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3 Best Bitcoin IRAs to Buy in 2024 w/ Trustpilot Ratings

Bitcoin halving is done, it’s time to invest in Bitcoin IRAs. We share the top 3 Bitcoin-only IRAs TrustPilot ratings, customer reviews and fine print to consider as of June 20th, 2024.

Matt Ruby
Matt Ruby
Jun 18, 2024June 18, 202416 min read16 minutes read

Bitcoin IRAs allow you to invest in Bitcoin using retirement savings without purchasing or holding Bitcoin assets. You get the benefits of a Roth/traditional IRA account but with the upside of Bitcoin. 

Crypto IRAs typically allow you to invest in different altcoins (non-Bitcoin) as part of your retirement savings strategy. This is risky since these digital assets are often funded through presale token agreements, which can have hazy legal definitions.

There are plenty of cryptocurrency IRAs, but only a handful of “Bitcoin-only” IRAs (i.e., accounts in which you can invest exclusively in BTC). Bitcoin-only IRAs provide Bitcoin stability and growth potential without the added risks associated with cryptocurrency altcoins.

In this article, we share the top 3 Bitcoin-only IRAs for investors as of June 18th, 2024, along with their Trustpilot ratings, customer reviews, and all the fine print details you need to know.

Ready? Let’s roll…

Top 3 Bitcoin IRAs for 2024

Finding a Bitcoin-only IRA that purely invests in Bitcoin is actually pretty hard. Most IRAs try to market other risky altcoins to you and allow you to invest in many different cryptocurrencies. 

Below are our top picks for Bitcoin-only IRAs to consider this summer. Feel free to use the jump links below to jump to the specific Bitcoin-only IRA:

  1. Swan Bitcoin  — TrustPilot Rating: 4.5 / 5

  2. Unchained Capital — TrustPilot Rating: 3.2 / 5

  3. River Financial — No Ratings on Trustpilot yet

Investing in Bitcoin-only IRAs provides Bitcoin stability and growth potential without the added risks associated with altcoins. By focusing on Bitcoin, investors can enjoy the benefits of a traditional IRA while leveraging the unique advantages of the leading cryptocurrency.

In this article, we review the top 3 Bitcoin IRAs for investors in 2024 after the Bitcoin Halving (i.e., when the number of new Bitcoins issued (rewarded) is cut in half).

What is a Bitcoin IRA?

A Bitcoin IRA is a type of self-directed IRA designed to hold cryptocurrency.

Forbes“Self-directed IRAs let you invest in alternative assets like cryptocurrency, real estate, precious metals, and collectibles, all of which are excluded from conventional IRAs. The Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA), a self-directed IRA industry group, estimates that 3% to 5% of all IRAs are invested in alternative assets.”

Like their “regular” counterparts, Bitcoin IRAs come in both traditional and Roth flavors. You can defer taxes on your contributions until you withdraw or contribute after-tax dollars to a Roth account and enjoy tax-free growth.

Reasons to Invest in a Bitcoin IRA

ROI: Bitcoin’s robust performance is key. Yes, it can be volatile, but it has also been the best-performing asset class for eight out of the past eleven years.

Bitcoin’s historical returns for various holding periods (as of the start of 2024):

  • 1 year: 156.62% return

  • 3 years: 50.00% return

  • 5 years: 999.77% return

  • 7 years: 5,147.10% return

  • 10 years: 6,172.12% return

Diversification: Investing in Bitcoin for retirement can yield greater investment returns and provide diversification. 

Tax benefits: Plus, you can take advantage of the tax benefits that make conventional IRAs and 401(k)s popular vehicles.

Reasons Not to Invest in a Bitcoin IRA

Volatility: These IRAs can also introduce risk to your retirement portfolio due to Bitcoin’s volatility. However, Bitcoin’s volatility could also be seen as a solid reason to keep these assets within an IRA. Since early withdrawals from IRAs are subject to a penalty, investors are likelier to HODL for the long haul, regardless of price volatility.

Fees: Setting up an account costs money. Be aware of the fees (e.g., setup, transaction, custodial, etc.) you’re being charged. Platforms aren’t always transparent, so do your research. 

Market shifts: You should pay attention to the market as a whole, future Bitcoin regulatory developments, and any other news that might affect your IRA moving forward. 

Alright, let’s get into the top 3 Bitcoin-only IRAs…

Swan Bitcoin (4.5/5 Trustpilot Rating)

Swan Bitcoin is a leading Bitcoin-only IRA provider, founded in 2019 and based in Los Angeles, California. The platform is designed to simplify investing in Bitcoin for long-term retirement savings, making it accessible even to those new to cryptocurrency.

