How to buy and hold bitcoin in an IRA or Roth IRA

First published: 10/15/2022
| Last updated: 01/17/2023
| -- min read

Many people want to hold bitcoin in an IRA. However, most “bitcoin IRA” companies don’t allow for control of any private keys, and further often charge large storage and purchase fees. Wouldn’t it be great to avoid all these issues by just holding bitcoin directly in your IRA, with private key control, while still maintaining the tax benefits of an IRA or Roth IRA?

It turns out that you can do so in four easy steps.

Step 1: Open an IRA account with Unchained Capital

The first step is to fill out our form to open an IRA account with Unchained. From the perspective of an Unchained client, an Unchained IRA operates just like any other Unchained vault, except that deposits and withdrawals will work slightly differently due to an IRA’s tax advantages. Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs are all offered.

When you sign up, you can choose either Concierge Onboarding or standard. Standard onboarding assumes you already have hardware wallets and know how to use them to set up an Unchained multisig vault, while Concierge will provide you with a 1-hour onboarding session with a trained expert to help you set everything up properly.

Pricing for the Unchained IRA is simple and straightforward. Unlike other bitcoin IRAs, we never charge account value fees or large markups on your bitcoin trades.

Step 2: Sign the agreement

After you provide some basic information in our online form, the second step is to agree to the required legal structure. From there, we will be able to open accounts for you both at Unchained and with our IRA financial services partner, Solera National Bank.

Step 3: Create your IRA vault

After your IRA account is built and you have signed the necessary agreement, you can create your IRA multisig vault. If you’re familiar with the Unchained platform and how to use hardware wallets, you can create this vault quickly and easily. If you’re not, don’t worry, our concierge service can provide 1-to-1 guidance for every step of your vault setup.

If you already have an Unchained vault, you will be pleased to know that by changing the “derivation path” on your devices, you can use the same wallets for your segregated IRA vault as you do for your personal vault! This means you can set up your Unchained IRA vault without needing to think about hardware wallet and seed phrase storage all over again.

Step 4: Initiate your IRA or 401(k) rollover

By completing some basic paperwork, you can authorize Unchained’s financial services partner to directly contact your existing IRA provider and arrange a direct transfer of IRA funds to Unchained. If you’re rolling over from a 401(k), 403(b), or other employer retirement plan as opposed to an IRA, we can provide you with instructions on how to initiate that transfer with the administrator of your old plan.

Either way, as soon as Unchained receives the funds in US Dollars, our trading desk will automatically convert them to bitcoin and deposit them into your IRA vault. No further action is needed on your part.

Bitcoin IRAs couldn’t be easier

As you can see, opening an IRA to hold real bitcoin while controlling your keys has never been easier, and after your account is established, Unchained will even handle all annual administration for you! There’s no better way to secure your retirement than holding bitcoin with your own private keys in collaborative custody with Unchained Capital.

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