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Stocks and bonds are the bread & butter of most individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Although standard IRAs focus on traditional assets, it’s getting easier to diversify retirement portfolios into alternative assets like cryptocurrency. While crypto IRAs probably aren’t available via your employer, there are plenty of companies that can help you save for your golden years with digital gold.
- Best Overall — Bitcoin IRA
- Best Crypto IRA Platform — iTrustCapital
- Best For Alternative Assets — Alto IRA
- Best For Mobile Users — Choice
- Best For Low Fees — Coin IRA
Best Crypto IRAs
Crypto IRAs providers offer different features catered to the specific needs of individual investors. Here are our top picks, including features, fees, pros, and cons.
1. Bitcoin IRA: Best for Convenience and Passive Income
Any discussion of the best crypto IRAs must include Bitcoin IRA. Founded in 2015, Bitcoin IRA is the first major IRA to offer crypto price exposure. This California-based company remains one of the largest crypto IRA providers with hundreds of thousands of clients.
People with an account on Bitcoin IRA can invest in over 60 cryptocurrencies and literal gold bars. Bitcoin IRA works with the prominent crypto custodian BitGo for all its storage requirements. Bitcoin IRA allows users to rollover existing IRAs or 401(k)s or open a new account.
As a bonus, Bitcoin IRA offers an “IRA Earn” program where you could deposit Bitcoin, Ethereum, or USD to earn passive income with the help of Genesis Global Trading. The company also offers an award-winning app so you can track your portfolio on your phone.
Please read this our full Bitcoin IRA review if you’d like more in-depth info on Bitcoin IRA.
- Works with Traditional IRAs, Roth, SEP, and employer 401(k) plans
- Access to over 60 cryptocurrencies and gold
- Partners with BitGo and Lloyd’s Bank
- Knowledge resource center and 24/7 portfolio tracking
- Variable upfront service fee, plus custodian, trading, and security fees
- $3,000 minimum investment fee
- High-quality security and insurance plan with BitGo
- Offers both crypto and gold investing
- Interest-bearing accounts for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD
- Wide selection of altcoins
- Available on both desktop and mobile devices
- Complicated & high fee structure
- Hidden $100 fee to start and stop earning interest on a minimum of $10,0002.
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $3,000
- Fees: 5% on buys, 1% on sell (*other fees apply, speak with a representative)
- Promotion: Receive a $150 reward when funding an account
2. iTrustCapital: Best Overall Crypto IRA Platform
Headquartered in Irvine, iTrustCapital is another well-respected brand that offers crypto investing for Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs. For a minimum of $1,000, clients can open an iTrustCapital account to trade approximately 30 crypto assets. iTrustCapital also offers access to gold and silver investing.
All of iTrustCapital’s crypto is entrusted to Fortress Trust, and the company uses FireBlocks to protect your account. This company also boasts zero monthly fees and a flat one percent fee on all crypto purchases and sales.
While iTrustCapital may not excel in any one feature, it has solid ratings across several significant metrics (e.g., fees, security, minimum deposit, and token selection). People who want a well-established IRA platform with competitive rates may want to look at iTrustCapital’s platform.
- Offers about 30 crypto assets plus gold and silver
- Compatible with Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs
- Partner with Fortress Trust Custody and Fireblocks
- Flat one percent fee on buying and selling crypto assets
- $50 fee for trading gold; $2.50 fee for silver
- $1,000 minimum deposit to open an account
- One-time IRA conversion fee of $75
- Transparent and relatively low fee structure
- Offers both crypto and precious metal trading
- High-quality security with Fortress Trust Custody
- Relatively low minimum to open an account
- No 401(k) option
- App is only available on iOS
- Lacks a robust “Education Hub” for new crypto investors
3. Coin IRA: Best for Low Fees
Like BitcoinIRA, Coin IRA is one of the oldest IRA platforms to offer retirement plans in cryptocurrency. Founded in 2017, this California-based company provides a “Cryptocurrency IRA” and a “Non-IRA Custody Account” to US customers.