Swan Bitcoin Pros

  • Bitcoin Focus: Exclusively supports Bitcoin, reducing complexity and focusing on what many consider the most reliable cryptocurrency.

  • Easy Setup: Streamlined onboarding process that can be completed in just one business day.

  • No Minimum Balance: Allows investors to start with any amount, making it accessible to a wide range of investors.

  • Tax Advantages: Bitcoin IRAs held in regulated trust accounts offer tax advantages, potentially increasing the long-term benefits.

  • High Ratings: Strong ratings across Trustpilot and mobile app platforms indicate high customer satisfaction.

Swan Bitcoin Cons

  • Limited Investment Options: Only offers Bitcoin, which might not appeal to those looking to diversify with other cryptocurrencies.

  • Geographical Availability: While available in all 50 U.S. states, international customers must contact Swan directly, which may complicate access for some.

Fees

  • Trading Fees: 0.99% for buy and sell transactions, charged directly from IRA funds.

  • Zero Fees Next $10k: Enjoy zero fees on your first $10,000 of Bitcoin buys (or your next $10,000 for existing clients). No time limit applies to single buys, recurring buys, and IRA buys.

  • Other Fees: No hidden fees; all management fees are transparently calculated and disclosed.

Custody Provider

  • Provider: BitGo Trust Company, a well-regarded U.S.-chartered trust that enhances security and compliance.

Customer Ratings

Account Minimum: No minimum balance requirements
Investment Options: Bitcoin-only
Fees: 0.99% funded from IRA funds
Custody Provider: BitGo Trust Company
Trustpilot Rating: 4.5 / 5 from 1,093 reviews
Apple App Store: 4.8 / 5 from +1.3k reviews
Google Play Store: 4.1 / 5 from 571 reviews, +50,000 downloads

Recent Developments

  • Swan Vault: This newly launched service offers self-custody solutions with features like secure key backup and inheritance planning, tailored for high-net-worth individuals.

  • Swan Mining April ReportThe Current State of Bitcoin MiningFree Download.

Customer Comments

  • Customer: “The best company for buying Bitcoin. Support is great.”

  • Customer: “Hard to say what I love most about Swan, is it the easy to set up dca? The automatic withdrawal to my hardware wallet? Or the easiest way to give the gift of bitcoin to a family member? All of this and a support team that has your back should you have a question.”

  • Customer: “These guys are top-notch. Passionate. Caring. Smart, Effective. I trust them wholeheartedly with my investments.”

  • Customer: “Swan has been the most reliable way to buy bitcoin over the years, and their bitcoin-only mission puts them in a category of their own. They always exceed my expectations, and the app experience is no different! Swan is the only exchange I feel comfortable recommending to friends and family.”

  • Customer: “Everyone at Swan is so helpful! Whenever I have a question, I can be sure that they will respond to my emails promptly and personably. They are always working to educate everyone more about bitcoin and make it easier to purchase it and take self-custody.”

Unchained Capital (3.2/5 Trustpilot Rating)

Unchained is a Bitcoin-native financial services company offering collaborative custody multi-signature vaults and loans for Bitcoin holders.

Pros of Unchained Capital

  • Secure Investments: Offers a Bitcoin-only IRA with investments secured through a multi-signature cold storage vault.

  • Expert Custody: Employs a collaborative custody model, enhancing security by distributing control over Bitcoin holdings.

  • Specialized Service: Focuses exclusively on Bitcoin, avoiding complications from other cryptocurrencies.

  • Educational Resources: Provides educational materials on Bitcoin and its technological foundations.

Cons of Unchained Capital

  • Limited Options: Only supports Bitcoin, which is not suitable for those looking to invest in other cryptocurrencies.

  • Higher Fees: Charges a 0.5% fee plus a $995 setup fee, which might be higher than some competitors. Pricing and Fees

  • Setup Time: Account setup may take up to five business days, which is slower than other services.

Fees

  • Unchained IRA accounts have setup and yearly fees. These fees cover the maintenance and servicing required for these accounts and are charged when you initially set up the account.

  • IRA setup fee: $745

  • Annual IRA account fee: $250/year

  • Bitcoin conversion fee

Customer Insights from Trustpilot

Account Minimum: $6,000
Investment Options: Bitcoin-only
Fees: 0.5%, plus a $995 setup fee
Custody Provider: Solera National Bank
Trustpilot Rating: 3.2 / 5 from 2 reviews
Apple App Store: None
Google Play Store: None

  • Feedback: Customers appreciate the security features but may find the service limited to Bitcoin restrictive.

Unique Solutions Offered by Unchained Capital

  • Provides a highly secure, Bitcoin-only IRA, using advanced security measures like collaborative custody and multi-signature cold storage. It caters to clients who prioritize Bitcoin security in their retirement planning.

