and secure multi-signature wallet management within a fully regulated, qualified institutional cold storage custody solution. BitGo is the leader in digital asset security and custody, providing the operational backbone for more than 1,500 institutional clients in over 50 countries. BitGo also processes approximately 20% of all global Bitcoin transactions by value. We have a tremendous partnership with the BitGo team, and they continue to set the standard for institutional grade, qualified custody.

What do you think will change going forward for crypto regulation?

As I mentioned before, a lot can be, and already has been, learned from the past 12 months. I think I can say with a high degree of confidence that we are collectively smarter as an industry having gone through this past year. I do, however, think much will continue to evolve.

For one, the collective industry should expect some form of regulatory clarity given to the space. For a while, the industry has sought, even begged, for a regulatory framework for which to operate successfully; the lack of which has led to many projects and providers going overseas, out of the purview of domestic regulation. Given what happened with FTX, we expect there will be increased pressure for regulators to implement appropriate rules and guidelines to enable industry providers and participants to operate successfully and without fear of being offsides.

In addition to regulation, I believe the industry will expect more transparency from centralized providers. Already we have seen the adoption of improved “proof-of-reserves” reporting, independent auditing, and a retraction of improper lending practices. These alone do not solve or prevent issues of the past, but they are a meaningful start to a more transparent ecosystem.

Lastly, as aforementioned, I think we will begin to see better due diligence and harder questions asked of our industry. With learning comes understanding, and with better understanding comes better questions. Investors will begin to seek more clarity on where and to whom leverage is given and where there is the greatest risk of exposure. Looking back at some of the events of last year, even as early as the summer, on places like Twitter, people were asking questions about some of the moves happening between the companies that ended up having issues. They just did not know what they were seeing or the right questions to ask. I think that changes going forward. The industry will demand more transparency of significant players, or they will not be significant for long.

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What are you looking forward to most in 2023 for digital assets?

Despite price depression, which holds true across asset classes, I am deeply encouraged by the amount of continued development across the entire digital asset ecosystem. From the growth and adoption of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, to Ethereum’s anticipated upgrades and Shanghai implementation, other layer 1’s like Cardano making significant protocol improvements and building more smart contract capabilities, to the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) space continuing to gain market share of the overall trading volume from centralized exchanges… to me, all of these are signs that the industry isn’t going anywhere. Over the past three years, there have been significant investments in infrastructure making it exponentially easier for new project developers to enter the space. This will give rise to new applications aiming to solve every-day financial friction. I believe we will continue to see incremental movement towards wide-scale adoption of digital finance.

On a macro level, it appears we are starting to see some signs of easing pressure within our economy. The rampant inflation from the past 24 months seems to be subsiding which could lead to, at a minimum, a slowing of rising interest rates. If this proves true, we could see a boon to risk-on assets again, including Bitcoin and other digital assets. We will monitor how the data plays out over the first few months of the year which should be telling for how 2023 will shape up.

Separately, we are hopeful the worst of the contagion impacts within the digital asset ecosystem from 2022 are behind us. Moreover, we are encouraged by the strength and resilience of those still standing. There is a thriving crypto infrastructure ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges, leaving yesterday in the past. We are also a year away from the next Bitcoin halving – that always gives us something to look forward to, while we HODL!

*Cryptocurrencies are very speculative and involve a high degree of risk. See risk disclosures at