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For Matthew Roed, Social Security is looking a lot less promising than the money he’s stashed away in his BitcoinIRA.
Roed is a registered nurse living in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and he says he’s spent 160,000 hours researching all things bitcoin. His conclusion? Investing in the cryptocurrency is the key to retiring well, and the best way to do it is through a tax-free, self-directed Individual Retirement Account, or IRA.
“Since bitcoin is legally classified as property by the U.S. government and my crypto is inside of an IRA, I knew that I would greatly reduce my taxable expenses due to exponential growth,” said Roed.
At today’s prices, the gamble has so far paid off.
The MBA grad, father, and husband initially invested $30,000 into his BitcoinIRA. Right now, he says that his retirement portfolio is up to $250,000,
While it’s down from its peak of $500,000, Roed still feels vindicated in his conviction that bitcoin is the future.
“No one wanted to listen to me at that time, including my own family,” he said. “I became reclusive and used my frustration to push more and more into getting involved in that market.”
BitcoinIRA launched in May of 2016, offering investors the tax-advantage of an IRA, plus the return of a high-risk, high-reward alternative asset class. It’s similar in nature to other IRAs, except that instead of being funded by gold, cash, and bonds, it’s backed by bitcoin.
The company has more than 100,000 individual account holders, including clients as young as 18. But chief operating office Chris Kline tells CNBC that 75% of account holders are 45 and under. “It’s not a young kids’ game anymore,” he said.
BitcoinIRA isn’t just dealing in bitcoin either. It now includes a long list of cryptocurrencies, including ethereum and litecoin.
Duke University’s Campbell Harvey thinks diversification is the right call.
“To have a portfolio that has exposure…to a single crypto like bitcoin, that doesn’t make any sense, because while bitcoin is the most important one right now, its share of the overall capitalization of cryptos has decreased through time. There are so many other tokens out there,” Harvey said.
When CNBC first profiled BitcoinIRA in 2017, it served $6 million in transactions for 700 account holders. This month, it passed $1.5 billion in all-time transactions.
There were also far fewer players in the crypto retirement space. The market is now flooded with options.
A recent survey of financial advisors shows a significant shift to cryptocurrencies. 14% of the more than 500 financial advisors included in the report said they now use or recommend cryptocurrency to clients, versus fewer than 1% in 2019 and 2020.
IRA custodian Kingdom Trust offers users the option to diversify in 20 different cryptocurrencies. CEO Ryan Radloff tells CNBC that $2 billion of the $17 billion that it holds for clients is now in cryptocurrency. That’s up from $350 million a year ago.
“The amount of people…