Service Expansion

Customer Comments

  • Customer“Great company, I’ve been a customer since 2021. Though they offer a free service, I opted for concierge onboarding and also opted for their inheritance option. I also plan to move my tradition and Roth IRAs to Unchained in the near future.”

  • Customer“Included photo identification as requested (California DL) only to be told they couldn’t use state ID.” 

  • Customer“I got approved for a loan very fast.”

  • Customer“Unchained has been the best bitcoin company in the industry. Now they have the best app! If you’re looking for the world-class products and support, Unchained is for you.”

  • Customer“Very clean app — meticulously designed for the cleanest UX to track your portfolio, view products, deposit, and trade on the go. Buying directly to cold storage from a mobile app is surreal.”

River Financial (No Trustpilot Rating)

River Financial is a Bitcoin-only financial institution catering to the needs of long-term investors.

Pros of River Capital

  • 100% full reserve custody: All assets on River are held 1:1. River doesn’t use or lend your Bitcoin.

  • Multisig cold storage: Clients' Bitcoin is kept offline in cold storage and requires multiple signatures (multisig) to identify and authorize a transaction.

  • Licensed and regulated in the U.S: River complies with all state and federal regulations. 

  • Customer service: An experienced Client Services team is available.

Cons of River Capital

  • Some customers report having their accounts suddenly canceled.

  • Reports of delays in withdrawing funds.

  • Service is only available to clients residing in the United States

  • Doesn’t promote active trading

  • Minimal online reviews available (and none on Trustpilot)

Fees

  • Fee considerations mentioned by River: “Adding Bitcoin to your retirement account carries fee obligations that are different from fees associated with brokerages or exchanges. Depending on the IRA provider, initial set-up fees can cost thousands of dollars. There are also recurring custody and management fees, as well as fees charged by the custodian’s trading partner any time you buy or sell Bitcoin in your IRA. Custodians often justify higher fees when including Bitcoin in a retirement portfolio because they are taking on added risk and have additional reporting requirements.”

Customer Insights

Unique Solutions Offered by River Capital

  • Offers traditional banking products like joint accounts, IRAs, tax-advantaged accounts, etc.

  • River accounts use mandatory multi-factor authentication (TOTP or SMS), and passwords are bcrypt hashed with a work factor of 14.

  • No third parties: River’s custody systems were built from the ground up to maximize security and minimize dependence on third parties.

  • Bitcoin keys are stored in multi-sig cold storage in geographically dispersed locations.

Customer comments

  • Customer“They charged me astronomical fees, and I tell them I want to pull my money and then they decide to freeze my funds for 60 days with no explanation! Deceptive and wrong.”

  • Customer“The focus on Bitcoin is fantastic. I really couldn’t recommend this highly enough to any and all Bitcoin investors looking for a reliable, secure, and easy to use place to buy and store their coins.”

  • Customer“A week later i was told they were canceling my account & blocked me getting into my account with NO EXPLANATION.”

  • Customer“They’ve done a great job at making DCA’ing into bitcoin very easy. There is no fee after 1 week of a reccurring order, which is nice. However, you’re limited to 3 reccurring orders at a time, which is kinda annoying.”

  • Customer“I was assured by customer support agent Christian that I would know in two days when I would receive the money. It is now two days later and I have heard nothing.”

  • Customer“Simple interface and setup. Latest update now includes send & receive! Support is quick to respond, even if the issue is minor.”

The Potential of Bitcoin in 2024

The 2024 halving is likely to have a positive impact on Bitcoin for the rest of the year. Halvings reduce the number of new Bitcoins introduced — as a result, demand for new Bitcoins generally increases. That’s why Bitcoin’s price has generally risen after each previous halving event. 

Interest in Bitcoin among institutional investors is also on the rise in 2024. Hedge funds, asset management firms, and endowments are finding it to be an effective portfolio diversifier and hedge against inflation. 

The launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs has also been a huge boon to Bitcoin. You can learn more about Bitcoin ETF fees here.

Also, more merchants and businesses are accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Meanwhile, more infrastructure is being built to make Bitcoin convenient for the average person to use (e.g., user-friendly wallets, exchanges, etc.). All this bodes well for Bitcoin in 2024.

U.S. Pension Fund Exposure

Factors to Consider Before Investing in a Bitcoin IRA

Investors should evaluate several factors when considering Bitcoin IRAs…

Risk tolerance

Bitcoin is highly volatile, and prices can change rapidly. A Bitcoin IRA may not be ideal if you have a low-risk tolerance or are close to retirement age.