The “Crypto IRA” allows clients to rollover existing IRAs or employer plans like 401(k)s into your account for crypto trading. By contrast, “Non-IRA Custody Accounts” let users invest in crypto with a savings or checking account.
No matter which option you choose, Coin IRA promises never to charge set-up, maintenance, or storage fees. Instead, this company collects flat fees of 1.25 percent for buys and 1 percent for sells on its crypto trading desk.
While the altcoin selection on Coin IRA isn’t super robust – and the minimum of $5,000 is relatively steep – this is a solid option for customers who prioritize security and low fees in their retirement programs.
- Supports rollovers from existing IRAs or employer plans like 401(k), TSP, and 403(b)
- Trade roughly 20 large-cap cryptocurrencies
- $5,000 minimum deposit
- 1.25 percent fee for buy orders; 1 percent fee for sell orders
- Has a “Non-IRA Custody Account” for investing with savings or checking accounts
- Partner with Equity Trust Company for crypto custody
- No set-up, maintenance, or storage fees
- Transparent and low trading fee structure
- Offers a “non-IRA plan” for people who don’t want to rollover existing IRAs
- Long reputation in the crypto IRA space & A+ rating from BBB
- Relatively high minimum deposit to open an account
- No non-crypto alternative assets
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $5,000
- Fees: 1.25% buy trades and 1% sell trades
- Promotion: None
4. BitIRA: Best for Security & Storage Standards
BitIRA’s signature feature is its extreme commitment to security. While all of the IRAs on this list have good security reports, BitIRA goes the extra mile with its 24/7 monitored nuclear bunkers. Although BitIRA doesn’t expect anyone to get their cold storage devices, it provides customers with end-to-end insurance protection of $100 million. BitIRA also offers FDIC insurance of $3.5 million on any USD in your account.
These security features make BitIRA an excellent choice for those paranoid about a cyberattack. However, some have argued BitIRA’s commitment to security may have dampened its other offerings.
While BitIRA offers an easy way to rollover various retirement accounts, it doesn’t have the broadest range of altcoins. BitIRA is also known for having one of the least transparent fee structures, and its $5,000 minimum deposit may be a barrier to entry.
Still, BitIRA offers world-class security and has exceptional partnerships with Equity Trust Company and Preferred Trust Company. If security is at the top of your priorities, you may not mind BitIRA’s cons. Read our full BitIRA review to learn more.
- Offers Traditional, Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs
- You can rollover 401(k), 403(b), a Thrift Savings Plan
- Offers about ten cryptos for trading
- Variable monthly fee structure
- $5,000 minimum to open an account
- Strong commitment to security, custody, and insurance standards
- Multiple IRA plans and rollover compatibilities are available
- Responsive customer care division
- High-quality educational info on its available cryptos, plus a free guide
- Lack of transparency for its fee structure
- Few selection of altcoins, and zero non-crypto assets
- You must consult a Digital Currency Specialist to execute trades
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $5,000
- Fees: $50 account setup and $195 annual maintenance (*other fees apply)
- Promotion: None
5. Alto IRA: Best for Access to Innovative Alternative Assets
When you sign up to Alto IRA, you can choose between a “CryptoIRA” platform or an “Alto IRA” account. Clients who decide to open a CryptoIRA can trade hundreds of cryptocurrencies 24/7 via Coinbase.
However, those who open an Alto IRA account can invest in many “outside the box” fields, including farmland, fine wine, and priceless paintings. Alto IRA investors could also put some of their money into managed crypto funds like Grayscale or Valkyrie.
Plus, if you have an original idea for investing, you can bring it to the table with an Alto IRA Pro account. Read our full Alto IRA review to learn more.
