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Alto Crypto IRA Review 2024: What 1K+ Reviews Tell Us

Alto Crypto IRA is a leading self-directed Bitcoin and Crypto IRA platform that lets investors trade cryptocurrencies within their retirement account. But how does it stack against Swan IRA? Let’s find out!

Nov 23, 2023November 23, 202312 min read12 minutes read
Swan Bitcoin IRA

Swan Bitcoin IRA

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In this comprehensive Alto Crypto IRA review, we will take a closer look at the following key highlights:

We will also compare the competitive benefits of Bitcoin-only options compared to broader crypto IRAs, providing you with the confidence to make informed investment decisions.

What is Alto Crypto?

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Alto Crypto launched in 2018 simplifying the self-directed IRA process by allowing individuals to utilize their tax-advantaged retirement funds for investments in alternative cryptocurrency assets.

Today, Alto Crypto IRA serves almost 30,000 customers and is available to all eligible US-based investors, excluding Hawaii. 

Their platform provides access to 200 cryptocurrencies that can be included in your tax-advantaged retirement portfolio. Alto accommodates various retirement account types, encompassing Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs and 401(k)s tailored for small business proprietors.

FYI: Recently, the SEC filed lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase. In the suit, the SEC names at least (67) alternative cryptocurrencies it believes are unregistered securities— (19) of these tokens are included in Alto’s Crypto IRA products.

In contrast to conventional IRAs, which typically revolve around stocks, bonds, and traditional assets, a Bitcoin IRA allows investors to diversify their portfolios by allocating a portion of their retirement funds into Bitcoin and other diverse digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, and altcoins, thereby serving as a tax-saving avenue.

Who is Alto Crypto IRAs Target Customer Base?

Alto Crypto IRA is designed for investors interested in allocating funds across a broad spectrum of alternative cryptocurrencies. This platform is most suitable for individuals with a greater appetite for risk, those comfortable with higher associated fees, and those experienced in managing self-directed retirement accounts involving products they may have limited familiarity with.

Advantages of Alto Crypto IRA

  1. Tax Benefits: Alto Crypto offers tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such as Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, allowing you to potentially grow your investments tax-free or tax-deferred.

  2. Diversification: Investors can diversify their retirement portfolio by including alternative cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. 

  3. 24/7 Trading: Alto Crypto IRA provides access to 24/7 trading for cryptocurrencies, which can benefit investors who want to take advantage of price fluctuations at any time.

  4. Easy to Use: The platform is user-friendly, making it accessible for experienced and novice investors.

Disadvantages of Alto Crypto IRA

  1. Market Volatility: Cryptocurrencies are known for their price volatility, which can lead to significant gains or losses. Investors need to be aware of the risks associated with these assets.

  2. Regulatory Changes: The regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies is evolving, and changes in regulations could impact the way Alto IRA operates and the assets it offers.

  3. Limited Options: The platform does not support opening a solo 401k or SIMPLE IRA option. Some Alto Crypto IRA offerings are only available to accredited investors (those with a net worth of at least $1 million or annual salary of $200,000, or $300,000 for couples) and non-accredited investors). Alto Crypto IRA doesn’t accept Hawaii residents at this time.

  4. Educational Resources: Alto Crypto IRA doesn’t offer dedicated educational material, content and resources to help users stay informed.

Alto Crypto IRA Fees

Alto Crypto Starter Plan

With Pro, investors can invest in opportunities outside their existing investment partners, and get access to everything available in the Starter Plan, too. 

Alto Crypto Pro Plan

Alto Crypto’s IRA fee structure appears competitive initially, especially with its no-custody fee policy. However, investors should carefully weigh the monthly or annual account fees, which can significantly increase over time. The Pro Plan offers more investment options but comes at a higher cost.

Alto Crypto IRA Accounts

Alto Crypto IRA vs. Swan Bitcoin IRA 

Swan Bitcoin stands out for its:

Swan Bitcoin scores an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars. Alto Crypto IRA comes in just a notch lower at 4.4 out of 1,190 reviews.

However, Alto Crypto scores a dismal 1 out of 5 stars with the Better Business Bureau.

