The Way to Own Bitcoin in Your IRA

Christian DeHaemer

Written By Christian DeHaemer

Posted June 6, 2024

Our very own Brit Ryle the undisputed master of Bitcoin, the Gameboy version of Tetrus, and a supreme investment analyst had an excellent article yesterday on Bitcoin ETFs.  If you haven’t read it you can find it here:

He wrote: 

“The other important thing to note about that Bitcoin ETF chart is that, aside from Grayscale, there are virtually no outflows from any of them. I count four days of outflows from the group overall this year. And those rare days when investors sell, well, they aren’t selling very much. 

Money is consistently and relentlessly flowing into Bitcoin ETFs. It’s been doing so ever since these ETFs were launched. 

The message is pretty simple: people want to own Bitcoin. The ETFs are an easy and secure way to accomplish this. I will add that when people keep buying a thing, and not selling a thing, the price of that thing is likely to go higher.”

Bitcoin historically goes up in price the two years following the halving date, which was April 20, 2024.  After the last halving, it went up 600%.

Post Halving Surge

Reading Brit’s article made me want to go buy some Bitcoin ETFs.  I personally like the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) – which is among the lowest cost at 0.25% and has a lot of liquidity as Blackrock owns iShares. However when I put in my buy order in my self-directed IRA – Vanguard told me I couldn’t invest in any crypto products.


Well, it’s back to the Bitcoin proxies that Vanguard will let me buy in an IRA.  There are two viable options: Microstrategy (MSTR), or the largest bitcoin miner, Marathon Digital (MARA). 

MSTR is a legacy tech company whose stock had hardly moved for twenty years until it decided to buy Bitcoin back in 2020.  The strategy worked so the company bought more.  They now own 193,000 bitcoins with an average purchase price of ~$31,000 which are valued at about ~$14 billion at today’s prices.

The gambit has paid off and how…

Here is their five-year chart.  You can see that the stock price has been tracking BTC since they first started buying.  If you had bought MSTR in 2020 you’d be up 1,168.39% today.

MSTR Chart

MSTR has a market cap of $29 billion.  That leaves $15 billion in market cap that isn’t BTC. The tech side of the business is losing money and revenue.  At this point there are plenty of safe, pure-play bitcoin investment vehicles so why pay for a legacy tech company?

And that chart – that looks like a double top waiting to drop below $1,000.  So, I’ll pass on MSTR.

Marathon Digital (MARA).

MARA is a Bitcoin miner.  I love MARA as I rode it from $9 to over $30 in the fall of 2023.  I sold all my profits and have been sitting on the initial investment waiting to buy back in.

MARA Chart

MARA has a nice-looking chart with a solid uptrend and a clear shot back to $30 over the next few months.  If Bitcoin heads to $120,000 MARA should do much better.  Think of it as a leveraged buy on bitcoin.  Their costs remain fixed while their assets increase.

As of May 31, 2024, they had a total of 17,857 unrestricted BTC which is equal to $1.3 billion.  Marathon opted to sell 390 bitcoins in May.  They sell to fund operations.   

The company has a trailing p/e of 12, margins of 95%, and quarterly revenue growth of 223%.  Some 28% of the float is short which sets up an epic short squeeze if BTC ramps up.

All the best,

Christian DeHaemer

Chief Market Guru, Outsider Club


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