- Offers CryptoIRA for specific tokens and Alto IRA for other alternative assets
- Over 75 investment partners
- Pro Alto IRA account lets clients “Bring Their Own Deal”
- Works with Traditional, SEP, and Roth IRAs
- No investment minimum unless stated by Alto IRA’s partners
- $10 – $25 monthly fees for Alto IRA; 1 percent trading fee with CryptoIRA
- Access to hundreds of altcoins
- Top-tier security with Coinbase
- Zero monthly fees for CryptoIRA
- Gives customers the option to invest in multiple alternative asset classes
- No option for self-directed 401(k)s
- CryptoIRA not available in Hawaii
- Some of AltoIRA’s partners have steep minimum requirements
- Monthly fees for Alto IRA plan
6. Broad Financial: Best for Self-Employed or Self-Directed Investors
Broad Financial has a long history in the real estate market, but it has added many alternative assets to its self-directed IRA programs. Located in New Jersey, Broad Financial markets itself as a “one-stop-shop” for alternative retirement investment strategies, including crypto.
Clients could set up one of two self-directed checkbook IRAs on Broad Financial: a Trust or an LLC. The self-directed IRA Trust doesn’t charge annual state fees and has a lower set-up fee, but it doesn’t offer the liability protection or flexibility of an LLC. However, both plans have zero transaction and asset fees, and they work with Traditional and Roth IRAs. Broad Financial also offers a self-directed Solo 401(k) to select self-employed clients.
Just bear in mind that Broad Financial is “crypto-friendly” rather than “crypto-centric.” While Broad Financial offers crypto investing, it also offers many other opportunities like real estate, startups, and loans. Broad Financial has a Bitcoin IRA, but this option is only suitable for people solely interested in Bitcoin.
You’ll have to spend more time talking with Broad Financial’s staff to establish your crypto investing strategy. Thankfully, this company has a good reputation for customer support and an A+ rating with the BBB.
- Checkbook self-directed IRAs as a Trust, LLC, or Solo 401(k)
- $95 quarterly custodial fees
- No transaction or asset-based fees
- Holds assets with its partner Madison Trust Company
- Offers a special Bitcoin IRA, plus many other alternative assets
- Zero minimum deposit
- $0 account minimum
- Multiple IRA plans and non-crypto assets are available
- Enjoy unlimited free transactions and zero asset-based fees
- Highly-rated customer care division can help with questions
- Not a crypto-focused IRA provider
- Steep account set-up fee ($1,295 for LLC)
- Lack of precise info on crypto custody and insurance plans
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: $1,295 account setup and $95/quarter custodial
- Promotion: None
7. BlockMint: Best for Inexperienced Crypto Investors
Lear Capital’s BlockMint has a clean and straightforward layout, which has made it a popular choice with clients who need help getting involved in crypto investing. Not only is it easy to use BlockMint’s platform, but this company also promises to guide every client with the help of a dedicated crypto IRA expert. From rolling over your IRA or employer’s 401(k) to picking your first coin, BlockMint will personally help you with the set-up process.
However, you are going to pay extra for the conveniences BlockMint offers. For instance, the minimum account balance on BlockMint is $10,000. This site also has trading, custodial, and storage fees. Plus, since BlockMint emphasizes customer support, it only lets clients trade during standard business hours (8 AM – 5 PM Pacific Time).
However, people who want a straightforward and secure platform may not mind paying extra for the personalized care BlockMint provides.
- Offers crypto trading on about 10 digital assets during business hours
- Rollover on existing Traditional, SEP, SIMPLE, or Roth IRAs
- Works with most employer retirement programs, including 401(k) and 403(b)
- $10,000 minimum account requirement
- 2.5 percent fee to buy; 1 percent fee for selling
- 0.5 percent crypto storage fee
- Annual maintenance fee of $195
- Cold storage security in 24/7 guarded vaults
- Transparent fee structure
- Clean and easy-to-use interface
- Offers access to a crypto expert who can help build your portfolio
- Doesn’t offer 24/7 crypto trading
- High minimum requirement to open an account
- Not many altcoins are available for trading
- A lot of fees to consider
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $10,000
- Fees: 2.5% to buy and 1% to sell (*other fees apply)
- Promotion: None
8. Equity Trust: Best for Long-Standing Industry Experience
Equity Trust has decades of experience offering self-directed IRAs to clients. Although Equity Trust is still best known for its real estate investments, it has diversified its offerings in the past few years. Along with crypto, you could find dozens of Traditional and alternative investments on Equity Trust, including precious metals, ETFs, and foreign currencies.
