Best 6 Bitcoin & Crypto IRAs for December 2023: Which Wins?
This guide breaks down the most popular Bitcoin IRAs and Crypto IRAs of 2023 and shows you how to pick the best one for your goals and situation.
Want to stay ahead of the investment curve?
Consider a Bitcoin or crypto individual retirement account (IRA). The rising demand for self-directed, tax-advantaged IRAs has given way to many specialized companies helping investors add crypto assets to their retirement portfolios.
In this article, you’ll explore companies that offer Bitcoin and crypto IRAs, their main features, fees, security measures, and overall reputation. You’ll also get valuable insights and best practices to align your financial goals and preferences with the Bitcoin or crypto IRA provider and product that best aligns with your financial goals. .
If you’re short on time, just click the section below that most interest you and you’ll be taken directly there!
A crypto IRA is a type of individual retirement account that allows you to invest in altcoins (non-Bitcoin) as part of your retirement savings strategy. Altcoins refer to alternative cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin. These digital asset are often funded through presale token agreements and may not have clear legal definitions.
Altcoins are highly speculative and carry numerous unique risks. When investing in an alternative crypto IRA, understand that the development team typically retains a guaranteed token stake at launch, similar to how an initial public offering (IPO) operates in the traditional stock market.
Here are the top 6 crypto IRAs shaping the retirement investment landscape in 2023.
1. Swan Bitcoin — Best overall and for Bitcoin-only IRA, 4.6 Trustpilot rating
2. iTrustCapital — Best for altcoin IRA investments, 4.6 Trustpilot rating
3. Unchained Capital — Best for secure and encrypted IRA investments
4. Alto Crypto IRA — Best for low investment minimums, 4.4 Trustpilot rating
5. Bitcoin IRA — Best for a Saver IRA, 4.3 Trustpilot rating
6. Coin IRA — Best for gold and silver IRA investments
Best Overall and for Bitcoin-only IRA
Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Swan Bitcoin has made buying and owning Bitcoin a breeze. The platform offers an easy and safe way to profit from Bitcoin as a long-term investment. Swan removes the complexity and confusion surrounding Bitcoin IRA investing and is accessible to a broader audience for low fees.
Unlike other crypto IRA providers on this list, Swan doesn’t offer Bitcoin Cash or any other Bitcoin hard fork investment products. It’s Bitcoin-only and helps you invest in self-managed IRAs.
With Swan, you’ll hold Bitcoin in a legal, regulated trust account maintained by a qualified custodian authorized to hold and manage assets on clients' behalf. Swan’s expert custodians ensure asset protection, regulatory compliance, and independent oversight to prevent fraud and unauthorized fun usage.
Some Swan Private clients can also use Solo 401k, a Checkbook IRA LLC, or IRA financial trust options.
A SEP IRA is a retirement account designed for long-term savings. If you believe in the long-term potential of Bitcoin and are comfortable with its volatility, holding it in a tax-advantaged retirement account like a SEP IRA could allow you to benefit from any future appreciation while deferring taxes on gains until withdrawal.
Setting up a Bitcoin IRA with Swan is easy. Swan’s IRA onboarding can be completed in just one business day. The account opening and transfer process is fairly streamlined and straightforward, with no minimum balance requirements and low fees.
Swan IRA accounts incur a flat monthly administration fee of $20 until the balance is $100,000. Above $100,000, the monthly management fee is 0.02083% of the balance at the end of the month (0.25% annually).
Per IRS regulations, Swan’s fees for buy and sell transactions are 0.99% and funded from IRA funds. All management fees are calculated monthly outside of the IRA balance.
Swan Bitcoin holds Bitcoin in a custodial legal trust account with registered and regulated US-chartered trust companies on the beneficiary’s behalf. It’s one of the best providers allowing U.S. residents or taxpayers to hold Bitcoin in a self-directed, tax-advantaged way.
Swan Bitcoin is available in 50 states and most international countries. Although Swan products are available in international countries, Swan IRA won’t be available to international customers at launch.
For international clients and US residents in South Dakota (S.D.), or Hawaii (HI), please contact Swan’s advisors at email@example.com to learn more.
Swan recently launched Swan Vault, a seamless self-custody with support from Swan:
Best-in-class user experience for secure self-custody
Secure key backup to minimize the risk of loss
Concierge onboarding available
Inheritance planning for Swan Private clients
Built on Bitcoin Core and Specter, a fully open-source stack
Get Priority Access here.
Learn more from Swan’s Steven Lubka from Swan Bitcoin at the Pacific Bitcoin Festival in Los Angeles below.
