How to Invest Self-Directed IRA LLC in Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin)

What is Cryptocurrency?

Per IRS Revenue Ruling 2019-24:

  • Virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and/or a store of value. 
  • Cryptocurrency is a type of virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions that are digitally recorded on a distributed ledger, such as a blockchain. 
  • Most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin

IRS View on Taxation of

  • The IRS has issued guidance that cryptocurrency will be treated as property for federal tax purposes (see e.g. IRS Notice 2014-21).
  • Outside of a retirement account: the income or gains from the sale of cryptocurrency will be subject to capital gains tax rates (short-term or long-term as applicable).
  • Inside a retirement account: the gains/income derived from a cryptocurrency investment are tax-deferred (or potentially tax-free in the case of a IRA LLC account).
    • Possible exception: If you invest your IRA LLC funds in mining cryptocurrency, the income generated may be subject to unrelated business income tax (UBIT) if the mining is considered an active trade or business.

Steps to Invest Self-directed IRA LLC
in Cryptocurrency

  • STEP 1 – Open an IRA LLC
    • Confirm that you have eligible rollover funds (former employer and/or IRA) and/or can make IRA contributions
    • Choose a Self-directed IRA custodian/trust that allows for LLC investments
    • Choose an IRA LLC provider with experience in helping others invest
  • STEP 2 – Fund the IRA LLC
    • Rollover Former employer plan or IRA funds and/or make IRA contributions to self-directed IRA
    • Open a bank account in the name and EIN of the IRA LLC & invest self-directed IRA funds in IRA LLC
  • STEP 3 – Open & Fund LLC Account at Cryptocurrency Exchange
    • Open a Cryptocurrency Exchange Account in the name & EIN of the LLC owned by your IRA
    • Transfer funds from the IRA LLC bank account to the account at the crypto exchange
  • STEP 4 – Store Cryptocurrency
    • Separate and segregated wallet exclusively for IRA LLC investments
    • Store in safety deposit box associated with IRA LLC bank account

Practical Tips:
Investing IRA LLC funds in cryptocurrency

  • Opening an Account at a Cryptocurrency Exchange
    • Name and EIN of the LLC owned by your IRA (consider tax reporting by the exchange)
  • Funding an Account at Cryptocurrency Exchange
    • Confirm that the account can be funded with Fiat money
    • Wire/ACH funds from a bank account in the name of the LLC owned by your IRA
    • Do not fund from personal account per IRA LLC funding rules
  • Private Transactions
    • Confirm that the seller or buyer is not a disqualified person to ensure that you don’t commit a prohibited transaction
    • Do not combine or “tie” the transaction with non-retirement transactions

Use Existing Coinbase Account QUESTION:

I already have a personal account with Coinbase Pro. Am I allowed to mix the funds from my IRA LLC into my personal account? Or do I need to open a new crypto currency trading account in the name of the LLC?

You can’t mix personal and retirement funds such that you need an account in the name of the LLC owned by your IRA. 

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About George Blower

I have the privilege of educating our clients about our products and services so that they can make informed and confident decisions about their financial future. Prior to joining My Solo 401k Financial, I served as the general counsel for a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 financial services company. Learn more about George Blower and My Solo 401k Financial >>


  1. Posted March 15, 2021 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Which crypto exchanges allow for IRA LLC accounts?
    In NY State, especially?

    • Posted March 20, 2021 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      Both Coinbase and Gemini are two common ones. Kraken is another popular one.

  2. Posted May 12, 2021 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Is an allowed exchange? If this is a checkbook LLC IRA account, it shouldn’t matter, correct?

  3. Posted June 2, 2021 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Can I fund with crypto currencies for an initial contribution for the SD Roth IRA LLC (Check book control)? If so, What is the max amount? Thanks.

  4. Posted July 12, 2021 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    If I open a SDIRA with a trust account instead of an LLC, which crypto exchanges allow opening an account with a trust? Are they the same as the ones that allow a business LLC account?

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