Fees Comparison

Swan Bitcoin offers free withdrawals and is one of the only providers with this feature. Considering that an IRA is a long-term financial product designed for decades, it is crucial to evaluate its features beyond just its fees.

Educational Content Comparison

Swan has an ecosystem packed with high quality information and provides great resources:

Each provides some of the best insight and content from industry leaders about why Bitcoin is the ultimate asset for your IRA.

Alto Crypto does have a blog, but has not made a new post since December 22nd, 2022. They provide very little education on its website or social media accounts for its customer base. Its YouTube channel only has 130 subscribers with 32 uploads.

Their last upload happening over a year ago.

Alto Crypto has a research section but is limited to only one 17-page PDF report titled Alto’s 2022 Alternative Investing Report: Alto How Millennials See Their Financial Future.

Swan’s YouTube channel has 62,400 subscribers and provides new uploads daily — with +1,200 uploads.

Social Media Presence

Alto’s Crypto Twitter page only has 3,980 followers, despite having an account since 2018. Although they tweet regularly — most of their posts only usually receive a small handful of likes with next to no engagement or re-tweets.

Swan has multiple Twitter handles. All of them experience a much higher engagement rate than Alto Crypto and have a focused approach. The Swan Client Services account has 94,000 followers and the general Swan account has more than 15,000 followers.

Compliance and Risk Focus

Swan prioritizes minimizing potential risks associated with investing in and holding Bitcoin in a legal trust in your name, expertly handling regulatory and compliance concerns concerning your IRA.

Tailored for Bitcoin

With Swan IRA, you embrace a Bitcoin-only strategy, avoiding exposure to volatile altcoin securities as seen with Alto. Alternative cryptocurrencies always carry significant regulatory and counterparty risks, exemplified by recent SEC actions.

No Promotion of Altcoins

Unlike Alto Crypto IRA and many other providers, Swan does not promote alternative cryptocurrencies to encourage excessive trading activity and fees. 

While trading altcoins in your IRA tax-free is possible, it’s crucial to recognize that the primary beneficiary of such trading, in the long run, is likely the IRA provider. Swan’s focus on Bitcoin and its dedication to best practices make it a compelling choice for investors seeking a secure and straightforward Bitcoin-centric IRA option.

Helpful Support

Swan’s team of Bitcoin experts is readily available, responsive, and enthusiastic about discussing everything related to Bitcoin.

Market Comparison

Alto Crypto IRA offers a selection of 200 alternative cryptocurrencies, presenting a diversification strategy that may seem appealing but carries inherent risks including:

  • Market volatility

  • Regulatory and legal challenges

  • Security and fraud vulnerabilities

  • Tax implications 

When considering your retirement, the primary objective should be preserving and growing your wealth over the long term. Treating your retirement portfolio like a trading account, constantly chasing crypto market trends, is a recipe for disaster. 

Swan encourages customers to use a low-time preference mindset of dollar-cost-averaging and smash buying the significant correction periods instead of trading. 

Compliance Comparison

Investing in the alternative cryptocurrencies offered by Alto Crypto IRA carries significant regulatory risks. Opting for such a strategy could put your retirement funds at the mercy of regulatory actions and potential legal consequences in the coming years.

This adversely affects the platforms that offer altcoins and may result in the forced liquidation of assets the investor holds.

Swan maintains transparency regarding Bitcoin’s risks, compliance, and regulations. Instead of making false promises, we provide valuable support to help you navigate the complexities of IRAs and secure your Bitcoin by keeping them in custody.

All Swan platform security measures are tailored specifically for Bitcoin, allowing you to focus on growing this asset class without the hassle of managing multiple cryptocurrencies simultaneously. We aim to empower you with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed decisions when managing your Bitcoin investments within the framework of IRAs.

Important Considerations When Selecting an IRA Provider

Bitcoin presents itself as a typical investment, with numerous advantages and promising growth potential, which may lead to an increasing number of companies offering Bitcoin IRA or crypto IRA products in the future.