We advocate a long-time horizon investment planning strategy with a Bitcoin-only approach. Take control of your financial future and join the Bitcoin revolution today with Swan Bitcoin IRA.
Best for Alternative Cryptocurrency IRA Investments
Account Minimum: $1,000 at set up
Investment Options: 36 cryptocurrencies
Fees: 1% with a $1,000 account minimum + $500 additional contribution minimum
Custody Provider: Fortress Trust (Qualified custodian), Fireblocks, BitGo (Institutional cold wallet custody)
Trustpilot Rating: 4.6 out of 5
To invest in alternative cryptocurrencies for your retirement savings, try iTrustCapital. It offers multiple IRA options, such as Traditional, Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs.
While iTrustCapital has no setup or monthly fees and low transaction and trading fees set at 1%, you need an account minimum of $1,000 and an additional contribution minimum of $500. iTrustCapital doesn’t support credit card options for transactions.
Unchained Capital employs a “collaborative custody” approach for Bitcoin holders seeking a secure method to store their digital assets. This innovative solution leverages a fundamental feature of Bitcoin technology. It enables multiple parties to jointly oversee private keys and distribute control over Bitcoin holdings among themselves, Unchained Capital, or other financial institutions.
iTrustCapital FAQ page lists: iTrust’s clients' digital assets are secured with BitGo and Fireblocks. The platform uses Signature Bank, an FDIC-insured bank, to deposit its customers' USD,
Their platform still provides access to seven alternative cryptocurrencies considered securities by the recent SEC lawsuit mentioned above. For a more in-depth review, check out 'Fine Print' post here.
Best for Secure and Encrypted IRA Investments
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 out of 5
Unchained Capital is a leading financial services company offering Bitcoin-focused solutions, particularly an innovative Bitcoin-only IRA. Unchained Capital doesn’t offer Bitcoin Cash or other hard fork products as part of its IRA class. Utilizing a multi-signature cold storage vault protected by robust layers of encryption and authentication, Unchained ensures the highest level of protection for investor assets.
While Unchained Capital offers great IRA features, but its pricing structure isn’t the best.
Setup fee: $995 (includes the first-year account fee).
Annual account fee: $250.
Bitcoin purchases and sales: 0.50% fee.
No fees for personal vaults, including account fees, deposits, and withdrawals.
$20 per cosignature for collaborative withdrawals.
0.50% fee for Bitcoin purchases and sales.
The IRA product has a flat annual fee of $150 for account management and storage and a $995 setup fee. You need a minimum of $6,000 to get started, comparatively more than other crypto IRAs like Swan IRA, which require no setup fees, and investors can open IRA accounts with a lower minimum. Unchained also doesn’t provide any credit card purchase options.
Unchained Capital’s setup may take up to 5 business days, while Swan Bitcoin IRA offers a swift one-day account setup process.
Austin, Texas-based Unchained Capital Inc. today announced it has raised $60 million in fresh funding to expand its financial services
Best for Low Investment Minimums
Account Minimum: $10 (We listed: No Investment Minimums)
Investment Options: 200+ cryptocurrencies
Fees: Account Fees: 1% on Trade — No account monthly fee (We listed $10/month fee)
Custody Provider: Alto Trust Co.
Trustpilot Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Alto IRA is another popular crypto IRA offering options for Roth, SEP, Traditional Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency IRA. With a vast array of altcoin IRA options, industry-competitive rates and fees, and low minimum investment requirements, Alto IRA is a compelling choice for investors looking to embark on their crypto retirement journey.
Alto charges a 1% trade fee, a $50 account closure, and a $25 outbound wire transfer fee. To maintain an Alto IRA account, investors can choose between a $10/month or an annual $100 account fee (including two free months).
Alto customers rely on Coinbase to secure their digital assets and retirement fund accounts.
All cash held by Alto for the benefit of your IRA is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000. In addition, they maintain fidelity bonds and crime insurance to protect against breach of duty by personnel.
Check out our in-depth AltoIRA review here.
Best for a Saver IRA
Account Mminimum: $5,000
Investment Options: 60+ cryptocurrencies
Fees: 2% plus 5.99% setup fee with a $100 minimum
Custody Provider: BitGo Trust
Trustpilot Rating: 2.7 out of 5
BitcoinIRA introduced a self-directed cryptocurrency IRA in 2019. Besides a BitcoinIRA and Bitcoin 401k, it offers a Bitcoin Roth IRA, various crypto IRAs, and a Saver IRA selection to suit different investment preferences.
