Over the past year, interest in cryptocurrency has become much more mainstream, with the price of bitcoin, the largest by market value, surging to a record high in April.

With all of the hype, you might be wondering if it’s possible — and worthwhile — to invest in cryptocurrency for retirement, specifically in your individual retirement account, or IRA.

It is possible through a self-directed IRA, which can be used to hold alternative investments normally not permitted in a traditional IRA, such as real estate or commodities. However, experts generally warn against it.

Here’s why you should probably avoid investing in cryptocurrency for retirement.

‘The costs can be sizable’

One reason experts warn against investing in cryptocurrency through a self-directed IRA is because they’re not widely available and don’t make sense for most investors. Generally, they can be both risky and expensive to maintain, even without cryptocurrency holdings.

There are also strict rules in place from the Internal Revenue Service regarding which investments are prohibited in IRAs. With a self-directed IRA, you manage all the investments yourself, so you’re personally on the hook if any rules are broken.

“Self-directed IRAs usually require a specialized firm or custodian and the costs can be sizable due to the additional compliance and IRA requirements,” Anjali Jariwala, certified financial planner, certified public accountant and founder of Fit Advisors, tells CNBC Make It. “[I]f you fail to abide by all of the rules, then your account may lose its tax-deferred status.”

There’s also the potential
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