Crypto IRA

I have an old IRA that I don’t pay much attention to. I thought about cashing it out but the tax load to do that was too much for me to stomach. So then I thought about investing it in crypto.

But that turns out to be pretty hard.

I think there is an opportunity out there for a crypto brokerage to offer IRAs or an IRA custodian to offer crypto, or both.

Given the tendency for many investors to buy and hold crypto, it would lend itself to a long term investment product like an IRA.

Seems like an opportunity to me.


Comments (Archived):

  1. TheLittleDuke

    Take a look at — they partner with a number of funding portals like ours (htps:// and other providers that may offer what you’re looking for.

  2. David Yakobovitch

    My sister works for a company that has facilitated over $3 billion of alternative asset investments into IRAs and they operate in all 50 states.  A big portion of their growth has been alternative crypto assets.https://www.irafinancialgro

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Do you know what your sister’s or the company’s thoughts are on the structure of crypto-“currencies” having the same structure as Pyramid-Ponzi schemes? I’m curious if they fully understand the risk, assuming these are the kind of alternative structures they’re allocating money into – and also curious how they present that risk to investors.

  3. Brian Thorp

    Rocket Dollar based in Austin, Texas offers access to cryptocurrencies through their self-directed IRA which I personally use and have found to be a great service.

  4. Eric Satz

    Full disclosure: I’m the founder and CEO of AltoIRA. We built our platform for this exact purpose. Also integrated with AngelList, wefunder, sppx, masterworks and with more on the way with republic, Otis, equityzen and others. Mission is to offer access to alternatives in a seamless, cost efficient way for those investing in their retirement.

    1. awaldstein

      super, checking it out as looking for something similar.

      1. Eric Satz

        arnold, lmk how i can help. hope you’ve been well.

    2. pointsnfigures

      how do you get around custody issues?

      1. Eric Satz

        You don’t! We are the custodian. Working on a fully integrated solution that is a closed loop and prevents non-compliant activity.

    3. DJL

      That was fast! I have used self-directed IRAs for years. So many fun ways to make money or lose your butt. Congrats. I will take a look at your platform.

      1. Eric Satz

        super. please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      Could you share your and/or the company’s thoughts on the structure of crypto-“currencies” having the same structure as Pyramid-Ponzi schemes?I’m curious if fully understanding the risk, assuming these are the kind of alternative structures they’re allocating money into – and also curious how you present that risk to investors?

      1. Eric Satz

        Absolutely. We are not a financial advisor. We don’t make recommendations nor do we judge our customers’ investment decisions. Simply put, we facilitate. We help investors invest in the assets they choose to invest in and to do so in compliance with IRS regulations.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Interesting. Do you allow investments in assets other than that what have cyrpto-“currency’ structures?

          1. Eric Satz

            We allow investments in most alternative assets (non-registered securities) allowed by the IRS and which are not otherwise considered prohibited transactions.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            Do you have a list somewhere of what’s considered alternative assets (that you accept and/or in more general), and/or what non-alternative assets are considered to be? Thanks in advance for answering these.

          3. Eric Satz

            My pleasure. You can think of public securities as non-alternatives.

          4. Matt A. Myers

            So are public securities companies that have proven themselves enough to be listed on the stock market vs. not?

    5. TeddyBeingTeddy

      I’ll trade you 10 crypto kitties for 10% pre-money stake in your business. Right now.

    6. jason wright

      Is this purely coincidental, Fred’s post and your startup?

    1. Peter badger

      ha, they wanted 10% fee of the purchase price to buy and hold in custody…this defeats the purpose of Bitcoin – low transaction fees and control of your keys!

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Everyone’s making money selling shovels in these Pyramid-Ponzi schemes – and they’re all promoting and hyping and being disingenuous of the real risk of these global, decentralized Ponzi-Pyramid schemes. It’s quite amazing how powerful a financially incentivized system like this can lead to people collaborating directly and indirectly with each other – it’s unfortunate it’s driven primarily by greed – and ultimately is unnecessary, and competitively will fail. Somehow the very basics of competitive metrics gets ignored in people who are certainly intelligent enough to understand what’s truly going on – everyone seems to be banking on that bad actors and the growing “army of HODLers” will continue to lead to adoption; still ignores the fact that any crypto-“currency” or blockchain structure designed with a Ponzi-Pyramid scheme structure in the end won’t be able to compete with existing systems – nor blockchain systems that won’t unnecessarily transfer wealth weighted towards the earlier adopters.