However, it’s crucial to note that Equity Trust doesn’t directly invest in crypto for you. Instead, this company works with providers like BitIRA and BlockMint to add tokens to your portfolio. Every time you want to buy or sell, you’ll need to speak with an Equity Trust agent who will execute your order.
Why would you sign up for Equity Trust rather than go directly to someone like BitIRA? Equity Trust may be the better choice for investors who want access to many asset classes. If you’re going to build a diverse portfolio in both Traditional and alternative sectors, Equity Trust has years of experience in these fields.
- Handles dozens of traditional and alternative investments
- Works with all major retirement plans, including Traditional, Roth, SIMPLE, SEP, and 401(k)
- Offers dozens of cryptos through partner platforms
- A minimum contribution of $500
- Annual fee varies from $225 to $2,250, depending on your portfolio’s worth
- $50 or $75 initial application fee
- Allows customers to invest in a broad range of assets
- Decades-old IRA provider with a strong customer care division
- Zero transaction and distribution fees
- Low minimum contribution
- Relatively high annual fee
- You have to call every time you want to make a trade
- No mobile app
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $500
- Fees: Annual fee varies from $225 to $2,250 (*other fees apply)
- Promotion: None
9. Choice: Best for Mobile-First & Crypto-Savvy Investors
Choice is the youngest crypto IRA on our list, but it has made a considerable impression on the crypto community. Many influencers like Anthony Pompliano and Dan Held have gone on record promoting Choice’s app. Choice has also garnered strong scores in the App Store and on TrustPilot.
Even though Choice isn’t as battle-tested as other self-directed IRAs, it has an intuitive design, zero minimum contribution, and multiple fee options. Choice is the only option on this list that gives you the “choice” to hold your private keys. You can also invest in stocks and precious metals on the Choice app.
Even if you use Choice’s “free” account, you will pay one percent on every trade. There are also fewer insurance protections with the “free fee” account. Still, the Choice app is one of the cheapest and most beginner-friendly apps for opening new accounts or rolling over IRAs and 401(k)s.
- Supports Traditional, SEP, SIMPLE, Roth, and 401(k) rollovers
- Three fee options: “Free,” “Cold Storage,” and “Hold Your Own Keys“
- 1 percent fee on all trades
- 1 percent annual fee for Choice’s cold storage option
- $500 set-up fee and $10 per month to hold your keys
- Trade dozens of cryptos, equities, and metals
- Flexible, transparent, and low fee structure
- Convenient access to crypto, stocks, and gold
- Easy-to-use mobile app
- “Blinko” game to earn Bitcoin every day
- Not as well-established as other IRA providers
- Better suited for mobile-first investors
- Customer service is smaller & slower than established companies
Crypto IRA Pros
- Enjoy tax deductions or deferrals depending on your IRA plan.
- Get price exposure to crypto assets without worrying about setting up a crypto wallet or signing into an exchange.
- Many crypto IRA services offer insurance protections.
- Crypto provides extra diversity in your IRA portfolio.
- Most crypto IRA software makes choosing coins and linking with existing IRA accounts simple.
- You’ll often get access to a crypto IRA expert to help build your portfolio.
Crypto IRA Cons
- You (usually) won’t hold the private keys to your crypto, so you can’t use it on Web3 or store it on a personal wallet.
- Cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by a federal government and aren’t insured by FDIC or SIPC.
- Cryptocurrencies are more volatile and speculative than other asset groups.
- Many crypto IRA platforms have extra fees like custody, withdrawal, and set-up that clients must be wary of.
