Using Your IRA to Invest In Crypto (4 Steps)

Crypto is blowing up. And traditional retirement accounts simply aren't equipped to handle the excitement.

Cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) are a popular alternative to government-backed currency—especially if you want to conduct transactions quickly and anonymously.

The global crypto market cap has been more than $2 trillion for much of 2021 so far. The market cap of Bitcoin (crypto’s biggest star) hit $1.2 trillion in April.

Looking to get in on the action? The Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) is the best tool for leveraging your retirement savings to invest in digital currencies.

The SDIRA also offers major tax advantages, leaving you with more capital to invest in cryptocurrencies and other non-traditional assets.

Since Bitcoin and other digital currencies are intangible, they can be difficult for many traditional real estate investors to wrap their heads around. 

However, investors who fully grasp how cryptocurrency works and wish to invest in this alternative asset through their retirement plans may do so with accounts that give them "checkbook control."

Using Your IRA to Invest In Crypto (4 Steps)Steps To Take

Here are the steps you'll follow to invest in crypto using your SDIRA:

  1. Establish and fund an SDIRA (Start with our investor quiz if you need help getting started and we'll take it from there.).
  2. Register an LLC that is 100% owned by the IRA. This gives you the same tax-advantaged status as the IRA. The income and expenses related to the assets will flow through the IRA LLC in accordance with Internal Revenue Service requirements. Note: Cryptocurrency is considered property for federal tax purposes, but because the assets are owned by a retirement account, gains are tax advantaged.
  3. Open a business checking account. You'll do this using funds from the IRA. An IRA LLC is also referred to as a “checkbook IRA.” The checkbook puts the account owner in full control of the transaction (checkbook control). The funds in the IRA LLC’s business checking account are solely for investing in the digital assets (or any other alternative assets allowed with self-directed accounts).
  4. Open an account on a cryptocurrency exchange. You'll do this using the name (and tax number) of the IRA LLC. In addition to being purchased or traded on exchange platforms, digital assets may also be purchased through brokers or by investing in a fund that holds various digital currencies through private placement. In effect, the IRA purchases shares or directly invests as a limited partner.

Family Office Can Keep You Compliant

It's important that you get the right structure in place before you make a move in crypto or any other non-traditional asset. Royal Legal Solutions helps investors use an LLC (limited liability company) to incorporate cryptocurrency into their retirement accounts. If you don't have a LLC and a Self-Directed IRA for real estate investors structure set up already, let's talk about it. 

We'll review your real estate investment options and business structures to ensure they are up-to-date, compliant, and bulletproof against whatever the future holds.

Once you're set up, you can become a Family Office member to ensure ongoing compliance with your state and local laws and tax requirements. We meet with our Family Office members every quarter to give them actionable steps to take, making sure their asset protection plans are up-to-date. 



Last Updated: 
July 1, 2021

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.

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