  5. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Prudent suggestion for those seeking to diversify and investing options. Should the end result motivate temporary pause on what some read was an open solicitation for crypto-IRA.The same reluctance/pause Fred admitted when exploring cashing out his IRA.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENTANT

  6. pointsnfigures

    When you turn 59.5, the tax load will be less. Something to look forward to.

    1. Eric Satz

      Not exactly. Taxes based on income when funds distributed.

      1. pointsnfigures

        big penalties for pulling early though

        1. Eric Satz

          Always penalties for early withdrawal, yes. But can also convert to Roth without penalty.

  7. kevin przybocki

    I use RocketDollar as well and recommend it!

  8. Timothy J. Hosek

    You can do this yourself and save on fees.Have someone setup a Single-Member LLC for you.I paid $750. It can run up to $1500.You will be made the Manger off this LLC.You will now have a State Tax ID Number, Operating Agreement, and Articles of Organization.Choose a custodian.I chose Kingdom Trust and paid a one time setup fee of $25.You just have to pay a yearly custodian fee now.Kingdom Trust is $125 a year.Take the new paperwork and open a business and checking account at your bank of choice.I used a credit union.Complete the Transfer Documents to move your IRA or Roth IRA funds into this new account.*** I highly recommend using ROTH IRA funds. ***Grows tax free and withdraws tax free when you age out.Open an Institutional Account with your exchange of choice.I believe the security is the best at Gemini and Coinbase.Once the funds get transferred to your custodian, you will now transfer them to your business checking account.You will now wire the funds to your exchange of choice.Buy your digital assets of choice.*** I highly recommend Bitcoin. ***

    1. Eric Satz

      Hi Timothy: with this link we do turnkey LLC setup for $199 and then just $99 per year thereafter:…. That said, LLC best for real estate where there are recurring expenses and distributions. A seamless, integrated IRA account with a platform like coinbase will be way easier.

    2. Patrick

      Saying a Roth ‘grows tax-free’ isn’t an accurate representation. You pay tax on money that goes into a Roth, so you are taxed upfront rather than on the back-end.This is compared to other accounts (Traditional IRA and 401ks, mainly) that don’t get taxed upfront, but get taxed upon distribution.It can make sense, but you’re betting that your tax-load will be lower today than in the future (retirement), and that the ‘beneficial’ Roth treatment won’t be changed by law between now and then. If your tax-load will be 25% both today and upon distribution, you are indifferent. (1-0.25)*(contribution)*(growth) = (contribution)*(growth)*(1-0.25).It’s a bet that can make sense for people, but it is both not ‘tax-free’ and is not a bet I make.

  9. Peter badger

    This defeats the purpose of holding Crypto – a custodian relationship would create high transaction fees and you’d lose control of your keys!

    1. Eric Satz

      a proper integration between custodian and crypto platform provides for a closed loop system that enables the ira owner/beneficiary to hold onto the keys if desired.

  10. Eddie Yoon

    Hi All,I opened my SD IRA within the last year (with AltoIRA). I had an opportunity to do an early stage investment in fast growing organic/natural foods company that is ~$10MM in revenue, but basically doubling each year. I got via a friends & family round. I’m self-employed and have a SEP with my investment advisor. I was able to take a big chunk of my 2018 savings into my SEP, transfer it to AltoIRA and invest it into this company.I was really happy with how easy it was and how much the company walked me through it. I wanted to take advantage of my SEP, but wasn’t feeling great about putting it into the same-old equity portfolio my investment advisor has me in given where the market is now.I’ve realized I’m under-allocated into alternatives. I’ve largely ceased investing more incremental dollars into the public markets, and shifting my incremental investments into alternatives.But for my retirement assets, that is where I see the greatest opportunity to diversify more rapidly. I’m looking at some alternative investment platforms now like Yieldstreet, Groundfloor, etc, but I’ve been doing some VC stage investing and I’ll only do it now via Alto.I’ve enjoyed learning about this space and am psyched to continue to learn.Thanks,Eddie

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Could you share thoughts on the structure of crypto-“currencies” having the same structure as Pyramid-Ponzi schemes? I’m curious if you fully understand the risk, assuming these are the kind of alternative structures you’re allocating money into.