If you’re looking to invest in a Saver IRA, BitcoinIRA might be worth considering. However, it has some several downsides, most notably exorbitant fees, including a high initial deposit setup fee of 5.99% and other hidden fees. Its 2% trading fee is twice that of other crypto IRAs. Customers also need to pay a 0.08% monthly account fee.
Another key concern with BitcoinIRA is its marketing practices. Although BitcoinIRA markets itself as a BitcoinIRA company, it promotes over 60 cryptocurrencies and alternative assets on its crypto IRA platform. This raises doubts about its integrity and genuine commitment to Bitcoin.
Best for Silver and Gold IRA Investments
Account Minimum: $5,000
Investment Options: 20+ cryptocurrencies and gold and silver options
Fees: 1.25% + $5,000 account minimum
Custody Provider: Free, Multi-Layered, Insured Crypto Storage by Fireblocks
Trustpilot Rating: 3.7 out of 5
The platform now offers individual IRAs and more than 20 alternative crypto assets. Coin IRA allows investors to purchase fractional gold and silver accounts, providing further flexibility and investment options.
Coin IRA charges 1.25% on buy trades, a trading fee of 1% on sell orders, and 2.25% on assisted transactions—some of the lowest in the industry. Investors pay a $10 minimum trade amount but no monthly or storage fees.
Crypto IRAs offer tax benefits, investment flexibility, and the potential for compound growth. They complement other retirement savings like 401(k)s or pensions and are popular, low-risk investments for several reasons.
Achieve a well-rounded investment portfolio by allocating funds across diverse assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
Minimize the risk of substantial losses ensuring that potential gains in one area offset potential losses in another.
IRAs are subject to government regulations, providing investors with a layer of security. These regulations maintain the integrity and fairness of the retirement savings system.
Entrust your IRA investments to experienced financial professionals to make informed investment decisions and effectively manage risks.
Long-term Investment Horizon
IRAs facilitate long-term savings, typically requiring a minimum holding period of several years. This helps investors minimize the impact of short-term market volatility on their retirement savings.
Crypto IRAs offer distinct tax benefits that reduce the overall risk of financial loss. Traditional IRAs provide tax-deferred growth, allowing investments to grow without immediate tax obligations. Roth IRAs permit tax-free withdrawals during retirement, offering valuable protection against future tax uncertainties.
First-time Bitcoin investors often decide to put their money in proxy-Bitcoin investments like Grayscale (GBTC) shares, Marathon Holdings, and RIOT Blockchain mining stock, or publicly traded stocks like Microstrategy (MSTR), Coinbase (COIN), Tesla (TSLA), and Square (S.Q.).
While these are great starting points for many, buying Bitcoin and owning the private keys is the best way to invest in the crypto network. Investing in a Bitcoin-only IRA like Swan gives you peace of mind that your investment is securely stored and managed. Swan’s Bitcoin-only IRA diversifies your retirement portfolio with an exclusive focus on Bitcoin.
A Bitcoin IRA is a Bitcoin-only IRA investment product. Bitcoin has been the best performing asset of the last 14 years.
Additionally, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been proactively investigating, filing lawsuits and regulating certain altcoin investments to protect investors and maintain the long-term viability of altcoins as investment assets.
** UPDATE: It was reported on July 31st, ahead of initiating legal proceedings against the exchange, the US Securities and Exchange Commission instructed Coinbase to halt trading in all cryptocurrencies except for Bitcoin. This move indicates the agency’s intention to exert regulatory jurisdiction over a broader section of the market. According to Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, the SEC provided this recommendation before taking legal action against the company, which is listed on Nasdaq, for its failure to register as a broker.
As the regulatory landscape shifts, it’s wise for investors to consider safeguarding their holdings by moving them from Coinbase into secure cold storage. Converting altcoins to Bitcoin and opening an account with a Bitcoin-only company will likely prove to be a strategic move in light of these changes.
Bitcoin IRAs, on the other hand, focus solely on Bitcoin. Bitcoin IRA companies hold and manage Bitcoin investments as part of a traditional IRA, Roth or SEP IRA. Bitcoin is a fully decentralized, legally recognized commodity with no central authority, issuer, or single point of failure.
Unlike alternative cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin was launched without a pre-sale, and the core development team cannot directly control the direction of the protocol alone. While some have characterized Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme, if you spend enough time studying the properties of the network, you’ll know why Bitcoin is not a Ponzi but other cryptocurrencies and alternative assets are.
Consider the following features to integrate cryptocurrencies into your retirement plan for a safe, reliable, and efficient crypto IRA experience.
