- As the January 10 deadline approaches, retirement savers who wish to access Bitcoin
without directly owning it may soon find the desired access.
- According to the 2022 CFA Institute Investor Confidence Survey, 94% of state and local retirement plans had some level of exposure to cryptocurrencies.
- Fidelity Investments, the largest 401(k) plan manager in the U.S., took a step in this direction by introducing a Bitcoin fund option in the fall of 2022.
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Approval of Spot Bitcoin ETFs could strengthen connections with retirement funds and bring a massive influx of investment!
Spot Bitcoin ETFs and Retirement Plans
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As the January 10 deadline approaches, retirement savers who wish to access Bitcoin without directly owning it may soon find the desired access. U.S. regulators are getting closer to deciding whether to allow a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to reflect real-time price movements of Bitcoin.
Industry participants are optimistic about the approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Recent reports suggest that approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF could come as early as December 29. Industry participants predict that, once these offerings are accessible, not only high-risk traders but also retirement savers will gain increased access to the crypto asset class.
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This access can be facilitated through company 401(k) plans or, if available, through solo 401(k) and self-directed IRAs. Chris Kline, Head of Revenue at Bitcoin IRA, said, “This is a big step for mainstream adoption of bitcoin and crypto. (Investors) will have more options.”
In recent years, many major retirement funds have allocated cryptocurrency as an asset class. According to the 2022 CFA Institute Investor Confidence Survey, 94% of state and local retirement plans had some level of exposure to cryptocurrencies.
Fidelity Investments, the largest 401(k) plan manager in the U.S., took a step in this direction by introducing a Bitcoin fund option in the fall of 2022. This move allows employees who comfortably tolerate associated risks and volatility to invest in Bitcoin within company-sponsored 401(k) plans.
The Importance of SEC Approval as a Game Changer
According to industry experts, employers have been reluctant to include cryptocurrencies in company retirement plans influenced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2022 guidelines. While the Department of Labor does not explicitly ban cryptocurrencies in company retirement plans, the guidelines from March 2022 are inclined against plan sponsors considering such inclusion.
If the SEC approves spot bitcoin ETFs as expected, there is a possibility that more companies will choose to include them in 401(k) offerings, says Spokane. A spot bitcoin ETF may address some of the concerns highlighted by the Department of Labor, such as concerns related to custody, record-keeping, and valuation. The presence of a professional manager responsible for diversifying the spot bitcoin ETF could potentially mitigate risks, although it may not eliminate them entirely