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[Infographic] Cryptocurrency Guide Brought to You by

UPDATE June 11, 2019: Image updated with the latest coin stats and our newest tokens.


If you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrency for your IRA or 401(K) with, you probably want to know more of the specifics about each digital currency we support. That’s why we created this comprehensive cryptocurrency guide, which breaks down the definitions, key characteristics, and price projections for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum Classic.


It’s an exciting time to plan for retirement. Thought leaders in the crypto space are predicting price increases for each of these six currencies by the end of year. To get started with purchasing digital currencies in your IRA or 401(k), contact at (877) 936-7175.

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Ripple Price 2018: Why It’s Projected to Soar

Ripple (XRP) is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange, and remittance network. It has the third-largest market cap of any digital currency, and a passionate base of Twitter followers. Recently, the cryptocurrency partnered with a number of different financial organizations and institutions, including MoneyGram, FDT Corporation, Mercury FX, and Western Union.  According to the Ripple website, the digital currency strives to bring payments out of the disco era and into the present world where “three billion people are connected online, cars drive themselves and appliances can communicate.” But does it live up to all of the hype? Let’s take a closer look.

How Ripple Transactions Work

Ripple connects banks, payment providers, and digital asset exchanges via RippleNet. Unlike Bitcoin, where transactions are verified through a proof of work process that typically takes about 10 minutes, Ripple transactions are confirmed with a consensus protocol that typically takes 5 seconds. If someone tries to submit the same payment through multiple gateways, distributed nodes decide by consensus which transaction was made first, thus preventing the problem of double spend. Furthermore, the transaction fee, at 0.00001 XRP, is much less expensive than that charged by banks processing cross-border payments.

Ripple has two primary products for banks: xCurrent and xRapid. xCurrent, Ripple’s settlement solution for banks, allows the originating bank, the correspondent bank and the beneficiary bank to use a messenger system to coordinate information between banks, while the ILP ledger uses the interledger protocol to coordinate funds movement.

Meanwhile, xRapid uses the XRP asset to offer on-demand liquidity. Describing xRapid’s functionality, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said: “The Bank of Andy can sell $1, buy XRP. That XRP can now be moved to an Argentinian digital asset exchange, you can sell the XRP and buy an Argentinian peso, and now you have good liquid funds in less than 10 seconds in another market.”

With the implementation of xCurrent and xRapid, Ripple is striving to transform global commerce as we know it, and a growing number of partnerships indicate that many organizations and financial institutions are on board.

Ripple’s Growing Partnerships

Over a hundred banks are currently using xCurrent, while five customers are currently testing xRapid. These notable companies and institutions include, but are not limited to: money transfer company MoneyGram, currency specialist Mercury FX, telecom provider IDT, and financial services company Western Union. Western Union CTO Sheri Rhodes expressed enthusiasm about experimenting with Ripple’s technology:  “We have a strong platform and system that work well today, but we continue to explore and test whether these technologies could potentially reduce costs and improve the customer experience,” Rhodes recently said, indicating that the momentum for Ripple as both a currency and a global payments solution seems to only be increasing.

Ripple in Your IRA

As Ripple continues to establish itself as a cryptocurrency and an innovative global payments solution, it can also be viewed as a strategic choice for those looking to diversify their retirement portfolio with cryptocurrencies. XRP increased by more than 1,000 percent since the start of December 2017, and bestselling author Craig Beck predicts that the by the end of 2018, the Ripple price is expected to bisect the $2 hurdle at least. 

Trevor Koverko, the CEO of securities token platform Polymath, recently told Forbes: “People feel comfortable with the name and the security of Ripple. A lot of people are beginning to realize how big of an opportunity there is between business and the blockchain, and that’s making Ripple the early winner here.”

To capitalize on this groundbreaking opportunity to invest in Ripple for your IRA or 401(k) account, give Bitcoin IRA a call today at 877-936-7175.

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Why Blockchain Is Set To Have The Greatest Impact On Banking Over The Next Decade

Innovation Enterprise hosts the Big Data & Analytics for Banking Summit at the Crowne Plaza Times Square on December 7 & 8 in New York. Unite with over 150 data professionals to explore key areas including Cryptocurrencies, Machine Learning and Credit Risk Modelling.