Given the vulnerability of digital assets to hacking and theft, you should choose a crypto IRA provider that prioritizes strict security measures.
Transparent and Reasonable Fees
Carefully review and compare the fees charged by different custodians and providers. Watch out for hidden or excessive fees that can eat away your returns over time.
Research the custodian’s reputation when entrusting your assets to a custodian. Ensure they have a trustworthy track record and are well-regarded within the industry.
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. A tax advisor can help you navigate the investment landscape more effectively.
Stay informed of new regulations or legal developments affecting your crypto IRA investment. Keeping current with the latest developments will help you make informed decisions and comply with relevant rules and regulations.
Crypto’s volatile nature presents both opportunities and risks, making it essential to know a few things and navigate this new investment landscape before starting.
Choose a reputable custodian that offers crypto IRA services
Open an account by completing the necessary paperwork and meeting all the specific requirements
Fund it by depositing funds in fiat currency or transferring existing cryptocurrencies from an external wallet
Choose the investments you want from the options available from your custodian
Actively monitor and manage your crypto IRA to optimize your returns over time
The fees associated with crypto IRA trading can vary depending on the custodian and the specific services offered. Common fees include:
Account setup fees
Transaction fees for buying, selling, or transferring within the IRA account
Annual maintenance fees for ongoing account administration
Carefully review the fee structure of your chosen custodian to understand the costs associated with trading and storing cryptocurrencies within your crypto IRA.
Whether a crypto IRA is tax-free depends on your jurisdiction’s specific tax rules. In some cases, contributions to a crypto IRA may be tax deductible, similar to traditional IRAs. However, the tax treatment of income and withdrawals from a crypto IRA may vary. Consult a tax or financial advisor familiar with your country’s tax laws to understand a crypto IRA’s tax implications.
The security of a crypto IRA depends on the custodian’s security measures and your own practices. Reputable custodians use advanced security protocols like secure storage, encryption, and multi-factor authentication to protect your crypto assets. Some custodians also offer insurance to protect against losses.
Even very popular exchanges like Coinbase may not be as safe upon further examination.
Coinbase has halted new user sign-ups for its exchange in India while affirming its commitment to the country. This decision follows recent emails to some Indian customers stating that exchange operations would cease after September 25, 2023, affecting only those who didn’t meet updated standards.
“Please note that you will be able to access Coinbase.com or Coinbase app until September 25, 2023, and should withdraw funds held in your account by such date.”
Coinbase has faced challenges with local authorities since its launch in India over a year ago, citing informal pressure from the Reserve Bank of India as a reason for halting trading services. Indian authorities have maintained a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies, emphasizing the need for international cooperation in regulating digital assets.
Remember that cryptocurrencies are inherently volatile and subject to hacking or other risks. It’s crucial to choose a trustworthy custodian, employ suitable security measures like strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and stay informed about potential risks in the crypto space to securely invest in a crypto IRA.
A SEP IRA, or Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Account, is a type of retirement savings account that allows small business owners and self-employed individuals to contribute to their own retirement savings and provide retirement benefits to their employees. It’s a tax-advantaged retirement plan that offers contributions from both the employer and the employee, similar to a traditional IRA.
Here’s how a SEP IRA typically works:
Employees must meet certain criteria to be eligible for participation. Typically, employees must be at least 21 years old, have worked for the employer in at least three of the last five years, and have received at least $600 in compensation for the year.
Employer Contribution Limit
As the employer, you can contribute up to 25% of each eligible employee’s compensation, up to a maximum annual limit. The maximum limit changes annually based on IRS guidelines. The maximum employer contribution limit was $66,000 for the tax year 2023.
Contributions made by the employer to a SEP IRA are tax-deductible as a business expense. The contributions grow tax-deferred until withdrawn in retirement; at this point, they are subject to ordinary income tax rates. Early withdrawals before age 59½ may also be subject to a penalty.
Similar to traditional IRAs, distributions from a SEP IRA are required to begin by April 1 of the year following the year the account holder reaches age 72 (age 70½ if you reached 70½ before January 1, 2020). These distributions are called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and are subject to income tax.
Uniform Contribution Percentage
If you choose to contribute for yourself, the same percentage of compensation you contribute for eligible employees must be contributed for yourself as the business owner.
Investing in the future of finance is easy with Swan Bitcoin. Our platform offers complete control over your investment portfolio and tax benefits to ensure a secure financial future for you and your loved ones. Our team of Bitcoin experts makes the process smooth.
Take control of your financial future with a Swan Bitcoin IRA. Learn more about our IRA product and speak with a Swan today.
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