      1. Eddie Yoon

        Hey-I’ve not allocated any money to crypto as of yet. In general, I like the alternative debt instruments. Groundfloor is simple to understand as it is real estate and I’ve had a good experience generating 12-14% annual returns for 6-12 month holding periods. Yieldstreet is similar, with a wide array of alternative debt instruments from liquid natural gas, marine finance and litigation finance. I also like Cadence, which provides working capital to businesses at similarly high yields, but with even shorter durations (some as short as a month).Other than that, I will invest in equity in startups in spaces that I know the category and senior management well. But the other play would be to invest in these alternative platforms themselves, when the opportunity presents itself.Thanks!

  11. jason wright

    Has no one come knocking at USV’s door with this proposition?What is I..R..A..?

    1. Rick Mason

      Individual Retirement Account – It’s a savings account with big tax breaks that was originally aimed at self-employed people wanting a way to save for retirement.

      1. jason wright

        Thank you.

  12. manoaboy

    I set up a SD-IRA with AltoIRA with the intention of diversifying my investments within the alternative investments space. AltoIRA enabled me to have a single place to hold the investments with the flexibility of determining what to invest in later. They exceeded expectations at every step – from 1) account setup (fully online), to 2) transfer of funds from E*TRADE to 3) fees to 4) answering questions about my account to 5) flexibility to execute future investments when I encounter them. I hope to use their relationships with a range of platforms as a way to diversify within my AI holdings while maintaining the ability to add other investments I find on my own.I love seeing all of my investments on the dashboard and really value that I can easily see all of my information there. While there is not a lot of activity in my account yet, I anticipate having the account for a long time and having investments move in and out. It’s great to have a view of docs, payment history, etc. all there in the likely event that I need to remember what I’ve invested in.While I don’t have crypto in the account yet, it’s very likely I will in the near future. And if you want to do more than just crypto in your IRA, AltoIRA enables you to do it, maintain the flexibility to invest in other assets and keep you organized all at the same time.

  13. Richard

    Think again, the tax bill is immaterial to your choice. If bitcoin appreciates at the rate you expect, the gains will more than makeup for the principal loss, if bitcoin bombs – the starting value of the IRA makes no difference to the outcome.Sure, there are other expected returns, but their probabilities are much lower.

  14. George Bennett

    I can’t comment on the possibilities or benefits of investing in Crypto- as I’m not a Crypto investor; however, I can speak to the Alto platform. I’ve invested in two deals via Alto over the past six months. One FinTech startup and one healthcare tech Series A deal. The process was easy, largely automated and well worth it. I have invested in several deals using the traditional SDIRA models at typical custodians and the process is convoluted, takes weeks and is so slow I’ve stopped using it.

  15. Mark W. G.

    Very impressed with AltoIRA. I signed up in 2018 and have used the platform to make a Fintech investment. So easy to use and set-up, and the dashboard is a great place to keep track of all your investments. I haven’t used it to purchase crypto assets, but intend to soon. I’ve recommended AltoIRA to several other investors, and they’ve all loved it.

  16. Mike

    If you have a good pricing model for Bitcoin theoretically you could make money on the up or down?https://www.bitcoinmarketjo

  17. Henry Yoshida CFP®

    Fred – thanks for writing this piece. You are right: alignment of the characteristics of IRAs(long time horizon, tax deferral for decades potential, $10 trillion-ish in IRAs currently sitting in stocks/funds) could be a great match for long term believers/holders of crypto. Nice to see a couple of existing Rocket Dollar customers and other IRA users highlighting this for others. – (disclosure)Henry Yoshida, Rocket Dollar CEO.

  18. Nimesh

    I’ve invested in 5+ late-stage private companies using Alto’s self-directed platform. Each investment was seamless. They really focus on delighting their customers; I’m continually amazed at how responsive and helpful they are. I’d highly recommend doing a deal through them.

  19. Bitcoin IRA

    Hi Fred! These responses feel like an advertisement for AltoIRA. Please give us a look as well at or call us at 866-918-7863. We are the largest company in the space with over $350M cryptocurrency IRA investments for our clients, nearly 500 5-star reviews and a unique 24/7 crypto self-trading platform. We’re fast and turnkey. Please reach out — we’d love to have you as a client!