The banking industry is in the midst of a period of dramatic upheaval, driven by technological advances and disruptive innovation, presenting the traditional banking model with fresh challenges on all sides.

Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, is, arguably, set to have the greatest impact on banking over the course of the next decade. In a recent Accenture survey titled ‘Blockchain Technology: How banks are building a real-time global payment network,’ 90% of major US, Canadian, and European banks said that they are currently exploring blockchain technology in the field of payments. And the benefits of Blockchain do not end with payments – asset management, insurance, and compliance are just three other areas where blockchain could have a real impact.

However, many in banking are still at a loss to understand the technology and how they can apply it in their operations, with just 17% of the banks noted in the Accenture report to be at “the forefront of revolution” with solutions that are already in use.

The Big Data & Analytics for Banking Summit will take place at the Crowne Plaza on Times Square in New York this December 7-8, with industry leaders such as Liana Guzman, VP of Marketing & Communications at Blockchain, among the 20+ speakers leading discussion around the latest developments in cryptocurrency, data analytics, and FinTech.

Presenting to more than 150 industry professionals, Liana will look to advance understanding around how banks can adopt Blockchain and other disruptive technologies to gain a competitive edge. She will be joined by decision makers from the likes of Citi, PNC Bank, and AIG, among others.

Anand Balasubramanian, VP of Data Management & Visualization at Goldman Sachs, will also present. Goldman Sachs is another bank that is focusing on Blockchain, having recently filed a patent titled ‘Systems and Methods for Updating a Distributed Ledger Based on Partial Validations of Transactions’, which it is hoped will increase the level of privacy between parties involved in foreign exchange transactions. Balasubramanian will provide a framework that combines design thinking and data visualization to quickly conduct exploratory analysis, gather insights from the data, and build products that reduce time to market and add business value.

Event curator, Meg Rimmer, noted that: “With a nascent technology like Blockchain, early adopters have a massive advantage. We created this summit in order to help attendees understand how new technologies like blockchain and data analytics will change the industry, to help them maintain their positions as market leaders.”

Passes are now extremely limited! Simply add the code LAST200 before this Friday, December 2 in order to secure $200 off. For further information about speakers, the agenda and registration, check out the website.

About Innovation Enterprise:

Innovation Enterprise Ltd, a division of Argyle Executive Forum, is a business-to-business media brand specializing in delivering the most innovative business solutions to executive-level decision makers. Innovation Enterprise produces a range on online and offline content, including, but not limited to, summits, online learning, webinars, and white papers, as well as offering other additional services such as lead generation and bespoke research.

Innovation Enterprise focuses on seven key channels – Finance, Supply Chain, Analytics, Big Data, Strategy, Digital, Innovation & Sports – to ensure that organizations are furnished with all the cutting-edge insights necessary to driving growth in the evolving business environment.

4 Weird But Real Ways To Earn Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is currently more valuable than the U.S. Dollar and the value of the Bitcoin has more upside potential ahead. 1BTC currently costs about $649; hence, you’ll have to do some serious work before you can earn 1BTC. Nonetheless, you don’t have to go through the hard way of mining Bitcoin because mining requires a high upfront cost in terms of equipment. You can however earn little bits here and there and those bits could amount into a decent amount of Bitcoin over time. This article provides insight into 4 weird but real ways through which you can earn Bitcoin.

1. Watch short videos to earn Bitcoin

You can earn a decent (compounded over time) amount of Bitcoin if you don’t mind watching a couple of videos online. It sounds too good to be true because you probably watch a number of cute cat videos on Facebook and Youtube everyday without earning a dime. However, Vidybit is one of the top platforms where you can earn Bitcoin for watching videos. Vidybit says it has an unlimited video selection on multiple channels where you can watch videos to earn Bitcoin all day long.

However, watching videos to earn Bitcoin is serious work and you should be ready to put in long hours. Vidybit currently pays 39 Satoshi for every video you watch. If you have a Xapo account, you can withdraw your earnings without having to meet any minimum payout requirements. However, there’s a minimum payout requirement of 5430 Satoshi if you plan to withdraw your earned Bitcoin into your BTC wallet.

