Some workers will soon be able to add cryptocurrency investments to their 401(k) plans as part of a new first-of-its-kind partnership between exchange operator Coinbase and investment platform ForUsAll.
The new retirement account dubbed the Alt 401(k), allows investors to use up to 5% of their contributions for buying, holding, and selling over 50 cryptocurrencies. To help employees use cryptocurrencies appropriately, ForUsAll provides personalized help and automatically alerts participants when their allocations exceed 5% of their portfolio.
“By introducing the Alt 401(k), we are democratizing access to what drives wealth for the wealthy – alternative investment options, combined with our original core offering of low-cost index funds, and personalized help,” ForUsAll CEO Jeff Schulte said in a statement.
Founded in 2012, ForUsAll serves over 700,000 customers and manages over $1.7 billion in assets. A spokesperson for the company said that more than 60% of its clients over the past three months have expressed interest in the plan.
“When we created our institutional platform our initial focus was making cryptocurrency accessible to institutional investors and high net worth individuals,” Coinbase head of institutional coverage Brett Tejpaul added. “The next evolution is to broaden our reach and we are thrilled to be working with ForUsAll, the leading 401(k) technology platform, to expand access to cryptocurrency through 401(k)s.”
ForUsAll co-founder and chief investment officer David Ramirez argue that while cryptocurrencies can be a volatile and complex investment, they can help improve portfolio diversification and expected returns.
“Technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency have the potential to transform our economy,” Ramirez said. “Combining access to these assets with education and portfolio monitoring may allow more Americans to benefit from these emerging technologies.”
According to prices tracked by Coindesk, Bitcoin is trading near $37,000 per coin as of Thursday morning, while rivals Ethereum and Dogecoin are trading around $2,500 and 33 cents per coin, respectively.