What To Look For In A Crypto IRA
There’s a lot of data to process as you try to choose the best crypto IRA. To help prevent getting “IRA information overload,” please take your time evaluating each of the key features below.
Most crypto IRAs require clients to deposit a minimum amount to open an account. You may also need to maintain a certain amount of money in your account to stay on your chosen platform.
A high minimum requirement can be a barrier to entry for people just starting their retirement investment journey. Always consult the minimum requirements on your IRA plan to see if it’s a viable option for your financial situation.
There are no crypto IRAs that are 100 percent “fee-free.” If an IRA provider cuts fees in one area, you can expect them to turn up elsewhere. After all, how would an IRA company stay in business if it didn’t bring in some revenue?
For crypto IRAs, you should pay careful attention to custody, trading, and withdrawal fees. Since IRA companies often hold crypto on your behalf, you’ll usually have to pay fees to the custodian. As for trading and withdrawal, some companies offer flat trading fees while others offer free trading for higher set-up or annual maintenance fees.
If you like to make a lot of small crypto trades to dollar-cost average, it may make sense to get an IRA with free trading. By contrast, people who plan to buy and sell a few times each year may save money by paying a flat trading fee and eliminating set-up or maintenance fees.
While fees are always frustrating, please remember that you will be saving money each year in taxes with an IRA. Please review your crypto investing strategy and see whether an IRA’s tax benefits make more financial sense than trading tokens on a centralized exchange.
Professional crypto IRAs must have high-grade security standards. In most cases, your IRA provider will hold the keys to your crypto, so you won’t have direct custody over your tokens. Therefore, you must know who your crypto custodian is and how they secure their assets. Ideally, your crypto should be in cold storage wallets in a guarded facility.
In addition to crypto custody, please check to see what firewall and encryption technologies your IRA provider uses to protect your identity. High-quality crypto IRA companies will offer login features like 2FA or biometric screening to make your account less prone to cyberattacks.
Speaking of security, you should check how your funds will be insured on your crypto IRA platform. Cryptocurrencies don’t enjoy FDIC protection, but many crypto IRA providers offer FDIC on cash in your account. Also, professional custodians like BitGo and Coinbase Custody hold special insurance policies on their crypto.
Always check who’s holding the crypto in your IRA account and whether they offer insurance policies.
Putting crypto in your IRA is a new strategy, but many established IRA providers have begun opening up to digital tokens. Even in this young industry, some brands have been around for longer than others.
Generally, it’s safer to go with an IRA provider with years of experience and billions of dollars under management. Check out the history of your IRA platform and see what other clients are saying online. While a long-standing reputation isn’t a guarantee of future success, it’s a good indication your IRA team is professional.
Number of Assets Supported
Crypto IRAs won’t offer the thousands of speculative altcoins you’ll find on Binance or KuCoin. However, you should always find Bitcoin and a few large-cap altcoins like Ethereum on reputable crypto IRAs.
Also, many crypto IRAs offer access to other asset classes. You may be able to trade stocks, precious metals, or real estate alongside cryptocurrency. Please figure out whether you’d feel comfortable on an all-crypto IRA platform or if you’d like access to other investment opportunities.
Getting in touch with a crypto IRA representative shouldn’t be difficult. Heck, sometimes you need to call an IRA specialist to place orders in your account.
Please test the responsiveness of your IRA team via chat, email, and phone before signing up. You may also want to check online reviews to see if others have an issue getting in touch with your IRA company.
Please remember that some IRA platforms only allow you to make trades during standard business hours. This can be an issue for cryptocurrencies because people trade these tokens 24/7.
If you’re struggling to pick your perfect crypto IRA, you may want to contrast some of each platform’s unique features. For instance, does your IRA provide a mobile app for on-the-go portfolio management? Can you make trades directly on your account, or do you have to call a representative? Can you earn interest on your tokens?
While these unique features should always be secondary, they’re worth considering as you narrow your list of potential crypto IRAs.