2. Read books to earn Bitcoin

If watching video all day long sounds boring or uninspiring to you, you should consider reading books to earn Bitcoin. If you’ll love the opportunity to read some classics as well as modern books for free, the gig might be a perfect fit for you. Of course, you’ll also get paid in Bitcoin for expanding your mind. Paid Books is one of the top platforms where you can read books online to earn Bitcoin. Paid Books is part of the Bitcoin Aliens family, which commits itself to giving out free Bitcoin.

Paid Books has a wide selection of books raging from classics such as Pride and Prejudice to Children books such as Peter Pan. Paid Books currently pay 400 Satoshi for every 10 minutes you spend reading and you could also win an 800 Satoshi jackpot. You should however note that Paid Books has a 20,000 Satoshi minimum payout; hence, you won’t get paid until you’ve acquired 20,000 Satoshi from reading.

3. Play mobile games to earn Bitcoin

If watching videos or reading books doesn’t sound very exciting, you might find it more enjoyable to play mobile games to earn Bitcoin. A quick online search will yield information about hundreds of mobile games that you can play to earn Bitcoin. If you like Plants VS Zombies, you’ll most likely derive pleasure from playing Oh Crop! To earn Bitcoin. Of course, you should be ready to endure some minutes of seeing video ads interrupt your gaming experience – those video ads are the main reason you’ll get paid.

Other mobile games you can play to earn Bitcoin include Coin Flapper for people who enjoyed playing Flappy Birds. You can also try out BattleCoin if you prefer multiplayer PvP games where you can earn extra Bitcoin by referring new gamers.

4. Solve Captcha to earn Bitcoin

You can also earn Bitcoin by taking the time to solve online Captcha tasks. Solving online captcha to earn Bitcoin is one of the many different Bitcoin faucets available. However, solving captchas have the added benefit of requiring some mindfulness; hence, you can easily earn a decent amount of Bitcoin without getting bored.

When you solve an online captcha, you’ll be rewarded with Satoshis. It should be noted that many of these platforms earn money from the ads placed on their websites. Hence, they’ll pay you fraction of their earnings when you solve captchas or answer some short questions. Some of the notable Bitcoin platforms where you can earn Bitcoin by solving capthcas include Moon Bitcoin, Free Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Zebra.


4 Straightforward Ways to Earn Bitcoin

Bitcoin currently trades for about $649 for 1BTC and for most people; it might be somewhat pricey to buy Bitcoin with USD. Yet, it is important to own Bitcoin because of the impressive upside potential that it offers. However, if you want to own Bitcoin without having to clear out all the funds in your bank account, you can go through the slightly long process of earning Bitcoin.

Nonetheless, you should note that it might take some time before you have a sizeable amount of Bitcoin. If you don’t mind the long process, here are four straightforward ways through which you can earn Bitcoin.

1. Mining Bitcoin

The most traditional way to earn Bitcoin is to become a miner. Miners are saddled with the task of providing computational power needed for the verification process of Bitcoin transactions. Miners are then rewarded with some Bitcoin for their efforts. Mining is the “original” way of getting Bitcoin with an allegory similar to how the miners of old got gold by mining it.

Of course, mining Bitcoin is different from mining gold because you’ll need a powerful computer, superfast Internet connection and a dedicated mining program. It should be noted that it is becoming increasingly harder to mine Bitcoin because of the inbuilt strategies for keeping the supply of Bitcoin in check. More so, miners now earn lesser Bitcoin for their troubles because the Bitcoin reward block has been halved. Yet, mining is a great way to earn Bitcoin and immerse yourself in learning how Bitcoin works.

2. Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool

As mentioned above, mining Bitcoin is becoming increasingly less profitable for the individual miner. However, you can join a mining pool in order to leverage the strength of numbers to your earn more Bitcoin from mining. A mining pool is a mining community in which miners combine their computing power to solve a mining block. The miners in the pool the share the Bitcoin reward equally based on amount of hashing power contributed.

Joining a mining pool is a better way to get involved in mining activities on a small scale without incurring exorbitant upfront costs. Antpoll is currently the biggest mining pool in the world and it controls about 30% of the blockchain hash rate. You might also want to consider Slush Pool, which is the first mining pool in the market. Slush Pool controls a 7% hash rate.

