Bitcoin: Should You Invest Your Retirement Money In Bitcoins?

Bitcoin IRA

Image courtesy: U.S. News, Robert Berger, the
2017 was undoubtedly the year of Bitcoin. The price of bitcoin rose from less than $1,000 to 14,822 as of Dec 28, 2017, resulting in 15 times plus return in just one year.  Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, the top cryptocurrency in the world and dominates the cryptocurrency trade per CoinMarketCap. There is significant interest from Asian countries, especially neighbors of the famous Rocket Man – Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, accounted for 80% trading of Bitcoin in Nov 2017. The market cap of all cryptocurrency was $576B as of January 16, 2018, and Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame became first bitcoin billionaires by investing a portion of their Facebook settlement in Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin remains volatile and may go up and down 20% in a matter of hours. There are many success stories of Bitcoin millionaires and billionaires and now everyone wants to have a piece of the action.
 Bitcoin in 2018
Before investing your hard-earned retirement money, you should understand the risks involved. Bitcoin is probably the most volatile asset of all. According to Warren Buffet, cryptocurrencies will come to a bad ending. Therefore there is an equal probability of downside risk, as there is an upside. In the first two weeks of 2018, the Bitcoin price has lost significant value. Some argue it’s a short-term phenomenon as every asset class goes through ups, downs, and corrections. To put things in perspective, as of Jan 16, 2018, Bitcoin’s price was down 15% compared to the S&P 500 Index which is up 4.89%.
Bitcoin IRA offerings
The good news is, in addition to the usual asset classes like Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Annuities, CDs, Real assets you can invest in Bitcoin through your IRA account.   However, cryptocurrency based IRA is a relatively new phenomenon and no industry leaders like Vanguard, Fidelity, Blackrock, American Funds, T Rowe Price and others are offering this product.
You may set up a self-directed IRA and invest in Bitcoin, however, the procedure involves a lot of paperwork and needs to meet IRS compliance requirements. The second option is Bitcoin IRA, a company founded in 2017 that allows people to invest IRA money into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin IRA offers 4 different investment strategies:

  • The Popular option invests 70% in Bitcoins (BTC) and 30% in Ethereum (ETH).
  • The Balanced allocates 20% each to Bitcoins (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
  • In case of 3rd option and 4th option, you can create your own allocation among various offerings before or after going through the enrollment process.

Keep in mind there is 15% upfront fee as reported by various investors compared to less than 1% charged for other IRA accounts. So you will lose 15% value at the start and need to wait for the Bitcoin to rally to recover the fees and then show you some gains in your Bitcoin IRA account.
Bitcoin IRA enrollment process
The enrollment process is bit long and requires a copy of driving license, social security, a copy of retirement account statement for last 60 days, beneficiary details, Social security and birth details. It takes some time and patience to go through the steps and ensure that you provide all the necessary documentation.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have a potential to become an alternative medium of exchange to major world currencies. The underlying Blockchain technology may be used to make the current processes and products more efficient in Banking and other industries. As an investment option, Bitcoin is very volatile and operating in an ever-changing regulatory landscape.  Therefore, before investing, do your own due diligence and understand the downside risks.
Disclaimer: or any of affiliates does not endorse BitcoinIRA. The investor should perform their own due diligence and risk assessment before investing through BitcoinIRA is no circumstances will be responsible for any losses or damages, directly or indirectly, caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Author: Sunil Gangwani, Co-Founder, Plootus
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