FAQs: Best Crypto IRAs
Crypto IRAs can be a confusing concept for new investors. If you’re still trying to figure out how these retirement accounts work, the FAQs below should set you in the right direction.
What Is a Crypto IRA?
A “crypto IRA” is simply a retirement plan that allows clients to invest in cryptocurrencies. Some crypto IRAs only give customers access to digital assets, while others include dozens of other investments, including ETFs, gold, and startup companies.
How Do Crypto IRAs Work?
Every crypto IRA works differently, but most allow customers to rollover an existing IRA account or 401(k) to trade big-cap cryptocurrencies. Once you’ve connected your IRA funds to a new account, you can buy whatever coins are available on your crypto IRA. Typically, crypto IRAs hold digital assets in cold storage on your behalf.
Note: The purpose of a crypto IRA is to get price exposure to digital tokens for retirement. These IRAs won’t let you withdraw tokens to make purchases or interact with Web3.
Are Crypto IRAs Safe?
Accredited crypto IRAs with a long track record in the industry should be safe to use. We have to say “should” because there’s always a risk when handing your funds over to a third party. However, this risk is minimal if you use a crypto IRA provider with strong insurance protections, encryption technology, and a high-quality crypto custodian.
Are Crypto IRAs Worth It?
If you believe cryptocurrencies will be more valuable when you retire than they are now, then crypto IRAs are a no-brainer. Of course, nobody can predict the future, so whether a crypto IRA will be “worth it” largely depends on your feelings about digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Crypto is incredibly volatile, but big-cap projects like Bitcoin have performed well over the long haul. It’s impossible toknow where crypto will go in the future, but many believe it has potential for further growth. If you feel comfortable taking a bet on cryptocurrencies, a crypto IRA will give you price exposure plus tax benefits.
How Is My Crypto Stored With a Crypto IRA?
Every IRA provider has a different way of securing their customers’ crypto. In most instances, IRA companies work with a third-party custodian like BitGo or Coinbase to hold your tokens in cold storage. However, some crypto IRAs (e.g. Choice) allow users to store their private keys.
Since most crypto IRAs hold onto your crypto in cold storage servers, you’ll usually have to pay custodian fees. Please factor these into your budget when evaluating different IRA plans.
How Are Crypto IRAs Taxed?
he key benefit of buying crypto through an IRA versus a personal trading account is that IRAs have tax deductions. With Traditional IRAs, you won’t get taxed until you start pulling money out during retirement. By contrast, Roth IRAs have zero tax deductions once you start withdrawing funds.
Since every IRA plan has a slightly different tax schedule, it’s best to speak with a financial expert to understand the specifics of your IRA plan. However, you can expect to pay less in taxes with an IRA account versus trading tokens on a centralized exchange.
What Is the Best Bitcoin IRA?
Choosing the “best” IRA depends on your investment goals, preferences, and risk tolerance. The only way you could choose from various crypto IRA options is to formulate a personal crypto strategy.
Are you only interested in Bitcoin, or do you want access to dozens of altcoins? How much of your capital do you want in the crypto market? Do you want access to alternative assets alongside crypto?
Every IRA has unique pros & cons, so please spend a few days reviewing each site’s features and fees. As you scan these IRA platforms, see which one best fits your crypto investing goals.
If you have a positive view of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you may want to take advantage of a crypto IRA’s tax benefits. There are plenty of crypto IRAs that offer access to dozens of tokens. Plus, many IRAs allow you to invest part of your funds in crypto and the rest in stocks, metals, or real estate.
Be sure to consider your long-term investment goals to determine what percentage of crypto works best for your IRA strategy.
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Eric Esposito is a freelance writer, editor, and cryptocurrency enthusiast. Although it took him a few years to grasp the Bitcoin revolution, Eric has become a crypto convert and long-term “hodler.” Besides crypto investing, Eric is interested in helping others understand how to safely stack sats with passive income opportunities.