3. Trade Bitcoin for a multiplier effect

If you understand how the financial markets work, you might want to consider earning more Bitcoin by trading. Trading Bitcoin is probably the smartest and fastest way to increase the number of Bitcoin that you own exponentially. Bitcoin currently trades at 1BTC to $649 yet it has traded as low as 1BTC to $11 in 2012. In the last one year, Bitcoin has gained an incredible 109%. In contrast, the S&P 500 has only gained 3.18% within the same period and gold has gained 7.79% in the last one year.

Hence, you’ll be better off trading Bitcoin than trading stocks or gold if you are interested in profiting from upside potential. Nonetheless, you should note that Bitcoin prices are still subject to wild swings and high volatility. You should be ready for a high-risk high-reward scenario if you want to earn more Bitcoin by trading.

4. Accept Bitcoin tips

Another smart way to earn Bitcoin is to collect your tips as Bitcoin. If you work in the service sector where the culture of tipping is acceptable, you can elect to have patrons reward you for your service by getting tipped in Bitcoin. You’ll find it much more easier to get your tips in Bitcoin if you employer already accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment. However, you can still request patrons to tip you in Bitcoin if making such a request doesn’t flout your terms of service.

However, being tipped by Bitcoin is not restricted to people who work in bars, restaurants, and hotels alone. You can also get tipped in Bitcoin if you offer valuable advice on a blog or in an online forum. You can request other users to tip you for your expertise/time in Bitcoin. BCTip is smart way to get tipped in Bitcoin. You may also want to consider Changetip if you’d like to get tipped in Bitcoin for your social media acitivities.

5 Things You should Know about Investing in Bitcoin for Retirement With a Solo 401(k)

Capital preservation is important and you are not likely to have any money left to spend during your retirement if don’t understand the principles of capital preservation. Nonetheless, capital gains ensures that your wealth keeps up with inflation and uncertain economic trends; hence, the goal of the astute investor should not be capital preservation but capital appreciation. Bitcoin is one of the few assets that promises an exponential ROI on a 401(K) plan in sharp contrast to the mutual funds that IRA managers tend to peddle.

Bitcoin is a relatively new asset and naysayers are quick to claim that it has not been time-tested and proven. However, it is important to remind you that in November 2010, the number of Bitcoin mined was about $1,000,000 and $1 was equal to 2BTC. As at February 2011, Bitcoin was on par with the USD and now 1BTC trades around $600. Hence, investors can only expect Bitcoin’s value to increase with time.

If you have a boring 401(K) plan or another IRA account, this article provides insight into five things you need to understand about investing in Bitcoin for retirement.

1. Legality

It is perfectly legal for you to use Bitcoin to fund your 401k retirement plan or to convert the funds in your 401k plan to Bitcoin. One of the many factors that attest to the legality of Bitcoin for 401k plans is that the IRS has determined that Bitcoin is a virtual currency that has “an equivalent value in real currency”.

In fact, the IRS explicitly refers to Bitcoin in its IRS Virtual Currency Guidance: Notice 2014-21. The IRS notes that “Bitcoin can be digitally traded between users and can be purchased for, or exchanged into U.S. dollars, Euros, and other real or virtual currencies”. In essence, the IRS is claiming that the direct convertibility of Bitcoin for real currencies such as USD and Euros qualifies it as a legal tender. In essence, you can choose to fortify your 401K plan with Bitcoin without

2. Duration of investment

The kinds of assets that you’ll naturally want to keep in your IRA are long-term investments that will have enough time to mature and yield full returns. However, many of those long-term assets tend to be conservative investments with low rewards; hence, you are not likely to get to your financial goals in good time. However, having Bitcoin in an IRA plan gives you an opportunity to score the big gains that accompany speculative investments.

Nonetheless, the question” how long should I keep Bitcoin in my IRA?” cannot be answered at the surface level because there’s no one size fits all answer.  For one, people have different risk levels and people do not have the same number of years ahead until retirement. Hence, the duration for keeping Bitcoin in your retirement account can only be made in consultation with a professional financial adviser who will examine your unique position.

3. Cashing out Bitcoin from your retirement account

Irrespective of how much money you have in your retirement account or how much returns you recorded, you’ll eventually need to cash out or liquidate your Bitcoin IRA. Cashing out or liquidating a Bitcoin IRA account is quite easy. You can choose to liquidate your Bitcoin to cash directly from a Bitcoin exchange.

