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Millennials, Smart Sensors and Bitcoin IRAs

Millennials, Smart Sensors and Bitcoin IRAs
By Andy Gordon
Date April 26, 2018

What’s new this week in the tech and crypto worlds? Let’s take a look.

“This is a major change from a year ago.”

In a recent cryptocurrency survey, Thomson Reuters found that about 20% of its clients were “really interested and actively exploring” launching cryptocurrency trading operations in 2018. Sam Chadwick, Reuters’ director of new content initiatives, said, “The feedback really astonished us a bit.”

“We’re realizing money versus equity isn’t a binary choice. It’s a spectrum.”

This past Monday, MIT held a “Business of Blockchain” conference. A big topic of discussion? The SEC’s increasing scrutiny of the crypto space. Attendees and speakers expressed a range of views exploring whether the impact of impending regulations would be a painful or positive one.

I’m sympathetic to the views of Neha Narula, director of the Digital Currency Initiative at MIT Media Lab. She said that a lack of regulations can actually stifle crypto-related innovation.

The Plympton group is banking on the youth movement.

Millennials are flocking to buy bitcoin at about twice the rate of the general population. And some are even forming blockchain-specialized funds. Four Harvard students have recently raised funds to form Plympton Capital, a hedge fund for investing in digital currencies. The fund has already raised $700,000 from family and friends.

Bushra Hamid, one of the students working on the initiative, said, “We don’t necessarily know a lot,” when it comes to the ins and outs of Wall Street, but when it comes to crypto, “they have full trust in us.”

Smart sensors will detect environmental pollution at the speed of light.

Medical labs on a chip… Patterns of speech that provide critical clues to our health… And smart sensors that detect environmental pollution at the speed of light. IBM predicts five technologies will change our lives in the next five years.

“This is something that will absolutely change the future of finance.”

Yes, you can use your IRA to make bitcoin investments, but it’s not easy. Doing it yourself may force you to set up an LLC to buy the tokens, and you will need to select an exchange, a secure wallet and an IRA custodian.

Bitcoin IRA, a company that partners with an IRA custodian and a crypto wallet to let people invest, can help you jump through the hoops. It charges fees from 10% to 15%. According to the company, its average Bitcoin IRA investor earned a 172% return in 2017.

Fidelity, Vanguard and Charles Schwab do NOT offer self-directed IRAs or cryptocurrency IRA products. But investors in traditional IRAs can choose to allocate money to funds that do invest in cryptos.

Good investing,

Andy Gordon
Co-Founder, First Stage Investor

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