Before making any investment, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and prioritize the protection of your savings while positioning yourself for long-term price appreciation in the secure asset that Bitcoin offers. Mixing your Bitcoin portfolio with unregistered securities and altcoins can be highly risky, making it prudent to consider opting for a “Bitcoin-only” approach when choosing an IRA provider. 

Additionally, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the fees associated with the investment and how they might impact your long-term retirement objectives.

Alto Crypto IRA FAQs — What to Know Before You Invest

Who Owns Alto Crypto IRA

How Does Alto Crypto IRA Work?

The platform offers a self-directed IRA, enabling investors to integrate digital assets into their retirement portfolios. 

Can I Invest My 401(k) in Bitcoin?

You have the option to initiate a new account with Alto Crypto IRA or transfer funds from an existing IRA or retirement account, like a 401(k), and allocate those funds to various cryptocurrencies.

What are some Alto Crypto IRA Alternatives?

Swan Bitcoin, Unchained, iTrustCapital, BitcoinIRA and Broad Financial.

What are the Investment Limits for Alto Crypto IRA?

There are no maximum investment limits.

Is Alto Crypto IRA Tax-Exempt?

The funds and assets within your account remain tax-free as long as they stay within the IRA.

Advantages of Option for a Bitcoin-only IRA Platform vs. a Crypto IRA

Simplicity and Focus

Bitcoin-only platforms provide a straightforward user experience, directing all their resources towards Bitcoin-related services. If your sole interest lies in investing in Bitcoin, a streamlined platform that avoids the complexities of managing multiple cryptocurrencies is the ideal choice for you.

Specialized Expertise

Platforms like Swan Bitcoin possess in-depth knowledge of Bitcoin’s technology, market dynamics, and trends. This specialized expertise allows them to offer tailored advice, research, and support exclusively focused on Bitcoin investments.

Enhanced Security

Bitcoin-only platforms prioritize and optimize security measures specifically designed for Bitcoin. This may include robust encryption, multi-signature wallets, cold storage solutions, and other security practices to safeguard Bitcoin holdings.

Access to Specific Bitcoin Features

These platforms grant access to unique features or services exclusive to Bitcoin. For instance, opportunities like Bitcoin lending, staking, or other specialized investment options are unavailable on broader platforms.

Lower Fees

Bitcoin-only platforms often come with lower fees than broader platforms that support multiple cryptocurrencies. This cost-effectiveness can be advantageous for investors seeking to maximize their returns.

By choosing a Bitcoin-only IRA platform, you can capitalize on the platform’s expertise and tailored services while focusing solely on your Bitcoin investments in a secure and cost-efficient manner. You can also avoid the complex jargon and hidden fees of Crypto IRAs.

Alto Crypto IRA imposes an initial setup fee of $250 and an annual maintenance charge of $360. 

Transaction fees are associated with purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies, with the precise amounts varying based on the specific cryptocurrency being traded. Alto Crypto charges a $25 outbound wire transfer fee. 

What Are the Risks of Alto Crypto IRA?

The Alto Crypto IRA product carries several unique risks, including: 

  • Market Volatility

  • Regulatory and Legal Challenges and Uncertainty

  • Security and Fraud Risks

  • Tax Implications

Before investing in a Bitcoin or crypto IRA, you should speak with a financial advisor and carefully review the terms and conditions of any financial institution you wish to work with.

Which is Right For You?

Before investing, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and take measures to safeguard your funds while positioning yourself to benefit from the long-term appreciation in the value of a secure asset like Bitcoin. Including unregistered securities and alternative cryptocurrencies in your Bitcoin portfolio carries an exceedingly high risk.

Therefore, it’s wise to contemplate adopting a “Bitcoin-only” approach when selecting an IRA provider. Moreover, it’s essential to comprehend the associated fees and how these expenses will impact your overarching retirement objectives.

To gain a deeper understanding of Swan IRA and its capacity to assist you in attaining your retirement aspirations while optimizing your savings. For additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at

If you found this comparison helpful but have additional questions, check out our guide that breaks down the most popular Bitcoin and Crypto IRAs of 2023 and shows you how to pick the best one for your goals and situation.



Drew is a Research Analyst for Swan Bitcoin. He is dedicated to helping onboard the next 10 million Bitcoiners.

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