More so, you can choose to take “physical” possession of the Bitcoin and spend it on goods and services in store where Bitcoin is accepted. Microsoft collects Bitcoin payments for apps, games, hardware and software. Dell accepts Bitcoin and you’ll have a 10% discount when you pay with Bitcoin. Newegg, Target, Amazon, Tesla, Expedia, PayPal, and CVS Pharmacy are just few out of the hundred businesses that accept Bitcoin payments.

4. A word or two on taxes

Death and taxes are about two of the most certain things in life and you are not likely to escape either of the two. Hence, investors often try to minimize the taxes they pay on their investments decisions or on capital gains they make when such investments are profitable. Interestingly, you won’t incur any taxes if you rollover your annuity, pension plan, 457(b), 403(b) or 401(K) into Bitcoin. In fact, rolling over most retirement accounts qualifies for a tax-free Bitcoin IRA rollover.

5. Eligibility

You can rollover your 401k into Bitcoin if you are willing to through the quick process of applying for a self-directed IRA. Interestingly, if you have a ROTH IRA, Traditional IRA SIMPLE or SEP account, you can choose to set up a Bitcoin Investment Trust. More so, people with 401K, 403B, and Thrift Savings Plans (TSP) are also can also set up a Bitcoin IRA with their original 401K plans. Some specific type of pension plans and some select annuities are also eligible for a Bitcoin 401K rollover.

A Quick Recap of the Rise and Fall of Major Global Currencies

A review of the history books will tell you about the rise and fall of kingdoms, empires, and civilizations. Celebrated economist and social scientist, Mancur Olson has written extensively on why economies rise and fall in his book; The Rise and Decline of Nations. In the more recent history of the last 100 years, a number of economies have had their glory days and they are now a shadow of their former selves.

Nothing lasts forever and the only constant force that you can count on in the geopolitical landscape is change. That is why kingdoms rise, thrive, and decline. Change is the reason empires rise and fall. Change is the reason governments are loved and hated. Change is the reason economies rise, thrive, stutter, and eventually die. This post seeks to provide a quick recap of the rise and fall of some major global currencies. The article also attempts to provide the discerning investor with information about the next emerging global currency.

Meet the Almighty dollar

The almighty dollar, U.S. Dollar (USD) also known as the Greenback is in no doubt the major currency of the world right now. The USD is regarded as the unofficial world reserve currency by virtue of the fact that it is the currency of the world’s largest economy. In fact, the dollarization of other economies and the use of the U.S. dollar in triangular transactions also attest to the esteemed position of the greenback in the global economic landscape.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that the U.S. dollar is weak and it has already peaked out in its rise as the world’s reserve currency. The importance of the USD in the global economic landscape has started to plateau and it’s only a matter of time before the decline sets in. For one, inflation is eroding the value of the U.S. dollar and savers are finding out that their cash hoards are not keeping up with inflationary trends.

Who could have thought that the Euro won’t dominate the world

When the European Union (EU) was formed by a coalition of countries in Europe in 1993, many people believed that the EU was on track to become the next world superpower. The fact that EU member nations agreed of free trade, unhindered travel among member nations, and a common currency also gave the global investors high hopes for the Euro.

However, 14 years later (the Euro became a legal tender in 2002) the Euro is still yet to live up to expectations as a global reserve currency. In fact, Forex traders believe that the Euro is a slower currency in relation to other currencies such as the Australian Dollar. The fact that the EU is made of a coalition of strong and weak economies (Greece and Cyprus among others) also makes it hard for the Euro to live up to expectations.

The Yuan can’t seem to fly high enough


The Chinese Yuan is another major currency that has the potential to become a global currency but it hasn’t lived up to expectations.  On October 1 2016, the Chinese Yuan was accepted into IMF’s Special Drawing Right Basket as one of the five global reserve currencies. The Yuan now has the third-largest weighting at 10.92% behind the Euro (30.93%) and the U.S. Dollar (41.73%).

Nonetheless, the Chinese economy is no longer as healthy as it used to be and the future of the Yuan as a world reserve currency is uncertain.  More so, not many people use the Yuan as means of exchange in the global markets. In fact, many international buyers who want to do buy stuff from China often change their home currencies to the U.S. instead of using the Yuan directly to facilitate the trade. The IMF notes that the total Chinese exports and imports is valued at $4.0T but the Yuan is only used 1.8% of the time.

