There’s a push to bring bitcoin to 401(k) plans. Why it could take awhile before you see these investments in yours

A recent bitcoin conference in Miami drew a mix of professionals who have wholeheartedly embraced the cryptocurrency.

Yet David Ramirez, chief investment officer at ForUsAll, said he was still able to surprise attendees with a new way to think about their holdings.

“I met with a lot of people who had been investing in this space for quite a while, who were staring down massive capital gains exposure,” Ramirez said. “In the 401(k), that can largely be eliminated.”

ForUsAll announced this month it had teamed up with Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, to allow employees to put up to 5% of their 401(k) investments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The feature is offered through employers who sign up for a so-called self-directed cryptocurrency window.

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ForUsAll is not the first company to offer bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 401(k) plans. Companies such as BitWage and Digital Asset Investment Management are also working to bring these investments to traditional retirement plans offered by employers.

Investors can already tap into cryptocurrency through their individual retirement accounts. And some professionals say they see a growing appetite to expand that to 401(k) plans, too.

Yet many traditional players in the industry are skeptical that employers offering retirement plans, known as plan sponsors, will clamor to offer these investments.

“Plan sponsors in general are still very unlikely to want to adopt any type of cryptocurrency into their investment line-up,” said Aaron Pottichen, senior vice president at Alliant Retirement Consulting.

At the heart of the debate is whether these kinds of investments in a 401(k) will ultimately help or hurt investors.

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