Your investment goals

A Bitcoin IRA can serve as one component of a diversified retirement portfolio. Decide how much you want to balance one with more traditional assets that can offer more stability.

Your knowledge of Bitcoin

Bitcoin can be confusing and even intimidating to those new to the cryptocurrency and crypto IRAs. Still, it’s worth studying this new arena to know what you’re getting into (and where you’re putting your money). 

Current market trends

Bitcoin IRAs provide a potential hedge against inflation and other economic shifts. This is especially true since Bitcoin is decentralized and not subject to government control.

The credibility of the IRA provider

Select a reputable Bitcoin IRA provider to ensure your savings are safe and secure. Research and compare providers based on reputation, fees, and customer reviews. (Reading this piece is a great start!)

What to Look For in a Bitcoin IRA Provider

Consider the following features when deciding on a Bitcoin IRA…

Robust security

Given the vulnerability of digital assets to hacking and theft, you should choose a Bitcoin IRA provider that prioritizes strict security measures.

Transparent and reasonable fees

Carefully review and compare the IRA fees charged by different custodians and providers. Watch out for hidden or excessive fees that can eat away your returns over time.

Custodian reputation

Research the custodian’s reputation when entrusting your IRA assets to a custodian. Ensure they have a trustworthy track record and are well-regarded within the industry.

Tax implications

Familiarize yourself with the tax implications before making investment decisions. For example, gains from Bitcoin investments held within an IRA may be subject to tax when you withdraw the funds.

Regulations

Stay informed of new regulations or legal developments affecting your IRA investment.

Learn more about how a Backdoor Roth IRA can benefit high earners.

Key Points

  • Risks of Altcoins

  • Altcoins are highly speculative and carry numerous unique risks.

  • These digital assets are often funded through presale token agreements with hazy legal definitions.

  • Developers of crypto IRA products usually retain a guaranteed token stake at launch, similar to an IPO in the traditional stock market.

  • Benefits of Bitcoin-Only IRAs.

  • Better returns on average.

  • Aligned incentives.

  • Better user experience.

  • Regulatory clarity.

  • Altcoins depend on a leader or foundation to build, maintain, and promote the coins, leading to the demise of thousands of altcoins while Bitcoin remains strong (source).

And before we go, here are a few best practices to keep in mind when it comes to investing in IRAs:

  • Stay informed about market trends.

  • Diversify your investments.

  • Regularly review and adjust your portfolio.

  • Keep track of your tax obligations.

  • Consider consulting with a financial advisor.

Our Pick

While we’re biased, we think Swan is the best possible way to remove the complexity and confusion surrounding Bitcoin IRA investing.

The great support and low fees make going with Swan a smart move. For more IRA information, contact Terrence Yang, Swan Managing Director.

  • terrence@swan.com

  • 312.448.8012 (text or call) for details.

Sign up for Swan today!


Disclaimer

This article is provided for educational purposes only, and cannot be relied upon as tax, accounting, legal, investment, or other advice. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Bitcoin is a young, volatile, risky asset, and sudden large and sustained drops in price may occur from time to time.

Swan makes no representations regarding the performance, tax consequences, or investment suitability of any structure described herein, and all such questions should be directed to a relevant advisor of your choice.

The Bitcoin Retirement Calculator is only intended to show the projected investment performance based on parameters set by you, and in using this tool, you acknowledge that the results generated by placing various parameters through this tool are only projections of hypothetical performance that may be useful in assisting you in deciding how best to potentially incorporate a Bitcoin allocation in your IRA.


Swan is a leading Bitcoin financial services company with more than 120,000 clients and 170 employees, operating globally. Established in 2019, Swan helps individuals and institutions to understand and invest in Bitcoin. The Swan app simplifies Bitcoin purchases with instant and recurring buys. Swan IRA provides a tax-advantaged solution for saving Bitcoin in retirement accounts.

For HNWIs and businesses, Swan Private provides white-glove service for large purchases, treasury solutions, and employee Bitcoin benefits. With Swan Vault, clients can easily custody their own Bitcoin with peace of mind. Financial advisors trust Swan Advisor for client Bitcoin allocations, backed by world-class custody and educational content.

Swan Managed Mining provides clients with fully segregated and dedicated mining operations, catering to their unique requirements, opportunities, and strategic advantages. Swan prides itself on exceptional client service, making Bitcoin accessible to all. For more information, please visit swan.com.

Matt Ruby

Matt Ruby

Matt Ruby is a seasoned content writer helping educate million worldwide about Bitcoin for Swan. Matt work with tech companies to create words, videos, and other content that makes them seem human. He specializes in taking boring/drab tech topics and making them interesting, educational, funny, and accessible to regular people.

More from Swan Signal Blog

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