Bitcoin is the new gold

Gold used to the unofficial world reserve currency because of the factors that make it a better alternative to fiat currencies. Gold is a store of wealth and its value tends to increase in times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty. Hence, many investors often seek refuge and stability in the tallow metal.

However, gold is gradually losing its shine as governments and monetary policymakers make tacit moves to undermine the appeal of the bullion. In the last one year, the price of gold is up 12.97% but its price is down 20.99% in the last five years.

However, investors don’t need to be stuck with a feeling of helplessness in finding trustworthy world reserve currencies. Bitcoin is set to become the new gold because of its decentralized nature and the fact that no government or financial institution can control or influence the Bitcoin network.

Self Directed Bitcoin IRA and Its Benefits

Self Directed Bitcoin IRA and Its Benefits

Owning a self directed IRA, very simply put, means that you get to decide how you invest your money. Most experts agree that this is the best type of IRA to choose if you want to invest in the popular new digital currency, Bitcoin. But what is a self directed Bitcoin IRA, how does it work and what are its benefits?

What Is a Self Directed Bitcoin IRA?

“A self-directed IRA is an individual retirement account with its investments under the complete control of the investor. These types of accounts hold the same types of limitations when it comes to the amount of deposit per year and the withdrawal of funds”.

What Can You Invest In?

Bitcoin IRA Partners with Kingdom Trust and BitGo to provide a Bitcoin IRA

Although this type of IRA is self directed, which means you control what you invest in, there are some limitations that you have to understand. This is because the Internal Revenue Service has some pretty strict rules in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable.

“In order to invest in digital currency via a Bitcoin IRA, the user should ensure that their asset meets the fitness requirements set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The regulations pertaining to investing in Bitcoin can be found on the IRS Virtual Currency Guidance page.”

If you do not meet these regulations, then you will have to pay certain taxes over your investment. Bitcoin is acceptable digital currency. In addition, there are regulations on how the bitcoin is stored and what access a user has to it. As such, as liberal as a self directed Bitcoin IRA may seem, it is actually quite restrictive.

However, Bitcoin IRA has partnered with BitGo and Kingdom Trust and have been able to create the first Bitcoin IRA in America which follows the correct IRS rules themselves, which means you don’t have to worry too much about buying the wrong thing. Always try to rollover with the most trusted and reputable company, like Bitcoin IRA. They have teamed up with BitGo for extra security.

You Can Have Great Benefits

There are many different benefits of choosing a Bitcoin IRA.

“You can diversify your traditional IRA or Roth IRA by placing bitcoin in it. More importantly, you may transfer your existing IRA to a qualified Bitcoin IRA without incurring taxes or penalties. If your 401K plan permits it, you can even place Bitcoin in it.”

Having a balanced and diverse portfolio is key to having a successful investment. However, the self directed Bitcoin IRA takes that one step further. After all, you can have a diverse portfolio by investing in stocks, gold and bonds as well. What makes Bitcoin different is that you can cash out your investment at the end of your term and decide whether you want that in actual money, or in Bitcoin itself. If you opt for physical posession, you can choose to hold your Bitcoin and sell it at a later stage, when it is perhaps worth more. This means that these types of IRAs are far more flexible than any other kind. Also, Bitcoin IRAs have tax benefits.

How to Set It Up

In order to set up a self directed Bitcoin IRA, you first must find a broker that allows for these types of constructions. Bitcoin IRA is one the few for you to choose from, but do take the time to review all the various pros and cons of each plan. Many of these companies also allow you to roll over your existing IRA or 401(k), so if this is something you are considering, you can narrow down your options. Make sure to do your research and consult with a financial adviser before making any decision.

Request our FREE Bitcoin Guide Today.

Edmund Moy

Analysis: Should You Get a Bitcoin IRA?

Analysis: Should You Get a Bitcoin IRA?

Imagine turning your retirement nest egg to Bitcoin. By adding a Bitcoin IRA to their investment portfolio, that’s what many people are doing, literally. The rise of Bitcoin to its current price of $668, sitting at close to 2016 highs, had many people taking a serious look at the popular digital currency. But is this the right move for you?

