Cryptocurrency in 401k s! WHO’S READY?

Sep 23, 2021


CRYPTOCURRENCY IN 401K S! WHO’S READY?” was Contributed By Ryan McGonagill, Director, Industry Research at 

There are thousands of cryptocurrencies, from Goliaths like Bitcoin to those that may be sleeping giants. While a household name and, frankly, complicated, most Americans haven’t bought into the asset.

One reason is, except for a handful of providers and companies, cryptocurrency choices are not offered through employer-sponsored 401K plans – the average American’s exposure to the broader investment market. 

Will that change? Time will tell, but according to a survey of nearly 1,000 full-time U.S. employees, 87 percent expressed interest in diversifying their retirement investments with cryptocurrency.

What are the Benefits of Cryptocurrencies in 401(k) Plans?

Inclusion of cryptocurrencies as an option in 401Ks could be a winning combination for the market as retirement managers are traditionally risk averse.

Part of the appeal of a cryptocurrency 401K could be its potential to grant an investor exposure to the asset. An employer-approved retirement planner to help navigate and provide guidance and expertise could broaden exposure, while managing the potential downside of the volatility.

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In addition, cryptocurrencies offer unique tax advantages due to the unregulated – to date – nature of the digital asset.

And of course, it could offer a viable option for those looking for higher returns on some of their retirement investments. 

Cryptocurrency in 401k
Photo by David McBee on

Survey Says…

Of the 87 percent interested in cryptocurrency in 401K s, one-third (33 percent) were “Extremely or very interested.” Meanwhile, just 13 percent were “Not interested at all.”

Current cryptocurrency investors, not surprisingly, want the asset as an option in their 401Ks with 95 percent indicating interest. 

Also, younger workers – those under 30 – were interested at a clip of 93 percent. Interest declined slightly as ages increased, likely because older ages mean closer to retirement and less risky investments. For every age group above 30, at least half of respondents showed interest. Even among workers age 50 and up, three-quarters of respondents replied they were at least slightly interested in cryptocurrency as a retirement option.

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What kind of financial commitment are people willing to make? Over 40 percent said they’d want to invest up to a quarter of their retirement contributions in cryptocurrency – notably Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, which were the top three assets identified by respondents.


Over the past decade, cryptocurrency has grown into a mainstream investment. What will the next decade look like? If enthusiasm as part of cryptocurrency in 401Ks is any indication it could be a “bit” exciting. 

Ryan McGonagill is Director, Industry Research at, which helps business owners and decision makers launch, build and expand their businesses.


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