A Bitcoin IRA is a type of IRA that allows the investor to own Bitcoin, instead of paper-based assets such as cash, stocks and bonds. It is similar to the Gold IRA that was created by Congress in 1997, says Edmund C. Moy, chief strategist for Bitcoin IRA and former United States Mint director, who oversaw the largest production of gold and silver coins in the world.

Bitcoin IRA

To qualify as Bitcoin that can be held in an IRA, certain criteria are required. “The Bitcoin must be held by the IRA trustee instead of the IRA owner. The Bitcoin must be stored in an IRS-approved depository,” says Moy. Mainstream investors don’t want to actually store Bitcoin themselves, as security is quite complex.

“All other rules about IRA contributions, disbursements and taxes apply,” Moy adds.

Why Bitcoin?

Bitcoin IRAs appeal to investors who want a diversified retirement portfolio.

Traditional and Roth IRAs invested in stocks or mutual funds are vulnerable to inflation. “Because Bitcoin prices generally move in the opposite direction of paper assets, adding a Bitcoin IRA to a retirement portfolio provides an insurance policy against inflation,” says Moy. “This balanced approach smooths out risk, especially over the long term, which makes it a smart choice for retirement investments like IRAs.”

A Growing Trend

Moy says there is going to be a bit of a learning curve towards Bitcoin IRAs because they involve a very complicated transaction that only the most persistent investor was willing to pursue. “You must find a trustee or custodian for the IRA along with an approved depository. Then, you need to buy the approved Bitcoin and have it transferred to the depository in a way the custodian can account for it,” he explains.

Because of the financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting Great Recession, Bitcoin IRAs are starting to become significantly more popular. BitGo, a leading Bitcoin wallet provider and experts in security have partnered with Bitcoin IRA to simplify the transaction have made investing in a Bitcoin IRA a one-stop shop for a Bitcoin IRA. Result: robust Bitcoin IRA growth.

Then, of course, there’s the impact of economic and world news. “Strong interest in Bitcoin IRAs has continued because of the potential inflationary impact of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus programs and a sharp increase in geopolitical risk,” says Moy.

Finding a Reliable Broker/Custodian

To put IRA funds into Bitcoin, you have to establish a self-directed IRA, a kind of IRA that the investor manages and can be invested in a wider range of products than other types. For a Bitcoin IRA you need a broker (to buy the Bitcoin) and a custodian to create and administer the account. This company will store or hold your actual Bitcoin, says Chris Kline, Chief Operating Officer of Bitcoin IRA, headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California.

Custodians are usually banks, trust companies, credit unions, brokerage firms or savings and loan associations that have been approved by Federal and/or state agencies to provide asset-custody services to individual investors and financial advisors.

Bitcoin’s Special Risks

All investments come with risks and rewards, Bitcoin IRAs included. “In many ways, Bitcoin IRAs have the same risks that any investment has,” says Moy. “The price of Bitcoin can go up or down and have volatility. No one can accurately predict its future.”

But despite the risk, Moy says there is a reason to invest some of your retirement funds in Bitcoin. “Bitcoin may have a short historical track record of being a store of value, but its innovative algorithm and decentralized nature makes it a great asset to hold in any portfolio. Stocks can go to zero as we’ve seen with Lehman Brothers, bonds can default like in Argentina or get big haircuts like in Greece. The value of the dollar has steadily gone down” says Moy.

But there are also some risks specific to investing in physical Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is subject to security risks associated with the private and public keys that control and store it. Those with little experience in Bitcoin should either use a company that stores Bitcoin using the latest multi-sig security or spend the time to learn about security. However, to qualify for Bitcoin IRAs, depositories are required to be insured, which would protect your investment as long as your account doesn’t exceed the custodian’s stated value.

The Bottom Line


Bitcoin IRAs are normally defined as “alternative investments,” which means they are not traded on a public exchange and require special expertise to value. While Bitcoin has the potential of a high return, it’s easy to be blinded by its recent growth in price. Bitcoin can be volatile.

If you’re considering a Bitcoin IRA, consult a Bitcoin IRA advisor to determine how Bitcoin would fit with the overall goals of your portfolio. And request a free Bitcoin IRA Rollover Guide for more information.